Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Music Library: Peter Brötzmann, Peter Gabriel, Peter Laughner, Peter Martin, Petra Haden, Pharoah Sanders, Phil Kline, Phil Manzanera, Phil Spector, Philip Glass

Peter Laughner

Peter Brötzmann - Machine Gun (as the Peter Brötzmann Octet, 1968), Nipples (as the Peter Brötzmann Sextet and Quartet, 1969), and Images (as the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, 2004). This is jazz in the same way that extreme death metal is a kind of rock music. Abrasive, passionate, and overwhelming.

Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel (1977), Peter Gabriel (1978), Peter Gabriel (1980), Passion: Music for the Last Temptation of Christ (1989), and Shaking The Tree (compilation, 1977-1989). The only one of Gabriel's solo albums that I really like is his second one. The rest are okay to good.

Peter Laughner - September 20, 1972: Coffeebreak Concert Cleveland, The Famous Lester Bangs Sessions (with Lester Bangs, 1975), Ann Arbor 1976, "What Goes On," Pirates Cove Cleveland 1976 (with Friction), Take The Guitar Player For A Ride (released 1995). 2013 and still no Laughner box set. For those who don't know the man, Laughner was a catalyst for Cleveland's amazing punk scene during his brief time there. He drank himself to death in 1977 when he was 24, so these live recordings cover only five years of his life. He put together a number of bands during that time, including Rocket From The Tombs and Pere Ubu. Wilco's "Misunderstood" steals liberally from his song "Amphetamine."

Peter Martin - Something Unexpected (2001). Or not so unexpected if you are expecting competent but not groundbreaking jazz.

Petra Haden - Imaginaryland (1999), Petra Haden and Bill Frisell (2003), Petra Haden Sings The Who Sell Out (2007), "God Only Knows," and "Thriller." My secret girlfriend Petra Haden makes music so precious that it barely exists. All of these other than the collaboration with Bill Frisell are a capella. Yes, Haden did a track-for-track cover of The Who Sell Out a capella, partially because Mike Watt suggested it. But mostly because she is awesome.

Pharoah Sanders - Izipho Zam (1969), Karma (1969), and Thembi (1970). Sanders, who played with Coltrane during Coltrane's later avant-big band period, is a player of extraordinary power and strength. These are incredible albums. Sanders also put on one of the most transcendentally powerful shows I ever saw in my life. I'm bragging, yes.

Phil Kline - Zippo Songs (2004). Kline is a minimalist composer and this album consists of songs based on poems that American soldiers would inscribe on their zippo lighters in Vietnam. It is beautiful and terrifying and moving.

Phil Manzanera - Diamond Heat (1975). Manzanera was the guitarist for Roxy Music and he played on pretty much all of the great British art-rock albums in the mid-70s. This, his first solo album, features one of Brian Eno's finest songs, "Big Day," although the whole album is fantastic.

Phil Spector - Back To Mono (1958 - 1969). A three-disc box covering just about everything that anyone needs from Spector's Wall of Sound production.

Philip Glass - North Star (1977), Einstein on the Beach (1979), Koyaanisqatsi (1982), and Kronos Quartet Performs Philip Glass (1995). Although I am very fond of minimalism, Glass sort of leaves me cold when he is the musician interpreting his own work. I could trance out to Koyaanisqatsi, though, and the Kronos album makes a great argument for his talents as a composer.


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