m- The heather’s
Alastair Mabbott gets his head around Tori Amos’s theories about breasts on billboards and the sexual potency of the clan system.
The big difference in the way Tori Amos is perceived in Britain and in America. she tells me. is that in America they concentrate on the sex. l suppose this shouldn't be surprising. since she sings fearlessly about a whole range of sexual experience from masturbation to rape and a lot of the goings-on in between. But in Britain. it‘s Arrros‘s emolional nudity that's the usual source of wonderment and. probably. envy. Time to redress the
balance. then. ‘Everything in America‘s
about sex.‘ she protests. ‘Theyjust can‘t let tip. They're obsessed with sex in that country. that‘s ‘cause there‘s so much moral guilt.’
There‘s plenty of that here.
‘Yeah. but British people don‘t talk about it in the open like that. Whereas. Americans will talk about it. but I don‘t know if they're gonna do anything about it. Do you know what i mean? They‘re still not showing breasts on television.‘
This is a tad unexpected. There are those. even of pretty liberal views. who would argue that opening up another avenue for the exploitation of the female form could hardly be counted as the most progressive social innovation. However. Tori Amos. consistent with the damn-the-consequences openness of her songs. disagrees.
‘Why is everybody so afraid of the body. hiding the body? I don‘t understand. There is a sense of shame. That‘s what I feel anyway. I was talking to some European photographers recently and. y'know. what it is is that they see the body as . . . an instrument
me- New fusions
Guitarist Wayne Krantz is a new name to Scottish audiences, but on the evidence of his latest album for the German-based enia label, “Long To Be loose’, he is an original stylist. While he plays with exceptional speed and plenty oi energy, his power trio with lincoln Goines (bass) and Zach nanzinger (drums) does not succumb to the temptation to let the energy elbow out the musical subtleties.
The first thing that catches the eye on the album are the titles oi the tunes; they form a piece oi continuous prose which reads ‘These instrumental pieces were - llot consciously written about - specific people, places, things or ideas - (although one began - from a little croaking sound - a friend’s DAT machine makes) - What they were written about - is something I don’t understand yet - but I know it when l
to be toyed with. You see what I mean? And the Europeans see the body as that‘s what your house is and you live in it and it‘s a natural thing to wake up in it and it‘s a natural thing to take a shower in it. Just such different ways of * thinking.‘
it‘s a shock. I remark. to go to France and see adverts with naked breasts on them.
‘Yeah. you must go. “Breasts! Oh my i God!” Put a piece oftape over them. But it‘s so perfect that you‘re Scottish.‘ : she goes and dives into the subject of the Allans. her Scottish grandparents who were ordained ministers and. it 1 goes without saying (though she does ' anyway). sexually repressed. ‘()h. my God! it was so rigid that l‘rn like. hey. i wait a minute. how did all the clans happen if its so rigid? How did all those clans get going? And all those clans. they were like wild people. You know, ; they were primitive! Passionate/f j WILD!!! I had all these dreams about it l as a lass. being taken into the heather E and . . . y'know. seeing it like I’d never seen it before. you know what i mean.
Wayne Krantz I see it - and hopefully, so will you’.
I Well, it makes a change from another 3 version of ‘All The Things You Are’,
l and as a statement oi intent is
; admirably honest. Krantz sees that
i indeterminacy - ‘something I don’t
; understand yet’ - as an essential
1 process in discovering his own voice,
Americans are so Victorian. is that the word? Repressed. ‘They settled in an Appalachian town i in Virginia. A lot of Scots people were L in the Appalachian Mountains. And in ' this one town. the Allans shot up the courthouse and one of them got put in z the electric chair.‘ i There‘s still a bit ofthe wild passion hanging on there, if Amos and her ' uninhibited way of writing and performing are anything to go by. She's E obviously proud to have a bit of that. ; ahern. primitive nature in her blood. ‘Yeah. but that‘s part ofthe family. The other part disowns them and won‘t talk about it ‘cause it‘s shame. shame. shame. And they go back to the hymn book pretending that all the girls. if they‘re not virgins when they‘re married. then they‘ve sinned against ; God. How can you possibly speak for i God? Well, i had tea with Him last week — and He’s been quite i misquoted.‘ . Tori Amos plays The Pavilion, Glasgow on Sun 27 and The Queen It Hall. ; Edinburgh on Mon 28.
rather than simply picking up on the lessons handed down by the guitar masters, or picked up in the process
of working with the likes of Bill
Frisell, Carla Bley, Michael Brecker
f and Billy Cobham.
The path which that process seems to be taking him down is a highly sophisticated jazz-fusion, in which the elements of composition and improvisation, not to say melody, bannony and rhythm, are brought
5 together in ways which intriguineg — and excitingly — blur the boundaries
between them. The Oregon-born
3 guitarist explains that ‘one of the
§ things I wanted to do was to skew the
9 usual arrangement of melody, solo,
; melody by combining ideas for the
‘ band in a way that wouldn’t make the
i lines seem so deiined.’ So tar, it
1 seems to be working just iine. (Kenny
i The Wayne Krantz Group share a double bill with Tommy Smith’s Forward Motion at the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, on Fri 4.
mur- Pentangle returns T
Pentangle was formed 25 years ago. and a good proportion of the band‘s audience is now younger than that. a point which arnuses Jacqui McShec. whose arresting crystal-clear vocals capped the unique. innovative textures of this superny talented band.
‘In the States. the audience is mainly 20s to 3()s.‘ she says. ‘()ver here. we do get a lot who‘ve known our music since we began. but the audience is always getting younger.‘
The first band to merge the folk and jazz sensibilities in an integrated whole. Pcntangle caught the general public‘s attention with a beautiful. finely developed string sound built round the intricate acoustic guitar fretwork of Bert Jansch and John Renbourn. with Danny 'l‘hompson‘s‘ jazzy acoustic bass and Terry Cox on percussion and drurrrs. At the height of their popularity. the band was playing the major international rock festivals and committed to endless touring. which eventually took its normal toll when the band split up.
‘1 continued for sorrre time with John. playing as a duo. but he decided to go off and study. and eventually some of us reforrrred the band. I felt guilty about carrying on the name without him. but John said go ahead. he wanted to go to college and do full-time music.‘
Bert and Jacqui remain as the two originals in a line-up that has remained
constant for the last live years. touring ’ regularly in the States and liurope. and
occasionally recording. while their back catalogue is now nearly" wholly re— released on CD.
The fluent technique and inspired musicvmaking of Bert and John is now captivating a new generation of guitarists in much the same way that Neil Young and Led Zeppelin‘s Jimmy Page would pay homage to Jansch‘s ability. Jacqui well remembers how the first few rows at l’entanglc concerts would be full of guitarists intently watching fingers on frets?
The good news is that l’cntangle are back — with John Renbourn. w ho plays in a duo with top-ﬂight guitarist and singer Isaac (illlll()l‘_\'. (’iuillor'y and Renbourn brought the house tloyy u when they visited Scotland last year. so get your tickets now fer the orin Scottish appearance of the w hole showcase. (Norman (‘halirrersi
I’r'nlmlglr'. /\)('II/)(llll'll trial (illl.’.l(’."\ play rim/er the lmmrer (limits ol .\1 orrsra
Folk—Jar: a! George Squall l la illl't'. Edinburgh m1 /"ri 4.
The List 25 February 710 March I‘M-l 29