Monday, 30 March 2009

Shem Tov-Levy - Stations (2007)

Genre: Ethno Jazz
Format: Flac + cue + log
Released: 2007
Label: a-Tav a-Smini (8th Note)

Shem-Tov Levy, composer and musician- is an icon of Israeli culture.
Shem-Tov is a part of the Israeli music scene since 1970 and is one of Israel's leading musicians, having had a varied solo career for many years as a composer, flutist and singer.

Shem-Tov was born in 1950. He was trained as a classical flute player with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, but also absorbed the mix of sounds from his Bulgarian family roots and the Yemenite neighborhood, in which he grew up...

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Sadao Watanabe - One For You, Sadao & Bona Live (2006)

Genre: Jazz
Format: Flac + cue + log
Released: 2006
Label: JVC Victor

01. One For You
02. Temba
03. Bona Penda
04. I Thought Of You
05. Waiting Song
06. Ponda
07. Life Is All Like That
08. Basie's At Night
09. See What Happen
10. Carinhoso

A phenomenal live performance by a band co-led by sax great Sadao Watanabe & bassist extraordinare Richard Bona. Recorded in Tokyo, Japan in late 2005, the band (which is essentially Richard Bona's current group) covers many Sadao classics with Bona contributing a beautiful ballad entitled "Ponda".

Friday, 27 March 2009

Renaud Garcia-Fons - La Linea Del Sur 2009

Genre: Jazz
Format: Wv + cue + log + test
Released: 2009
Label: Enja (enj-9527 2)

« La Línea del Sur, c'est l'envie de tisser un lien entre les différents univers musicaux qui ont baigné mon enfance, celui des musiques du pourtour méditerranéen, de l’Amérique Latine, du flamenco et du jazz. L’amour profond que j'ai éprouvé pour ces musiques m’a conduit tout naturellement à m’aventurer sur les chemins d’un Sud imaginaire : Un Sud qui réunirait de multiples racines musicales, ayant en commun la recherche d'un chant profond.

Au fil des compositions, l’accordéon, la guitare flamenca, les percussions, mais aussi la contrebasse, incarnent les instruments du voyage. Tour à tour chanteurs ou accompagnateurs, ils passent de l’expression intime à celle d’un orchestre. Esperanza Fernandez, grande voix du flamenco, est notre invitée pour trois chansons. Elle apporte une contribution singulière à une musique qui repousse les frontières de l’Andalousie jusqu’au Nouveau Monde. Les textes chantés sont inspirés par le poète mystique de langue persane Rûmi. Ils évoquent l’âme pure et amoureuse, éprise de liberté....

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Aziza Mustafa Zadeh - Dance of Fire 1995

Genre: Jazz
Format: Ape + cue + log + test
Released: 1995
Label: Columbia

01. Boomerang
02. Dance of Fire
03. Sheherezadeh
04. Aspiration
05. Bana Bana Gel (Bad Girl)
06. Shadow
07. Carnival
08. Passion
09. Spanish Picture
10. To Be Continued
11. Father

Aziza Mustafa Zadeh is a jazz pianist/singer, which would raise the snide comment, "Heck, another one", if it weren't for the fact that she is from Azerbaijan and extremely talented.

There's very little straight jazz on this record. What we get is a collection of mostly instrumentals of a heavily Caucasian nature, centered around Zadeh's excellent piano playing and vocals, and fleshed out by an impressive cast of Western fusion enormies (they're more than biggies): Al DiMeola (acoustic guitar), Bill Evans (sax), Kai Eckhardt Karpeh de Camargo and Stanley Clarke (bass), and Omar Hakim (drums). The tunes are very melodic and rarely meander outside of a normal human's attention span (a problem that has plagued jazz since the 1940s). As a set, they have a particular cohesiveness that makes the record sound shorter than it actually is.

The album's blend of worldly influences works really well and makes for a rocking piano-based "exotic" album.
Review by Rog The Frog Billerey-Mosier

Monday, 23 March 2009

Sting - Nothing Like The Sun 1987 [MFSL.GOLD.UDCD546]

Genre: Pop/Rock
Format: Flac + cue + log
Released: 1987
Label: Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab / UDCD-546

"WITHOUT FREEDOM FROM the past," sings a typically philosophical Sting on one track called 'History Will Teach Us Nothing', "things will only get worse."

