Glad the rest of the blog squad stepped up these last few days because I simply did not have it in me last week. For a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that I am pretty much full time out here at the farm, with the only internet access on my breaks at work. Coming down off the full time web takes a few days (think going to the cabin or Boundary Waters) but now I am in the slow farm groove. Walking to work through the woods and past the sheep pasture, watching fire flies from the front porch, trying not to step on too many of the millions of little skippers (orange butterflies) that hatched out Sunday. I felt like I was I was in a Disney movie. Tra la la la la. Mama E as Snow White.
So anyway, I have not been looking up, reading about or listening to new music at all for a few weeks. Actually since I've been walking, not driving to work I have barely been listening to any music that's not produced by birds, tree frogs or the wind in the aspens. How I think this all translates to the summer blog is that my posts may become more occasional (I'll try for bi-weekly) and perhaps more musing on broader topics rather than my usual "You SO have to hear this new band" style. I may also pull a few old posts out of the archives and re-publish them. Is that totally lame? Well, I was thinking hardly anybody used to read this back almost three years ago when we started so they'll seem new to most of you.
I do have on musical question for you all this weeik. So when I do have to drive somewhere, the oficial car disc lately has been the Cartagena! collections of Colombian big band stuff from the Curro Fuentes wing of the Discos Fuentes family. Yeah, those Fuentes. So when I hear this track by Rosendo Martínez y su Orquesta called "El Alegron" all I can think of Balkan Brass, say maybe Kocani Orkestar.
I have to wonder, what is the link? There's got to be one somewhere, right? Both genres are clarinet led, brass driven dance music propelled by a deep, but light-footed rhythm section. Tubas and tupan on wedding music and fanfares, electric bass and timbales on the cumbias. But the feel and the energy is so similiar. Let's see, the cumbia and salsa dura big bands were influenced by American swing big bands. And some of the biggest clarinet players in the 30's and 40's were Jewish guys from New York. Who maybe cut their teeth on klezmer?? Which was huge in the first part of the 20th century as thousands of Eastern Europeans emigrated to this country. And at least some of the the roots of klezmer are the same as Eastern Euro and Gypsy brass band music, both of which draw something for the oboe and timpani marching war bands of the Ottoman Empire.
Hmmm. Lots of stretches there, Mama E. I'm not saying they sound alike. More like there is a feeling, an energy, a drive. And maybe I'm all touchy feely from being out at the farm so much. Or maybe I just love a clarinet that kicks it. Well, give a listen and try for the roots--or just enjoy the sounds.
If you're feeling like you could really use some beats with your global tunes instead, may I direct you to this week's Afro Pop show. Lots of links and great listens as they cover what they call World Music 2.0 and I call global roots with beats and big bass.
I still really want to hear that new Tamikrest record! Put some more up on the web guys! I'm not springing for a $26 import unheard. Just not.
Finally, do you have the Khaira Arby show on your calendar? Because you need to.
That's all. Farm life starts early.