February 27, 2011

Colin McPhee-Tabuh-Tabuhan, Symphony No2

a  petit miracle that happened yesterday in my microcosm ,but  I tend to see everything  as  miracles lately....
anyway while I was searching for a recording from Mauritania for my blog,
I unearthed a  cdr with the mysterious title Tabu-Tabuhan,that was brought in by a friend about 3 years ago,  left behind and was forgotten...and I must add here,that serious music is Terra incognita for me
 -see I'm no  "serious" in any way  :) ..
A quick google search revealed Colin McPhee's fascinating but rather tragic story as
his disbelief  in his work along with the rejection he felt from his contemporaries,
led him to alcoholism, cirrhosis of the liver and death.
I must confess that I had  never  listened  to these works till some hours ago,never too late though , let's listen
them together in a flac rip for the occasion,and  we can  talk along the way ,whether Tabu-Tabuhan ,one of the first west meets ("the exotic"then ) Bali ,symphonic attempts,if not the first,was a successful one and in what degree.and some questions that arise inevitably: how would you approach a different from yours,civilization?is there a way or a formula, or the only words are understanding and respect?

from the UCLA archive:

It was in 1931 that McPhee first heard recordings of some of then virtually unknown music of the gamelan of Bali, ensembles of tuned gongs, gong chimes, metallophones, cymbals, and drums. Fascinated by the new possibilities of timbre and percussive colors, musical form and instrumental technique, McPhee went to Indonesia; what began an exploratory trip became an extended period of residence in Bali until 1939. McPhee made an extensive survey of the many different types of ensembles throughout the island; his house became a center of musical activity; he encouraged and subsidized children's training in music and dance as well as the maintaining of the older musical traditions.

start with this one
the whole story
and in brief

Esprit orchestra

Colin McPhee- Tabuh-Tabuhan, Symphony No2

1. Symphony No. 2, "Pastorale": I. Moderato misterioso
2. Symphony No. 2, "Pastorale": II. Elegy - Lento - Molto Tranquilo
3. Symphony No. 2, "Pastorale": III. Molto energico
4. Concerto: I. Tempo giusto
5. Concerto: II. Lento
6. Concerto: III. Animato
7. Transitions
8. Tabuh-tabuhan: I. Ostinatos: Animato
9. Tabuh-tabuhan: II. Nocturne: Tranquilo
10. Tabuh-tabuhan: III. Finale: Quieto e misterioso
11. Nocturne


a silent film by Colin McPhee

February 24, 2011

Arthur Blythe - Focus

Arthur Blythe-alto saxophone; Cecil Brooks III-drums; Bob Stewart- tuba; William Tsilis-concert grand marimba

1 Opus
2 Children's Song
3 C.C. Rider
4 Once Again
5 My Son Ra See All 4
6 Hip Toe
7 Night Song
8 Bubbles
9 Stuffy Turkey See All 2
10 Night Creeper
11 In A Sentimental Mood
12 Focus

Arthur Blythe has been busy (rewiev is from 2002). He has a new recording, and last month completed a stint with his quartet at the Jazz Standard. Blythe is living in his hometown San Diego again, so NYC jazz fans jumped at the rare opportunity to see him play live. The band - Blythe on alto, John Hicks on piano, Dwayne Dolphin on bass, and Cecil Brooks III on drums - was augmented by longtime Blythe collaborator Bob Stewart on tuba. Blythe's diverse repertoire provided springboards for intriguing soloing and group exchanges. The band "made it look easy" in the plush red velvet surroundings of the Jazz Standard. For those who missed Blythe's live shows, there's a very nice product in record stores now that features the core members of the live band - Blythe, Brooks and Stewart.
Focus sounds like it could have been conceived and recorded by some of the new crop of "downtown" musicians. The spare instrumentation and simple, elegant compositions sound fresh, relevant and forward-looking. But there's also a patina of maturity and self-assuredness that sets Focus apart from rawer, more experimental downtown sounds. That's because the musicians - supported on some tracks by special guest William Tsilis on concert grand marimba - have arrived at their maturity and self-assuredness through decades of experimental efforts. They've spent careers redefining jazz, and the fruits of their labor result in music that is relaxed and understated, yet emotive and powerful.

Drummer Brooks (who also produced the record) is a master of understatement. His impeccable time, thoughtful accompaniment and creative soloing are always tasty and right-on, and bring to mind how the great Art Blakey kicked a small band in the ass. The record's "secret weapon" is Tsilis. He fills a variety of functions - keyboard harmonist, comping colorist and most notably adds an African feel with authentic balafon-like playing. He also gets plenty of solo time, and the results are impressive.

Of course, the record is based around the team of Blythe and Stewart. These two dignified gentlemen, veterans of the ‘70s NYC "loft jazz" scene and countless projects since then, have a musical relationship that goes beyond familiarity. At their best moments, their playing together transcends the music and enters the realm of sound poetry. They can make pure statements. Their interplay - often with Stewart laying down a funky, ostinato bass line under Blythe's spiky, biting alto lines - has been going strong since Lenox Avenue Breakdown. It's now a polished act, and their voices fit like an old shoe.

focus on thegoodone to pass through

February 22, 2011

Chico Freeman & Arthur Blythe - Luminous

Chico Freeman & Arthur Blythe - Luminous
Recorded Live at Ronnie Scott's Club

1. Footprints
2. Luminous
3. You Are Too Beautiful
4. Naima's Love Song
5. Avotja

Customer Reviews from Amazon

I apologise for poor bitrate, I don't think it can be found on anay of blogs or open forums, recording has some briliant moments, especially from John Hicks on piano, it would be a shame to let it pass unheard it is thegoodone :). And it is Luminous.

February 20, 2011

Cheikh Lô

"Well, any music that makes me feel good is good for me"
Cheikh Lô

Cheikh Lô - Lamp Fall

1. Sou
2. Lamp Fall
3. Xalé
4. Kelle Magni
5. Sénégal-Brésil
6. Sante Yalla
7. Tougayu M'Bedd
8. N'Galula
9. Sama Kaani Xeen
10. Bamba Mo Woor
11. Fattaliku Demb
12. Kelle Magni (encore)
13. Zikroulah

"The theme of the album is Africa - my Africa. It's a plea against war and poverty. But it's also about love, religion and spirituality" Cheikh Lô.

Cheikh Lô (vocals, drums, percussion); David Okumu (guitar, electric guitar); Lamine Faye, Lamine Faye (guitar); Oumar Sow (electric guitar); Boghan Costa (berimbau, congas, djembe, pandeiro); Léo Bit Bit (berimbau, pandeiro); Felipe Pinheiro de Souza (violin); Sanou Diouf (flute, saxophone); Paulinho Andrade (flute, soprano saxophone); Pee Wee Ellis (saxophone, tenor saxophone); Matt Holland, Byron Wallen (trumpet); Tim Smart, Fayyaz Virji (trombone); Madou Diabate, Arona Barry (keyboards); Pepe Cisneros (string synthesizer); Erick Firmino, Etienne Mbappé (bass guitar); Badou N'Diaye (drums); Samba N'Dokh (talking drum); Grupo Ilę Aiyę (caixa, surdo); Sandro Santos (castanets); Samba NDokh MBaye (sabar); Crispin Cerqueira (wood block); Thio M'Baye, Thio M'Baye, Saliou Seck (percussion); Candeal Girls, Tita Alves, Angela Loppo, Juciara Carvalho (background vocals); Adson Santana (guitar, sitar, viola); Davi Moraes (guitar, sitar, drums).

Let’s party for peace! Here in the U.S., we haven’t known how to do this since Woodstock. In the UK, it’s been since the rude boys (and girls) of the new wave era borrowed from Jamaica and skanked against social inequality. The Western mind has since bifurcated completely, only able to dance to frivolity and to care about causes in a minor key. Let’s go to Africa, then, to reunite the hemispheres of our brain and, perhaps by some small increment, the hemispheres of this big messy world.

Senegalese singer Cheikh Lô possesses the necessary musical prowess to kick the plan into action. And Lamp Fall is his means and his vision. He describes his third (and finest) album as “a plea against war and poverty. But it’s also about love, religion and spirituality.” And you would hear this, feel this, know this, simply by listening to the music. Lô needs no gospel choir to impart his spiritual passion. He doesn’t even need to sing in a language that most of his intended listeners are able to understand. This album is all about that higher power moving through you and making you shake your hips. God, love, light, music itself. It doesn’t matter what you believe in. The power of rhythm is a uniter, not a divider.

The rhythmic foundation for Cheikh Lô’s brand of Afro-pop is mbalax, a Senegalese and Gambian style evolved from the Wolof people of that region. Youssou N’Dour, familiar to most of us as the guest vocalist on Peter Gabriel’s boom box-hefting anthem “In Your Eyes”, first popularized mbalax, embellishing and transforming its tradition by incorporating the instruments and sounds of Western rock. Lô carries his predecessor’s approach further out into the world, folding in the flavors of Cuba, Jamaica, Brazil, and the African nations of Burkina Fasa (where he was born) and Mali (its neighbor). Drums, of course, play a central role in mbalax, as well as in the arrangements on Lamp Fall. Both the tama and/or the sabar drum are listed first in the credits for each song in the CD’s liner notes, and rightly so. The former is also known as the “talking drum”, because its pitch is changeable by increasing the tension on the drumhead; the latter is played with both a hand and a stick, offering two distinct timbres. Guitar, bass, keyboards, horns, backing vocals, and even more percussion fill most every track on the album.

Based on all this, you might expect Lamp Fall to be non-stop, up-tempo, packed-tight, a veritable salsa-meets-samba high-energy parade. Fortunately, Cheikh Lô is not at all given to excess. His arrangements are tasteful and smart, allowing just the right amount of breathing room for less propulsive and more grounded, acoustic moments to shine. It’s during these times that the sorrow of living on a poor and war-torn continent leaks through. This melancholy, however, is what makes the happy, horn-blasted moments poignant. Without sadness, why would we need to rise up and rejoice? So, while the beautiful track “Sante Yalle” is quite pensive, it’s actually just a breather following the funky march of “Senegal-Bresil”. This sense of balance permeates the album. Lô’s music is always relaxed at its core, regardless of tempo. Mostly sunny, while still retaining the bite of musicians playing with intensity, and well-produced without any gimmickry, Lamp Fall is at the top of the Afro-pop ranks.

"Well, any music that makes me feel good is good for me" Lô said. Well I guess it won't be hard what the pass for Lamp Fall is , Well you can alaways ask Miguel he seams to be on watch for saying thegoodone ! Thanks Mi!

February 18, 2011

One more for a Saint Called Louis

Malachi Thompson & Africa Brass - Blue Jazz

Malachi Thompson (trumpet, flugelhorn); Dee Alexander, The Big DooWopper (vocals); Ari Brown (clarinet, tenor saxophone); Gary Bartz (soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); Billy Harper (tenor saxophone); Elmer Brown, David Spencer, Kenny Anderson (trumpet); Kirk Tracy, Bill McFarland, Steve Berry (trombone); Kirk Brown (piano, organ); Leon Jr. Joyce (drums).

1. Black Metropolis
2. The Panther
3. Jazz Revelations
4. Genesis/Rebirth
5. Po' Little Louie
6. Get On The Train
7. Blues For A Saint Called Louis
8. Blue Jazz
9. Footprints
10. Mud Hole

Trumpeter, composer, arranger, and bandleader Malachi Thompson has outdone himself with Blue Jazz. Being the fourth Africa Brass date, Thompson and his notion of reinventing the manner in which a brass-driven big band explores the relationships between harmony and rhythm, and the more tenacious linguistic commonalities between bebop and free jazz have never been as articulately or gracefully rendered as they are in this pair of suites. The band is stellar, among the five-trumpet, four-trombone saxophone giants Gary Bartz and Billy Harper, with Chicago greats Ari Brown and Gene Barge on a cut each. The rhythm section featuring pianist Kirk Brown, bassist Harrison Bankhead, and drummer Leon Joyce Jr. is second to none. In addition, vocalists Dee Alexander and the Big DooWopper help out with one track each. The two suites, "Black Metropolis" and "Blues for a Saint Called Louis," are stunning compositions in and of themselves. The former, in four sections, runs the gamut of brass interplay on sophisticated urban jazz and blues ŕ la Duke Ellington's early-'60s charts crossed with the Latin rhythmic toughness of Machito and the deep-blue groove arrangements of Oliver Nelson. On the six-part "Blues for a Saint Called Louis," the New Orleans funeral dirge meets the small-group wild styling of jazz's earliest days in Storyville's brothels to King Oliver's large-band stomp to the Hot Seven, striated harmonic workouts to the gut bucket blues as it met the big-city sophistication of New York via Armstrong's 1930s and '40s charts. The spirit is raucous, joyous, and utterly sophisticated; it looks forward and back across 20 years of Thompson's own free bop amalgam, but also through the entirety of jazz history. [The album is, simply put, a singular achievement and one of the great big band records in recent years, and a serious candidate for big band album of 2003.]
Blue Jazz

To pass or not to pass
don't just run
ask thegoodone.

February 15, 2011

Amar el Achab-The chaabi of the great masters

The chaabi, which means `folk', is  typical   Algerian   music. It was first made famous in the sixties from El Hadj Muhammad El Anka, the songs are  generally in call and response form: a soloist to whom a small chorus answers.The song is expressed with  the qasida poetry and rests musically on a form that points  to the direction of the arabo-Andalusian music,as  specialists think that it is derived. The chaabi is built on the alternation of the verse-refrain, and its poetic set of themes often directs it towards social criticism or satire, although these last years due to  the Algerian political situation,has changed course into approaching different topics.In all cases  simplicity is the best element of chaabi.
The singers of chaabi are numerous, and their notoriety depends on the care which they take to choose the  poetry and the music.

Amar El Achab was born July 31st 1932 in Algiers .He was one of the leading chaabi composers and performers in Algiers during the 1950s and 60s. He immigrated to France in 1976 .Amar El Achab is a well cultured musician that plays a chaabi close  to the arabo-Andalusian  spirit but also capable of   bringing   it with  playful easiness  near the popular form . His sphere of activity is thus broader. Uncontested Master, he owes his success to his very strong musical temperament and  his direction of the tempo.
 The richest parts of this live recording are the various improvised interludes such as the ones in the zidan mode and the mawwal mode. During a concert, these interludes serve the purpose of allowing the singer and musicians to show off his  vocal ornamentation and improvisational skills and El Achab's dramatic, throaty improvisations are superb.

This is the real desert blues, the hardcore sha'bi or chaabi sound that's been the music of the working classes and poor across North Africa for almost a century. And vocalist and mandola player Amar El Achab gives a hardcore rendition of the music, albeit in a modern, though not pop, fashion. His ensemble employs piano and banjo among more traditional instruments. Apart from his own compositions, much of the material here is traditional, although some pieces, like "Istikhbat Zidan," are group improvisations, a testament to the quality of this band. They can also get a very full sound on the uniquely Arabic songs, like "Goulou Yamna/Dites-le A Yamna," where mandola, guitar, and violin combine to give a wonderfully full sound. And using banjo, as opposed to the more expected oud, proves to be inspired, with a not immediately identifiable twang. On piano, Mustapha Yacoub is used sparingly, but to interesting effect on "El Goumri." And El Achab himself proves to be a master of mandola on the same track. It might not be easy listening for beginners, but this disc, recorded live at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, is perfect chaabi. ~ Chris Nickson, Rovi


