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Coup De Tête

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Coup De Tête album cover
Whatever I Want
At the Moment of the Serve
This Night Comes Out of Both of Us
India Song
A Lover Divides Time (To Hear How It Sounds)
No One Gets to Transcend Anything (No One Except Oil Company Executives)
Shadow to Shadow
Sketch from Two Cubas
Heart on My Sleeve
Album Information

Total Tracks: 9   Total Length: 44:39

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The First of its Kind


This was Hanrahan's first shot at his particular brand of fusion -- a mixture of latin beats, avant-jazz, and scatological lyrics. I once almost got kicked off the air for playing "A Lover Divides Time" on the radio. Other great tracks include "No One Gets to Transcend" (still true after 28 years_ and the lovely "Heart on My Sleeve."

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Best of Kip


Have this on vinyl from years ago, AMAZING work from Giovanni Hidalgo mashed up with the NYC downtowners Arto Lindsay, Jack Bruce et al.

They Say All Music Guide

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. – Brian Olewnick

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