Coup de Tête

Coup de Tête

by Kip HanrahanKip Hanrahan




Fittingly enough, the first sound heard on Kip Hanrahan's premier release is that of the conga and the first word sung is "sex," two leitmotifs that would appear consistently in his ensuing work. Coup de Tete burst on the scene in the early '80s as an entirely fresh, invigorating amalgam of Cuban percussion (much of it Santeria-based), free jazz, funk, and intimate, confrontational lyrics. Hanrahan had worked at New Music Distribution Service, a project run by Carla Bley and Michael Mantler (both of whom appear on this album), and had established contacts with numerous musicians from varied fields who he threw together in a glorious New York City melting pot. With the percussion and electric bass laying down thick and delicious grooves, the cream of the younger avant saxophonists in New York at the time wail over the top, accompanying some of the most brutally uncomfortable lyrics ever put to wax. The relationships Hanrahan details are turbulent to say the least, often intertwined with economic concerns as well as a general sense of the impossibility of understanding one's mate. After asking him for abuse and being refused, his lover (sung wonderfully by Lisa Herman) taunts, "When you could only sulk/I had more contempt for you than I ever thought I could have." Interspersed among the bitter love harangues and ecstatic percussion-driven numbers are two stunningly lovely pieces, Marguerite Duras' "India Song" and Teo Macero's "Heart on My Sleeve," both aching with romanticism. Coup de Tete is a superb record, an impressive debut, and, arguably, one of the finest moments in Hanrahan's career along with the following release, Desire Develops an Edge. Highly recommended.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/13/2010
Label: Yellowbird
UPC: 0767522770124
catalogNumber: 7701


  1. Whatever I Want
  2. At the Moment of the Serve
  3. This Night Comes Out of Both of Us
  4. India Song
  5. A Lover Divides Time (To Hear How It Sounds)
  6. No One Gets to Transcend Anything
  7. Shadow to Shadow
  8. Sketch From Two Cubas
  9. Heart on My Sleeve

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kip Hanrahan   Primary Artist,Percussion,Voices,Quinto,Synthesizer Strings
Daniel Ponce   Conga,Chekere,Iya
Carla Bley   Piano,Voices
Chico Freeman   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Byard Lancaster   Flute,Tenor Saxophone
Bill Laswell   Electric Bass
Michael Mantler   Trumpet
Cecil McBee   Bass
Carlos Ward   Alto Saxophone
Billy Bang   Violin
Victor Lewis   Trap Kit
John Clark   French Horn
Arto Lindsay   Electric Guitar
Jerry González   Conga,Chekere,Quinto
Ignacio Berroa   Trap Kit
George Cartwright   Flute,Piccolo,Alto Saxophone
Jon Fausty   Overdubs
Anton Fier   Trap Kit
Fred Frith   Electric Guitar
Gene Golden   Conga,Chekere
Lisa Herman   Voices
Jamaaladeen Tacuma   Electric Bass
David Liebman   Soprano Saxophone
Teo Macero   Tenor Saxophone
Nicky Marrero   Okonkolo
Bern Nix   Electric Guitar
Dom Um Romão   Agogo
George Naha   Electric Guitar
Emilsam Velazquez   Overdubs
Carlos Mestre   Conga
David Rodriguez   Overdubs
Angel Petrez   Conga
Arto Linday   Electric Guitar
Orlando Digirolamo "Lanny Dijay"   Accordion

Technical Credits

Kip Hanrahan   Composer,Producer
Michael Mantler   Engineer
Ishmael Reed   Liner Notes
Jon Fausty   Engineer
Paul Haines   Liner Notes
Teo Macero   Composer
Tom Mark   Engineer
Scott Marcus   Executive Producer
Kevin Zambrana   Engineer
Carlos d'Alessio   Composer
Marguerite Duras   Composer
Bob Bluementhal   Liner Notes
Zeichenpool   Cover Design
David Rodriguez   Engineer

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