FRKWYS Vol. 11: Mike Cooper & Steve Gunn - Cantos De Lisboa

Mike Cooper and Steve Gunn


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2014, RVNG Intl.

For the the eleventh volume of FRKWYS, an unrestricted series pairing contemporary artists with their influential predecessors, gifted guitar squire Steve Gunn meets roving, radiating legend Mike Cooper in Lisbon, Portugal. Sharing their vision over lengthy living room guitar sessions and evenings of cold wine in Fado taverns, Gunn and Cooper created Cantos de Lisboa, an album with variable vernacular shades and musical forms from Portugal’s antiquity. Cantos means “corner” in Portuguese, as well as “chant” or “song” (this latter meaning evolved from the Latin antecedent referring to stanzas of verse in poetry). For two artists whose roots lie in the country blues and its subverted offshoots, the proverbial “corner” is actually home, the undisturbed spot where music can flourish.

A tranquil interlude for these two travellers to create off-guard improvisations in their shared style of deconstructed guitar music, Cantos de Lisboa is a curious detail in the periphery of their snapshot of Portugal. In his fifty-year-plus career, Cooper’s global ventures have transported his music to exotic locales parallel to Lisbon. 2004’s Rayon Hula musically translated the patterned flora of aloha shirts (Cooper’s signature garment) as looped samples of famed Hawaiian vibraphone player Arthur Lyman for an avant vivified form of exotica. Rayon Hula signaled Cooper’s vital re-emergence as a dexterous alchemist of slide guitar. Cooper’s discography is colored with similar instances of casually conceptual, improvisatory guitar music, including his 1970 masterpiece Trout Steel (an album Gunn recalls in Cantos de Lisboa’s liner notes as shaping his own ambitions and music).

Tracklisting

Disc 1
1 Saudade Do Santos-o-Velho
2 Pena Panorama
3 Song For Charlie
4 Pony Blues
5 The Enchanted Moura
6 Lampedusa 2013
7 Saramago


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