Maryan e Nairam

Da molto tempo volevo farvi sentire questa canzone di Robert Wyatt, Maryan, tratto dall’album Shleep del 1997.

Shleep

allmusic.com

Questa è la recensione che ne fa su All Music Guide Jason Ankeny, che gli attribuisce un punteggio di ****½:

Robert Wyatt continues to follow his singular musical path with the lovely Shleep, delivering another album of considerable quirky charm and understated beauty; a less melancholy affair than much of his recent work, the record is informed by a hazy, dreamlike quality perfectly in keeping with the elements of subconsciousness implicit in the title.

Shleep è un disco di collaborazioni registrato allo studio di Phil Manzanera e Maryan non è un’eccezione. La musica è di Philip Catherine e Wyatt ha scritto le parole:

Over an ocean away
Like salmon
Turning back for Nayram
To the delta
With the rivulets tumbling down
Glide over sand
Around the rocks
Back through the wavering weeds
And the turds
In the way
Riversmell
On the route
Along away
Over gravel
The weirs of the tributaries
Against the icy waterflow
To Maryan

Gli altri musicisti – oltre allo stesso Wyatt alla voce, alla tromba e alle tastiere – sono Chucho Merchan al contrabbasso alle percussioni, Chikako Sato al violino e Philip Catherine alla chitarra. Lasciamo che sia lo stesso Wyatt, nelle note di copertina del disco, a presentarceli a modo suo:

One of Phil’s best ideas was to invite Chucho Merchan over to give us a couple of bass lines. He wears little glittering chains as shoelaces: serious stuff. He has ears like greased lightning but doesn’t make a big deal of it.

“How come you’re up a tree, if you want to catch fish” is one of Chikako’s wise sayings. Chikako Sato has brought a touch of class and magic to the out-of-the-way country town where I now live, breaking out of the classical mould to play violin (and viola) with such diverse musicians as Grimsby jazz pianist, Leo Solomon and … well … me.

I met Philip Catherine in Brussels over two decades ago, when I briefly joined him on stageduring a party to mourn his last free night before having to do national service.
Belgium has a unique guitar tradition (Django, René Thomas) of which Philip is a stunning example.

Ma forse, per una volta, Wyatt è stato poco generoso con il suo colloboratore. Perché – anche se io non ne sapevo niente fino a poco fa – Philip Catherine è un musicista importante. Ancora una volta ricorro a All Music Guide:

Philip Catherine has been called the “Young Django” by none other than Charles Mingus, and upon hearing his elliptical, rapid-fire, expressively melodic acoustic guitar, there can be no doubt as to whose records he was absorbing as a youth. Born to a Belgian father and English mother living in London during World War II, Catherine went back with his family to Brussels after the war, where he learned guitar and turned professional at 17. The examples of Larry Coryell and John McLaughlin led Catherine into jazz-rock; he played with Jean-Luc Ponty’s Experience from 1970 to 1972 before taking a year off to study at Boston’s Berklee School. Back in Europe in 1973, he founded the band Pork Pie, which recorded into the mid- and late ’70s; he also formed a duo with Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen and worked with such musicians as Mingus and Stephane Grappelli. If anything, Catherine is best-known in America for his duets with Coryell, which began spontaneously in Berlin in 1976, triggered some lovely duo albums for Elektra, and helped steer Coryell back to the acoustic guitar.

La musica di Maryan è quella di Nairam, un brano pubblicato da Philip Catherin nel suo album September Man del 1974 e di nuovo (ma non so se è una versione nuova o una riedizione) nell’album omonimo del 1976. Non sono riuscito a trovare in rete la versione di Catherine stesso, ma su YouTube c’è questa eseguita da Kit Watkins.

Bellissima versione anche questa. Quanto a Maryan, l’hanno incisa anche Ginevra Di Marco e Cristina Donà sull’album-tributo The Different You – Robert Wyatt e Noi del 1998. A me non piace particolarmente, ma lascio giudicare a voi.

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