Archive for June, 2011

novalima en la casa

June 29, 2011

Got a white handkerchief to wave? What about a jawbone, to rattle? Most important: are you ready to dance?

Don’t worry about the jawbone, if you don’t have one the band certainly will. But bring your hankie if you have one, and DO wear dancing shoes.

The first annual Summer Global Music Voyage kicks off tomorrow night at Higher Ground in Burlington – featuring a returning favorite, Peru’s hot Afro-groove band Novalima.

Their first time visiting the area was in July two years ago and they were instantly the buzz for their energy, emotion, and powerful vocals. Visually they’re really interesting too with turntables, cajons (large, speaker-like drums the players actually sit on) and – yes – that large donkey jawbone, all thumping and rattling up a storm on stage.

Here are a few pics from that Burlington debut two years ago. And if you don’t have your tickets yet for tomorrow night I’ll make it official here and say: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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playlist #164 (6/27/11)-new tunes & favorites

June 27, 2011

World of Music
Pgm #164 – Fun tunes for summertime listening
Catch the show on Mondays 3-5pm ET – at 105.9FM in Burlington, VT or online at The Radiator
Nas with Youssou N’Dour & Neneh Cherry: Wake Up (It’s Africa Calling) / Open Remix (download) – (USA / SENEGAL)
Los Van Van featuring Carlinhos Brown: Soy Loco por Ti, América / Red Hot + Rio – Nova Tropicália / EOM 51372 – (BRAZIL)
Jimmy Cliff: Vietnam / Jimmy Cliff Ultimate Collection / Hip-O 314546727 – (JAMAICA)
Freshlyground: Waliphalal’igazi / Radio Africa / Freshground Records 11 – (SOUTH AFRICA) *NEW* – playing 7/9 at Higher Ground
Novalima: Ay Bembe / Afro / Mr. Bongo Records 41 – (PERU) * playing 6/30 at Higher Ground
Rupa and The April Fishes: Ç’est pas d’l’amour / eXtraOrdinary rendition / Cumbancha 7 – (USA) * playing 7/13 at Higher Ground
Bombino: Iyat Idounia Ayashen (Another Life) / Agadez / Cumbancha Discovery 20 – (NIGER) *NEW* – playing 7/22 at Higher Ground
Shin Jung Hyun & Yup Juns: (track 4) / Vol. 1 / Jigu Records 1994 – (SOUTH KOREA)
Rosa Passos: Lobo Bobo / Amorosa / Sony Classical 92068 – (BRAZIL)
Neco Novellas: Zuma Luei / New Dawn Ku Khata / World Connection    10326 – (MOZAMBIQUE)
Steven Kroon: Pamela / Sin Duda (Without a Doubt) / Kroonatune Records 2011 – (USA) *NEW*
Breabach: the desperate battle / the desperate battle of the birds / Breabach 1 – (SCOTLAND)
Capercaille: Why Don’t You Touch Me / To The Moon / Green Linnet 3117 – (IRELAND)
Deodato Siquir: Mamana / Balanço / Deodato Siquir / (self-produced) – (MOZAMBIQUE) *NEW*
Slavic Soul Party: Hymn / Taketron / Barbès Records 23 – (USA)
Los Amigos Invisibles: La Lluvia Sabe Que No Andas Sola / Not So Commercial / Nacional Records 54501 – (VENEZUELA)
Fiji: Riddim of Life / Gratitude / Olinda Road 2000 – (HAWAII, USA)
Nisos: Piji / Nisos / – (CZECH REPUBLIC, etc.) *NEW*
Shasha Marley: Shame Politicians / Lost & Found / (self-produced) 1229 – (GHANA)
Los Seven del Swing: Celoso / Cartagena! Curro Fuentes & The Big Band Cumbia and Descarga Sound of Colombia 1962-1972 / Soundway 26 – (VENEZUELA)    *NEW*
Alpha Yaya Diallo: Mara Fandji / Djama / Jericho Beach Music 501 – (GUINEA)
Rupa and The April Fishes: Culpa de la Luna (Blame it on the moon) / Este Mundo / Cumbancha 15 – (USA)

red hot summer tunes

June 27, 2011

We’ve cooked up a far-ranging international road trip for this week’s World of Music with stops including South Korea, Ghana, Venezuela, and Greece. The show opens with a sneak preview of the new Brazilian remix collection, Red, Hot & Rio 2 (officially being released tomorrow!)

