Thursday, February 18, 2016

Catherine Ribeiro + 2 Bis - 1969 - Catherine Ribeiro + 2 Bis

Catherine Ribeiro + 2 Bis
Catherine Ribeiro + 2 Bis

01. Lumière écarlate
02. Soeur de race
03. Les Fées Carabosses
04. Voyage 1
05. La Solitude
06. Un sourire, un rire, des éclats
07. Le Crime de l'enfant Dieu
08. Le Point qui scintille

Guitar – Patrice Moullet
Organ, Percussion – Alain Haldag
Trumpet [Trompette Marine Electrifiée] – Bernard Pinon
Vocals – Catherine Ribeiro

Born in Lyon during the war, Catherine Ribeiro started her career in acting, even shooting a film for JL Godart, Les Carabiniers, he met future writing partner Patrice Moullet (then under the name of Albert Juroost), before she started singing, recording a bunch of singles throughout the 60's, both in Portuguese (her parent's origins) and in French. These singles are now compiled in a set called Libertés. In the late 60's, Moullet asks her to starts a band, first named 2Bis (one record released under that moniker), than Alpes, where she'll be the front person. The group was lucky enough to participated to one of the very few festival still organized in France in the early 70's (most of them being banned to avoid further youth/student riots after May 68 both the group and festival getting the "go-ahead" from authorities a few hours before starting) in Port Leucate, then Avignon, playing to huge crowds and getting wide notice of the public.

During the early 70's, Catherine Ribeiro & Alpes recorded a string of stunning albums, starting with Ame Debout and ending with Le Temps De L'autre, the most remarkable being Rat Débile Et Homme Des Champs, with stunning tracks such as Poeme Non-Epique and Ere De La Putréfaction (sic). The group is then centered around Catherine, (guitarist) Moullet and (keyboardist) Lemoine (future Gong) and Motron, but by 76, only Lemoine remained with Catherine. The later 70's will see albums getting wiser in terms of provocations, but will gain in musician abilities and spectrum, but Ribeiro started recording solo albums dedicated to poets (Jacqueries for Jacques Prévert) and semi-anarchists singers (Ferré, Brel etc..).

In 81, the group will disband in full glory (awards and academy prizes) after la Déboussole, Catherine recording a string of albums increasingly gentle and decreasingly interesting, until she will recontact Moullet for solo collabs. The very same Moullet will reform Alpes in the early 90's without Ribeiro, and two more records will be released, both sounding a tad new age, but remaining prog records. Moullet is still playing experimental music through his project Atelier Alpes, while Ribeiro still graces discs of her voice.

As a quick conclusion: Catherine Ribeiro & Alpes have recorded a string of fairly successful albums, gathering a few plaudits and yearly awards from specialized press, played throughout Europe and even in Latin America and Northern Africa and are now seen as an iconic group of the hippy 70's in France. Their use of seldom-seen percuphone and cosmophone (both alpine instruments), their lengthy Poème Non-Epique pieces, Ribeiro's anarchist avant-garde and ecologist lyrics and doomed atmosphere (there is some VdGG feel in their music) made this group a very distinct and very original group that has their own sound. Their record company will print at the back of the cover that "the lyrics of the group only engage the musicians and them only", therefore taking a distance to Ribeiro's incendiary diatribes. This disengagement is to be seen as CR&A's best compliment, as in their manner, they were at the forefront of the Counter Culture.

Catherine Ribeiro was born in 1939, the daughter of Portuguese immigrants. She starred in Jean Luc Godard's controversial film 'Les Carabiniers' aged 22, where she played a partisan. Here she met (and later married) guitarist and sound sculptor Patrice Moullet, the core member of the group they were to later form called Alpes. They released the first album Catherine Ribeiro + 2 Bis in 1969, but didn't use the name Alpes until the second album Nr.2. Her daughter Ioana was born sometime around 1971 and inspired many songs. Catherine is most well-known in France for her recording of Edith Piaf songs

I often say that this album is the greatest rock album made in the 60s, or that it's a toss-up between it and the VU + Nico album. Well, technically this album, more or less rock music I suppose we could say, was made in the 60s, and it makes the USA album seem like fluffy pop. I'm not saying that USA is at risk of losing its throne, but this a whole different breed of avant-rock royalty way off any scale we could construct. This is a holy grail of 20th century music. Never reissued, this needs to be heard by everyone even slightly interested in this aesthetic sphere.
It's misleading to call this rock music though, because rhythmically it doesn't use any conventional rock beats, and the percussion is used in a strikingly unusual way that gives a droney effect despite using a rapid stream of drum hits. That's drum, not drumkit. I don't think there's any drumkit used in this music. I suppose we could call this music "ecstatic psychedelic electric avant-folk music".
What's so amazing here is that the instrumental parts of the music are equally as idiosyncratic and startling as Ribeiro's bracing vocals. These people were from another planet. The avant-folk precursor to Magma.

IMHO just one of the 100 best records ever made!

Colette Magny & André Almuró - 1966 - Avec Poème

Colette Magny & André Almuró 
Avec Poème

01. Poème   
02. Poème   

Music By – André Almuro
Voice – Colette Magny, Pierre Frilay

A very rare LP of Colette Magny accompanied by André Almuró,released in 1966.Fantastic music concrete accompanying Magny's poems.Saw it selling for 500 EURO!

Colette Magny - 1975 - Transit

Colette Magny

01. La Panade
02. Les Cages à Tigre
03. Ras La Trompe
04.1    Le Pachyderme   
04.2    Blues Ras La Trompe   
04.3    Radio Cornac   
04.4    Les Militants   
04.5    Finale   

Contrabass – Jean Bolcato
Drums – Christian Ville
Piano – Patrick Vollat, Rémy Gevron
Saxophone – Maurice Merle
Soprano Saxophone, Bass Clarinet – Louis Sclavis
Trumpet – Jean Mereu
Vocals, Guitar – Colette Magny

Legendary French avant garde/protest singer.She has collaborated with Raymond Boni,Michel Portal,Catherine Ribeiro,Un drame musical intantante,Didier Malherbe ,Andre Almuro amongst others.

"Colette Magny came first, (and has sadly died first) and was a massive influence on much French music to come. Beginning her career as a blues and folk singer, she became radicalized by the U.S. Civil Rights movement, the Nueva Canción musicians in South America, as well as the worldwide student revolt of that bygone era - you know the one. Her most astounding material is unapologetically violent, shocking, yet quite effective agit-prop accompanied by a heavy, romping jazzy rumpus.
I'm quite confused to see that the only Magny's album linked to the NWW list is Transit. Actually Colette Magny was some sort of politically involved blues/french chanson singer at the beginning of her career, but she soon evolved toward something much more experimental :
1° Feu et Rythme (Le Chant du Monde LDX 744 44)This is the most vanguard LP by far : There, the highlight is the two free jazz double bass players Beb Guerin and Barre Phillips (who on most tracks are the only musicians and who are well known to European free jazz listeners). Though the texts are quite well written, this album is the most appealling to the non French speaking part of the NWW audience, and in my opinion the musically most successful of all. The melody is not the backbone of this LP since Colette Magny experiments with her voice by reaching different levels of screams, monkey-like shoutings, putting the stress on the sound of harsh French words, and so on. On two tracks she's singing along an ensemble wich definitely gives a contemporary music feel to it.
I highly recommend this one to any vanguard music collector and especially to the NWW list addicted.
2° Repression (Le Chant du Monde LDX 74476)This one is somehow different from the previous one. On the flip side of the LP, Colette Magny still sings with Barre Phillips and Beb Guerin on double bass, but all tracks are much more structured though still kind of weird. On the A side, there's a complete change of personnal with the introduction of Bernard Vitet (Famous on the NWW list for his La Guepe LP on Futura), Francois Tusques (also famous for many entries on the NWW list such as Operation Rhino - Fete de Politique Hebdo, many sessions on Futura, and many other free jazz/experimental LP's). But despite all the expectations you could have, the music is basically a blues number (with a unique delivery style wich makes it quite different from regular blues numbers) with extremly violent political lyrics that sound dated nowadays.
This one is very nice, still weird but less experimental than the previous one.
3° Transit (Le Chant du Monde LDX 74570)This one is the one that seems to be pointed out by the NWW list. Actually this is the less experimental of all. You have a 3 minutes track filled with tape loops that is probably the closest work to the NWW music she has done. And this is probably the reason why this album is usually mentioned. The rest of the album is french chanson, wih some very nice vietnamese texts and poetry read, including a testimony of torture practiced in vietnamese jails during the 60's. The musicians here are from a band called The Free Jazz Workshop (one of the earliest recordings with French clarinettist Louis Sclavis) wich is, despite its name, not free jazz at all on this record. The record is globally speaking quite conventional and despite the 3 minutes tape loops very much dedicated to the French audience, not to the non French speaking audience.
To conclude :Transit is the one with a short track that is the most similar to Steve Stapelton's work.Repression is half a blues number half a demented LP with some of the best French and American free jazz musicians of this time.Feu et Rythme is definitely the one to get if you're in vanguard music. The whole record is breathtaking. I just can't figure out why this one is always missed when refered to NWW, since it all makes sense this is the most forward thinking one of all.
So you know what to do from now on.

