week 9 – The Saxaphone Liberation Army

The vast stone tablet that contains 20JFG’s ‘things we should really post about’ is running out of room so, if Romero teaches us anything it’s that: when there’s no more room on the tablet, the songs shall be posted on the blog.

Studying with Terry Riley, writing songs with Arthur Russell (who composed and performed on This Hat), having Ned Sublette in your band — pretty much nails Peter Gordon and the Love of Life Orchestra to our earphones.  Peter Gordon and the Love of Life Orchestra had a compilation of their songs put out by DFA a couple of years ago.  It’s still readily available on CD and we won’t mind if you go grab a copy before continuing.  Got it?  Good.

Our long standing agitation for more wind instruments in dance music hasn’t quite taken hold as we’d like, but we can live in happier times here with an absolutely heroic deployment of the saxophone all over the Love of Life Orchestra’s output, courtesy of Mr Gordon himself.  Where wine bars and shit Jazz would ruin this noble horn, Peter Gordon surrounds it with so much musical muscle that it stares in the face of future snobbishness and throws back the sound that we should revile, in our ungrateful faces.  As an aside, the compilation is brilliantly ordered so the first time the unconverted experience a sax solo it’s resting on a comfortingly electronic throb.  And just when it seems too much, a Branca-like ascending guitar solo arrives to let you know that this is all ok, it’s avant-garde.

Like Arthur Russell, Peter Gordon wasn’t too shabby at making slightly odd, but reverent, disco.  It’s perhaps our absence from publicly inflicting our taste on others that makes the sound of disco take on an added poignancy.  Or maybe because it’s amazing.

Roses on the Disco Floor is a suitably 12″ sized piece of Loft-era disco.  Sprawling, seemingly structured more in movements than the build/drop/build/drop that things evolved into.  With a synth line vacationing from Italia — along with a cooing chanteuse — it’s off to a great start before My Gordon lands with his sax.  And from there it goes sublime.  Given how much Disco wore its emotion on its sleeve, the saxophone, with its tendency to over emote every soaring note seems the perfect fit.  Hell, we nearly bankrupted ourselves putting on James Chance, we’re nothing if not martyrs to the cause.

In any case, it’s below.  You can judge for yourself whether it’s a glorious success or a glorious failure (your tolerance for fromage may vary) but you can’t dare question that it’s glorious.

Peter Gordon & The Love of Life Orchestra – Roses on the Disco Floor

This weekend sees the return of Xanadu to Brighton replete no doubt with more gloriousness.  Our good friend James Hines designed an unofficial poster (below).  Should be good…