Friday, 22 October 2010

Alain Caron - Le Band (1993)

Genre: Jazz fusion/jazz rock/funk
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 1993

Widely heralded as the greatest electric bass player in the world, Montreal resident Alain Caron has put together possibly the finest band of its kind - from the musical elite of francophone Jazz - in producing his first solo album. A veteran of the legendary UZEB - the Roland Electronics endorsed super fusion group of the latter third of the last century -, Caron is an in-demand Artist around the globe for his musical, composing and arranging skills. A collection of predominantly original works revealing his own superb talents as a sideman and his awe-inspiring gifts as an improviser is joined by his tribute to Jaco Pastorious in the Charlie Parker tour de force, "Donna Lee". The grooves, originality and powerful arrangements in Caron's music reaffirm the remarkable contribution of Quebecois Artists to the world of Jazz.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Anouar Brahem - Barzakh (1991)

Genre: Fusion, Folk, World, & Country, Jazz
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 1991
Ecm Records

"The place of rest and tranquility where the soul goes before resurrection."

From the extraordinary 2002 release, Le Pas Du Chat Noir, we go back to
Brahem's first release on ECM in 1991. A somewhat more conventional setting
for the oud, but still a virtuoso recording of this Tunisian trio, this time: oud, violin, percussion.

This starkly beautiful collection of 13 tracks by Tunisian composer Anouar Brahem
is his debut release for the ECM label. The album spotlights Brahem's solo oud pieces,
which range from the meditative ("Sadir") to the propulsive ("Ronda"). This solo work
is nicely augmented by stellar contributions from violinist Bechir Selmi and percussionist
Lassad Hosni; Selmi is featured on the transcendent "Barzakh," while Hosni figures
prominently on "Souga" and "Bou Naouara." The three musicians come together for
the joyous dance number "Parfum de Gitane." Throughout Barzakh, Brahem and the
others forge an appealing mix of Middle Eastern sonorities and jazz phrasing, an intimate
sound perfectly suited to the clean and spacious ECM recording style. This is a great title
or fans of both international music and jazz.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Еpica - The Phantom Agony 2003

Genre: symphonic metal
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 2003
The End Records

A new chapter in the successful book of Gothic Metal is written by guitarist and composer Mark Jansen (ex-After Forever), so forget everything you have heard so far and prepare yourself for the awesome beauty of Epica. Inspired by the Arab culture, Epica brings a unique blend of classical orchestra and choir, brutal grunts and screams and the exquisite mezzo soprano vocals of Simone Simons....

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Stanley Clarke, Al Di Meola & Jean Luc Ponty - The Rite of Strings 1995

Genre: Jazz
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 1995

Any time the likes of Stanley Clarke, Al DiMeola and Jean-Luc Ponty are assembled, there is a good chance the results are going to be impressive. Clarke and DiMeola had played together in the legendary Return to Forever, producing some of the most intense playing in all of fusion; Jean-Luc Ponty had also made several excellent, very diverse recordings. The chops of these three musicians are pretty much unsurpassed in the industry, which in itself makes Rite of Strings worthy of a listen. The real treat, however, is in the song selections....

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Hellborg, Lane, Selvaganesh - Good People In Times Of Evil 2000

Genre: Fusion, Jazz-Rock
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 2000
Bardo Records

Rick Anderson, All Music Guide

Of the many stunningly beautiful albums recorded by bassist Jonas Hellborg, this is perhaps the most consistently lovely. Technically, this is a trio album -- Hellborg is joined by guitar wizard Shawn Lane and Indian percussionist V. Selvaganesh -- and although Hellborg will inevitably be cast as the leader in a setting like this (he's the only one of the three with composition credits on all tunes), there is an admirable equality of presence between the three. Lane is a truly awe-inspiring guitarist, a man who can seemingly play anything that enters his head, and yet who shows remarkable restraint most of the time; Selvaganesh is one of those rare percussionists who manages to blend into the general atmosphere, spinning out virtuoso polyrhythmic passages almost nonstop and yet rarely drawing attention to himself. The overall feel of this album is energetic yet relaxed; there is little or nothing in the way of tonally or texturing forbidding music, and yet all of it is beautiful in a way that challenges the ear. Particular highlights include the lyrical "Aga of the Ladies" and "Bhakti Ras," which was recorded live and features a guest appearance by sarangi player Ustad Sultan Khan. Very highly recommended.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Terry Bozzio & Billy Sheehan - Nine Short Films (2002)

Genre: Fusion, Rock, Music, Prog-Rock/Art Rock, Jazz
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 2002
Magna Carta

The two musicians featured on this album, Terry Bozzio and Billy Sheehan, have been featured on over 100 albums. That is a pretty remarkable accomplishment, and one that would lead to high expectations for the quality of the disc. Well, Bozzio and Sheehan sure know how to deliver, and not in a generic and expected way either. They have produced an album that really does come quite close to defying definition. The title is perhaps quite appropriate, as much of the music seems to have a cinematic texture, telling a story in much the same way as a film would. The title loses a little of its relevance in that there are ten, not nine tracks here, but listeners can give them that one. Truth be told, this fine album seems to cover a lot of varied styles and textures, entertaining the whole way through. The sounds on the album seem to vary from Zappa-ish to Crimson-esque to Peter Gabriel-inspired all the way to modes that call to mind the Police, with little that falls between left untouched. This one will most likely surprise you, but should certainly thrill you, too. ~Review by Gary Hill

Friday, 8 October 2010

Jon Lord - Windows (1974)

Genre: Jon Lord Music
Format: ape + cue + log
Released: 1974
Purple Records

"Windows" was Jon's fourth experiment at merging elements of rock and classical music, and was recorded live during June 1974. Jon had been asked by German festival organisers to perform a special concert in Munich, and got together with conductor Eberhard Schoener to compose a new piece especially for the evening. In fact, two works were performed. WINDOW comprised three movements, including a reworked section from his earlier album GEMINI SUITE. The second piece, CONTINUO ON BACH, saw Jon and Eberhard having his stab at finishing a composition which had been left uncompleted upon Bach's death. The piece had been put together for a German show the previous year, but this was the first time it had been recorded.....

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Jazz Pistols - Three On The Moon (1999)

Genre: Jazz-rOCK / Fusion
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 1999
Cherrytown Records

The best fusion-trio of Germany ... light years ahead.

With their actual disc the three Jazz Pistols establish themselves as a european topgroup. (Mannheimer Morgen)

Without doubt the Jazz Pistols are setting on 3 On The Moon new standards.

Thanks to their technical versatality the Jazz Pistols are moving on 3 On The Moon in international fields. (drums & percussion)

The Jazz Pistols are the indisputable shootingstars of the German jazz scene. This band will definitively rise further. (Bass Professor)....

Monday, 4 October 2010

Hossam Ramzy & Rafa El Tachuela - Flamenco Arabe 2003

Genre: Ethno, Flamenco, Music Of The World
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 2003
Arc Music

This album is a collaboration between Hossam Ramzy and Rafa El Tachuela who is a flamenco musician whose compositions focus on exploring the roots and origins of flamenco. This album is a fabulous fusion of musical styles and instruments by top class musicians. The liner notes in this album are very helpful, it contains short, informative biographies for both Hossam Ramzy and Rafa El Tachuela as well as for Said Kamal (Egyptian violin) and Mohamed Naiem (nay and kawala). Each song title has been translated into English, German, French & Spanish and for each song there are helpful notes on the influences that make up each composition here....

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Red Whale - Queek Egg 1991

Genre: Fussion
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 1991