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agosto 30, 2020

Pink Martini - Splendor in the Grass - 2009

Few groups perform so well, in the multiple styles that dominate and fuse, with an elegant and clean sound with a retro air: glamor, beauty, elegance and "dolcefarniente" distils their music, Pink Martini is among the Cuban dance bands of the 30s, a classical chamber orchestra, a "palazzo" in Napoli, a Brazilian parade, a film noir or a romantic musical from the 40s or 50s, but with a global and modernist perspective.
Splendor in the Grass (2009) is their penultimate work, once again showing us that they are still in good shape, at a very high instrumental level and in line with their three previous albums: an extraordinary ability to mix their own compositions with the most original versions. The themes are in English, French, Neapolitan, Italian and Spanish, with its unmistakable touch, always romantic, friendly and bittersweet. "Ninnananna" is the beginning of the album, a lullaby in Neapolitan "for a sleeping sailor who dreams in blue" (composed by his friends Alba Clemente and Massimo Audiello); "Ohayoo Ohio" is a colorful jazz cocktail from guitarist and songwriter Dan Faehnle; Alex Marashian is the co-author of five of the thirteen songs, "Splendor in theGrass" (which incorporates a fragment from Thaikovsky's Piano Concerto in B minor and is a return to classic pop from the 70s, inspired by William Wordsworth, Walt Withman and TheCarpentiers), the delicious chachacha "Oùestmatête?", "And thenyou´regone" and "Butnow I´m back" that narrate the courtship between Lorenzo and María (based on the opening of the Fantasy in F minor for piano by Franz Schubert and sounding musical), and the funny "Bitty Boppy Betty" (with cool percussion and wind sections).
"SundayTable" and "Over the Valley" are by China Forbes and Thomas M. Lauderdale (leaders of the band), describing everyday love and the sights from the Forbes house; "Tuca tuca" (first song by Italian Rafaella Carrá), a dance and flirtation that plays with Peter Sellers' sitar in the movie "The Party"; "Sing", originally composed by Joe Raposo for the series "Sesame Street" (sung in bilingual by China Forbes and Emilio Delgado, and accompanied by The Royal Blues of Grant High School in Portland); a curious version of "Piensa en me" (performed by Chavela Vargas herself), and "New Amsterdam" (a beautiful ode to New York City, with dialogues of winds, piano and the Tsunami Singers of thePacific YouthChoir), complete the album, accompanied by The Harvey Rosencratz Orchestra.
In short, music to listen to and enjoy, without another occupation, an album that, like the previous ones, transports us all over the planet with its highly successful fusion of rhythms, melodies and languages ​​that makes them unique.
Tracks list:
01. Ninna nanna
02. Ohayoo Ohio
03. Splendor in the Grass
04. Oùest ma tête?
05. An Then You´re Gone
06. But Now I´m Back
07. Sunday Table
08. Over the Valley
09. Tucatuca
10. Bitty Boppy Betty
11. Sing
12. Piensa en mi
13. New Amsterdam
14. Ninna nanna (reprise)

