Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Fall - The Complete Peel Sessions 1978-2004

This was posted long time ago on these very pages, I know. But links are broken so a re-up is absolutely deserved. I'm bit lazy lately, taken by a lot of stupid things in "real life". And of course by MW3. Anyway, I feel that this comprensive labour of love, that goes by the name of "The Complete Peel Sessions", will make your week-end a bit better, either if you're an hardcore Fall fan-boy/girl or random listener of the "best band in the world". There's a lot of music in it and is top class.


CD3 part 1
CD3 part 2
CD6 part 1
CD6 part 2

CD3 and CD6 are comprised of two parts. Download both and then extract with winrar.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Paolo Fresu/A Filetta Corsican Voices/Daniele di Bonaventura - Mistico Mediterraneo

At a time when cross-pollination has become the new musical evolution, ECM Records remains at the vanguard. Whether blending music of Tunisian origins with European impressionistic concerns and hints of New World groove on oudist Anouar Brahem's The Astounding Eyes of Rita (2009), or marrying Persian percussion with Baroque instrumentation and Fourth World improvisation on keyboardist Jon Balke's Siwan (2009), few labels (if any) can boast such an impressive catalogue of constant innovation, where unfailing respect for tradition is matched by an equal disregard for the hard-coded conventions that seem, on the surface, inherent to its very definition.

Mistico Mediterraneo follows in the footsteps of Jan Garbarek and The Hillard Ensemble's (so far) trifecta, including Officium Novum (2010), where the saxophonist and classical vocal group turned eastward, further enriching an improvised language they've honed for nearly two decades. But as a collaboration between trumpeter Paolo Fresu, Corsican vocal group A Filetta, and bandoeonist Daniele di Bonaventura, the roots of Mistico Mediterraneo—and its ultimate destination—are inherently different. Rather than looking to an extant classical repertoire that crosses not just centuries, but millennia, Mistico Mediterraneo's song cycle is of distinctly contemporary origins, though the polyphonic tradition at its core dates back to the 9th century. The music may sometimes feel of timeless antiquity, but hints of modernity abound, as in French film composer Bruno Colais' "Le lac," where Fresu's electronically treated horn creates a near-ambient soundscape, over which di Bonaventura's bandoneon evokes a rippling, Steve Reich-ian pulse before A Filetta enters, with a plaintive chant revolving around a repetitive, descending three-chord pattern.

The bass-heavy A Filette—now led by Jean-Claude Acquaviva who, joining the group at 13, has since become its primary composer, contributing five pieces to this program—brings a different vocal tradition to the table than The Hilliards, one as steeped in the folk tradition of its locale as it is a classical one, blending sacred and secular texts sung in French, Corsican and Latin. Above it all Fresu, a trumpeter with his own deep roots in the jazz vernacular of Chet Baker and Miles Davis, intertwines with A Filette's seven voices, while engaging with di Bonaventura—surely the European answer to South American bandoneon master (and label-mate) Dino Saluzzi—on a profoundly interpretive level. This sublime combination of voice, horn and reeds is particularly effective on Jean-Michel Giannelli's "Dies Irae" which, despite its Latin text and cascading voices, somehow feels cousin to bassist Charlie Haden's often-covered "Silence."

Mistico Mediterraneo has something else that Garbarek/The Hilliards don't—a pulse. Tracks like "Gloria," with di Bonaventura's propulsive, ebb-and-flow rhythm supported by A Filette's similarly driven delivery, meet modernity with the timbral oscillations of Fresu's horn, while the all-vocal miniature, "La folie du Cardinal," would be relentless if it weren't only a couple minutes in duration. It all comes together in a recording that might be compared too quickly to Garbarek and The Hilliards' ongoing collaboration, but with music at least partly rooted in more temperate locales farther south, the superb Mistico Mediterraneo sings with a resonant collective voice all its own.

Track Listing: Rex tremendae; Liberata; Da tè à mè; Le lac; Dies irae; Gloria; Corale; La folie du Cardinal; U sipolcru; Scherzi veranili; Figliolu d'ella; Gradualis; Sanctus.

