Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Kip Hanrahan - Vertical's Currency

Sting founded the Pangea label in the mid-'80s, unearthing some important and overlooked recordings from the defunct American Clave catalogue, much to the delight of ears lucky enough to hear (as a side note, some of tango sensation Astor Piazolla's most important work would be lost were it not for the mining of such treasure). Such is the case for Kip Hanrahan, a soulful, New York-based percussionist and producer who unleashed two particularly fantastic albums -- Days and Nights of Blue Luck Inverted and Vertical's Currency -- a lush, sensuous Afro-Cubano feast for the ears that is so warm as to engulf the listener with flames. There is a wonderful spirit to "Shadow Song," an instantly recognizable anthem of Ricky Ricardo cliché that roars with boisterous horn arrangements, congas, cowbells, and vocals of uncanny, third-person self-analysis: "Today I have these blues that are wittier than me/That jokes with my girlfriend while drinking my rum." "Smiles and Grins" follows with tight polyrhythms that snap and clap along with syncopated piano clusters, as vocalist Jack Bruce hurriedly lilts beat poetry through the chord changes that only twice pause for contemplation. Elsewhere in the disc there is an element of sultry longing and hot Miami sunsets, as with "Two Heartedly, To the Other Side," "Make Love 2," and "Dark (Kip's Tune)." It is with this all-star cast of the New York underground jazz fusion scene that Hanrahan finds such rich moods, textures, and symbiosis. Steve Swallow on the bass rarely disappoints, and both guitarist/avant-gardist Arto Lidsay and keyboardist Peter Scherer, who together comprise the group Ambitious Lovers, fill out the room with equally reliable musicianship. Vertical's Currency overflows with rich contributions in an organic stew of worldly fusion that slinks through the city streets after hours. Find this album and pounce on it. - by Keir Langley, AMG

Artist: Kip Hanrahan
Album: Vertical's Currency
Year: 1984
Label: American Clavé
Total time: 40:33

1.  A Small Map of Heaven 5:21 
2.  Shadow Song (Mario's In) 4:05 
3.  Smiles and Grins 3:09 
4.  Two Heartedly. To the Other Side 3:12 
5.  Chances Are Good (Baden's Distance) 5:12 
6.  Make Love 2 4:27 
7.  One Casual Song (After Another) 3:09 
8.  Intimate Distances (Jack's Margaret's Natasha) 3:00 
9.  Describing it To Yourself as Convex 4:17 
10.  What Do You Think? That This Mountain Was Once On Fire? 1:41 
11.  Dark (Kip's Tune) 2:55 

Kip Hanrahan (Percussion)
Ignacio Berroa (Trap Drums)
Jack Bruce (Vocals, Bass Guitar and Piano)
Milton Cardona (Congas, Bongos)
Arto Lindsay (Electric Guitar)
David Murray (Tenor Saxophone)
Puntilla Orlando Rios (Quinto, Congas)
Peter Scherer (Synclavier and Organ)
Steve Swallow (Bass Guitar)
Anton Fier (Trap Drums) - 3,6
Friesner Augustin (Tambou, Quinto) - 7,8
Elysee Pyronneau (Electric Guitar) - 7
Olufemi Claudette Mitchell (Chekere) - 1
Mario Rivera (Baritone Saxophone) - 2
Ned Rothenberg (Tenor Saxophone) - 2
Richie Vitale (Trumpet) - 2
Lew Soloff (Trumpet) - 2
Nancy Weiss (Vocals) - 11


  1. i've always wanted to check out Hanrahan. Thanks for this opportunity

  2. perhaps my favorite of kip hanrahan's. a classy guy.

  3. Many thanks for this! The flac/scans is a nice bonus. Cheers

  4. Fantastic album. Been listening to it non-stop for quite some time now. Thanks a lot!

  5. First heard it 1987 and never stopped listening it all these years...

  6. please re-up. thanks in adavance.



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