A bumper crop this week, starting in a very laid-back way, building gradually and finishing on a splendid up-beat number from Röyksopp. Also here’s a special mention for Ravi, who has been injured in an encounter with a drunken motorcyclist – best wishes Ravi, and I hope both you and the New Year get better soon. Meanwhile, thanks very much to everyone, and as ever, please keep the worms coming to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grouper – Headache – CaroleBristol: I was listening to BBC6Music in bed last night and reading. I wasn’t paying much attention to the music but this came on and I stopped reading and started listening. I know nothing about Grouper but I was struck by the fragility and delicacy of the sound.
Shankar Mahadevan; U Shrinivas; John McLauglin – Giriraja Sutha – Ravi Raman: This was the third and more enduring of the Shakti line-ups with U Shrinivas and Shankar Mahadevan joining Zakir & McLaughlin. This is a Carnatic standard played at a speeded-up tempo. The first 5 minutes or so the two newcomers challenge and respond to each other till at around the 6 minute mark- magic! I’ve included this blogger’s post as it seems to have the only video on this particular performance. See the unalloyed joy in Zakir and McLaughlin’s faces. The latter even stops playing! Some other cool music links as bonus. https://musicthis.wordpress.com/2009/06/17/shankar-mahadevans-fusion-work/
Steve Mason – Hardly Go Through – tincanman: Produced by Elbow keyboardist Craig Potter, last year’s “Meet The Humans” sounds so much like an Elbow album that Mason’s (of Beta Band fame) intimate songwriting gets a bit lost. But this is a pretty good love song, and that Elbow sound IS pretty sumptuous.
Joe Turner – Piney Brown Blues – goneforeign: When I left England in 1958 bound for LA I brought with me a few LP’s, a favorite was ‘The Boss of the Blues’ by Joe Turner. I’ve played it dozens of times over the years, definitely one for the desert island. The backup band was comprised of a group of players from the Basie band, it’s the epitome of Kansas City style jazz. The cut is Piney Brown Blues. Lawrence Brown – trombone; Pete Brown – alto saxophone; Seldon Powell – tenor saxophone; Frank Wess – tenor saxophone; Joe Newman – trumpet; Jimmy Nottingham – trumpet; Freddie Green –guitar; Pete Johnson – piano; Walter Page – double bass; Cliff Leeman – drums; Big Joe Turner – vocals.
Herbert Pixner Projekt: Breaking Bad / Herbert Pixner Project: Gitanes – Abahachi: I’m conscious, from the reaction last time I posted some of their music, that news of a new album from Austrian Accordionmeister Herbert Pixner and his Project may not be greeted here with universal joy. Perhaps it will make a difference that the musical conception for at least some of the tracks appears to be to reduce the accordion element to subtle atmospherics while allowing the guitarist lots of space to show off on his new electric instrument, as in ‘Breaking Bad’. Not entirely convinced about this new direction meself, but thankfully there’s also plenty of more conventional fare, offering a modern take on traditional folk rhythms and melodies: ‘Gitanes’.
Röyksopp (featuring Susanne Sundfor) – Never Ever – severin: One of my favourite releases from last year. One that didn’t make my Festive Spill top three – or anyone else’s I think. Royksopp’s synth pop side – nothing ambient here – and Susanne Sundfor on vocals. It’s a hit, a palpable hit.