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  • Archives
      KFJC On-Line Reviews
    What KFJC has added to their library and why...

    Ahern, Kenny – Surfing Bagpipes – [self]

    Kenny Ahearn plays all instruments, including the bagpipes, of these surf classics and one of his own composition.  He has posted many videos online where he looks very natty in his kilt.  Great fun, surf Scotland!!

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on April 20, 2018 at 11:45 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Boom Pam – Boom Pam – [Essay Recordings GmbH]

    Boom Pam is a band from Tel Aviv, Israel.  They mix Balkan, Jewish, Greek and Mediterranean sound with rock.  They are frequently called a surf band – certainly the instrumental tracks on this album would fit in a surf show – but one ponders a chicken and egg question after considering the strong influence of middle Eastern songs such as Miserlou on American surf.  Really good musicians, very fun energetic tunes including the ones with vocals.  Instruments include a TUBA!

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on April 19, 2018 at 3:43 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
  • Comment on this review
  • Bye, Matti – “Phantom Carriage, The” – [Rotor]

    Matti Bye composes “soundtracks” for silent movies.  The Phantom Carriage is a Swedish film from 1921 that concerns a Salvation Army slum sister and is considered by many to be a masterpiece.  The music is playful, lyrical, and reminds me of the cabaret works of Kurt Weill and the piano works of Erik Satie.  Very nicely played on piano, strings, percussion, brass and harp.  Really lovely, recommended!!

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on April 11, 2018 at 3:57 pm
  • Filed as CD,Soundtrack
  • Comment on this review
  • Francesconi, Luca – “Wander/ Cobalt, Scarlet” – [Agora]

    Italian composer Luca Francesconi was invited to a festival in Helsinki in 2001. “Wanderer” had been composed in 1998, “Cobalt, Scarlet” was inspired by a sunrise in Oslo in 2000.  Both are performed by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.  On the difficult side of modern classical music, but it might seem cinematic because of a possible similarity to Gyorgy Ligeti’s works.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on April 11, 2018 at 3:41 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Hersch, Michael – “Last Autumn” – [Innova Recordings]

    Michael Hersch’s composition is based on writings by W. G. Sebald (see liner notes for a track by track description) and is played on cello and horn (by the composer’s brother Jamie). Contemporary classical music that is dramatic and mostly somber, moving from difficult passages to lovely melodies. Many short tracks will play well together. Another home run for Innova Recordings.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on April 4, 2018 at 3:44 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Ensemble Modern / Frith, Fred – “Traffic Continues” – [Winter & Winter]

    Whimsical, zany, and by turns beautiful, these instruments combine to make us think. Tracks 9 onward are a suite dedicated to cellist Tom Cora using samples from his work. Tracks move smoothly from one to another, meant to be played in multiples. Photography by Heike Liss who is the wife of guitarist Fred Frith who is on faculty in the music department at Mills College.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on April 4, 2018 at 11:41 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Black Flamingos – “Neon Boneyard” – [Hi-Tide]

    Debut album from this New Jersey surf trio. Great energy and an original sound that sounds different from most surf. Joined by musician friends on a variety of instruments that fill out their sound.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on March 24, 2018 at 3:04 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • West Coast Chamber Jazz Trio – “L.A. Strictly Confidential” – [Ictus]

    Good energy and fine playing from this trio’s inspiration from West Coast jazz. Well recorded with distinct sound for each instrument. Mysterious Eastern sounds with very interesting bass, flute and MalletKAT (a sort of electronic marimba).

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on March 21, 2018 at 3:24 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
  • Comment on this review
  • Delstroyers, The – “Diabolical!” – [Hell Hop Records]

    Thirteen original tracks from this Seattle based instrumental surf trio are a lot of fun. Well played, it is unmistakably surf music with a modern twist. Some horror, Spanish touches with a reverb crash here and there. Good energy, danceable.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on February 7, 2018 at 12:57 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Aloha Screwdriver – “Above Snakes” – [Self-release]

