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BUCKLEY,TIM - LIVE AT THE TROUBADOUR 1969 Live
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Strange Feelin'|
|2. Venice Mating Call|
|3. I Don't Need It To Rain|
|4. I Had A Talk With My Woman|
|5. Gypsy Woman|
|6. Blue Melody|
|7. Chase The Blues Away|
|9. Nobody Walkin'|
This previously unreleased live set features Tim in a small combo setting, doing material drawn chiefly from the Lorca and Blue Afternoon albums, with two never-before-heard songs.
The posthumously released Live At The Troubadour 1969 is the second of a trio of well-produced live albums (alongside 1968's Dream Letter-Live At London's Queen Elizabeth Hall and 1973s Honeyman) to be unearthed and packaged to feed Tim Buckley myth. One of the greatest rock voices ever, Tim Buckley drew from folk, psychedelic rock and progressive jazz. His multi-octave range was capable of powerful expressiveness and his restless evasion of any kind of self-definition always cast him as an outsider talent, a maverick. By the time of the Troubadour set, Buckley's improvisational technique was sensual, feverish and utterly unique. The music, mostly taken from 1970s Lorca and Blue Afternoon albums ekes out the kind of truly blitzed existential avant-garde blues you get from Buckley on a good day but it's the twists and turns of that "voice" that really startles. Whether ripping up the hood of the tender "Strange Feelin'", stretching, cajoling and scatting "I Don't Need It To Rain", prowling around the notes of "Nobody Walkin", Buckley's soul-soothing, vocal gymnastics are always perfect for an exploration of your imagination. Supported by a band willing to drift into moody epic plateaus, Buckley delivers a righteous fusion of lazy rhythms, junk-waffle jazz and soul with gutsy depth of emotion and empathy. --Reuben Dessay
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........well, here is an instance when someone like me who writes a lot about music wonders if he has not been doing so just a bit too much. You use words like "amazing" "classic" "stunning" a lot. It happens by reflex when describing the music you are passionate about, especially when you are super-passionate about music.
Are you throwing those words without thinking? Trying to find the quikest term instead of the one that fits best?
Well, sometimes. But when I use the words "absolutely searing" here, I know I have gotten it, meticulously, surgically correct.
This rendition of Buckley's "Gypsy Women," may be one of if not the best live musical performance I have ever listened too, and this is drawn from a 7000 album collection.
This track is transformed from a experimental piece of folk to a jazzy masterpiece--yeah, I thought that overused term out for this review too.
Buckley starts with a minor, mediteranian sounding scale and strums to the drums. He changes his guitar from a folk instrument to an exotic one. He sets the chords up. He repeats. He waits. He sings, a slow deep moan--a little up, further. A climax?
No. He waits some more. He lets the music bubble, varries his voice-- understanding pacing the way Coltrane did with his sax. Buckley uses his voice, in fact, as a jazz instrument, a horn that is in his vocal chords. It is sexual. It is full of suspence.
Finally, after more than ten minutes, Buckley rises to the top of his octive range, and his operatic voice sings, in a blues scale, nailing you to the wall. He has given you everything, and I mean everything, a singer ever could
The rest of the album--as if you needed anymore- is full of Bitches Brew like keybords, jazzy folk experments, and performances, that in general, trump the origonal album versions
So, no, you are not by a mile buying this for one track. Everything here is top notch.
But if you were, "Gypsy Women" would make even the worst music worth the price.
You couldn't ask for a better quality recording (especially given that the year was 1969) considering that these tapes had collected dust in the vault for over two decades. You also couldn't ask for more music. A quick visual tabulation pegs the total time on this disc at around 79 minutes, which is about all any CD can handle.
The set list and performances, while perhaps good given Buckley's available catalog at the time, may disappoint some fans (such as myself) who prefer Buckley's later, perhaps more accessible work. At this point in his career Buckley was still seeking Top 40 success, an elusive goal despite his release of 10 singles. None of the songs from 'Live At the Troubadour 1969' were among those singles. All nine cuts are drawn from his 1969 'Happy Sad' album (tracks #1 and 5), and his two 1970 releases, 'Blue Afternoon' (tracks #6 and 7), and 'Lorca' (tracks #4, 8, and 9). There are two tracks that never appeared on a Buckley studio album, 'Venice Mating Call', and 'I Don't Need It To Rain', although another live version of the latter does appear on Buckleys 'Once I Was' CD. The version of 'I Don't Need It To Rain' rendered at the Troubadour is a much better recording than the 'Once I Was' version, which to me is unlistenable.
With Tim Buckley nearly every musical excursion would have to be considered to be avante-garde. With each track on 'Live At the Troubadour', one wonders where Buckley will be heading next. The songs are an eclectic mix of jazz, folk, blues and rock. He takes his voice in experimental directions few artists would dare (or even think) to venture, and at times traverses outside the boundary of what some might consider melodically tasteful. But there is no denying the range, intensity, and imagination Buckley is able to infuse into his compositions vocally.
Lee Underwood offers some smokin' solo's on guitar, and on 'I Don't Need It To Rain' and 'Nobody's Walkin' offers vibes on electric piano. His solo's on 'Strange Feelin', 'Gypsy Woman', and 'Chase the Blues Away' are especially tasty. His guitar has a smooth, rich, velvety feel to it... a fine accompaniment to Buckley's wildly exploring vocals. Carter C.C. Collins' percussion sounds are another sweet attaction, especially on 'Venice Mating Call', and 'Nobody's Walkin', which features a Collins solo on conga.
The tempo of the disc is generally slow, and the mood is dark. Only two songs step up the pace beyond mid-tempo, but 'Gypsy Woman' at fourteen and one-half minutes, and 'Nobody's Walkin', at just over sixteen minutes, are easily the longest songs in the set. The second track, the instrumental 'Venice Mating Call', is rather upbeat also. 'I Had a Talk With My Woman' and 'Blue Melody' are perhaps the prettiest songs on the album, while the dirge-like slow blues of 'Driftin' is perhaps the most depressing cut.
A rather shocking moment occurs in Buckley's introduction to 'Venice Mating Call' when the artist jokingly tells the audience, "All we are saying is give smack a chance". The off-hand comment draws laughter from the audience, but few would be laughing if they could have known that Buckley would forfeit his life to an accidental overdose of heroin about six years later. It's an unfortunate reminder of the fate that awaited this talented, but tormented artist.
Martin Aston supplies informative and insightful liner notes to complement this generous package.
The only thing I miss in this is his earlier simpler presentation. I remember the best shows as just being himself on guitar, Mr. Carter on the Congas and other percussion, and this fabulous vibraphonist. Nope, I dont remember his name. I have yet to hear this vibraphonist on any recording, but I really thought that he was an important element in making the ethereal and almost other-worldly sounds that Tim Buckley spun. The guitar and keyboards are just an approximation, and too frequently overdriven, muddy, and too intrusive.