Home > Concert Photos, Jazz & Avant, Metal, World Music > REVIEW: Richard Crandell @ Cozmic Pizza (Eugene, OR – – 9/13/08)

REVIEW: Richard Crandell @ Cozmic Pizza (Eugene, OR – – 9/13/08)

14th Sep 08 (Sun) Leave a comment Go to comments

I had Richard Crandell‘s Mbira Magic (Tzadik 2004) back when I lived in Ohio.  I had no idea that he was from Eugene, OR.  I happened upon a listing of a performance he did earlier this spring at Saturday Market, but a day late.  When I saw that he was playing yesterday at Cozmic Pizza for free… well, I jumped (and bike rode 2+ miles) at the opportunity.

Richard Crandell gave us a solid hour of full on metal.  Well, fingers on metal. :)


mbira: the instrument of choice

He plays the mbira (a “thumb piano” pictured above), and he’s quite good.  His compositions are very melodic, and his technique is quite fluid.  It’s almost as if the instrument is part of him.  He was carrying on a conversation with the sound guy when he ran into some technical difficulties, playing all the while.

Anyway, he played from around 1 to 2pm and played 9 songs… the ones he mentioned the names to are:

  • Bells
  • Missing in London
  • Spring Steel (based on the Japanese pentatonic scale)
  • Ghost Writers in the Sky

all pictures (cc) 2008 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

One of the songs that he didn’t mention the name had a mbira loop played behind his live mbira, and he used a guitar finger pick to create a nice additional percussion to the loop.  His records are good as well (but mbira is more interesting to see live, IMO)…  his most recent, Spring Steel, features Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista.  Cyro’s fantastic… either with Beat the Donkey, Supergenerous, Electric Masada, Marc Ribot, or many of John Zorn’s pieces…

Richard Crandell’s records

His websites:

~Dan – np: MetallicaDeath Magnetic

PS– whoa, completely unrelated, the new Metallica album, Death Magnetic, actually sounds… really… good.  It’s been 20 years since that’s happened… too bad the album cover looks like they didn’t pay their invoices timely to the graphic artist.  It’s crap, as has been expected with Metallica for the past 17 years.  But when it comes down to the music, it’s finally not rubbish.

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  1. 9th Apr 10 (Fri) at 12:47 pm

    Thanks for the review! The track with the is entitled, “Click,” which may be found on his latest mbira CD, “Essential Tremor,” which was reviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered.

    His other, earlier works on guitar are available at CDBABY.COM and most other major music retail sites. If you are a fan of John Fahey, Leo Kottke or just great fingerstyle picking, check ’em out.

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