on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2013 17 Jun

Bad reviews for a wonderful old record

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog,Musik vor 2011 | TB | Tags:  | 6 Comments

To read them, you have to click on the photo! The record leads back to 1982. i always loved the cover of Steve Tibbetts‘ NORTHERN SONG, the rainy street, the blackness, the damaged paper. It was the only Tibbetts record Manfred Eicher has ever produced, in Oslo, during a long weekend. Doing something in real time, and using no overdubs, was a unique experience for the duo of Steve (with acoustic guitar, a kalimba, some tapes only), and Marc Anderson’s percussion instruments. NORTHERN SONG is a music full of holes, silences, pulses, and breath. Though you can call it meditative, it didn’t interfere with the terrible sweetness of that era’s „new age“ garbage. I never got bored by the breathtakingly concentrated execution of a silent state of mind. Hearing this, you have no Maharishi-disciple in mind, no hippies, who desparately want to share their spiritual messages. Nevertheless, it’s pure and simple and profound, on the ambient side of life. P.S.: There’s a subtle, nearly ethereal connection between NORTHERN SONG, MUSIC FOR AIRPORTS, and Dennis Johnson’s NOVEMBER.

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  1. Steve F.:

    I’ve been listening to ‚Northern Song‘ for more than twenty years, and never tire of it. Capable of pyrotechnics, here Tibbets is superbly restrained. Just six and twelve-string guitar, kalimba, some subtle tape effects and percussion (courtesy of Marc Anderson). As with all ECM recordings, the sound is deep and lush. My favourite „chill out“ album – if that’s not damning with faint praise. „Northern Song“ is an automatic pick for my all-time top ten, along with ‚Kind of Blue‘, ‚Astral Weeks‘, ‚Hejira‘, Bill Evans recordings at the Village Vanguard and the Allman Brothers ‚Live at the Fillmore‘. Not for everyone, but for mine it’s a timeless gem of a record.

  2. Michael Engelbrecht:

    The ten most “eno-esque” albums of ECM records, with a short introduction.

  3. Bob:

    I’d never heard of Steve Tibbetts before,but the first youtube video I came across – and am listening to now (YR) sounds great! I’ll try to track down Northern Song too.

  4. Bob:

    and – as you were! I’ve found a couple of tracks from NS and they sound great too (in a very different way, of course)..

  5. Michael Engelbrecht:

    The 4 1/2 and the 5 star- albums of Steve:

    – Safe Journey
    – The Fall of Us All
    – A Man About A Horse
    – Northern Song
    – Natural Causes
    – Big Map Idea (with my liner notes, by the way)

    The others are only 4 stars:)

  6. Bob:

    Thanks Michael – I’ll definitely track them down.

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