Emmanuel Pahud – Vivaldi – Flute Concertos (2006)

PahudVivaldiFCThe era of extreme Vivaldi is upon us. Swiss-German flutist Emmanuel Pahud is the principal flutist of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. That used to be a reliable indicator of a fairly conservative performance, but not these days — Pahud teams up with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and its iconoclastic director Richard Tognetti for a disc of eight Vivaldi flute concertos (some of them originally for recorder or other instruments) that will keep you running for the volume button on the remote control. The performances are unusual ones in many ways, one being the prominent role taken by the orchestra; the Australian group emerges as something of an equal partner with Pahud, not always phrasing material as he does, and drawing out effects in the several programmatic concertos included here to their maximum dimensions. The results are not really idiomatic to Vivaldi, but they do hold the listener’s attention. The performance of the opening Flute concerto in F major, Op. 10, No. 1, RV 433, consists of a constant series of careening crescendos and decrescendos — Vivaldi as Mannheim court composer, perhaps. Admittedly, it is a storm at sea that is being represented here, but the performance does not end up being coherent. In the two galant, mid-century-type concertos at the end of the disc, the dynamic extremes are more justifiable, but the opening movement of the Concerto in D major, RV 429, is jittery and driven rather than graceful. Reactions to subjective performances like these will be subjective themselves, and the performances cannot be faulted technically. Pahud brings an effortless virtuosity to Vivaldi that until now has been the province mostly of violinists. Still, extensive sampling is advised even for those who have enjoyed the work of these performers in the past. (by James Manheim)

PahudVivaldi
Personnel:
Emmanuel Pahud (flute)
+
Australian Chamber Orchestra conducted by Richard Tognetti

Tracklist:

Flute Concerto Op.10 No.1 In F Major RV 433 “La Tempesta Di Mare”:
01. Allegro (Vivaldi) 2:29
02. Largo (Vivaldi) 1.55
03. Presto (Vivaldi) 1.57

Flute Concerto Op. 10 No. 2 In G Minor RV439 ‘La Notte’:
04. Largo (Vivaldi) 1.42
05. Fantasmi. Presto (Vivaldi) 0.46
06. Largo (Vivaldi) 1.13
07. Presto (Vivaldi) 1.07
08. Largo (Vivaldi) 2.02
09. Allegro (Vivaldi) 2.06

Flute Concerto Op. 10 No. 3 In D Major RV428 ‘Il Gardellino’:
10. Allegro (Vivaldi) 3.50
11. Cantabile (Vivaldi) 2.34
12. Allegro (Vivaldi) 2.55

Flute Concerto Op.10 No.4 In G Major RV 435:
13. Allegro (Vivaldi) 2.43
14. Largo (Vivaldi) 2.11
15. Allegro (Vivaldi) 2.16

Flute Concerto Op. 10 No. 5 In F Major, RV434:
16. Allegro Non Molto (Vivaldi) 3.43
17. Largo E Cantabile (Vivaldi) 3.25
18. Allegro (Vivaldi) 1.41

Flute Concerto Op. 10 No. 6 In G Major, RV 437:
19.  Allegro (Vivaldi) 4.07
20. Largo (Vivaldi) 1.40
21. Allegro (Vivaldi) 2.25

Flute Concerto In A Minor RV 440:
22. Allegro (Vivaldi) 3.40
23. Larghetto (Vivaldi) 2.26
24. Allegro (Vivaldi) 2.51

Flute Concerto In D Major, RV 429:
25. Allegro (Vivaldi) 2.28
26. Andante (Vivaldi) 1.49
27. Allegro (Vivaldi) 3.37

PahudVivaldiCD*
**

Cassandra Wilson – Another Country (2012)