This may be true. Buckminster Fuller has, according to the sleeve notes, said so too. But in the fact of 1985's Dream Of The Blue Turtles, history has certainly taught us that freedom from the pop past of The Police allows a more versatile and sophisticated, less obviously cynical Sting. Finally finished with all the silly voices and dippy white reggae jogging rhythms, freed of the bass-drums-guitar format and adding a jazz inflection to his work, the star in Sting was beginning to shine in a new kind of way. And on the evidence of this second solo studio LP – a double, no less – it seems that Sting will only get better.

Though brilliant in places, Blue Turtles was a patchy collection. On Nothing Like The Sun, musical Sting seems to have solved most of his stylistic difficulties. It's a much more even textured album. Where different styles stick out – as during the musical tour of Manhattan on the affectionate 'Englishman In New York' – it is because they are meant to. Among the musicians credited here are Kenny Kirkland and Branford Marsalis (again); Eric Clapton, Andy Summers, Mark Knopfler and Hiram Bullock variously on guitar (this time Sting sticks mostly to bass), Gil Evans and his orchestra on an enjoyable version of Jimi Hendrix's 'Little Wing', and Ruben Blades doing a Spanish talkover in the moving 'They Dance Alone'.....

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Vlatko Stefanovski & Miroslav Tadic - Treta Majka 2005

Genre: World Music/Fusion/Jazz
Format: Ape + cue + log + test
Released: 2005

Treta Majka ("Third Mother") is actually a quirky slang expression that means a third attempt or third take in Macedonian. Also, it marks the third album that is an outcome of a fruitful partnership between the Macedonian guitar virtuoso Vlatko Stefanovski and the American-Serbian guitar master Miroslav Tadic that started seven years ago with the now-classical masterpiece Krushevo. Krushevo was a collection of traditional Macedonian reels, tunes and dances played on two acoustic guitars, usually in an odd-meter rhythms and archaic scale structures. The success of Krushevo broke new ground for them, as they were able to perform this music in various parts of the world. The second album was a live performance of the album, titled Live in Belgrade, where Krushevo was taken to a different plain, portraying the way the material has advanced and matured through its many reincarnations in auditoriums worldwide....

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Hughes Turner Project - HTP 2002

Genre: Rock
Format: Ape + cue + log + test
Released: 2002
Label: MTM Music

As regular Rough Edge readers are no doubt aware, my favorite eras of Deep Purple are fronted by vocalist Ian Gillan. I've heard the other "machs" of the band, but never really followed them the way I followed (and continue to follow) the Gillan-led line-ups.

Well, judging from this outstanding CD, I'm gonna have to go back and do a little re-listening.

Hughes Turner Project features former Deep Purple vocalists Joe Lynn Turner and Glenn Hughes, trading vocals like the pros they are and delivering some incredible new music (except on "Mystery of the Heart" and "Heaven's Missing an Angel," sung exclusively by Turner and Hughes respectively). Fans of their respective Deep Purple eras will love the fresh new, Deep Purple-ish sound of "Hughes Turner Project." But you don't have to be a Deep Purple fan to like this record. It will hook you on its own accord and it will hold you throughout its nearly 66-minute running time. It's never so melodic that it sounds like Journey, and it's never so hard as to sound like nu-metal....

Hughes Turner Project - Mystery of the Heart

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Gregorian - The Dark Side 2004 [The Original]

Genre: Classical/ World/ Pop
Format: Ape + cue + log + test
Released: 2004
Label: edel

One of the most successful pop/classical fusion projects, Gregorian mixes well-known pop and rock songs with Gregorian chants. Overseen by producer Frank Peterson, co-founder of Michael Cretu's Enigma outfit, Gregorian's first album, Masters of Chant, released in 1999 (an early 1991 Peterson album released under the name Gregorian isn't counted among the group's official releases, but already employs the same aesthetic), became a smash hit throughout Europe, entering the Top Ten in nine different countries. The following albums continued in the same vein, covering songs by Peter Gabriel, Lenny Kravitz, Coldplay, Björk, Queen, Tears for Fears, and others. The Dark Side, released in 2004, put a stronger emphasis on the rock element and included songs by Nine Inch Nails and the Doors. Including two live DVD releases, several sequels to the Masters of Chant album, and a 2006 Christmas album, Gregorian sold over four million records under Peterson's guidance.

