Tom Teasley’s Eastern Journey (self-released) is an album that is a compilation of jazz and worldly sounds but don’t expect to hear things lean on the jazz side. Teasley is, according to the back cover, the world percussionist of the year and he explores some of his influences on the album by playing eferything from gongs and cymbals to things like djembe, wood blocks, and Chinese hand symbols. While he could play within a jazz context, he could also make a wide range of music for films and television shows, where he is able to explore, either within the limits of the needs of the project or go all out if allowed. One could easily call this something that is used in the television industry: a “resume tape”. Bring him into your world and he will be able to bring the worldly sounds to you.
A part of me feels this song uses too much Auto-Tune that doesn’t need to be there but I wanted to hear this for something other than that, and I did. “Made Of Black” is by someone who wants to show his music is authentic and he calls himself Autentiq, who made the song for his latest album Thanksgiving. If you enjoy your music with the glory of Africa but with a pop touch, you will enjoy what AuentiQ offers.
Razia Said of Madagascar has an albut that may be worthy of your time, titles Azore (Wake Up Music) so if you are a fan of world music or sounds that combine African roots with other influences, you will like this. Her songs are positive and at times touches on her love of the planet, as “After The Cyclone Has Gone” shows and music like this is perfect for any occasion or time in life. This is a beautiful song, so listen to Razia and let everyone know about her talents and delights.
They’ve been together for almost twenty years, and with their latest album out now called Place In The Sun, Ozomatli are continuing to show why they are powerful and great with their new video clip, “Tus Ojos”, nicely directed by Miguel “M.I.G” Martinez.
Omar Souleyman makes great music. For the distant ear, some might hear him at first and say he makes “weird” music but it is not weird at all. Get familiar with him through his video for the song “Warni Warni”, directed by Cali Thornhill DeWitt. You will be able to move and travel to a new land, without ever leaving the comforts of your easy chair. After its time, listen again or depart to find a new land.
You may not know who Clever Austin is at first, but if you are a fan of Hiatus Kaiyote, you are familiar with the drumming and production of Perrin Moss. On the side, he also likes to create as Clever Austin, so now you know. When the Kaiyote aren’t doing their thing, Clever Austin likes to go deep with his own music, and Hide-Away Headshell is a street album allowing fans to hear what is coming from his mind into the speakers. Consider it a component of the Kaiyote that also represents itself on its own, for itself. Three tracks on this, each one a collage of different sounds, influences from many sources. Please enter and make yourself comfortable.
Going into this, I enjoyed hearing what sounded like someone tuning into a a world and/or culture with a radio until it reaches the correct frequency. Then I realized that it’s not a frequency but someone trying to immerse themselves amongst the sound and people (at least musically) and it becomes the voyage of life we’d all like to take but rarely ever go on. That’s how I hear mbira abstractions (elegua), the latest project by io, a collaboration between David Font and Andrew Mark. The music is a combination of real instrumentation and electronics, where each play a role in communicating with one another. It becomes very tribal, coming off like someone exploring Africa to making it to different Asian countries and smiling from ear to ear as they discover the possibilities. One of the more interesting moments happens in “Her Bones Will Rise Again”, where within what could be the sound of a spiritual awakening (and I say that only based on the title of the song), you hear a bit of funky boom bap, as if someone is driving into the parking lot and showing what kind of volume their car has. It fits in along with the other mixtures of opposites, or at least perceived opposites, where one might think that “sound A” should never be heard mixed with “sound B”. It always should, sound has no law.
mbira abstractions plays with the idea of time and space, indigenous and modern, traditional and adventurous, and it’s that adventure that will pull people into the music of io, which may inspire others to get out of the doldrums and set their own new paths in sound.
The sounds of the Mediterranean are explored on this new album by Alekos Galas, whose chosen instrument is the bouzouki. On Mediterranean Breeze (Ehos) he mixes up a bit of sounds from his Greek heritage and mixes it up with pop and smooth jazz.
I found the pop sounds and those that steered more to the Greek side of things were very good, and I can easily imaging this to be used for a wide range of things. For smooth jazz fans, the material here is sure to gain him a bit of airplay. While I may not give the smooth jazz repeat airplays, his musicianship within the boundaries of the music help give the mood a nice touch generally not heard, or at least because the bouzouki is not an instrument commonly explored in the genre. While Galas may have have preferred styles on this album, I’d like to be able to hear him in other genres and projects. Job well done.
When people say “you want to hear some old school music?”, they might not think of the music of Raul Jaurena. His bandoneón playing is in tune with the moods of the tango, and thus it is music from one heart to others, as he shows in his new album, Fuerza Milonguera (Soundbrush). The songs are seductive and emotional, at times moody but they capture a sound that used to be dominant in many households. While these songs were recorded in 2008, they could have been recorded in 1972, or 1952, or last night as everyone in your home passed around the wine.
While he is true to his Uruguay roots, his music celebrates the people and music of the world, and you’ll hear him catering to any and all without leaving the comforts of home. It’s a very moving collection of songs (14 in total) that will make you want to get off of your listening chair and dance the evening away. Wonderful engineering from Gustavo de Leon will make you feel as if you’re in the club.