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Track Listing

  1. Egyptian Eyes
  2. Click here to play a sound clip! Visions of Paradise
  3. Click here to play a sound clip! There is a Land
  4. Click here to play a sound clip! We're Poppin' Off
  5. Click here to play a sound clip! Outta Hand
  6. Click here to play a sound clip! J'Ouvert
  7. Click here to play a sound clip! Farewell to the Flesh
  8. Jump Up!
  9. You're the One
  10. Click here to play a sound clip! Tuesday Night Lover
  11. Las' Lap Time
  12. Maracas Bay
  13. Click here to play a sound clip! Farewell JJ
  14. Superisland

David Rudder
Farewell to the Flesh

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eCaroh Price: $15.95


He celebrates spirituality with his new CD
By Debbie Jacob, Trinidad Express

"Life is a canvas for us to paint, so let us colour it with the sweetest joy," Rudder sings in "Farewell to the Flesh", the title track of his 2002 Carnival CD.

Farewell to to the Flesh is a tribute to Carnival in all its stages from J'ouvert morning to the final cleansing at Maracas Bay on Ash Wednesday. But Rudder's view of Carnival is not simply gay abandon. Instead, it's the joyful sound that celebrates the spirituality represented through jazz injected soca music. It's also a stark contrast to the current reality of terrorism.

"I just wanted to show the world that while everyone is trying to kill each other, we still have something to give," says Rudder.

Most of Rudder's images of Trinidad are confined to Carnival. There are no political commentaries in this election year.

"I think there's nothing else to say," says Rudder. "Everything that's going on is a cycle. It's been spoken about –even in my songs."

And so Rudder sings in "Farewell to the Flesh", "Now's the time/In this blessed life/When our bodies show/How we feel inside/You will know It will roar inside you/It comes to you/Like a raging tide..."

Conjuring up images of beating drums, the fires of camboulay and the tension of the gayelle, Rudder, whose music is never defined by any common musical parameters, presents an uptempo soca capturing the joy of J'ouvert that is not confined to J'ouvert rhythms. Tony Voisin's bubbly guitar licks help set the mood.

"Music is liberation/ Come make a joyful sound/ This life is a celebration... Comes the time, and the street is now a sacred place...Early morning calls for early wine. This communion makes you feel so fine.." Rudder sings in "J'ouvert".

"Poppin' Off" beckons Carnival revellers to the streets. "Leave the kitchen if you can't stand the heat....Come let me take you on a fantastic voyage. Amen. We're poppin' off," sings Rudder.

The finger-snapping rhythm and mellow melody of "Tuesday Night Lover" makes this one of the best tracks on the CD because of its ability to capture the fine line between the surrealism of Carnival and the reality that follows. Seeped in the nostalgia of Carnival, Rudder sings, "Will you remember me when you wake up Ash Wednesday morning? You know, Ash Wednesday is always a different story."

Rudder includes a tribute to the fete with a remake of "Jump Up", from the Calabash album. He has "reintroduced "Las Lap Time" and "Out of Hand" from The Hammer album as well as "There is a Land" and "Super Island" from The Power and the Glory album.

Two songs inspired by the current focus on terrorism form the strong contrast between Carnival and the world's woes. "Egyptian Eyes" a treatise on the suicide terrorist Mohammed Ata, is the first track on the CD. It is from this cold reality that Rudder rescues listeners with Carnival camouflage, so to speak, from the world's terror.

In "Visions of Paradise" Rudder offers a chilling take on fundamentalism, "now an unstoppable soldier taking you on its heavenly journey into the mouth of hell. Icy men with their fiery dreams..." It is a strange song with a frantic, musical breakaway in the end.

"I wrote this song in Canada after the pizza parlour bombing in Israel earlier in the year," says Rudder. "It was the first song I wrote for the CD."

This too is one of the better tracks on the CD for its ability to capture two sides of a situation. The fervent, but misguided sense of spirituality contrasted with the horror that results creates powerful imagery.

Wayne Bruno's guitar figures heavily into the music of "Farewell to the Flesh" along with Bruno's arrangements of the new songs recorded at Mark Romero's Tehilla Studios in Arima.

Rudder uses live instruments, including Barry Howard on drums as well as Bruno and Kenneth Baptiste on keyboards.

"We tried a long-time recording with everyone playing together on one track," says Rudder. Sean Poland did the final mix at Caribbean Sound Basin.

Hopefully, Rudder says, "Farewell to the Flesh" will be available in all major record stores in one week's time. The jacket cover features Rudder's face as a canvas for dripping paint: "Bile green for the ugliness going on, yellow for envy, and blue for sadness," says Rudder.

If you're looking for any semblance of joy, it's what's inside that counts.

In one way or another almost every song on David Rudder’s latest CD Farewell to the Flesh is devoted to speaking about the unspeakable moment on 9/11 when those planes slammed through the Twin Towers. At the same time, Rudder takes us on a journey of redemption and recovery that leads through the streets of Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival. This is not a simple CD. Its joy is tempered with horror, as in Visions of Paradise, a trip into the mind of a suicide bomber. Thankfully, its darkest moments are shot through with a celebration of the power of calypso to ease the pain. Many of the new songs (like Poppin’ Off and Maracas Bay) and most of the older ones Rudder includes here (like Outta Hand and Las’ Lap Time) lead into the light. This impressive CD is about learning how to bear the unbearable and dance your way back to life — with sanity and soul intact. [MG - Caribbean Beat]


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