11 Oct 2013

Music: David Bowie’s ‘Station to Station’ (live in Tokyo, 1978), and some jazz

Punctuated by the predatory rhythm of a steam locomotive picking up speed, the atmosphere of 1976 single ‘Station to Station’, Bowie’s longest studio recording to date, is distinctly portentous. In this live performance recorded in Tokyo on the final night of the 1978 ‘Low and Heroes’ World Tour, the opener’s frenetic pace and high-note wails feverishly keep going for an ear-pounding six minutes — stopping the moment Bowie, adopting the shadowy, Oxford bagged persona of the ‘Thin White Duke’, announces his arrival. Goose bumps.

And now for some jazz …

Listen to ‘Daybreak Express’, ‘Mystery Pacific’ and ‘Take the A Train’ — musical depictions of train rides during the swing era. Stellar recordings by Duke Ellington, Django Reinhardt and Clifford Brown below. Nice.

Duke Ellington, Daybreak Express – Take Two, 1933 ()

Django Reinhardt with Stéphane Grappelli, Mystery Pacific, 1937 ()

Clifford Brown and Max Roach, Take the ‘A’ Train, 1955 ()