Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Dave Douglas - Meaning & Mystery (2006)

Dave Douglas - Meaning & Mystery (2006)

AMG Review by Thom Jurek:
Dave Douglas has been involved in a number of projects over recent years that have kept his fine quintet from recording since 2002. Meaning and Mystery showcases the band -- Douglas on trumpet, Uri Caine on Fender Rhodes, bassist James Genus, and drummer Clarence Penn -- with its first personnel change as tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin replaces Chris Potter, whose own star is rising and is too busy to maintain a constant presence in the group. McCaslin, who is less well known, is no less a player. His voice on the horn is unique, and his phrasing complex and songlike. "Song for Susannah" begins with a single note repeated on the trumpet before elaborating on it enough for the band to enter and dig songlike into its core in 12/8. Genus is a wonder here, shifting his solo around the figure, moving in and out of the lyric as Caine paints the backdrop with Penn, who plays around and through the time frame, never losing the band. The standout track here is "Culture Wars." Douglas has never made bones about Miles being a huge influence -- he even refers to it in the liner notes. Obviously, the quintet format echoes the great inconoclasts as well. But Douglas moves it into other areas. The open, relaxed, moody atmosphere of the cut begins slowly, reminding one -- perhaps because of Caine's Rhodes playing -- of Davis' In a Silent Way, particularly when the simple groove takes over. Genus' ostinato is infectious, chantlike, hypnotic. Douglas' solo leads off, and he swoops in and out at will, playing all around the simple 4/4 time before the song -- like heat -- rises. When McCaslin slides in with his solo, one can hear his own sense of deep lyricism, his attention to mode, and an authority that is all his own -- though one can hear the labyrinthine exploration of Wayne Shorter in his voicings as well. Likewise, Caine's solo -- full of nuance and color -- is strong, bringing a new focus to the Fender Rhodes in the current era. Other standout cuts include the cool blues nod to Tim Berne in "Tim Bits," the knotty "The Sheik of Things to Come," and the beautiful and simply melodic and airy "Blues to Steve Lacy." In the latter half, the shifting stop-and-start figures in "Elk's Club" that mix blues and bop with humor are wonderful. "The Team" is another blues, through a fractured one, also possessed of great warmth and some hard-swinging modal approaches woven into the hard bop frame. Meaning and Mystery is yet another album in the Douglas catalog that showcases his fine compositional and arrangement abilities, but more than this, it's the sound of a group in the process of continued restless development long after the bandmembers have found their collective voice.

192 kbps, 83MB, no pw

Monday, September 11, 2006

Alice Coltrane - Translinear Light (2004)

Alice Coltrane - Translinear Light (2004)

1. Sita Ram 6:08
2. Walk With Me 7:50
3. Translinear Light 9:50
4. Jagadishwar 5:47
5. This Train 6:06
6. The Hymn 3:04
7. Blue Nile 8:05
8. Crescent 6:22
9. Leo 9:40
10. Triloka 5:08
11. Satya Sai Isha 5:40

Alice Coltrane, piano, Wurlitzer organ, synthesizer
Ravi Coltrane, tenor & soprano sax (3, 4, 7, 8, 9)
Oran Coltrane, alto sax (6)
Charlie Haden, bass (3, 5, 8, 10)
James Genus, bass (2, 4, 7)
Jack DeJohnette, drums (1, 3, 5, 8, 9)
Jeff "Tain" Watts, drums (2, 4, 7)

