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Audio fantasy.......

 

Silver Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 106
Registered: Feb-04
Imagine, if you will, traveling back, to anytime and anyplace in history, armed with the best portable audio recorder (DAC?), ready to record. When and where would you go? Here are four of my ideas, two historical and two personal:

1) Vienna, April 1803, Theater an der Wein. Beethoven conducted and played a concert of his works, including his first two symphonies, the premiere of both the oratorio "Christ on the Mount of Olives," and the Third Piano Concerto. His friend, Ignaz Ritter von Seyfried, who turned pages for the composer for the piano concerto wrote: "Heaven help me, turning the pages was easier said than done. I saw almost nothing but empty leaves; at the most on one page or the other a few Egyptian hieroglyphics wholly unintelligible to me scribbled down to serve as clues for him; for he played nearly all the solo part from memory. He gave me a secret glance whenever he was at the end of one of the invisible passages and my scarcely concealed anxiety not to miss the decisive moment amused him greatly and he laughed heartily at the jovial supper which we ate afterwards." A battery belt and extra tape would be required for this excursion.

2) Riverpark Ballroom, Liverpool, Aug. 23, 1962. With only one gig before this, Ringo Starr was the Beatles' drummer in perpetuum. Earlier that day, John Lennon married Cynthia Powell. By this time, the group was performing much of their own songs, and indications were a good time was had by all.

With the proceeds of these two tapes, I could afford to go back to re-visit a couple of events I witnessed:

3) The Clash, Detroit, June 1980. The only band that mattered (then, and now) played close to my home, and for me it was mandatory attendance. Fresh off their classic 2-disc album "London Calling," they were hot, as was the standing room only roller rink they played in that night.

4) Oscar Peterson Trio, The Embers, Indianapolis, May 1963. I managed to talk my date for our high school prom to duck out early, go downtown to catch a set with my piano hero. (She was willing, and bless her heart.) In front of us, the great jazz pianist was flanked by the equally great Ray Brown, bass, and Ed Thigpen, drums....magical.

Our trip back in time doesn't have to be music--how about...the Gettysburg Address. In spite of his imposing presence, Lincoln supposedly had a rather squeaky voice. Or...how about the Globe Theater, London, 15xx, Shakespeare's "Henry V"?

Anyway, think about it.....
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 263
Registered: Feb-04
Great idea John S

I recall many great concerts from all those years ago in Brisbane such as Supertramp, 10cc, ELO, David Bowie, The Stones and so forth, however if I could hop in my time/transport machine I'd like to go back a few years to various places around the globe and hear some of the old blues and jazz/blues legends doing their thing in some of the old nightclubs (the real ones) or jazz festivals.

I'd also like to go back to 1991, to NY, and be in the audience at the New York Rock and Soul Revue, (a cd in our collection) featuring Donald Fagan, Michael McDonald,Phoebe Snow (a great rendition of 'At Last'), Boz Scaggs, Jeff Young & The Yougsters, Eddie & David Brigati, and last but not least, Charles Brown, who came to mind during a recent lunch break in my workday (fortunately, I work mainly at home - or try to).

For a little relaxation I went through my cd collection and played a Telarc 20bit recording of Maria Muldaur's "Meet me where they play the blues." A wonderful clean recording and reminiscent of that early jazz nightclub sound. She sings a duet (Gee baby, ain't I good to you) with Charles Brown, one of my favourite jazz/blues singer/pianists along with Dr John (when he plays the same genre).

Muldaur had planned to do the entire recording with Brown because of his unique piano style and mellow voice, one she states, that had the ability to soothe and heal the troubled soul. I agree. But Charles Brown had become ill. Mauldaur recorded the cd without him, with the exception of that duet, she actually took studio equipment to his sick bed and that song was to become his final recording. He died soon after and Muldaur dedicated the recording to him.

