Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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...

Shankar Tucker: Filament

Anyone living in an Indian city, or in any electrified Indian village; and almost anyone living in a city across the world – from...

Rubén and Cheo… A Union of Musical Genius

After many years of being together during that poignant period when the powerful and contagious sound of Joe Cuba was playing everywhere, Rubén Blades and Cheo Feliciano are back with a wonderful salsa album called Eba Say Ajá...

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...

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...

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...

Snarky Puppy: Family Dinner Volume Two

This is an exceptional realisation of the roots of what Snarky Puppy is all about. Forget the connotations of the name. Forget the fact...

Michael Shrieve: Spellbinder

Michael Shrieve, the celebrated drummer of the original Santana band has not exactly been leading a quiet, retired life on a desert island. But...

The Garifuna Collective: Ayó

The uniqueness of the Garifuna Diaspora has resulted in their truly singular cultural anthropology. These are a people who descended from the Arawak and the Caribe peoples, who migrated to the Caribbean and coastal Central America hundreds of years ago...

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...

Antonio Loureiro – Só

The Paulista, Antonio Loureiro, born and bred in Minas Gerais, is an eminently gifted multi-instrumentalist and is to be ranked with the new generations of Musica Brasileira musicians such as that other ingenious multi-instrumentalists, André Mehmari. But that is where all comparisons must end. Mr. Loureiro is...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Carmen Souza & Theo Pascal: Epistola

It is always prudent to approach any new music by Carmen Souza and Theo Pascal with great expectation quite simply because you never know...

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...

Diego El Cigala: Romance de la Luna Tucumana

Diego El Cigala (who recently acquired the Dominican nationality) has been made famous not only by his Grammys, but also by the seminal album,...

Julio Botti: Sax To Tango

While top billing on this disc goes to Julio Botti, for his brightly lit and eloquent work on the tenor and soprano saxophones, the...

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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