|Gary Lucas — The Edge Of Heaven: Gary Lucas Plays Mid–Century Chinese Pop (2001)|
Gary Lucas — The Edge Of Heaven: Gary Lucas Plays Mid–Century Chinese Pop
•» Jeden z největších hrdinů Tais Awards a žijících kytaristů historie s nejméně 31 alby + dalšími cca 20–ti soundtracky, accopaniments for live performances. Už z tohoto výčtu je zřejmé, že není snadno ho zařadit, lehce totiž klouže od rocku a world music, přes blues až za hranice spřízněnosti s avantgardou.
•» Lucas je kytarista, takže i když album je poctou pro dvě zpěvačky [Celest Chong (tracks: 2, 6, 8), Gisburg (tracks: 4, 9, 11)], kytara je všudypřítomná. Zatímco on mistrně podporuje dvě vokalistky v písních, kde vokály jsou, [tam vhodně zůstává v pozadí], ale přidávání nesmírně obohacujícího ducha do atmosféry zvyšuje hodnotu i těchto písní, zatímco sedm ze 13–ti písní jsou instrumentálky. Zpívané písně poskytují Lucasovi šanci zachytit dar zpěvaček přes jeho pracovní nástroje při dialogu s melodiemi na průzkumné cestě souřadnicemi.
•» Guitarist best known for his work with Captain Beefheart, and Jeff Buckley as co–writer of a few of his best compositions.Location: Syracuse, New York, United States
Genre: Guitar / Experimental Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Album release: UK April 1, 2002 / US January 14th, 2003 for Harmonia Mundi
Recorded: in 2000 at Sound Dimensions, The Knitting Factory NYC, and Tim Powell Studios, NYC.
Record Label: Label Bleu / Indigo
01. Old Dreams 3:31
02. Please Allow Me To Look At You Again 3:20
03. The Mad World 2:19
04. The Wall 3:03
05. If I'm Without You 2:44
06. Night In Shanghai 2:39
07. Where Is My Home 2:49
08. Songstress In The Edge Of Heaven 3:33
09. I Wait For Your Return 2:55
10. Pretense 2:04
11. The Moon In The Street 3:07
12. The Wall 3:03
13. Please Allow Me To Look At You Again 3:42
Bonus tracks on the Knitting Factory label re–issue:
14. A Pair Of Flowers
15. Songstress on the Edge of Heaven (recorded live at the Quebec City Summer Festival)
•» Music & Lyrics: http://www.discogs.com/Gary-Lucas-The-Edge-Of-Heaven-Plays-Mid-Century-Chinese-Pop/release/1164910
•» Engineered by Jason Candler, Sascha von Oertzen, Tim Powell and Gary Lucas
•» Design: Jerome Witz
•» Gary Lucas: acoustic, electric and National Steel guitars, electronics;
•» Celeste Chong, vocals (2, 6, and 8);
•» Gisburg, vocals (4, 9 and 11);
•» Ernie Brooks, bass (4, 9, 11, 12);
•» Jonathan Kane, drums (4, 9, 11, 12).
•» Ernie Brooks Bass
•» Jason Candler Engineer
•» Gisburg Vocals
•» Tien Han Composer
•» Jonathan Kane Drums
•» Gary Lucas Arranger, Electronics, Engineer, Guitar (Ac + El), Liner Notes, National Steel Guitar, Producer
•» Sascha von Oertzen Engineer
•» Tim Powell Engineer
•» Pierre Walfisz Executive Producer
•» Jérôme Witz Design, Graphic DesignReview
BY DAVE HEATON, 21 April 2003
•» "Hearing the music of Chow Hsuan and Bai Kwong for the first time was like a gift from the Goddesses," Gary Lucas writes in the liner notes to his album The Edge of Heaven: Gary Lucas Plays Mid–Century Chinese Pop. The album opens with a shimmering, delicate splash of guitar that serves as a transition to that heavenly world, leading into Lucas's pretty, exceedingly gentle rendition of the touching "Old Dreams", originally sung by Bai Kwong.
•» While Lucas’s instrumental “Old Dreams” gives listeners a succinct glimpse into the emotions these songs deliver, the otherworldliness which drew Lucas to the original works isn’t truly demonstrated until the vocalists appear. All of the 11 songs included here (there’s 13 tracks, 2 in both instrumental and vocal versions) were originally sung by Chinese vocalists Bai Kwong and Chow Hsuan in the ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s, and much of those recordings’ power comes from the two women’s majestic voices. Both sang for films as often as on record, so it’s fitting that, as Lucas points out in the liner notes, their songs are starting to show up again in new Chinese films. Lucas mentions Wong Kar–Wai’s In the Mood for Love as one of these films, and it’s true that Chow Hsuan’s songs make up an important part of the spell that the film casts.
