Saturday, October 9, 2010

Day 43: Salif Kieta "Papa" and Rahsaan Roland Kirk "Volunteered Slavery"

Today is going to be the day I give up the pre-amble. At least for today. Except, you know, for this part.

Salif Kieta

I know nothing about this CD. As you can see to the left, it comes in one of those advanced copy sleeves. iTunes is calling it 'pop' and into the first track it's a kind of funky pop in a different language.

Apparently, I should know something about this CD, Salif Keita is the first thing to come up when google tries and guess what you're trying to input.

Ah, awesome...the Albatross is trying to do a theme between days for three days in a row. Two days ago I talked about Red Rodney being billed as "Albino Red" in the segregated south, well, Salif Keita is an albino from Mali. I can't help but feel that someone reading this already knows that. For whatever reason, I didn't.

Awesome side note, the headphones are blocking out the TV so that woman who sings about how I should go to an online college is singing afro-pop.

Sort of unfair, but I associate this with that insufferable jackass you might meet at the hemp products store. I recognize that I know this because I go to hemp product stores, and I do in fact have this CD, and I have to admit I'm not hating for all effects and purposes, I am that insufferable jackass. Good times. I contemplated briefly trying to defend myself by pointing out that 'at least I didn't come by this by listening to Peter Gabriel...' but really that just ups the insufferable part. Self awareness can by a little bit of a pain in the ass.

Well, the mystery as to why I have this is kind of solved. I did do some buying for the world section and did like to collect 'indigenous music' (as part of that whole pretend ethno-musicologist thing...good lord, I really am that jackass...) and since I really didn't know that much about world music I'd have to take pretty much anything because I really didn't know what I was getting half the time. But the reason I got this one probably had more to do with it being on Metro Blue, the sister label to Blue Note. Really seeing how generous the Blue Note guy was.

Really, take an later Peter Gabriel album, get rid of the guy straining his voice in English and you get pretty close to this. Gabriel was really into this stuff, apparently.

I'd worry about that whole 'insufferable jackass' impression if this came up with friends, but realistically, no one lets me play my music for social gatherings.

Rashaan Roland Kirk
Volunteered Slavery

This actually is part of a double CD with Blacknuss called Left Cross, Right Cross, but I already have Blacknuss on my iTunes (because it has the coolest version of Ain't No Sunshine ever recorded, where he grunts out the lyrics while he plays the might be thinking that sounds awful, but you're wrong, it's awesome.) Plus, that CD is missing in the case, so Volunteered Slavery is the one that goes in today.

Right off the bat on the title track he's already doing the multiple saxophone thing. And now he's onto quoting Hey Jude in his solo. Jazz 'quoting' is just playing the melody of another song during your solo...if there was anyone reading that who thought he started singing Hey Jude or something.

Kirk sort of helps round out that insufferable jackass quotient, sadly. Kirk is part of that trinity of easy to remember names that help up the 'hip' on some album collections. If I were a math guy I probably could come up with some algorhythm where the likelyhood that someone had one or more Kirk, Sun Ra, or Art Ensemble of Chicago albums depending on how much Frank Zappa and Grateful Dead they have and in what proportions. For the record, I only had Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch when I was a kid to get Valley Girl. I realize this isn't helping my case...

There's a lot more singing on this album than normal. There is always a little vocal work, but this one is upping it a bit.

Ha, okay, you know that phenomenon where people get the lyrics wrong and the song becomes a little silly? Just happened. While I was typing I thought they were singing "Let's go search for the ring..." which made me think of some kind of Wiz-style musical adaptation of Lord of the Rings, but it was "Let's go search for the reason why..." Makes more sense, but less fun.

It's just now occuring to me the direct line between the group Sex Mob and Kirk. Both do funky/free jazz versions of popular music. Right now Say a Little Prayer is getting the treatment, and I'm digging it.

Really, where else are you going to get a nose whistle solo but a Roland Kirk album?

This includes the command encore where Kirk admits to getting a slow start because he "smoked too much." Which I think rules out me being able to give this album to my students...

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