Kip Hanrahan – Beautiful Scars (2007) [Japan]
SACD Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 65:55 minutes | Front/Rear Covers | 3,01 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Front/Rear Covers | 1,39 GB
Beautiful Scars was more than worth the wait. The album’s cast, is, as usual, full of all-stars: Steve Swallow, Robby Ameen, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Milton Cardona, Fernando Saunders, Ron Blake, Alfredo Triff, Yosvany Terry Cabrera, Dafnis Prieto, Pedro Martinez, Bryan Carrott, and himself of course. His guest vocalists are an amazing, unlikely batch who work together in many ways: Ross, Xiomara Laugart, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Leijia Hanrahan, Lindsay Marcus. Some friends help out in various places: Billy Bang, Anthony Cox, Richie Flores, Mario Rivera, and the great guitarist Leo Nocentelli. The music is, for lack of a better word “Exotic”: here, jazz meets many Latin rhythms, meets organic breakbeats and folk musics from all over the world in this heady stew of lyrics born of raw eros, politics, spirituality, and art-poetry.
The percussive notes that begin “Busses from Heaven,” the opening track on percussionist , composer, and musical auteur Kip Hanrahan’s gorgeous Beautiful Scars are packed with the complexity, emotion, pathos, and raw yet seductive elegance of his sensually charged musical “films.” The place might be Havana, but then it again it might be Miami, Algeria, or Bogota. A bassline, a whispering hi-hat cymbal, Latin rhythms on congas and timbales meet a violin, chanted backing vocals, sampled dialogue, and marimbas with acoustic guitars before Brandon Ross begins to sing: “Here in heaven/a bus will take you anywhere British Leyland take us away/Put your hand in mine/my tongue in your mouth again/Here from Leyland will take us today…” It seems it’s Havana after all, the home of the imported busses from Great Britain’s Leland company, and Fidel’s government couldn’t be bothered to change the destinations on their fronts. So no matter where you picked one up, or where you were going in those early heady days of the Revolution, your destination might be stated to be Leicester Square, Liverpool, Birmingham, or perhaps Cairo, Beijing, Jerusalem, Athens, or Delhi – because Leyland exported their busses everywhere. In a nutshell, this is Hanrahan’s desiring machine universe. His music comes from the hopes, dreams, rage, and ruins of cultures largely unknown to White America, makes its own detour through vast soundscapes provided by expatriates and refugees who happen to be musicians and poets, and comes out a new world order of the lost, the beautiful, and the beaten who have access to pleasures most of us wouldn’t dream of, simply because of their displacement. The entire set is wonderful, but “Busses from Heaven,” the languid title cut on which we hear Ross’ most gorgeous recorded vocal; the slippery, sex groove of “Carvaggio/A Quick Balance,” with killer sax work by Blake, he moody tone poetry of “One Summer Afternoon (For Gil Evans),” and the moaning percussion jazz-blues that is “Salt in the Mozambique Night (Glasgow, for Jack Bruce)” are highlights. Hanrahan’s records are not so much easy to listen to as they are obsessive, addictive. Once this album is heard in full, nothing can be played after it – unless it’s another record by him. Beautiful Scars is the most elegant, graceful, steamy record Hanrahan’s released yet. You’ll have to hunt for it, but it is worth whatever you pay for it.
01. Busses From Heaven
02. Real Time And Beautiful Scars
03. The Girl Who Won’t Resolve
04. Caravaggio/ A Quick Balance
05. Night Cumbia
06. One Summer Afternoon
07. Xiomara Wears The Heat Beautifully
08. Paris Through Tears
10. Leija Heads To Brooklyn
11. Milton Cardona
12. Salt In The Mozambique Night
13. Rumba Of Cities
14. The Accountant Of Morning
15. Winterscape With I.M.F.
16. City Of Gold(Palestine Blues)
Recorded: August 2004 through March 2007 at LoHo Studios, Shelter Island Studios, John Kilgore Studios, Tony Bennett Studios, Dick’s Place Studio.
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound.