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Perry Como with Derek Bailey: Uncharted Harmonies

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Perry Como with Derek Bailey: Uncharted Harmonies
Imagine, if you will, the musical equivalent of a black-tie gala crashing into an abstract art exhibit. This is Uncharted Harmonies, where Perry Como, the man whose voice could soothe a charging bull, meets Derek Bailey, a guitarist who thinks musical notes are too mainstream. Together, they have created an album that is as unlikely as finding a Picasso in a thrift shop. It was recorded after hours at the Village Vanguard in 1974 on reel-to-reel tape.

From the get-go with "Whispered Echoes," it is clear we are not in Kansas anymore. Como serenades, his voice smoother than a buttered slide, while Bailey counters with guitar riffs that sound like he is solving a Rubik's cube with his strings. It is an auditory odd couple, a musical mismatch made in heaven, or a very avant-garde corner of purgatory.

Tracks like "Melodic Dissonance" and "Harmonic Revolutions" are less like songs and more like debates where notes are arguments, and frankly, it seems like Bailey's guitar might be winning. Yet, Como's unflappable croon keeps everything grounded, reminding one of a serene pilot navigating through a storm of sonic apathy.

Then there is "Silent Conversations," the album's emotional apex, where Como and Bailey engage in a dialogue so profound, that words would only ruin the moment. It is like watching a mime and a street preacher somehow finding common ground. Here, the fusion of Como's vocal warmth with Bailey's cold, experimental edge crystallizes into something unexpectedly touching.

Critics might scoff, suggesting that pairing Como's silk with Bailey's sandpaper is like expecting a cat to walk like a dog. Yet it is this incongruity that injects the album with its charm. Uncharted Harmonies does not just cross genre boundaries; it leaps over them with the grace of a gazelle wearing clown shoes.

Perry Como and Derek Bailey have not just made an album; they have concocted a musical monstrosity that is as mesmerizing as it is mad. The album stands as a towering testament to the power of unlikely collaborations, serving up a feast of sounds that is as nutritious for the soul as it is baffling for the brain. So hats off (and possibly eyebrows raised) to this daring duo for reminding us that in the world of music, there is always room for a little more "weirdness."

Track Listing

Whispered Echoes; Melodic Dissonance; Harmonic Revolutions; Silent Conversations; My Funny Frankenstein; Euripides You Pay for These; Old Man River; When Smoke Gets in Your Nostrils.

Personnel

Album information

Title: Uncharted Harmonies | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Self Produced

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