Posts Tagged ‘Joan Soriano’

2010 in the rearview: what’s to love in music, part 2

December 31, 2010

The year-end survey continues – a few more of my favorite recordings from 2010:

Stile Antico: “Media vita” – This is the fourth recording from the young choir Stile Antico. They’re 14 members strong with a singular strong artistic vision that’s wasting no time establishing them in good company with groups like Anonymous 4. “Media vita” features choral music by the Tudor composer John Sheppard, a oft-overlooked contemporary of higher profile composers Thomas Tallis and (the somewhat younger) William Byrd. The real appeal of Sheppard’s outwardly austere harmonies reveals itself in washes (rather than flashes) of color, and the occasional dissonance and disharmony created with passing tones. The pure performance aesthetic of Stile Antico assures you hear every complexity and nuance in the various layers of music. This is one of two recordings from Stile Antico this year, the other is “Puer natus est” for Christmastime. I enjoyed both but prefer “Media vita” for its handling of the unusual repertoire.

Luisa Maita: “Lero-Lero” and “Maita Remixed” – This is actually two-in-one. Luisa Maíta’s debut album “Lero-Lero” was released in July, and it almost immediately spawned (in November) a remix treatment from notables like Maga Bo, Seiji, and DJ/rupture. Whether your tastes run to traditional Brazilian samba and bossa sounds (on “Lero-Lero”), or to the contemporized versions of the same material on the “Remixed” album, Maíta delivers her original songs with understated sultry flair. There is consistency of quality from track to track on these recordings, but not at the sacrifice of variety in tone and flavor. The message is clear: this is Brazil NOW.

Vijay Iyer: “Solo” – For an artist with a decade and a half experience it’s a little surprising it’s taken Vijay Iyer this long to offer the world a solo recording. I wasn’t sure what to expect with “Solo”, given Iyer’s artistic involvement with everything from hip-hop to improvisational collaborations and larger ensemble (orchestral) work. It’s worth the wait, and the question about all of those previous influences is answered by the fact that Iyer’s solo work is a rich blend of all of them. There’s the recording’s simple introduction with “Human Nature”, a song that digs deep into Iyer’s emotional abilities and reminds me of the supreme sensitivity and awareness heard with pianists like Bill Evans (always) and Keith Jarrett (in his best playing). And then you can hear Iyer’s spirited homage to Duke Ellington with “Black and Tan”, and his moving take on Monk’s “Epistrophy”. There is nothing about “Solo” that doesn’t ring true, from the standards (and not-so standard “standards”) to Iyer’s own forward-looking compositions. Look for more great things from this evolving young pianist.

Roland Tchakounté: “Blues Menessen” – What if John Lee Hooker had called his home West Africa? Cameroon’s Roland Tchakounté offers an answer to that thought – at least in part – with his searing bluesy guitar and deep, affecting vocals. And, he’s cool. But the John Lee Hooker comparison can’t be carried too far, Tchakounté is very much his own artist. He recorded two albums in Douala before he left Africa to live in France a few years ago. “Blues Menessen” was released this past May as his latest, most commercial recording. It is blues, but it’s not the West African/Sahara Touareg (think: Tinariwen) blues we’ve become familar with in recent years. This is fairly straightahead American Delta-style blues with an African accent, sung in Tchakounté’s native West Cameroonian language bamileke. It’s both unusual and familiar at the same time. The songs run a wide range of styles, from consistently rhythmic to more free-ranging and moodily interpretive. I love this recording.

Lobi Traoré: “Rainy Season Blues” – I couldn’t mention Roland Tchakounté without also talking about fellow Malian blues man Lobi Traoré. It was quite a shock this year to learn of his June 1st death. The circumstances aren’t completely clear (and of course, not especially important anyway). We do know that Traoré was 49 years old and had enjoyed great success in recent years. A year prior in the summer of 2009, he had met with producer Chris Eckman to lay down tracks for a new recording  featuring just his voice and guitar. What an ideal opportunity for an artist. The result is the new posthumous collection “Rainy Season Blues” – a quietly personal insight into Traoré’s art, featuring exclusively original material.  Traoré sings in Bambara on themes of peace, politics, and family. “Rainy Season Blues” is something like the ‘unplugged’ counterpart to the earlier “Mali Blues” album, and its rewards are equally sweet. Make that bittersweet, since this is also Traoré’s final musical statement. He will be greatly missed.

