Friday, 30 November 2018

Live music in Santander and beyond, October—November 2018

...where “beyond” includes Burgos and Barcelona.

  • 17 October: Leo Minax & German Kucich @ Rvbicón, Calle del Sol 4, Santander
      Brazilian-born, Madrid-based singer-songwriter Leonardo De Deus Gil aka Leo Minax accompanied by German Kucich on piano. An unexpected gem of a concert in a family atmosphere.

  • 24 October: Rachel Therrien trio @ Rvbicón
      An international trio featuring Canadian trumpeter Rachel Therrien, Spanish bassist Darío Guibert Montaña and German drummer Mareike Wiening. Fantastic original repertoire, but it was their version of ¿Por qué me pega? that made my evening.

  • 30 October: Inés Saavedra @ Canela Bar, Plaza de Cañadio
      This was the only concert of VII Encuentro Internacional de Canción de Autor, organised by Paolo Latrónica, that I attended. And a good thing, too.

  • 31 October: Hermes Quintet Latin Jazz @ Rvbicón
      This is Halloween — and no less than three concerts that I would like to see, but in the end I chose the nearest (to my place) and, incidentally,the cheapest of the three. Featuring Hermes de la Torre (piano), Miguel Angel Martín (trumpet), Daniel Jablonski (sax), Dani Peña (percussion) and Julián Fernández (percussion).

  • 3 November: Pheromone Blue @ Museo de la Evolución Humana, Paseo Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos
      As I happened to be in Burgos that night, I went to see this Madrid-based electronic music trio playing in the Human Evolution Museum (MEH) and, while at that, to see the museum itself. General admission is €6 but, as I discovered, teachers can enter for free. I did not have any ID or paper saying that I am a teacher on me but the ticket lady was satisfied with the proof of salary shown on my mobile phone. Which was nice because MEH itself turned out to be a bit “meh”. The museum is huge and rather underused. I mean, there are bones from Atapuerca, such as the early Neanderthal skull nicknamed Miguelón, the human pelvis called Elvis or the Pleistocene bear’s skull named Isidro, but there is only so much a collection of funny-named bones can do for you.
      Back to Pheromone Blue — it consists of Mario Ramos Jr (vocals, guitar, synthesizers), Iker Ramos (keyboards) and Fernando Delgado (drums). Although all their songs sounded like variations on the same theme, I enjoyed the music more than expected. I wish Mario played guitar more because he really can.
  • 7 November: Adam Giles Levy @ Rvbicón
      An English singer-songwriter, singing-playing kind of acoustic guitar-blues-rock, on Spanish leg of Peninsula tour. I know, this may not sound particularly exciting; I had my doubts too but in the end I went to see him and do not regret it. In the middle of the second number he broke a string, excused himself, replaced the string and finished the song.

  • 14 November: Ton Risco & Jacobo de Miguel @ Rvbicón
      Jacobo de Miguel (piano) and Ton Risco (vibraphone, percussion) play beautiful, somewhat ECM-esque music.

  • 17 November: Jairo León @ La Vorágine, Calle Cisneros 15
      This lecture-concert entitled ¿Cómo entiende un gitano el flamenco? consisted of Jairo León mostly talking and sometimes playing. I would prefer the other way round, but here you are. To be precise, he played three compositions, so the evening went marginally better than that ghastly Vogon poetry event.
  • 21 November: DHD Trio @ Rvbicón
      The Rotterdam-based international trio featuring pianist Humberto Ríos (Cuba), bassist Damien Roussos (Cyprus) and drummer Daan Arets (The Netherlands) plays high-energy Cuban-flavoured jazz.
  • 24 November: Amparanoia @ Sala BARTS, Av. del Paraŀlel, 62, Barcelona
      I travelled to Barcelona over the weekend to see the last concert party fiesta of Amparanoia’s Machín World Tour 2018, as a part of the Festival Mil·lenni. The band’s current line-up is Carmen Niño (bass), Angie Lófer (keys), Willy Fuego (guitar), Vesko Kountchev (violin and viola), José Alberto Varona (trumpet), Micky Martínez (drums), Flor Inza (percussion) and, naturally, Amparo Sánchez (voice and guitar), with surprise guests Joan Garriga (Hacer dinero), Dani Macaco (El coro de mi gente), Aziza Brahim (¡Ay, moreno!) and Pau Lobo (Ella Baila Bembe).
  • 28 November: David Cid Trio @ Rvbicón
      Another fabulous trio composed of David Cid (piano), Xurxo Estévez (double bass) and Rakel Arbeloa (drums) playing energetic pre-bebop-style jazz.
And so, autumn is over...

Thursday, 22 November 2018

The White Album

by The Beatles

The White Album was the first collection of the Beatles music that I remember, as an album, from the early 1970s, even though I didn’t hear it in full until (a decade or so) later. Nor did I know how it was called. My cousin had an incomplete recording of it on the A-side of a magnetic tape reel. On the box it was simply written “Double album”. The other side contained some unrelated material which was apparently not worth mentioning. For this reason, the “real” White Album for me finishes with Sexy Sadie, while the rest of it still sounds superfluous.

I was long wondering who was playing the guitar intro of The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill which, back in the 1970s, appeared to be a pinnacle of guitar virtuosity and a masterpiece in its own right. To my disappointment, I learned from Wikipedia that it

opens with a flamenco guitar phrase, played from a standard Mellotron bank of pre-recorded rhythms and phrases by studio engineer Chris Thomas. It is unknown how the sample was chosen.
To be honest, I am not ready to pay £125 for the seven-disc 50th anniversary box set. I am quite happy with my remastered edition, thank you very much.

As far as I know, there were no Melodiya singles with the original White Album material (quite unlike the case of Abbey Road). However, I vividly remember the single with Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da sung in English by Весёлые ребята (the B-side had «Старенький автомобиль», a rather horrid Russian-language rendition of Drive My Car).

Perhaps my favourite cover version of a White Album song is Dear Prudence by Morgan James and Haley Reinhart.

Happy Birthday, White Album.