Tuesday, June 19, 2007

David Axelrod Live

Last night I went to the premiere of the music documentary" David Axelrod Live - Royal Festival Hall" at the American Cinematheque in Hollywood. David Axelrod is a sort of self-taught musical genius, a long time producer, arranger and composer who released many albums on Capital over the years. His soundscapes from the 60's and early 70's have been rediscovered by hip hop artists worldwide. He has been widely sampled in the last few years, providing him with a nice income and a lot of respect from a whole new generation of turntablistas and arrangers. They were out in force last night
to pay tribute to the man, who appeared afterwards to take questions and receive tribute. It was an interesting mix of generations and musical persuasions, but that typilifies Axelrod's approach to creating music.

The film itself was mesmerising. Filmed in London with a 26 piece orchestra ( which kicked butt) , it showed Axelrod reinterpeting his personal work from the late 60's/70's -particularly "Songs of Innocence" and "Songs of Experience". The sound was lush, layered and beat-heavy. The camera lingered on his face and gestures as he conducted. Watching it I realised that there would be no Air, no Portishead, no trip-hop without this music. The DVD will be out soon. It's a must-have.

It was rather beautiful to see the cross-pollination happening between a gifted man in his late sixties and a hungry bunch of
upcoming young musical creators. It was a rare night. you could feel the excitement and inspiration flying.

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