Personnel: Paolo Fresu: trumpet, flugelhorn; Daniele di Bonaventura: bandoneon. A Filetta: Jean-Claude Acquaviva: seconda; Paul Giansily: terza; Jean-Luc Geronimi: seconda; José Filippi: bassu; Jean Sicurani: bassu; Maxime Vuillamier: bassu; Ceccè Acquaviva: bassu.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Charles Mingus - The Complete Candid Recordings

Bassist/leader Charles Mingus cut some of his most exciting and rewarding recordings for Candid in 1960 and this superb four-LP set (which unfortunately is a limited edition) contains all of the music except for a couple of alternate takes that showed up later on. Five selections feature the brilliant piano-less quartet of Eric Dolphy (on alto, bass clarinet, and flute), trumpeter Ted Curson, Mingus, and drummer Dannie Richmond, and these are highlighted by the bass clarinet-bass conversation on "What Love" and the interplay between the four musicians on the very memorable "Folk Forms No. 1." Other musicians are added to six other selections (including the 19-minute jam "MDM") and five other numbers feature trumpeter Roy Eldridge who is teamed with altoist Dolphy on three of the songs; those pieces originally appeared on the Newport Rebels' LP. This is a highly recommended set.

Download Disc 2
Download Disc 3

Monday, November 14, 2011

Yo-Yo Ma - J. S. Bach: The 6 Unaccompanied Cello Suites

Yo-Yo Ma recorded J.S. Bach's Six Unaccompanied Cello Suites on two occasions, first for release on LP in 1983, then again in 1997 on CD. It is the 1983 recording that is presented in Sony's Great Performances line, and the original digital recordings have been processed through direct stream digital to enhance the cello's sound with greater warmth and presence. Ma's readings of Bach are fairly liberal in rhythm and phrasing, and are decidedly more intuitive than analytical, with plenty of rubato and elongation of lines to suggest something like a free Romantic interpretation, far from any Baroque period re-creation. For some listeners who are fans of historically informed or authentic performances of Bach, this may be a stumbling block; but for most, Ma's expressive playing will seem satisfactory and quite enjoyable, if not exactly revelatory. There is a pensive quality to these performances that will strike some listeners as introspective and probing, while others may find them a bit self-indulgent and studied; either way, Ma falls short of ecstatic communion with the music and delivers a technically polished and intelligent performance that has grace and elegance, if not the deepest emotions or visionary heights. Competing with the magnificent recordings by Pablo Casals, Pierre Fournier, and Mstislav Rostropovich, this set can't be regarded as the last word in Bach's Cello Suites; however, it has held its own for many listeners over the years, and it deserves its place in Sony's valued reissue series.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Charles Mingus and Friends in Concert

Most of Charles Mingus's larger-group recordings, particularly in the later part of his career, tended to be unruly and somewhat undisciplined. This two-CD reissue set (which adds five selections to the original two-LP program), which celebrated Mingus's return to jazz after six years of little activity. Such great jazzmen as baritonist Gerry Mulligan, tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons, altoist Lee Konitz, pianist Randy Weston, James Moody (heard on flute) and a variety of Mingus regulars had a chance to play with the great bassist; even fellow bassist Milt Hinton and Bill Cosby (taking a humorous scat vocal) join in. Most of the music is overly loose but the overcrowded "E's Flat, Ah's Flat Too" and particularly the "Little Royal Suite" are memorable. The "Little Royal Suite," in addition to Ammons, Konitz, Mulligan, Charles McPherson and Bobby Jones, features an 18-year old Jon Faddis (who was sitting in for an ailing Roy Eldridge) stealing the show.
Download Disc 2

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Charles Mingus - Mingus Ah Um