There are a LOT of other recordings I could mention…here’s a short list:

Mayte Martin: “Cantar a Manuel” – gorgeous flamenco singing from Spain.

Galactic: “Ya-ka-may” – down home SUPER funky sassy, brassy soul grooves from New Orleans…in fact, New Orleans gave the world several other hot releases this year too, including albums from Trombone Shorty (“Backatown”), Kermit Ruffins (“Happy Talk”), and Dr. Michael White (“Blue Crescent”).

Antonin Dvořák’s complete Symphonic Poems, with Charles Mackerras & the Czech Philharmonic (on Supraphon) – this is the contemporary recording of the Poems we’ve been waiting for.

Gil Scott-Heron: “‘I’m New Here” – gritty, original, real, with all the usual great observations about life and our society. Scott-Heron’s first recording in 15 years, and WHAT a return.

Joan Soriano: “El Duque de la Bachata” – singing, blistering guitar-driven melodies from the Dominican Republic.

Frederic Chopin’s late masterpieces with pianist Stephen Hough (on Hyperion) – a perfectly crafted recording to celebrate Chopin’s 200th anniversary year.

Oswin Chin Behilia: “Liber” – politically-infused, lyrically Caribbean songs from a soulful guitar master.

I guess it has to end somewhere, so that’s it for this year’s wrap-up. Cheers to another year of good listening in 2011!

playlist #141 (12/27/10)-listening to 2010 finale

December 27, 2010

World of Music
Pgm #141 – We’re ending the year with a world-class dance party featuring some of the best recordings of 2010 – HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Catch the show on Mondays 3-5pm EDT – 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)
Galactic: Wild Man / Ya-ka-may / Anti- 87002 – (N’AWLINS)
Steve Zahn & Friends: Shame Shame Shame / Treme HBO 4910 – (N’AWLINS) * 2010 Grammy nominee – Best Soundtrack *
Trio Zamora: No Me Importa / The Lost Cuban Trios of Casa Marina / Ahi-Nama 1068 – (CUBAN)
Luísa Maita (remixed by Maga Bo): Maita Remixed / Maita Remixed / Cumbancha Discovery 87 – (BRAZIL)
Easy Star All-Stars (Mad Professor Remix): Money / Dubber Side of the Moon / Easy Star 1023 – (NEW YORK, USA)
Ali Farka Touré & Toumani Diabaté: Sabu Yerkoy / Ali & Toumani / World Circuit 522937 – (MALI) * 2010 Grammy nominee – Best Traditional African Album *
Michèle Choinière: Tant Mon Mari / La Violette / 2010 – (MADE IN VT)
Los Destellos: Constelación / The Roots of Chicha 2 / Barbes Records 28 – (PERU)
Red Baarat: Chaal Baby / Chaal Baby / Sin Records 10 – (NEW YORK, USA)
Trombone Shorty: In The 6th / Backatown / Verve 14194 – (N’AWLINS)
Anadolu University Folkdance Ensemble: Siksara-Horon / Turkey-Traditional Music / ARC Music 2301 – (TURKEY)
Razia: Babanao / Zebu Nation / Cumbancha Discovery (demo) – (MADAGASCAR)
Lee “Scratch” Perry: Weatherman / Revelation / Megawave 342 – (JAMAICA) * 2010 Grammy nominee – Best Reggae Album *
Oswin Chin Behilia: Korupshon / Liber / Otrabanda 10 – (CURAÇAO)
The Underscore Orkestra: Devil with the Devil / No Money No Honey All We Got Is Us / 2010 – (OREGON, USA)
Spanish Harlem Orchestra: Son de Corazon / Viva La Tradición / Concord Picante 32263 – (USA)
Angélique Kidjo: Dil Main Chuppa Ke Pyar Ka / Õÿö (demo) 2010 – (BENIN) * 2010 Grammy nominee – Best Contemporary African Album *
Roland Tchakounté: A Tchann / Blues Menessen / Tupelo Productions 2010 – (CAMEROON)
Soulive: Drive My Car / Rubber Soulive / Royal Family Records 1003 – (USA)
Joan Soriano: Cal y Arena / El Duque de la Bachata / iASO 5 – (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC)
Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba: I Speak Fula / I Speak Fula / Next Ambience 1 (MALI) – * 2010 Grammy nominee – Best Traditional African Album *
Dengue Fever: Shave Your Beard / Electric Cambodia / Minky 1 – (USA/CAMBODIA)
Baba Sissoko: Dakan / Afrocubism / Nonesuch 525993 – (MALI/CUBA)
El Green featuring Carlos Santiago: La Santiaguera / El Boom Boom / Tumi 159 – (CUBA)
Trio Azteca: Besame Mucho / The Best of Mexico / ARC Music 2302 – (MEXICO)
Manicato: Plena pa’l Mundo / Familia / 2010 – (USA)
Kermit Ruffins: If I Only Had a Brain / Happy Talk / Basin Street Records 111 – (N’AWLINS)
Dr. Michael White: Will The Circle Be Unbroken / Blue Crescent / Basin Street Records 504 – (N’AWLINS)

