World

On Love and Science. CD and illustrated hardback book

Zulya and the Children of the Underground. Musicians: Zulya Kamalova, vocals, writer, composer, leader; Lucas Michailidis, guitars; Aviva Endean, clarinets, tenor sax; Anthony Schulz, piano accordion, piano; Justin Marshall, drums, percussion; Andrew Tanner, double bass, jew’s harp. Accompanies illustrated book, hard back by Zulya Kamalova, illustrations by Dilka Bear
Folk, Fusion, Jazz, World
Self- release, self-published, limited edition. Purchase from website
http:// zulyaandthechildrenoftheunderground.com/
Reviewed by , March 3rd, 2016

This multimedia release is Zulya’s finest and most ambitious work to date. It demands attention and accolades. Zulya Kamalova, the Tatar/Australian world music trailblazer never ceases to surprise. Her previous release was a sci-fi computer music extravaganza. This one, back with her brilliant band The Children of the Underground, is a return to her world… continue reading »


Rasa Duende. Improvisations

Post by , November 1st, 2015

In the mid-sixties musicians from India, Pakistan and the West began exploring each other’s musical traditions, looking for common ground, playing concerts together and eventually recording together. The trailblazers were Yehudi Menuhin and Ravi Shankar. These two giants of their own musical heritages, having met in the fifties, developed a great mutual respect both personally… continue reading »


Starship Z Kosmostan

Zulya Kamalova
Electronic Music, Russian, World
Yammy Music YMCD 2015-001, available on iTunes and Bandcamp
http://zulya.com/ http://kosmostan.com/
Reviewed by , October 1st, 2015

OK… take a look at the genre classification (electronic Tatar music with sci-fi themes) and tell me this album doesn’t intrigue you. The Republic of Tatarstan is a region of Russia about 800 kilometres east of Moscow. It lies between the Volga and Kama rivers and extends east to the Ural Mountains. Zulya Kamalova is… continue reading »


This Time

Grigoryan Brothers
Classical, Jazz, New Music, World
Which Way Music WWM022
www.whichwaymusic.com
Reviewed by , June 1st, 2015

This album was difficult to resist given the names adorning it. The Grigoryan Brothers need no introduction. Slava and Leonard Grigoryan are highly renowned guitarists in both Australia and around the globe with many awards to their credit. Here they have collaborated with quite diverse composers, from the nouveau classical Nigel Westlake, to jazz composer… continue reading »


Kapture

Post by , June 1st, 2015

Kapture is a masterfully performed fusion of jazz and Indian classical musics with a sprinkling of other influences from across the globe. Sandy Evans (alto and tenor saxophone), Bobby Singh (tabla), Brett Hirst (double bass) and Toby Hall (drums and percussion) are joined on four of the twelve tracks by vocalist Sarangan Sriranganathan. Inspired by… continue reading »


Suspicion

The Tango Saloon
Experimental Music, Jazz, Pop, Rock, Tango
Romero Records and Newmarket Music NEW3342.2/ROM010
http://thetangosaloon.com
Reviewed by , June 1st, 2015

Any band that describes itself as experimental tango meets spaghetti western with a dose of film score, rock, pop, gypsy, jazz and electronica thrown in for good measure is going to grab my attention. The Tango Saloon makes music that is indeed Piazzolla meets Morriconi and Equivel. I first came across them when they appeared… continue reading »


Spring Sea Music of Dreams – Music for Shakuhachi and Harp

Riley Lee, shakuhachi, Marshall McGuire, harp
Classical, Japanese, New Music, World
ABC Classics 476 4870
Reviewed by , October 4th, 2014

Riley Lee and Marshall McGuire are masters of their instruments: Riley of the Japanese bamboo flute known as the shakuhachi and Marshall of the classical concert harp. At first glance a collaboration between these two instruments from vastly different musical traditions may seem like a brave experiment in cross-cultural music. But in the hands of… continue reading »


Visible Six and The Best of Visible

Post by , October 3rd, 2014

Bold statement: The only way folk or popular music has ever progressed or developed is through the impact of multicultural influences. Consider one of the primary and most far reaching examples: the impact of the slave trade that brought Africans to the Americas. Now, of course I’m not saying this was a positive experience for… continue reading »


Concerto of the Greater Sea

Joseph Tawadros, oud, Australian Chamber Orchestra
Classical, Middle Eastern, New Music
ABC Classics 476 4745
Reviewed by , October 3rd, 2014

Joseph Tawadros is Australia’s leading exponent of the oud. For readers unfamiliar with this beautiful instrument it is a pear-shaped lute used traditionally in North African and Middle Eastern music. The oud and lute are descended from a common ancestor and are in turn the ancestors of the guitar. The enrichment of Australia’s culture and… continue reading »


