Bob Burnett: I know I've been slack in keeping up the posts. Everytime I think to write about some music I get caught-up by the process of actually writing about something, think about it for a bit, struggle with descriptive words and let it float away. I just now decided to sit here for a fews moments and throw some quick thoughts out about some recent listens.
Fennesz and Sakamoto Cendre: This is a gorgeous duet. It reflects any number of interesting sound projects--most notably Eno's Ambient Series. In thinking about crafting a full "review" I got stuck in the how fair is it to say it's "like Eno's Ambient Series"rut....well, as Eno-ish as it may be, they break new ground, they collaborate well, they offer a twist on the concept of electronic music. So, I suppose this is like Eno's work in the same way a wave in the ocean in the Pacific is like a wave in the Indian Ocean. Speaking of oceans, I also kept falling back to thoughts of Debussy's la Cathedral Engloutie while listening due to the way Sakamoto approached the piano chords.
John Lydon's 1977 Capital Radio Tommy Vance Show: A friend graciously provided me with a cd of this fabled radio interview/record spin by John Lydon--who was "Johnny Rotten" at the time. He turned the audience on its ear by speaking thoughtfully about how important music was to him---and his playlist of personal song choices was really great. By the way, a lot of the reggae he plays is available on emusic.com. Seeing the playlist made it finally sink in for me that Public Image Ltd. was a dub meets CAN meets Van der Graaf Generator kind of a group. No wonder I used to listen to PiL all the time.
Wayne Horvitz Sweeter Than the Day: Somehow this 2002 album snuck under the fence for me. I just discovered it--and it falls perfectly into place with two other Horvitz releases, American Bandstand (now called Forever) and the 4+1 Ensemble's From a Window from earlier in the decade. The music revolves in a spare, chamber-meets-roots quiet circle. Angular, gentle and engaging ensemble playing.
Herbert Henck performs John Cage-Early Piano Music: I've just received this one in the mail. This is a collection of Cage's post Schoenberg serial studies but pre-prepared piano work that embody control and simplicity--more in the line of the "beyond Satie" sound Cage was discovering as his own beginning in the 1930's. I probably have about 5 versions of many of these compositions. This one is a welcome addition to the group. I especially suggest this collection if you are trying to find an initial foothold into John Cage's work. Another one that fits that bill is Stephen Drury's In A Landscape. (I keep putting off compiling a list of Cage recordings I really like.....)