The Hendrix Flat Opens

“Well I never been to England
But I kinda like the Beatles
Songwriter: Hoyt Axton Song Lyrics: Never Been To Spain

We long to visit London, England one day. Tourist attractions associated with The Beatles and the British Invasion are high on our list. A destination to include on the itinerary would be the flat Jimi Hendrix and his then girlfriend, Kathy Etchingham rented at 23 Brook Street, Mayfair.

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Photo: Alamy

 

The Handel House Trust unveiled the Hendrix Flat this past week on February 10th.  It allows fans to witness the rooms where the greatest rock instrumentalist in history conducted his famous jam sessions and, most excitingly, to view highlights from his varied music collection.

What I find fascinating is that the Hendrix Flat was right next door to the Handel house where the classic composer George Frideric Handel lived for 36 years. The synergy of music purveyors Handel and Hendrix in the same building is total kharma.

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Credit: Handel House Trust

The restored flat comes complete with Hendrix’s old Epiphone FT79 acoustic guitar, which he used to devise his epic cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘All Along the Watchtower’.

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Credit: Michael Bowles/Handel & Hendrix in London

Hendrix’s Vinyl Collection

Examining the timeframe when Jimi Hendrix resided with Kathy Etchingham in 1968 it was in-between the albums, Axis Bold As Love and Electric Ladyland. 

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The Vinyl Factor wrote an article about the vinyl records that Jimi Hendrix listened to while he was living at the flat, EXPLORE JIMI HENDRIX’S RECORD COLLECTION IN LONDON. Jimi Hendrix’s personal record collection included records from sitar guru Ravi Shankar and French music concrète pioneer Pierre Henry, psychedelic outfit Red Crayola and a copy of Handel’s Messiah performed by the English Chamber Orchestra.

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For Jimi Hendrix, 23 Brook Street was the doorstep to the London music scene of the late 60s. His flat was a short stroll from legendary venues like the Marquee, the Speakeasy and The Scotch of St James and he would spend many evenings wandering from club to club looking for a chance to play.

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Photography: Barrie Wentzell
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Rick Wakeman: The Myths & Legends Of King Arthur 2016

It’s an honor to offer financial assistance to progressive rock composer/keyboardist, Rick Wakeman‘s initiative. He just launched a crowd-funding project on PledgeMusic, “The Myths & Legends Of King Arthur 2016”.

“I have always had in mind re-recording and performing an extended version of King Arthur as it has only ever been performed three times in the UK. I am delighted to now have the opportunity to do this and especially so with the help of the fans and my campaign on PledgeMusic……and if all goes well, maybe one day put it back on ice! In the meantime, I’m Iooking forward to the première performance at the O2 in London on June 19th as part of the Stone Free Festival.”
Rick Wakeman

The new recordings will be free of the studio limitations and single disc duration of the original and the new record will be a double album as it was originally intended to be.
There will also be new artwork by Roger Dean and the album will be available on a 2 x CD format, limited edition 2 X 12″ LP, and high resolution quality digital download, this new recording includes all the original music and also five new pieces of music all in the style of the original recording.

By ordering your copy of this new recording of The Myths & Legends Of King Arthur on PledgeMusic, you’ll also gain access to recording updates, bonus content, video clips and much more.

Tim Hardin, Live In Concert

I was driving home from church when for some inexplicable reason the music of Tim Hardin entered my head. I began to hear the strains of “If I Were A Carpenter” and I drifted back to seeing Tim Hardin perform live at Staples High School in 1971. I could picture him at the piano in the darkened auditorium singing through his tortured soul to us.

This prompted me when I got home to play some Tim Hardin via Tidal over the home entertainment network. It gave the perfect chance to try out the Google Chromecast 2 device wirelessly via the Sony Blu-Ray Home Theater system.

I played Tim Hardin, Live In Concert, which made Sunday afternoon lesson planning less arduous  🙂

Arvo Pärt – Musica Selecta: A Sequence by Manfred Eicher

One of the many musical blessings I have received over the decades is the music distributed by Manfred Eicher and ECM Records. The label goes beyond innovation with its rich tapestry of artists, compositions and sounds. I wish I could own the entire library that ECM has produced and made available.

The great Estonian composer Arvo Pärt celebrates his 80th birthday today, Friday September 11th. And on this occasion, ECM releases a special double album, Musica Selecta: A Sequence by Manfred Eicher.

Happy Birthday Arvo.


Composer Arvo Pärt and producer Manfred Eicher have maintained their creative partnership for more than thirty years. Eicher launched ECM New Series in 1984 as a platform for Pärt’s music, bringing the Estonian composer to the world’s attention with Tabula Rasa. Since that epochal release, all first recordings of Pärt’s major works have been made for ECM, with the composer’s committed participation. In this special double album, issued on Pärt’s birthday, Eicher revisits episodes from their shared musical quest, evoking fresh associations from juxtapositions of pieces in his dramaturgical sequence, as we are invited to hear the music anew.

Compositions heard here include the legendary ECM premiere recordings of Es sang vor langen Jahren, Für Alina, Mein Weg, Kanon Pokajanen, Silouans Song, Fratres, Alleluia-Tropus, Trisagion, Beatus Petronius, Wallfahrtslied/Pilgrims‘ Song, Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, Magnificat, Festina Lente, Lamentate, Stabat Mater, Da Pacem Domine, and a previously unreleased version of Most Holy Mother of God.

