It's a well-known predicament - the idea of ferrying someone to your mind space. When sitarist Anoushka Shankar takes us there as she translates loss, separation and pain in her personal life in Love Letters, she is accompanied by German-Turkish singer-songwriter Alev Lenz's voice. Through a string theory that Shankar builds with her sitar in Bright Eyes - a heaving piece from Love Letters - Lenz's bare voice fits like a glove. It's as if it was made to be sung along with the sitar. She modulates her voice, goes up and down the scales effortlessly and finds minor yet majestic inflections that make the song a very tightly-knit merger (fusion is a wretched word, as most serious musicians believe). On Friday, at Delhi's Siri Fort auditorium, when she sat behind a piano and sang, the now very famous piece, live, along with Shankar, among other accompanying artistes, she built on the sense of catharsis that the two found while creating Love Letters.
"It was really natural," she says. "We were just two friends making songs that we felt were important and things we wanted to communicate as women. It was creatively the most satisfying process. We didn't have the usual pressure that people do while making an album. Since both of us were dealing with heartbreak around the same time, it became a common process," says Lenz.
READ THE FULL Indian Express ARTICLE
27-year-old Benjamin Grosvenor is considered to be one of the greatest pianists of his generation, or any other generation, for that matter. Ever since emerging in his teens as a prodigy mature beyond his years, Grosvenor continues to evolve artistically, as he builds a legacy of recordings that often achieve reference status, such as his Chopin Scherzos and Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit, and a new release encompassing both Chopin Concertos.
This week, Grosvenor will be the featured guest on Episode 243 of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Virgil Thomson Award winning program Between the Keys, hosted by The Classical Network's Artist-in-Residence, composer/pianist Jed Distler. "Benjamin was an absolute delight to interview," says Distler. "He's warm, affable, unassuming, yet completely comfortable with his high place in the pianistic firmament, and passionate about a wide range of music. Long after our official conversation ended, we kept on talking shop and sharing repertoire ideas. No wonder all of my pianist friends adore Benjamin, personally and artistically."
Grosvenor's new recording of two concerto favorites: Chopin's Piano Concertos Nos.1 and 2, released on Decca Classics, was recorded with Elim Chan and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO). The album marks Benjamin's fifth on Decca Classics, following the hugely successful Homages in 2016, and is his first orchestral album since 2012.
Tune in to Between the Keys this Tuesday February 18th at 10:00 PM with special guest Benjamin Grosvenor, including musical selections by Ravel, Mendelssohn, Bach, Chopin and Brett Dean, only here on The Classical Network and WWFM.org New Jersey.
Ted Poor, who the NY Times wrote; "a trustworthy engine in countless modern-jazz settings," isn't your typical jazz drummer, and either is his New Deal/Impulse! debut recording 'You Already Know.' If you're at all familiar with the Seattle-based Poor's explorative career-or the wide-ranging work of his principal collaborators here, the deeply influential guitarist-producer Blake Mills and the saxophonist Andrew D'Angelo-this should come as no surprise.
Poor's album release show is set for the Columbia City Theatre on March 7,8
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Robert Plant, Karen Dalton, Elton John, Stephen Malkmus, Maria McKee, Shabaka Hutchings and Iggy & Bowie – plus our CD of the month's best music – all feature in the new Uncut, dated April 2020 and available to buy in UK shops from February 20. Inside the issue, you'll find: SHABAKA HUTCHINGS: The cosmic torchbearer of the London jazz scene, lynchpin of Sons Of Kemet, The Comet Is Coming and Shabaka And The Ancestors, invites Uncut round to talk "ecstatic improv", radical reinvention and esoteric philosophies. On March 13, Shabaka & The Ancestors will make their Impulse! debut with the band's sophomore album 'We Are Sent Here By History.'
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From a deeply stirring Mass to hauntingly re-imagined Leonard Cohen masterpieces, LUNA PEARL WOOLF: Fire and Flood encompasses 25 years of vocal and choral works by the innovative American-Canadian composer. The composer-portrait album features new and compelling performances from The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and NOVUS NY conducted by Julian Wachner, cellist Matt Haimovitz, soprano Devon Guthrie, mezzo-soprano Elise Quagliata, and Broadway actress Nancy Anderson.
Luna Pearl Woolf's new opera JACQUELINE, about the life of Jacqueline du Pré, premieres at Tapestry Opera in Toronto this week.
READ THE FULL BroadwayWorld ARTICLE
Alterations is jazz vocalist/composer Robin McKelle's follow-up to her 2018 Melodic Canvas which we covered on these pages. While that was mostly an album of originals, McKelle chooses here to, as she says, "fuse jazz, soul, r&b, blues and rock while keeping continuity in the music." These are mostly familiar songs from some of the most celebrated women in song interpreted through a jazz lens. They include Dolly Parton, Sade, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Janis Joplin, Carole king, Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell, and Land Del Ray. For good measure, McKelle adds just one of her own, in tribute to female artistry.