•» On The Edge of Heaven, the vocals are handled by Celest Chong and Gisburg. Both excellently capture the piercing yet dreamy quality of the original vocals, sharply conveying the emotions that bowl listeners over as completely as the melodies and atmosphere do. With titles like “Please Allow Me to Look at You Again”, “I Wait for Your Return”, and “Where Is My Home”, these songs deal with love and hope and sadness in stark terms. While the translated lyrics in the liner notes makes those feelings clear for listeners like myself who don’t speak the language, understanding what’s being said isn’t necessary for getting the emotional impact. There’s a force to the sounds themselves which is overwhelming. The way the singer’s voice meets the guitar, as both clearly express longings, is extraordinary.•» Lucas is a guitar player, so though the album is a tribute to two singers, guitar is omnipresent. While he adeptly supports the two vocalists on the songs that have vocals, staying appropriately in the background yet adding immensely to the atmosphere, seven of the 13 songs are instrumentals. These give Lucas the chance to capture a singer’s gift through his instrument while playing with the melodies in a more exploratory way. While on “Old Dreams” he swirls impressionistic guitar sounds around the melody, on “If I’m without You”, he chooses a straightforward approach, gently but firmly picking the melody. If none of the songs give Lucas the chance to demonstrate the rock chops he honed with Captain Beefheart and Gods and Monsters, on several of them he taps into his love of the blues (something both of those bands also obviously drew from), making a cross–cultural connection that works. “Mad World” has a rolling acoustic–blues sound, while “Where Is My Home” rages with a churning electric blues.
•» That melding of genres is only a small part of what makes The Edge of Heaven so compelling. While a more blues–oriented guitarist finding similarities between his style and Chinese pop from half a century ago makes for an intriguing musical experience, the album also takes a straightforward enough approach as to be a great introduction to fantastic music that Lucas’ average listener isn’t likely to know much about. As with any good tribute, if music fans seek out the original recordings after hearing The Edge of Heaven, then Lucas has done them quite a service. What makes this album a cut above is that it’s both tribute and reinterpretation, something for everyone.
•» http://www.popmatters.com/AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson; Score: ****
•» Gary Lucas — charmingly oddball pop songwriter, musical world traveler, utterly hellacious guitarist — is perhaps at his most hellaciously, charmingly cosmopolitan on this frankly amazing album, which finds him adapting popular Chinese songs that were originally recorded in the 1960s and which he heard and fell in love with during a sojourn in Taiwan in the mid–'70s. His girlfriend at the time had a cassette tape of such local superstars as Chow Hsuan and Bai Kwong, and it was, he says in his liner notes, "like almost no other music I had ever heard before." Twenty–five years later he put together this quirkily gorgeous tribute, which includes jaw–droppingly virtuosic fingerstyle guitar arrangements ("Mad World," "Wall") and song settings using guest vocalists. Among the best of the latter are the limpidly beautiful "Night in Shanghai" (again, note the guitar playing) and the country–flavored "I Wait for Your Return," which is simply a hoot. He's not playing this stuff for laughs, though; his genuine affection for the music comes through loud and clear, and even when he has fun with it he is obviously trying to do so in a way that brings its haunting loveliness to the fore. Very highly recommended. •» http://www.allmusic.com/
Label LB: http://www.label-bleu.com/flash.htm
Label HM: http://www.harmoniamundi.com/hmUS/homeUS.asp
Label KF: http://www.knittingfactoryrecords.com/BIO (short)
•» A world class guitar hero, a Grammy nominated songwriter and composer, an international recording artist with over 20 acclaimed solo albums to date, and a soundtrack composer for film and television, GARY LUCAS is on the move in 2015.
•» Dubbed "The Thinking Man's Guitar Hero" by The New Yorker, "The world's most popular avant–rock guitarist" by The Independent (UK), "One of the 100 Greatest Living Guitarists" (Classic Rock), "Legendary Leftfield guitarist" by The Guardian (UK), "Guitarist of 1000 Ideas" by The New York Times, "a true axe God" by Melody Maker, and "One of the five best guitarists in the world" by the national Czech newspaper Lidove Noviny, the British world music magazine fRoots recently described Gary Lucas as "without question, the most innovative and challenging guitarist playing today." Rolling Stone's David Fricke wrote: "Gary Lucas is one of the best and most original guitarists in America...a modern guitar miracle." Best–selling author/producer Dan Levitin ("This Is Your Brain On Music") recently cited Gary as "the greatest living electric guitarist". Gary was also dubbed "one of the world's greatest guitar players" by HITS Magazine.
•» In 1988 Gary finally mounted his own solo guitar show at the mecca of New York new music, the Knitting Factory and was an instant hit. The New York Times raved, "Guitarist of 1000 Ideas" for his show which drew upon the corpus of blues, rock, jazz, folk, classical and electronic music all brought to bear with the intense showmanship which is a hallmark of Lucas' style. Through the use of digital delays Gary was able to produce the sound of a virtual one–man–band, producing orchestral textures and colors that rival an army of players.
•» Through the positive word of mouth that rapidly increased his reputation in New York, Gary was invited to play his solo European debut at the 1988 Berlin Jazz Festival, with the same resulting effect ("It is Lucas!" raved the Berlin Morgenpost).
•» Subsequently he undertook many trips abroad to perform either solo, or with his band Gods and Monsters, at rock, blues, jazz, folk and experimental music festivals, and on the theater and club circuit.
By AAJ STAFF, Published: March 21, 2003 |
|Gary Lucas — The Edge Of Heaven: Gary Lucas Plays Mid–Century Chinese Pop (2001)|