And we’ll hear from the four acts that make up the VT-originated Summer Global Music Voyage international music series. It begins this Thursday at Higher Ground and runs into July with four concerts: Peruvian afro-groove band Novalima; San Francisco’s Rupa & The April Fishes; Freshlyground from South Africa; and desert blues guitarist Bombino from Niger.

World of Music is a summer-lovin’ musical mélange of international music every Monday from 3-5pm ET on the Radiator.  Online, or at 105.9FM if you’re listening in Burlington, VT.

summer global music voyage

June 25, 2011

mosquito bite (photo by jj harrison)

Summer has never been my favorite season, but it seems to make other folks happy enough and of course I understand it’s necessary for nature’s annual replenishment. So I can go along with it. And, good tunes do help to forget about the heat, stickiness, and infinite bugbites of the season.

This week there’s a new series of concerts opening at Higher Ground. The first show is Thursday and the other three shows will get us through most of the next month. It’s being presented by our good friends at Putumayo World Music, the Music Voyager TV series, and VT’s own Cumbancha recording label.

Peru’s popular afro-groove band Novalima opens the series, with other shows coming from South Africa (Freshlyground on 7/9); San Francisco (Rupa and The April Fishes on 7/13); and Niger’s desert blues guitarist/singer Bombino closes the series on 7/22.

If you can go all four shows (or feel like supporting local music even if you can’t attend all four), they’re even offering a great deal: buy a “passport” for a flat $40 and you can get into all of the shows for a considerable discount over the individual ticket cost.

Yes: I will see you there, dancing in the front row and decidedly NOT thinking about sweating. Ugh, summertime.

festival international de jazz, montreal

June 25, 2011

kidjo / reeves / wright

The 32nd annual Montreal Jazz Festival gets underway today. I won’t be going to the Festival this year since I’ve just taken some time off over the last week to spend with visiting family. That’s about all the vacation time I can take right now. I’d be there if I could, I try to get there every year if possible since it’s just a couple of hours north.

And what a lineup! – again. It starts today with the usual exciting, interesting assortment of music on the outdoor stages. Then tonight’s headliners include Milton Nascimento, Prince (in two sold-out shows), Brad Mehldau, and a strong triple bill with Angélique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright in a tribute show to late singers Odetta and Miriam Makeba. Wow. That’s day one.

Keep in touch, leave a comment here if you go and let me know how it’s going up there. Sorry I won’t see you at the Fest this year!

the value of values

June 23, 2011

After the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival ends during the second week of June every year I usually take a little break. I’ve been offline over the last week, spending good time with visiting family. We played, rested, and took the first swim of the year (on the afternoon of the summer solstice!) in water that was a little chilly but crystal clear and irresistibly inviting nonetheless.

It’s also been a great to have some time to get (somewhat) organized, including sorting through many of the photos I’ve taken over the last several months with a donated vintage 1985 or so Minolta Maxxum 7000 and various lenses and filters.

I was very fortunate to inherit this setup from two different independent sources last year and I’ve been enjoying learning how to use them: partly from the manuals that came with the equipment and other reading, but mostly through trial and error and talking to friends who are much more experienced with all of this.

The best lesson I’ve learned so far in this whole process actually takes me right back to 7th grade art class with dour Mrs. Dolan. One of the more humorless teachers I’ve ever encountered, I didn’t really enjoy her teaching style or her personal art work either. She kept many in-progress pieces in the classroom and worked on them while the class was occupied with drawing assignments. She liked to paint large panels of splashy free-form acrylic brushstroke abstraction, leaving generous amounts of white gesso canvas showing through. Not everyone can be Pollock or Motherwell.

But, I did learn about “values” in Mrs. Dolan’s art class: you know, dark and light and the infinite grey scale that lies between the two. It’s a lesson that rings as loud as ever in my memory today in navigating the mysterious, volatile world of black and white film photography. I’ve just begun, taking around 200 shots so far since I started working with this Minolta, many with a momentary thought something like – “Right ON – the composition’s strong, the lighting’s great, I’ve gotten a good pic this time for sure!” – only to discover upon developing the film that even with all of those other things the end photo is boring. Dull, lifeless, completely uninteresting.

