Sunday, May 9, 2010

Robert Quine & Fred Maher, Basic (EG Records, 1984)

Another all time favorite. I first became aware of Robert Quine in a Lester Bangs article on the "Punk Jazz Connection" in Musician magazine. This was back in 1979, and I'd only recently discovered Agharta and Pangaea. Lester writes:

"Finally, back home at CBGB's, original spawning ground of the late Seventies punk revolution, Richard Hell and the Voidoids are running through one of the final sets of their career. Ironically, where the group used to put on sloppy sets in front of small but adoring audiences, now they're playing incredibly tight, slashing rock 'n' roll to a packed house consisting mostly of rubbernecking tourists and suburbanite teens who have heard about all this punk stuff and finally found the courage to come down and check it out, and for whom it wouldn't make much difference which band was onstage. But for those who are there to listen, it's obvious that the Voidoids have something more than the usual punk engine-gunnings going for them: in the dense mesh of guitars are, unmistakably, quotes from and elaborations on Miles Davis lines off albums like Agharta and On the Corner; if you listen and look closely, you can tell that this incredible stylistic melding is emanating mainly from the guitarist over stage left, a quiet, balding guy in sunglasses named Robert Quine. When the Voidoids break up, he will make an album of instrumental improvisations with guitarist friend Jody Harris (ex- of the Contortions) and a rhythm machine."

Well, that got my attention. I've been on the look out for Robert Quine recordings ever since. IMHO, this one is the pick of the bunch. This is from the briefly available CD version, this one is long out of print and selling for silly money now.

BTW That awesome recording Escape by Robert Quine and Jody Harris that Lester Bangs mentions is available over at