|Cream / Prince||Prince & the New Power Generation||4:12|
|Gett Off / Prince||Prince & the New Power Generation||4:31|
Waylon Jennings spent 20 years with RCA Records, signing with the label in 1965 and remaining with them until 1985, when he moved on to record for MCA Records. Needless to say, his key creative years were with RCA, particularly after 1972, when Jennings renegotiated his deal to give him more artistic control over what he produced. This box set package includes five of the resulting RCA albums that Jennings produced between 1973 and 1978, including 1973's Lonesome, On'ry and Mean, 1974's This Time and The Ramblin' Man, 1977's Ol' Waylon, and 1978's Waylon & Willie (with Willie Nelson), with whatever bonus tracks that were included on RCA's individual CD reissues of each album. It's a whole lot of Waylon, probably more than the casual listener would need and serious fans would most likely already have all of, but a big chunk of Jennings' legacy is here, so it makes an easy way to connect with his most creative period as an artist in one simple swoop.
"Buben" means, basically, "mischievous lad," and that's what Carl is plus one more in Reichel. These wild rhythmic games, played on concertina, accordion, daxophone, and violin, are based in strange traditions -- those of Irish and English traditional music, and those of South African jive music, though God knows how. The concertina was invented simply because it would sound good when paired with the violin. There are hints of spooky melodies that come out of the ether of time itself, expired songs from forgotten times and irreverent baudy hymns that belong only in the hallways of free improvisation. The daxophone complements these other instruments beautifully because it is not reigned in by tonality.
The sections are to be divided by even and odd numbers, and that may have indeed been a strategy employed by Carl and Reichel, but it hardly matters. This is free improvising that leans heavily on the structure of song for its musicality, but nothing here could be called a song in any sense of the word. Perhaps this is what makes Buben...Plus such a joy; the goodwill and wildly inventive expression inherent in these pieces are positively infectious. Both men had a rowdy time playing together -- as Reichel and Carl usually do ---but this is perhaps the weirdest and yet most accessible collaboration they've released to date.
Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone define the spaghetti western style of film and music so squarely, the competition is barely considered. It was on the backs of films such as this 1967 smash, starring a pre-Dirty Harry Clint Eastwood, that their well-known reputation rests. The CD is more than you expect. Of course, Morricone has that unique style that he and older, less Italian-influenced Western film composers made synonymous with the action from St. Louis to the Rockies, and the deserts from there to the coast. There are the clip-clop beats similar to the trot of horses, the weary harmonica trill, and the peculiar whistling, that puckered sound of aloneness that still makes one think of solitary battles against the self as much as mounted foes. But Morricone also loves rustic, romantic orchestrations that use his whole orchestra. When a trumpet hits a solo on "Theme From Fistful of Dollars," backed by chilly strings and Spanish-strummed acoustic guitars, it's one of Byronic, beautiful, spacious solitude. Cymbals crash over a piano's bass keys, amidst rumbling trumpets and trombones, and the thump of timpani. Flutes and violins dart as much as thrust and parry, and background voices "Ahhh" in that everyman way, along with whip-cracks. It's all pretty prairie, rolling hills, grasslands and cattle, wagon wheels, and unshaven men with uncertain life spans. It's so mood-setting, you expect to see cactus or bison outside your door instead of an asphalt city. It's instrumental music that's a veritable co-star in a motion picture, not a pack of pre-recorded hit songs all wedged into a film like large square pegs into tiny round holes. This is authentic film scoring, and it is as alluring and inviting as Leone's movie itself. You can see it just to hear this.