Monday, June 16, 2014
Samba de Uma Nota Só
My two sons, AKA Unorganized Hancock, are back with their version of One Note Samba.
One Note Samba is a part of a profoundly influential series of songs from the 1960s by Antonio Carlos Jobim. Bossa Nova doesn't translate well into English, but it means new wave, more or less. It certainly was that. There have only been three BIG THINGS in music in my lifetime.
1.The Beatles making rock music important, then self-important, then self-absorbed, and then self-destructive, then atomized.
2. I remember the first time I heard Desmond Dekker very clearly. It was a revelation.
3. Bossa Nova.
As usual, the sixties get the credit for all three, but all of these things were born in 1950s culture. The fifties were supposed to be this sterile uptight time, but that's a joke to anyone that can crack a book. If you know what a wandervogel was you know that being a hippie wasn't anything new. Anyone that knows who Mies was knows that sixties modern was really twenties modern --the twenties being another maligned decade when everything happened while nothing was supposedly happening. No, it was the fifties that gave birth to those three things, and everyone just noticed in the sixties.
My children are homeschooled, but they receive very little musical instruction from me. For the little drummer, his lessons are an afterthought, the same as any extracurricular activity would be in a public school. If the public school had the slightest idea how to teach anyone anything, results like these would be possible with almost any kid who gave good effort. But more important than instruction is guidance, and with music, knowing what to avoid paying attention to is as important as any aspect of learning.
There isn't a dime's bit of difference between one rock group and another, more or less. Metallica sounds about like The Bay City Rollers if you look at it dispassionately. The format is banal, and easily understood. You have to be pretty sophisticated to play ol' One Note, though, and know why it's important.
[Update: Many thanks to Kathleen M. in Connecticut, whose constant support of my children's efforts via our TipJar is remarkable]
[Further Up The Road Update: Many thanks to Sarah R. for her kind words and generous visit to the TipJar!]