Omer was one of the founder members of The Dead Brothers (of whom I’ve extolled the virtues of elsewhere on I94bar). However, I listened to the disc before I learned that. If you’re one of these cats who don’t quite ‘get’ how jazz as well as blues morphed into rock (the big bands in the '30s and '40s prided themselves on how loud they were), then all I can say is… dig this, suckers.
"Swing Cremona" is that rare item, a disc you can bop, hop and jive to, as well as dance like you’re tanked on tequila. So, it ain’t quite jazz, ain’t quite folk, blues and on and on. They said that about Django Reinhardt, and they were right. They squealed about Monk being too wrong to be jazz, and being too jazz to be pop, but he was both, and ended up in the bop basket.
Steve Lorkin photo
More than a decade ago, I was sitting in a Sydney pub with a beer after a Bob Dylan concert. I was amidst Dylan fans, including Jenny Kee, the ’60s fashion icon, “OZ” magazine figure and Buddhist. Jenny is a deep thinker and was peeling back layers on the Dylan show we had both witnessed. She turned to me in mid-conversation and asked a question I won’t forget.
“Do you think Dylan is deeply spiritual and has soul consciousness on stage?”
My answer after much thought was: “I can’t answer that, as I believe Bob lived many lifetimes and always felt he was guarded on that level, except in his born-again phase. That said, his songs are from the heart and mostly from his mind.”
Jenny responded. “I saw Lou Reed last year. I believe he does, as he is on that journey.”
“I can’t say that about Bob or even Lou Reed. But after seeing Patti Smith live, I believe she does and that it comes from a very deep realm, in fact one could call it soul consciousness.”
That was my answer all those years ago that night in Haymarket. I've always believed Patti is indeed a special performer.
Question: Who is this compilation of 20 songs of Australian folk obscurities of the 1970s for? Answer: Head to your nearest record collectors fair.
These are mythical gatherings, full of badly-dressed people with body odour problems who are entirely bereft of social graces. They clamber over each other, poring through crates and boxes while entirely oblivious to the other’s existence. They wear T-shirts commemorating concerts that nobody went to or that occurred before they were born. Or so the cliche goes.