Voltarol - related music

Friday, 9 May 2008

Blue two and a half.

Speaking of Leigh Heggarty (as I was yesterday), he and I formed an acoustic guitar duo some twenty - odd years ago called 'The Blue Five'. How we ended up with this name escapes me now as not only were there not five of us but we didn't play blues either. We worked around West London and Buckinghamshire and confused many a folk club audience...and there was another anomaly: Leigh is essentialy a rock musician, I come from the jazz world and what we played definitely wasn't folk music. Our reportoire consisted of a mixture of standards, pop tunes and original compositions (all right -unoriginal compositions) although there was, come to think of it, one nominal blues in the set. This was the Spencer Williams composition 'Basin Street Blues', which was first made famous by the great Louis Armstrong on a 1927 recording. It goes without saying that our version bore no resemblance to Louis'. Our approach to all that we played was to try and forget about the theoretical classifications of 'rock', 'jazz', 'pop', 'folk' etcetera, but to treat it all simply as 'music'. (Mind you, Leigh came to visit me a few years after I had moved to the West Country and one evening we decided to revive the Blue Five in the saloon bar of my local pub. Present that evening was one of my neighbours who had recently been a dinner guest at our cottage. At the end of the evening he drew me to one side and said "I'd rather have your cooking than your music". Ho Hum. Incidentally the main difference between the Saloon bar and the Public bar of my local is defined by card games. In the Public they play Cribbage and in the Saloon they play Euchre.)

One of the things that attracts me to Brazilian music is a natural tendency amongst most Brazilian musicians to ignore the 'pigeon holes' of musical category and to play across the boundaries. Although Brazil has spawned a mass of musical genres it is not at all uncommon for a musician that is noted for one particular musical form to perform equally well in others. But I think that's the subject for my next posting.