playlist #139 (12/13/10)-listening to 2010, pt. 2

December 13, 2010

World of Music
Pgm #139 – The second of four shows dedicated to some of the best international music of 2010
Catch the show on Mondays 3-5pm EDT – 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)
Spanish Harlem Orchestra: Mi Herencia Latina / Viva La Tradición / Concord Picante 32263 – (NY CITY, USA) * 2010 Grammy nominee: Best Tropical Latin Album *
Angélique Kidjo: Kelele / Õÿö / (demo) – (BENIN) * 2010 Grammy nominee: Best Contemporary World Music Album *
Lee “Scratch” Perry: Scary Politicians / Revelation / Megawave 342 – (JAMAICA) * 2010 Grammy nominee: Best Reggae Album *
Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba featuring Harouna Samake: Torin Torin / I Speak Fula / Next Ambience-Out Here Records 1 – (MALI) * 2010 Grammy nominee: Best Traditional World Music Album *
Anadolu University Folkdance Ensemble: Adiyaman / Turkey-Traditional Music / ARC Music 2301 – (TURKEY)
The Cottars: Fare Thee Well, Northumberland & The Purple Wave / Feast / Rounder 7068 – (CAPE BRETON)
Soulive: Day Tripper / Rubber Soulive / Royal Family Records 1003 – (BUFFALO, USA)
Los Illusionistas: Colegiala / The Roots of Chicha 2: Psychedelic Cumbias from Peru / Barbès Records 28 – (PERU)
Mayte Martin: Al Sur de Los Limones & En Aquel Tiempo / Al Cantar A Manuel / World Village 46087 – (SPAIN)
Trio Zamora: Vacilon / The Lost Cuban Trios of Casa Marina / Ahi-Nama 1068 – (CUBA)
Eliades Ochoa, Toumani Diabaté & Friends: Mali Cuba / Afrocubism / World Circuit 525993 – (CUBA/AFRICA)
Red Baraat: Tunak Tunak Tun / Chaal Baby / Sin Records 110 – (NY CITY, USA)
Joan Soriano: Mi Último Llanto / El Duque de la Bachata / iASO 5 – (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC)         4:47
Dota und Die Stadtpiraten: Ohrsteckermädchen / Bis Auf Den Grund / Kleingeld Prinzessin Records 12708 – (GERMANY)
Manicato: Familia / Familia / 2010 – (SAN FRANCISCO, USA)
Queen City Hot Club: Swing Gitan / Queen City Hot Club / (demo) – (MADE IN VT)
Michele Choinière: La Bergère / La Violette / – (MADE IN VT)
Guagua: Subterranean Subterfuge / Tres / – (MADE IN VT)
Swing Noire: Tchavolo Swing / Hot Jazz in the Tradition of Django Reinhardt & the Quintette of the Hot Club of France / – (MADE IN VT)
Ray Vega & Thomas Marriott: It’s a New York Thing / East-West Trumpet Summit / Origin 82561 – (MADE IN VT)
Julio Boom y Ikano MC: El Boom Boom / El Boom Boom / TUMI 159 – (CUBA)
The Chieftains featuring Ry Cooder & Lila Downs: El Relampago / San Patricio / Hear Music 31321 – (IRELAND/USA/MEXICO)

