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Thread: David Torn appreciation thread

  1. #1
    Matt! polmico's Avatar
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    David Torn appreciation thread

    I've been listening to the Splattercell album pretty repetitively lately (it happens every so often).

    I realize at times like this that Torn is not just a great soloist (he is) but a really good composer/arranger/manipulator.

    I have just about everything except Prezens (gotta pick it up), What Means, Solid Traveller? (damn you OOP!) and his soundtrack work.

    So let's talk about David Torn and things by him that should be considered or others working in a similar vein.

    Obvioulsy there's BLUE, Cloud About Mercury, his work with Bowie, Polytown, his solo albums (love Tripping Over God) and the Torn, Levin, White album, and we can certainly talk about those all as well!

    It's Torn-tastic!
    I want to dynamite your mind with love tonight.

  2. #2
    Anyone ever heard the Everyman Band albums? There were two of them, early 80's, I believe these were the first records he appeared on. I think I heard something off one of them eons ago on the radio, but don't remember much about it.

    The Jan Garbarek album he played on, It's OK To Listen To The Grey Voice, is pretty happening. That was from 84, I think. There's a really good track on there called Mission: To Be Where I Am, which could have been a pretty straight forward "smooooth jazz" type single, except that Torn plays guitar on it.



    Somewhere on my hard drive, I got a couple Polytown shows that I got off of Dimeadozen. Pretty good shows, as I recall. There's also a video on Youtube of a show from the Cloud About Mercury period.

  3. #3
    Matt! polmico's Avatar
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    This one?



    Berlin instead of Levin.

    BTW, I just love Bruford's drum sound here. Perfect blend of acoustic and electronic. Works so well for the music.

    I always figured Levin played the opening tapping bit and did the bass line, too. Guess I was wrong.
    I want to dynamite your mind with love tonight.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by polmico View Post
    This one?



    Berlin instead of Levin.

    BTW, I just love Bruford's drum sound here. Perfect blend of acoustic and electronic. Works so well for the music.

    I always figured Levin played the opening tapping bit and did the bass line, too. Guess I was wrong.
    If you mean Jeff Berlin, no that's Mick Karn playing bass. I always knew that the tapping bit was Torn, but that was because I remember him talking about that piece in Guitar Player or Guitar World at the time.

  5. #5
    Matt! polmico's Avatar
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    Ach! My bad! I could've sworn that was Berlin, but you're right.
    I want to dynamite your mind with love tonight.

  6. #6
    Estimated Prophet notallwhowander's Avatar
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    I love Blue Nights! He does such a great job there. Splattercell is also a lot of fun. I haven't gone much deeper with him though, just Torn/Levin/White and Cloud About Mercury.
    Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world.

  7. #7
    I saw him in London in 85 with Garbarek apparently that show was is were David Sylvian got the idea to use him on Secrets Of The Beehive
    If you are a fan of Torn do not miss that exquisite album

  8. #8
    I haven't listened to his music in a while (which I'm now going to have to rectify). Really like Cloud, Blue Nights and his work with David Sylvian. Torn's such an excellent player. I don't remember who said it but they said something to the effect of "Torn doesn't play solos, he defines spaces". Perfect description.

    A fanboy story. I saw Torn play two shows at a small bar in Detroit in 1987. At the end of the first show, everyone had to exit then be readmitted. Standing outside, I noticed the door had been left open. I walked back in like I was supposed to be there. No one stopped me. Sitting at the bar all by himself was Torn's drummer, Bill Bruford, so I got a seat at the bar and we talked for a few minutes. Real nice guy. Then he left. Both shows were excellent. About 20 years later, after a Bruford show in Chicago, he was tearing down his kit so I went up to the stage and we chatted again for a few minutes. I mentioned that show in Detroit and he said that was probably the crappiest place he's ever played! hahaha

  9. #9
    Splattercell is my favorite and BLUE is killer, but IMHO Torn + Karn = magic!

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    "Prezens" I can't really digest it, too much "out" for my taste, but "What Means, Solid Traveller?" is fantastic, I really, really love it....

  11. #11
    Member FrippWire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by philsunset View Post
    I haven't listened to his music in a while (which I'm now going to have to rectify). Really like Cloud, Blue Nights and his work with David Sylvian. Torn's such an excellent player. I don't remember who said it but they said something to the effect of "Torn doesn't play solos, he defines spaces". Perfect description.

