domingo, 31 de julio de 2016
by BOB BOILEN • Gregory Porter's healing soul music sends a message of compassion, and he's got a baritone voice that resonates love. When Porter visited NPR, we'd just learned that our colleague, photojournalist David Gilkey, had been killed while working on a story for NPR in Afghanistan. When Porter began singing the calmly beautiful "No Love Dying," he may not have known how much it would mean to us. Yet this song of compassion and hope, from his Grammy-winning 2013 album Liquid Spirit, was just what we'd needed.
Porter and pianist Chip Crawford continued their thoughtful, entrancing set with "Take Me To The Alley" (the title track to Porter's new album), a song about how we treat and think about those who live on society's margins. Closing this Tiny Desk concert is "Don't Be A Fool," another new song of love, loyalty and trust. For us, Porter's set provided a timely reminder that we can all use comfort, counsel and guidance — and that music can be serious and heartwarming without losing its sense of wonder and delight.
Take Me To The Alley is available now:
"No Love Dying"
"Take Me To The Alley"
"Don't Be A Fool"
The Wiz is a 1978 American musical adventure film produced in collaboration between Universal Pictures andMotown Productions, and released by Universal Pictures on October 24, 1978. An urban reimagining of L. Frank Baum's classic 1900 children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz featuring an entirely African-American cast,The Wiz was loosely adapted from the 1974 Broadway musical of the same name. The film follows the adventures of Dorothy, a shy twenty-four-year-old Harlem, New York City, schoolteacher who finds herself magically transported to the Land of Oz, which resembles an alternative fantasy version of the Big Apple. Befriended by a Scarecrow, a Tin Man, and a Cowardly Lion, she travels through the city to seek an audience with the mysterious Wiz, who they say is the only one powerful enough to send her home.
Produced by Rob Cohen and directed by Sidney Lumet, The Wiz stars Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Mabel King, Theresa Merritt, Thelma Carpenter, Lena Horne, and Richard Pryor. The film's story was reworked from William F. Brown's Broadway libretto by Joel Schumacher, and Quincy Jonessupervised the adaptation of Charlie Smalls and Luther Vandross's songs for film. A handful of new songs, written by Jones and the songwriting team of Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson, were added for the film version. Upon its original theatrical release, The Wiz was a critical and commercial failure, and marked the end of the resurgence of African-American films that began with the blaxploitation movement of the early 1970s.Despite its initial failure, the film version of The Wiz became a cult classic, particularly among African-American audiences, Oz enthusiasts, and fans of Michael Jackson. Certain aspects of this film adaptation influenced the The Wiz Live!, a live television adaptation of the musical.
miércoles, 27 de julio de 2016
Urszula Bogumiła Dudziak-Urbaniak (born 22 October 1943) is a leading Polish jazz vocalist. She has worked with artists such as Krzysztof Komeda, Michał Urbaniak (her ex-husband), Gil Evans, Archie Shepp, and Lester Bowie. Her 1970s song, Papaya, gained widespread popularity in Asia and Latin America in 2007.
martes, 26 de julio de 2016
Maayan Nidam, an artist in flux, continues to change, evolve and challenge boundaries both in her Berlin studio and on stage. She has built a reputation as a fine DJ and producer who favours a subtle approach towards mesmeric moments.
Her DJ sets, predominantly based in stripped-back, deep sounds, utilise an intriguing vinyl collection, using obscure interludes for re-contextualisation. This approach makes for some magical moments on the dance-floor, where a night’s highlight may come from the most unlikely of tracks.
As a musician obsessed about sound and the technology behind its creation, her workflow places a strong focus on the studio environment. Triggering chain reactions between guitar pedals, drum machines, modular synths and acoustic instruments, generating sounds in unpredictable, exciting ways.
Inspired by her 2014 performances as The Waves with an accompanying band, Maayan has developed a solo live set that allows her to further her studio experiments and take them on the road. With a flexibly evolving range of hardware, she re-creates the spontaneous frame of her productions, delving deep into the possibilities of live dubbing and improvisation, keeping the performance exciting for both the crowd and Maayan herself.
lunes, 25 de julio de 2016
domingo, 24 de julio de 2016
by TOM HUIZENGA • The practice of lulling a child to sleep through music must be about the oldest tradition imaginable. All parents have wanted their children to sleep at some point, if only to have a little peace and quiet — and to plot strategies for getting their own shuteye.
Pianist Alessio Bax knows all about sleep — and lack thereof. He's a first-time parent, and his 22-month-old daughter Mila is, like any child that age, a handful, not to mention impossibly cute.
