This is a slice of blues history (first released in 1976) that is a great addition to our library. All compositions created, played on piano, and sung by Big Chief Ellis, with Tarheel Slim, Brownie McGhee, and John Cephas on guitar. Be sure to read the liner notes that describe how Wilbert Ellis, despite his religious parents’ mandate that forbade music in the house, got his aunt to let him play her piano by mowing her lawn. His clear, strong voice, and his sure-fingered piano work make this a must-play for any blues show.
Gordon Daniel, Jr. set out to play guitar, but added synths to his repertoire in a big way. His music is interesting, and his voice sounds like the synths. “Dark Knights” is the only instrumental track; all the others have vocals.
Hamish Kilgour (of The Clean) composed these songs about the kingdom of Finkelstein for his son, Taran. They were intended to be the soundtrack to a story, and that is still the intention. I’d say that, given the story contained in the songs themselves, and the cheery way they spark your imagination, the story has almost written itself. The CD art is reminiscent of that for the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine,” and you’ll just have to try this out to see how the whole experience works for you.
This psych/shoegaze music sounds as cool as the art on the CD sleeve looks. Celebrating their 20th anniversary, Asteroid No. 4 brings you this release of extra-aural pleasure that is sometimes mellow, sometimes intense, with bird sounds introducing “Weeping Willow” (which is graced by a lovely female voice). The rest of the vocals are male, hazy, and worth listening to. “Sagamore…bring the village to the shore…” Are they talking about the bridge to Cape Cod, or something else? Enjoy.
These four songs are rather long and give you time to get caught in the trance of the percussive (drums, bells, shakers, and more) beat that accompanies the deep, clear vocals of the Tewa speaking Native American inhabitants of the Pueblo of San Juan, which is found in New Mexico. It is whimsical and magical to imagine turtles dancing, and these songs incorporate that whimsy and magic.
What a soothing CD this is! This music was recorded in St. Stephen’s Church in Belvedere, CA “with the intention of creating a sonic sanctuary, a place of refuge where the spirit can soar.” The heartening voice of Tzvetanka Varimezova, Bulgarian folkloric soprano and coach of Kitka, resonates throughout these songs. Kitka formed as a grassroots vocal ensemble that sought to share the “resonant strength of Eastern European women’s vocal traditions.” Under Varimezova’s guidance, they do just that.
This is a great compilation giving you a slice of life from 1963-66 in London at the Ham Yard, where American soul made its way to the UK in a former basement jazz club. The acts on here are classic (including early Ike and Tina Turner and songs such as “Ol’ Man River”). You can’t go wrong anywhere on here. It’s distinctive soul of the time and place, and the liner notes are very informative.
The Doubling Riders are an Italian group that first released this album in 1991. The music is imbued with the spirit of the Garamantes described in the songs–these were the predecessors of the Tuareg tribes, the ones who carved the roads that became trade routes and then thoroughfares for revolutionary tribes seeking independence. Piano, synth, percussion create an ambiance of another time and place, and guest musicians add their voices and instruments to make this a worthy re-release.
Just in time for the summer heat waves comes this debut from James Williamson (former Stooges guitarist) and the Pink Hearts. His vocals and guitars, combined with Petra Haden’s vocals and violin, and Frank Meyer’s vocals and guitars, along with a bevy of talented musicians, keep you cool with the rock and roll of stellar songs. Try out “This Garden Lies” (6) and “Purple Moon” (7). All of it will keep you “Behind the Shade” (10) and grooving in your shoes.
This is Volume 2 of a recording of a concert in Milano, Italy in 1976. The release of both occurred on the tenth anniversary of Steve Lacey’s death. Lacey wrote the compositions and played soprano saxophone; Kent Carter was on double bass; and Andrea Centazzo performed drum set and percussion, in addition to writing the liner notes describing how he and Gilles Laheurte mixed, edited, and produced this unique treasure of improv jazz. The first epic track gives you enough time to get your tao on. “Flakes” and “Weal (Part 1)” are my favorites.
