Saturday, July 29, 2006

Enzo Avitabile returns from the 'sacred south'

cd cover
Enzo Avitabile
Sacro Sud (Folkclub Ethnosuoni)

The Neopolitan reed player returns in 2006 with a powerful new recording of sacred songs from sourthern Italy, performed in sparse, all acoustic settings that evoke wonder and passion. The ensemble is stellar and includes Luigi Lai: Launeddas; Maurizio Martinotti: Ghironda; Mario De Rosa: Mandoloncello; Giancarlo Abbatiello: Chitarra Napoletana; Carlo Avitabile: Tamburi and two vocal ensembles: Cantori Del Miserere Di Sessa and Polifonica Alphonsiana.

  • Maronna nera
  • Figliule ca 'nce jate a la Maronne
  • Rosario della Madonna delle Grazie
  • Devozioni dialettali

    More info
  • Friday, July 28, 2006

    Etnika: Maltese music, new world music

    The international radio program The World ran an interesting interview with Maltese musician Andrew Alamango, of the ensemble Etnika. He talks about the music, the making of the intstruments, etc, and it includes some muisic form their 1999 CD Zifna

    Listen to the program from The World

    Read the RootsWorld review of Zifna, and an earlier interview with members of the ensemble
    The CD is available from cdRoots

    Monday, July 24, 2006

    Belgium's Think of One: running in Trafico

    Loose in attitude but capable of creating some very tight boundary-crossing music, Belgium's Think of One combine slippery Roma style horns with Brazilian percussion and vocals, a sonic sense as open-minded as that of Manu Chao or Lo Jo and a willingness to borrow a groove from anywhere that strikes their fancy. While they first made a name beyond their home base of Antwerp with music that blended their brash, bouncy brass with Moroccan sounds, Trafico takes a predominantly Brazilian feel and runs gleefully with it...

    Full review coming soon in RootsWorld
    If you subscribed to RootsWorld,a you would already have this and dozens of other reviews and articles (and a free CD)!

    Alan Stivell: electronic backbeats and rolling, directionless melodies...

    Veteran Breton harpist Alan Stivell can't seem to decide if he wants to dabble in hip-hop or waft away in the New Age aether on Explore. Melody lines are sketchily defined, then abandoned altogether. The innovative harping for which he's known is almost an afterthought here, as all is abandoned in service to the groove. He does do a bit of aimless solo harp wandering on the title track, but it's nothing for the memory books. While there's a lot of colorful experimenting with timbres and textures, the songs are not strong enough to stand up to the tonal onslaught...

    Read the complete review in RootsWorld

    Monday, July 17, 2006

    Classic Congolese back on CD

    Grand Kalle
    A lot of classic Congolese music is back on CD this month. These inportant Sonodisc recordings come and go on the market, so it's great to see so many being reissued at the same time.

    Tabu Ley Rochereau And Afrisa International - Kaful Mayay 1973
    Not only neo-traditional 'Kaful Mayay' but also gorgeous 'Nzale,' hypnotic 'Aon-Aon' and 5 other tracks from the early 70s, including two making their first appearance on CD.

    Grand Kalle et l'African Jazz - Merveilles du Passe
    So good it took three CDs to capture it all! Grand Kallé, Dr. Nico, Dechaud, Mujos, Vicky Longomba, Rochereau, (briefly) Manu Dibango: the first great modern Congolese band at its peak. Marvelous indeed and truly essential.

    More titles now available: (see more info on the whole series here)

    Grand Kallé & L'african Jazz - Merveilles Du Passé, Vol. 2 (1961-1962)
    Grand Kallé & L'african Jazz - Succes Des Années 50/60, Vol. 1
    Grand Kallé & L'african Jazz - Succes Des Années 50/60, Vol. 2
    Grand Kallé & L'african Team - Volume 1
    Grand Kallé & L'african Team - Volume 3
    Grand Kallé & L'african Team - Volume 2
    African Fiesta - Nico, Kwamy, Rochereau & L'african Fiesta
    African Fiesta - Makila Eyina Nzoto
    Tabu Ley Rochereau - Le Seigneur Rochereau
    Rochereau, Tabu Ley - À L'olympia
    Rochereau, Tabu Ley - L'afrisa International
    Rochereau & Franco - Lisanga Ya Banganga (2 CDs)
    Tabu Ley Rochereau - Rochereau, Sam Mangwana & L'African Fiesta National
    Rochereau, Tabu Ley - Tete Nakozonga
    Rochereau, Tabu Ley - Sacramento
    Rochereau, Tabu Ley - Rochereau & L'african Fiesta National, Vol. 1 (1964-1966)
    Tabu Ley Rochereau And Afrisa International - Kaful Mayay 1973-75
    Rochereau, Tabu Ley - Rochereau & L'african Fiesta National, Vol. 2 (1966-1969)
    Tabu Ley Rochereau - 1968/1969
    Tabu Ley Rochereau - 1971/1972/1973
    Rochereau, Tabu Ley - Sorozo

