Friday, December 15, 2017
USA: Tom Cora-Live At The Western Front (2018)
Tom Cora made his musical debut as drummer on a local US television programme. In the mid 1970s he played guitar for a Washington, D.C. jazz club house band. He took up the cello while an undergraduate at the University of Virginia and studied with cellist Pablo Casals' student Luis Garcia-Renart and later with vibraphonist Karl Berger. During this time he formed his own group, The Moose Skowron Tuned Metal Ensemble and began constructing instruments for it. In 1979 Cora moved to New York City where he worked with Shockabilly guitarist Eugene Chadbourne. He performed at improvising clubs and venues in New York with John Zorn, Fred Frith, Butch Morris, Wayne Horvitz, David Moss, Toshinori Kondo and others. Cora also collaborated with George Cartwright and Bill Laswell which led to the formation of the art rock band Curlew in 1979 . Cora remained with Curlew for over ten years and appeared on five of their albums. In 1982 Tom Cora and Fred Frith formed Skeleton Crew, an improvising rock and jazz band best known for their live performances where they played various instruments simultaneously. Cora and Frith were each one-man bands on stage and for their act, Cora constructed musical contraptions he could play with his feet. These skills can be heard impressively on this solo album which was originally released by No Man's Land in 1987. If you have not heard this record, then you have no idea what one man can do with a cello. For this CD re-issue, we have carefully remaatered it and adapted the original cover.