The reason why, I think, usually comes down to values: the subjects I’m looking at through the viewfinder when I hit the ‘go’ button are in color, making me see the various elements and their relationship to each other in a completely different way than a black and white experience permits. So I take the photo, and then after the b&w film is developed I realize that the gray of the rocks in the foreground (for example) is exactly the same shade (depth of value) as the blue sea on the horizon, and the overcast sky above. Boring.

This is where photographic considerations of brightness range, tonal center, exposure values (EV) and “noise” (visual surface texture) come into play. Here’s a real example of what I’m talking about: I took this shot at Rockport Harbor, MA on a partly overcast day in early March this year. At the time (late afternoon) I really liked the clearly delineated textures in the three areas: foreground (rough-hewn granite breaker wall), midground (choppy ocean) and cloudy horizon.

But in the photo reality, the rock wall and sea and sky are a bland moosh of gray. In fact the rocks on the right very nearly blend right into the ocean in the next level behind them. Blah. And the horizon line isn’t level and the overall composition isn’t awesome either – so there are many reasons this shot fails, but for now just check out the sameness of the brightness values:

Bad photo: harbor at Rockport, MA

So I learned from this one, and from the many like it I’ve taken recently. I’ve also kept a few of the ones that worked out somewhat better. They’re in the slideshow below. I hope you enjoy them. With a little luck and some well-learned lessons I hope there will be many more (of the better ones) to come.

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Thanks, Mrs. Dolan.

playlist #163 (6/20/11)-new tunes & favorites

June 22, 2011

World of Music
Pgm #163 – DJ-in-training Erin joins me on today’s show for a summertime mix including new tunes and favorites from Nigeria, France, and the Caribbean
Catch the show on Mondays 3-5pm ET – at 105.9FM in Burlington, VT or online at The Radiator
Nas with Youssou N’Dour & Neneh Cherry: Wake Up (It’s Africa Calling) / Open Remix (download) – (USA / SENEGAL)
Ukulele Club de Paris: Chigadading / Manuia! / EmArcy O17741 – (FRANCE)
The Squirrel Nut Zippers: Hell / Hot / Mammoth 137 – (USA)
Sergent Garcia: Yo soy Salsamuffin / Una y Otra Vez / Cumbancha 19 – (FRANCE) *NEW*
Bobby Valentin: Bad Breath / Bad Breath / Fania 773130344 – (USA)
Paris Combo: Lettre A P… / Paris / Putumayo 249 – (FRANCE)
SMOD: Problèmes dans ma Tête (Problems in My Head) / SMOD / Nacional Records 54272 – (MALI) *NEW*
Lila Downs: La Cucaracha (The Cockroach) / Una Sangre / EMI 72435-79049 – (MEXICO)
Lost Fingers: Billie Jean / Lost in the 80s / 2010 – (CANADA)
Trout Fishing in America: Dead Egyptian Blues / Over the Limit / Trout 8 – (USA)
El Tanbura: Between the Desert and the Sea / Between the Desert and the Sea / World Village 450002 – (EGYPT)
Jay-U Experience: Some More / Nigeria Disco Funk Special / Soundway 10 – (NIGERIA)
Coalishun: Ice Cream / Caribbean Party / Putumayo 132 – (BARBADOS)
George Symonette: Don’t Touch Me Tomato / Calypso / Putumayo 205 – (BAHAMAS)
Señor Coconut: Beat It / Fiesta Songs / Nacional Records 54212 – (CHILE)
Paname Dandies: Les Chips / Le Swing de L’Escargot / Volvox Music 703 – (FRANCE)
Balkan Beat Box: Cha Cha / Balkan Beat Box / JDub 3 – (ISRAEL)
Ozomotli: La Gallina (The Hen) / Rough Guide to Latin Funk / Rough Guide 1196 – (USA)
DJ Afro featuring Kate Atherton: Right Here / Free / Nacional Records 54519 – (VENEZUELA / USA)
Les Orientales: Alger, Alger / Acoustic Arabia / Putumayo 282 – (ALGERIA)
Alfredo Polonia: Lo Que Paso a Juan / Republica Dominicana / Putumayo 162 – (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC)
Giorgio Conte: Gné Gné / Il Conte Storie / Suonimusic 30 – (ITALY)
11 Acorn Lane: The Sneak / Painting Coconuts / – (FRANCE)
Naked Rhythm: Moon Over Ala Nar / Exotic Arabian Grooves / Caravan 5235 – (USA)
The Denver Dub Collective: Purple Rain / Purple Dub / 2010 – (USA)