READ THE FULL MAKING A SCENE REVIEW
Flamenco guitarist, composer and multi-instrumentalist Dave Soldier has been exploring cultural boundaries throughout his life. He founded a string quartet that fused punk, classical and R&B, but also played punk Delta Blues and started the Thai Elephant Orchestra. Now he explores the roots of pop songs, and found them about a thousand years ago at the crossroads of Muslim, Jewish and Christian cultures in southern Spain, more specifically in Andalusia at the time of the Moors. The song titles of these compositions are therefore in English, Arabic and Hebrew. The lyrics were always sung, are based on muwashshaha & zajal, and were taken over by singers in Provence. And that is what our Western pop music would be based on, from Schubert, The Beatles, Hank Williams, to opera. These old texts have now been given a flamenco, jazz and world music twist and are usually sung by Ana Nimouz. They sometimes sound cheerful, sometimes mysterious, and sometimes as fusion. A special release for those who are interested in the origin of our music, and who are not averse to world music. - Patrick Van de Wiele
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Milan Records today releases THE NEW POPE (ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK FROM THE SKY – HBO – CANAL+ SERIES produced by FREMANTLE'S THE APARTMENT and WILDSIDE, co-produced with HAUT ET COURT TV and THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO) with music by LELE MARCHITELLI.
Referred to as "the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele," Jake Shimabukuro is a true virtuoso, and exhibits his talents once again with the release of ‘Trio', available February 14th through Music Theories Recordings.
You Already Know, the New Deal/Impulse! debut from the acclaimed drummer Ted Poor-"a trustworthy engine in countless modern-jazz settings," per the New York Times-isn't your typical jazz drummer's recording, almost defiantly so.
Connecting cultures through music and travel / JAZZIZ Q&A with Ola Onabule
Posted: August 27, 2019 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Vocalist Ola Onabulé has always had an ear for the more socially conscious frequencies in jazz music. His 2015 album It's The Peace That Deafens sought to align the two cultural aspects of his persona - he was born in Britain and raised partially in his parents' homeland of Nigeria - through songs that drew from the musical heritages of both countries, as well as their complicated and entangled pasts.
His latest outing, Point Less, is an even more meticulous exploration of social themes, with music that takes unflinching aim at some of the most pressing issues of our present moment - global injustice, xenophobia, nationalism, civil unrest and violence - through music that nonetheless uplifts and exalts the good in all people. The album is set for release August 30 on Rugged Ram Records.
Onabulé maintains a rigorous touring schedule - he will have made four trans-Atlantic flights before the year is over - but he says it's exactly this constant sense of motion that keeps him balanced in such troubling times. "Travel has been the essential redemptive quality in my life, and it continues to renew my hope in humanity," he told JAZZIZ.
We recently spoke to Onabulé via phone to share his thoughts on trave land how it functions to make the world feel smaller, connecting people of dissimilar backgrounds and putting perceived differences to rest. He also shared his fondest travel memories, as well as his favorite spots for food and architecture. Below is an excerpt of the conversation that has been edited for length and clarity.
Socially conscious singer/songwriter Ola Onabule has built an enviable career as an international touring performer and has now turned his attention to the North American market with a newly recorded collection of original songs. Onabule's meticulous attention to detail in his arrangements and production as well as the support from Sennheiser/Neumann have contributed to the manifestation of an impressive recording.
Point Less, is a follow up to Onabule's last album, It's The Peace That Deafens, with the new album boldly expressing his views on social injustice, reminiscent of Marvin Gaye's What's Going On. It is an activist's call - at once a celebration of life and a cautionary take on the social forces that threaten it. Violence, immigration, xenophobia, betrayal, and dignity are themes considered on Point Less, rendered with a powerful and knowing generosity of spirit. Onabule is rueful yet optimistic.
Ola Onabulé's album; "It's The Peace That Deafens" marks a departure from his previous two releases featuring a largely acoustic set, uniting Jazz, Soul and world influences. The Album contains 12 evocative songs about identity, reconciliation and nostalgia. Words, melodies and rhythms that walk a delicate tightrope of paradoxes, born of a childhood and adulthood immersed in two disparate cultures, on two different continents and at two different times. "It's The Peace That Deafens" is as much a work of exploration as it is a declaration.
Ola states; "Hands-on, self-sufficiency has always been my mantra for survival in the music game. I always felt like the creative parts of song writing, producing and recording were merely different stages of a single process".