Ed Sanders

American Bard

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It's no surprise that this record is not only excellent, but as challenging musically as anything a listener may have encountered during the 1990s -- it's the work of the principal creative force behind the Fugs, and Ed Sanders was in fine form when he cut American Bard following a European tour by a re-formed version of the band. Sanders manages to mix references to Gertrude Stein, Matisse, Brecht, and Shakespeare in a format that allows him room to rap, as well as leaving space for a violin solo by the concertmaster of the Copenhagen Philharmonic. The commentary is direct and piercing, as well as piercingly funny, and it manages to be just as relevant a decade after it was recorded. Not to be missed by old fans or potential new ones who don't mind music that makes them think -- hard.