Sunday, 1 January 2012

Rainsongs and Painsongs - pt.8

Rainsongs and Painsongs is the new edition of YHO which can be downloaded as a pdf here, free for all. It is at heart a celebration of Julie Tippetts' work, very much inspired by her collaboration with Martin Archer on Tales of FiNiN which is undoubtedly the most rewarding record of recent times.
This issue features a fair bit on matters relating to Simon Booth and Working Week/Weekend. This is primarily because I first came across Julie using the name Tippetts when she sang on the second Working Week single, the sultry Storm of Light. It wasn't the only time Julie sang with Working Week: she's featured on the extraordinary 12" Stella Marina with Jalal from the Last Poets. And with Keith Tippett she contributes to the final WW LP, Fire In The Mountain.
Interestingly, despite all the post-punk revisionism, Simon Booth really has not been given the credit for being a genuine pioneer. It's odd that some of the Barthes Boys persist in using phrases like 'faux jazz'. Without getting into a debate about authenticity and what that means and what it's worth it seems strange to dismiss Working Week and Weekend's jazz credentials. You only have to look at the musicians featured. Saxophonist Larry Stabbins, a cornerstone of both groups, had links with Keith Tippett going back to the start of the '70s via Centipede's wonderful Septober Energy. And Keith also played with Weekend, appearing on the Live At Ronnie Scott's set.
I don't think I will ever give up making the case for how important Weekend were as part of a small wave of people who helped broaden musical horizons in that post-punk period, opening minds and ears to jazz, latin sounds, bossa nova and so on. And their performances still seem special ...

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