"The sublime and soulful musician" (her quote) began his career around WW2 playing for the ritzy Hollywood party set and clubs. I cannot recall where or when, but I recall the story of one nightclub owner who was making a bundle after hiring Brown. Being paid a pittance, Brown asked for a better deal or he was going to leave. The nightclub owner told him the only way he was going to leave was with a bullet in his head.

He sang one of his most notable songs, "Driftin' Blues" at Fagan's New York Rock and Soul Revue receiving a shrilling applause and had recorded many notable recordings as well as being a guest artist on several albums by other legends.

Charles Brown was one of the many greats who, demeaned by racism and being taken advantage of by lowlife entrepeneurs, had every right to hate, but instead just let it out with the blues.

I can certainly recommend Muldaurs recording mentioned above, but while you're looking for cruising, laid back jazz/blues, give Charles Brown a listen also - he won't disappoint.

BTW, with my time/travel machine, I'd like also to go back to a few racetracks with past results tucked under my coat. (grin)


 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 898
Registered: Dec-03
Nice one, My Rantz. I wouldn't mind following Bob Dylan into the London folk clubs he went to c. 1960, and come back with a recording of whatever it was that so knocked him out there, giving him the basics for many of the songs on his earlier LPs. Then Bach's failed audition with the Margrave of Brandenburg, the result of which was something like "Don't call us, we'll call you". That could become a cult bootleg tape. "The Bootleg Brandenburgs".

I have heard Nina Simone doing "Strange Fruit" and rate that the bitterest of blues songs, with justification. I would not take a tape recorder to the events that inspired that, I'd want to take friends, and arms.

Re marking your card: "The wisdom of hindsight is a wonderful thing. The trouble is, hindsight is never there when you really need it".
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 192
Registered: Dec-03
To be sitting front row opening night, for the Marriage of Figaro. To be there to watch Mozart conduct his masterpiece..........
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 908
Registered: Dec-03
Was Constanza in that, Rick...?
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 193
Registered: Dec-03
........not to my knowledge.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 69
Registered: Apr-04
Rick,

I love Charles Brown too! Thanks for the back story about him.

Like Rick, I would love to go back and hear some of the club shows by some of the Jazz greats like John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis etc.

I also would have loved to have seen Nina Simone. I have the Four Women CD and it is awesome.

As strange as it sounds, I would love to have been present at Johnny Cash's performance at Folsom Prison....hehehe....I did have the good fortune to see Cash at Spirit Square in Charlotte, NC in 1995.

Spirit Square is an old church that has been restored and used as a cultural venue for the past couple of decades. The acoustics are fantastic. I also saw Emmylou Harris play there and she was so moved by the acoustics and the stain glass that she altered her playlist in the middle of the show and added a couple of spirituals.

 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 177
Registered: Feb-04
Ghia,

You can have Folsom prison. I would've rather been at San Quentin sitting next to Merle Haggard during a Johnny Cash concert. As you probably know, the Cash concert changed Haggard's life, went from being a felon to being a fine country singer. Such is the power of music and the power of Cash. Of course, as soon as the concert was over, I'd be transported to...

One of the best venues for jazz, the Village Vanguard. I would've loved to have seen Miles with his classic quartet and Coltrane with his classic quartet there in the early sixties. Because of my age, the closest I got was seeing Clark Terry there in the early nineties (Terry was an early influence on Miles).

Then on to CBGB in 1977 to see the Talking Heads, the Ramones, Television and Blondie.

And finally to the premiere of Rite of Spring to witness a riot break out at a classical music concert. One of the funniest anecdotes I've heard was about a musician who attended the concert. After the concert, he realized he had a terrible headache. It turned out the guy sitting behind him had been pounding the back of his head to the primitive rhythm of the music the entire time. Both men were so rapt by the music that one didn't realize he was pounding someone's head with his fists and the other guy didn't realize that he was getting pounded. Such is the power of music.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 71
Registered: Apr-04
Excellent, 2c!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Black_math

Post Number: 81
Registered: Dec-03
Today I would Pick,

The first Sex Pistols concert.