playlist #132 (10/25/10)-walk around the globe

October 25, 2010

World of Music
Pgm #132 – Walk around the globe
Catch the show on Mondays 3-5pm EDT – 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)
Alabina: Lolole (Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood) / Rhythms in Common / World Market 26764 – (SPAIN/ISRAEL)
Strune: Zlestoko / Traditional Music from Macedonia / ARC Music 2307 – (BALKANS)
Irakere & Chucho Valdés: La Explosion / Afro-Cuban Jazz Now / Blue Note Records 31378 – (CUBA)
R’nBesk: Bitte Versteh / Muhabbet / Sony 82876814622 – (TURKEY/GERMANY)
New York Malagasy Orkestra: Lalana / Masoala / Cinq Planètes 17.126 – (NY CITY/MADAGASCAR)
Rita Marley: Who Is Your Neighbour / Harambe / Shanachie 43010 – (JAMAICA)
Owsin Chin Behilia: Sigi Traha e Bom / Liber / Otrabanda Records 10 – (CURAÇAO)
Mike Manieri/Marnix Busstra Quartet: All In A Row / Trinary Motion (Live in Europe) / NYC Records 6042 – (USA)
Galactic: Katey vs. Nobby / Ya-Ka-May / ANTI- 87002 – (N’AWLINS)
Cheb Bilal: Nif Ou El Hemma / Nif Ou Lhama / Royal Music 29750 – (ALGERIA)
Balval: Kames? / Le Ciel Tout Nu (the naked sky) / Whaling City Sound 53 – (FRANCE)
Joan Soriano: Mi último llanto / El Duque de la Bachata / iASO 5 – (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC)
Marta Topferova: Mi Poema / Sueño Verde / Circular Moves 7014 – (NY CITY/CZECH REPUBLIC)
Frank Vignola: Swing 49 / 100 Years of Django / Azica 72244 – (USA)
Burhan Öçal & Jamaaldeen Tacuma: Groove alla Turca / PRI’s The World presents Global Hits / Public Radio International 7001 – (TURKEY/USA)
Baco Hiriz Band: Lover / Baco Hiriz Band / BHB 2010 – (JAMAICA) *NEW*
Emad Sayyah: Belly Belly Belly / Modern Bellydance From Lebanon / ARC Music 2303 – (LEBANON)
2raumwohnung: Sexy Girl / Kommt Zusammen / it sounds 8547 – (GERMANY)
Yannick: Ces Soirées La (Oh, What a Night!) / Cover The World / Putumayo 208 – (FRANCE)
V.M. Bhatt & Matt Malley: The Scalding Rain / Sleepless Nights / World Village 468097 – (INDIA/USA)
Ana Moura:  Como Uma Nuvem No Céu / Leva-Me Aos Fados / World Village 468099 – (CZECH REPUBLIC/USA)
Swing Noire: Tchavolo Swing / Hot Jazz in the Tradition of Django Reinhardt & the Quintette of the Hot Club of France / 2009 – (MADE IN VT)
Ruben Blades: Dime / The Best / Sony 80718 – (PANAMA/USA)
Rokia Traoré: Tounka / Tchamantché / Emarcy 530785 – (MALI)

