Mike Cooper - White Shadows in the South Seas LPSacred Summits (UK)
It's difficult to know how to summarize the meandering journey that has been the life and times of Mike Cooper. Having just celebrated his 70th year of mischief making, here's what we can tell you: a young Mike Cooper can be spotted playing a beatnik guitarist on an anti-nuclear march in London beat cult film That Kind of Girl. His first band, The Blues Committee, played with and supported blues legends such John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, and Jimmy Reed. Cooper was central in launching several of the first folk and blues venues outside London, especially in and around Reading. He was a regular on John Peel's program from 1969-1975, recording numerous sessions. His free music group The Recedents was formed in 1982, threading directly into London vibrant improvisation community. He moved to Italy in 1988 after a slew of musical projects during the '80s in the UK and EU. Since 1994 he has spent increasing amounts of time touring and exploring Oceania. One of the outcomes of his exploration is Beach Crossings-Pacific Footprints -- a radiophone work commissioned by Italian and Australian radio -- that traces the history of colonization in the Pacific by Europeans from Tahiti up to the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. His recordings have been re-issued numerous times by labels across the globe. Original pressings are found for obscene prices via various outlets. White Shadows in the South Seas is his latest offering and follows up directly from his lauded Rayon Hula album. It's a pacific sunset-like dream spanning the horizon in pulsing waves of richly-colored rhythms, tropical sound fields and pacific-inspired slide guitar.