music blog

Monthly Archives: May 2011

Berlin – New York refers to the axis between to pulsating energy sources of jazz. Ben Kraef and Rainer Bohm, two young Berliners both of whom studied jazz in New York, hook up with two actual New Yorkers, the bassist John Patitucci (famed accompanist to Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter and Harbie Hancock) and young tyro Marcus Gilmore on drums (Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Vijay Iyer Trio). Saxophonist Kraef wrote all the tracks except the Bond theme You Only Live Twice, by John Barry.Kraef’s “Berlin – New York” is an excellent example of a branch in the tree of new German jazz that is bound to tradition and consciously explores the music’s American heritage, and as such fits perfectly among its fellows in the ‘Young German Jazz’ series on ACT.

mp3 256 kbps |117 MB | FSo | FSo

Stacey Kent’s innate ability to find and express the meaning in the songs she sings in an intimate and almost conversational style has led her to being one of the foremost voices of a generation, endlessly beguiling and captivating in the simplicity and purpose of her songs. Hushabye Mountain is soothing and delicate and her elegant treatment of the classic lullaby shows an inherent understanding of music with a distinct lack of unnecessary additions.

mp3 320 kbps | 96 MB | FSo | FSe

At the age of six, wanting to become a singer, Stefano Bollani would accompany himself on the family keyboard.  A few years later, he recorded a cassette of himself singing and playing, which he sent to his idol Renato Carosone, along with a letter explaining his dream.  Carosone replied advising him to listen to a lot of blues and jazz, and so Bollani did.



mp3 320 kbps | 129 MB | FSo | FSe

The Captain Black Big Band, led by pianist Orrin Evans, is a high-intensity, swinging affair featuring a number of top soloists from the jazz scenes of New York and Philadelphia. Recorded during three different live performances in 2010, the group features a rotating cast of thirty-eight musicians over seven tracks. Despite the lack of a cohesive unit, the disc maintains stunning consistency with undeniable spirit and musical drive. From the opening “Art of War,” a blistering, boppish piece featuring a jaw-dropping solo by alto saxophonist Rob Landham, the bands tight ensemble passages and intuitive use of dynamics creates an unrelenting high-energy vibe. The band is propelled by lead trumpeter Walter White, who, as a soloist, navigates through the up-tempo maze of Evans’ “Big Jimmy” with strength and cleverness. Veteran saxophonist Ralph Bowen follows White on “Big Jimmy” with flowing soprano lines. Evans contributes as a composer on four tracks and arranger on the closing “Jena 6,” a Mingus-like anthem-of-a-piece with an impressive opening piano cadenza by Neal Podgurski and other-worldly, emotive wailing from alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw. The presence of Podgurski and pianist Jim Holton on the title track allows Evans the freedom to leave the piano bench and take on a director’s role. Perhaps the ability to stand out in front of the band and keep all involved motivated is the key to Evans’ success. The results here are fresh, forward thinking and a cut above the typical big band fare.

mp3 VBR~235 kbps | 105 MB | FSo

Based on Muthspiel’s compositions the trio plays a partly improvised, song-oriented kind of chamber music, rhythmically deeply rooted in Jazz, whilst also harmonically lucid and free. Every note counts and every rest speaks. Wolfgang Muthspiel is a noted electric player but on this recording he uses an acoustic guitar more than ever before. He uses it to great effect, effortlessly combining the virtues of classical music and jazz improvisation.Larry Grenadier’s bouncing and elegant bass lines have graced the sound of the Brad Mehldau Trio since its formation, in ‘Drumfree’ a lesser-known aspect of his abilities can also be heard, the arco playing with bow. Swiss saxophone master Andy Scherrer’s touching sound brings a melancholic and poetic expanse to the music. The complex changes of the compositions (all of them by Muthspiel) inspire expressive solos throughout the album.

mp3 320 kbps | 123 MB | FSo | FSe


Lionel Belmondo: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, alto flute
Stéphane Belmondo: trumpet, bugle
Philippe Gauthier: flute
Jérôme Voisin: bass clarinet, soprano clarinet
François Christin: horn
Bernard Burgun: english horn
Cécile Hardouin: bassoon
Bastien Stil: tuba
Laurent Fickelson: piano, keyboards
Sylvain Romano: double bass
Dré Pallemaerts: drums, percussion
mp3 320 kbps | 120 MB | FSo | FSe

