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‘We’re on a mission from God,’ went
Shadey dealings with The Blues Broers
the catchphrase. With that divine excuse in mind, The Blues Brothers movie revelled in its own excess. The tale was ofJake and Elwood Blues and their attempts to raise money to save their old orphanage by way of a pilgrimage to their musical past. The Blues Brothers, the band, had been their club-filling combo, a rhythm and blues revue pumping out all the old standards with stylish ease. Dark shades and enigmatic aplomb well to the fore, the reformed dudes hit the road, trashing cars and busting bars in the process.
And all this to a rip-roaring soundtrack which saw the entire history of blues and soul revisited in one dizzying swoop. This month,
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Cole Porter’s Ilie waxed much like the plot oi one at the musicals which made him iamous, and waned In a near-complete retreat irom public lIie. In between, he established himseli as the single most Iamous songwriter at his era, and perhaps oi the entire century. It would be necessary to have been born and raised on the moon neverto have heard one oi Porter’s songs, and there cannot have been a single major singer oi the pre-rock era who has not wrapped his or her pipes around one, irom Sinatra and Fitzgerald on down.
This year is the centenary at his birth In Peru, indiana (he died in Caliiornia in 1964), and the ‘Let’s Do It’ road show
will arrive in Scotland on the very weekend, with Edinburgh winning the distinction oi the actual day,
9 June. Born wealthy, Porter moved to France, joined the Foreign Legion, and married an even richer heiress, becoming an iniamous socialite oi the glittering Jazz Age. In 1937 his legs were badly injured in a riding accident (he eventually lost one), which left him In great pain tor the rest at his lile.
The source oi his tame lay in the vast body of songs he wrote throughout his liie, mostly ior Broadway or Hollywood musicals. His clever, witty, sophisticated lyrics (legend has it that he scribbled some at the words to ‘At Long Last Love’ while awaiting aid at the riding accident) and richly constructed tunes have proved among the most enduring oi all popular songs, both with singers and as vehicles Ior apparently limitless melodic and harmonic expansion at the hands oi jazz instrumentalists.
Paul Jones and Elaine Delmar head the cast oi ‘Let’s Do It’, but Porter’s centennial is also being celebrated on record. Apart from the earlier ‘Bed, Hot and Blue‘ AIDS event, both Verve (‘Hight and Day—The Cole Porter Songbook’) and Blue Note (the instrumental ‘Jazz Hot and Blue') issue compilations to mark it. Genius is an over-used and consequently under- valued epithet, but the perennial Mr Porter has genuinely earned It. (Joe Alexander)
past glories are visited again as the original band— minus Dan Aykroyd, who’s too busy, and John Belushi, who’s too dead — hit Glasgow. The on-screen story was sterling stuff in itself (though for inspiring that duffo
desired size and colour, to THE LIST T-SHIBT OFFER, 14 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1TE.
series of Tennent’s Special ads, the (doom-doum, inviting every part at the film will one day be held to account), _ body to move in diiierent time. but it was the off-screen background A I There is a keener, airierieel to the that gave The Blues Brothers its ' . music at Awatinas. Brittle llama bones status as a cult classic. ; used as ilutes, inverted and strong The musicians involved are your ' armadillo shells, hide-covered ; original R&B legends. Steve ? bombas, reed pan-pipes and clusters v Cropper— the beardy guitarist — and oi animal toenails shaken as Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn — the ; percussion create the mood oi the pipe-smoking bassist — were at the ! Bolivian altiplano, and again this group heart of Stax RecordS. appearing on 5 combine costume and the hypnotising such epoch-making moments as , ‘ dance steps or the region to conjure up ‘Green Onions’, ‘Respect‘, ‘Dock Of the Inca gods. The Day’ and ‘Soul Man‘. Along One of the most unique and beguiling with fellow ‘real life’ virtuosi like at the world’s musical instruments is Matt ‘Guitar‘ Murphy and Lou the simple mbira, orthumb piano. A Marini and his red-hot sax, it was species oi tree reed and at the same these heroes who provided the time tuned percussion, and with a polished soulful backing to Belushi mesmerising tone, the instrument is and Ackroyd’s gruff vocals and the backbone oi much Airican music. gracefully undignified dance steps Its tonality and rhythms have been for those who can‘t dance. taken over in modern times by Western
Name ........................ .. l it is thought unlikely that on the imported instruments, leading to guitar “mess ....... H 1 night there Will be an attendant posse and keyboam gyms in (he
""""""" " i of Nazis, rednecks, coppers and Pam“ contempomry "ma" bands 0' me
............................... .. g rocket launcher-toting Carrie Perhaps It's because oi the summer continent, But the real thing, Stella
' FlShC’S- What We can expect» temperatures, but June brings a Chiweshe, possibly Airica’s greatest """""""""""""""""""" " l hopefully, is ripping renditions of number or exotic musical species irom mbira player, arrives next week irom Daytime Tel ................ .. ‘Pcter Gunn'. ‘Freedom’ (sans round the world. Zimbabwe with her band Earthquake to i
Aretha). ‘Everbody Needs Somebody‘ and ‘Minnie The
‘ Moocher‘. Altogether now: ‘Hide hi 3 dc hide ho. . .‘ And not a hula hoop
l in sight. (Craig McLean)
The Blues Brothers play the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow on Fri 7June.
The complex polyrhythms oi Fatala are the soul at this West Airican band’s music. The dancing, costume, call-and-response singing, and typically tumbling guitar are underlaid by a ground at superb percussion on drums like the djembe and the bass
open our ears, and perhaps the ground beneath our ieet. (Norman Chalmers) Fatala play the Woodside Halls, Glasgow on Sat 1; Awatinas play the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh on Wed 5; Stella Ghlweshe plays the Woodslde Halls, Glasgow on Sat 8.
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Colour: Black/ White (delete as appropriate)
34The List 31 May— 13 June 1991