Classic Quadrophenia

Pete Townsend has that unique talent to reinvent himself with his music. Imagine you write, score and deliver two major rock operas in your life. That is an amazing feat. The evolution of Quadrophenia into “Classic Quadrophenia” adds dimensionality and superb texture. For the last three years Townshend has worked closely with his partner Rachel Fuller on brand new arrangements for orchestra, soloists and choir. The results add a greater meaning to our existence through love, sea and life’s epic journey.

Classic Quadrophenia will be released by the esteemed classical label Deutsche Grammophon. It features the London Oriana Choir and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The world premiere will take place on July 5th, 2015, at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Would love to attend that event.

Here is the first taste of the bountiful summer harvest, “Love Reign O’er Me”. British tenor Alfie Boe is stellar as lead vocalist!

Music Pulitzer Prize 2015 Awarded To Julia Wolfe For Anthracite Fields

© Peter Serling

Julia Wolfe, a composer associated with the new-music collective Bang on a Can was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music for Anthracite Fields. The Pulitzer jury described the piece as “a powerful oratorio for chorus and sextet evoking Pennsylvania coal-mining life around the turn of the 20th century.” The hour-long work was commissioned by the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, which gave the world première, along with the Bang on a Can All-Stars, April 26, 2014 in Philadelphia.

The recording of Anthracite Fields is planned to be released in September.

Photo by Derek V. Smythe

Rickie Lee Jones – The Other Side of Desire

I have enjoyed Rickie Lee Jones updates as a Pledge Music crowd fund supporter. She is doing an superb job of keeping us informed about her forthcoming album, The Other Side of Desire.

I was acknowledged today of the first trailer for her new album which releases on June 23rd, 2015. The album was recorded in Rickie Lee Jones hometown of New Orleans.

I can only imagine the emotional rollercoaster it has been for Rickie Lee Jones as she fights to perpetuate her art in this digital music age. This is particularly clear when the video juxtaposes her first hit single, “Chuck E.’s In Love” with her present life. I respect her anger with a music industry that attempts to limit her role as a vital American musician.

Thank God we can elevate her by funding this valuable recording project. I hope you will share in my enthusiasm for Rickie Lee Jones compositions. Her contributions as a singer/songwriter merit our respect and admiration.

I noticed that Rickie Lee Jones will be touring in support of The Other Side of Desire. She is slated to perform at Infinity Hall in Hartford, Connecticut on August 27th, 2015. We have not been to the new Infinity Hartford yet. This looks like the event that will get us there.

The Evolution of Antonio Sanchez

Antonio Sanchez drummer and composer has evolved superbly from sideman to leader. I am proud of his achievement and recognition. I have been a fan of Antonio Sanchez percussive style ever since I saw him drum live with The Pat Metheny Group on the Speaking of Now tour in 2002. He left a lasting impression on me the two times I have seen him perform with Pat Metheny.

Image Copyright Bob Wyllie Photography, 2015

I witnessed the movie Birdman last night. I was swept along again by Antonio Sanchez’s drum compositions. His sharp accent helped to transfix my attention to Michael Keaton’s dilemma.

Perhaps that was Director Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s intent. In any case it totally worked. I hope you get to experience the film and its incredible soundtrack. Be prepared for an exhilarating flight.

Antonio Sanchez and Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Photo courtesy of Antonio Sanchez

Power in the Blood – Buffy Sainte Marie

It’s been decades since I have heard the invigorating songs and voice of Buffy Sainte Marie on the radio. I reflect upon the folk music era when she was a quintessential performer (early 1960s Greenwich Village). A halcyon period in the annals of music.

Buffy Sainte-Marie’s bold new album, Power in the Blood, begins where it all started more than 50 years ago, with a contemporary version of “It’s My Way,” the title track of her 1964 debut. Its message, about the road to self-identity and the conviction to be oneself, still resonates with the Cree singer-songwriter, activist, educator, visual artist, and winner of countless awards (Oscar, Juno, and Golden Globe, among them).

Perhaps you know Sainte-Marie from her 1960s protest anthems (“Universal Soldier”), open-hearted love songs (“Until It’s Time for You to Go”), incendiary powwow rock (“Starwalker”), or the juggernaut pop hit “Up Where We Belong,” which Sainte-Marie co-wrote and Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes sang for the soundtrack to An Officer and a Gentleman.

Power in the Blood is set to release May 12th 2015 on True North Records.

Buffy Sainte-Marie will be appearing at The Highline Ballroom in New York City on Wednesday, May 20th, 2015.

Words Without Music – Philip Glass

WORDS WITHOUT MUSIC

A Memoir

By Philip Glass

Illustrated. 416 pages. Liveright Publishing. $29.95

A world-renowned composer of symphonies, operas, and film scores, Philip Glass has, almost single-handedly, crafted the dominant sound of late-twentieth-century classical music. Yet here in Words Without Music, he creates an entirely new and unexpected voice, that of a born storyteller and an acutely insightful chronicler, whose behind-the-scenes recollections allow readers to experience those moments of creative fusion when life so magically merged with art.