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Larry R
Dec-16-2006, 10:14pm
Anyone else into his music ? He plays a bit of mandolin, or at least did in the past, and he's used the services of two excellent bouzouki players, Andreas Toumazis and Angelos Hatzipavli. I've been a big fan for well over 30 years, and some of his songs sound beautiful on mandolin. Lately, I've been working on The Wind, and Moonshadow, as well as parts of a few more challenging pieces like O Caritas and Ruby Love, but some of that picking (actually done on bouzouki) get's pretty involved.

John Craton
Dec-16-2006, 10:39pm
My understanding was that he gave up music after converting to Islam in 1977, much like Louis Farrakhan did after his conversion. (How many knew that Farrakhan — as Louis Walcott — was a promising concert violinist in his younger days?) I believe Cat issued his first album since 1977 earlier this year under the name Yusuf, but I've not heard it.

mandocrucian
Dec-16-2006, 10:56pm
Remmber the tune "Zombie Jamboree"? Harry Belafonte did a cover version, but the original record was by 'The Charmer', aka Louis Farakhan. Yep...same guy!

Daniel Nestlerode
Dec-17-2006, 3:28am
Love Cat Stevens. Wore through the grooves of my mom's copy of Teaser and th Firecat. Have a 24c gold disc of Tea for the Tillerman, which I bought when Mobile Fidelity was the only label that had released a copy of it on CD. The levels were way too low, so I suffered until a few years ago when I got a remastered version on a regular CD.
IIRC, "Ruby Love" is in 5/4, a difficult time signture to master. But it's fun once you do.
Also IIRC, Cat Steens/Yusef Islam gave up a music career, which is quite a bit different than giving up music.
Heard a review of his latest effort on NPR and agreed with the reviewer that "Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" was an unfortunate choice for a cover (he should trust his audience more, but then he's been away from the music industry for nearly 30 years).

And yes, nearly all of his strummy stuff seems to beg for some mandolin fills. Imagine a mando guitar pair doing the walk down in "Wild World."

Daniel

John Craton
Dec-17-2006, 8:08am
Also IIRC, Cat Steens/Yusef Islam gave up a music career, which is quite a bit different than giving up music.
Well, when he first became Muslim he gave up both his music career and music in general. There are certain sects of Islam that believe music is forbidden (haram), and Cat/Yusef initially identified with that position. Over time, however, he concluded that he was wrong to have bought into that view and has resumed music and his musical career on a limited basis, largely at the encouragement of fellow Muslims. While I'm hardly an authority on Islamic doctrine, the subject of music in Muslim society seems to be one that is hotly debated. Some sects forbid it altogether while others freely listen to music and perform it. This debate may go a long way toward explaining why historically there have been relatively few symphony orchestras, opera companies, and other notable musical groups in predominantly Muslim countries. These do exist, but not to the degree that they do in other societies. Perhaps it is the skeptical view many hold toward music in general that has contributed to this. (Just my thoughts.)

Soupy1957
Dec-17-2006, 8:09am
DNestler sure made me feel old when he said "....my moms copy."

-Soupy1957

jim simpson
Dec-17-2006, 8:19am
I have heard a track or two on XM from his recent CD. It sounded okay to me but my favorites were his first few releases.

violmando
Dec-17-2006, 9:15am
Let me know if you work out any of his stuff on mando--we could pass the copies around. We had a fellow here--John Weldon, GREAT singer, his own songs are phenomenal too--do covers of him and I almost cried, I missed Cat Stevens so much! Did you see him interviewed last week, I think, on "sunday morning"? Glad he's back into music.

Larry R
Dec-17-2006, 12:19pm
I got into Cat Stevens in 1974, which was my first year of HS and the year I took up guitar (after seeing Johnny Winter on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert) Stevens was on the great old show In Concert (Friday nights at 10:30 Central on ABC) which you pretty much have to be over 40 to recall. I remember him performing Moonshadow while they switched back and forth between concert footage and a video of Cat's creation the adventures of Teaser and the Firecat, as they try to put the moon back in place after it fell to earth.

Cat's best albums are Teaser And The Firecat, Catch Bull At Four, Tea For The Tillerman. and Buddha And The Chocolate Box. The only song, I know for sure that he plays mandolin on, is Sitting off of CBAF. My personal favorite is Freezing Steel (not the greatest song for mandolin) which is about a man staying up all night in search of spiritual enlightenment, but instead of finding it he get's temporarily abducted by aliens.

As for playing his material on mandolin, I just get the guitar chords off AZ Chords, and switch them to mandolin and mix it with a bit of lead.

allenhopkins
Dec-17-2006, 12:41pm
Yusef Islam (a.k.a. Cat Stevens) is going to be interviewed on NPR tomorrow (Monday, Dec. 18), either on Morning Edition or All Things Considered, and some music from his new CD will be played. Ought to be worth listening to for all you Cat-natics out there. And, speaking politically, I hope he rides the "Peace Train" in this period when Muslim-Christian relations are so touchy.

