Thursday, July 04, 2013

Christy Doran - Harsh Romantics (GERM, 1984)

It was perhaps a bit embarrassing when a song on the second Yugo Birdland album dedicated to Christy Doran I mistakenly thought was dedicated to a sexy woman -- but Christy is neither sexy (to me) nor a woman.  After the seventies passed it seems he too turned back to acoustic music, similar to Toto Blanke's recidivism from the virtuous sainthood of fusion, with this album and the next one poetically called "The Returning Dream of the Leaving Ship."  For me his work with nirvanal supermen OM is in fact eclipsed by sister Bridget Doran's magnificent hard-funk-fusion band Kjol, and she was both sexy and a woman-- two big plusses.  His style here is reminiscent of both Toto and Ralph Towner and the ECM feathery strumming / dissonant and atonal business of poking, amusing, tickling and enlightening the inner ear with its attached acoustic nerve and the brain located deeply medial to both right and left cranial nerves number VIII.  The music is complex & difficult to follow, but at the same time familiar and pleasurable with the colloquialism of those folksy guitar strings.

Why did all these masters abandon fusion, hallmark of the seventies?  And why did that musical style become so popular in that particular decade?  Was it the cheap energy, the optimistic future, the youthfulness of the listeners (those notorious oh-so-tedious self-absorbed baby boomers)?  Fusion was such a sui generis style it was like big band jazz, something hugely popular in one time, one moment, but despised and forsaken in all futures to come, except among those like me, who believe that it constituted one of the greatest art-forms humans ever created.

The progressiveness they crafted with their alloying of modern classical music, the best from rock, and the emotions of jazz, to me are the greatest musical artistic creations possible, like a configuration space or hamiltonian phase space in which the universe has selected an ideal position in the locus of perfection, an equilibrium of beauty that balances the three temporals: eternity to come, the present moment, and everything and all from the past in one inflectionary point, one stationary action.  As if one could see all  universal history and existence from the past to the future's end as a single block of completion.  This is what progressive music is to me, as I said before: the only taste of heaven we will ever have here in this impermanent world.

From wikipedia:
"Christy Doran (born 1949) is a jazz guitarist born in DublinIreland and raised in Lucerne,Switzerland.

Doran founded OM with Fredy StuderUrs Leimgrumber, and Bobby Burri in the 1970s; this ensemble recorded for ECM Records. He and Studer also worked together on a Jimi Hendrix tribute project in the 1990s. Doran has worked with a number of well-known free jazz and avant-gardemusicians such as Marty EhrlichRobert DickRay AndersonHan BenninkAlbert Mangelsdorff,Louis SclavisMarilyn MazurHerb RobertsonJohn Wolf BrennanPatrice HéralJamaaladeen Tacuma, and Carla Bley. Doran founded New Bag in 1997, and toured the world from 1998 to 2000 with the ensemble. Doran now teaches at the Musikhochschule at Lucerne."
Here are two of the best tracks from this record, 


I will be on holiday next week for our usual summer beach trip, so check back again in a couple of weeks… and have a great early July everyone.


Tristan Stefan said...

peskypesky said...

Thank you. Looking forward to hearing this.
As for fusion, I too am a fan of the genre. I think the reason it started to fall out of favor after the 70s was that the human race started to devolve at that point. De-Evolution.

Tristan Stefan said...

good point, pesky

Reimer said...

Thanks for this. CD has been involved in some wonderful music. As to why Fusion fell out of favour, I suspect it was at least in part the musicians showing they too could change with the times like the promoters/critics/consumers.

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