Saturday, April 7, 2012

Paul Simon - Graceland

Paul Simon - Graceland.  Some people think Paul Simon took too many liberties with other people's music in order to create this masterpiece.  Not here.  All music comes from other sources.  Bach laid down the first deep bottom end, rock bass line in one of his Brandenburg Concertos (the 3:30 mark of No. 3, Allegro Moderaro).  So what really is new?  Is any music?  Look above, the back cover of the album are the liner notes of how Paul explains how he came to discover the sounds, rhythms, musicians, and textures of South Africa.  Check out the video by clicking on the post time.  Paul himself introduces the main guitarist and arranger of this historic album.  He is Raymond Chikapa Phiri (b. 23 March 1947) is an African jazz, fusion and mbaqanga musician born in Mpumalanga.  He became founding member of the Cannibals in the 1970's. When the Cannibals disbanded Ray founded Stimela, with whom he conceived gold and platinum-selling albums like Fire, Passion and Ecstacy (1991), Look, Listen and Decide (1992) as well as the controversial People Don’t Talk So Let’s Talk.  In 1985 Paul Simon asked Ray along with Ladysmith Black Mambazo to join his Graceland project, which was successful but also helped the South Africans to make names for themselves abroad.  Ray was to collaborate with Paul Simon again on Simon’s Rhythm of the Saints album, which saw him perform on stages such as Central Park and Madison Square Garden as well as appearing on top television shows in the USA.  Born to Malawian immigrant worker and South African guitarist nicknamed "Just Now" Phiri.

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