AMG Review
Translinear Light marks Alice Coltrane's return to recording after a 26-year hiatus. Her last outing, the live and marvelous Transfiguration, was issued by Warner Bros. in 1978. Coltrane's son, saxophonist and composer Ravi, produced the disc; he plays saxophones on five of the set's 11 cuts and contributes percussion to two others. Other musicians here include Charlie Haden, James Genus, Jeff Watts, Jack DeJohnette, and son Oran who plays alto in duet with her on one selection Translinear Light opens with a reprise of Alice's "Sita Ram," originally recorded for 1971's Universal Consciousness. Ms. Coltrane plays her signature style on the Wurlitzer organ with DeJohnette playing a synth drum and Ravi contributing organic percussion. Her long lines of individually played notes are set against a droning chorded backdrop, and are instantly recognizable. There is no speculation in her playing; an authoritative, deeply Eastern melodic sensibility saturates her improvisation. The shimmering piano intro of the traditional "Walk With Me," with its deep gospel roots set against a modal framework, brings the ancient hymn into the modern world and traces the artist's steps from her Detroit roots in the church to playing blues to the edge of the jazz vanguard without slipping into dissonance. It strolls back into a gently swinging lyric that almost literally sings atop the rhythm section of Watts and Genus before moving back to the open minor mode. The title cut is a ballad with Ravi on soprano and Haden and DeJohnette in support. The interplay betweenAlice and Ravi from the tune's slowly evolving head into the knotty modal chords and single-note runs that spark the dialogue, is simply breathtaking. The pair wind around and through one another as the rhythm section offers an insistent chromatic foundation. Though she has recorded them before, there are new readings of her late husband's "Crescent" and "Leo"; both offer new harmonic dimensions and emotional interpretations on the originals. She doesn't revisit them so much as recontextualize them musically. Ms. Coltrane plays piano on the former and a driven, fiery Wurlitzer on the latter, making the track a blistering maelstrom of activity. DeJohnette's drumming on these cuts is wildly incisive and canny. Ravi's soloing and accompaniment here -- and indeed throughout the album -- make this his most inspired performance on record. "Triloka," a duet with Haden, is sublime; a deeply meditative and lyrical work, it is especially poignant after the workout of "Leo." Ultimately, Translinear Light offers a poetic, well-rounded, and utterly convincing portrait of the artist's return to the public eye, at the top of her game. Translinear Light is a major entry in Coltrane's catalog. It is a defining, aesthetically brilliant statement from a master composer, improviser, and player.
If ever there were a candidate for jazz album of 2004, Translinear Light is it.

Turn on the Light:

mp3 @ 192 kbps, 101mb, no pw

links updated

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Taj Mahal- Mkutano (2005)

1. Dhow Countries
2. Muhoga wa jang'ombe
3. Zanzibar
4. Catfish Blues
5. Naahidi Kulienzi
6. Mkutano
7. Done Changed My Way Of Living
8. M'Banjo
9. Mpunga

"Taj Mahal goes to Zanzibar. As early as the first few bars of the opening song "Dhow Countries" it becomes apparent that Taj Mahal's latest African journey is a musical winner. Not only did he take his blues to a place that is the stuff of myth and fantasy, but enhanced it with the sounds of the Culture Musical Club Of Zanzibar who are the foremost taarab orchestra of Zanzibar. Fellow African - Americans Bill Rich (electric bass) and Kester Smith (Drums), who are both very good friends of Taj Mahal's, help him to fuse the sounds of Zanzibar with the blues of America. Zanzibar is a cultural infusion of Arabic and African influences and right from the off this album is exceptional, with tracks like "Muhoga wa jang'ombe" bringing together an array of musical tradition from the Arabic, African, Asian and American continents. This album really does show Taj Mahals' musical ability to the full"
"..........This was indeed an experimental album. The press release says "there was no chance in preparing the music to be made in advance". Some experiments fail, and Taj could have been left with a heap of bent sandukus and smouldering accordions. Instead of which we now have this lovely dream of an album."

get ispired:

mp3@192kbps, 65mb, no pw

Sonny Rollin - Sonny, Please (2006)

Sonny Rollin - Sonny, Please

1. Sonny, Please (Rollins)
2. Someday I'll Find You
3. Nishi (Rollins)
4. Stairway to the Stars
5. Remembering Tommy (Rollins)
6. Serenade
7. Park Palace Parade (Rolllins)


Sonny Rollins, Tenor Saxophone
Clifton Anderson, Trombone
Bobby Broom, Guitar
Bob Cranshaw, Bass
Steve Jordan, Drums
Kimati Dinizulu, Percussion