Charles Mingus' debut for Columbia, Mingus Ah Um is a stunning summation of the bassist's talents and probably the best reference point for beginners. While there's also a strong case for The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady as his best work overall, it lacks Ah Um's immediate accessibility and brilliantly sculpted individual tunes. Mingus' compositions and arrangements were always extremely focused, assimilating individual spontaneity into a firm consistency of mood, and that approach reaches an ultra-tight zenith on Mingus Ah Um. The band includes longtime Mingus stalwarts already well versed in his music, like saxophonists John Handy, Shafi Hadi, and Booker Ervin; trombonists Jimmy Knepper and Willie Dennis; pianist Horace Parlan; and drummer Dannie Richmond. Their razor-sharp performances tie together what may well be Mingus' greatest, most emotionally varied set of compositions. At least three became instant classics, starting with the irrepressible spiritual exuberance of signature tune "Better Get It in Your Soul," taken in a hard-charging 6/8 and punctuated by joyous gospel shouts. "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" is a slow, graceful elegy for Lester Young, who died not long before the sessions. The sharply contrasting "Fables of Faubus" is a savage mockery of segregationist Arkansas governor Orval Faubus, portrayed musically as a bumbling vaudeville clown (the scathing lyrics, censored by skittish executives, can be heard on Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus). The underrated "Boogie Stop Shuffle" is bursting with aggressive swing, and elsewhere there are tributes to Mingus' three most revered influences: "Open Letter to Duke" is a suite of three tunes; "Bird Calls" is inspired by Charlie Parker; and "Jelly Roll" is an idiosyncratic yet affectionate nod to jazz's first great composer, Jelly Roll Morton. It simply isn't possible to single out one Mingus album as definitive, but Mingus Ah Um comes the closest.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble - From The Stairwell

Upon listening to The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, one will find that their lengthy name is actually quite fitting to their sound. The hodgepodge septet of Europeans (the ‘Ensemble’) began its peculiar origin (‘Kilimanjaro’) when band founders Jason Köhnen (AKA breakcore musician Bong-Ra) and Gideon Kiers began merging their audio and visual skills to readapt old films such as Nosferatu and Metropolis. The ‘Darkjazz’ part of their title is just that, an arcane interpretation of the otherwise familiar jazz stylings we all know. While not as grim-sounding as their German contemporaries, Bohren & Der Club Of Gore, TKDE exhibits an interesting mix of the dismal and the serene while constructing an atmosphere that is easy to be immersed in.

From the Stairwell comes to us after two little-known, but otherwise well-received LPs; their 2006 eponymous debut and 2009’s Here Be Dragons. In their previous works, TKDE have had a troubled way with direction and structure which, while still interesting, lead listeners to blur the line between The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble and their improvisational alter-ego band, The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation. In finally setting the two bands apart, From the Stairwell takes us on a winding tour of more of everything that had initially made their music interesting. More trip-hop, more post-rock and more electronic bits. With that, it plays as their most distinguished and intentional effort yet.

From a sultry string section leading into sinister horn and bass tones, the opening track, All is One, carries itself into a delicate piano section reminiscent of a Miyazaki film. It’s the perfect opener for the album to preview what kind of new tricks TKDE has to offer on this release. As the song progresses into an irregular ride pattern behind queasy muted brass tones and a certain ominous drone, we get our first taste of Charlotte Cegarra’s eerie, hostile vocals that take us to a tense and smoky jazz club. This is where TKDE’s imagery begins.

Only fifteen minutes later are we taken into the unlikely gem Cocaine, which sees your ears stumbling into gritty, busy factory that seem to be operated by… no one? Ghosts? It might not fit into the jazz-influenced mold that the rest of the songs on the album do but it’s the most evident result of TKDE’s experimentation within a sound they are already comfortable with. This barren track is full of industrial tones, creeping along with machinery noises, reversed chimes and what appears to be samples of steam-powered mechanisms that just grow colder and more intense until an ambient light is reached near the end.

On later tracks, such as White Eyes, the hopeful Celladoor and Les Étoiles Mutantes (The Mutant Stars), the band shows off the recent addition of Tortoise-esque post-rock elements to their repertoire as well as a ton of electronic bleeps and fizzes, no doubt on account of Bong-Ra’s background. The latter track, while not the closer, brings the LP back to the atmosphere it started on in All is One, only on a higher plane, a sign that we’ve now come up From the Stairwell. The bending guitar tones and electric keys behind Cegarra’s echoing voice bring to mind some of Stars of the Lid’s earlier material and set the music in some sort of luxurious floating space beatnik club leaving the earth’s surroundings playing only the most sophisticated of future-jazz.

It’s a shame that TKDE thought it was necessary to include the 12-minute, drawn out drone-fest that is the actual closer, Past Midnight. Without that track, in the light of everything mentioned above, I would have forgotten about the few things I thought weak from this release: Sporadic encounters with long, dragging sections somewhere between filler and build-up with often no details of interest as well as very busy segments where too many tones are blending and it’s difficult to comprehend what is going on in an otherwise quite articulate release.

