I'm listening to the Paul Simon Anthology at the moment. The reason I'm playing it is that my son picked it out of the CD rack and brought it over. Complete fluke, as he's only eight months old.

This is a double CD. The first CD is full of the Simon and Garfunkel stuff. The second CD is magic: it's the South African stuff he recorded against the wishes of many people. All those wonderful liquid fretless bass lines by Bagithi Khumalo, almost the only constant on the album. Fantastic stuff. Paul Simon was pilloried initially for recording in a South Africa divided by Apartheid, but I think his great achievement was showing that there was great music there, despite the political system. Bagithi Khumalo is an extraordinary bass player. Why doesn't everyone try to play like him? (It's bloody hard, is why.) That wonderful fluid, fretless bass style is seriously hard work. Whenever I try and cover a song from the 'Gracelands' album, I have even more respect for the superb musicians Paul Simon recorded with. That album is one of the reasons I have a fretless bass. I suspect that it'll be considered one the the canonical albums of western music.

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This page contains a single entry by dave published on March 28, 2003 12:00 AM.

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