For the first time in nearly five years the colossus of the saxophone is back, and not a moment to soon. Sonny Rollins has a new label and a new recording and those of us who love to listen to jazz can now rejoice for in all the world there is but one Sonny Rollins, and on Sonny, Please, he proves he is still at the top of his game. From the very first song, the title track "Sonny, Please", Rollins and his group are off and running and there is no let up. "Sonny , Please" has a very strong bass line provided by Bob Crenshaw and this is backed up beautifully by the drums of Steve Jordan who with the rest of the band play with a style that lets you know that they more than just play music they live it. Rollins tears into the song full tilt and the result is breathtaking.Add in the percussion work of Kimati Dinizulu and a healthy dose of Clifton Anderson on trombone and you have the best of the best at work here, it rarely gets any better.

Rollins,who shows no signs of slowing down, not only demonstrates his immense power on the saxophone but also as a composer, having created four out of the seven tracks on this recording, each with its own unique flavor and style. He still finds the time to give new life to an old classic , such as his soulful rendition of Noel Coward's "Someday I'll Find You". I am sure the Coward would have been impressed for this is a flawless recording, the players here are the masters of their craft and with Rollins as their leader reach amazing new heights.

"Nishi" is a straight ahead jazz number that has a real gift in the duel horn playing of both Rollins and Clifton Anderson , backed up by the bass of Bob Crenshaw and the guitar of Bobby Broom. "Nishi" swings and if you listen hard enough you can hear the calling out of the musicians themselves, this is music so good you cannot help out shout about it all. "Stairway to the Stars" is a love ballad that is Rollins gift to his fans, it allows him to just soar above it all, the sound is so deep and so ingrained in him that you wonder how one person could get that much sound from just one instrument. From the high notes to the low, Sonny Rollins has complete and total control of his instrument and shows us all how it should be done. With the gentle added percussion of Kimati Dinizulu, who knows exactly where to fill in the little gaps that appear and does so without you even knowing. Dinizulu is a craftsman of the highest order as are his band mates and they provide us with an amazing joy ride of sound.

"Remembering Tommy" is a generous and beautifully played number that again combines the effortless playing of Bobby Broom on guitar and Steve Jordan on drums capped off with the virtuoso playing of Rollins and Clifton Anderson. "Serenade" (Ballet Les Millions D"Arlequin) introduces us to a new band member Joe Corsello on drums and to a number that sounds pretty much like its title, there is a kind of light and airy sound to it all almost as if a ballerina was dancing right in front of the bandstand. The song sways and seems to be lighter than air.

The album closes out with "Park Place Parade" a sort of lighthearted tribute to the city of New York complete with whistles and a real jaunty beat that makes you want to get up and dance around your room, (not recommended if you are listening to this while driving however).On the whole Sonny,Please is a welcomed return by one of the legends of jazz and it shows that this is someone whose talent and artistry knows no bounds or limits, welcome back Mr Rollins.


mp3 @ 320 kbps, no pw 123 mb

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Romano, Sclavis, Texier, Le Querrec - African Flashback (2005)

We continue our (virtual) trip to Africa with the third collaboration of Romano, Sclavis, Texier & Le Querrec (after "Carnet de Routes" and "Suite Africaine")

If the previous records get 5 stars, this one deserves 6!

".......this set can be as gracefully swinging as the best straightahead jazz, as exuberant as village-wedding music, as edgily cacophonous as a traffic jam in the heat and as funky as a late-period Miles band; the latter is down to Romano, who can move easily between rich, Africanised percussion sonorities and a slamming take-no-prisoners backbeat. Sclavis is teasingly lyrical or abrasively free on clarinets and sax, and Texier's basslines could make an album on their own. Delicious." (John Fordham - The Guardian)

mp3 @ 320 kbps, no pw

[still looking for "Suite Africaine" in decent quality, if someone could find a copy...]