This is a compilation of songs originally recorded between 1981 and 1984. It’s electronics that sounds playful like video games with hazy male vocals fading in and out among the sounds of telephones ringing (3). It’s more than the playful sound, though; it’s a flashback to the 80s and many of these feel like a soundtrack to that time (4, 6, 8). I can tell this will get lots of plays.
This is refreshingly accessible avant-garde jazz from a quartet featuring Hone on alto sax and bass clarinet, Lauren Baba on viola, Gregory Uhlmann on guitar, and Mike Lockwood on drums.They are capable composers and improvisers. “Play” (7) sounds like a wonky circus act, while “Morning Bear” (9) is a lovely creation (written by and featuring pizzicato by Baba) worthy of many listens.
humana 3/17/2018 A Library
I can’t help but really like these simple, shoegazy songs sung and written by Carl Lamoureux and Spaghetti Francis. They are folksy and hazy and fairly mellow. Last track (“Rivers”) is my favorite.
humana 3/17/2018 Jazz
Energetic, fresh, forward-thinking jazz from Norway, all composed by Ole Morten Vagan, who plays double bass. The last track (“Lontano Sea”) is the most subdued of the bunch. Make sure your head is listening as you take in this unique sound.
humana 3/17/2018 A Library
Imagine growing up in a small village in Tuscany, Italy, where time was marked by religious rites. Now imagine it while you listen to these field recordings that delve into the “sacred space” Aldinucci remembers from his childhood. You will be transported by manipulated sound in conversation with music that expands dimesions through mud squelches, water, melodies, and what sounds like a fish flapping on a line. Relaxing and fascinating because it is so real.
You’ll want to read the liner notes on this classic. Reed, who grew up in Rising Sun, Appalachia, picked up a banjo at an early age and learned to pick out tunes herself. Looking at herself in the mirror, she declared her theme song (“Look Down That Lonesome Road,” track 12) and fulfilled her goal of singing on the radio someday. Bully for her, I say! Her voice is as hearty as they come, and her music reflected her values and life–no hypocrisy in this woman’s blood. This selection of her music comes to us through time and allows Reed’s example to shine on for generations of women musicians to come.
humana 3/17/2018 Blues
This is a gem of a selection of Hadda Brooks’s repertoire, from her amazing piano boogies (she’s not called “Queen of the Boogie” for nothin’) to her lovely sung ballads. The liner notes describe how she didn’t think she could sing; we can all be glad that she gave it a try. In fact, she gave both herself and her audience a great gift when she decided to sing her torch songs. She may not have been as well-listened to as she deserved, but we can remedy that now by paying her homage.
It takes a lot to get me psyched these days, but Miss Massive Snowflake does the trick. Talk about your hidden treasures–this CD had been hiding under my front car seat just waiting for me to feed it to a player so that it could feed me with its amazing fresh rock sounds and unique tempo changes (“Goldsworthy” is outstanding in this respect). Jeanne Kennedy Crosby’s bass playing masterfully keeps a rhythm winding throughout every song. Shane de Leon’s clear vocals
Talk about creativity–this sampling of the first 20 years of the Abaton Book Company label is a treasure trove of radio theater, singer songwriters, soundtracks to movies starring cats (10), quartets, and more. A lot of the tracks are by Marianne Nowottny, whose debut was recorded by ABC when she was only 16. The liner notes are a must read as you listen to the wonderful weirdness contained on this CD. It all makes you believe that coloring outside the lines has not, nor ever will, go out of style.
What’s not to love about punk rock with rollicking lyrics such as “Stiletto heels could not erase, that girl’s butt was right in my face” (5)? This guy trio packs a hearty punch with these songs that are worthy of many listens. Be sure to check out “Hot Girls Eating Pizza on Instagram” (10).