Tuesday, 28 June 2011

This Week's Picks (#44)

With a crazy week behind me and another crazy week ahead, this week's picks are much more relaxing than usual. Here are some tracks for those in need of a moment to catch their breath. Please enjoy!

"The Tourist" - Sarah Jarosz

Sarah Jarosz is a talented singer/songwriter from Texas, known for her striking voice and brilliant guitar/banjo/mandolin playing. This track is from her newest album Follow Me Down and is an excellent cover of the Radiohead song.

"Hingala!" - Djivan Gasparyan

Recently, when I am in need of a moment of peace, I have found myself putting on the track "Chiraki Par" from the album Blind Note. The track features the beautiful Armenian duduk and is unfortunately not up on YouTube. Here instead is renown duduk master, Djivan Gasparyan. Gasparyan has played with several big artists including Peter Gabriel, Sting and Hans Zimmer. 

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

This Week's Picks (#43)

Once again, I find myself apologising for the tardiness of my posts. Let's see if I can get back on track. I hope you enjoy this week's picks in the meantime.

"Tawazon I: Balance" - Khyam Allami

This is a track from Khyam Allami's brand new album (released last week) Resonance/Dissonance. I recently attended Allami's album launch, and while I've enjoyed listening to this rising oud star for the past few years, his concert was really something special. I hope to post a review of Allami's new album soon, but in the meantime please enjoy this track and pick up the album yourself.

"Sunshine Day" - Osibisa

And now for something completely different...this should make your hips shake, feet tap, or at the very least, head nod. Osibisa is an Afro-pop band started in the 1970s that claim to have contributed to the founding of 'World Music'.

Friday, 10 June 2011

John Statz- Kickstarter

John Statz put together a fantastic album last year (reviewed here) and is planning his next venture for a fourth studio album. This August, he will be working with the legendary producer Bo Ramsey to release a new album, Old Fashioned. 

His last album was something really special, but with the help of Bo Ramsey, I expect the new album to blow it out of the water. Statz is using Kickstarter to help fund the project and needs your help. Visit his campaign page to pledge and receive some really cool stuff, I promise it will be worth it!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Album Review: Sol by Aurn Shenoy

Album: Sol
Artist: Arun Shenoy
Release Date: October 30, 2010
Genre/Region: Fusion, Flamenco, Jazz

This four track EP is a preview of the full length album Rhythm of the Sun scheduled to be released mid-2011. While the running time is quite short and I look forward to hearing the full length album, this is a great preview of what is to come.

Ambitiously, Shenoy tries to update the flamenco sound, fusing it with jazz and rock. For the most part, he is successful. Flamenco works remarkably well with jazz sensibilities. The first and best track on the EP is "Rhythm of the Sun" and is a prime example of this. Sensual rhythms support a weaving, jazzy piano and create a deliciously seductive track. The track "Sleepy Town" is another great example of fusion gone right, though it is less jazzy than the first piece. 

The other two tracks, however, fall short. "The Violin Song" begins with a very flamenco sound and has promise. Unfortunately, after a minute or so, a very pop-ish drum beat kicks in and the track takes a turn for the worse. "Wanderlust In Keys" is very much the same- lots of potential overshadowed by synthesizer and drum beats.

Despite that, when Shenoy fuses jazz and flamenco well, he creates beautiful sounds and a sensual atmosphere. Overall, this is a promising preview of Shenoy's upcoming album.

You can listen to tracks and watch videos of Arun Shenoy on his website or Facebook:
Official Facebook page: http://facebook.com/ArunShenoyMusic 
Official Website: http://arunshenoy.com