The Mango Balloon, Volume 3

Post by , August 1st, 2014

What a creative mind is that of guitarist-composer Julian Curwin. A stripped–back version of the group entitled The Tango Saloon, The Mango Balloon plays Curwin’s haunting pieces with disarming directness. The music is unpretentious, consisting of appealing melodies drifting over uncluttered accompaniments that are carefully crafted for each composition. There is no waste; economy of… continue reading »


Permission to Evaporate

Joseph Tawadros, with Christian McBride, James Tawadros, Matt McMahon, Mike Stern
Jazz, Middle Eastern, World
ABC Music 481 0917
www.josephtawardros.com
Reviewed by , July 1st, 2014

Joseph Tawadros is prolific and adventurous. He is Australia’s leading exponent of the oud, a North African and Middle Eastern lute. He is also a trailblazer in cross-cultural music collaboration and a two-time ARIA Award winner for Best World Music Album. Permission To Evaporate was recorded in New York in just two days in February… continue reading »


Haveli

Post by , July 1st, 2014

An increasing number of Australian jazz musicians are seeking to move beyond the association with American jazz that was their inheritance, instead establishing a more distinctive local identity through collaborations with regional neighbours in the Asia-Pacific. The Australian Art Orchestra’s pioneering collaboration with Guru Kaaraikudi Mani’s Sruthi Laya Ensemble in 1996, and Simon Barker’s work… continue reading »


Sylvan Coda

Post by , May 2nd, 2014

Pianist Will Poskitt was an integral part of the Chris Hale Ensemble on three albums and countless gigs between 2001 and his death in 2008 at the tragically young age of 31. Sylvan Coda, Hale’s first release since Poskitt’s passing, is dedicated to his memory. Hale, who plays a six string semi-acoustic bass guitar, was… continue reading »


Ndakondwa (I’m Happy)

Post by , May 1st, 2014

Some years ago my family and I travelled to Tanna, a remote island in the Vanuatu archipelago and stayed in a village near Mount Yasur, the world’s most accessible active volcano. On the first night in our grass-hut accommodation a truck pulled up and the young men of the village converged to unload all the… continue reading »


Daramad

Post by , April 1st, 2014

This beautifully presented CD explores a fusion of traditional Middle Eastern music, Eastern European music, Asian music and a soupcon (maybe a little more) of western jazz. Daramad are, let’s get this out of the way, musicians of skill and nuance. Western instruments such as the guitar and clarinet mix beautifully with ‘world’ instruments such… continue reading »


Dakshin Khun (Southern Man)

Post by , April 1st, 2014

This is one of the most evocative albums I’ve heard this year. The opening track, Altain Magdal evokes that area of Asia stretching from Nepal to China. It will be a challenging album for some: the vocals are Mongolian throat singing – a guttural, seemingly toneless sound, with a remarkable range. However, we hear a… continue reading »


Ngambala Wiji Li-Wunungu (Together We Are Strong). The Song Peoples Sessions

Shellie Morris and the Borroloola Songwomen
Contemporary, Indigenous Australian, World
2 CDs, box set with large booklet. Barkley Regional Arts www.barklyarts.com.au. Or ABC Music
www.barklyarts.com.au. http://songpeoples.tumblr.com/. Shellie’s website: http://www.shelliemorris.net/
Reviewed by , April 1st, 2014

Last year I wrote a rapturous review of the Winanjjara double CD by Warren H Williams and the Warramungu Songmen. Ngambala Wiji Li-Wunungu (Together We Are Strong) by Shellie Morris and the Borroloola Songwomen is the second release of the culturally significant project knows as The Song Peoples Sessions. The project facilitates collaborations between traditional… continue reading »


Compassion

Lior, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Nigel Westlake composer and conductor
Classical, Contemporary, World
ABC Classics 4810678
www.rimshot.com.au, www.lior.com.au
Reviewed by , April 1st, 2014

There have been odd times with Nigel Westlake’s works where I have sensed that he has held his ‘soul-laid-bare’ card close to his chest. With Compassion, however, that card is on the table – in spades. Compassion is a series of seven melodies, all but one written with the Israeli-born Melbourne inhabitant Lior, whose body… continue reading »


Erub Era Kodo Mer. Traditional and Contemporary Music and Dance from Erub (Darnley Island), Torres Strait. (CD/DVD)

People of Erub, Torres Strait Islands, Australia
Indigenous Australian, World
Torres Strait Regional Authority TSRA 005
Reviewed by , March 1st, 2014

This CD/DVD set is a collection of traditional Christian hymns, contemporary songs, contemporary Christian kores (choruses), love songs and childrens’ songs performed by the Erub people in the Torres Strait Islands. It opens with seven hymns sung in harmony in a mixture of the Meriam Mir and Erub Mir dialects of eastern Torres Strait, Torres… continue reading »


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