VARIOUS ARTISTS
Poor Boy: Songs of Nick Drake

[Songlines, www.songlines.com]

  I find it a huge challenge to review music of an artist who I feel a true affinity for.  Nick Drake is someone I had discovered quite late in life.  I was already in my late 20's when his music blew across my musical horizon.  His records barged right into my life and populated my overall musical sensibility.  The thoughtful way Drake had in expressing the finest details, the words he used to convey a feeling and even the lift in his voice to express his state of being made me feel tingles run up and down my spine.  This was no ordinary artist and the deeper I dug, the more I felt the loss of the music that could've been had he lived longer than his all too short lifetime.  Originally put on as a massive 4 ? hour tribute concert that took place in Vancouver in 1999, "Poor Boy: Songs of Nick Drake" was actually re-invented between 2002 and 2003.  Mastermind behind it all was Songlines honcho Tony Reif, who decided to invite a dozen well-known musicians from Vancouver area along with people from outside of the geographical west coast region.  One of those from outside of Vancouver is vocalist Ian Masters [of disbanded Pale Saints] who under the guise of Friendly Science Orchestra gives a stark version of "Parasite".  Alongside Masters on vocals, guitar, ukulele, taishyogoto and saw, we get Ishigami Kazuya, who plays "flute thing", field, storm, stretched bell and low tone.  Result is haunting and quite direct reading of the original.  Veda Hille and Robin Holcombe do a whimsical take on "Road" that is augmented by Francois Houle's soulful clarinet playing.  "River Man" is construed by vocalist Jesse Sykes [with a fine band, which features viola/bass player Eyvind Kang], while "Poor Boy" is reinvented in a minimal but gutsy way by vocalist Kate Hammett-Vaughan, who is helped out by guitarist Bill Horist and percussionist Tucker Martine.  Pianist Gestrin and bassist Simon Fisk do a direct reading of "One of These Things First" and "Cello Song" is brought to life skillfully by vocalist Aiko Shimada [whose voice adds a certain level of back-country simplicity to the song], guitarist Bill Horist and percussionist Tucker Martine.  The only non-Drake tune on the album is a sprawling piece [composed, though it sounds improvised in many sections] called "For Nick/Horn/Now" that is sung by Danielle Hebert, who is joined by clarinet player Francois Houle, guitarist Tony Wilson, trumpeter Brad Turner, violinist Jesse Zubot, cellist Peggy Lee and percussionist Dylan van der Schyff.  The album ends off with a stark interpretation of "From The Morning" as done by vocalist/guitarist Mike Dumovich.  His barren, wrenching voice is in many ways the perfect way to end a very articulate compilation that sounds more like a coherent whole rather than simply a bunch of random thrown pieces of dissimilar music.  For those who have the equipment to enjoy the benefits, the CD was recorded in SACD technology.  A must for all Nick Drake fans as well as those who've never heard of the legend.  

- Tom Sekowski


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RECENZJE

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+ Wooden Wand - James & the Quiet
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+ Claro Intelecto - Metanarrative
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+ PAUL BLEY TRIO - Closer
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+ GILBERT HOLMSTRÖM QUARTET - The Mandelbrot Set
+ STEVE JANSEN - Slope
+ TULLY - Sea of Joy / FARM - The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun / THE TIM GAZE BAND - Band on the Run / PETER MARTIN & FINCH - Drouyn / TAMAM SHUD - Evolution
+ EVANGELISTA - Hello, Voyager
+ SETH NEHIL - Amnemonic Site
+ ARTUR DYJECINSKI - A Year and a Half of Rain
+ UT GRET - Recent Fossils
>> VARIOUS ARTISTS - Poor Boy: Songs of Nick Drake
+ MARK O'LEARY - On The Shore

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WYWIADY / RELACJE

+ Wolę być didżejem - rozmowa z Matthiasem Tanzmanna [+ KONKURS!]