agosto 28, 2020

The Calais Sessions - 2016

On October 24, 2016, the dismantling of the "Jungle of Calais" began, the largest makeshift migrant camp in Europe, with more than 7000 refugees who had been forced to flee their homes, most of them wanting to cross to United Kingdom through the Eurotunnel. A year earlier, a group of artists went the other way, wanting to do something to fight the humanitarian crisis that was unfolding a few kilometers from their homes. The result was The Calais Sessions, an album recorded by the inhabitants of "La Jungla", whose objective was to involve the people who lived in the countryside in a project that would increase their self-esteem, channeling their talent through music.
It all started with the photo of the corpse of Aylan, aged three, on a Turkish beach. Vanessa Lucas-Smith, a British cellist, reacted with more than compassion. The following weekend he landed in Calais with a group of artists. "Our first intention was personal: to understand what was happening, who those people were. But we were convinced that there would be music, and musicians, among the refugees. An hour after arriving - the cellist says - already a couple of Syrian musicians from London had formed a group with two compatriots from the field. And two days later they recorded the first cut ". Lucas-Smith is a cellist at the AllegriQuartet in London (and one of the main promoters of the project) and through the album he has understood that when "you give people instruments, they become something like bread, water or coal, it is something they really need, "he tells The New York Times.
The album opens with "TheLost Singer". For Moheddin, author of the song and singer with an extraordinary voice, that served as a passport: today she lives in London on her job, a tailor. "Khandahar" is an Afghan-Kurdish co-production, written in Farsi by two Afghan sisters, one aged nine and the other twelve. The melody was composed with the help of two Kurdish refugees, drummers.
Kasper is a 25-year-old Iraqi refugee. She raps about love on "UniversityStory," but in Bagdag she was making jewelry. He had to flee his home and after a grueling three-week journey he reached Calais. Mohammed Ismail (who plays "Ismail") is Afghan and likes to play the dambora, a stringed instrument. But the Taliban did not like his hobby because "one day they heard me play at home, they put my right arm in boiling water and told me they did it because it was the arm I play with." Now Ismail plays an instrument similar to the cello that they have created with pieces found in the field and has managed to overcome bad memories.
During the recording of the disc, the team encountered many difficulties as in February the French authorities began to dismantle the field, which affected many of the people involved. A group of Eritrean women, at first a bit reluctant, decided to record a religious song called "Yezus". At the end they were so excited about the project that they wanted to record another song, but the next morning they got up and couldn't go to their church to pray, rehearse or get inspired, they had demolished it.
Mexico is present on this disco-planet thanks to Carolina Ferrer and Jesús Bellosta Flores, two volunteers who worked in the fields and who recorded "La llorona". Laura, from the collective The Calais Sessions, recalls in La Vanguardia that "we soon discovered that the refugees had enormous talent; their personal stories impressed us as much as the musical cultures that traveled with them. We decided that it was essential that these people integrate into our collective to transcribe their stories into music. And that it was another trip, but different, in which everyone - Syrians, Afghans, Sudanese, Eritreans - shared that world of coexistence and harmony that music proposes ".
The project, photographed by Sarah Hickson, was shot in a solar-powered home studio near the camp library. The technical aspects were also an odyssey, but DamienBarrière-Constantin, a 24-year-old sound engineer and co-founder of the initiative, managed to sound professional. For him the most important thing is not that "people listen to us", but that "refugees can listen to what they have done themselves," he says.

The album, which also features the participation of Natalia Tena (Molotov Jukebox) and ÇiğdemAslan, can be purchased through their website, the proceeds of which go to the refugees themselves and to a British charity called Citizen UK.

Tracks list:
01. Moheddin Aljabi – The Lost Singer
02. Kasper King – University Story
03. Bogdan Vacarescu – Deskovo Oro
04. Danny Rowe – Sounds of the Jungle
05. Carolina Ferrer – La Llorona
06. Abdullah Kathin – YaRab´oun
07. Andy Kyte – Khandahar
08. The Evangelist Church Singers – Yesus
09. The Evangelist Church Singers – Halleluyah
10. Carl Burgess – Long Road
11. Mohammed Ismail – Ismail
12. Laurens Price-Nowak – Nothing
13. Natalia Tena – Every Heart That Loves

agosto 27, 2020

Armand Amar - La Piste

After her mother dies, Grace (Camilla Summers) has mixed feelings about returning to Africa, where she will reunite with her father Gary (Julian Sands). After an effusive meeting, she begins to feel good in this place, where she had not been in a long time, and which is already a bit strange to her. But tragedy comes, when Gary returns from a flight to meet his daughter, but a series of strong winds traps his plane and causes it to crash, although he miraculously comes out alive from this accident.
Ambient score in which Armand Amar applies western music in combination with ethnic music, as well as using instruments and voices from the places where the action takes place. The overall tone is dramatic and evocative, sometimes exultant and at other times very intimate.
Armand Amar likes to mix orchestras with traditional instruments, such as the doudouk, an Armenian flute that opens and closes the music for this film and for this he invited Lévon Minassian a virtuoso on this Armenian instrument.
1. Premonition (4:38)
2. Prince and Gary (3:46)
3. The Camp (1:21)
4. Child's Song (5:14)
5. Kadjiro and Grace (4:25)
6. Running (3:28)
7. Return to Africa (3:55)
8. Diamonds (3:01)
9. Quarrel (1:19)
10. Gipsy Raven (6:00)
11. By Starlight (3:32)
12. Waterfall (1:36)
13. Desert (4:29)
14. The Father (2:03)
15. Longing (3:51)
16. Storm (5:57)