playlist #127 (9/20/10)-more new tunes

September 20, 2010
World of Music
Pgm #127 – More new tunes from Jamaica, Germany, Curaçao…
Catch the show on Mondays 3-5pm EDT – 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)
Sara Tavares featuring Ana Moura: De Nua / Balancé / Times Square Records 9054 – (CAPE VERDE/PORTUGAL)
Diabel Cissoko & Ramon Goose : Mansana Blues / Mansana Blues / Dixiefrog 8063 – (MALI/UK) *NEW*
Los Macosos: Spill the Wine / Shades of Brown / six degrees 1049 – (USA)
Bendeniz: Kirmizi Biber / Turkish Groove / Putumayo 248 – (TURKEY)
Dr. Michael White: Crescent City Calypso / Blue Crescent / Basin Street Records 504 – (N’AWLINS) *NEW*
Lena Ka: Fais Semblant / Cinquième Saison / SACEM 31075120478 – (FRANCE) *NEW*
Debashish Bhattcharya: Priyatameshu / O Shakuntala! / Riverboat 1053 – (INDIA)
Joan Soriano: Su Lado de Cama / El Duque de la Bachata /  iASO 5 – (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC) *NEW*
Anura Jayasingha & The Balladeers: Kaju Gas Sewane / Welcome to Sri Lanka / Arion 64087 – (SRI LANKA)
Malena Muyala: Golondrinas / Viajera / Agadu 3667 – (URUGUAY)
Dota und die Stadtpiraten: Utopie / Bis Auf Den Grund / Kleingeld Prinzessen Records 12708 – (GERMANY) *NEW*
Los Fabulosos Cadillacs: Demasiada Presión / Lo Esencial Los Fabulosos Cadillacs / Norte 8869706443 – (ARGENTINA)
Red Baarat: Tunak Tunak Tun / Chaal Baby / Sin Records 110 – (NY CITY, USA) *NEW*       
Angélique Kidjo
: Seyin Djro / Oyaya! / Columbia 89063 – (BENIN)
Black Uhuru: Hey Joe / Now / Mesa Records 79021 – (JAMAICA)
Dengue Fever: Don’t Speak / Electric Cambodia / Minky 1 – (CAMBODIA/USA) *NEW*
Oswin Chin Behilia: Den Bo Kushina / Liber / Otrabanda Records 10 – (CURAÇAO) *NEW*
Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars: Oruwiebie / Rise & Shine / Cumbancha 18 – (SIERRA LEONE) *NEW*
Rale Micic: Thirty Three / 3 / CTA Records 8 – (SERBIA) *NEW*
Degas-Weiser: Heideröslein / Heimat-von fern so nah / Piranha 2008 – (GERMANY/BRAZIL) *NEW*
Calima: Gatito perdido (Lost kitten) / Azul / EMI 94877 – (SPAIN)
Lee “Scratch” Perry: Weatherman / Revelation / Megawave 342 – (JAMAICA) – *NEW*
Lila Downs: El Corrido de Tacha “La Teibolera” / La Cantina / EMI 34248 – (MEXICO)
Haitiando: Gròg Mwen / The Rough Guide to the Music of Haiti / Rough Guide 1067 – (HAITI)
Vieux Farka Toure (remixed by Fabian Alsultany): Courage / UFOs Over Bamako / Modiba 5 – (MALI)

vocales de amor

September 13, 2010

If you heard today’s World of Music preview of Joan Soriano’s forthcoming recording, El Duque de la Bachata (release date: 9/28),  you may be wondering what else he’s done. A year ago he released Vocales de Amor, a CD made from material he had recorded several years before:

playlist #126 (9/13/10)-new tunes

September 13, 2010
World of Music
Pgm #126 – New tunes from the Dominican Republic, Brazil, and beyond
Catch the show on Mondays 3-5pm EDT – 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)
Joan Soriano: Mal Pensado / El Duque de la Bachata / iASO 5 – (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC) *NEW*       
Alpha Ya Ya Diallo
: Djarabi / African Guitar Summit / CBC Records 3014 – (GUINEA/VANCOUVER, CANADA)
Michèle Choinière: Tant Mon Mari / La Violette /  2010 – (MADE IN VT!) *NEW*       
Systema Solar
: Chico / Systema Solar / Chusma Records 2 – (COLOMBIA)    *NEW*
Luisa Maita: Desencabulada / Lero-Lero / Cumbancha Discovery 17 – (BRAZIL) *NEW*       
Bruno Morais
: A Vontade / A Vontade Superstar / YB Music 49 – (BRAZIL)
Calypso Rose: Rum & Coca-Cola / Calypso @ Dirty Jim’s / EMI 5634790 – (TOBAGO)
Martha Mavroidi: Turtle / The Garden of Rila / C+P Wesaw Productions 2009 – (BALKANS)
Richard Kara: Fenko / Tingué / 2009 – (IVORY COAST/CANADA) *NEW*
The Hot Club of San Francisco: Le Jongleur / Bohemian Maestro: Django Reinhardt & The Impressionists / Azica 72241 – (SAN FRANCISCO,USA)
Raúl Paz: Havanization / Havanization / Naïve 2010 – (FRANCE)
Slavic Soul Party: Laughter Club / Taketron / Barbès Records 23 – (NY CITY, USA)
Soul Rebels: L.O.V.E. U. / Let Your Mind Be Free / Mardi Gras Records 1020 – (N’AWLINS)
The Musicians of Kunduz & Faizabad: Uzbek-Pashtun-Herati Folk Songs / Afghanistan-On Marco Polo’s Road / Multicultural Media 3003 – (AFGHANISTAN)
Tumi & The Volume: La Tête Savante / Pick A Dream / Sakifo Records 2010 – (JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA) *NEW*
Lhasa: La Celestina / La Llorona / Atlantic Records 83120 – (MEXICO/CANADA/USA)
The Sirba Octet featuring Isabelle Georges: Bei Mir Bist Du Scheyn / From the Shtetl to New York / Ambroisie 173 – (FRANCE/USA)          
Mosha Ben Ari
: Eem Rak Na’iz / Israel / Putumayo 268 – (ISRAEL)
Bellemou: Nediha Gaouria / The Rough Guide to Raï / Rough Guide 1100 – (ALGERIA)
Tamy: Dançar no me lugar / Tamy / Vale  ? – (BRAZIL)
Howe Gelb & A Band of Gypsies:  Where the Wind Turns the Skin to Leather / Alegrías / Eureka 2010 – (ARIZONA, USA)
Easy Star All-Stars: Within You Without You / Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band / Easy Star Records 21622 – (JAMAICA)
Staff Benda Bilili: Je t’aime / Très Très Fort / Crammed Discs 51 – (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO)
Sonia Brex: Good Times / Naif / Piranha Musik 2442 – (GERMANY/ITALY)
Omar Souleyman: Jamila (Beautiful Woman) / Dabke 2020 / 49 – (SYRIA) 

bachata nueva

September 13, 2010

Santo Domingo was the first Spanish city in the New World. Any wonder, then,  that the Dominican Republic has such a long established and deeply rooted tradition of guitar music?

This week’s World of Music features Joan Soriano, a guitarist/singer from the countryside near Santo Domingo. He’s part of a new generation of musicians continuing the lively bachata style of music established in the 1960s. Soriano’s new recording – El Duque de la Bachata – will be released on Sept. 28th, listen in for a preview today.

We’ll also hear music from Syria, the Balkans, Brazil, and Guinea – all part of the week’s mix!

World of Music is a toe-tapping, bodega-bouncing confluence of blues, poetry, jazz, and international music every Monday from 3-5pm ET on the Radiator. Online, or at 105.9FM if you’re listening in Burlington, VT.

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