    These CDs are all available via cdRoots

    Sunday, July 16, 2006

    RIP: Micheal O Domhnaill, guitarist and founding member of the Bothy Band

    Micheal Ó Domhnaill, guitarist and founding member of the Bothy Band died July 8 at the age of 54.

    As a member of the legendary 1970s group The Bothy Band, O Domhnaill, along with his sister, Triona, introduced audiences to a contemporary instrumental form of Irish music and modern interpretations of Gaelic song. The family grew up in Kells, County Meath, but spent their summers in the Donegal Gaeltacht, where they first heard the music that would make the band reality

    Micheal, Triona and sister Maighread formed their first group, Skara Brae, with guitarist Daithi Sproule, in 1970. Micheal and Maighread joined Triona in what would become the The Bothy Band in the mid-1970s.

    You can read a fuller obit in The Herald and on the unofficial Nightnoise web site

    Friday, July 14, 2006

    World Music, World Cup (1973)


    I just stumbled on this marvelous video featuring Loko Massengo (now of the rumba supergroup Kekele), in a 1973 TV broadcast by the ensemble Madjesi.

    Note the soccer outfits on stage (and the soccer playing that goes on during the instrumental breaks in this 8 minute song.)

    See it here

    World music hypoxia

    Various Artists: Chill Out World: The Highlands Edition

    This compilation bears so little resemblance to actual world music, you would honestly get a more international musical experience by phoning a series of embassies and being put on hold. Each track is like flying to a different far off land, and never making it past the duty free shop. Everything has been sanitized and pre-packaged for your consumption. Except I'm using "consumption" in the tuberculosis sense. One can only assume that the producers spent so much time in the highlands, that hypoxia has damaged their brains. - Louis 'please hold for an operator' Gibson

    Sunday, July 09, 2006

    Elena Ledda: singer at the ancient crossroads of Sardina

    cd cover
    Elena Ledda, trained at the Cagliari conservatory, has scoured Sardinia to assimilate its various folk styles and genres, gaining national stature as the music's foremost interpreter and proponent. Amargura, her eighth release, reveals Ledda at the apex of her melismatic powers, singing in Sardo and bringing the music of this ancient cultural crossroads brilliantly, poignantly alive. Her matchless voice is framed by a host of unusual and compelling work by some of Italy's foremost folk artists...
    Read the complete review

    Saturday, July 01, 2006

    The Mouth Harp Feted in Amsterdam

    Jew's HarpThe 5th International Jew’s Harp Festival will take place in Amsterdam from July 28th through July 30th, in association with the International Jew’s Harp Society. Hundreds of players, Jew’s harp makers and researchers from remote corners of the world will gather in Amsterdam to promote the versatility of the small instrument.

    The core of the festival is the participation of 60 instrumentalists and their ensembles which represent the diverging musical traditions. In addition to a series of concerts in which mixed ensembles will highlight the versatility of the Jew’s harp, there will be cinematography, lectures, demonstrations and a market.

    The Jew’s harp players from Asia with their electrifying and idiomatic sound interpret the authentic musical culture which has remained almost unchanged over the centuries (e.g. Spiridon Shishigin from Sakha-Yakutia, Bolot Bairyshev from Altay, Robert Zagredtinov from Bashkortostan). Also in Europe there are some remnants of the original folklore (e.g. Svein Westad from Norway, Manfred Russmann from Austria) but much experimenting with modern instruments takes place as well (Aron Szilagy from Hungary, Anton Bruhin from Switzerland, Tran Quang-Hai from Vietnam/France, Phons Bakx from Holland, Tapani Varis from Finland).

    Get more info from Jew’s Harp Society