As much as The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble’s brand of jazz isn’t mainstream material by any stretch, with From The Stairwell, they’ve made themselves accessible for the first time. By mastering what they already had to offer and then adding even more flesh to their bones, they’ve concocted a release bound to entice more than simply their obscure cult fan base. Finally established as a band with direction and intent, The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble’s 3rd LP is one to be taken in by an audience as diverse as the influences present in it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mingus on Mingus

Directed by Kevin Ellington Mingus
Mingus on Mingus is a documentary of a grandson discovering the truths behind the legend of the grandfather he never knew. Known to the world as a composer who left one of the largest musical legacies of the 20th century, the film highlights the voices of the people he touched and the places he lived.  While following the search for a grandfather and a true jazz legend, we rediscover both, the man and the artist: Charles Mingus.
An Orangethenblue Production

For infos and support

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Godspeed You Black Emperor! - Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven

Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven, the much-anticipated follow-up to Godspeed You Black Emperor's Slow Riot, is a double-disc achievement of four works (each with multiple parts): "Storm," "Static," "Sleep," and "Antennas to Heaven." It is a windfall for any fan of ambient pop, orchestral rock, space rock, or simply lush string arrangements who understands how powerful love, melancholy, and frustration can be. The main complaint voiced by critics of Godspeed's music is that their works just repeat the same pattern: start out sparse and slow, build-build-build, crescendo. While there are certainly crescendos, there is no such predictable pattern repeated among the works on Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven -- it's loaded with dynamics, unexpected sections, strong emotions and beauty.

The album opener, "Storm," is a leap for GYBE! that, alone, makes this release worth getting. It's a rapturous work that rises with a potent melancholy, driven by heartrending emotions. "Storm" vents a powerful frustration (each listener can insert their own reasons why) with majestic screams of strings, guitars, and layers, resulting in a climactic and passionate soaring. It eventually winds down into an exhausted aftermath of piano, underlying drones, and frustrated rants. The second piece, "Static," is a wandering, isolationist piece of bleak expanses shaded with darker emotions, but the remaining two works raise the album back up to the impressive standard set by the opening cut, though with less furor and even more loveliness. "Sleep" opens with an elderly gentleman reminiscing about Coney Island, and his frank and amusing narration briefly recalls the recordings of David Greenberger and scenes from the documentary Vernon, FL. This narration is followed by a slow and melodic piece featuring a pseudo-theremin effect amidst all of the other instrumentation. "Antennas to Heaven" opens with someone playing acoustic guitar, singing "What'll We Do with the Baby-O," soon washed over with sound, which then gives way to a brief chorus of glockenspiels, and on.

During most of Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven, musical and emotional opposites alternate as regularly, and naturally, as breathing: delicate string work and rock-out guitar and drums, spoken word and walls of sound, gracious and possessed, tip-toes and cliff-diving, dark hallways and blinding sunshine.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Matana Roberts - COIN COIN Chapter One: Gens de couleur libres

