Nick Mason’s Fictitious Sports, I’m A Mineralist

This post is about this odd project by Pink Floyd’s drummer, Nick Mason, who was looking to do his first solo project in 1979. After kicking some ideas around, undecided which way to go, the great jazz composer Carla Bley sent him a cassette of some “punk songs” she’d written. He decided to record them because he liked them and they were ready to go. He said, ”  So I thought it would be much better to do that than to struggle desperately to find things that work together. The music is not punk rock (not close) and it’s not Pink Floyd (though closer). It is instead an odd melding of jazz and progressive rock that maybe tips its cap to Zappa, a little. But I’m not sure about all that. What I am sure is that they got it right, at least for me. This is a captivating synthesis of art rock and jazz that feels ornate and grand and yet not grandiose or bombastic. Maybe some of that is the lovely vocals by Robert Wyatt, who was once the vocalist for the Soft Boys. I’m A Mineralist is a good example of what’s going on here. Lyrical and then funky, by turns, maybe serious but then funny and not self-important. If you like it a little the album is worth checking out.
The most atypical cut on the album is the first, which is the only one Wyatt does not sing on. Curiously, I just discovered that one of the voices on this fun cut is that of my old friend Vincent Chancey, who back then was playing French horn in Sun Ra’s Arkestra. I don’t recognize which one is his.

2 thoughts on “Nick Mason’s Fictitious Sports, I’m A Mineralist

  1. Primus was in diapers when this came out, okay, not really, but maybe in the boys’ locker room after getting excused from gym. But the angular rhythms are right on. I’m curious why you get more Beefhart than Zappa (I go Zappa on the angles, too, but I have to admit I haven’t sat down with Beefhart for a long while).

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