Those with passion for edgy and Neil Young in vinegary acoustic-rock mode need only know Chris Eckman (the Walkabouts, the innovative Sahara blues-influenced band Dirt Music) is one of those behind this occasionally churning, electro-rock outing with musicians from Slovenia where he now lives. The other prime mover is Rupert Huber (of the European downbeat electronica outfit Tosca) who feels a similar sense of displacement.With a chorus of women offering the spooky backdrop behind the keening and sharp guitar on Land of the Lost, groove-riding instrumentals which deliver a sense of unease (Longitude Zero has distant ululations and sinuous Vocoder) and titles like Wrong Train Comin’ .

mp3 320 kbps | 108 MB | FSo | FSe

Gil Scott-Heron was at his most righteous and provocative on this album. The title cut was a moving, angry summation of the social injustices Scott-Heron felt had led the nation to a particularly dangerous period, while “The Bottle” was a great treatise on the dangers of alcohol abuse. He also offered his thoughts on Nixon’s legacy with “The H2O Gate Blues,” a classic oral narrative. Brian Jackson‘s capable keyboard, acoustic piano and arranging talents helped make this a first-rate release, one of several the duo issued during the 1970s.

mp3 192 kbps | 109 MB | FSo

01 – Warm Love (3:22)
02 – Take your Hands Out Of My Pocket (4:03)
03 – Here Comes The Night (3:17)
04 – I Just Want To Make Love To You (5:36)
05 – Brown Eyed Girl (3:12)
06 – Moonshine Whiskey (7:14)
07 – Moondance (5:19)
08 – Help Me (2:41)
09 – Domino (4:37)
10 – Caravan (8:45)
11 – Cyprus Avenue (9:34)
12 – Wild Night (4:21)

BONUS (Lost Tracks From This Concert)
13 – I Paid The Price (6:43)
14 – Saint Dominic’s Preview (6:18)
15 – Gloria (3:16) (cut, Dave Fanning talking over)
Total Time 1:18:27

LineUp :
Van: Vocals
John Platania – Guitar
Jeff Labes – Keyboards
Jack Schroer – Saxophones
Bill Atwood – Trumpet
David Hayes – Bass
Dahaud Shaar – Drums
Terry Adams – Cello
Nancy Ellis – Viola
Tom Halpin – Violin
Tim Kovatch – Violin
Nathan Rubin – Violin

FLAC+Covers | 263 MB +231 MB | FSo1 | FSo2

Using original ECM recordings as a starting point, Villalobos and Loderbauer create new music that bridges several worlds, including ECM’s world of space-conscious improvisation and composition and the worlds of ambient electronics and minimal techno. Source materials on ‘Re: ECM’ include recordings of Christian Wallumrød (The Zoo Is Far & Fabula Suite Lugano), Alexander Knaifel (Svete Tikhiy, Amicta Sole & Blazhenstva), Louis Sclavis (L’imperfait des langues), John Abercrombie (Timeless), Bennie Maupin (The Jewel in The Lotus), Arvo Pärt (Kanon Pokajanen), Wolfert Brederode (Currents), Paul Giger (Ignis) and more – looped, sampled, remixed and reworked in evocative new treatments.

mp3 VBR~224 kbps | 232 MB | FSo | FSe

Harry Manx has spent years fusing eastern musical traditions with the blues, switching effortlessly between the conventional (guitars, harmonica, and banjo) and the decidedly different (the mohan veena, a 20-stringed instrument invented by Manx’ Indian spiritual mentor). Kevin Breit, the cerebral guitarist for the likes of Norah Jones—he’s also recorded with artists as diverse as Celine Dion and Lou Reed—can wring virtually any sound out of any stringed instrument. Here, he plays various guitars, lap slide, ukulele, mandolin, and electric sitar.Together, the two are more than capable of musical weirdness, the kind of brainy music that’s quite simply beyond most audiences.

Flac | 255 MB | FSo | Fse

New release from the Australian singer/songwriter. Cilla Jane has steadily built her profile on home shores over the past years, receiving the coveted John Butler Seed Fund grant and has shared the stage with the likes of The Audreys, Kate Miller-Heidke, Tim Freedman, Brian Kennedy and Luka Bloom to name a few. The album is a unique combination of haunting strings, piano and vocals, it rises and falls, taking listeners on a journey through an incredible soundscape.

mp3 VBR~ 220 kbps | 48 MB | FSo | FSe

Heather Nova has been the shining light of the 90 female singer / songwriter league. Her soulful vocals, the particular combination of melodic pop-rock and seemingly fragile lyricism and, above all, their natural stage presence, music critics and fans enthusiasm today. No wonder that her eighth studio album is now 300 Days At Sea is awaited with great anticipation. Quite different from their earlier recordings made in London and LA, she wrote the songs for 300 Days at Sea in idyllic isolation. Inflamed with new musical vision, she works on the new album and takes in its own on solar-powered studio. Passionate, intense and rocking than ever get the 12 tracks that appear to the listener like short stories set to music.