Ondekoza - Roulade 1994

Genre: Taiko- Drummers of Japan
Format: Ape + cue + test
Released: 1994
Label: Victor VICG 43

01. Sogaku
02. A-Un-Shamisen
03. Inori-Uta
04. Ondeko-Bayashi

Hometown of ZA ONDEKOZA is the city of Mt.fuji in Shizuoka.
They subjects themselves to the discipline which spontaneously generated from their group living and perform all over the world as “Fuji no yama ONDEKOZA.”
ZA ONDEKOZA was conceived by director Tagayasu Den, and organized on Sado Island in 1969.

In 1975 youngsters shocked their audience when they jumped on stage for its debut performance just after running the Boston Marathon.
Their Taiko drum stage, including collaboration with Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mr. Seiji Ozawa in 1976, have overwhelmed their audience and been acclaimed.

Performance of ZA ONDEKOZA is based on the logic “Sogakuron”, “Running” and “ Music” are one, and it is a reflection of the drama and energy of life. ONDEKOZA’s unprecedented running tour, beginning in 1990 at Carnegie Hall in N.Y., was a compilation of its thought. Until the returning memorial concert at Carnegie hall in Nov. 12, 1993, 355 performances through running 1,071days and 14,910 km were done.

After performing at opening ceremony of the Paralympics Nagano in 1998, a new running tour “long Journey” (12,500km) in China began in April, looking for completion before the 2010 Shanghai EXPO.

For the memorial of Mr. Tagayasu Den who past away on the 11th of April, 2001.
ZA ONDEKOZA held the first Marathon Live Tour in Japan, running about 600km from Sado Island to Fuji and had three memorial concerts during the tour in Spring, 2002.
Collaborating performance with would-famous female percussionist Evelyn Glennie in 2003 winter is included in the documentary film “Touch the sound – The Rhythms of Evelyn Glennie ” produced by German movie director Thomas Riedelsheimer and came out in 2004.

In 2004 ZA ONDEKOZA went back to Boston Marathon where they debuted in 1975 and ran 1,200km spending about 1 and a half months from April to June, 2005 by "Taiwanese marathon live tour" in Taiwan, and performed in various places and performed from January to February, 2006 to the EU tour (14 time performance) in the Croatia, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany.
Running, Beating, and Dancing on the earth.
Their challenge still continues for the 21st century.

Ondekoza - Sogaku

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Miles Davis - Siesta (1987) [2007 WPCR-12744 24bit digital Remastering]

Genre: Jazz
Format: Flac + cue + log
Released: 2007
Label: Warner Bros

01. Lost In Madrid Part I
02. Siesta / Kitt's Kiss / Lost In Madrid Part II
03. Theme For Augustine / Wind / Seduction / Kiss
04. Submission
05. Lost In Madrid Part III
06. Conchita/Lament
07. Lost In Madrid Part IV / Rat Dance / The Call
08. Claire / Lost In Madrid Part V
09. Afterglow
10. Los Feliz

This collaboration between Davis and producer Marcus Miller (who, except for some cameos, plays all of the other instruments) is quite successful and a bit of a surprise since it is essentially a soundtrack to an obscure film. Dedicated to arranger Gil Evans, the music is greatly influenced by his style with Miller creating an electrified but very warm orchestra to accompany Davis's melodic solos. This was the first of several instances in which Miles Davis, in the twilight of his life, returned to his roots. It's worth searching for
by Scott Yanow

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Joe Satriani - Professor Satchafunkilus And The Musterion Of Rock (2008)

Genre: Guitar virtuoso, Rock
Format: Flac + cue + log + test
Released: 2008
Label: Epic/ Red Ink

01. Musterion
02. Overdriver
03. Just Wanna Rock
04. Professor Satchafunkilus
05. Revelation
06. Come On Baby
07. Out Of The Sunrise
08. Diddle-y-a-Doo-Dat
09. Asik Veysel
10. Andalusia

All right, so the title is a bit out-there--but, then again, the Grammy-nominated guitarist's 1986 debut was called "Not of This Earth." Maybe we all should have taken the hint.

