Song of the Day: Kip Hanrahan “Small Change”
“Small Change” is a great neo-Latin burner by impresario Kip Hanrahan. The song is a collaboration between Hanrahan and former Cream singer and bassist, Jack Bruce. Bruce’s background was in jazz, and here, with his active lead bassline, he demonstrates his incredible jazz chops. It is arguably Bruce’s finest moment on record. The song is also augmented by beat poetic vocals from Hanrahan, multiple percussionists and an incredible piano line played by none other than New Orleans legend, Allen Toussaint. This song completely flew under the radar when it was released as part of an EP in 1986 and it is a real shame, because it is a real cooker. Hanrahan is a fairly obscure figure, but he frequently managed to get some of the very best musicians around to participate in his musical projects.
Kip Hanrahan was born and raised in a Puerto Rican neighborhood of the Bronx in 1954. Though he was from an Irish-Jewish family, Hanrahan developed an early affinity for the Latin music that permeated his uprbinging. While Hanrahan himself is a percussionist, his primary musical role on the records that he puts out under his own name is a little unconventional. Rather than think of himself as a musician, Hanrahan frequently refers to what he does as being more like a film director. He composes the material and then facilitates its execution: assembling musical figures from disparate backgrounds. Collaborators have included everyone from free and avant-jazz players (Steve Swallow) to traditional Latin players (Milton Cardona) and even the occasional rock player (Jack Bruce and Sting). Hanrahan has recorded consistently under his own name since 1981 and has also been a frequent producer, including work on a number of records by the Argentine tango master, Astor Piazzolla.