April 28, 2008

Ibrahim Maalouf - Diasporas (2007)

The origin and main influence of the trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf is found in the deep roots of Arabic music: improvisation. Bringing around him Blues, Arabic, Jazz and Electro musicians, Ibrahim Maalouf intend to play his own way the cultural , traditional territory where belongs his father’s invention: the quarter tone trumpet.

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April 24, 2008

Nguyên Lê - Tales from Viêt-Nam

"For a long time, I had dreamt of a band mixing jazz musicians with Vietnamese traditional musicians, playing a music inspired by the songs my mother used to sing to me. Born in Paris from Vietnamese parents, I lost the Vietnames language when I began school. Only in Sept. 94 did I feel confident and experienced enough to begin "Tales of Viêt- Nam". It is a journey back into my childhood, a return to lost roots. But it also means the creation of an imaginary folklore that stems from a crossroads of contemporary influences".
Nguyên Lê

CHOC of the year 1996 (JAZZMAN)

Line Up:
Nguyên Lê – el., ac. & fretless guitars, guitar-synth., programming
Huong Thanh – vocals
Hao Nhien – zither, dan bau, sao flute, sapek clappers
Paolo Fresu – trumpet, fluegelhorn
Simon Spang Hansen – saxophones, concert, bass & african flute
Michel Benita – acoustic bass
François Verly – percussions, marimba, keyboards, piano
Joël Allouche – drums
Steve Argüelles – drums, percussions
Trilok Gurtu – drums, percussions
Thai An – moon lute

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April 19, 2008

Brad Mehldau - Songs

Art of the Trio Volume 3 was easily the finest rainy-day album of 1998. Moody, pensive, and hopelessly romantic, Brad Mehldau's fifth album as a leader staked out a deeply personal, strikingly handsome territory. Aided by sympathetic playing from bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy, Art of the Trio may not be the most exciting jazz album of the year, but it is certainly the most gorgeous. Mehldau's take on Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" is offered with as much feeling as his cover of Nick Drake's "River Man," and both show the range of his influences. (S. Duda)
Part1 & Part2
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April 10, 2008

David Sylvian - The Good Son vs The Only Daughter

The latest release by David Sylvian is actually a collection of personally commissioned remixes of material from his critically acclaimed 2003 album Blemish. I usually have my suspicions when it comes to remix or tribute projects. It is a rare occasion when someone does a fair remix or reconstruction of a tune, thus taking it to territories beyond the confines of dance music. Despite my prejudices and doubts, this is truly a great album.
Surprisingly, what's most amazing about it is its cohesion. A group remix effort often comes across as dysfunctional material that is neither this nor that. For this particular task a group of innovative contributors was assembled, including Burnt Friedman, Yoshihiro Hanno, Ryoji Ikeda, Akira Rabelais, and Readymade FC, some of the most creative and globally respected individuals at the forefront of musical experimentation and sonic exploration.
The original Blemish was based on series of improvisations with guitars, vocals, and electronic sounds, but the immediacy of the situation, as well as the stripped arrangements, created a specific mood. The remixers went on rearranging the material, providing a beautiful tapsestry of sounds, bleeps, blops, hard edits, and distant drums. For the most part, the “form” of each track is established by seemingly random sound effects. Each remix is an accomplishment of its own, and these tapestries have proven great platforms for Sylvian’s voice, which sounds like Miles’ trumpet sound—warm and recognizable.
The opening track, “The Only Daughter,” which was remixed by Japanese minimalist artist Ryoji Ikeda, is reminiscent of Harold Budd’s work—a few naked piano chords or a simple but enchanting melody hovering in a spacious, haunting atmosphere. The two versions of “The Only Daughter” and “Blemish” (done by Ryoji Ikeda/Akira Rabelais and Jan Bang & Erik Honore/Burnt Friedman) do not hinder the album’s concept. To the contrary, these variations provide a rich landscape of sounds where the artificial and the natural bond seamlessly, which can also be said for the whole album. A personal favorite is “A Fire In The Forest,” remixed by Readymade FC, who adds a subtle pop flavor with his approach.
The Good Son Vs. The Only Daughter is a highly theme-oriented disc and a captivating excursion into synthesized organics. Beautifully packaged and designed (with artwork by Atsushi Fukui and design by Chris Bigg), it is a truly interesting work—just as good as Blemish, only different.

Blog archive
David Sylvian-Blemish (2003)

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April 5, 2008

Esbjörn Svensson Trio - Tuesday Wonderland

In the beginning it was Sweden, then Europe and now it’s the world. The rise and rise of EST has been remarkable in recent years – in the USA they were the first ever European jazz group to feature on the cover of Downbeat magazine, while their intro to Japan’s top promoter was on the recommendation of Keith Jarrett. If any one is in any doubt about how original, absorbing and dynamic this band is, then get Tuesday Wonderland, their tenth album.
From the étude-like opening (‘Fading Maid Preludium’) that explodes into post Hendrix power-chords to the focused beauty of ‘Where We Used To Live’, this remarkable group is one of the few bands on the current scene that can be truly called sui generis – for evidence of this try the shifting tone colours of the title track. What is even more remarkable is that Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier could inspire such a wide range of moods.(Jazzwise)
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April 1, 2008

David Torn - Tripping Over God

Guitarist David Torn has been exploring the terrain between rock, jazz and mutated world music ever since first hearing Jimi Hendrix. His sonic voyages start with a rock sound, but using innovative looping and audio processing, Torn quickly transcends the limitations of that form. In 1994, he was lauded as "Best Experimental Guitarist" by Guitar Player Magazine Reader's Poll. Torn's music spans genres and blurs borders. His soundscape performances reflect his interest in textures, soundscapes and atmospheres.
Part1 & Part2
Like what you hear, buy it! And support the artists that really need it!