Oh dear! What have I promised “with the prospect of a sitar-tastic April? I thought four tracks featuring the sitar would be easy. Apart from a number of CDs made by ageing hippies, I’ve got three albums bought for me by my mother-in-law in India and an album from Pakistan. Four sitar tracks should be a cinch.
But no, I have do not have one CD from the Indian sub-continent with a sitar on it how did that happen? So I’m falling back on the ageing hippies – and you know how unreliable they can be. Well, I don’t have to panic for a little while, I’ve this week and next covered and if all else fails I could (possibly should) go out and buy a Ravi Shankar album. The great man celebrated his 90th birthday earlier this week.
Anyway, enough of what I’m not posting or what I may post, on to what I do have for you today, John Renbourn. The track is Lamento di Tristan / La Rotta from The Lady and the Unicorn, originally released as an LP in 1970 though my copy is a CD re-release from 1992. I first heard the LP in the year it was first released, a flat mate had bought a copy. It was played constantly; in fact my, admittedly rather hazy, musical memories of that flat consist of this on the turntable or fingers fumbling over an acoustic guitar trying to figure out Davy Graham’s Anji (sometimes called Angie).
In the sleeve notes to the album Renbourn writes “Lamento di Tristan and La Rotta are fourteenth century Italian pieces played originally on vielle. They (are played) without harmony but have the tune doubled either on sitar or glockenspiel. On this track you hear Renbourn on guitar and sitar and Terry Cox playing the glockenspiel.
Oh! I’ve just notice that there is a great version of Charles Mingus’s Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (my post of 2 weeks ago), John Renbourn duetting with Stefan Grossman, in the video section of John Renbourn’s website.