and a net find :)

from El Hadj M'Hamed El Anka

as imagelink


February 11, 2011

African Space Program

Dollar Brand-African Space Program

Dollar Brand -piano
Sonny Fortune, Carlos Ward -alto saxophone, flute 
 Roland Alexander -tenor saxophone, harmonica
John Stubblefield-tenor saxophone
 Hamiet Bluiett-baritone saxophone
Cecil Bridgewater, Enrico Rava, Charles Sullivan-trumpet
Kiani Zawadi-trombone
Cecil McBee-bass
Roy Brooks-percussion

Studio WARP, New York, New York on November 7 , 1973

the first  Space Shuttle 

February 9, 2011

Bembeya Jazz National 10 Ans De Succès

In the aftermath of the Guinean Independence in 1958 and the encouragement of cultural pride,
 numerous bands sprang up throughout the country.
 The most popular was Bembeya Jazz National, formed by vocalist Aboubacar Dembar Camara in 1961. Specializing in modern arrangements of Manding classic tunes,
 Bembeya Jazz National won the first two national Biennale festivals in 1962 and 1964
 and was crowned National Orchestra in 1966. 
Initially a seven-piece group, featuring a Latin-flavored horn section of saxophone, trumpet,
 and clarinet, Bembeya Jazz National reached its apex with the addition 
of electric guitarist Sekou "Diamond Fingers" Diabate 
and lead singer Sekouba Bambino Diabate (no relation). 
Although prohibited from touring outside Guinea until the mid-'80s, Bembeya Jazz National 
continued to build a cult-like following in its home country.
 Bembeya Jazz National's most ambitious album, Regard Sur Le Passe,
 released in 1968, was a musical tribute to the memory of Samory Toure, 
who founded the Mande kingdom in 1870.
 A live album, 10 Ans De Succes, was recorded during a 1971 concert. 
A set-back for the band came in 1973 when Camara was killed in an auto accident
 on his way to a concert in Dakar. 
Although they remained together for another eight years, Bembeya Jazz National 
was unable to duplicate the success of their earliest years.
 The group disbanded in 1991 with Sekou Diabate
 and Sekouba Bambino Diabate going on to successful solo careers.

This is something very special: A live recording from Bembeya Jazz National's 
10 year jubilee concert in the "People's Palace" of Guinea's capitol, Conakry in 1971.
The band stood at the pinnacle of its career, so this is a historical record in the best sense of the word. The recording is impressive: an audience of 2500, including the Politbureau(!) in Guinea's Democracy Party, are enthusiastically in place. The band performs with full accoutrements - the rhythm section consisting of several types of drums, a complete horn section, and not least the number one guitarist, Sekou Diabate. This is an incredible disk ..................

eternal music from one of Africa's top orchestras
of all time 

thanks to RadioAfrica1

February 5, 2011


What can a French modern jazz composer, contemporary didgeridoo player, and a percussionist, all multi-instrumentalist of course, do when put together, a lot of good if you ask me. Soprano sax and bass clarinet (Michel Portal), didgeridoo, cello (Steven Kent), percussion, vocal Mino Cinelu, create an exotic combination of rhythms and hums worth listening.
There is no relevant review anywhere so you will have to take my word for it.

1. Burundi
2. Impro
3. Solitudes
4. Pigmee
5. Djembe 1
6. Calimba
7. Didg 3
8. Mino 2
9. Canon
10. Milesruns
11. Djembe 2
12. No Parking
13. Didg 2


Yes I am still an Ass
but don't worry
thegoodone let's you pass