Satriani's 13th studio album is the first since 2006's "Super Colossal," and the long-winded title does not lie: this one pays strict homage to simple grooves. The whole-note chords of leadoff cut "Musterion" recall his aforementioned debut's title track, and, as is his instrumental trademark, there is a lyrical lead melody and progression that effectively erases the need for a vocalist.

"Overdriver" is straight-ahead Hendrixy rock (with an appropriate alien-influenced solo), and the laid-back "Revelation" features some multi-tracked guitar voicings that get into Steve Morse/Dixie Dregs territory. If the cowbell and shout-chorus vocals of "I Just Wanna Rock" weren't '70s enough, Satriani pulls out the talk box--a la Peter Frampton--before launching into some searing leads. Precise guitar-drum unison lines pepper the jaunty "Diddly-Y-A-Doo-Dat," and, yes, the title mimics said lines.

"Professor Satchafunkilus" starts with some saxophone flutters from the guitarist's son, ZZ Satriani, and begs the question, "What would George Clinton think of this?" The tune's posterior-shaking qualities are cut from the same cloth as classic Parliament.

Perhaps the most interesting turns come towards the end of the disc, where "Asik Vaysel" explores Middle-Eastern motifs, and the opening of "Andalusia" has an acoustic flamenco flavor, complete with handclaps. Everything eventually comes back to Satriani's familiar lead tone and six-string fireworks, and, while perhaps not as aggressive as earlier efforts, the entire album has an impressive breadth of styles.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Chieli Minucci & Special EFX - Sweet Surrender (2007)

Genre: Smooth-jazz/Jazz
Format: Flac + cue + log
Released: 2007
Label: Shanachie

01. Guitarzzz
02. Mystical
03. Astralcats
04. Sweet Surrender
05. Ascension
06. Chant
07. Cry Of My Soul
08. Play With Me
09. Rush Hour (Dawn)
10. Rush Hour (Rush)
11. Children's Day
12. New Bop
13. Au Naturale

For 14 years (1982-96), guitarist Chieli Minucci was half of the popular World Fusion band Special EFX, forming a musical partnership with percussionist George Jinda and creating accessible yet slightly unusual music. Minucci attended Ithica College, playing guitar in a variety of rock and pop groups and had developed his own approach to the guitar when he met up with Jinda in 1982. Their band recorded extensively with GRP (1984-92) and also made three CDs for JVC (1993-95) before finally breaking up. Minucci in the 1980's and 90's also worked as a producer and writer for other musicians including Deborah Henson-Conant and Kim Pensyl plus he worked in the studios. Minucci appeared on a variety of r&b dates by the likes of Chaka Khan, Roberta Flack, Noel Pointer and Angela Bofill and began his solo career in 1995, cutting three CDs as a leader without Jinda for JVC during 1995-97. Since that time, Minucci has continued to release albums some of which include Sweet On You in 2000, Night Grooves in 2003 and Sweet Surrender in 2007.
Biography by Scott Yanow

Friday, 6 March 2009

Hadouk Trio - Baldamore 2007

Genre: Ethno, Jazz
Format: Flac + cue + log + test
Released: 2007

A fantastic DVD with only the title track duplicated from the Baldamore CD. It's one thing to hear the master musicians play all those strangely named instruments, but it really adds another dimension to see them do it. And of course to have film of Didier wonderful, gentle, funny stage presence as he plays such wonderful music is always a complete treat.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Rain Fell Within - Believe (1999)

Genre: Symphonic/Gothic Metal
Format: Flac + cue + log + test
Released: 1999
Label: Dark Symphonies