Independent rock labels have made great headway in turning on listeners to challenging, cutting-edge jazz. Homestead and Henry Rollins’ defunct 213 and Infinite Zero labels helped expose David S. Ware, Matthew Shipp, and William Parker to more casual jazz fans in the early 90s, and these and other avant jazz artists have been doing great work for Thirsty Ear’s Blue Series over the last decade. The fact that alto saxophonist and composer Matana Roberts’ extraordinary new album COIN COIN is released on Constellation, a label better known for serious, somber rock, tells us Roberts knows this music deserves and can net a wider audience than more traditional jazz records would reach. In fact, the Chicago-born Roberts was already something of a post-rock fellow traveler, playing on Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s Yanqui U.X.O. and inviting members of Tortoise to guest on one of her albums. She was also in jazz trio Sticks and Stones alongside Josh Abrams and Chad Taylor, two other players active in Chicago’s cozy jazz/rock/whatever milieu. But in the end, making these connections primarily serves to pique curiosity and draw in listeners, as COIN COIN is a pure celebration of jazz.
COIN COIN was recorded live in the studio of Montreal’s Hotel2Tango last July with Roberts leading a group of 15 musicians playing multiple saxophones, two trumpets, two basses, two violins, a cello, piano, prepared guitar, drums, musical saw, and doudouk. That’s a large group, and the inclusion of the last two instruments especially might lead one to think the arrangements are needlessly crowded or exotic, but it certainly never feels like that. Edited down from a 90-minute performance to an hour, the music can be busy, even noisy, but these passages fit smartly within a larger compositional whole.
The album begins with a scorching solo burst of saxophone that recalls the fire music cries of Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp, and late-period John Coltrane. What follows over the next six minutes of opening track “rise” is a composition that references multiple styles of jazz, then detours into wholly original territory, most notably during Roberts’ theatrical spoken word/half-sung portions. These vocals, featuring Gitanjali Jain alongside Roberts, appear throughout the album, with a narrative that concerns the history of slavery in America and how it continued to affect and inform the lives of African Americans throughout the 20th century. Some sections offer stronger images and impressions than others, while Roberts and Jain’s intertwining vocals often favor ambiguity and emotional resonance over clarity and pedagogy. While I personally tend to shy away from spoken word or vocalese in jazz, these vocals are essential to its success.
COIN COIN’s middle section serves as a self-contained example of what Roberts and her band have accomplished on a larger scale. “kerasia” begins with a repetitious modal vamp before the music softens to allow Roberts’ and Jain’s vocals to dominate the track. The instruments soon come back on full blast, with Roberts leading the pack, picking the opening theme back up before sliding into a Dixieland romp that eventually mutates into a free jazz spree. This then segues into the centerpiece of the album, “libation for Mr. Brown: Bid em in…,”a soulful a cappella gospel blues chant that recalls a slave auction. In just 15 minutes, these tracks cover an astonishing amount of musical ground, highlighting Roberts’ skill as both composer and performer.
By the time the album nears its end, you may feel like you’ve already been on an exhausting, emotionally charged trip, but the most intense music is saved for last two tracks. “i am” features stunning wordless vocals over rambunctious musicianship, while “how much would you cost?” closes out the album with a moving dedication to Roberts’ mother. The exuberant cheers and applause from the small studio audience at performance’s end remind you that what you’ve just heard has happened in real time, making it all the more impressive.
COIN COIN, the first half of a larger politically-charged and personal work, is one of those records you didn’t know you were waiting for, couldn’t expect you wanted or needed to hear. It’s already grabbed the attention of both jazz aficionados and its more casual fans, impressing both in equal fashion. This is complex, life-affirming music that’s both serious and playful, steeped in tradition yet as highly original and forward-thinking as anything you’re likely to hear this year.
01. rise
02. pov piti
03. song for eulalie
04. kersaia
05. libation for Mr. Brown: Bid em in…
06. lulla/bye
07. i am
08. how much would you cost?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Konitz/Mehldau/Haden/Motian: Live at Birdland

The tunes are familiar, Great American Songbook and jazz standards all. So for those unfamiliar with the names involved in this quartet outing, the old complaint of "same old same old" could surface. But with alto saxophonist Lee Konitz at the top of the listing, "same old same old" gets rolled out the door.

Konitz, with over 60 years of professional experience—from the 1949 Birth of the Cool (Capitol Records, 1957) sessions with arranger Gil Evans and trumpeter Miles Davis, to the present day—is one of the most distinctively original of jazz artists. His plaintive, ghostly cry opens the set on "Loverman." The tune has been given stellar treatments by, most famously, singer Billie Holiday and alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, and here it announces an uncommon listening experience to follow. Konitz's alto saxophone tone is hollow and bitingly tart, with a hint of a growl scratching around the edges, an invitation to the spacious and thoughtful delicacy of Brad Mehldau's piano, the whisper and scratch of Paul Motian's drums, and the spare-but perfect placement of Charlie Haden's bass notes.

Even the youngster in the line-up, Mehldau, has more than two decades of recording and performing in the resume; so when a group like this gets together for an impromptu session at New York's Birdland—one of jazz's most productive live recording venues—magic can happen, and it did this night. It's not a magic of the look at me, virtuosic, fireworks variety, but one of a melding of four different and very experienced perspectives on some of those jazz tunes that seem—after all these years—to be coded in our DNA, the musicians becoming one on this outing, creating melodic mutations that give birth to new sonic entities, new species altogether, maybe even a new genus or two, recognizable, but very different from the original organisms while still exuding a quality of familiar beauty.

