Sunday, 22 November 2009

Aziza Mustafa Zadeh - Inspiration (2000)

Genre: Jazz, Fusion
Format: Flac + cue + log
Released: 2000
Label: Sony Music

Aziza Mustafa Zadeh - (Azeri: Əzizə Mustafazadə) also known as The Princess of Jazz, or Die Prinzessin des Jazz or as Jazziza, was born on 19th December 1969 in Baku, Azerbaijan. She is a pianist, vocalist and composer who plays a fusion of jazz, classical, and mugham (a traditional improvisational style of Azerbaijan). Zadeh began to sing at age of three and studied classical piano from an early age. She made her debut on stage with her father, Vagif Mustafa Zadeh, a famous pioneer of mugham-jazz fusion. Her first, self-titled album was released in 1991, followed by Aziza in 1993. In 1994, she won the Phono Academy Prize, a prestigious German jazz award, for her second album, Always. She has since performed with many jazz and traditional luminaries and has released more albums including Dance Of Fire in 1995, Seventh Truth in 1996, Jazziza in 1997, Inspiration - Colors and Reflections in 2000, Shamans in 2002, Contrasts in 2006 and Contrasts II in 2007.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Orchestra Baobab - Made In Dakar (2007)

Genre: Ethnic
Format: Flac + cue + log
Released: 2007
Label: World Circuit

Senegal’s Orchestra Baobab, having triumphed over changing tastes and a 16-year hiatus, are back with Made in Dakar, their first studio album since 2002's Specialist In All Styles. Featuring guest vocals from their world-renowned countrymen Youssou Ndour and Africando's Medoune Diallo, the set list encompasses songs from ancient griot sources ("Pape Ndiaye"), tributes to departed colleagues ("Nijaay"), Portuguese Creole influences from Guineau Bissau ("Ami Kita Bay"), sixties-era Congolese soukous ("Aline"), and Baobab's own mbalsa, which combines Ndour’s groundbreaking mbalax groove with salsa. But in any context, Baobab's Latin-North African-Afropop fusion never fails to emerge in the forefront, crowned by bandleader Barthйlemy Attisso’s borderline psychedelic lead guitar, smoldering brass, percussion and vocal arrangements and always, a soulful way with a Cuban clavй. Hearing Ndour singing with the band he once inadvertently put out of business is an especially moving experience, as is the wonderful cover of "Beni Baraale," a Bembeya Jazz of Guinйe standard, and Medoune Diallo’s peerless solo turn, which could melt a heart of stone. But with music of this quality, it’s pointless to list highlights. These guys never, ever mess up so picking favorites is a purely subjective exercise. Not to be missed, under any circumstances.

Jeff Beck - Blow By Blow 1975 (1992 Mastersound SBM EK 53442)

Genre: Jazz-Rock
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 1992
Label: Epic

Jeff Beck seems finally to have figured out that his is not going to replace the great Sixties group which bore his name and featured Mickey Waller, Rod Stewart, Nicky Hopkins and Ron Wood. After some trying moments with a couple of abortive bands whose principal purpose was to give him someone to play with, this all-instrumental album points a newer, healthier direction for the man whose playing is more emblematic of the Yardbirds than either Jimmy Page, who followed him, or Eric Clapton, whom he succeeded....

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Stanley Clarke - Children Of Forever 1973

Genre: Jazz
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 1973

Stanley Clarke's debut solo effort was issued when he was already a seasoned jazz veteran, and a member of Chick Corea's Return to Forever, which at the time of this recording also included Joe Farrell on soprano sax and flute, and the Brazilian team of vocalist Flora Purim and drummer/percussionist Airto Moreira. Produced by Corea, who plays Rhodes, clavinet, and acoustic piano on Children of Forever, the band included flutist Art Webb, then-new RtF drummer Lenny White, guitarist Pat Martino, and a vocal pairing in the inimitable Andy Bey and Dee Dee Bridgewater on three of the five cuts -- Bey appears on four. Clarke plays both electric and acoustic bass on the set; and while it would be easy to simply look at this recording as an early fusion date, that would be a tragic mistake. If anything, Children of Forever is a true cousin to Norman Connors' classic Dance of Magic and Dark of Light albums, which were also released in 1973; Clarke played bass on both. This is basically funky, spiritual jazz in the best sense. Yes, jazz. That wonderfully mercurial, indefinable force that brings into itself the whole of music, from popular to classical and folk forms, and makes something new out of them. The long title track with its killer vocal interplay between Bridgewater and Bey is seductive from the jump. Add Clarke's big fat bassline, which is mellow and meaty at the beginning, but after the long piano and guitar breaks in the middle becomes dirty, fuzzy, and spacy by the end as the cut leans into souled-out funk....


