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Tom Waits

Tom Waits, according to the esteemed American critic Robert Hilburn, is clearly one of the most important figures of the modern pop era. Such sentiments are not mere hyperbole; in a career that now spans four decades and over 20 albums, Tom Waits has long since emerged as an extraordinary innovative force, a singular voice whose music remains determinedly and even gloriously - well beyond the trivial fads and fashions of popular culture. Waits latest release, the 3CD set Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards adds further weight to that stellar reputation. Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards is a wide-ranging collection of 54 songs - including 30 new recordings equaling over three hours of rare and never-before heard music. The set comes complete with a 94-page booklet.

Each of the three CDs is separately grouped and sub-titled Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards to capture the full spectrum of Waits ranging and roving musical styles. Brawlers is chock full of raucous blues and full-throated juke joint stomp; Bawlers comprises Celtic and country ballads, waltzes, lullabies, piano and classic lyrical Waits songs while Bastards is filled with experimental music and strange tales.

In addition to the new work, Orphans features a number of songs originally recorded for the cinema, the theatre and other projects but which now find a home on a Waits album for the first time. They include his unique interpretations of songs by such extraordinarily diverse talents as The Ramones, Daniel Johnston, Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht, Leadbelly, Sparklehorse, Charles Bukowski and Jack Kerouac.

"Orphans are rough and tender tunes. Rhumbas about mermaids, shuffles about trainwrecks, tarantellas about insects, madrigrals about drowning, says Waits. Scared, mean orphan songs of rapture and melancholy. Songs that grew up hard. Songs of dubious origin rescued from cruel fate".

Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards (Anti Records) is Waits first release since 2004s much-lauded Real Gone. The album was written and produced by Waits with his wife and long-time collaborator Kathleen Brennan and is released in the UK on Tuesday 21th November 2006.

* * * Its been just over 30 years since Tom Waits made his recording debut. In that time his music has taken adventurous twists and turns, from confessional country-blues and jazz- flavoured lounge to primal rock and avant-garde musical theatre. By turns tender and poignant, strange and twisted, his songs have tended to explore the dark underbelly of society as he has given his voice to a litany of characters and tales on the fringe and in the fray.

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Tom Waits: Ringmaster Of The Elegant Riot

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[For Tammi Tam.] Somewhere change is jingling, there is an accordion moaning softly in some corner somewhere, a barstool is creaking--somewhere foul glasses are being grimly emptied... The dark eerie carnival is rising once more--hurry your children into safe dreams, lock the wine cabinet; tuck your long-lost sweethearts into forgettance. Tom Waits is here, those sub-human genius features are sizing you up, asking you how your night's been; he's pouring himself a drink (he doesn't ask). ...

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"Potresti dire che sono un fotografo jazz, alla faccia di chi mi definisce da sempre un fotografo rock!." Guido Harari scherza volentieri sulla sua nomea di “fotografo musicale," autore di alcuni degli scatti entrati nell'immaginario collettivo e che ritraggono artisti come David Bowie, Tom Waits, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Leonard Cohen, Fabrizio De André (alcuni dei suoi ritratti più celebrati sono riprodotti nella galleria abbinata a questa intervista: Guido Harari: A Primer, ma la lista è praticamente infinita).

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Read "Tom Waits: Real Gone" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski


With each successive album, Tom Waits has become harder to pin down. He is unorthodox and approaches things differently; he is strange, and as a result of that his music is strange, different and unorthodox. His last two (simultaneously released) albums ( Alice and Blood Money ) contained pieces specifically written for the theatre and found him in a distinctly theatrical (Brechtian) mode. Real Gone is Waits's most vital album in twelve years as he moves away from the feel ...

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Tom Waits: Small Change

Read "Tom Waits: Small Change" reviewed by Trevor MacLaren


Tom Waits Small Change Asylum 1976

Tom Waits is unlike any singer/songwriter before or since he burst on the scene with Closing Time in 1973. His music has always been original and eclectic, guiding his audience along an evolution from drunken skid row crooner to his present role as western music's deconstruction magician. Throughout a catalogue that spans thirty plus years of gushing genius, jazz has always been a foundation for much of Waits' ...

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Terry Edwards
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Steven Blane
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Kai Brant
vocals
John Allee
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John Notaro
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