Sunday, 23 March 2014
LBC Trio's Baobab from 1984, a new lossless rip
Recall Denis Barbier, from an earlier post, he is the B in this trio, and plays flutes and harp on this recording. He made another record called "Prao" which is very similar to the Confluence albums from France, I will share it soon if anyone wishes. His most beautiful compositions appear here however. The other players are Denis Large on guitar, and Jean-Claude Camors on violins and vocals.
From prognotfrog: (by permission)
"All the usual comments apply, the things I've said dozens of times before:
-the compositional quality is so high this rivals anything written by Stravinsky, Prokofieff, etc.
-why is this not played in symphony halls instead of the same tired old classical compositions we should all be so sick of hearing?
-the amount of work these composers put into this record is utterly incredible
-the cover art is so beautiful in these old masterpieces -- what is the chance some of our favourite album covers will be displayed in art galleries someday?
-there is no more advanced or perfect music than such a combination that uses everything humanity has created: pop, rock, classical, folk, and jazz, and combines all streams into a seamless whole
-what is it about music that makes it so beautiful? of all arts, it seems to be the most abstract kind of intellectual exercise, although rooted in the auditory sense, it has a level of abstraction not achievable with any other sense and functional MRI shows, as I said before, multiple levels of brain from the bottom emotional areas to the topmost cortex are involved in its enjoyment
For comparison purposes, this album is similar to the amazing Kolibri - Winterserenade which isabelbc posted here some 2 years back or so. (Btw, when I looked at that post recently I read some comments requesting their first album Tsamadou. I listened to that one and was very disappointed, it's purely ordinary folk and even has cover versions of pop songs like some Jim Croce (if I remember correctly). Not one to request.)
Some information on the artists for those interested:
Oddly enough they didn't produce a whole lot more music. Perhaps this is their communal magnum opus?
On the back of the record this comment:
"Three composers, interpreters and improvisers reveal to us their universe: an original new chamber music which molds and transforms many resonances of classic, jazz, and folklore..."
Regarding the title, I read with great sadness a recent article discussing the last stands of the baobab tree in Madagascar, as usual, the suggestion that they will be all gone in a few years if the environment continues to deteriorate. For those like me who grew up on the baobab thanks to Le Petit Prince such information is especially depressing. I've spoken often about how cooperation evolved in humans and made them the masters of the planet, but this altruistic impulse is forever at war with the more basic selfish impulses which have existed in life forever. Simply, cooperation evolved at a time when humans were in small groups and competed with other small groups for scarce resources (like prog albums?). Obviously a cooperative group did much better than a group of selfish cheaters. However, we are now all one tribe, one huge tribe, and in our society it's the selfish cheaters who are favoured, for various reasons. It's interesting that now nature has set us up for a huge challenge since we must all cooperate to preserve the earth as our living home, the question arises, will the new instincts of altruism win out and thus will we preserve ourselves as a species? or the old selfish instincts win and we fall into fighting and murderous competition for a dwindling supply of food? This huge moral combat will play out in the lifetimes of my children who are now 4 and 6, which is why the subject is so intensely interesting to me.
Like the little prince, will we feel so sad about our lost home that we will go back to our friend the snake and let him bite us?"
This book by St. Exupery is a masterpiece because it can be read on many levels. Children will be delighted by the imagination that starts the book and the dreamy story of the space traveler as well as the amusing satires of the different planets. And when young, I recall myself being bored or disappointed by the stories in the second half of the book. It wasn't until I reread it as an adult that I realized what he was really communicating, indeed, it's impossible for children to understand, no matter their maturity, due to the distraction of the superficial story.
There are two 'adult stories' in fact, there is the reality that he is an aviator lost in the desert who is dying of thirst and is in a state of delirium-- he has imagined the entire story-- this is the 'true story,' and purely out of good fortune finds at the end the water he's seeking-- and there is the 'imagined story,' the tale of the lost prince, a boy (how many here have not felt the same way) who is lost in a huge world he doesn't understand and makes friends with the snake in order to kill himself-- the idea of returning to his own planet is merely a euphemism for suicide. When I then realized, amidst a waterfall of tears, how much meaning this writer had put into his book, only then did I understand why it is generally regarded and rightly so, as the greatest children's book every written. I've read the rest of his oeuvre and though "Night Flight" comes close in poetry, I don't think he wrote anything quite as magnificent, but surely this one masterpiece was enough for any writer to leave with us.
This record is perhaps not the masterpiece that is Le petit prince, but it is almost as beautiful. There is one flaw to this music, which some may have noted before: I don't know what in tarnation the singer (Camors) was thinking with his odd, high-pitched folksy lala'ing around, but it really detracts seriously from enjoying certain tracks, like "Le Zinzin" and "Chanson sans paroles." Far more preferable would it have been to hire a sweet-voiced female alto-- like Stella Vander maybe (lol).
Note that this rip is entirely different from the other, prognotfrog rip, and you will notice the record is in much better condition with no scratches at all. The last two tracks run into each other but I attempted to separate them nonetheless, perhaps not entirely successfully but I will let you be the judges. One of the most beautiful compositions is the second last one called "Antigone" and it's by Didier Large. At the start he plays some chords on the guitar that are so unusual, particularly on this instrument where complicated chords are an order of magnitude harder to play as on a keyboard, I almost can't believe them: