In 1967, Basho released two albums on the Takoma label. The music within both The Falconer’s Arm I & II is Basho at his most visionary, spiritual, emotional best. The playing is straight from consciousness and on into the ether, the listening experience otherworldly. This is true psychedelic music, spiritual transcendence by strength of strings.
The vocals are kept to a minimum on these two albums, lengthy ragas making up most of the running time. Basho’s philosophy of “soul first - technique later” was probably never truer than here.
In a previous Basho post, I have mentioned the need for his music to be reissued. It is simply criminal that these two albums remain original issue vinyl only. In 2001, John Fahey conceived a Robbie Basho sampler entitled ‘Bashovia’. It contained tracks from both Falconer’s Arm L.P.’s, but they should reissued as originally released, retaining the original concept.
I should make it clear that these vinyl rips are not of the greatest quality (but hell, they‘re better than nothing). If anyone knows of better versions, please let me know.
The selections are followed by Basho’s own notes.
The Falconer’s Arm I
01. The Falconer’s Arm
02. Tassajara - Zen Shinji
03. Lost Lagoon Suite
a) Walking Into The Forest
c) Blue Wolf
d) Sky Medicine
f) Walking Out Of The Forest
04. Pavan Hindustan
The Falconer's Arm - A rough-hewn piece from my personal forest of recollection. It could be an ancient Scotch Crusader's wail for overcoming ignoble establishments. There’s one thing the Blues is afraid of and that's the pipes.
Tassajara - Zen Shinji - A dedication sung to Tassajara - site of an old hot springs resort now the first Zen Monastery in the U.S., situated in the California Mountains southeast of Carmel. The piece itself is a duet for Guitar and Flute. The fine musicianship of Susan Graubard made it.
Lost Lagoon Suite - Vancouver, Canada - Theoretically a four movement symphony for a 12 string.
Pavan Hindustani - A miniature raga encapsuled in Western Guitar form, utilising the Running Himalayan Rondo.