These shots from Leonard Cohen Presents Anjani at the New Morning Club in Paris on July 11, 2007 show Anjani Thomas (and Leonard Cohen) performing in support of the Blue Alert album. Photos by Chris Holmes. More photos, information, and video can be found at Photos & First-Person Account: Leonard Cohen and Anjani Thomas Appear In Paris 2007.
Two years before the 2008 World Tour, Leonard Cohen spent the Saturday afternoon of May 13th, 2006 listening to – and occasionally singing along with – Anjani, Ron Sexsmith, and the Barenaked Ladies performing his songs. An earlier post about this event can be found at Videos & Photos: Leonard Cohen, Anjani, Ron Sexsmith, Barenaked Ladies At Indigo – Toronto 2006. Now, a new video has surfaced. While this imperfect video covers only a portion of So Long, Marianne and adds little to the previously published videos and photos of this show, I’m posting it in the belief that any documentation or reminder of this delightful event is worthwhile.
Leonard Cohen – Toronto 2006
Video by japewisteria
From the YouTube description:
We didn’t have iPhone’s or GoPro’s back then. I recorded this on a Canon portable camera, which I regrettably forgot I had on me till the mid-point of the song. Anjani, Ron Sexsmith, Stephen Page from Barenaked Ladies, and a very energetic guitar player on backup. This was a rare Toronto appearance that coincided with the launch of the Book of Longing, his last book of poetry in 2006. There was no signing. It was the last time I saw him in person, and the closest I ever came to him. So long, Mr. Cohen. You will be missed and cherished.
Credit Due Department: Thanks to Linda Sturgess, who alerted me to this video.
Surprisingly (at least to me), Leonard Cohen’s death triggered multiple postings of several of Cohencentric’s Leonard Cohen Animations. The gif of Leonard Cohen dancing with Anjani Thomas, from the official Leonard Cohen – “Because Of” Video, has been the most popular with hundreds of postings since the Nov 10 announcement.
View more animated gifs at Leonard Cohen Animations
Photos taken by Neil Jaworski at the July 8, 2007 opening of A Private Gaze – The Art of Leonard Cohen at Richard Goodall Gallery in Manchester. View these and other photos at Picssr: Neil Jaworski. Note that Anjani Thomas is also seen in the below photo.
Mr Cohen’s artwork from that exhibition can be seen at Leonard Cohen at Richard Goodall Gallery.
For more about this event, see Leonard Cohen at the preview of his art exhibition in Manchester by Aidan O’Rourke (Aidan: July 8, 2007)
I think both of us were working at the top of our form. Collaboration is too formal a term to describe the activity, which was an expression of some kind of deep mutuality – some kind of marriage of purpose.
Leonard Cohen on working
with Anjani on Blue Alert
Note: Originally posted May 27, 2007 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
Cohen – with a dash of honey is a straight-forward feature story by Neil McCormick, published in the May 26, 2007 issue of The Telegraph, that focuses on the relationship and mutual musical efforts of Leonard Cohen and Anjani Thomas.
The tale of the creation of Blue Alert is well written and informative. The following excerpts are representative (the quotation included in the first excerpt is by Anjani):
The melancholic ballad Never Got to Love You is made up of unused verses from Cohen’s apocalyptic drinking classic Closing Time (from 1992’s The Future). “He gave me sheets of them and I just took ones I liked, and sometimes I took two lines from one verse and two lines from another, and designated one as the chorus and pieced it together.”
“What I strove for was an airtight marriage between music and lyrics,” says Anjani. “I hope I didn’t interpret. I didn’t want you to be driven out of your realm of attention by the voice, which is why there aren’t vocal flourishes. The lyrics are so great, they don’t need embellishment.” She was aided in this by Cohen, who produced the album. “I was cut off from all the tools I have by Leonard. He said ‘Sing… but don’t.’ “
As a bonus, there is timely news about the upcoming Leonard Cohen album:1
Cohen has been working on his own album (released later this year), and admirers will be pleased to hear that he has responded to Anjani’s more organic recording methods, abandoning the synths and drum machines of recent years to return to the joys of real instrumentation: “He has picked up the guitar again, and swung around to the idea of bringing in people to play.”
Update 30 April 2016: That studio album to be “released later this year ” was a tad tardy in appearing. The Old Ideas album was released January 2012.
The entire Telegraph article is well worth reading and can be found at Cohen – with a dash of honey
- Well, it was “timely news” when this was posted on May 27, 2007 [↩]
I don’t know which side anybody is on any more. I don’t really care. There is a moment when we have to transcend the side we’re on and understand that we are creatures of a higher order. That doesn’t mean that I don’t wish you courage in your struggle. There is on both sides of the struggle men of good will. That is important to remember. On both sides of the struggle, some struggling for freedom, some struggling for safety and solemn testimony of that unbroken faith which binds generations one to another I sing this song, “If It Be Your Will”…
Leonard Cohen’s introduction to If It Be Your Will at the March 22, 1985 Warsaw concert alludes to the conflict between Solidarity and the Communist government in Poland during the 1980s .
If it be your will
That I speak no more
And my voice be still
As it was before
I will speak no more
I shall abide until
I am spoken for
If it be your will
Leonard Cohen & Anjani Thomas – If It Be Your Will
Warsaw: March 22, 1985
Video from messalina79
Note: The graphic atop this post is a composite created from photoedited screen captures.
Note: Originally posted May 18, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric