Bitter Funeral Beer Band: Praise Drumming (CD)
Today, October 2nd 2017 a knock on my door and suddenly two boxes arrived from Dragon Records with the CD release of the second album w Bitter Funeral Beer Band, “Praise Drumming”. The album was recorded and mixed with Jan-Erik Kongshaug at the Rainbow Studio in Oslo in 1986 and has been very hard to find on vinyl. Moreover it has one of the most beautiful covers ever, created by Gittan Jönsson.
”Bitter Funeral Beer” became an instant classic after its release on ECM in 1982. Bengt Berger and the Bitter Funeral Beer Band followed it up with ”Praise Drumming” on the Swedish label Dragon in 1987, an album that has been very hard to find on vinyl since long. Dragon now releases it on cd and it has stood the test of time remarkably well with its mix of traditional music from Ghana with modern themes like ”Praise Drumming for ANC” and the funeral piece ”Pire for Palme” (the Swedish prime minister had just been shot dead while walking with his wife in the center of Stockholm).
- In A Balinese Bar (8:02)
- Two Ewe Songs (7:23)
- Upper Region (8:26)
- Twisted Pattern (2:30)
- Ammasu (5:05)
- Pire for Palme (5:20)
- Dar-Kpen Gan Da Gina (4:20)
- Praise Drumming for ANC (3:14)
- Bass Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Flute, Percussion – Björn Hellström
- Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Percussion – Sigge Krantz
- Bass Guitar, Percussion – Thomas Huhn
- Cello, Percussion – Matthias Helldén
- Drums, Percussion – Tomas Mera Gartz
- Electric Guitar, Violin, Percussion – Tord Bengtsson
- Percussion – LiseLotte Norelius
- Tenor Saxophone, Percussion – Ulf Wallander
- Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Flute, Percussion – Thomas Gustafson
- Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Percussion – Bengt Ernryd
- Trumpet, Percussion – Tommy Adolfsson
- Vocals, Amadinda, Xylophone, Percussion – Anita Livstrand
- Xylophone [Ko-Gyil], Amadinda, Percussion – Bengt Berger
Cover by – Gittan Jönsson
Recorded by, mixed by – Jan-Erik Kongshaug, Rainbow Studios, Oslo
Mastered by – Rune Persson
Photography by [Back Cover] – Kärsti Stiege
Producer, Liner Notes by – Bengt Berger
Recorded by Jan-Erik Kongshaug at Rainbow Studio, Oslo, Norway, March 25 and 26, 1986.
The ornaments on the on Gittan Jönsson’s cover painting are derived from Ashanti Kente-cloth patterns. They all carry a meaning.
The reissue of this album from 1986 received a very good Swedish review by Peter Sjöblom in Mono:
“Lyckligtvis fanns det ett och annat som lyfte åttiotalet ur sitt erbarmeliga elände, både inom jazzen och rocken. Och bortom. Sådant som Bitter Funeral Beer Bandsom håller än idag och som gör att man kan om kanske inte just fördra, så i alla fall lättare förtränga årtiondets mer osmakliga yttringar………….Trettio år som alltså inte märks i denna evigt unga musik.”