February 12, 2010

 First things first.  For those whose hearts are with the protesters in Iran tonight, there’s a new recording by Iranian-Canadian band Blurred Focus of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.”  Check it out here

! Abdullah Ibrahim – Bombella (jazz)

Ibrahim is the most important jazz musician you’ve never heard of.  A South African talent who found a patron in Duke Ellington, his musical style rolled with the changes in jazz through the 1960’s and 70’s.  Now back with a big band, his clear sense of melody and skillful use of a huge horn section would do Ellington proud.  Ibrahim’s compositions are joyous, and the band really swings.

 

Listen to Abdullah Ibrahim “Bombella

 

! Galactic – Ya-Ka-May (funk)

No city has given more to the evolution of funk than New Orleans – Professor Longhair, Dr. John, The Meters, and now Galactic.  Freely mixing jazz, hip hop, soul, and Mardi Gras brass band music, the group’s sound is downright stanky.  A who’s who of Big Easy players in all those styles fills out the album.  New Orleans is celebrating this week – join the party.

Listen to Galactic “Boe Money” featuring Rebirth Brass Band

 

* My Name is Khan – Original Soundtrack (world)

Judging from the previews, this movie is a powerful statement about post-9/11 America; judging from the soundtrack, we’re looking at a Bollywood music sensation that’s about to infect two continents.  Some of the best voices and arrangers in the industry are here, and the Islamic themes give deep spiritual overtones to several of the songs.

Listen to Rashid Khan “Allah Hi Rahim” from My Name is Khan

 

* Tecupae – Tiempo (Latin)

Tecupae is driving a new sound that incorporates the groovy accordion of Venezuelan Vallenato music into Latin pop and rock-en-español stylings.  It’s a potent mix that earns the band a place alongside other Latin rock crowdpleasers like Los Lonely Boys.

Listen to Tecupae “Amor Chiquitico

 

Living Corpse – Metaphysical Collapse (metal)

Seriously heavy, and seriously listenable.  Power chords and a driving double-kick-drum serve as musical lifelines that carry you through the volcanic fury.  Some slower passages give emotional contrast.  Shouted vocals provide energy without stealing focus, even if the lyrics are unintelligible.

Listen to Living Corpse “Metaphysical Collapse

Josh Turner – Haywire (country)

Turner’s full-on bass vocals and honky-tonk tendencies distinguish this album from the pop country masses.  Kick back and enjoy this easy ride.

Listen to Josh Turner “Why Don’t We Just Dance

 

 

 

* highly recommended

! highest recommendation

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