An Acid Test in San Francisco.

The studio recording sessions for Sgt Pepper.

Joy Division at the Factory.

and

The Velvet Underground & Nico at Max's Kansas City


This might change tommorrow, depending on my mood.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 179
Registered: Feb-04
Hey Ben,

It's Friday and sunny (at least here). How about:

Jonathon Richman in the backyard.

The Coasters on the street corner.

The Replacements happy and drunk on the rooftop.

And no Nico. Mo Tucker, maybe.
 

Jan Vigne
Unregistered guest
How about Elvis on the Louisiana Hayride circuit and Elvis on August 16, 1977 as he sat at the piano with friends to play spirituals on the last night of his life.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 198
Registered: Dec-03
Jan,

The Elvis thing would have been great, but let's throw in some Little Richard around the same period............
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
Rick, that's a great idea except Mr Penniman always sings like it's his last night on Earth. But he is an ordained minister, how about a recording of Little Richard doing a wedding ceremony. That I would love to hear!
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 201
Registered: Dec-03
Amen.......my brother!
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 950
Registered: Dec-03
Thanks, guys. Concerning famous last notes, or songs. But otherwise "And now for something completely different" (cue: Sousa March).

In 1695 Henry Purcell was commissioned to provide the music for the funeral ceremony, in Westminster Abbey, of Queen Mary, who had died, aged 33, of smallpox. The opening, processional March into the Abbey is chilling in its intensity, and is a reworking, for winds and drums, of a short clip from one of Purcell's earliest pieces, for viols, written originally in the summer of 1680. And the 1695 ceremonial music racks up the grief as it continues.

Purcell did not know that he was writing and arranging for his own funeral: he died later in the same year, at 37. There was then a repeat performance: same place; same service; but for the composer, not the Queen.

By the time the March is played again, as the funeral train recedes from the Abbey, you know, and feel, the certainty of your own mortality, too.

Amongst many recordings in the catalogue, there are a number of attempts to re-create those two ceremonies from written records, musicians' invoices, and eye-witness accounts.

I throw this in as a response to John S's question, but also to indicate that there are, indeed, cases where you could not possibly hear what it was like to be there, except in surround sound. There is no 5.1 version yet of Purcell's "Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary", as far as I know. Surely one will come. Surely it will be something not heard before, except in live performance.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 114
Registered: Feb-04
Thanks all for for playing in my fantasy. In my post, I meant DAT (not DAC). That raises a question though--what is the best portable recording machine for recording a live event?

I'm embarrassed to admit I've not heard Charles Brown. That will be remedied soon.

Obviously, the Brandenburg Concertos were played for the first time somewhere. But since there's no evidence the Margrave's band ever played them, it might be tough for the time machine to land in the right place and date. A genuine masterpiece.

I've always wanted to see the Village Vanguard. I have the box "Coltrane: The Complete Village Vanguard 1961 Recordings." He was pushing the envelope then, and even today it's a challenging listen, best taken in small doses. In 1966, I met Clark Terry in a club in South Bend, Indiana (long story). He was witty and very gracious.

I almost used The Rite of Spring premiere in my first choice fantasy. Allegedly, composer Camille Saint-Saens walked out after the first 10 bars because no man in his right mind would ask a bassoon to play in that high a regester.

I once visited Sun Studio in Memphis. It would be great to hang out there a while in the 50's. Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Elvis.....Sam Phillips had his Ampex reel to reel running, but it would be something to actually see it....
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 987
Registered: Dec-03
John,

JSB went to some trouble to orchestrate the Brandenburgs for the Margrave's particular band. He was hoping to get the job, and wanted to show what he could do. He later re-worked some of them, transposing and substituting other instruments. Indeed there is no evidence they were ever played in their original form. We could start a thread "lost opportunities", and maybe add Decca and bunch of other labels turning down The Beatles, in about 1960-61.

