Sunday, February 07, 2010

More Music

From "1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die" by Tom Moon. Going through the book alphabetically...

Moorish Music from Mauritania by Dimi Mint Abba -- Mauritanian music is described as a combination of Islamic life in North Africa and sub-Saharan black Africa. This artist's father composed the Mauritanian national anthem and she is an award-winning singer. The book says that "like other Islamic singers, she doesn't always stay within a given tonality -- when she's really riled up, her ad-libs veer into wild quarter-tones and semi-tones that are manifestations of pure spirit." I didn't like it because of the Arabic styling of the music. Just doesn't appeal to me.

The Muhal Richard Abrams Orchestra -- Abrams got his start playing blues and R&B piano. The title track of the recommended album, Blu Blu Blu, is a tribute to Muddy Waters. It's just the kind of bluesy jazz that I like to listen to. Not a big fan of improv jazz.

Shakin' The Rafters by The Abyssinian Baptist Choir -- While this is a recording of a live performance, so not very polished, it has all the liveliness of a typical African American church service. The book says, "loaded with crackling call-and-response exchanges and outbreaks of soul-clapping jubilation." Good stuff if you like this style.

Back In Black by AC/DC -- Familiar from my high school days, although I was never a fan. Good guitar riffs but sounds more like screaming than singing. Also familiar is "You Shook Me All Night long." Don't think I'll post any lyrics.

1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die

Just picked up the above book on the sale table at the grocery store. I'm intrigued to bry and work my way through it. Bet you can't guess what group is listed first?

Our favorite Swedes, ABBA. Yes, the youngsters know them from the play and movie, "Mama Mia!" But some of us know them from our musical formative years. Love them or hate them now, they were the cat's meow in the mid to late 1970s. The book says their music, "contains refrains so damn giddy they can't be easily purged from the brain."
As I was listening to some of their tunes, I came across one that I've decided shall be my theme song:
"If you change your mind, I'm the first in line
Honey I'm still free
Take a chance on me
If you need me, let me know, gonna be around
If you've got no place to go, if you're feeling down
If you're all alone when the pretty birds have flown
Honey, I'm still free
Take a chance on me
Gonna do my very best and it ain't no lie
If you put me to the test, if you let me try
Take a chance on me."
Stay tuned for more music reviews!