agosto 26, 2020

Omara Portuondo - Flor de amor - 2004

In 1996, during the Buena Vista Social Club recording, OmaraPortuond was invited to sing a bolero and she chose “Veinte años”. She sang it with Compay Segundo, and it became one of the album's highlights. Often called the Edith Piaf of Cuba, she has thrilled audiences in cabarets and Havana nights. The passionate and moving honesty of her voice has made her one of the most beloved figures in Cuban music. But, like Ibrahim Ferrer, she had to wait for the said album to enjoy international recognition.
Flower of Love, released in 2004, reveals the richest and most subtle texture in Omara's voice. Backed by a renowned band of "first-class" Cuban musicians, along with an excellent selection of Brazilian musicians, the singer sounds truly majestic, with new songs and new interpretations of classic repertoires giving the album its distinctive sound.

01. Tabú
02. Amor de mis amores
03. Alma de roca
04. Mueve la cintura mulato
05. Junto a un cañaveral
06. Hermosa Habana
07. El Madrugador
08. Amorosa guajira
09. Habanera ven
10. Si llego a besarte
11. Flor de amor
12. Juramento
13. He venido a decirte
14. Casa calor

agosto 19, 2020

Omar Faruk Tekbilek & Steve Shehan - Alif - 2002

Born of a Turkish and Egyptian family and living in the United States, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, multi-instrumentalist par excellence, symbolizes that variety in the unity that constitutes the Mediterranean, the land in which the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe converge, and also symbolizes , Turkey, geographical and cultural crossroads of the Mediterranean. And the letter alif is the initial of Allah, Divine Realization of Love and love in all its forms (divine love, love of life and romantic love) is the common thread of the themes of this album Alif (released in 2002), which constitutes a milestone in Faruk's distinguished professional career for his emphasis on modern performances of traditional chants, his perfectly executed chants and the participation in it of international talents: the producer and multi-instrumentalist Steve Shehan, the Greek singer Glikería, the Israeli singer Zahava Ben, Persian singer Mamak Khadem, Bulgarian singer Galina Durmushliyska, Turkish singer Suzy and Spanish guitarist José Antonio Rodríguez Muñoz.

Tracks list:
01. Dulger
02. Gardener
03. Laundry Girl
04. Dark Eyes
05. Shinanay
06. Don't Cry My Love
07. Alif
08. Dadash
09. Take a Flight
10. Ya Bouy
11. Lachin
12. Forbidden Love

agosto 13, 2020

Lokua Kanza - Nkolo - 2010

Lokua Kanza embodies the antithesis of the image we have in the West of African music. His style is intimate, acoustic, with delicate percussions and pure sounds. Her origin is Congolese, with a Mongol father and a Tutsi mother. After living for a time in Paris, where he did a great job in production for others (including our Pedro Guerra) and for himself, for a couple of years he has settled in Brazil, attracted by its cultural melting pot.

From Brazil he has released his sixth work, Nkolo (2010). African music, jazz structures and the occasional Brazilian rhythm go hand in hand in it. Lokua is a scholar of contemporary music and this knowledge allows him to create by uniting the beauty, charm and fascination that different world music produces together. Calm and relaxed environments, sounds created with unique instruments such as the sanza, the cuica, an Ondas Martenot, a Cristal baschet and even a beautiful children's choir dominate the work. Clear voices that sing the lyrics of their songs in Lingala (their mother tongue), Swahili, French, an invented language and of course the host Portuguese.

He has brought together excellent collaborators such as KoolMatope and a promising youngster named FallyIpupa; besides his own brother René Lokua; a choir of 55 Kinshasa boys, named above, in the song “Famille”; SylvainLuc, one of the best guitarists in the world; Thomas Bloch, a virtuoso of Ondas Martenot, and Cristal baschet and, above all, highlight the collaboration of the singer Vander Lee in “Vou Ver”.

The result is this expected Nkolo that does not disappoint the expectations created. A joy for the ear and especially for the calm of the spirit so necessary in these hectic times.

01. Elanga Ya Muinda
02. Dipano
03. Mapendo
04. Nakozonga
05. Famille
06. Nkolo
07. Loyenge
08. Soki
09. Vou Ver
10. Onveut du soleil
11. Yalo
12. Oh Yahwe

agosto 12, 2020

The Idan Raichel Project - 2006

TheIdan Raichel Project is the brainchild of Israeli keyboardist, composer, producer and arranger Idan Raichel, who invited more than seventy musicians from different backgrounds to participate in the recordings, creating a multicultural collaboration that offers a message of enrichment and respect for diversity. With an enchanting aroma of Middle Eastern flavors along with traditional musical instruments, sophisticated production techniques, and a spectacular live show, the Idan Raichel Project has become one of the most unexpected hits in Israeli music today.

