Music and Book reviews

Browsing: World

Folk Music Recording
Afternoon Tea at Six. Eishan Ensemble

Artist/s: Eishan Ensemble. Hamed Sadeghi (tar), Pedram Layegh (guitar), Michael Avgenicos (alto and tenor saxophones), Adem Yilmaz (percussion), Elsen Price (double bass), Sonya Holowell (voice), Adnan Barake (oud)
Category: Folk, Jazz, Persian, World
Label: Art as Catharsis Records
Reviewed by

“Under Sadeghi’s stewardship, Eishan Ensemble has created a new, vigorous musical hybrid in which both the ensemble and its members are enabled to shine. I hope that this is not their last recording.”

Bar Lines & Beyond

Artist/s: Robert Burke (soprano sax/alto clarinet), Debasis Chakroborty (Indian classical slide guitar), Stephen Magnusson (electric guitar), Sam Evans (tabla/percussion)
Category: Indian, Jazz, World
Label: Jazzhead HEAD231
Reviewed by

“Sam Evans has brought together musicians who are not only excellent players but who work very sympathetically in taking the synthesis between Indian and Western music in exciting directions. Australian world music collaboration at its very best.”

Fusion Music Recording
Betrayal of a Sunflower. Joseph Tawadros

Artist/s: Joseph Tawadros (oud), Damian De-Boos Smith (guitar), Veronique Serret (violin and 6-string violin), James Tawadros (riqq and bendir), Luke Howard (piano), James Greening (trombone)
Category: Fusion, Middle Eastern, World
Label: The Planet/MGM JT2020
Reviewed by

“Betrayal of a Sacred Sunflower is a rare experience reserved for only the most sublime music of the spirit.”

Brazil Music Recording
Brasil Project by Paul Chenard

Artist/s: Artists Sydney: Paul Chenard (saxophones/producer), Tina Harris (bass), Brendan St Ledger (keyboards), Glen Wilson (drums), Marty Farrugia (trumpet/flugelhorn), Ray Cassar (trumpet), Mike Raper (trombone), Mauricio Moriera (drums), Jess Ciampa (percussion), Blair Greenberg (percussion). Artists Rio de Janeiro: Roge (vocals/guitar), Daniel Conceicao (drums), Andre Siqueiros )percussion), Matheus Alcantara (bass), Tuca Maia (vocals), Ronaldo Silva (percussion), Leonardo Viera (guitar), Marlon Seite (trombone)
Category: Brazil, Jazz, Music Recording, World
Label: Self-release
Reviewed by

“The finest musicians of Sydney and Rio de Janeiro were assembled to participate in the creative development and recording of this exciting project.”

Cuban Music Recording
City Lights. Musica Linda

Artist/s: Musica Linda. Linda Marr (lead vocals/darabuka/percussion), Richard Tardif (flute), Richard Tardif (flute), Jacinta McPhillamy (violin), Richard Valdez (vocals), Beata Robins (congas/ percussion/vocals), Giorgio Rojas (congas/cajon/percussion), Issac Zorzano (bongos/percussion), Juan Carlos Rios (vocals/guitar/tres//percussion)
Category: Cuban, Latin American, Music Recording, World
Label: Self-release ML2017
Reviewed by

“City Lights by Musica Linda will get you up dancing as well as being thoroughly pleasing to the ears with beautiful Latin arrangements replete with sweet harmony.”

Classical Music Recording

Artist/s: Lior, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Nigel Westlake composer and conductor
Category: Classical, Contemporary, World
Label: ABC Classics 4810678,
Reviewed by

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…

Classical Music Recording
Concerto of the Greater Sea

Artist/s: Joseph Tawadros, oud, Australian Chamber Orchestra
Category: Classical, Middle Eastern, New Music
Label: ABC Classics 476 4745
Reviewed by

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…

Classical Music Recording
Curious Caledonians

Artist/s: Evergreen Ensemble. Claire Patti (soprano & Celtic harp),  Shane Lestideau (violin/violin d’amore), Allegra Giagu (mezzo-soprano), Ben Dollman (violin & viola). Guests: Aaron McGregor (violin), Daniel Yeardon (cello), Neal Peres da Costa (19C square piano), David McGuinness (19C square piano/harpsichord) 
Category: Classical, Early Music, Folk, World
Label: ABC Classic 4818774
Reviewed by

“By the evidence of this recording, the Australian historically informed performance movement still has a fresh, creative breeze in its sails. Evergreen Ensemble’s Caledonian project pushes out repertoire boundaries and expands our aural and factual understanding of Scots music in earlier times.”

Contemporary Music Recording
Destination People Street

Artist/s: Moth People
Category: Contemporary, Indie, Jazz
Label: Synergy Percussion
Reviewed by

Artistic Director of Synergy Percussion, Timothy Constable, is the consummate musician, covering the spectrum of genres in his work as a percussionist and composer, from taiko drum extravaganzas, to classical interpretations and jazz. The ensemble’s latest venture seeks commissions for…

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

Artist/s: People of Erub, Torres Strait Islands, Australia
Category: Indigenous Australian, World
Label: Torres Strait Regional Authority TSRA 005
Reviewed by

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…

Jazz Music Recording
FIKA by Elysian Fields – The Scandinavian Project

Artist/s: Elysian Fields. Susie Bishop (voice and violin), Matt Keegan (saxophones), Matt McMahon (piano), Jenny Eriksson (electric viola da gamba), Siebe Pogson (bass guitar), Dave Goodman (drums)
Category: Jazz, World
Label: MOVE Records MCD603
Reviewed by

‘On FIKA, we hear a successful and effective collaborative project showcasing a broad selection of material ranging from traditional Swedish folksongs to contemporary original Scandinavian and Australian compositions performed beautifully by outstanding musicians.’


Artist/s: The Three Seas
Category: Indian, Jazz, World
Reviewed by

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…

Cabaret Music Recording

Artist/s: On the Stoop. Serge Stanley (saxophone/accordion/piano/vocals), Dirk Kruithof (electric guitar/acoustic guitar), Tim Bradley (drums/percussion), Joe Manton (bass/synthesisers), Matthew Lee (saxophone), Ellen Kirkwood (trumpet/vocals), Joe Cummins (trumpet), Peter Lothian (trombone).
Category: Cabaret, Jazz, Mariachi, Music Recording, Punk, Spaghetti-Western
Label: Self-Release, distributed by MGM and Facebook: and Bandcamp:
Reviewed by

“On The Stoop bend and break the rules like no other Australian pop group I know and they do it in great style and with raucous abandon.”

Classical Music Recording
Joseph Tawadros – Live at the Sydney Opera House.

Artist/s: Joseph Tawadros (oud / composition), James Tawadros (riqq / bendir), Sydney Symphony Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Northey. Works by Tawadros, some arranged by Wells, Buckley, Barker, or Tognetti.
Category: Classical, Middle Eastern, New Music
Label: ABC Classic 481 9241
Reviewed by

“It is the force of Joseph Tawadros’ personality as much as his skill and virtuosity, let alone the clear vision of his artistry and purpose, that drives the richness and appeal of his compositions and performance. The music of Joseph Tawadros is both powerful and memorable in lasting ways.”  


Artist/s: Sandy Evans, Bobby Singh, Brett Hurst, Toby Hall, Sarangan Sriranganathan
Category: Indian, Jazz
Label: Rufus Records (RF100)
Reviewed by

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…

Afro Beat
Ndakondwa (I’m Happy)

Artist/s: Larry Maluma
Category: Afro Beat, Reggae
Label: Safari Music – LMCD1970
Reviewed by

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…

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