Wednesday, 10 April 2013

ROBBIE BASHO - BASHO SINGS!




















Takoma 1967

01. Salangadou
02. Allons Au Ball Colinda
03. Katari Takawaitha
04. Basket Full of Dragons
05. Soliloquy
06. Tibetian Bach
07. Dance Calinda
08. Basho's Blues
09. Black Mare Moan
10. New Lhasa, New Year's Chorale

Basho's fifth album and his third for the Takoma label. A more commercial listen than what came before. A few of the songs even have a traditional blues based structure with the majority still being rooted in folk. There are however, no raga flights of fancy, Basho reigns it in to deliver more of a song based album. Still essential, still bizarrely not re-issued.


3 comments:

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Hugh Tinling said...

In contrast to the notes above here on the blog ("Basho's fifth album and his third for the Takoma label.") this was actually Robbies 1st record on John Fahey's Takoma label, and also his first record overall. It was during the recoding of this album that Robbie and I first met -in what was to be a life-long friendship.
Robbie, a long-term resident of Berkeley CA and poor as a church-mouse, had traveled to Seattle to have the engineer of the listener-support KRAB FM, Jeramy Lansman record -at minimum cost- the master tapes for this LP. I was working at the station (had my operator's license, and ran the transmitter and board one night a week) and was the first person Robbie encountered at the station. He and I immediately hit it off and I had him stay at my place during the week of recording all the pieces.
John Fahey, Robbie, and Leo Kookie had followed the practice of many traditional (Afro American) blues players in stringing acoustic guitars with steel strings for the ringing clear tone (that extra mechanical tension slowly tore Robbie's guitars apart necessitating ongoing repairs. Although Robbie did a few pieces here in the "Blues" style, he would quickly move on to a more worldly stage with exposure to the likes of Indian sitar master, Ravi Shankar, and later study with Indian sarod master, Ali Akbar Khan.
At he end of the week, I decided to give him, and a young woman (Betsy Tripp) living on a boat near where I was staying, a ride down to the Bay area. During that trip we all became fast friends, and Betsy and I fell in love and married a few months later. Robbie would later visit us often thru the years, and we got to attend many of his concerts. He was practiced "visionary music" where during playing he was in an altered state where he literally was seeing the places his many songs were written about. So many folks have reported being transported by his music, and seeing visions while listening to him. Gassho, Robbie, gassho, (though that happens to rhyme with his assumed name, "Basho", it is coincidental; it means a bow of appreciation and gratitude.