The present work, published by the Cumbancha label, is a proposal of Ethiopian folkloric fusion, Arabic poetry, Yemenite songs, biblical psalms and Caribbean rhythms, in which the different invited participants leave a trace of their territorial roots in each theme, resulting in an interesting fusion of sounds and languages ​​of Israeli and Middle Eastern fusion. Music from the East and from the West that does not understand conflicts, but rather harmony and cultural and human understanding.

Tracks list:
01. Bo´ee (Come With Me)
02. Mi 'Ma'amakim (Out of the Depths)
03. Ayal-Ayale (The Handsome Hero)
04. Hinach Yafah (Thou Art Beautiful)
05. Im Tachpetza (If Thou Wisheth)
06. Shuvi El Beyti (Come Back To My Home)
07. Im Telech (If You Go)
08. Be' Yom Shabbat (On Sabbath)
09. Brong Faya (Burn Fire)
10. Ulai Ha' Pa'am (Maybe This Time)
11. Azini (Comfort Me)
12. Siyaishaya Ingoma (Sing Out For Love)

agosto 09, 2020

Novalima - Coba Coba - 2008

The music of Novalima is born from the primary influences of Afro-Peruvian rhythms and melodies with dub reggae, electronic and Latinbeats, creating a mixture of ancient tradition and modern trends that attracts both fans of world music and dance music, forging a point meeting between the past and the future.
Novalima is a musical collective that was born in 2001 from the production of four musicians living in different corners of the world: Ramón Pérez Prieto (Lima), Grimaldo Del Solar (Barcelona), Rafael Morales (London) and Carlos Li Carrillo (Hong Kong ), which take care of the sequences, keyboards, guitar and bass, respectively. Artists from the Afro-Peruvian scene such as Milagros Guerrero con la voz; Juan Medrano Cotito and Marcos Mosquera with cajon and voice, and Constantino Álvarez with timbales and cajon.

His second album Afro (2005) achieved excellent reviews from the specialized press and the European public, obtaining the IMA Award (Independent Music Awards) for Best Album in the World Fusion category. Additionally, twelve of their thirteen songs made it into the "Top Ten" of the World Music rankings in the United States and Canada in 2006.

Coba Coba, his third album, was released to the Peruvian market in October 2008, and worldwide by the Cumbancha label in January 2009, being nominated for the Latin Grammy as Best Alternative Album. Musically, the album covers a broader spectrum of styles than Afro, since in addition to Novalima's characteristic afro-dub sound, there is a lot of influence from styles such as reggae, salsa, son, reggaeton, afrofunk and hip hop, and the songs reflect more accurately the live sound of the band. The result: a rich musical repertoire, inherited from that which has existed for generations on the periphery of Peruvian popular culture.

01. Concheperla
02. Libertá
03. Se me van
04. Ruperta / Puede ser
05. Africa Landó
06. Coba Guarango
07. Camute
08. Mujer ajena
09. Tumbala
10. Kumaná
11. Bomba
12. Yo voy
13. Bolero

agosto 08, 2020

Soul Classics 2 - 28 Greatest Soul Hits - 1992

North American black music is one of the most powerful, fastest, and most resilient engines in popular music. For something like fifty years, soul, rythm and blues and funk have constantly nurtured and nurtured the creativity and inspiration of singers, artists and songwriters around the world although, only in the recent decade, has wanted musical history recognize that it is so.

This selection is an interesting collection of some of the best voices and songs of the Soul Era, compiled by Dro in 1992, as a continuation of his wonderful Soul Classics (1991) edition, songs ripped from the original edition on LPs.

With one foot in the church, another in the streets of the ghetto, and a name that comes from jazz, soul is a genre that signifies richness, versatility and variety. Sentimental, avant-garde, vindictive, aggressive, sensual, traditional, danceable: soul music is here to stay.