    This EP from the three-piece surf band from Alameda, California has four high powered tracks. Lots of skillful playing, loud effects and melody. Excellent 3-D cover and glasses included. Nothing subtle here, thank goodness.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on January 27, 2018 at 3:03 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Burrell, Kenny Quartet – “Tender Gender, The” – [Cadet Records]

    If Kenny Burrell has ever sounded better, I have not heard it. Fine guitar gymnastics and lyrical interpretations of these tunes including some nice octaves, a la Wes. Excellent piano from Richard Wyands. Overall engaging, good energy, groovy.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on January 22, 2018 at 4:42 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Jazz
  • Comment on this review
  • Mermen, The – “We Could See It In The Distance” – [Kelptone Records]

    Fine instrumental work from the Santa Cruz band. Excellent playing from the long established trio – Jim Thomas on guitar, Martyn Jones on drums and Jennifer Burnes on bass. Tends toward the mellow psychedelic side and causes us to ask the question – “is this surf music?” I like track 13 for its energy, some other tracks for their hypnotic trance.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on January 17, 2018 at 4:29 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Rodrigues, Ernesto/ Greenlief, Phillip/ Swafford, Tom – “Sidereus Nuncius” – [Creative Sources Recording]

    The track/album name comes from a 1610 astronomy work by Galileo. Sidereus Nuncius is often translated as “Starry Messanger”. Here it is a highly improvised musical work for viola, violin and tenor sax. Very breathy, wispy, fluttery and delicate. Recorded live in Seattle in 2006.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on October 4, 2017 at 3:10 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
  • Comment on this review
  • Kilaueas, The – “Wiki Waki Woooo” – [All Score Media]

    The Kilaueas from Berlin, Germany give their interpretation to modern surf music. All the tracks are composed by the band – the playing has an excellent level of technical and musical quality. The sound on this vinyl recording is very good. Great fun to explore the variety of styles!

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on August 23, 2017 at 12:22 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Insect Surfers – “Datura Moon” – [Kallaalit Nunaat Music]

    The Insect Surfers from Los Angeles claim to be “Planet Earth’s Longest Running Modern Surf Band” but they continue to re-write the principles of modern surf music. In terms of musicianship, composition, and complexity, Datura Moon keeps them in a class by themselves. Jump around and dance to their great surf sounds or trip out on the psychedelic title track. Recommended!!!

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on August 12, 2017 at 3:40 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Barbwire, Mike & The Blue Ocean Orchestra – “El Surfista De Mambo” – [Sleazy Records]

    Mike is the lead guitar of the Swedish surf band The Barbwires. Here he gives us a nice single that combines surf, Latin beats, and exotica. All this on a Spanish record label – fun!

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on May 31, 2017 at 4:00 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Van Der Aa, Michel – “Above Between Attach” – [Donemus]

    Van Der Aa is a young (born 1970) contemporary Dutch composer. Here works seamlessly combine recordings (I believe from the same musicians) and live music. Resolutely avant garde, but very listenable. I especially like Auburn for guitar and soundtrack, but it is all good.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on May 4, 2017 at 10:33 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Red Trio & Butcher, John – “Summer Skyshift” – [Clean Feed]

    Recorded live in Lisbon in 2015 with the Red Trio (bass, drums, percussion) and their Guest John Butcher on tenor and soprano sax. Free and abstract, all improvised with a fine collaboration that interweaves Butcher’s foundation with the trio’s response. Musically interesting and engaging.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on May 4, 2017 at 12:44 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
  • Comment on this review
  • Blackball Bandits – “Confrontation On The Extraterrestial Highway” – [Self Release?]

    Up and coming surf band from Orange County – great playing on mostly original tunes. They hit many surf influences such as outer space, Mexican sports, horror, Spaghetti Western, and soundtracks. A few spoken word snippets are thrown in. Fun!!

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on April 26, 2017 at 4:27 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Los Oxidados – “Death Man” – [Self Release?]

    This 4-piece surf band from Mexico performed at the Surfer Joe Summer Festival on the night preceding KFJC’s live broadcast in 2016. True surf sound, well played, choice of tempos from slow to rapid fire, some unusual harmonies for surf. Track 12 is a very nice vocal in Spanish.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on April 26, 2017 at 4:15 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review


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