"Loverman," the opener, and Sonny Rollins' "Oleo" are in the new genus category. If taken in small doses on a casual or distracted listen, they can be unrecognizable in snippets, and seem like forarys into free jazz. In part, they may be. Konitz is especially loose in his interpretations, drifting and swirling around in a variety of melodic side eddies that drift at unexpected times—usually briefly—back into the mainstream flow.

"Lullaby of Birdland" and "I Fall In Love Too Easily" don't stray so far from what might be called standard interpretations, though it seems Konitz is trying to do just that, leaving Melhdau more the keeper of the melody, a task the pianist takes on with uncommon aplomb and originality and, yes, freedom.

Miles Davis' "Solar" is a tune that has managed to sound timeless for more than 50 years. Konitz staggers in here, with a rather harsh and stentorian tone, like a blaring shower singer, until four crisp alto notes, followed post-haste by the piano rolling with the same riff, announce the tune, and draw in the masterful wandering of Motian and Haden.

It's the title of another of the set's American Songbook tunes, "You Stepped Out of a Dream," that describes the mood. In the hands of these seasoned musicians, this music has an often skewed and surreal, out of a dream quality. We've heard them before, but never quite like this, unfolding in a way that doesn't quite make logical sense; revealing new and unexpected angles of their beauty.

Tracks: Loverman; Lullaby of Birdland; Solar; I Fall in Love Too Easily; You Stepped Out of a Dream.

Personnel: Lee Konitz: alto saxophone; Brad Mehldau: piano; Charlie Haden: bass; Paul Motian: drums.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Avishai Cohen - Seven Seas

Over the past few years, bassist Avishai Cohen has become recognized as one of the most creative musicians of current times. A fertile composer of the highest rank, he has, among other things, enriched and expanded the genre he works in: a master of the upright bass, an improviser of not-so-often-seen genius, and a bandleader with a rich and kaleidoscopic history.

Seven Seas is another exceptional chapter in the Cohen catalog, one that showcases a willingness to stretch itself to the breaking point and open up the music to a wider array of approaches. It is one of his most spontaneous recordings, with both disciplinarian and freewheeling sense of adventurous interaction. In general, there is a spirit of true exploration on his records which is also evident here, with adventurous improvisation added to that blend of Mediterranean melodies (with touches of Ladino/Judeo-Spanish heritage) and the art of jazz. As always, he successfully blends, extracts, adapts, and layers one set of music onto another, through a personal approach to music making. In the constant sonic middle ground, there are the sounds of piano, bass and percussion, and the occasional oud and brass ensemble, that merge the melody and rhythm brilliantly.

Dreaming is an inspired opener, with playful harmonies, wordless vocals, irregular phrase lengths and the sort of lyricism and playfulness that has long been a hallmark of his trio with drummer Mark Guiliana. The magic of this band shines on the title track, where Shai Maestro's piano acts as a gorgeous signpost to which virtually all of these musicians can return. His melodic sensibility and crisp tone are beacons in the often swirling, escalating and cascading whorls of melodies and interchanges. The longer this album plays, though, the more this music flourishes on its own. At moments it is beautiful beyond description.

Empathetic communication is the key to jazz of the highest order, and that kind of communication is evident from start to finish, regardless of the compositions' dynamics. The way this band shifts seamlessly from one style to another pays substantial creative dividends. "Ani Aff" features the Latino rhythms and melodies for which Cohen is well-known, and that type of playfulness and interchange simply shines on "Two Roses," embellished by Itamar Douari's percussion work. But that kind of interplay is also evident on quieter tracks such as "Staav," which unfolds slowly, with beautiful piano melodies augmented by Cohen and Douari, who add subtle touches here and there, as well as "Hayo Hayta" and the closing "Tres Hermanicas Eran," a traditional Ladino song, beautifully sung by Cohen.

Seven Seas is a remarkable album; most impressive is Cohen's clarity of vision, which is what separates the boys from men. Cohen knows what he wants and, even better, he knows how to achieve it. The album's immediate attraction is its loose, fresh informality, a spontaneous and sparkling liveliness. The result of this unlikely union is one of the most seamlessly beautiful works Cohen has ever produced.

