Tuesday, December 14, 2010

jamming with Stef in Wales, Droning in Devon

Out in Carmarthenshire for a few days with Stef and Peni of The Mordekkers. I recorded a few saz/mandola jams with Stef:

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Triple holy well in Gumfreston churchyard
triple holy well behind church of St. Lawrence, Gumfreston, Pembrokeshire,
which I visited around this time (photo by Angela Jones)

I also got to see a couple of excellent DVDs while out there: the extraordinary feat of transglobal fusion that is What About Me? (made by the 1 Giant Leap team) and a 2004 hiphop concert film that's probably as good as hiphop's going to get (until the next wave of revolutionary MCs surfaces): Dave Chapelle's Block Party. It's hosted by a likeable and generally quite funny comedian (previously unknown to me) who put together the event, a free street party in the Bed-Stuy region of Brooklyn, featuring The Roots providing live-band backing for Mos Def, Taleb Kwale, Common, Dead Prez, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, etc. with guest appearances from Big Daddy Kane and Kool G Rap, and a surprise reunion set from The Fugees. For those of you who just don't 'get' hiphop but haven't given up trying to, this might just be the best starting point.

On the way back from Wales, I ended up stopping off in Glastonbury, saw Sam and Stevie from Green Angels, met Sam's future husband and Stevie's new baby son Inti, and heard some of their newest recordings (incredibly fresh and ambitious arrangements of French dance tunes, reminding me at times of the inventiveness of early Zappa), including a Sam-written bourrée, Bourrée White (named after Barry White!). From there it was down to Exeter for a John Searle lecture and the last Children of the Drone session of 2010. It was one of those ones which felt quite incoherent, languid, not particularly enjoyable. And yet the recording doesn't give this impression at all (apart from the usual weaker sections which I've edited out, leaving a full 80 minute of perfectly listenable stuff):

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Lucy — alto saxophone, percussion
James S — Kaoss Pad, processed vocals, mandola, acoustic bass guitar
Keith — electric guitar, Gibson electric mandolin, acoustic bass guitar, mini-keyboard
James T — keyboard, poetry, percussion, water
Brian – percussion (first half)
me — saz, percussion

James S also passed on some recordings he made of the November session (one I missed), which I've also processed and uploaded:

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