Colette Magny - 1972 - Repression

Colette Magny 

01. Oink Oink   
  a) Babylone - U.S.A.   
  b) Cherokee   
  c) Djoutche   
  d) Libérez Les Prisionniers Politiques   
02. Répression
03. Chronique Du Nord   
04. Camarade-Curé   

Alto Saxophone – Juan Valoaz (tracks: A1 to A4)
Double Bass – Barre Phillips (tracks: B1 to B3), Beb Guerin
Drums – Noel McGhie (tracks: A1 to A4)
Guitar – Colette Magny (tracks: B1 to B3)
Piano – François Tusques (tracks: A1 to A4)
Trumpet – Bernard Vitet (tracks: A1 to A4)
Vocals – Colette Magny

Born 31 October 1926, Paris, France, d. 12 June 1997, Villefranche-de-Rouerge, France. Magny was one of the most striking and politicized of French singer-songwriters to emerge in the 60s. The daughter of a grocery salesman and an actress (though her mother only took up this profession at the age of 57), Magny started work as a bilingual secretary and translator at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in 1948, remaining in full-time employment there until 1962. Her interest in English-speaking culture introduced her to the work of blues and jazz singers, including Bessie Smith and Ella Fitzgerald. Having been instructed on guitar and banjo by the French jazz musician Claude Luter, she began to compose her own blues material, performing in and around the French capital. She played regularly at the Contrescarpe cabaret club, where she was spotted by enigmatic promoter Mireille, who booked Magny for her television show, Le Petit Conservatoire De La Chanson, and Magny’s version of “Saint James Infirmary” attracted rave reviews. The next day’s edition of the Paris-Presse newspaper proclaimed: “France has found her own Ella Fitzgerald”. Having left the civil service, she signed a contract with CBS Records and released her debut single, “Melocoton”, which reached the charts. However, she did not dabble with the mainstream French pop charts for long. Subsequent material included quotations from the Bible, Chekhov, Dostoevsky and Lenin set to music, translations of Lewis Carroll and Pablo Neruda and musical readings of French poets Victor Hugo and Rimbaud. She also continued to compose her own material, particularly after becoming politicized by the Algerian conflict of the 50s. Her song, “Le Mal De Vivre”, was banned by state broadcasters. A subsequent album, R?pression, reflected angrily on such censorship. She took an active role in the Paris student riots, helping to organize sit-ins and benefit concerts. In the 70s, Magny continued to branch out into new musical territory, working in jazz, rock and contemporary pop formats. Her 1973 album, Feu Et Rythme, won the Grand Prix du Disque from the Acad?mie Charles Cros. In the 80s she moved to the south of France, but thereafter her career was hampered by a chronic spinal disease. Despite this, she remained a huge influence on French political and musical culture, her curmudgeonly persona emphasized by one of her final outbursts, condemning ‘the bastards who pretend I’m already dead. I want to prove to them that I’m still alive, still creating.'”

Colette Magny - 1970 - Feu et rythme

Colette Magny
Feu et rythme

01. Feu Et Rythme
02. K³ Blues
03. Brave Nègre
04. U.S.A. Doudou
05. Jabberwocky
06. Soupe De Poissons
07. Malachites
08. Prend Moi, Ne Prend Pas   
09. A L'écoute   
10. La Marche   
11. L'église De Taban
12. Conascor   

Double Bass – Barre Phillips (tracks: A1 to A4, A6, B1, B4 to B5), Beb Guerin (tracks: A1 to A4, A6, B1, B4 to B5)
Guitar, Voice – Colette Magny

Released in a gatefold sleeve with texts inside.
An ensemble plays on track A5, A7 and B3, but the name of the ensemble is not mentioned. Neither are the players of the ensemble mentioned.

