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Acoustic Music, Porter-Praskin Quartet

cover photo by Inge OfensteinThe song "Acoustic Music" came to me in a dream one night when I was living in Barcelona. Rarely had I ever awakened with a melody and lyrics already composed in my head. I was a bit baffled by this but immediately went to the piano and finished the song. I suppose it’s no wonder, given the very powerful experience which inspired me. The previous evening I had been to a concert of three Spanish guitarists, Toti Soler, Feliu Gasull, and Pedro González. They played a wonderful blend of flamenco, jazz, and Spanish classical music. The sound of the three acoustic guitars played so beautifully was nothing less than awesome. The song is intended more as a humorous hymn in praise of acoustic music than a serious critique of the electronic takeover of the music world, though I suppose there’s some of that in it too!
Larry Porter



Listen to:

1. Fifties Bossa-Strayhorn Bounce (Allan Praskin)  

If you can read this, get flash.

2. On The Verge (words and music by Larry Porter)  

3. The Nuclear Age (words and music by Larry Porter)  

4. Acoustic Music (words and music by Larry Porter)  
   inspired by Toti Soler, Feliu Gasull & Pedro González

5. Blues For Sparky (Allan Praskin) - for Albert Stinson -  

6. Pretend It’s Spring (Allan Praskin)  

Larry Porter – piano, vocal
Allan Praskin – alto sax, backing vocal
Bob Arkin – bass
James Baker – drums

photo by Inge OfensteinRecorded at Friedrich & Doro Thein Tonstudio Bremen, May 1 & 2, 1985
Live mix recording by Friedrich Thein
Produced by Larry Porter
Executive producer: Manfred Scheffner
Cover photography: Inge Ofenstein
Cover design: Thorsten Scheffner

Popular Records PR 140




I’m on the verge
It’s time again
I’m not quite certain of
the course that it’s taking.

Am I standing on a cliff looking down?
Or am I standing at the base of a mountain looking up
on the verge of climbing through the fog?

The future seems
to like to hide what it’s got in store
leaving me with no other choice
than to improvise…
a song
which maybe just like a magic
carpet will fly me
out of this valley of uncertainty.


If you think that roller skating in Central Park is ‘in’
That’s nothing compared to what they’re now
Splitting atoms will no longer be the privilege of a
chosen few
‘cause they’re gonna make atomic fission available
to the public, too.

It’s the nuclear age
It’s all the rage
They’re standing in line
at the uranium mine
Supply and demand
are way out of hand
‘cause everybody is on a nuclear spree.

The modern all-atomic home is here to stay
Every house got its own reactor pumpin’ night
and day
Just go down to the department store and check out
what they’ve got of late
I hear Westinghouse has got a model that even
kids can operate.


The engine, as we know it, is totally obsolete
Everything from cars to airplanes get isotopes to eat
Even model planes and golf carts run on radioactive
Now I hear they plan to manufacture nuclear-
powered human beings.



I like acoustic music
You can call me old-fashioned
but the truth is I like
strings a’swinging and vibrating columns of air.

I like things like vocal chords and diaphragms
I don’t know of any purer instrument
Despite the slick computers they got today
the voice is here to stay
It’s the highest, just like the Hindus say.


I like things like two hands touching many strings
As they move they make those wooden bodies sing
Harmonics flying everywhere in the air
arriving at your ear
What a warm and pleasant sound to hear.


Transistors and integrated circuits are cool
Ain’t nothin’ wrong with ownin’ a stereo system or two
But Casio try as they may
ain’t never gonna replace Steinway.


I like things like lips caressing brass or cane
Bring them horns to speak, you know, like Miles or Trane
Blowin’ just as hard as a hurricane
or tender as a breeze
It’s so natural, it just can’t help but please.


I like things like drums of every shape and size
When they talk they got the power to hypnotize
Rhythms bouncing furiously off the hide
exploding in the sky
That’s the music that will never die.



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