FrontCover1 On her 19th album, Cassandra Wilson, ever the musical chameleon, changes directions once more. She is arguably the greatest living female jazz singer. Well known for her blues, soul, pop covers, and jazz standards, her smoky alto bends almost everything to its will. Wilson’s phrasing is utterly unique, as original as any horn player’s or pianist’s music. Another Country, co-produced by Wilson and guitarist Fabrizio Sotti, was recorded in three different studios in Florence, New Orleans, and New York. She wrote all but three selections here: there are two instrumentals by Sotti and a reading of “O Sole Mio.” Other players include bassist Nicola Sorato, Julien Labro on accordion, and percussionists Mino Cinelu and Lekan Babalola. Opener “Red Guitar” displays the wisdom of this small-group approach beautifully. Her vocal illustrates a mysterious, sensual jazz blues that is accented by Sotti, hand drums, and an atmospheric, unintrusive accordion. “No More Blues” is more elegiac, a spacy jazz tune with fine syncopation and the suggested undercurrent of a blues backbeat. “Almost Twelve” is an ambitious attempt at bossa nova but it falls short. Wilson restrains herself to fit the song form rather than retrofit it to her voice; it’s too much of a compromise. The Latin undertones in “Passion” work far better and the singer is able to engage her lower register and sing in near counterpoint to her accompanists. It’s a heady, intoxicating swirl of lyric harmony and rhythmic invention. With its classical trappings and the prominence of the accordion, “O Sole Mio” should sound corny — it doesn’t. Wilson delivers it as a haunting folk song and reinvents it for the 21st century. The slippery meld of jazz, folk, and pop in the set’s longest tune, “When Will I See You Again,” makes it the most unusual and engaging track here. Wilson’s compositional language is as imaginative as her singing, and Sotti’s skeletal yet seemingly lush arrangements are sumptuous. The title track employs samba, post-bop jazz, and nuevo flamenco. Wilson’s voice compels her poetic lyrics to assert themselves over the melody, as Sotti soars in his tasteful solo. Though there are a couple of missteps here, Another Country is a welcome new phase for Wilson. Not only are her boundaries as a singer expanding with her musical choices; her songwriting instincts and languages are developing exponentially as well. (by Thom Jurek)

Wilson

Personnel:
Lekan Babalola (percussion)
Mino Cinelu (vocals, guitar)
Julien Labro (accordion)
Fabrizio Sotti (guitar)
Nicola Sorato (bass)
Cassandra Wilson (vocals)
+
Nocca (New Orleans Center For Creative Arts) Chamber Choir (choir) on 10.)

Inlay1

Tracklist:
01. Red Guitar (Wilson) 4.35
02. No More Blues (Wilson/Sotti) 4.18
03. O Sole Mio (Traqditional) 5.40
04. Deep Blue (Sotti) 2.29
05. Almost Twelve (Wilson/Sotti) 4.24
06. Passion (Wilson/Sotti) 5.23
07. When Will I See You Again (Wilson/Sotti) 6.27
08. Another Country (Wilson/Sotti) 4.16
09. Letting You Go (Sotti) 3.28
10. Olomuroro (Wilson/Sotti/Babalola) 3.09
11. O Sole Mio Funk (bonus track for Japan) (Traditional) 4.05

CD1*
**

Fleetwood Mac – Largo (1975)

FrontCover1With mainstay Peter Green no longer with the band, Fleetwood Mac would go through a series of personnel changes (some might even call this a trademark of the band) but managed to weather out a transitional period that would end with the recruitment of guitarist Lindsay Buckingham. Buckingham agreed, on the condition that his musical partner and girlfriend, Stephanie “Stevie” Nicks, also become part of the band; Fleetwood agreed to this.

On July 11, 1975, Fleetwood Mac released another self-titled album, though this would be affectionately known as “The White Album” among the fans.

On tour to promote the new album, one would have thought the band would showcase all the new songs. Instead, only three new songs were featured in the set at Largo in September 1975 – Rhiannon, World Turning and Blue Letter. Overall, the show was almost like a greatest hits package, a mix of recent tracks such as Spare Me A Little Of Your Love, Station Man and Hypnotized to Peter Green-era tunes such as Oh Well and Green Manalishi. Though Lindsay Buckingham was no Peter Green, he easily satisfied the fans (check out the jam on I’m So Afraid). By then, Fleetwood Mac were no longer a blues band. They were already a pop-rock outfit.

This show is said to be a soundboard recording taken from a TV broadcast. With the exception of a bit of hiss, the overall sound is excellent.

Recorded live in Largo MD, September 1975. FromThe “White Album” Tour.