mp3 224 kbps | 81 MB | FSo | FSe

The idea for Rock and Roll Joe began during Chip Taylor’s Scandinavian tour of 2007. As Chip traveled through Norway and Sweden with his longtime friend and guitarist John Platania, new protege fiddler Kendel Carson, drummer Bryan Owings and bass player Ron Eoff, they talked about everything. But many of the conversations revolved around the musicians that they knew and respected and Chip realized that most music fans didn’t really know the people who were behind many of the great records of the last 60 years.

mp3 256 kbps | 106 MB | FSo | FSe

Zayna Jumma is centered on an amalgam of Saharoui music from Northern Africa (Morocco region), ancestral Mauritanian musical form, and Gnawa music (Sub-Saharan African Trance music). Mauritanian instrumentals are incorporated employing the tinidit, a three-stringed lute traditionally played with a plectrum; the ardin, a harp played mostly by women with 12 to 14 strings; with a western korg synth played by Doueh’s son El Waar; a drum-kit played by his other son Hamdan; and Salmou “Doueh” Baamar’s desert blues inspired guitar. Recorded last year while making ends meet as the “go-to group of the Saharan wedding industry,” and playing with longtime Fela Kuti drummer Tonny Allen.

mp3 192 kbps | 47 MB | FSo | FSe

Hackworth has a variant of that big “chitlin circuit” tenor sound that people loved so much in Gene Ammons, David “Fathead” Newman and Houston Person. But he’s not afraid of the multiphonic screams and furious flurries of notes that distinguished the tenor generations that came after them. There’s no question that the music of Hackworth’s quartet here — with vibraphonist Jay Hoggard, Hammond B-3 player Radam Schwartz and drummer Earl Grice — is in the tradition of the music that once held sway at great Blue Collar Buffalo jazz clubs such as the Pine Grill, the Bon Ton and Jan’s, but it’s all played by the kind of musician who, as someone once described a politician, is not the kind of fellow who’s ever hesitant about which opening in a revolving door to enter. And there’s also no question that vibist Hoggard adds an element here you don’t often hear with such groups.

mp3 320 kbps | 124 MB | FSo | FSe

The Errant Charm is the new album from San Francisco’s Vetiver, and the band’s fifth full-length overall. Recorded by bandleader Andy Cabic and Thom Monahan, The Errant Charm is a superb soundtrack for an afternoon idyll. And that’s fitting. As he worked on material for the new record Cabic spent hours wandering the streets around San Francisco’s Richmond District, listening to rough mixes, tinkering with lyrics and arrangements. You can hear his strides in the tempo: Not hurried, just excited to be heading somewhere. And The Errant Charm features some of Vetiver’s most unabashed pop songs to date, with songs like the hazy, layered and sunlight-dappled “Hard to Break,” and the driving, propulsive “Wonder Why.

mp3 320 kbps | 97 MB | FSo

Sarabeth Tucek‘s second album Get Well Soon, written after the death of her father. A record of bereavement and survival, Tucek has described it as “an impressionist rendering of a time ruled by grief”, and as you might imagine from that it’s not always an easy task listening to emotions as raw as those laid bare on record.With a gorgeous voice that calls to mind Karen Carpenter, or a less husky Jesse Sykes, she’s got the goods to make a wonderful record, and nearly makes it with this release. We begin with short and mournful ‘The Wound and the Bow’ which finds Tucek at the start of her grieving process, the title being a nod to the Greek myth of Philoctetes and his wound that wouldn’t heal.

mp3 VBR~ 235 kbps | 80 MB | FSo | FSe

“Outbreeding” is at once raw, honest, playful and poignant, leaving the listener unsure of whether to laugh or weep – the exact kind of divergent response that has made David Thomas Broughton inspire such devotion in his fans and followers. For DTB converts, “Outbreeding” is essential listening; for the uninitiated it’s the perfect entry point into his magical body of work.The new album is still very much his odd brand of folk, but it explores more textures. These songs feel more worked over, more considered, and yet there’s something more playful about them.

mp3 VBR~ 235 kbps | 83 MB |  FSo | FSe

This Album attempts to capture all of the aspects of Huke as an artist. From the roots rock, to the folk. To the happy…and the dark. You’ll find some new material never released on an album, and more intimate versions of some of the songs you’ve heard on the album recorded at Rudyard’s.

Huke Green – Vocals, Guitar, Guitjo, Harmonica, Bass
Tommy Worley – Lead Guitar, Resonator, Guitjo
Samuel Barker – Bass
Kev Harris – Drums
Jonathan Lin – Violin

mp3 160 kbps | 49 MB | FSo