Who knows where the time goes?
A couple of blinks since the start of another year and suddenly, shockingly, it’s Christmas Time again.
That distant train in the distance is now gliding into the station – ready to go!
And, for The immortal Jukebox, where Tradition is prized, another celebration of the Season in song.
So, without further ado, let’s start another Christmas Alphabet with a Welsh Wizard and one of the most intriguing figures in popular culture – Mr John Cale.
John Cale was, of course, a founder member of The Velvet Underground which alone would ensure him an honoured place in History.
But, the fearless avant garde seeker, the manic viola player, was, is, also the singer in the Chapel Choir, the organist lifting the old hymns to the celestial rafters.
The devotee of William Burroughs and John Cage was also steeped in lyrical Welsh Poetry.
John Cale knows the power of mystery expressed in rhythm, rhyme and ritual cadence (perhaps intuited from hearing the stories in the great Welsh treasury of Mythology and Romance, The Mabinogion).
‘A Child’s Christmas In Wales’ is a signature Cale song from his 1973 masterpiece record, ‘Paris 1919’.
Now, a Christmas we can all recognise is in there :
‘With mistletoe and candle green’
‘The cattle graze bold uprightly’
‘The hallelujah crowds’
‘The prayers of all combined’
‘Good neighbours were we all’.
But, this is John Cale!
So, we also have the ten murdered oranges, the references to Sebastopol and Columbus and the long legged bait.
There’s a fevered dream here as well as nostalgic memory.
The child, the adult and the dreaming psyche containing both, uniting to produce glowing beauty.
Continuing the theme of glowing loveliness and dream let’s invite the seductive Horn of Chet Baker to still our hearts and set us all waltzing towards Christmas.
Did ye get healed?
Chet’s Trumpet is joined here by Wolfgang Lackerschmid on Vibes, Nicola Stilo on Guitar and Flugelhorn, Gunter Lenz and Rocky Knauer on Bass, Peri Des Santos on Guitar and Edir Des Santos on Drums.
The Alphabet Series will continue on 7/9/11/13/15/17/19 and 21 December.
Underline those dates in your Calendars!
As a special gift for this initial offering here’s a standout solo Live version of, ‘A Child’s Christmas In Wales’ to fortify us all.
I’ve always been a fan of Chet Baker – a nice, seasonal reminder.
All are impactuous for a loving season! Cheers!
Have to concur with a few others here, John Cale wouldn’t feature near the top of my Xmas playlist, although I did buy “Vintage Violence” back in 1970, (I think on the strength of those great Velvet Underground albums), but must be honest, it never “did much” for me. I do however, acknowledge that “Paris 1919” is widely recognised as a classic.
I’ve just a few Chet Baker records, but love them all, particularly “The Route” with Art Pepper, I’m no expert on jazz, but find that album just sublime.
Also loved your item Thom on Rick Danko, will add my contribution shortly, (problem is, how can one begin to discuss The Band in just a couple of paragraphs).
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