Personnel:
Lindsey Buckingham (guitar, vocals)
Mick Fleetwood (drums, percussion)
Christine McVie (keyboards, synthesizer, vocals)
John McVie (bass)
Stevie Nicks (vocals)

FleetwoodMac1975Tracklist:
01. Intro 1.13
02. Get Like You Used To Be (Webb/Perfect) 3.46
03. Station Man (Kirwan/Spencer/J.McVie) 6.21
04. Spare Me A Little Of Your Love (C.McVie) 4.10
05. Rhiannon (Nicks) 7.22
06. Why (C.McVie) 4.10
07. I’m So Afraid (Buckingham) 5.17
08. Oh Well (Green) 2.58
09. Green Manalishi (Green) 5.24
10. World Turning / Mick’s Drum Solo (Buckingham/C.McVie/Fleetwood) 8.35
11. Blue Letter (Curtis) 5.08
12. Hypnotized (fades early) (Welch) 6.07

*
**

Up, Bustle & Out – Istanbul’s Secrets (2007)

FrontCover1There’s never been any such thing as a bad or boring Up Bustle & Out album, but it was probably inevitable that they would one day produce one that was slightly less than thrilling. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Istanbul’s Secrets — it’s full of the funky and jazzy international grooves that have made this group a legend among fans of cutting-edge multiculti dance music, and turning its attention toward the ancient cultural crossroads of Istanbul, Turkey, was a perfect move. But there’s just a little something missing. It’s not apparent at first (“River Song” and “Ben Seni Sevdugumi,” which open the album, are both more fun than a barrel of houris), but on “Breaking Codes” and “Giden Gitti” the musical elements seem to add up to something less than the sum of their parts. Even when things are less than spectacular, though, they’re still lots of fun — the blend of flamenco and Middle Eastern elements on “Giden Gitti” is very attractive, and “Orthodox Gold” builds up a simmering North African hip-hop groove, complete with sharp Arabic rapping by MC Sultana and even a nice beatbox interlude. (Throughout the album, Portishead bassist Jim Barr and singer Sevval Sam make excellent contributions.) Established fans will find plenty to enjoy on this generous program, and newcomers will be encouraged to explore deeper into the group’s catalog. Recommended overall. (by Rick Anderson)

Inlay1

Personnel:
Jim Barr (bass)
Clandestine Ein (keyboards)
Cuffy El Guapo (guitar)
Neriman Günes (violin)
Aas Jubalani (vocals)
Eugenia Ledesma (percussion)
Rupert Mould (keyboards)
Sevval Sam (vocals)
+
Engin Arslan (guitar on 08.)
Candice Cannabis (vocals on 10.)
Benjamín Escoriza (guitar, vocals on 02., 05.)
Rob Garza (on 01.)
Kalaf (vocals on 03.)
Blanquito Man (vocals on 10.)
Marina (vocals on 15.)
DJ Napoles (on 13.)
MC Sultana (vocals on 09.)
Ufuk (guitar on 06.)
Mark Underhill (vocals on 09.)

Booklet02ATracklist:
o1. River Song (Mould/Ein) 4.07
02. Ben Seni Sevduğumi (Tunc/Mould) 4.34
03. Breaking Codes (Mould/Ein) 4.19
04. Giden Gitti (Mould/Ein) 4.38
05. Anda Luz (Mould) 4.10
06. Yol Türküsü (Mould/Ein) 3.17
07. Hidjaz Aşk… Intro (Mould/Ein) 1.33
08. Hidaj Aşk (Mould/Ein) 5.47
09. Orthodox Gold (Mould/Sam) 4.56
10. Blue Night / Mavi Gece (Mould/Sam) 4.01
11. Bosporus Moon (Mould/Ein) 4.52
12. Remote Corners (Mould) 3.38
13. Istanbul´s Secrets (Mould/Sam) 4.19
14. Silence’s Brink (Mould/Ein) 4.06
15. Steppe Ouverte (Mould/Ein) 4.13

CD1*
**

Art Farmer – To Sweden With Love (1964)

ArtFarmerToSwedenFCThe premise of this Atlantic set is a bit unusual.

