Tea for the Bloggerman

T5AotW: Week Twelve
October 26, 2008, 4:29 pm
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Week Twelve: October 26th

1. Levee Low Moan: Soul Gestures in Southern Blue, Vol. 3 by Wynton Marsalis
I like Wynton Marsalis a whole lot. He must’ve been born at the wrong time. Had he been born at the time of Miles and Coltrane he would’ve given them a run for their money. A modern-day master at the trumpet, Marsalis has done so much for jazz in this generation. Saw him on the Colbert Report the other night. He was explaining how jazz can expand one’s mind and make them aware of the effects of the financial crisis. It takes quite a mind to reason that one.

2. Songs of Love and Hate by Leonard Cohen
One of Leonard’s best albums and also his strangest. The title is very accurate to the content: about have the songs are soft songs of longing, a trend in Leonard’s music, and the other half are angry, revengeful ballads. It’s so strange. At least two songs, in my opinion, would make TOP-NOTCH punk rock songs. Perhaps this is why this album was so influential on someone like Nick Cave who had a copy of this album growing up in Australia. The true highlight of the album is Leonard’s legendary “Famous Blue Raincoat.” A masterpiece. He didn’t sing it at the Montreal concert I attended, but he did sing another song from this album, the awe-inspiring “Avalanche.” This album is the soundtrack of the void: the loneliness, the frustration the remorse, the fury.

3. The Best of Woody Guthrie
I bought this CD in a Greyhound bus station in Grand Junction, Colorado. I was thinking heavily on Woody Guthrie during my first major bus trip, and it just so happened that not even a day on the road I had come across a CD of his music. I bought it and listened to it on a small portable DVD player I had brought with me on my journey. Woody embodies the wanderlust inherent in the American spirit. From sea to shining sea, this land is our land, etc etc. I ain’t got no home, I’m just a-roaming ’round. I’m just a wanderin’ worker I go from town to town. I’ve been hittin’ some hard travelin’ I thought you know’d. I’ve been hittin’ some hard travelin’ way down the road. While Leonard echoes in the void of our souls, Woody echoes in the empty expanses of the American landscape.

4. Exile on Main Street by The Rolling Stones
The best album the Stones have done by far and surprisingly few hits on it! “Sweet Virginia,” that’s about it. When people think of their favorite Stones songs they think of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction,” “Paint it Black,” “Sympathy for the Devil,” etc etc. None of these are on this album but the album is a masterwork of dirty British blues-rock. Keith is a wailing guitar magician on this album, and Mick does a commendable job on the harmonica. Needs more recognition, definitely.

5. Best of Leadbelly
I need a better Leadbelly CD than this. This CD is only a half hour long. Got it with some blues three-pack I bought at Ross. While this CD in particular may be lacking, I can only praise the body of work Leadbelly has produced. He is a giant in the history of American music. Tom Waits was born the day after Leadbelly died. Tom Waits has said that he feels that Leadbelly bumped into him and knocked him over as they passed in the heavenly hallway. Goodnight Irene. Where Did You Sleep Last Night. John Hardy. Green Corn. Good Morning Blues. Black Betty. I checked out a couple of Leadbelly songbooks from the UNLV Music Library. If I can snatch just a small portion of Leadbelly’s technique my guitar playing will be forever changed.


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Home Town Boy Leonard Cohen Surrenders to Love
June 23, 2008 Montreal International Jazz Fest.

At seventy four, Leonard Cohen kicked his show off (and unofficially the Jazz Fest) last night by bounding on stage with the energy
and exuberance of a teenager. Cue the “Love Fest”
For the next three hours plus, Leonard Cohen treated the 3000 fans at Place des Arts to a retrospective of his entire
catalog of songs. A catalog so rich and deep it is easy to see why he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
this past February. Two years ago I sat in that same hall witnessing a concert by American singer/songwriter
Paul Simon and came out of that show knowing that Mr. Simon is an American National Treasure. What I saw last
night equaled, if not surpassed, that memorable show.
Mr. Cohen greeted the audience in French and you could see that he was genuinely humble to be back in front
of a home town crowd that was ready to make that journey with him recalling all those many years ago.
Humble. Generous. Energetic.
Just three words of many that describe the emotions and spectacle that we were treated to last night. I must admit
that going into the concert I did have my doubts about the strength of Mr. Cohen’s voice, never of his conviction,
but he is 74 after all, and his voice has never been strong at best. Shame on me. As mentioned above, incredibly
for 3 hours he regaled us with songs, poetry and intimate conversation as if we were all in his living room invited
for a personal tete a tete.
His band is excellent, most multi-instrumentalists and Leonard was certain to allow each one of them to showcase
their specific talents. A special shout out to the “foreground” singers. Unlike other bands that position the singers
in the back only being called upon to fill the void or compliment the singer when necessary, the three ladies in
Leonard’s band took the lead several times. They were integral in most songs and the three of them, together and
separately were used as an instrument in their own right. Living up to his reputation, Leonard was clearly making
love with these 3 ladies all night.
And the songs. Think of your favourite, he played it. Most true to the versions we know from his albums, but with the
passion that can only come from a live performance.
Five encores, and the show was over.
A beautiful evening by a beautiful man.
Leonard, please do not wait another fifteen years.

Jazz Fest: Leonard Cohen: set list and musicians

The Band:

Roscoe Beck: musical director, bass

Rafael Gayol: drums

Bob Metzger: guitar

Javier Mas: various stringed instruments

Neil Larsen: keyboards

Dino Soldo: sax, woodwinds, harmonica

Charley and Hattie Webb: background vocals

Sharon Robinson: background vocals

Complete Set List:

1. Dance Me to the End of Love

2. The Future

3. Ain’t No Cure for Love

4. Bird on the Wire

5. Everybody Knows

6. In My Secret Life

7. Who By Fire

8. Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye

9. Take This Waltz

*** Intermission ***

10. Tower of Song

11. Avalanche

12. Suzanne

13. The Gypsy’s Wife

14. Boogie Street

15. Hallelujah

16. Democracy

17. I’m Your Man

18. A Thousand Kisses Deep (recitation)

19. Anthem


20. So Long, Marianne

21. First We Take Manhattan

22. Sisters of Mercy

23. If It Be Your Will

24. Closing Time

25. That Don’t Make It Junk

26. Famous Blue Raincoat

27. I Tried to Leave You

28. Wither Thou Goest

*****Yes, your copying and pasting skills are top-notch. -J*****

Comment by robe,

I really want to hear the rest of that Woody CD! Leonard <3

Comment by Yanira

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