For Father's Day, we invited Bax and his daughter behind Bob Boilen's desk for a few lullabies from the award-winning pianist's recent album Lullabies For Mila. Sensing attention from the crowd and the cameras, Mila is anything but sleepy. On the contrary, with her own running commentary — and some fast fingering on a toy keyboard — she does her best to steal the show.
Bax begins with a rendition of J.S. Bach's "Sheep May Safely Graze," explaining that the composer asks the performer to do three things at once, which is not unlike the duties a new parent must juggle. Mila's mom, Lucille Chung, joins her husband at the piano for a brief Brahms Waltz (Op. 39 in A-flat) often referred to as a lullaby. As if on cue, Mila eagerly introduces Chung with a sweet "Mama, too." Bax closes with a ravishing Prelude by Rachmaninoff. As the undulating music begins to heat up, Mila pounds away at her own mini-keyboard — that is, until Mom plucks the toy from her lap.
Lullabies for Mila is available now:
"J.S. Bach (arr. Petri): Sheep May Safely Graze"
"Brahms: Waltz No. 15 in A-flat major, Op. 39"
"Rachmaninoff: Prelude No. 4 in D, Op. 23"
viernes, 22 de julio de 2016
"Grant-Lee Phillips has had a storied career, both of his own success with Grant-Lee Buffalo in the ’90s and through the ones he tells in the songs of his previous seven solo albums. The narrative force remains strong on his latest, The Narrows, his eighth and the first recorded since he moved from his long-time home in Los Angeles to Nashville. Recorded at Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Studio, the new LP finds Phillips walking a familiar path of warmly recorded country-tinged folk-rock, as in song he reflects on both the personal and the historical. While some songs focus on the latter, like the album’s first single, “Cry Cry”, which takes for its subject the persecution of Native American people during the Trail of Tears, today’s featured song, “Rolling Pin”, is of the former kind. “Flat out, laid me down / Like dough beneath a rolling pin / No, I never met the likes of her / I knew I never would again”, he sings of meeting his wife many years ago. It’s a straight-up love song, but there’s enough kick to this boot-stomper to keep from sounding schmaltzy or precious. In other words, “Rolling Pin” will knock you flat out too."
Yo ví estos dos gigantes en 1984 en el Centro de Bellas Artes de Santurce.
June 13, 2016 by SURAYA MOHAMED • Sometimes big-name artists need special attention. But in this case, it wasn't because they've been jazz pioneers and innovators since the 1960s and are considered to be founding fathers of jazz fusion, not to mention two of the most important jazz figures performing today. It's not because they've collectively recorded more than 100 albums and won 29 Grammy Awards. The agitation was because both of their instruments couldn't fit behind Bob Boilen's Tiny Desk.
There were logistical hurdles to overcome before the jazz giants' arrival. We had to move the desk to make a bigger "stage." Piano movers hauled the 900-pound Yamaha C7 grand piano from our first-floor performance studio up the freight elevator to the fourth-floor Tiny Desk area. But weeks of meticulous measuring and planning paid off when the rented vibes were delivered and just fit alongside the piano.
Gary Burton and Chick Corea were in town for the 2016 NEA Jazz Masters Concert. The NEA Jazz Masters fellowship is the highest honor our nation bestows on jazz artists. Each year, the program honors a select few living legends who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz. Burton was a newly appointed 2016 recipient, while Corea received the honor in 2006.
These friends first played together 44 years ago, when they recorded their very first album, Crystal Silence. In his autobiography, Gary Burton tells the story:
We set aside three days for the recording. Except for ... one tune in Munich, Chick and I hadn't worked together before Berlin, so we figured we would need a fair amount of time to choose songs and finalize arrangements. But to our amazement, it all went incredibly fast. We would spend maybe twenty minutes creating an arrangement, and then record. We did every song in just one take, except that we required a second spin through "Senor Mouse."
The record was finished in just a few hours, and the two realized they had a unique musical chemistry with the ability to anticipate each other's improvisational ideas. That album went on to become a classic: flawless yet fresh and forever new.
A few thousand concerts later, the jazz masters showed up at NPR HQ to perform a concert at our newly expanded Tiny Desk. On this day, it had been almost two years since Chick Corea and Gary Burton had played together — the longest break they'd ever had. But once again, their remarkable ability to connect was demonstrated in two songs they play together all the time.
Hot House is available now:
martes, 19 de julio de 2016
The Andromeda Strain is a 1971 American science fiction film produced and directed by Robert Wise. Based on Michael Crichton's 1969 novel of the same name and adapted by Nelson Gidding, the film stars Arthur Hill, James Olson, Kate Reid, and David Wayne as a team of scientists who investigate a deadly organism of extraterrestrial origin. With a few exceptions, the film follows the book closely. Thespecial effects were designed by Douglas Trumbull. The film is notable for its use of split screen in certain scenes.
domingo, 17 de julio de 2016
by FELIX CONTRERAS
Jane Bunnett knows a few things about Cuban music. She and her husband, trumpeter Larry Kramer, have been traveling to the island from their home base of Toronto for more than 30 years. They've collaborated with musicians there, as well as back home in Canada and on tours around the globe.
So it should come as no surprise that when Bunnett chose to perform with some of the top young women musicians from the island, she'd choose some of the best of their generation. As you can sense from this video, the members of Maqueque are conservatory-trained, but also schooled in Afro-Cuban tradition.
If you want to hear what Cuba sounds like today, then be sure to listen. It's a pleasure to watch and listen as Jane Bunnett and Maqueque share their passion with the world.
Jane Bunnett & Maqueque is available now:
"25 New Moves"
viernes, 15 de julio de 2016
Mannheim Steamroller began as an alias for record producer and composer Chip Davis. The name "Mannheim Steamroller" comes from an 18th-century German musical technique, Mannheim roller (German: Mannheimer Walze), a crescendo passage having a rising melodic line over an ostinato bass line, popularized by the Mannheim school of composition. Before the fame of Steamroller, Davis had been best known for collaborating with his friend Bill Fries on the songs of the country music character "C. W. McCall" (of "Convoy" fame). Even before the height of McCall's popularity, Davis produced an unusual album of classical music performed entirely by Davis and musical collaborator and keyboardist Jackson Berkey, using electric bass (played by Eric Hansen) and synthesizers.
Since no major label would handle its distribution, Davis founded his own music label, American Gramaphone (a play on the classical record label Deutsche Grammophon), to release the album. The result, Fresh Aire, was released in 1975 under the pseudonym Mannheim Steamroller. Fresh Aire II was subsequently released in 1977 and Fresh Aire III was released in 1979. The first four Fresh Aire albums constituted an exploration of the four seasons, with Fresh Aire being spring, Fresh Aire II being fall, Fresh Aire III being summer, and Fresh Aire IV being winter. All four of these albums maintained the blend of baroque classical music, light jazz, and rock, and featured Jackson Berkey's virtuosic keyboard work. Davis and Berkey would use whatever instrument seemed appropriate to the piece, using toy piano on one piece and full pipe organ on another, with copious interleaving of piano and harpsichord. In 1981 Davis released Fresh Aire Interludes, an album that compiled Berkey's 10 piano interludes from the first four Fresh Aire albums.
miércoles, 13 de julio de 2016
martes, 12 de julio de 2016
June 28, 2016 by FELIX CONTRERAS • Together, saxophonist Charles Lloyd and pianist Jason Moran make jazz that draws from the past while looking to the future. Lloyd's body of work stretches back to the mid-1960s, and has always shown a disregard for boundaries and cliches. He seems determined to work through the later part of his career with artistically and spiritually motivated playing that simply astounds.
Moran is the sound of today and tomorrow. You can hear reverence in his duo playing with Lloyd — and you may also notice playing that taps into Lloyd's ever-present youthful spirit. Together, their performance behind Bob Boilen's Tiny Desk was as refreshing and energizing as deep meditation.
Hagar's Song is available now:
"Hagar's Lullaby" (by Charles Lloyd)
"Prayer" (by Charles Lloyd)
"Sand Rhythm" (by Charles Lloyd & Jason Moran)
lunes, 11 de julio de 2016
Darren Griffiths, AKA Red Greg, is not a widely known DJ, but among disco and soul aficionados he's one of the most highly regarded. He's been collecting records since the late '80s, cultivating an outrageously deep collection of dance floor-focussed disco, boogie and soul. His compilation Under The Influence, released on Z records in 2011, is a great example of his style. The release featured a slew of mega obscure, independently released music. Perhaps the pick of the release was Aged In Harmony's "You're A Melody," an incredibly funky and rare mid-tempo soul track. When Floating Points tried to track down a vinyl copy, he was pointed in the direction of Griffiths. A friendship blossomed that lead to him playing Floating Points' You're A Melody party at Plastic People. Jeremy Underground also played that night, and the recording introduced Griffiths to a much wider audience, the mix being voted in the top mixes of 2013 on RA.
Since then Griffiths has continued to deliver his blend of soulful dance music to increasingly international audiences, with gigs across Europe as well as further appearances at You're A Melody. His RA mix shows why he's held in such high esteem. It's fanatically obscure selection of music delivered with the skill to get any dance floor moving.
domingo, 10 de julio de 2016
Recordando a Hilton
Carmelo Ruiz Marrero
(Publicado en El Nuevo Día, 18 de junio 2006)
A través de su carrera, Hilton tocó con muchos otros jazzistas de renombre como Mongo Santamaría, Pharoah Saunders, Archie Shepp, Charles Mingus, Don Cherry, Chico Freeman, Tito Puente, Jerry González y Paquito D’Rivera, y apareció en programas televisivos con David Letterman, Joe Franklin y Bill Cosby (este último tiene una pasión descomunal por el buen jazz). Su música también se usó en las bandas sonoras de las películas “Crimes and Misdemeanors” de Woody Allen y “American Beauty”. En agosto de 2002 el Congreso de Estados Unidos le hizo un reconocimiento por su servicio a la comunidad y su gran aportación a la música.
En sus giras de concierto llegó a lugares tan lejanos como Australia, Nueva Zelandia, Singapur, Turquía, China, Dubai, Europa y Japón, pero a pesar de eso nunca olvidó a Puerto Rico. Ofreció clínicas musicales en la Universidad Interamericana, la Universidad de Puerto Rico, la Universidad Católica de Ponce y el Conservatorio. Ramón tiene un sinnúmero de gratas memorias de Hilton en Puerto Rico, incluyendo la vez que lo acompañó en una accidentada travesía por lo más recóndito de Maricao buscando parientes. En un período de doce meses entre 2004 y 2005 tocó en la isla ocho veces, acompañado porJay Hoggard, Giovanni Hidalgo, Dave Valentín y el ya mencionado Freeman, entre otros, en lugares como el Hotel Normandie y el Nuyorican Café.
19 de septiembre 2014
El disco Music for Airports de Brian Eno prácticamente dio comienzo a lo que se conoce como música ambient. Compré este disco en formato elepé en Discomanía cuando estudiaba en la UPR, si mal no recuerdo fue en 1988.
Dice la sagrada Wikipedia:
Ambient 1: Music for Airports is the sixth studio album by Brian Eno. It was released by Polydor Records in 1978. The album consists of four compositions created by layering tape loops of differing lengths. It was the first of four albums released in Eno's "Ambient" series, a term which he coined to differentiate his experimental and minimalistic approach to composition from "the products of the various purveyors of canned music". Though it is not the earliest entry in the genre, it was the first album ever to be explicitly created under the label "ambient music."
The music was designed to be continuously looped as a sound installation, with the intent of diffusing the tense, anxious atmosphere of an airport terminal. To achieve this, Eno sought to create music "as ignorable as it is interesting." Rather than brightening the atmosphere as typical background music does, Music for Airports is "intended to induce calm and a space to think." Eno conceived this idea while spending several hours waiting at Cologne Bonn Airport in Germany in the mid-1970s and being annoyed by the uninspired sound atmosphere.
...in "1/1", a single piano melody is repeated and at different times other instruments will fade in and out to create a complex, evolving pattern as the sounds fall in and out of sync with each other.
Talking about the first piece, Eno has said:
|“||I had four musicians in the studio, and we were doing some improvising exercises that I'd suggested. I couldn't hear the musicians very well at the time, and I'm sure they couldn't hear each other, but listening back, later, I found this very short section of tape where two pianos, unbeknownst to each other, played melodic lines that interlocked in an interesting way. To make a piece of music out of it, I cut that part out, made a stereo loop on the 24-track, then I discovered I liked it best at half speed, so the instruments sounded very soft, and the whole movement was very slow.|
sábado, 9 de julio de 2016
Jake Viator is an Audio Engineer/DJ and as Chief Engineer at dublab is responsible for all things streaming & vibrating. Jake came on staff as an intern in 2008, but is a longtime dubhead ever since tuning-in to his brother's weekly show (A Joyful Noise) in 1999. Jake has recorded, mixed and mastered Sprout Sessions on dublab from a wide range of artists, and when he's not confined to the lab, you can find him running around Los Angeles recordingsome of the freakiest and most far-out sounds in the city. Jake hosts A Noiseful Joy on dublab every Tuesday morning from 10am-12pm PST. An eclectic survey of the wild wide world of sound, each episode explores Avant-Garde, Electronic and Freaked-Out audio and video vibrations from the 1960s and beyond. Tune-in each week for experimental fun!