The Art Farmer Quartet (consisting of flugelhornist Farmer, guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Pete LaRoca), which was together from 1962-64 (after the demise of the Jazztet), was passing through Stockholm, Sweden at the time of this date and the musicians felt inspired to record a full album of traditional Swedish folk songs. Respect is paid to the often haunting melodies and Farmer sounds quite at home in this context, sometimes hinting a bit at Chet Baker.

Fortunately, not all of the tunes are taken at a ballad pace, and once the themes are fully stated, Farmer and Hall have plenty of harmonically sophisticated solos. The band’s cool and restrained style suits the music perfectly, turning it into jazz without losing its essence. Although a brief set (at under 33 minutes), every note counts on this successful outing.
Personnel:
Art Farmer (fluegelhorn)
Jim Hall (guitar)
Pete LaRoca (drums)
Steve Swallow (bass)

Tracklist:
01. Va Da Du (Was It You) (Traditional) 5.24
02. De Salde Sina Hemman (They Sold Their Homestead) (Traditional) 6.13
03. Den Motstravige Brudgummen (The Reluctant Groom) (Traditional) 5.52
04. Och Hor Du Unga Dora (And Listen Young Dora) (Traditional) 5.51
05. Kristallen Den Fina (The Fine Crystal) (Traditional) 3.12
06. Visa Vid Midsommartid (Midsummer Song) (Traditional) 6.15

ArtFarmerToSwedenCD*
**

Ali Neander – Feat. Helmut Hattler (2010)

FrontCover1German guitar hero Ali Neander was born on July 2nd, 1958 in Hamburg/Germany. He is a highly respected musician both as a session player and leader / composer. This is a good debut solo jazz-rock album from Ali, a founding member of Frankfurt’s Rodgau Monotones. The album explores multiple contexts and situations without focusing on any central theme. His musical “culture-mix” combines jazz, rock, fusion, latin, electronica and Krautrock with well crafted and some beautiful quiet musical passages. The music is inventive, and there are some great ’70’s style jazz rock grooves throughout. Ali is backed by Hellmut Hattler (ex-Kraan/ Tab Two), Paul McCandless (Oregon), and Moritz Müller. Listen to Kraan’s “Andy Nogger” album featuring Hellmut Hattler, and see if you can find Flaming Row’s “Elinoire” album which features Ali Neander, Billy Sherwood, and Jimmy Keegan.AliNeander

Taken from the original liner notes:

Hi everybody, welcome to my “labour of love”. When I first thought about recording a solo cd after playing on 50+ records of various styles for other people I asked myself: What am I gonna do? Invite famous singers and noodle behind them or what? Well, I thought about the musicians who made me become a professional in the first place, the guys that made you want to play better, period, and so this CD is a tribute to the first generation of jazz rock pioneers of the early seventies, a group of artists who have probably influenced more musicians all over the world than anybody else. In these early days the combination of jazz and rock was not a given thing. It was a hot liason, not a marriage, and I can still recall the feeling of wild euphoria that could be felt at the concerts of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return To MarshallForever or Weather Report a.o. You can’t compare that to some of the fusion-nerdness of later years that made you leave your girlfriend at home to avoid trouble.

But no retro nostalgia here.I tried to put these early influences in perspective and combine them with newer elements. I am particulary proud about the contributions of my fellow musicians, german bass legend Hellmut Hattler, Paul McCandless of Oregon, one of my heroes for a long time, hot new drum talent Moritz Müller and the other guests, Ingo Bischof, Ollie Rubow and Frowin Ickler. So sit back and enjoy something that you might call “NUJaZZroCK” if you want. (Ali Neander)

In other words: A brilliant album !

BackCover1

Personnel:
Hellmut Hattler (bass)
Paul McCandless (oboe, saxophone)
Ali Neander (guitar, keyboards, programming)
Moritz Müller (drums)
+
Ingo Bischof (keyboards on 04. + 06.)
Frowin Ickler (bass on 14.)
Ollie Rubow (drums on 13.)