Tracks list:
01. Percy Sledge - (Sittin´ On) The Dock Of The Bay
02. The Dells - Oh, What A Night
03. Jerry Butler - Only The Strong Survive
04. Eddie Floyd - Bring It On Home To Me
05. Bruce Channel - Hey! Baby
06. Ben E. King - Spanish Harlem
07. Bobby Womack - Lookin´ For A Love
08. The Regents - Barbara Ann
09. The Crystals - Da Doo Ron Ron
10. Martha Reeves - Heat Wave (Love Is Like A)
11. Peggy Scott &Jojo Benson - Lover´s Holiday
12. The Shirelles - Dedicated To The One I Love
13. The Exciters - Tell Him
14. Archie Bell &TheDrells - I Just Can´t Stop Dancing
15. Brenton Wood - The CogumBoogum Song
16. Etta James - At Last
17. Sam & Dave - Hold On I´m Coming
18. Harold Melvin &TheBluenotes - The Love I Lost
19. R. B, Greaves - (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher AndHiguer
20. The Coasters - Poison Ivy
21. George McCrae - Rock Your Baby
22. The Impressions - Amen
23. Edwin Hawkins Singers - Oh Happy Day
24. The Drifters - On Broadway
25. Joe Simon - You Just Keep Me Hangin´ On
26. Little Anthony &The Imperials - Goin´ Out Of My Head
27. Brook Benton - It´s Just A Matter Of Time
28. Ben E. King - I (Who Have Nothing)

agosto 07, 2020

Nass Marrakech - Sabil 'a 'Salaam - 2000

With the intention of interpreting in a respectful but at the same time current tradition of the Gnawa people, in 1991 the Nass Marrakech group was born. Nass Marrakech investigates, since its foundation, the Gnawa heritage: a music based on the repetition of overlapping rhythmic forms and on typically African "call and response" chants. A music that is at the same time popular and sacred, which is directly connected with the other black-African musics (blues, gospel, yoruba songs, samba, etc.), as well as taking new paths, in directions such as jazz or the most avant-garde electronic music, without being tempted by the fusion with pop. Retrieving original texts on the Gnawa rhythm and color, the group creates its own themes on current issues such as racism, peace and ecology.

His first two works emerge from this work, Sabil 'a' Salaam (2000) and Bouderbala (2002), in which they mix the sounds of instruments from Central Africa (djembes, sabar) with the mandolin, Indian tabla, bendir, karkaba and the lute. Magical and fascinating.

01. Ana, Anta
02. Yo-mala
03. Salaam Aleikum
04. Marhaba
05. Allah
06. Hamdushi
07. Shema
08. Hammeadi
09. Torkalila

agosto 02, 2020


Despite the evident historical links between jazz and traditional African music, few projects manage to merge these musics .... A pioneer of the genre, the Kora Jazz Trio returns with a sixth album created by the eclectic Eric Legnini.

This sublimates the compositions of the pianist Abdoulaye Diabaté, as well as the beautiful interpretations of the standards that are Via Conme by Paolo Conté, Sodade immortalized by Cesaria Evora and Moanin 'of the Jazz Messengers of Art Blakey.

For this Part IV of the Kora Jazz Trio, the Kora has been entrusted to all the usual musical gatherings: Cherif Soumano (Dee Dee Bridgewater, Tiken Jah Fakoli, World Kora trio, ...) and to improve the repertoire add according to the songs, the song of WozKali, the double bass by Manu Marches, the percussion by Boris Caicedo, the balafon by Adama Condé and the guitar by Hervé Morisot (Sodade).

01. DJANFFA (Chérif Soumano) 3’46
02. SIRAGNAN – FAIN (Abdoulaye Diabaté) 4’21
03. VIA CON ME (Paolo Conte) 3’46
04. FAYDA (Abdoulaye Diabaté, WozKali) 6’03
05. BOURAMA (Abdoulaye Diabaté) 4’38
06. MOANIN’ (Bobby Timmons) 4’33
07. KEBA – DJITO (Abdoulaye Diabaté) 4’36
08. SODADE (Luis Morais) 6’23
09. ALA – LAKO (Abdoulaye Diabaté) 4’58
10. KORA YA ME VOY (Abdoulaye Diabaté) 5’41
11. MITOHA SONG (Abdoulaye Diabaté) 4’50

ABDOULAYE DIABATÉ – Piano, composition, arrangements
MOUSSA SISSOKHO – Congos, bongo, calebasse, cymbales, tama
MANU MARCHES – Contrebasse
BORIS CAICEDO – Timbales, shaker, bongo, chekeré, cloche, claves
WOZ KALI – Vocal (04)
HERVÉ MORISOT – Guitare (08)