On Missouri Skies and The Art Of Storytelling

So it happened, I’m writing again about a ‘jazz guitar’ album. Twice a week? Am I looking at a new musical path? Well, no.
I do, however, looking for lyricists, people whose melodic phrases, emotions and sensitivity are outstanding. Or in short, like in folk music, I’m looking for storytellers to feed the child in me with stories about far away places and forgotten people.
Beyond the Missouri Sky (Short Stories)
Along comes Pat Metheny and Charlie Haden and release Beyond the Missouri Sky (Short Stories) in 1997.

I haven’t been to Missouri so I don’t know how the skies there, but it is indeed, very much, an album of short stories.


You know stories. They carry a mission. They should take your essence in a specific time and transform your being into something slightly different. You don’t have to become a changed person, just slightly different. You get that extra information in your brain, banging in the cells, trying to find correlation to your own life, memory, existence. When it finds, the info and your past or present collide. Sometimes they bring new resolutions, sometimes they are just a plain emotion simulators. The art of storytellling is sacred and should be done with a great care. Like baking. Put exactley the right amount of sugar, just a tiny bit of oil, not a whole lot of pecans and careful with the raisins. Storytelling in music, is exactley like that.

Some of the tracks are cover versions, some are original. Pat and Charlie’s playing is hypnotizing. I find myself staring at the stereo with a stupid smile. You know how weird you sometimes feel when you’re spending too much time in the sun? like half stoned-half empowered by the strengths of the sun? This is in a way how the album makes me feel.

When a guitarist-composer write with the task of storytelling in mind, playing less notes, allow some fresh air to exist between the notes – it passes a feeling of lying in the park for four hours in the sun. You’re ready to go home, and you’re not the same person for the rest of the day.

It’s funny, in the end, we’re all kids.

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Come Together: Sina Sarlak – Yekist

Israel, the country where I live, is a constant war zone.
Every time elections takes place, the right wingers are performing the usual international right wingers shtick – scare people to death about ‘the enemy’. When you talk about Jewish population, scaring them to death is not a hard task, history tells horror stories.

So now, elections time again, the current PM Netanyaho is all about ‘yeah, there are
problems but the biggest of them all is the Iranian nuclear bomb’. Forgive me for not spending more time in this post commenting on this nonsense.

Sina Sarlak - Yekist

However, it did drive me to listen to a lot of persian music in the last several of days and I got stuck on this beautiful album by Sina Sarlak (feat. Mohammad Bateni) – Yekist.
Music is created by people, for people. If they try to separate us, we should do our best to come closer to each other. Iranians release music, Israelis listen. No reason for it to be different.

Yekist is an all traditional Persian music album, mostly instrumentals though some vocals appear. I don’t know much about Sarlak or Bateni or any additional info about this album, but the music itself is just so beautiful.
The Persian tradition has brought so much beauty to the world, and the music is no exception. It’s full of drama and passion, even erotic at times.
If you’re not familiar with Persian music, you may want to try it out, this album is a good introduction to the tradition, it’s pretty light, a small group of players.
The album is available on all digital stores/streaming services.

For further reading about Persian culture and other middle east art, check out the awesome Reorient blog)

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Martin Taylor – Last Train to Hauteville

I recently came across a really beautiful album by English guitarist Martin Taylor.
The album, Last Train to Hautevill,  was released on 2010 and it’s one the best feel-good albums I’ve heard lately.
Taylor is known for his fingerstyle guitar playing and his catchy melodies, and this album is no different.












The album’s theme is in a way Martin’s tribute to the legendary guitar player Django Reinhardt, godfather of the gypsy-jazz if you will, and it is just the perfect soundtrack for a laid-back afternoon drive or wine sipping on the balcony.

With Jack Emblow’s accordion and Alan Barnes on Sax and Clarinet (among other fine musicians in the band), they create an easy-going light traveler jazzy album that takes you to a trip in French vineyards and distant villages where you can buy bread and deep it in a superb olive oil and vinegar .

Unfortunately I couldn’t find any youtube clips with album tracks but if you’ll visit Martin’s website, you’ll be able to listen there, or go to the Spotify album page here.
Fun times throughout the album and a good break from reality.


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