Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This just in

Brill Building songwriter Ellie Greenwich has died at 68.
Her songwriting contributions to the world informed our lives. It's sad to think there will be no more.
Here's a Beach Boys version of a song she composed with Phil Spector and her then-husband Jeff Barry.

Another co-composition. This one expresses her raw emotional range. It's both easy and wrong to dismiss this work as a product of a bygone era- there's an eternal aspect to this, with the harmonies and pure voice.

Finally, here she is singing her own material.

I've avoided some of the obvious ones like River Deep Mountain High, in favor of some of the more vulnerable material.

Tull meets Shankar!

Okay, this happened a while ago, but it is still noteworthy.
Done as a series of benefit concerts for Mumbai, these shows present a singular opportunity for the marrying of musical ideas.
My first real prog concert was seeing Curved Air open for Tull in the early 70s. I was hooked instantly.
I've watched Tull and/or Anderson evolve musically over the decades. Anderson's solo work, in particular, reinforces my notion that although there are singular aspects to every culture, many of the musical forms have more commonalities than they do differences. I don't hold with the old saw of music being "the universal language", but I suspect we can learn about each other by noting the similarities between, for example, Celtic and Indian forms, despite their use of different scales (Eurpoean notation vs. pentatonic).
Case in point: the tour of Tull with Anoushka Shankar sitting in.
This from Ian Anderson's end of year letter to the fans:
New studio works will commence in the next weeks. Some music recorded in 2007 has to be finished and it would be nice if, after writing and performing new tunes for and with Anoushka, we could get together for long enough to record them. But, as AS is a busy gal, and currently busy with Dad playing Pandit Ravi’s new concerto for Sitar and Orchestra it might take a while for our diaries to coincide again.
Okay, back to me.
I wish this were better than a mediocre audience video. There should be a decent commercial release of this material; it's so good!