There has been a fantastic series of annual "Spoofs" of a BBC programme "Private Passions". In the first spoof (one hour; played deadly seriously) the "guest" on the show was Manfred Sturmer, the famous 115-year-old Viennese percussionist, who remembered being encouraged to take up "hitting things" by Brahms and Clara Schuman (while asking him to scrub her back, in the bath). One of his reminiscences was performing in the first night of The Rite of Spring, and being able to keep going even though he had been dealt a wonderful hand in a game of poker they had going in the orchestra pit.

All editions of that programme were completely brilliant, going further that PDQ Bach ever dared. I wish the beeb would release recordings. The "Guest" was always played by John Sessions.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
Why, the best recording device is your own memory. It sounds better every time you play it.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 994
Registered: Dec-03
Jan,

I find mine tends to add and subtract things. It is sometimes difficult to work out which things. I think I am not alone.
 

j. vigne
Unregistered guest
John A. - Well, yes, I was once told that memory is the second thing to go. I just can't remember the first.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 206
Registered: Dec-03
Jan-JohnA.,

You are indeed in very esteemed company............I think! LOL!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1003
Registered: Dec-03
Jan,

I agree with Rick, "LOL"!

Instead of "LOL", I thought we used to say "Touché". But I could be wrong about that...
 

j. vigne
Unregistered guest
About what?
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1027
Registered: Dec-03
Sorry, Jan, I forget.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 118
Registered: Feb-04
What?
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1040
Registered: Dec-03
Sorry, John, if you can't pay attention...
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 208
Registered: Dec-03
John who?
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1045
Registered: Dec-03
Dave: I think we should draw a line under this one.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 124
Registered: Feb-04
Dave? Dave's not here.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 209
Registered: Dec-03
"This conversation can no longer serve a purpose, Dave,...............Goodbye"
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 264
Registered: Feb-04
I come back after being absent for only a week to find senility has finally caught up with you guys. Now, what was I going to write . . . ?

Oh yeah! Another great venue for my time-traveller recording studio would be the East Coast Blues Festival held annually each Easter at Byron Bay (where wife and I just spent a wonderful week). Although only a little over an hour away from where we live, circumstances have always prevented our attendance at these events thus the "Audio Fantasy."

Apart from local and national talent, the blues festival attracts many international greats such as Dr John, Joe Louis Walker, Guitar Shorty, Robert Cray, Little Charlie & the Nightcats, Keb Mo, and too many more to mention or recall right now - the brain is still on holidays. It runs for 4 days and provides camping facilites for all the die-hards.

All the great talent in one venue would make these annual festivals great time travel destinations for recording this music in the raw, but one would need to synch with video recording to truly capture the performances. For example, Guitar Shorty playing his licks while doing backflips, cartwheels, or crawling across the stage on his back - a sight to behold.

Just to rub it in a little, our week was spent under cloudless skies, frollicking in crystal clear waters, walking upon golden sands, relishing the sunsets over the bay during our happy hours on the balcony of our luxurious holiday apartment, trekking the cape up to the lighthouse where visitors from around the globe come to spot the humpback whale migration, dining on seafood, and me trying (not very hard) to keep my eyes from wandering to the bare-breasted sirens sunning themselves on the beach. You may listen to the blues at Byron Bay but you certainly won't get them - unless it rains!

So how was your week?
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 211
Registered: Dec-03
not as fine as yours..........welcome back!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1093
Registered: Dec-03
Yes, welcome, My Rantz.

Sorry to hear all that. Never mind. You'll soon adjust.

Business as usual, here. One or two of your threads have almost precipitated WW III, as you will see. Nothing out of the ordinary.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 268
Registered: Feb-04
Thanks guys

We had a great time, it's now a nice memory and back to reality. WW111! Not the intention, I asssure you.
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