JEStanek
Dec-17-2006, 1:07pm
My understanding was that he gave up music after converting to Islam in 1977, much like Louis Farrakhan did after his conversion. (How many knew that Farrakhan — as Louis Walcott — was a promising concert violinist in his younger days?) I believe Cat issued his first album since 1977 earlier this year under the name Yusuf, but I've not heard it.
His new CD An Other Cup by Yusuf (http://www.amazon.com/Other-Cup-Yusuf/dp/B000I5X82O/sr=8-1/qid=1166382309/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-3049967-3343110?ie=UTF8&s=music) was released in November 2006.

edit: the Amazon link has sound clips NFI blah blah blah...
Jamie

ira
Dec-17-2006, 1:29pm
i generally don't go the political route on the cafe, i feel compelled to do so here. feel free to share tab and ideas for playing his tunes, and i don't believe any music should be banned regardless of my personal feelings. cat wrote some of my fav tunes a long time ago. i listen to and play none of them now. in his current life, he has been linked to numerous groups supporting terrorists, has made numerous comments and has offered financial support over the many years since his music career supporting those who seek the destruction of israel and america, the fatwa on salamon rushdie, etc....
buy what you wish, play what you wish, to me his music doesn't exist anymore.

don't take up the cafe's space with bashing comments back as stated before- continue the thread, share your ideas, tabs, chords with each other- feel free to pm me if you really feel the need to slam my comments here.
ira

John Craton
Dec-17-2006, 1:32pm
And, speaking politically, I hope he rides the "Peace Train" in this period when Muslim-Christian relations are so touchy.
To his credit, he has thus far denounced the violence perpetrated by the extremists in his religion. Though having made big news by supposedly calling for the death of Salmon Rusdie several years back, he claims to have been misquoted on that. (Imagine the media misquoting a celebrity!) And he publically and roundly condemned the actions of 9/11. Let's indeed hope he can get the radicals in his faith to board his "Peace Train."

jmcgann
Dec-17-2006, 4:53pm
Your friendly moderator here to remind you- This is not a political forum, so let's drop that angle, OK?

Santiago
Dec-17-2006, 6:21pm
I loved every song on "Tea for the Tillerman," except "Tea for the Tillerman." Never understood why he named the album after it. Good stuff to be sure. Good stuff.

"Ooh baby, baby it's a wild world... and I'll always remember you like a child Girl." Actually his up and down scale run on the guitar in that song was so obvious, I always felt it was a little cheesy, but for some reason C.S. always got away with stuff likek that. It's simple music, so you don't expect too much innovation.

first string
Dec-18-2006, 2:51pm
i generally don't go the political route on the cafe, i feel compelled to do so here. #feel free to share tab and ideas for playing his tunes, and i don't believe any music should be banned regardless of my personal feelings. cat wrote some of my fav tunes a long time ago. i listen to and play none of them now. in his current life, he has been linked to numerous groups supporting terrorists, has made numerous comments and has offered financial support over the many years since his music career supporting those who seek the destruction of israel and america, the fatwa on salamon rushdie, etc.... #
buy what you wish, play what you wish, to me his music doesn't exist anymore.

don't take up the cafe's space with bashing comments back as stated before- continue the thread, share your ideas, tabs, chords with each other- feel free to pm me if you really feel the need to slam my comments here.
ira
Taking into account John’s friendly reminder I won’t really debate this with you, but from everything I’ve read most of those claims were shown to be spurious. You can tie any two people or groups together if you try hard enough. And that’s all I will say on that matter.

For the record he has released at least one other album since converting that I’m aware of, (A is for Allah) but it was composed entirely of children’s music. Yeah…my girlfriend is a very devoted fan. I haven’t listened to the new one yet, but I’ve heard good—though not glowing—things from just about everyone I know who has. It’s got to be better than his rock opera period
http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif

allenhopkins
Dec-18-2006, 4:45pm
I screwed up -- the interview was on Talk of the Nation, between 3 and 4 p.m. EST. I only caught a few bits of it, but what I heard was friendly and pleasant, and Stevens/Islam did a couple songs live. Says he's not likely to do any American concert touring, though; his son is coming out with a CD next year.

Rick Schmidlin
Dec-18-2006, 10:42pm
I remember back in my good old days at The Mark Twain Bar in Hawley,
PA we listened to alot of Cat Stevens and Seals and Crofts.

tree
Dec-19-2006, 8:36am
His voice hasn't aged a bit, to my ears. #

Wild World was the first song I learned to play along with the record - I discovered I had an ear for picking out stuff on guitar. Guess that dates me to the tail end of the baby boom, eh? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Lee
Dec-28-2006, 5:20pm
Off the topic a bit; but I got a good kick out of the setlist being played by the Tehran Philharmonic orchestra on their recent tour; Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Zappa.

Rick Schmidlin
Dec-28-2006, 5:50pm
I used to work for Frank Zappa http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Santiago
Jan-01-2007, 3:56pm
Cool. I met FZ once at an audio conference in New York. Great mind. Focused. Driven. Very funny. Met his sons a few times. Odd to be talking about him in a discussion of Cat Stevens. Frank's worth his own string. It's weird, but when I remember a passionate song like "Wild World" my memory tends to speed it up and crank the volume. When I go back and listen to the recording again, it's relatively tame and quiet.