HattlerHelmut Hattler

Tracklist:
01. Seventh Sense – Neander 4:44
2 Lassie Gone Bad – Neander, Hattler 4:37
3 Lobanda Walz – Neander 5:08
4 Sweet Confusion – Neander 5:02
5 Flies Neander – 1:40
6 Return Of The Folkhair Rebel – Neander 4:24
7 Spread Your Left Wing – Neander 5:52
8 Celestial Terestrial Commuters – John McLaughlin 3:54
9 Winterlude – Neander, McCandless 1:51
10 The Interior – Neander 4:19
11 Valley View 35 – Neander, Hattler 5:02
12 Fejoada – Neander, Hattler 4:43
13 Positively No Stairway To Heaven – Neander, Hattler 5:41
14 Last Train Home – Neander 5:19

CD1*
**

Blue Planet – Peace For Kabul (1997)

FrontCover1Blue Planet was:

Hakim Ludin: The percussionist Hakim Ludin from Afghanistan, is most known in europe for his performances at percussion festivals and percussion seminars and for working together with international musicians, such as Luis Conte, Alex Acuna, Glen Velez and Terry Bozzio. While playing his percussion instruments, he combines different music worlds in his own very special way. His instruments take the listener far away into countries like India, Afghanistan, Africa, Brazil and Cuba. Hakim Ludin is able to transform his fascinating rhythms into a unity that enables the audience to see single pictures and even complete landscapes. For the performance of Blue Planet, he created special rhythms and sounds that combines the melodic instruments.

Lenny Mac Dowell (FM Leinert): The second musician from Germany, is the flute player Lenny Mac Dowell. As the European, he brings the western culture into the music. In contrary to his classical education, he now moves in the area of Jazz, Rock and Asian influenced music. Up to 15 CD releases together with musicians fromm all over Europe, have accompanied his career. His flute sounds are meditational and with rhythm. He is able to make moods and musical moments happen, through playing masterly different flutes, like the bamboo flute, the Turkish Ney, Sur-Ney and various concert flutes. Lenny Mac Dowell takes all these different instruments and unites them by using a special designed electronic equipement.

Dhafer Youssel: Last, but definitely not least Dhafer Youssef. The Oud player and vocalist comes from Tunesia and his music roots lie deepl yin the North African-Arabian world. Many European musicians invite Dhafer for productions and live-performances, because of his astonishing way of interpretation and performance. There is no end to his abilities in performing with the Oud, the Arabian lute. With his supple and soft voice, he accompanies the instruments and tells stories of the Arabian world.

The music from the world ­ethno formation Blue Planet, is music without frontiers influenced by different cultures of the World.

BluePlanetThis productions shows, that music is a universal language, spoken and understood by everyone everywhere.

Simply put, this album is brilliant. I have had it for over a decade and I still listen to the three talented musicians creating aural beauty. This album introduced me to Dhaffer Youssef (look his stuff up on Amazon) and that incredibly powerful voice. And then there is his oud playing! You lose yourself in this music.

Hakim Ludin’s percussion is nothing to be sneezed at either. Seemingly effortlessly, he switches from nation to nation, one moment giving a song an Arabic feel, the next moment an Indian sensibility.

Together, the musicians make music that stays earthed (unlike Youssef’s other stuff that can be a bit spacy), with the Oud’s warmth, the power of the drumming and the flute’s airyness and lofty notes. Be prepared to be transported to a luxurious place.

For Tribal Style bellydancers, I *HIGHLY* recommend this album. The song Snake Dance will entrance any audience and can be used as a slow piece that builds or for a powerful sword dance. And Hakim drums in enough accents to keep the show interesting. (Roberto F. Galbraith)

Tray1

Personnel:
Hakim Ludin (percussion)
Lenny Mac Dowell (flute, keyboards)
Dhafer Youssef (vocals, oud, percussion, pepinique, jew´s harp)

AlternateFrontCoverAlternate frontcover

Tracklist:
01. Ja Joma (Hey Mother) (Ludin) 7.38
02. Blue Planet (Leinert/Ludin) 5.55
03. Peace For Kabul (Ludin) 7.53 (Ludin) 7.53
04. Lost Garden (Youssef/Leinert/Ludin) 7.41
05. Voice Of The Dessert (Youssef/Leinert/Ludin) 6.07
06. Rose Of Tunis (Youssef) 4.54
07. Bamboo Bridge (Leinert) 6.36
08. Snake Dance (Youssef/Ludin) 5.36
09. Likan (Youssef) 3.33
10. Full Moon (Leinert/Ludin) 7.45

CD1

*
**