Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Jonas Hellborg & Glen Velez - "Ars Moriendi" [1989] @256 Superb virtuoso ethnic flavored fusion. Do Not Miss It.

Those of you who have been following this blog from its beginning a few months ago, probably downloaded an extraordinary ethno fusion album by Trilok Gurtu called Usfret. If you did, no doubt you found out a great bass player, the Swedish Jonas Hellborg, amazing virtuoso of electric and six stringed acoustic bass.

On this work Mr.Hellborg is accompanied by Glen Velez, master of ethnic drumming and one of the most famous session musicians of the contemporary ethno jazz scene.

One of many Hellborg’s biographies states that…
”Jonas Hellborg was born 1958 in Gothenburg, Sweden. He taught himself to play the bass at age 12. Influenced by artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and Deep Purple, Hellborg played mainly blues and Heavy Rock. In 1972 he heard a record that changed his perception of music. This album, The Inner Mountain Flame, by the Mahavishnu Orchestra (Featuring English guitarist John McLaughlin) would not only influence his music, but his career as well.”

So, as we can see, Mr. Hellborg, contrary to many virtuoso musicians, started with rock and since the mid 80’s has been moving to… jazz?, classical?, avantpunk?… who knows?

Anyway his playing skills are truly mind boggling. He can do things with his bass that no one else would wven dare to try c. In the above mentioned Gurtu album we can hear how Hellborg is able to follow even the most intrincate hindu rhythmic constructions without any hint of hesitation or any sign of even the slightlest flaw. And that my friends is quite a compliment for a bassit, because hundu music complexity is way beyond our most difficult jazz or rock masterpieces. I read somewhere that he assumes the bass is a keyboard instrument. Maybe that's right.

His delightful collaborations are many. John Mc Laughling, Giger Baker, Anton Fier, Bill Laswell Michael Shrieve and many others.

Be prepared. I believe he is second to no one and Jaco is waiting for him in Heaven to share his place with him.

But hey... hellborg plays with another guy...! Glen Velez deserves more than a few words himself. Texan of Mexican origin, he ‘s one of the most outstanding percussionist alive. His mastering of all kind of frame drums have created around him a sonic aura that resembles nothing else but Velez. No one, nothing, sounds like him. The beating of the Bodhran and many other framed resounding skins fill the space with a solid phonic fluid that gets deep into one’s ears and mind. He sounds Arabic, or hindu, or celtic or something among and beyond all those words.

Actually he’s recognized as the highest authority of this instrument in the world. Considering that the history of the frame drum is dated as back as Ancient Mesopotamy, that’s a great achievement.

He reminds us that the first musical thing we humans ever did was beating something against something. He seems to be a messenger of antiquity and also a dweller of the future, calling us to an ocean of flows and counter flows of pure drumming. Glen Velez collaborations with Oud maestro Rabih Abou Khalil, for ECM records, are not to be missed. He has also played with Steve Reich (crossing thus the classical boundaries), John Cage, Zakir Hussain and Paul Winter.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the result of a magical moment in history of modern music.
The collaboration between two giants. This album is absolutely, strongly, undoubtedly recommended.
Please give this work what it deserves…

Headphones. A nice chair, a quiet intense listening while drinking something exotic. It is that good. Believe me.

Keep Listening…!!!

Links in comments.

Stars of the Morning Sky...


Jaime Antonio Alvarez said...

These are the links:
part 1
part 2
Part 3


Anonymous said...

H: lots of different elements, all enjoyable, Thanks & Cheers!

writerguy said...

Is something amiss with this one?

I have the three files listed above:

part 1
part 1 (2)
part 3

But when I extract, it says I'm missing part 2(2).

I appreciate the post!

Raw & Real Retail said...

writerguy, it seems as though you downladed part 1 twice, that may be the problem.

writerguy said...

By gosh, I think you're right!

Thanks again!

kamyar said...

Download not available

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