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Monday Notes

Eva Cassidy sings Fields of Gold by Sting. A cover that surpasses the original

[Monday’s Notes No.156] A beautiful love song, is there anything more classic? Perhaps only sung with a good guitar accompaniment, with simplicity. Such is the case with this performance by Eva Cassidy singing Fields of Gold, a song composed by Sting.

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Monday Notes

Compay Segundo, Chan Chan. Four chords and four towns

[Monday Note no. 137] Buena Vista Social Club is a documentary film shot by Wim Wenders in 1999. The film follows the album of the same name by two years and aims to promote the music of some aged Cuban musicians brought back to the public eye by guitarist Ry Cooder. Among them is guitarist…

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Monday Notes

Robert Johnson, They’re Red Hot. Between blues and minstrel show

[Monday Notes No. 135] Robert Johnson is a blues legend. He died at only 27 years of age, of him there remain a handful of recordings in which he sings accompanied by guitar, in the classic Delta blues style. One of these recordings, however, is very different from the others: it’s a song, entitled They’re…

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Monday Notes

Carlos Lyra, Lobo Bobo. The house of bossa nova

[Monday Notes no. 120] The flat of lawyer Jairo Leao was to bossa nova what Minton’s was to jazz: a place for gatherings, experimentations, creations. His 15-year-old daughter Nara Leao had a group of musician friends, including Carlos Lyra, her guitar teacher and author of the music for Lobo Bobo, one of the first bossanova…

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Monday Notes

Arjen’s Bag, John McLaughlin and English jazz

[Monday Notes no. 111] That same year that he participated in Miles Davis’ masterpiece In a Silent Way, guitarist John McLaughlin recorded a beautiful lead album entitled Extrapolation, accompanied by other English musicians like himself. Let’s listen and analyse Arjen’s Bag.

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Monday Notes

Joao Gilberto Bebel Gilberto, Chega De Saudade. From choro to bossa nova

[Monday Notes no. 97] Joao Gilberto is the greatest bossa nova singer, the first to offer his voice and guitar to Antonio Carlos Jobim’s compositions. One of the best known is the song Chega De Saudade, performed here by Joao Gilberto in duet with his daughter Bebel.

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Monday Notes

Roberto Menescal, Garota de Ipanema. Between bossa nova and jazz

[Monday Notes no. 91] Roberto Menescal was one of the leading figures in the invention of bossa nova. Guitarist, composer and producer, he wrote songs with Antonio Carlos Jobim and played on numerous records from the 1960s onwards. We analyse his interpretation of the Brazilian classic Garota de Ipanema.

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Monday Notes

Jimi Hendrix, Hey Joe. Rock star excesses and great music

[Monday Notes no. 40] Jimi Hendrix’s appearance at the 1967 Monterey festival has become legendary. While playing Hey Joe, the guitarist has a physical, almost carnal relationship with his instrument, playing with the guitar behind his head and even with his teeth.

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Monday Notes

Bob Dylan, Ballad of a Thin Man. Mr. Jones’ questions

[Monday Notes no. 23] The recording of the album Highway 61 Revisited was long and complicated, Bob Dylan wanted to replay some tracks many times, to the point of exasperating his musicians. Yet in his music there are no difficult instrumental passages and the singing part is simple, at times almost declamatory. So what was…

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Monday Notes

Elvis Presley, Jailhouse Rock. The birth of rock and roll

[Monday Notes no. 19] Elvis Presley was rock’s first great rock hero. A whole generation recognised themselves in his provocative dancing, his flamboyant look, his songs full of energy and rhythm. Let us analyse his song Jailhouse rock.

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