Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I've been writing MISB for about four and a half years now. In blog years, that means I should be at least several months (if not years) extinct. In comparison, Innerviews, the site that carries on "conversations with music's most vital and original voices," has been around since 1994, is still going strong, and Anil Prasad, the man behind the site, will be publishing his first book, a collection of interviews from it, on October 19th. Now that's some staying power.
If you visit the Innerviews' website, you won't be struck by flashy graphics or elaborate lay-outs. There are no roll-over ads for the latest big name release. Everything is in a dull gray. What you will find though are countless interviews with musicians from around the world that leave out the hokey "if you were a fruit, which would you be" or "which were more explorative artists: the Beatles or the Monkees" questions and cut to the quintessential essence of what makes these musicians tick.
Innerviews: Music WIthout Borders the book culls twenty-four of Prasad's interview essays Prasad has conducted exclusively for the book and collects them together to be taken with you or read by the fire. Alphabetically arranged, the artists represented here range from Joe Zawinul (co-founder of the genre shaking jazz fusion group Weather Report) to Noa (Israeli singer and superstar) to Bela Fleck (who can make the banjo sound better?) to Chuck D (ummm, do I really have to comment on who he is?) to twenty other equally diverse musicians
While I can almost guarantee that you won't recognize all of their names (or even a third for that matter) or have heard their work, the truth of that matter is that is almost immaterial. Prasad does an incredible job of probing into each artist's musical core in such a way as to reveal the inner workings of music as each of them interprets it, revealing artistry that in itself carries wonderment. Although not specifically called such by all included, one gets the sense of a musical spirituality here. And even if you don't want to learn who Bill Laswell is and why he turned down working with Miles Davis, you can simply skip to the next artist and continue on your merry way, returning some day when you finally check out Tabla Beat Science.
Weather Report - Birdland : Heavy Weather
Tabla Beat Science - Tala Matrix : Live in San Francisco at Stern Grove