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Bralove, Bob/Kaiser, Henry/Muir, Chris – “Positively Space Music” – [Fractal Music]

bralove

One synth keyboard and two guitars, in the hands of 3 close friends and master musicians. Guitarists Henry Kaiser and Chris Muir have been playing and improvising together for over 40 years (this album includes a track by the duo recorded in 1977). Here the pair are joined by keyboardist Bob Bralove who has worked as sound designer and digital music technician for Stevie Wonder and The Grateful Dead.

“Positively Space Music” is a genre-bending double CD packed with a wide variety of influences, including jazz, funk, ambient, and prog, all done in a very psychedelic spaced-out style. The trio fully embrace the wavy synth sound, and at times teeter on the edge of an 80s kitsch vibe. However, the group’s phenomenal musicianship and almost telepathic communication keeps things moving forward, pushing boundaries and exploring uncharted territories of Space and Music.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on June 11, 2017 at 2:47 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Brahms – “Sonatas For Viola and Piano, Op. 120″ – [Capitol Records]

    In 1912 Rudolf Firkusny was born in Moravian Napajedla, in what is now Czechoslovakia period he studied with Janacek, touring Europe in the 1920s and premiering in London in 1933 and New York in 1938. He fled the Nazis in 1939, escaping to Paris and settling in New York.
    William Primrose was a Scottish violist, teacher, and author. He was part of the NBC Symphony Orchestra with Jascha Heifetz and others. He began in 1924 as a professional violinist and switched to the viola in 1930. Late in life he developed hearing difficulties that prevented him from hearing certain pitches. He died in Utah.

    Brahms’ Op. 120 are his final chamber works. Published in 1895. Brahms loved the clarinet and wrote These originally for clarinet and piano although he also wrote a version for viola. Side A begins with a 4 bar piano theme in octaves that has been shown in recent analysis to be generative of every musical idea that follows. Side B is not too shabby either.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on June 8, 2017 at 2:27 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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  • Fall, The – “Wise Ol’ Man” – [Cherry Red Records]

    It’s the 21st Century and The Fall still push forward. This 2016 EP features 2 new songs, the title track plus “All Leave Cancelled”, alternate takes plus remixes of several songs from 2015′s Sub-Lingual Tablet plus a rare live version of “No Xmas For John Quays” recorded in 2014.
    Impressive stuff. Visceral and tight instrumentation pounding forward and driving the repetition which never seems to feel redone. But Mark E. Smith. WOW! As we age our voices change, our manner along with it. Smith is still Smith but boy that voice. His classic shout not sing style of thick accented vocalizing has turned into mumbled spewing, garbled growls and some of the most frightening yowls, howls and old man scream shouts. What is beyond rage? That’s the sound. Amazing. Keep your kids away, but it is superb.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on June 5, 2017 at 11:17 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Oliveros, Pauline & American Voices – “St. George and The Dragon/In Memoriam Mr. Whitney” – [Mode]

    This early 1990′s recording of Oliveros comes during her deep listening period. Having gone to the Pomfret School in Connecticut on invitation from American Voices director Neely Bruce to lead a Deep Listening Training, Pauline took time to sit in the Chapel on the school grounds. It was known for it’s interesting acoustics which interested Oliveros. It was here that the two selections on this CD were formed. “St. George and the Dragon” is inspired by the statue of the same name which sits in the Chapel. Oliveros, playing accordion, evokes the spiritual battle between Saint and Dragon. Her long phrases, held out to mysterious length, reverberate within the Chapel. Listeners must take time with this 47 minute piece of meditation and beauty. “In Memoriam Mr. Whitney” is a heartbreaking work performed with American Voices. Accordion slowly plays while the vocalists, including Oliveros, call out the names of their loved ones who have passed on. The vocalists were encouraged to walk about the Chapel while saying the names. We hear their movement throughout. It is haunting to hear someone call out “Mamma”, “Grandad”, or nicknames of people. The intimacy along with Oliveros’ accordion are sometimes staggering in their quiet. A unique gift to our station.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on June 4, 2017 at 9:43 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Rothenberg, Ned/Feldman, Mark/Courvoisier, Sylvie – “In Cahoots” – [Clean Feed]

    Nine wonderful tracks of “free jazz” exploration tempered with continuous references and returns to meter, rhythm, repeated phrases of almost melodic quality. Sylvie Courvoisier on piano and Mark Feldman on violin had recently teamed up with Ikue Mori and Evan Parker for an album, so they come from experience and skill. Adding Ned Rothenberg on clarinet, alto saxophone, bass clarinet and shakuhachi makes for an interesting, challenging and lovely trio. No drums. Fascinating for a jazz album. And not missed in the least. These pieces explore so many dimensions capable with this list of instruments. For instance, when Feldman bows his violin it’s more shocking and head shaking than when he plucks, which would seem to make more sense. Songs start off and seem to explode, a rhythm played which begins to twist then loose itself in pure emotion. Pushing the definition of what is jazz, this collection of sounds positively broadens that idea.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on June 4, 2017 at 12:36 am
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Northern Soul Weekender [coll] – [Charly Records]

    Russ Winstanley is a DJ who spun Northern Soul sounds at Wigan Casino in England from the 1970′s to the early 80′s. This compilation, on the Charly label, is a collection of some of his favorites from his personal stash. Northern Soul was so termed as a way for the north England soccer fans visiting London, who loved the specific American soul sound, to find the specific American soul records they wanted at record stores. The sound is not Motown, but it is definitely Soul. It’s history in England is steeped in the Weekender when all night clubs played Northern Soul to the masses. 2am to 8am was when it fully kicked in and the Wigan Casino was one of the shrines of Northern Soul Weekender dancing and partying.
    The 27 tracks on this collection have some familiar names but more often than not some rare finds. The stomping beats from each number keep the listeners happy and moving, with tales of love lost, love wanted, love gained, love grown pale. Tight instrumentation and lush strong vocals carry us from one tune to the next, keeping up the rhythm and making the body move. All songs shine but some standouts for me are Loleatta Holloway singing “Mother of Shame”, Big Daddy Rogers’ “I’m a Big Man” and Ruby Winters testification on “Better”. The Sharpees’ “Take Me to Your Leader” has a bit of alien fun. Joe Tex has the strangest, most difficult tune, “Under Your Powerful Love”, where he describes a night in his hotel room intentionally listening to the couple in the next room. The woman finds herself in a situation she wants out of and is trying to convince the man to let her go, all while Joe listens in. Wrong.
    But everything is super danceable. Enjoy.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on June 3, 2017 at 10:38 pm
  • Filed as CD,Soul
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