October 2009


shanghaihere in Shanghai. The temperature is in the high 70’s a nice change of pace from the last couple of stops we’ve made. This city is huge, they tell me there are 20 million people in the greater metropolitan area and growing. As far as I know we’re only due to stay here a couple of days before we head on to points north, so I don’t if I’ll get a chance to see any of the sites or not. I’m hoping to get to see the City God Temple if I do. At any rate I hear it’s snowing up a storm back home( around a foot and a half at the house) but my wife says it’s clearing out and supposed to warm gradually in the days to come. The talk of snow has reminded Eddie of one of his favorite albums which he puts forward as this weeks recording of note. The album is “Dis” by Jan Garbarek released in 1977 on the ECM label.  Jan on saxaphones and wood flute is joined by Ralph Towner on 12 string and classical guitars with field recordings of a windharp in the mix for three of the six pieces including the title track. This music has a rare spacious nature to it , which is a quality present in a number of releases on this label over the years. To Mr. Ersatz’s credit, I find “Dis” to be as listenable today as it was when I first heard it over 30 years ago, well worth checking out. Speaking of checking out I should go down to the front desk and see what this “message” light on the phone in my room means. I’ll write more soon as I get elsewhere,  Happy Halloween and take care. Image courtesy of twistedpapers.com

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dehliwhere it’s still warm but not quite as much as the Sudan was. This is a city full of history and people, quite unlike anywhere we’ve visited so far on this tour. The manager of the club we’re playing is an old friend of Eddie’s and we might stay a couple of extra days to play a party for a mutual friend they seem to owe a favor to. Hank and Harold are going out tomorrow to see some ancient religious sites and I might tag along if I feel up to it. After we leave here we are supposedly off to China next, although transportation issues are still arising..we’ll see. Meanwhile Mr. Ersatz has requested that this weeks recording of note be “Marscape” by Jack Lancaster and Robin Lumley. Released in 1976 on the RSO label this album features all the members of the band Brand X plus Jack Lancaster on woodwinds and Bernie Frost and Simon Jeffes. It’s a great collection of fusion oriented tunes played with a mixture of delicacy and gusto. Mr. Phil Collins turns in a rock solid performance on the skins here as do the rest of the Brand X boys on their respective instruments. I was lucky enough to see Brand X back in the summer of 1977 and it was a high energy show and I had a front row seat ,  it was a great night as I recall. Anyway a wonderful disc to check out , should you get a chance. Speaking of chance I think I’ll try and find someplace close by to get some dinner. Hope all you folks back home are doing OK, thanks for checking in on me. I’ll post next when we move on from here, take care. Thanks again to the guys at twistedpapers.com for the great images I’ve been using in  this “Tour” blog.

khartoamshould be the title of this post. After a few days here in Khartoum I’m ready for a cool down. It’s been in the low 100’s every day here so far and the hotel we are staying at, lacks any of the comforts that would alleviate that state.  It cools down to the low 80’s at night, but the ballroom we’ve been playing in retains the heat of the day more than I would prefer. At any rate tonight is our last one here and then it’s farther east to points not fixed yet. My wife back in the states informs me that some friends of ours have contacted her to express their good wishes for me on my journey as described in this blog. I should remind those folks and any others who might be “believing” this bit of fun, to refer to my blog entry from the 21st of June this year, which addresses the “reality” aspect of this trip and my companions. Speaking of Mr. Ersatz…. Eddie’s musical pick of the week is an album titled “Divisions On A Ground”  by Richard Harvey, originally released on Transatlantic records in 1975. Being an introduction to the recorder and it’s music this disc features Harvey on recorders along with a six piece ensemble. Recorded at St. Paul’s Church, Wimbledon Park, London in July & August 1974.  The works here ( by Vivaldi,  Matthysz, Handel,  Finger,  van Eyck, and Loeillet ) span about a century of Baroque music at it’s popular peak. Mr Harvey though a mere 21 years of age when this record was made, brings 17 years of playing the instrument to bear on these pieces with beautiful results. No real standout number here,  just a wonderful collection of gracefully performed musical works that are a great listen. Well that’s about it from here for now, hope all is well for you folks wherever your are, please stay tuned for more. Image courtesy of twistedpapers.com