dj afro +

June 20, 2011

New music on this week’s World of Music – including the latest from Sergent Garcia, SMOD, and DJ Afro.

World of Music is a shiny new package of blues, jazz, poetry, and  world music every Monday from 3-5pm ET on the Radiator.  Online, or at 105.9FM if you’re listening in Burlington, VT.

terre turquoises

June 13, 2011

A recent discovery (mine): Constantinople with Françoise Atlan

playlist #162 (6/13/11)-freshly ground sounds

June 13, 2011

World of Music
Pgm #162 – New recordings including “Radio Africa” from South Africa’s Afro-funk band Freshlyground
Catch the show on Mondays 3-5pm ET – at 105.9FM in Burlington, VT or online at The Radiator
Nas with Youssou N’Dour & Neneh Cherry: Wake Up (It’s Africa Calling) / Open Remix (download) – (USA / SENEGAL)
Freshlyground: Working Class / Radio Africa / Freeground 11 – (SOUTH AFRICA) * At Higher Ground on 7/9/2011 *
SMOD: Ca Chante / SMOD / Nacional Records 54272 – (MALI) *NEW*
Lök-Batan Folklore Group: Qalx ayaga Azerbaycan (Stand up, Azerbaijan) / Azerbaijan-Traditional Music / ARC Music 2318 – (Azerbaijan) *NEW*
Hilde Hefte: Vakker Natt (Corcovado) / Bossa Nova Around the World / Putumayo 306 – (NORWAY) *NEW*
Vinicius Cantuária & Bill Frisell: Mi Declaración / Lagrimas Mexicanas / EOM 2110 – (BRAZIL/USA) *NEW*
Les Doigts de L’Homme: St. James Infirmary / 1910 / Cristal Records 61412 – (FRANCE) *NEW*
Will Patton Ensemble: Sampa / Flow / King’s Hill Music 511 – (MADE IN VT) *NEW*
Constantinople featuring Françoise Atlan: Amor di Ti / Ay!! Amor / ATMA Classique 2594 – (CANADA)
Jarabe de Palo: ¡Yep! / Y Ahora Qué Hacemos? / Nacional Records 54539 – (SPAIN) *NEW*
Staff Benda Bilili: Tonkara / Très Très Fort / Crammed Discs 51 – (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO)
Malika Zarra: Mossameeha / Berber Taxi / Motéma 60 – (MOROCCO) *NEW*
Nisos: Aidoni / Nisos / – (CZECH REPUBLIC, etc.) – *NEW*
Puerta Plata: Mujer de Cabaret / Mujer de Cabaret / iASO 2 – (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC)
Rupa & The April Fishes: C’est Moi / Este Mundo / Cumbancha 15 – (USA) * At Higher Ground on 6/30/2011 *
The Underscore Orkestra: I’se Muggin-Noto Swing / The Extraordinary Adventures Of… / 2011 – (USA) *NEW*
Los Amigos Invisibles: G-String / Not So Commercial / Nacional Records 2011 – (VENEZUELA) *NEW*
Albertucho: La Primavera (Spring) / Palabras del Capitan Cobarde /  El Volcán Musica 42 – (SPAIN)
Freshlyground: Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ / Radio Africa / Freeground 11 – (SOUTH AFRICA) * At Higher Ground on 7/9/2011 *
Ozomotli: Guerrillero / Embrace The Chaos / Interscope Records 694931162 – (USA)
Impulse Ensemble: Senegal-America / Initiation / 2010 – (MADE IN VT)
DJ Afro: Free / Free / Nacional Records 54519 – (VENEZUELA)  


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