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Romano, Sclavis, Texier, Le Querrec - Carnet De Routes

Romano, Sclavis, Texier, Le Querrec - Carnet De Routes (1997)

When I first saw this CD in a public library I was a bit sceptical and and didn't know what to expect.
After first listening to "Carnet De Routes" I was totally blown away and couldn't believe how FANTASTIC the journey was they have sent me.
Do yourself a favour and take that trip! You wont regret. I promise: You will NOT find what you might be looking for. ;-)

AMG Review (5/5)
This recording from the West African tours of the Romano/Sclavis/Texier trio in the early '90s is one in a series of three. That this band played in Africa and was documented by photographer Guy LeQuerrec (who suggested the tour to the various African arts councils in the first place, and is credited here with playing "Leica") was remarkable in and of itself. There were many better-known trios and quartets at the time, but the music Romano/Sclavis/Texier made as a result of Africa's inspiration is nothing less than mindbending (and the packaging that comes along with this disk and its partners too). This trio, with Sclavis' soprano saxophone and clarinet on the front line, Texier's lower-than-low contrabasse, and Romano's drumming, which is reminiscent of an even more sophisticated Ginger Baker (Romano plays with the power of a rock drummer with all the sophistication of Max Roach or Elvin Jones), is an almost overwhelming entity on this recording. Elements of not only jazz in all its configurations but funk, French folk music, West African griots, and the melodic influence of the late Johnny Dyani from South Africa all boil down into one intense pot of musical empathy and innovation. These cats are all composers who know the strengths of each their band members. When melody lines come off Sclavis' horn and are tied in separate octaves to Texier's bass playing, creating a new chromatic color to the proceedings, such as on "Bororo Dance" and "Flash Memoire," listeners get to hear music in the process of being created from nothing but the abilities of its makers. This is a trio that owes nothing to Sonny Rollins but perhaps something to Steve Lacy's trio and Pierre Doerge's New Jungle Orchestra. This band swings like a vine and jams like they are on a bandstand in a small club in front of a full audience of other musicians.

Have a nice trip:

mp3 @ 256 kbps, no pw

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Trilok Gurtu & The Frikyiwa Family - Farakala (2005)

Trilok Gurtu & The Frikyiwa Family - Farakala
Released: November 2005
mp3 ≈ 220 kbs

1. Agne Yano
2. Mil-Jul
3. Dhine Dhadhin
4. Doukhontou
5. Kalpana
6. Swapan
7. Roots No Fruits
8. Soumou
9. Di Blues Indian
10. Farakala

AMG Review:
Trilok Gurtu is best known for his percussion work melding Indian music and jazz. This time he takes on an entirely new challenge, working with West African musicians from the Frikyawa label. On the surface, the two styles don't go together, but in the hands of Gurtu and the others -- kora, electric kora, calabash, and ngoni -- it becomes something of a trance feast with its feet quite firmly in African soil (all the more surprising since Gurtu wrote all but one of the cuts here). Interestingly, Gurtu's presence throughout is largely understated, leaving the spotlight to the others, most especially singer Hadja Kouyate, whose vocal and tonal range is nothing less than stunning. The percussion is often simply atmosphere, as on "Mil-Jul," but that's fine. Gurtu is a past master at knowing what to put in or leave out to enhance a song. Here he proves that imagination and good taste transcend continents

Add some happiness to your life here:

no pw


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Trilok Gurtu - Broken Rhythms (2004)

Trilok Gurtu - Broken Rhythms (2004)
mp3 @ 250kbs VBR, including cover and artwork

1 Broken Rhythms (T Gurtu)
2 Kabir (T Gurtu / N Shanker)
3 Nine Horses (T Gurtu)
4 Beyond (T Gurtu / S Farruque)
5 Sohum (T Gurtu)
6 Vignola (T Gurtu)
7 Dubash Lane (T Gurtu)
8 The Way to Banganga (T Gurtu)

With Special Guests:

Gary Moore
Huun Huur Tu
Arke String Quartet

download here:


Welcome to my little blog, home for some good music.
I hope my links can add a little bit of joy and happiness to your life.
I would love to serve my own music - unfortunately I'm not talented enough. So I'm giving away hints to good music made by other people.
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