Colette Magny was a French singer/songwriter with a propensity for protest songs whose musical style was informed by blues, jazz, folk, poetry, and spoken word. Born on October 31, 1926, in Paris, France, she made her recording debut in 1963 with the single "Melocoton" on CBS. The single, the closest she would ever come to a mainstream breakthrough hit, was subsequently compiled on her full-length solo album debut, Les Tuileries (1964). Her final release on CBS, Les Tuileries is comprised of musical adaptations of works by writers Victor Hugo, António Jacinto, Arthur Rimbaud, Rainer Maria Rilke, Antonio Machado, and Louis Aragon, plus a couple American traditionals and a few originals. Magny returned two years later with "Avec" Poème (1966), an experimental full-length effort informed by musique concrète on which André Almuro is credited for the music. After this experimental effort on the short-lived label Disques Mouloudji, Magny began her long association with the label Le Chant du Monde, beginning with the album Colette Magny (1967), sometimes referred to by its album-opening song, "Vietnam 67." Subsequent albums on Le Chant du Monde include Magny 68 (1969), Feu et Rythme (1970), Répression (1973), Transit (1975), Chili un Peuple Crève... (1976), Visage -- Village (1977), Je Veux Chaanter (1979), Thanakan (1981), Cahier d'une Tortue (1981), and Chansons Pour Titine (1983). In later years, Magny self-released the album Kevork (1989) on the label Colette Magny Promotion, and some of her Le Chant du Monde output was reissued in the early '90s. Her death on June 12, 1997, in Villefranche-de-Rouergue, Aveyron, France, sparked another round of reissues including Melocoton (1997), which compiled the highlights of her CBS output, and Blues (1999), which is essentially a repackaged version of her final Le Chant du Monde album, Chansons Pour Titine.

Cathy Berberian - 1970 - Magnificathy, The Many Voices of Cathy Berberian

Cathy Berberian
Magnificathy, The Many Voices of Cathy Berberian


01 - La lettera amorosa - Montiverdi
02 - Debussy, Chanson de Bilitis - La flute de Pan
03 - La chevelure
04 - Le tombeau des Naides
05 - Cage - A Flower
06 - Cage - The Wonderful Widow of eighteen Springs
07 - Busotti - 'O' Atti Vocalis
08 - Weill - Subaraya Johnny
09 - McCartney,Lennon - Ticket to Ride
10 - Gershwin - Summertime
11 - Berberian - Stripsody

Piano, Harpsichord – Bruno Canino
Voice – Cathy Berberian

The voice is unique, and so is Cathy Berberian's selection of music for these 1970 recordings. What other singer would have risked such an unlikely rag-bag of pieces, let alone been able to fashion it into a sustained and marvellous entertainment? If Berberian's most enduring achievements are ultimately to be found in her work with the European avant-garde in the 1960s and 1970s, she will also be remembered as a startling recitalist, and this strange, exquisite compilation serves as a happy memento for all those who fondly recall her inimitable salon style.
Berberian strides confidently through what to many would be an assault course of a programme. Her Monteverdi singing, represented here by the Lettera amorosa, was celebrated long before the early music movement gathered momentum, and it remains a model of intelligent monodic delivery indeed it puts some of today's specialist early-music singers to shame. A less likely success is her Debussy, partly whispered into the microphone with disarming frankness and intimacy, partly sung in full voice. The John Cage performances, as one would expect, are immaculate; I cannot imagine a voice more obviously suited to the childlike ritualistic chanting of lines from Joyce's Finnegans Wake in The wonderful widow of eighteen springs. The popular items are equally glorious: a deeply indignant Surabaya Johnny (sung in English), a delicately crooned Summertime and an outrageous coloratura performance of the Lennon/McCartney classic A ticket to ride dressed up to sound like opera seria crossed with a Brandenburg concerto.
The finale is Berberian's own Stripsody, captured in concert with all the noises of a delighted audience and here one senses, more acutely than in the pieces recorded in the studio, her exceptional talent as a communicator. Actress, mimic, singer and stage personality all rolled into one, she inspired many music-theatre pieces that will never seem quite right in the hands of any other artist and in Stripsody she created for herself precisely the fantasy world—part noise, part music, part drama—through which she most liked to roam