    A fanboy story. I saw Torn play two shows at a small bar in Detroit in 1987. At the end of the first show, everyone had to exit then be readmitted. Standing outside, I noticed the door had been left open. I walked back in like I was supposed to be there. No one stopped me. Sitting at the bar all by himself was Torn's drummer, Bill Bruford, so I got a seat at the bar and we talked for a few minutes. Real nice guy. Then he left. Both shows were excellent. About 20 years later, after a Bruford show in Chicago, he was tearing down his kit so I went up to the stage and we chatted again for a few minutes. I mentioned that show in Detroit and he said that was probably the crappiest place he's ever played! hahaha
    I was also at both of these shows and they were tremendous. The bar was Alvin's. A pretty small place. It was on Cass Ave. in Detroit. The building is still there but the bar is closed now. They were touring in support of Torn's Cloud About Mercury album. After the 2nd show I was fortunate enough to sit at the bar and have a beverage with Mick Karn who was an absolute gentleman. In addition to Bill Bruford they had trumpet player Michael White who was subbing for Mark Isham who played on the Cloud About Mercury album. I had them all sign a flyer for the show which I still own. It's in need of framing.

    Good memories, even better music.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by FrippWire View Post
    I was also at both of these shows and they were tremendous. The bar was Alvin's. A pretty small place. It was on Cass Ave. in Detroit. The building is still there but the bar is closed now. They were touring in support of Torn's Cloud About Mercury album. After the 2nd show I was fortunate enough to sit at the bar and have a beverage with Mick Karn who was an absolute gentleman. In addition to Bill Bruford they had trumpet player Michael White who was subbing for Mark Isham who played on the Cloud About Mercury album. I had them all sign a flyer for the show which I still own. It's in need of framing.

    Good memories, even better music.
    Yes it was Alvin's and the shows were tremendous. I got Bill's autograph when I sat at the bar with him (which I need to frame also.) Good times indeed! I saw Allan Holdsworth at Alvin's. That was a great show too.

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    Torns contribution on Marty Fogle's album "Many Bobbing Heads at Once" is really essential. In fact, I think his sound defines that album!

    best
    Michael
    If it ain't acousmatique-It's crap

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    Member FrippWire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by philsunset View Post
    Yes it was Alvin's and the shows were tremendous. I got Bill's autograph when I sat at the bar with him (which I need to frame also.) Good times indeed! I saw Allan Holdsworth at Alvin's. That was a great show too.
    Me too! I saw Holdsworth at Alvin's. I most distinctly remember the band with Wackerman on drums, Skuli Sversson on bass and Steve Hunt on keys.

  15. #15
    Some excellent Torn playing appears on the Michael Shrieve / Steve Roach album The Leaving Time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Anyone ever heard the Everyman Band albums? There were two of them, early 80's, I believe these were the first records he appeared on. I think I heard something off one of them eons ago on the radio, but don't remember much about it.
    I have the first one. It's certainly not your typical ECM release. It's aggressive, forward-thinking jazz-rock with noisy sax. Maybe kind of an early "downtown" New York kind of thing prefiguring things like Naked City. I think Torn went on to better things, but I'm sure lots of people here would dig Everyman Band. Listening to it now for the first time in a while, it's better than I remembered.
    "Incredibly dismal, pathetic chord sequence..."
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  17. #17
    Howdy Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Prezens, BLUE, Cloud - Desert island material.

  18. #18
    Subterranean Tapir Hobo Chang Ba's Avatar
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    Prezens and BLUE albums are my favorites. (With Cloud About Mercury coming up close behind)
    No humor please, we're skittish.

    Never let good music get in the way of making a profit.

  19. #19
    Howdy Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Teaser for March Sun of Goldfinger release.




  20. #20
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    Gonna see that at Big Ears, Yeah!
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
    -- Aristotle
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    Member StarThrower's Avatar
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    Just picked up the Cloud About Mercury re-issue. And I like the sound of his solo guitar album.

  22. #22
    Howdy Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    I just picked up some tix for their Cambridge show in April. http://www.getshowtix.com/regattabar...fo.cgi?id=4077
    "This is the future of jazz. This is Sun of Goldfinger."
    Not sure if a band with a couple of guys even older than me are the future of anything, but I'm looking forward to it.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by StarThrower View Post
    Just picked up the Cloud About Mercury re-issue. And I like the sound of his solo guitar album.
    Is there any bonus tracks on the Cloud About Mercury reissue? And which solo guitar album are you talking about? He's done several.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    Teaser for March Sun of Goldfinger release.


    I'm considering going down to Pittsburgh to see them in March. I'm debating whether I should take the next day off from work.

  24. #24
    Member StarThrower's Avatar
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    No bonus tracks. But there are 25 ECM re-issues just released that can be picked up for under 10 dollars each. Only Sky is the solo album I had in mind.

  25. #25
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    I got to see him live during the Only Sky tour.
    Pretty cool, except somebody kicked the power to his rig off before the show and he had to reconstruct some of his loops on the fly.

    This Ted talk of his features Only Sky
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
    -- Aristotle
    Nostalgia, you know, ain't what it used to be. Furthermore, they tells me, it never was.
    "The future will be better tomorrow." Dan Quayle

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