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by Chris May
Although the Italian oud player and composer Mauro Sigura bills his band as a world-jazz group which combines traditional Ottoman-Mediterranean music with modern European jazz, the band's sophomore album is not full-on, capped-up World Jazz in the manner of, say, fellow oudist Anouar Brahem's Blue Maqams (ECM, 2017). That album, made with double bassist Dave Holland, drummer Jack DeJohnette and pianist Django Bates, is founded four-square on traditional Levantine modes and structures. Sigura's work, by contrast, is lyrical European jazz ...read more
by C. Michael Bailey
There are two major names on the block regarding male vocal ensembles: San Francisco's Chanticleer and Minneapolis' Cantus. The latter releases A Harvest Home, a collection of Autumn pastoral affairs celebrating the traditional season of Thanksgiving. This follows last year's release of Songs of a Czech: Dvorak and Janacek for Men's Voices (Cantus, 2013), a fine if narrowly focused affair. With the Christmas holiday market clotted with recordings, it made perfect sense of Cantus to branch out into the anticipatory ...read more