Friday, January 17, 2020

Meg Okura and The Pan Asian Chamber Ensemble Project play Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Music

This fascinating work is the perfect symbiosis of eastern and western music, creating a new jazz atmosphere. The violinist and composer Meg Okura leads the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble, this tremendous band consists of some virtuous...

Carlos Pavan – Suite del Interior

The beautiful "Suite Del Interior" by the Argentine guitarist Carlos Pavan is sometimes described as being a “mixture of classical, folk and jazz music”. But perish the thought. This is a magnificently composed classical piece that is based on...

Introducing Grand Fatilla’s debut album: Global Shuffle

Before this musical idea was presented formally on different stages, the basic band began as a trio: Mike Rivard (bassist), Matt Glover (electric mandolinist) and Roberto Cassan (accordionist) met up to look into folk music from all over the world...

Benjamim Taubkin and Brasil e Marrocos: Al Quantara e caminhos de ida e volta

Benjamim Taubkin is the gold standard for pianists who come from a country better known for its guitarists. It is the profound beauty of his playing—his vocalastic phrasing and deeply emotional romanticism—that makes him not only...

Maria João Pires Plays Beethoven Concertos 3 & 4

This album of concerti 3 and 4 is a profound recording. It creates a palimpsest of Beethoven’s creative mindset during the last years when he had his sense of hearing and could perform his work. His earliest concerti were distinctly eighteenth works...

Vocalastics – Voice as the First Instrument

If the eyes are shut tight and the mind ran free, it might be possible to hear, spectrally, the sound of monks chanting at vespers, in the abbeys of Europe. It might also be possible to hear the passages with stunning melisma and magnificent intertwining...

Hassan Hakmoun: Unity

Gnawas abound in Morocco. In Jajouka, the Master Musicians led by Bechir Attar; in Essaouria and by grand design, the Gnawa elders have passed the torch onto Maleem Mahmoud Ghania. Elsewhere in Morocco the healing force of Gnawa chants...

Mãe Carinhosa, Cesária Évora’s Posthumous Release

Cesária Évora was that kind of singer you would have liked to represent your country as a music ambassador. Her feeling to express the profound, pure, tropical and African sound is incomparable. Her voice is a unique treasure for the world...

Rhythm of the Heart, Raquel Bitton’s Tribute to Tino Rossi

It is not easy at all to interpret legends and musical icons like Edith Piaf, but Raquel Bitton has done it in a respectful and wonderful way. Continuing with the tribute to the most important contributors of French singing, Raquel Bitton brings us "Rhythm of the Heart"...

Sofia Vitória & Luís Figueiredo: Palavra de Mulher

The legendary troubadour of Brazil, Chico Buarque de Hollanda appears to have been somewhat of a polarizing figure, even in the Musica Popular Brasileira movement (MPB), whose ramparts he bestrode like the proverbial Colossus. This in terms of sheer output...

Mike Marshall & Choro Famoso: Segunda Vez

The same rich ethnic cocktail that formed Brazilian society, from African, European and native ingredients, underlies its native genius for music. It also makes the country and its musicians unique in all of Latin America. As Ary Barroso put it in his iconic song…

The Brandenburg Concertos: Freiburger Barokorchester

The Brandenburg Concertos are one of the most celebrated and captivating compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach. Paced with bracing athletic vigor and featuring some of the most beautiful and challenging counterpoint...

Aldo Del Rio: El Bardo

Before the Cuban pianist came to fame, there were trovadores. Depending on which province a Cuban listener resided, one trove was greater than the other. But visionaries such as Sindo Garay stilled ruled the roost - Sindo Garay lived more than 100 years actually...

The Musical Voyages of Marco Polo

The great adventures of Marco Polo are not known to rival those of Odysseus, but they are every bit as beguiling and wondrous. Between 1271 and 1295 Marco Polo opened up the Central Asia and China to the Western World, by establishing the fabled Silk Route...

Mamselle Ruiz: Miel de Cactus

In a rather fascinating way, Mamselle Ruiz started writing the Canadian chapter of her musical career right after arriving in Montreal in 2010. Almost immediately, she joined “Les Chemins Invisibles” (Invisible Paths), a fantastic Cirque du Soleil seasonal outdoor show...

Monty Alexander: The Harlem-Kingston Express Comes Alive

There might be a gentleman’s argument as to whom the pianist Monty Alexander belongs to; Jamaica, where he was born, or New York where he resides. In truth, the ineffable Mr. Alexander belongs to both. He is a “Jamerican,” as he puts it so affectionately...

Trova: A labour of Love

It may have taken almost 1000 years for the troubadour tradition of 12th Century Occitan to reach Cuba, via Spain; there to be substantively transformed and to have its polyphony melded with Afro-Caribbean polyrhythms. However, its influences...

Gabriel Palatchi Band: Caja Musical

"Caja Musical" is a veritable panoply of celebratory music. The entire recording is deeply rooted in the folkloric music principally of Argentina, but cuts a rather large swathe through surrounding countries. It is no surprise also that it pays homage...

Clarice Assad: Imaginarium

The release of Clarice Assad’s Imaginarium puts her in contention for some major recognition, for with this recording, Ms. Assad has created a veritable museum of music; a cultural cornucopia—with Brasil at the centre of this spectacular universe...

Fritz Hauser: Pieces for Percussion (Ensemble XII Conducted by Steven Schick)

The drum—first the stone and later the hollowed log drum—are probably among of the oldest of instruments, after the human voice, that is. Given that a number of ethnomusicologists agree that this is probably true, the music on this recording...

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