Monday, 13 October 2008

Al di Meola & Leonid Agutin - Cosmopolitan Life 2005

Al di Meola & Leonid Agutin

Cosmopolitan Life 2005

Genre: Latin-Jazz
Format: FLAC + cue + log
Released: 2005
Label: SPV
Number of Discs: 1

One has been repeatedly hailed as one of the world's greatest guitarists; the other is Russia's biggest rock star. With twenty million album sales between them, the union of Al Di Meola and Leonid Agutin seems destined for success. For their debut album together, "Cosmopolitan Life", the two have created a unique sound, giving the term crossover a new dimension. Dreamily beautiful pop tunes meld with Russian jazz, Gypsy rhythms and Argentinian tango. Although Agutin sings mostly in English, many other languages figure. The title song, for instance, has a Portuguese chorus. The Muscovite's distinctive voice leads the listener through a variety of cultures. "People from all countries can recognize themselves in our songs," he says. "A European will get just as much from our CD as an African, American, Asian or Latin."
Each song has a mood of its own. The sunny "Tango" is bubbling over with South American vivacity. "Blue River" shows off the many and varied facets of pop music. "Portofino" conjures up a warm summer night in southern Europe. "Cuba Africa" blends African elements with Cuban sounds. All these songs leave plenty of scope for Di Meola's brilliant guitar playing, whether the artist is displaying his virtuosity in solos or providing discreet accompaniment to Agutin's vocals....

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Billy Cobham & Asere - De Cuba Y De Panama 2008

Billy Cobham & Asere

De Cuba Y De Panama 2008

Genre:  World/Folk Music/Fusion
Format:  FLAC + cue + log 
Released:  2008
Label:  Astar Mwldan
Number of Discs:  1

Born in 1944 in Panama, Billy Cobham first gained fame for his contributions to Miles Davis' electric jazz albums in the first half of the 1970s, most notably on A Tribute To Jack Johnson, Bitches Brew and Live Evil. From there he became the percussive powerhouse that drove the Mahavishnu Orchestra. His first solo album, Spectrum still stands as a brilliant meeting of jazz, funk and rock, part of it sampled very clearly by Massive Attack for the opening track of their debut, Blue Lines. 

In recent years Cobham has focused increasingly on his own output as leader. De Cuba y De Panama is a collaboration between the drummer and Asere that was organised by Womad in Spain in 2002. Asere are a young group from Havana who are one of the leading lights of the Cuban Son movement. Son Cubano, originating in the eastern part of Cuba, can be traced back to the 16th century and combines Spanish cancion, Spanish guitar with African percussive rhythms......