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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Various Artists: Hungarian Noir

Read "Hungarian Noir" reviewed by James Nadal

When Billie Holiday released “Gloomy Sunday," in 1941, accompanied by the Teddy Wilson Orchestra, no one could possibly imagine the back story and consequent repercussions associated with this song. Originally composed by Hungarian Reszo Seress in 1933 as “Szomorú Vasárnap," it was quickly rewritten with lyrics by poet Laslo Javor, and recorded by Pál Kalmár in ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Kuku: Ballads & Blasphemy

Read "Ballads & Blasphemy" reviewed by James Nadal

Yorubaland is a region of southwest Nigeria which extends into parts of Benin and Togo. It is the ancestral homeland of the Yoruba people, and remains a vital source of cultural identity, especially spiritual music and rhythms. Kuku is a singer/songwriter who though born in the United States, is a Yoruba Nigerian, now residing in Paris. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Mem Nahadr: Femme Fractale - An Opera of Reflection

Read "Femme Fractale - An Opera of Reflection" reviewed by James Nadal

Music genre categorization has exploded into so many fragments, that shrapnel is strewn in all directions as far as the ear can hear. In examining the vast minefield of definition for a proper description of the music of Mem Nahadr, we excavate the terms “neo-soul meets free-jazz," in hopes of further reference. Blessed with an operatic ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

BOLO: BOLO

Read "BOLO" reviewed by James Nadal

There is an ancestral vocation that devout musicians draw inspiration and bearing from. Once on this chosen spiritual path, they enter into a mesmerizing plateau of creativity which is only accessible through profound belief in the task at hand, and a complete mastery of their instrument. The multi-instrumental trio of Surya Prakasha, Evan Fraser and Eliyahu ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Gino Sitson: VoiStrings

Read "VoiStrings" reviewed by James Nadal

The categorization of “Jazz Vocal," which through time has come to cover an expanding field of wide ranging artists, might not be the appropriate tag to hang on Gino Sitson.VoiStrings is a showcase for Sitson's vocal extensions to take on another dimension as he explores in depth the art of singing as instrumentation. Accompanied by a ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

BKO Quintet: Bamako Today

Read "Bamako Today" reviewed by James Nadal

While most musicians have the convenience of being in a relaxed atmosphere while preparing to produce a record, this was not the situation for the members of the BKO Quintet. Amidst the revolutionary turmoil which embroiled Mali in late 2012 to the brink of civil war, they maintained focused on their musical endeavor, albeit with a ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Sir Sultry Quintet: Soleangeles

Read "Soleangeles" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Soleángeles is a mashup of two words: Soleá is a mother's song in the Spanish flamenco tradition, while Angeles means “the City of Angels." Soleángeles is also a mashup of two worlds: The Sir Sultry Quintet--led by composer, guitarist and vocalist Ethan Margolis--recorded this set in Seville (Spain) and Los Angeles (California). Margolis spent more than ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Nistha Raj: Exit 1

Read "Exit 1" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Composer and violin player Nistha Raj has studied Hindustani (North Indian) and Western classical music for most of her life. She was raised in Texas and graduated with honors from music studies at the University of Houston, and then studied music for three years in India through a scholarship with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Cigdem Aslan: Mortissa

Read "Mortissa" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Ҫiğdem Aslan was born in the cultural crossroads of Istanbul. She moved to London, hoping to advance her onstage and classroom studies in various musical cultures; these studies include her Songs of Smyrna project, which celebrates rebetiko and sephardic music from Turkey, and joining the She'Koyokh Klezmer Ensemble and the Balkan group Dunav. Mortissa is her ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Kheswa & Her Martians: Meadowlands, Stolen Jazz

Read "Meadowlands, Stolen Jazz" reviewed by James Nadal

There has not been a more poignant situation in jazz history than that of South Africa, where the pathetic and deplorable conditions of apartheid made “jazz style music" illegal amongst the native people. This of course made jazz musicians outlaws and heroes, and drove the music underground into the townships, where it thrived despite desperate attempts ...


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