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Sandy Bull - Still Valentine's Day (1969)





Long before Ry Cooder, Leo Kottke, Richard Thompson, and others were impressing listeners with their ability to hop from genre to genre, Sandy Bull glided from classical and jazz to ethnic music and rock & roll with grace and verve. Accompanied on his first two albums by renowned jazz drummer Billy Higgins, Bull produced some of the first extended instrumental compositions for guitar that incorporated elements of folk, jazz, and Indian and Arabic-influenced dronish modes. Not "rock" by any stretch of the imagination, it's nevertheless easy to see that it could have had an influence on the rock musicians who began incorporating eclectic and Middle Eastern sensibilities into their music a few years later. After his debut, Bull expanded his arsenal from the acoustic guitar and banjo to include oud, bass, and electric guitar. After his second album, however, his recordings were less focused and less impressive. In the 1970s, he dropped out of music altogether due to drug problems, although he began recording again in the late '80s. On April 11, 2001, Sandy Bull died of lung cancer at his home just outside of Nashville --- Richie Unterberger, AllMusic

Sandy Bull was a pioneering and sometimes brilliant musician whose personal problems derailed a promising career. There are just a handful of albums to his credit, but no live material has been available until now. Still Valentine's Day documents two sets from two nights in 1969 at San Francisco's Matrix club, just before the release of E Pluribus Unum. Given the multi-tracking and other accompaniment that appears on his albums, perhaps the most fascinating thing about this set is how he pulls it off live. On some tracks, he actually uses a tape with the album track minus the lead part to play along with. For others, he uses a guitar setup that splits the signal to both a bass amp and a regular guitar amp, much like Charlie Hunter does today. Then he adds a heavy tremolo to the guitar amp to provide a pulse to play against, resulting in a weird kind of psychedelic blues drone. The recording itself is quite good, although there are some spots of distortion and Bull at times seems frustrated with his setup. His performance, while not perfect, is quite good, especially on the oud improvisations. The tremolo-driven pieces are captivating and hypnotic. Still Valentine's Day isn't the place to start with Sandy Bull, but it's an important addition to his catalog that fans will want to hear --- Sean Westergaard, AllMusic

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2 komentarze:

Ankh pisze...

@ @ @ @

Anonimowy pisze...

Any chance to re-up this live recording of Sandy Bull? Would be happy to hear it. Thanks, dan-the-man

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