Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-05-03 - 8:00 a.m.
I was very interested to see from Andrew’s diary that he has been listening to 1966 arranged Donovan – very much a neglected area – and I’ll be interested to see what he makes of it. He mentions Sunny Goodge Street as a precursor of 5LL. I would add to that the common source is Mingus. Also there is a Donovan song of that period called the Mandolin Man which has a very similar motif to One of These Things First. The arranger used at that time on the Donovan stuff was John Cameron – no relation that I am aware of.
Maybe its time to update Jazzin with Nick – especially the South East Michigan connection. You may think I am joking but I am actually talking about Milt Jackson who was probably the first of the Detroit musicians to emerge into prominence in bop and post bop. The vehicle was the Modern Jazz Quartet where the other leading light was pianist John Lewis. Lewis had the idea of mixing baroque forms with jazz and several important jazz compositions emerged such as Django. Within the stylistic balance of the MJQ Jackson was funk swing and the blues.
In Jazzin with Nick I don’t have anything much to say the more baroque oriented songs. After hearing Chris Hunter and Norah Jones do Day is Done, it is clear that the “ontological thinness” of these songs is sufficient for them to move very easily into the MJQ Baroque-Blue style. Indeed looking at the original bootleg of Time Has Told Me one can see how there was a tendency for the original rhythms to be looser. The Milt Jackson element is the blues inflection which is also salient in the ND bootlegs.
So I would claim that the Baroque element in 5LL is mostly MJQ with a bit of Mingus but with jazz element suppressed.
I have started on matching Andrew Duncan’s 34 Great Lead Forward tropes on the 36 lyrics of ND. I bounced a first take on this onto Mark and Andrew. If Prynne can influence the other seminal musician from Fitzwilliam then why not his predecessor. Actually the material which Paul fed the Observer which they didn’t publish makes such an influence virtually a certainty.
I have covered just over half the tropes starting with the 8 or 9 that fit like a glove – then moving onto the ones where the discussion is more elaborate and which are potentially more revealing. There will be another 6 or 9 which I am, leaving to last which will be just hard work. For example is there any sense in which ND disrupts his own symbolic processes in order to reveal and question the inner workings and energy flows. Not very often is my initial response.
At the moment I am very taken with Vasks 2nd String 4tet. I read the notes and discovered it has an ecological inspiration. Some of the sounds I really like are meant to literal imitations. I guess this is my way of celebrating Enlargement – that and listening to Tuur.
James phoned and we talked about the war – and money – this week he is studying Italian fascism. Vita is very involved in the snooker championship – she won the pool tournament with her friends.
I am pressing on with Andrew Duncan’s book which continues to amaze. He has some astonishing sections on feminism in the 80s, media and the legitimation of naked power within the culture.
I started on Andrew’s Wake of Poseidon CDROM. The imitial impression is very intimidating – a very smooth surface. For me the contrast is with the Partridge-Cunningham work which stretches over the same timespan and has not too distant roots in the artitistic innovation centred on Kent and in particular Maidstone. P-C are always lifting the lid on their symbolic processes to invite you in.