Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Five stars aren't enough to recommend this record
David F. Ziffer | Batavia, IL USA | 11/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This day-after-Thanksgiving I am sitting alone with some time to kill and I thought I'd finally pay tribute to Bill Gable by writing a review of this record ("There Were Signs"), 18 years after its release. I can't remember when I bought the CD but it's been a part of our household repertoire for over a decade at least, and yesterday my daughter who is visiting us from school put it on, reminding me of how the magic of this thing never dies.
It is hard to say enough good things about this CD. The tunes here cover three topics: hopeful love (Posters Come Down, High Trapeze), lost love (Go Ahead and Run, There Were Signs, Leaving Venice), and travels in Africa (Who Becomes the Slave, 3 Levels of Nigeria, Cape Horn, Letting the Jungle In). All three themes are beautifully executed and incredibly thoughtful. The music is gorgeous and it perfectly complements the poetry, and believe me these songs are poetry.
The theme that affects me most profoundly is "lost love". On these songs ("Run", "Signs", and "Venice"), Gable takes you on a trip deep into his personal thoughts. It is as though you are inside his mind; for a few moments you actually become him. The feeling is similar to the one that I get listening to the sad songs on Joni Mitchell's "Blue", except that Gable is even more personal. There is really no describing this; you have to experience it. The feeling of overwhelming sadness and remorse on "Signs" and "Venice" is quite amazing, and "Venice" is downright chilling - apparently describing the loss of someone who has perhaps died.
I think of Bill Gable as a sort of unknown male version of Joni Mitchell - someone who is a genius at both poetry and composition. There are only a few of these in each generation and Gable is definitely one of them.
Aside from all this, the record was produced in part by Rob Mounsey, another musical genius who, every ten years or so, releases an astounding instrumental record in conjunction with Steve Khan (see "You Are Here" and "Local Color" by Mounsey & Khan). I guess geniuses like to stick together.
I must agree with reviewer Malcolm Wain (on Amazon.com) in saying that it is beyond me how Gable escaped becoming a legend, or maybe at least a household word. Good heavens, there isn't even a Wikipedia entry on him. And to answer reviewer "smoothjazzandmore", Bill Gable is at www.BillGable.net."
Definately one to be taken to a deserted island
Malcolm Wain | Ohio, USA | 04/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On radio stations you sometimes hear the DJ ask if you had a chance to take three CD's with you to a deserted island what would they be. Bill Gable's masterpeice has to be one of those. The songs are haunting and totally unique. How this man never became a legend, I will never know. I just hope Bill comes out with another work of art sooner rather than later. I am amazed how hard it is to find a copy of this CD and have clung on to my old cassette version as if it were a priceless jewel.
An extraordinary singer/songwriter with a unique voice
C. P Rasmussen | Kent, United Kingdom | 07/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album is hard to come by these days. From a musical standpoint it is a disgrace that it has not (yet) been re-issued. Find a copy and you are rewarded with what is without a doubt one one the finest albums of the eighties and nineties. Bill Gable is a truly extraordinary singer/songwriter with a wonderful voice. Beautiful, meaningful, intelligent, passionate and sensitive songwriting - a mixture of pop, jazz and worldmusic unlike anything else you've heard. And the musical performances are simply superb. "There Were Signs" is a masterpiece. Big words, but true!"