Friday, November 16, 2007
Home Records (www.homerecords.be)
This record came together on the occasion of the Ambrozijn's tenth anniversary and reworks a selection of the Belgian ensemble's 70 or so songs using a string orchestra and a rhythm section and utilising a number of guest vocalists including Sylvie Berger, Vera Coomans, Soetkin Collier, Ludo Vandeau and Gabriel Yacoub. Tom Theuns, nowadays also a member of Aurélia, is the composer of these songs, and band mate Aurélie Dorzée is part of the string orchestra.
This record has been a welcome surprise for me. Usually those huge projects tend to backfire or sound pompous and bloated. Still, 10 differs in the quality of the songs, the detail of the arrangements, the dedication of the singers and the musicianship involved. Not all of the arrangements work equally well, but "Schoon lief," "Le Cyprès" and "Nooit meer niets meer" stand out.
Although this record is not innovative enough to win any record of the year accolades, it is a strong ensemble project that delivers warmth, interesting arrangements and great performances. It would be a must for fans of the band, but it is also a highly enjoyable record for everyone else interested in unique string arrangements of folk music. - Nondas Kitsos
The ensemble's web site: www.ambrozijn.be
CD available from cdRoots
Friday, August 17, 2007
A collection of unique popular music recorded in 1948 in Liberia by ethnomusicologist Arthur Alberts. The music is a mix of genres echoing Calypso and early jazz (and includes songs made famous during the folk scare of the 60s like "Chicken is Nice," "Gbanawa," "Woman Sweeter Than Man" and "Hold Me Tight"), played by small ensembles (usually piano, guitar and bass, occasionally some hot horn work, too), and sung in English. Includes detailed notes and interesting photos. The 18 recordings, along with the accompanying commentary, showed the intricate connections between African and American music.
This audio piece is a song covered, by among others, the Kingston Trio, but here it is sweet and hot, and features that aforementioned horn solo. Listen to Gbanawa
Audio samples and CD available from cdRoots
Friday, February 16, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Two Moons is the newest recording of "all ice" music from the Norwegian percussionist, joined by Per Jørgensen on vocal and ice trumpe, with Isungset on ice percussion, icehorn and isofon, performed in Geilo, Norway in two specially built igloos 9 - 14 January 2006. The weather conditions were severe, and the sleet, snow and wind at times made its way into the igloo, and can be heard at times in the recording. Per Jørgensen made four ice trumpets and was given a separate igloo as a recording booth. All the trumpets were played to bits during the sessions. Terje Isungset had ice of fantastic quality delivered from Vatsfjorden in Leveld. It provided exceptionally long sustaining soft tones. Two of the tunes were recorded live at the midnight outdoor concert of Ice Festival 1. It was minus 5 degrees, cloudy and quiet. As the last sounds faded, the sky cleared, and the full moon shone onto the onlookers. Hence the title Two Moons. He was sheltered in a heated lavvo. It's absolutely unique; beautiful, surprising and highly recommended.
For Igloo, the frst recording in the series, Isungset settled into an ice hotel near the Arctic Circle, built all of his instruments out of ice, and recorded this work accompanied on some tracks by the wordless vocals of Sidsel Endresen. It does not get more unique than this!
Both CDs are available from cdRoots
Monday, February 12, 2007
- Wonder Wheel by The Klezmatics
- Polka In Paradise by Jimmy Sturr
- Lost Sounds: Blacks And The Birth Of The Recording Industry 1891-1922 (various)
- We Shall Overcome — The Seeger Sessions by Bruce Springsteen
- Modern Times by Bob Dylan
- Legends Of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - Live From Maui (various)
- Love Is My Religion by Ziggy Marley
- The Hidden Land by Béla Fleck & The Flecktones
- Simpático by the The Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri Project
- Historias Que Contar by Los Tigres Del Norte
Friday, February 09, 2007
Read more about Cuban Jazz Today
Sunday, January 14, 2007
If you need to burn a few more minutes of your life online this week, might I suggest The Sinhala Jukebox? This web site is devoted to spreading the music of Sri Lanka to the global audience via Real Audio. You can choose individual tracks, or complete streaming programs by artist or style. The navigation is a bit confusing, but it's worth a few minutes to figure it out.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Since the 1980s, he was the driving force behind Giga Records, founded in 1976 by musicians Per Gudmundson and Magnus Backström. In the following 30 years the label has provided the world with a look at some of the greatest musicians of Sweden, from the old teachers to some of the rising stars, creating over 80 LPs and CDs that have provided the whole world with a glimpse into the wide ranging beauty of Swedish folk music.
Here are just a few of the artists that Giga exposed to the world:
There is currently no word on what the future of Giga records will be.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Nigerian comedian and actor Nkem Owoh stars in a rootsy spoof on victims of the infamous internet "419" scheme
Watch the video
I done suffer no be small
Upon say I get sense
Poverty no good at all, no
Na im make I join this business
419 no be thief, it's just a game
Everybody dey play em
if anybody fall mugu,
ha! my brother I go chop em
National Airport na me get em
National Stadium na me build em
President na my sister brother
You be the mugu, I be the master
See full lyrics and info at Antsville
Sunday, January 07, 2007
The Klezmatics have been nominated for a "Best Contemporary World Music Album" Grammy Award this month.
Wonder Wheel features songs of Woody Guthrie (most never before seen) and set to music by members of the Klezmatics.
On Wonder Wheel, The Klezmatics move away from klezmer on many of the cuts, even using an electric guitar to create a variety of contemporary sounds. The songs evoke Guthrie's experience in Brooklyn, an immigrant coming from the other direction, finding himself among European emigres, as well as blacks, Latinos and Asians.
You can read Marty Lipp's somplete review of this 2006 recording on RootsWorld