• Music

    Vadim Neselovskyi – Odesa: A Musical Walk Through a Legendary City

    Odessa is a city that both Ukraine and Russia, as well as its many Jewish and even Tatar inhabitants, claim to be its own.  Never mind the political hideousness of today, and let me present you with one of the most fascinating releases I’ve heard in contemporary classical and jazz scenes. Vadim Neselovskyi is a pianist who hails from Ukraine, and has collaborated with giants such as Gary Burton, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and John Scofield, among others.  This paean to the city of his birth is a magnificent blend of modern classical music and the sort of jazz which…

  • Music

    Cousin Silas – Variations On A Theme Of Winter

    First, a debt of thanks goes to my friend, the “Last American Poet,” Shane Beck, for reminding me what a sublime album this is from Cousin Silas, who was a friend of my previous blog, and an artist whose work I respect immensely.  This album is filled with wispy rhythms that let you relax and get lost in thought, something like melding George Winston with the Durutti Column, but with more of an edge to it.  Our dear Cousin delivers yet again.

  • Music

    Be The Hammer & JOHN 3:16 – Swarm

    Our friend JOHN 3:16 (a quote I subscribe to as well as a band whose work is consistently brilliant) has paired with the Belgian project Be The Hammer and the pairing have produced an album that, while fresh and brutally punchy technologically, also has a flair for reminding the listener of everything from Skinny Puppy to Front 242, and perhaps a bit of Central/Eastern European post-punk. This album is going to get a lot of attention, surely.

  • Music

    Minimal Compact – Statik Dancin’

    Minimal Compact was an Israeli band which left a sizable imprint with their music during the 1980s and 1990s, and both Malka Spiegel and Samy Birnbach continue, as far as I know, to record great music. An unbelievable post-punk shuffler from 1981, by Tel-Aviv-Brussels band Minimal Compact! This tune is one of our favorite tracks ever and we’ve been wanting to reissue it since day one. But this is no ordinary reissue! The 12” includes an unreleased instrumental version plus a spaced-out extended dub mix by the living legend, Mad Professor! Members of the band recorded for such legendary labels…

  • Music

    Galaverna – Wagdans

    I would have expected an album like this to come from England, the Netherlands or even somewhere in the Scandinavian realm, but to think that such a wonderfully played (and sung – in English!) album comes from Verona, Italy, of all places, shows that Galaverna are true students of such amazing bands as Tudor Lodge, The Trees or Kebnekajse.  This is progressive folk which looks back fondly to the masters of the genre and builds on their work.

  • Music

    Liraz – Azizam

    Persian-Israeli pop singer Liraz will have a brand new album called Roya in October, but she’s seen fit to release an early single which is in parts psych-ish and sensual.  Definitely for fans of Israeli pop and even Googoosh fans!

  • Music

    Samo Salamon, Arild Andersen & Ra Kalam Bob Moses – Pure and Simple

    This is some fine jazz improv.  The trio of a friend to this blog, guitarist Samo Salamon, working alongside bassist and ECM Records legend Arild Andersen and Ra Kalam Bob Moses, and this group have an incredible way of flowing with each other’s vibes. Samo, of course, absolutely shreds on this album, and Arlid serves as one of the best anchors in the history of jazz, but for me, the one stealing the show is the utterly mad percussion of Ra Kalam Bob Moses, who gives this album a frantic heartbeat.

  • Music

    Jeff Gburek – Tamarind Winds: Songs for Javanese Rebab, 2022

    Tamarind Winds has to be the best album of 2022 for me to get lost in.  Composer and friend of the blog Jeff Gburek continues to awe with the magic he imbues in each instrument he touches, spinning haunting drones, field recordings and soothing the senses with his rebab.  From his Bandcamp site: Various parts of the traditional Javanese rebab are made of tamarind wood, hence the flavor, the aromatic suggestion of the title. These are spontaneous compositions, duets and trios created in thye studio among me, myself and I. There are no effects or plug-ins used other than reverb…