Cathy Berberian - 1967 - Revolution / Beatles Arias Chantés Par Cathy Berberian

Cathy Berberian
Revolution / Beatles Arias Chantés Par Cathy Berberian

01. Ticket To Ride   
02. I Want To Hold Your Hand   
03. Michelle    2:28
04. Eleanor Rigby   
05. Yellow Submarine   
06. Here, There And Everywhere   
07. Help!   
08. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away   
09. Yesterday   
10. Can't Buy Me Love
11. Girl   
12. A Hard Day's Night   

13. Pourquoi Je Chante Les Beatles?
14. Introduction   
15. Ticket To Ride   
16. Yesterday
17. Ticket To Ride

Harpsichord – Guy Boyer (tracks: 1 to 12)
Tracks 1 to 12, originally released in 1967. Unnamed chamber music ensemble led by Guy Boyer, harpsichord.
Recorded December 1966 at Studio Arsonor, Paris.

Tracks 13: Cathy Berberian interviewed on Radio France, February 1975
Tracks 14 to 15: recorded at the Festival d'Avignon, 1982
Tracks 16 to 17: recorded at the Festival de Divonne-les-Bains, 1980

Cathy Berberian was an American mezzo-soprano vocalist based in Italy. She was known as a proponent of both avant garde and contemporary vocal music, moving during her career from debuting one of John Cage’s major works, his “Aria with Fontana Mix” composition in 1958, to covering Beatles songs. Cathy Berberian was an opera diva who never took herself too seriously and she was probably the hippest lady in classical music of her day, a sort of spiritual predecessor to Laurie Anderson in certain respects.

Born in 1925, after attending Columbia University, Berberian received a Fulbright scholarship in 1949 to study music at the Milan Conservatory where she would meet her future husband, the great composer Luciano Berio, who would write music for her during their marriage (you might say they were collaborations considering how integral her contribution is!) and afterwards. His Requies: in memoriam Cathy composition premiered the year after her death of a sudden heart attack at the age of 57 in 1983. It’s interesting to note that when she passed, Berberian was to sing “The Internationale” (ala Marilyn Monroe) on TV in Rome to Karl Marx on the anniversary of his birth. That’s the sort of performer Cathy Berberian was. She just didn’t take it all that seriously, and yet, she took her artform very seriously indeed. Pompous, she wasn’t, although she was the most celebrated vocal recitalist of her time spent on Earth.

Sylvano Bussotti, Hans Werner Henze, William Walton and even Igor Stravinsky works for Cathy Berberian’s distinctive voice. She’s even name-checked in the Steely Dan song “Your Gold Teeth” on Countdown to Ecstasy: “Even Cathy Berberian knows / There’s one roulade she can’t sing.” (There’s the answer to that Trivial Pursuit question!) Of his multifaceted wife, Berio said “The versatility of her mind was astonishing.” Aside from her great vocal gifts, she was also a gourmet chef, a fashion model, a collector of pornographic porcelain and she translated Jules Feiffer and Woody Allen’s work into Italian with Umberto Eco.

But for all of her high-falutin’ musical and intellectual pedigrees, Cathy Berberian was equally known as someone with a wicked sense of humor. Her Revolution album of Beatles covers is a unique and quirky collection indeed, but she really ties together her pop and avant garde inclinations beautifully in her own composition, “Stripsody,” a short vocal piece where she uses comic book exclamations and sounds (Words like “Boing!” “Vrrop vrrop” appear on the sheet music) to get the point across, sounding very much like a humorous version of Cage’s Fontana Mix combined with Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot’s “Comic Strip.”

It kind of annoys me that most people these days will only encounter Cathy Berberian through this album, mostly by proxy - tracks from here show up on compilation albums with such tasteful titles as The Weird Beatles, The Funny Beatles, Crap Beatles, whatever.  Man, this is the woman behind Stripsody and Omaggio A Joyce and Aria With Fontana Mix and however many other pieces.  John Cage and Igor Stravinsky both wrote tributes to her, she was that respected in the classical world.  Whatever.

So basically it's an album of Beatles covers, sung in an operatic style, with basic backing provided mostly by harpsichord and a string quartet.