1.01.2008

Wandering into 2008 with Egberto Gismonti on vinyl


Bob Burnett: I bought my first vinyl in a very long time over the holiday. I went to Orpheus Records in Arlington, Virginia and saw a copy of Egberto Gismonti's album Solo for $7 and decided to get it. I hadn't listened to this album in a very long time---but did many times when it came out in the late '70s. I think it's still available as a used CD at around $20 but I never bothered to get it. A quick check at Amazon tells me I can download mp3 files for about $10. Anyway, I bought the album. And it was fun. No, I'm not opening the vinyl vs. CD/digital file discussion. I'm just saying it was fun to flip through the bins and buy an album after such a long hiatus. It was fun to come home, open the lid on my turntable, break out the discwasher and in an almost post-modern way, listen to the album; knowing the static and pops would be there and knowing I wasn't going to fret over them like I used to when I was trapped in a vinyl only world. Besides, my audiophile brother-in-law lives down the street and he has a $600 record vac system.

I think the Gismonti vinyl re-introduction happened due to Stockhausen's death a few weeks back. At that time, I played my vinyl copy of Stockhausen's Hymnen for the first time in a long while. I quickly snapped back into the ritual of removing plastic outer bags and inner sleeves, opening gatefold covers and the delicate handling that I'd previously done tens if not hundreds of thousands of times. As with flipping through the bins at Orpheus--it was fun.

Egberto Gismonti's Solo sounded nice. It's an album made up of solo performances by the Brazilian master of piano and eight string guitar. He also does a piece for percussive "cooking bells" and voice which resonates deeply with haunting beauty. (note: Colleen has a similar cooking bell-esque piece on her Les Ondes Silencieuses album I wrote up recently---as a matter of fact, listening to Colleen stirred recollections of this album for me) Solo is a small hours listening experience; it stirs emotions and calm within you in wonderful ways. It's a shame it can't be had as a regular release. Oh well, be on the look out for it--on vinyl or cd. Gismonti has a pretty robust catalog still available. Another stand out for me is Dança Das Cabeças. (with percussionist Nana Vasconcelos) Unfortunately Folk Songs (with Charlie Haden and Jan Garbarek) seems to be OOP however is available via Amazon's (mp3 256kbps) download service for a very reasonable $5.94. I dunno....maybe Orpheus has that one on vinyl too...........uh oh............

2 comments:

  1. Wow. I discovered Gismonti about 2 years ago via the Solo album. I have many of them on vinyl now. Good stuff. Never expected to find a blog post about him.

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