Sunday, 15 November 2009

Brian Bromberg - Metal 2005

Genre: Jazz / Fusion / Electric Guitar / Guitar Rock
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 2005
Label: Artistry Music

Brian Bromberg, a highly versatile bassist who can play straight-ahead jazz, fusion, smooth, and adventurous music with equal skill, is a masterful tapper too. On this rockish fusion set, most of the selections have just Bromberg joined by drummer Joel Taylor. Bromberg utilizes an overdubbed piccolo bass like a guitar (so one would swear this was a guitar-driven power trio) in addition to his standard electric bass. Keyboardist Dan Siegel is on two numbers and drummer Tom McCauley subs for Taylor on one song, but otherwise all of the music is made by the two musicians. The results are nine rock-oriented originals played with plenty of spirit, passion, and fun in addition to the expected virtuosity.~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide


Saturday, 14 November 2009

Vaya Con Dios - Vaya Con Dios 1988

Genre: Pop
Format: Flac + cue + log
Released: 1991
Label: Metronome

1988 debut from the band Vaya Con Dios featuring the Belgian chanteuse/lyricist/ producer Dani Klein. Ariola Belgium. Have you ever experienced music taking you to bars that are just about to close, lights which have just been turned on to full degree, people leaving and chattering, some drunk in their loved one's arms, whilst a stranger approaches you to make a sleazy comment, with an untrustworthy look in his eye? You know his intentions, but you cannot yet resist, because you are tipsy as you fall for his meaningless lines. If there is one album that plays music with pictures, feelings, sounds, touch, and smell then this is the one...

Friday, 13 November 2009

Behzad - Strings of Desire 2000

Genre: New Age, Flamenco
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 2000
Label: Baja Records

Strings Of Desire showcases Iranian guitarist Behzad Aghabeigi's blend of traditional Spanish sounds, inviting Middle Eastern melodies and passionate flamenco rhythms and fire. Behzad writes, "As they say, all of life is a 'homecoming'... you never forget where you took your first breath and where you gained your first sight of life's miracle in hand... I am no different from any other mortal so my hometown is where it all started from and is the place I go back to every time I pick up my guitar and strum... The clarity of the air used to inspire my play and the nostalgia still shows me the way. Somewhere in India Flamenco was born and then traveled via the Middle East ending up somewhere in Spain... where it gathered the fame it inspired... throughout history gypsies have traveled endlessly searching for a different reality... the gypsy is loose again to find new colors in the rain... out of the new colors comes the rainbow of hope in the music of the world, stretching the rope to capture the chord that plays in our hearts in accord with the universes' road to behold the universal scope ahead of the millennium's hope."

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Joe Satriani - Super Colossal 2006

Genre: Guitar virtuoso, Rock,
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 2006
Label: EPIC

01. Super Colossal
02. Just Like Lightnin'
03. It's So Good
04. Redshift Riders
05. Ten Words
06. A Cool New Way
07. One Robot's Dream
08. The Meaning of Love
09. Made of Tears
10. Theme for a Strange World
11. Movin' On
12. A Love Eternal
13. Crowd Chant

2006's SUPER COLOSSAL is the 12th studio album from guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani. The master shredder still traffics inarena-sized hard rock instrumentals that provide plenty of room for his melodic, technically dazzling solos. But Satch mixes things up, too, with sunny, country-tinged riffs ("It's So Good"), atmospheric jams ("Ten Words"), and bittersweetlove songs ("Made of Tears").
While a record of guitar rock instrumentals might seem in imminent danger of growing stale,
Satriani manages to keep things interesting, not only by varying his stylistic approach but by
utilizing a wide vocabulary of guitar sounds and effects. And, naturally, guitar players and
aficionados of six-string wizardry will find plenty to admire on nearly every track here.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Marcus Miller - Silver Rain 2005

Genre: Jazz/Fusion
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 2005
Label: Deuces Records

Marcus Miller is foremost known as a Grammy-winning bass player, but as he proves on Silver Rain, Miller is equally formidable as an arranger. Taking songs from a disparate mix of artists that includes Stevie Wonder, Duke Ellington, Jimi Hendrix, Edgar Winter, Beethoven and Prince, Miller’s skills are in almost embarrassing abundance here. On Edgar Winter’s 70s rock jam "Frankenstein", his band (including the likes of Kirk Whalum on tenor and Kenny Garret on alto) flat out wails, but Miller’s slapping bass keeps the groove completely locked down. In contrast, his take on Beethoven’s "Moonlight Sonata" sets the stage for Miller’s mellow-groove skills while the cover of Stevie Wonder’s "Boogie On Reggae a Woman" is Miller at his intricate, funky best. On Prince’s "Girls & Boys", Macy Gray adds her swooping, sensual vocals while Eric Clapton sits in on the title track. Clocking in at around 75 minutes, this CD is full to bursting, but what’s striking here is not the quantity, but the quality. Miller is able to effortlessly make this material his own; moreover he is able to take an impossibly diverse set of songs and construct an album with real cohesion and flow. There is a lot happening on this album, as multi-instrumentalist Miller swaps instruments, moods and musicians from tune to tune, to his credit, however, he never loses the trail. The result is an extremely enjoyable album and an apt platform for Miller’s many, many talents.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Art Pepper - Gettin' Together 1960 (1994 DCC GZS-1054)

Genre: Jazz
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 1994
Label: DCC

As a sort of follow-up to Art Pepper's matchup with Miles Davis's trio in the 1957 classic Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section, Pepper utilizes Davis's sidemen on this 1960 near-classic. In addition to pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb, trumpeter Conte Candoli makes the group a quintet on four of the eight numbers. The CD reissue adds "The Way You Look Tonight" (formerly only available on another LP) and an alternate take of the title cut to the original repertoire. This time around, rather than emphasizing standards, Pepper performs just three ("Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise," Thelonious Monk's "Rhythm-A-Ning" and "The Way You Look Tonight") and includes three originals of his own: "Diane," "Bijou the Poodle" and "Gettin' Together." The music is all very straightahead and bop-oriented, but as usual, Pepper brings something very personal and unique to his playing; he sounds like no one else.