01. A False Reality
02. None
03. Believe
04. Sorrow Becomes Me
05. The Sun In My Wound

The debut album from Rain Fell Within is entitled Believe (Dark Symphonies (USA) Dark 7, 2000) is a five track collection of atmospheric metal with operatic vocals. Certain to appeal to fans of Nightwish and Third and The Mortal, their music encompasses a broad range of stylistic influences including: My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost and The Gathering. The band's stated influences also include Theatre of Tragedy, Tiamat, Dead Can Dance and Amorphis. Musical Discoveries' editors were drawn to the music by the stated similarity to Nightwish and this is evidenced by lead vocalist Dawn Smith's operatic vocal contributions. Rain Fell Within, like Nightwish has effectively integrated stunning operatic vocals with metal-edged progressive arrangements.

Rain Fell Within is based in Northern Virginia (USA) and formed in October 1996. After spending 1997 writing material, Rain Fell Within recorded a 5-song demo which was not released to the public. Developing upon their symphonic style, in 1998 they released a professional demo titled "Solemn Days." The demo received excellent responses worldwide. In late 1998, the beand began writing new, more mature material than "Solemn Days" and began playing live shows. The lineup finally stabilised in mid-1999. Today the band includes Dawn Smith (vocals and keys), Charles Gore (bass), Owen Davis (guitars), Tim Miller (percussion) and Kevin Thomas (guitars).

The Believe album is comprised of four epic length, progressively influenced, tracks exceeding eight minutes whilst the closing track runs just under four minutes. The opening number, "A False Reality," serves as an excellent introduction to the band and Dawn's soaring operatic vocal prowess, multitracked extensively throughout to provide supporting backing vocal textures. The double-bass drum and metal edged guitars dominate the intrumental arrangements. The intriguing track "Alone" blends evocative operatic—yet melancholy—vocals with harder-edged metal instrumentals and lush keyboards. We especially enjoyed the fast paced instrumental bridge and accompanying vocal in the last third of the song. Dawn's incredibly powerful voice rings throughout the track and complimenting both singers, she can be favourably compared to Tarja Turunen of Nightwish.

While comparisons to Nightwish and The Third and the Mortal can not be avoided, the title track is clearly the closest allusion to Nightwish in instrumental performance, hard driving style and Dawn's stunning lead vocal part. Instrumentals are as lush as they are heavy while vocals are clearly beautiful and the contrast works quite well for Rain Fell Within as it does for Nightwish. Dawn's additional backing vocals add substantial to the overall texture of the track. "Sorrow Becomes Me" is a slower and somewhat lighter atmostpheric track with a vast range of lovely vocal excursions. The album concludes with the vocally lush "The Sun in my Wound" opening with a heavily layered a capella introduction. This stunning operatic ballad is a lovely tribute to Dawn Smith's soaring vocal work with the lightest instrumental arrangement in support.

Although the album's running time is relatively short by today's standards, the quality of the tracks included on Believe is outstanding. Rain Fell Within are indeed a very powerful atmospheric metal band that demonstrate progressive influences in their work. We found Dawn Smith's vocals stunning in every respect and think that this album should be explored to listen to her sing if for no other reason. Interested readers should listen to the tracks at Rain Fell Within's website. Worth a long distance journey and extensive investigation, Believe is certainly a must listen!
Review 27 January 2000

Rain Fell Within - The Sun In My Wound

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Govi - Touch of Light 2008

Genre: New Age/Flamenco
Format: Flac + cue + log
Released: 2008
Label: Govi Music

Listening to Govi play his guitar, it's hard not to imagine yourself somewhere warm and exotic. He has a natural knack for creating music that has a strong sense of mood and place; it's very imagery rich with a note of romantic abandon. TOUCH OF LIGHT takes a 'back to basics' approach for the guitarist, who had been moving in more of an ethnic direction with his last couple of albums. Here, he focuses on compositions that are rich and full of the simple joy of Govi's flamenco guitar melodies. It's one of his most appealing albums in years, reminding listeners of why they embraced his music in the first place - the sultry beauty and languid bliss of Govi playing that guitar against a breezy samba backdrop. Music Design In Review

Govi - Turkish Delight