Thursday, March 21, 2019

Presenting ‘NA Morales y Los Benditos’ Debut Album

This young Colombian Urban folklore band has released its first album called “Llévame a Colombia” (Take Me to Colombia) in the city of Bucaramanga. Led by Natalia Morales, this musical project is a trip through the folkloric Andean and Caribbean rhythms...

Che Puro Ciel: The Rise of Classical Opera

The minor revolt that brought back opera seria, reviving and recalling epic Greek drama, its incumbent sense of theatre—complete with the finery of its costumes, stage settings and art direction—as well as belle canto did not begin until early in the 18th Century...

Sylvain Leroux: Quatuor Créole

The Montreal-based flutist, Sylvain Leroux is a peripatetic traveller. When he is not in Montreal, or Chicago, or New York, he might be in Toronto or Vancouver, heralding the uninitiated into the sound of his tambin, a Fula flute, played by the people of Conakry...

David Helbock’s Random Control: Think of Two

The Europeans have almost always been adventurous first. After all, it was the Europeans who sailed to the New World and not the other way around. So also with Charlie Parker; it was Boris Vian who was among the first to really appreciate his music...

Hanns Eisler: Ernste Gesänge – Lieder with piano

Hanns Eisler was the Austrian-born composer who is better known as the composer of the national anthem of the German Democratic Republic (erstwhile East Germany), and best known as the musician who had the longest association with...

Leni Stern: Jelell

When a musician goes all the way to Dakar, Senegal to make a record that probably means many sleepless nights after many long recording sessions; probably also field recordings as well, or at least rehearsals in the field...

Lilian Raquel and Claudio César Ribéiro: Com Todas as Cores

The absolutely sensuously voiced Lilian Raquel has brought forth another recording: Com Todas as Cores, which is exquisitely voiced and magnificently orchestrated by her trusty partner, the guitarist, composer and lyricist, Claudio César Ribéiro...

Paulinho Garcia – Beautiful Love

Visions of João Gilberto arise when listening to Paulinho Garcia’s remarkable recording, Beautiful Love. But there is an elemental difference. Mr. Gilberto sang with a tendency to whisper and wander charmingly off-key. Paulinho Garcia, on the other hand...

Ravi Shankar: The Living Room Sessions Volumes 1 & 2

In most ancient societies, it was—and still is—believed that all music is the sound of the cosmos; the very dust that made up space, singing in communion with Him that created it all. Many of those societies, such as the Incas and Mayas, have long since ceased to exist...

Fatoumata Diawara – Fatou

The Malian sensation Fatoumata Diawara is fast making her name around the world. The move to France first got her recognised and now she is one step away from the world. A woman who has near perfect-pitch, Ms. Diawara, like most African singers...

Presenting Amanda Martinez On Her New Album: Mañana

Amanda Martinez has been concentrating on her own music for some time since she made way for Laura Fernandez to take her Saturday afternoon spot on Toronto’s Jazz FM 91. And she has been doing a rather good job of it. Her album Mañana is her third since she...

Badi Assad – Between Love and Luck

Every time guitarist and vocalist Badi Assad makes a record, she re-invents herself. The album, Between Love and Luck is no exception. But until now, Ms. Assad had shown her propensity for the guitar and genius for miraculous vocalastics, but principally in her native tongue...

A Fascination With “Bombay”: Richard Bennett; Bombay Dub Orchestra

It is “Bombay” to artists from as far removed as London is from New York unabashedly referred to as such by an artist in the work of art, and not “Mumbai” as Indians have now been forced to call it. Perhaps it rings truer or perhaps it just rolls off the tongue more easily...

Bach Transcriptions: Johann Sebastian Bach – Katona Twins

The magic of these works composed, for sure, for lute-harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach supersedes all of the controversy and fallacious theory that Bach indeed wrote music for the lute or with the lute in mind. Although several lutes—among other instruments—were found in Bach’s home after...

Toninho Ferragutti – O Sorriso Da Manu

Whether he came to the accordion by way of the forró—xôte and Baião—or by way of the gaucho bands that he often plays in, Toninho Ferragutti has now mastered the instrument. However, he is now more than a virtuoso; the complete mastery of the emotion and the magical idiosyncrasies of the...

Paula Santoro – Mar do meu Mundo

Paula Santoro has been recording under her own name since 1996. But she has not come to the attention of listeners outside Brasil. Her albums have been critically acclaimed within her country as being released by a singer who has carried on the tradition of women like Beth Carvalho, Nara Leão...

Gordon Grdina: The Poetics of Music

Gordon Grdina is a Vancouver-based oud, bouzouki and guitar player of unbridled musical ingenuity. Few musicians—especially guitarists and oud players—have a vision as broad and seemingly limitless as him. Moreover, he is a lyrical player on every instrument as well. His musical language is poetic...

Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica – Where Here Meets There

It seems almost trite to talk of where cultures collide, when it comes to the music of Brian O’Neill, or Mr. Ho—as he likes to sometimes call himself. The musical big bang theory is centuries old and that would necessarily make that epithet old hat. The question that arises when Mr. O’Neill makes his music...

Isabel Bayrakdarian – Ravel, Sayat-Nova & Kradjian: Troubadour and the Nightingale

In his seminal book "The Spirit of Romance—an attempt to define somewhat the charm of pre-renaissance literature of Latin Europe" (1910) Ezra Pound created what was very possibly the most definitive treatise on the poetry and music of the Golden Age of medieval Europe...

Berta Rojas – Salsa Roja

If the renaissance of modern guitar playing began with the Spaniard, Andrés Segovia and continued under such luminaries as Agustín Pío Barrios of Paraguay, the Brasilian Laurindo Almeida and the Englishman, Julian Bream, it is now being well-served by a group of fine instrumentalists such as...

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