Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hello Old Thing, Hello Even Older Thing: 4

G. W. McLennan: Fingers (Beggars Banquet, 1993)
I used to listen to this record over and over and over and over again, endlessly moved by it's spare and simple beauty. I'd never really been a big fan of The Go Betweens - McLennan's dayjob - other than an unshakable thirst for their Streets Of Your Town single. Anyway, I picked this up one morning in the Beggars office 14 years ago and it's never moved too far from me since. I have lost, mislaid, broken, given away, thrown out, sat on, fatally wounded or otherwise been parted from hundreds of things over the last ten years or so, but Fingers is always there unlike, sadly, McLennan, who died in his sleep, at home in Brisbane, last May. He was just 48.


Andrew Hill: Illusion (Blue Note, 1969)
Since we're talking about spare and simple beauty - and having a piano moment - this would be a good time to offer up a little Andrew Hill. I wish I had more Hill than I do (ie, hardly any) as it's fantastically focussed, beautifully minimal chamber-jazz, the sort of music you most wish you were listening to when someone walks in on you unexpectedly. Just being in the same room as an Andrew Hill record brings your IQ up by about 25% and Illusion is an amazing piece of music, funkier than hell's own bedsocks while icier than than a barmaid's heart. As you listen you may ask yourself, 'Rob, tell me, is that the great Ron Carter I hear on bass?' And the answer's yes. And, yes, hi-end jazz-bo fans, that is the astonishing Kermit Moore on cello. Hey Kermit, nice cello!

Enjoy.

5 comments:

Davy H said...

Ooh, that Grant song is just lovely. Never heard it before, so 'props' to you Sir Rob.

Jazz with cello on it? Come ON!

Rob said...

It is yours now to love as much as I do!

the mammary gland said...

so great to hear that Andrew Hill track again, what a classic. The drums are tighter than a mosquito's proverbial. And the strings get me every time. Pure genius.
I like the piano chords on the other track, but the lyrics grate a bit, especially when he uses the phrase Indian giver..Like you i could never really get with the Go Betweens although I do retain a soft spot for The Cattle and the Cane.

Rob said...

ha! i love that lyric - though I can understand feeling uncomfortable with its clunkiness...
The Andrew Hill thing is amazing, innit? I've neglected it for som long and now I can't stop listening to it...

Anonymous said...

sadly, recently deceased, rip

geh