Here on the Galaxy, we celebrate the beauty of music in its many guises. I personally find music to be at times representative of life – just as with life, sometimes it is gentle and sonorous, sometimes it is hard and strident. Sometimes it is laid back and luscious, while other times it is aggressive and demanding. Tonight we have some musical samplings which fit each of those descriptions, which leaves us with a gloriously varied show for tonight. Just the way that I like it.
We begin the evening with some Metallica, material that I haven’t been able to play in a while. Starting off with the classic For Whom the Bell Tolls (with that killer Cliff Burton bass riff that leads off the song), we then led to the title track from …And Justice for All. We also heard two from Master of Puppets (Battery, and the title track), before closing with a fine track from their most recent album, Broken Beat & Scarred. I will admit that I don’t play much material from Death Magnetic, owing to the now legendary sound production that really is quite audible when I play the material on the show (it does come across better in certain circumstances, such as a good stereo system or an iPod). But I really think that I shouldn’t allow my complaints about the album’s sound production to detract from my opinion about the music, which really is quite good.
We then heard a nice set from the Johnny Cash’s great Live at Folsom Prison album. This was something that I had thought to do last week, as a tribute to the recent passing of longtime Tennessee Two bassist Marshall Grant. It was a lovely set, too, with the recording of Folsom Prison Blues that was released as a single, Busted, the Merle Travis composition Dark as a Dungeon, and finishing off with Cash’s own I Still Miss Someone.
We then proceeded to a gorgeous piece by Robert Schumann, his Trio in A Minor (“Fantasiestucke”), Op. 88. This was written during 1842, a year which saw the composer write 3 string quartets, a piano quintet and a piano quartet – a great deal of output, which some historians credit as having a negative impact on his mental health. The piece is actually a compilation of smaller pieces that Schumann wrote that year, and demonstrates his willingness to depart from traditional compositional forms (i.e. the sonata format).
We followed that with another gentleman who not only demonstrated a willingness to depart from traditional compositional forms, but he aimed a shotgun at them and blew them to pieces. Ornette Coleman‘s Free Jazz was really the end result of the work of such greats as Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy (whom is featured on the recording), Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane and others (I would add classical composers such as Stravinski, Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern to that list), yet Coleman took the notion of “free jazz” to new heights. Of course, in order to make the “free jazz” concept work, he had to enlist some excellent players to help. This he did, with a killer lineup that features Eric Dolphy, Freddie Hubbard, Don Cherry, Scott La Faro, Charlie Haden, Billy Higgins and Ed Blackwell. Top notch players playing top notch music in the most daring manner possible.
We then took a venture into some truly classic country. A couple classic tunes from Webb Pierce (I’m Walking The Dog and his excellent rendition of Jimmie Rodgers’ In The Jailhouse Now, and a couple more classic tunes from Loretta Lynn (Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind), and You’ve Just Stepped In (From Stepping Out On Me).
We ended the show with a return to the metallic form. First, two songs from a fine band out of Toronto, Canada, Cancer Bats (Scared to Death and Sleep This Away), and finally a song from Lamb of God’s 2006 album Sacrament, Blacken the Cursed Sun.