Track Listing: Dreaming; About a Tree; Seven Seas; Halah; Staav; Ani Aff; Worksong; Hayo Hayta; Two Roses; Tres Hermanicas Eran

Personnel: Avishai Cohen: vocals, acoustic and electric bass; Karen Malka: vocals; Shai Maestro: piano, keyboards; Itamar Douari: percussion

Download from Wupload
Download from Fileserve

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Jethro Tull - Aqualung (40th Anniversary Edition) {2011}

This 40th anniversary remastered edition of Aqualung is easily the most difference making remaster I've ever heard. The sound just jumps out at you and because of this, there is a freshness to this version that almost makes it sound brand new. Already a classic album, the sound on Aqualung now takes us back to those days when we listened to these on vinyl in all their rich analog glory! Ian Anderson and the rest of the band sound great. There are sounds brought in from the ends of the spectrum that as I said before, making listening to this album a brand new experience. Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree did the remastering. His efforts on this and the King Crimson catalog have sort of made him the caretaker of these progressive rock classics. I'm going to go grab myself a beer, sit back and listen to this again and once again relive the music from this by-gone era.

One other note: The 2nd disc in this edition is also a must have, but if you already own the last release of Aqualung (the one with bonus tracks), you will want to keep it. There are some differences in the bonus material. Review by FLASH.

01. Aqualung (New Stereo Mix)
02. Cross-eyed Mary (New Stereo Mix)
03. Cheap Day Return (New Stereo Mix)
04. Mother Goose (New Stereo Mix)
05. Wondring Aloud (New Stereo Mix)
06. Up To Me (New Stereo Mix)
07. My God (New Stereo Mix)
08. Hymn 43 (New Stereo Mix)
09. Slipstream (New Stereo Mix)
10. Locomotive Breath (New Stereo Mix)
11. Wind-up (New Stereo Mix)

01. Lick Your Fingers Clean (New Mix)
02. Just Trying To Be (New Mix)
03. My God (Early Version)
04. Wondring Aloud (13th December 1970)
05. Wind-up (Early Version New Mix)
06. Slipstream (Take 2)
07. Up The Pool (Early Version)
08. Wondring Aloud, Again (Full Morgan Version)
09. Life Is A Long Song (New Mix)
10. Up The Pool (New Mix)
11. Dr Bogenbroom (2011 Remastered)
12. From Later (2011 Remastered)
13. Nursie (2011 Remastered)
14. Us Radio Spot


John Zorn - Nova Express

Following up on seeds first planted in the depths of the Interzone conspiracy, Nova Express combines the quirky atonal lyricism of Zorn's classical music with the cut up techniques of Naked City and the intimate virtuosity of the Masada songbook. Scored for a modern jazz quartet of vibes, piano, bass and drums, these episodic, dynamic and moody compositions feature some of Zorn's strongest writing. Performed by an all-star group of four downtown masters, this is an exciting new sound from the world of John Zorn. Modern chamber music filled with beautiful details and dramatic passions composed and conducted by our East Village musical

Joey Baron: Drums
Trevor Dunn: Bass
John Medeski: Piano
Kenny Wollesen: Vibes


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cyro Baptista's Banquet of the Spirits - Caym – Book of Angels - Vol. 17 {Tzadik}

Cyro Baptista's Banquet of the Spirits plays John Zorn's Masada Book 2

Featuring: Cyro Baptista Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz Tim Keiper Brian Marsella

Written in a flash of creativity during three months in late 2004, the 316 compositions in John Zornメs Book of Angels contain some of his most critically acclaimed works. Recorded by a wide variety of ensembles over the past seven years, Caym is the 17th album in the series. In this latest release, Zorn bestowed 12 previously un-recorded songs upon Banquet of the Spirits and left them in their able hands.

Caym is a musical journey ヨ an album that takes the listener from the favelas of Brazil to the deserts of Morocco to the Islands of Japan and everywhere in between. Each new track creates a unique landscape, capturing the true essence of the musical conquest the band embarks on. This album is, once again, a true realization of the guiding principles Cyro formed this band around ヨ the concept of 'Anthropofagia' or 'Cultural Cannibalism'.

As Zorn himself put it, 'This dynamic CD brings my lyrical compositions to life like never before.'