Yeah, it’s Dizzy Gillespie, and yeah, it’s not exactly original to associate the waggling piano and ballsy horns of his mamboish jazz with summer— but if this doesn’t make you want to pop on some shades and go to a barbecue, you are broken. And when the party’s winding down, grass swaying warm, greeny-gray in the melting sky, switch to Willie Bobo and float a frisbee over to the host (he’s tired of cooking hot dogs). Talkin’ Verve is a limited run compilation, but worth snapping up if you’re low on Verve catalogue items.
“How long can you disguise what you feel with a song?” is my favorite Infantree lyric. Similar to a present-day Déjà Vu, Would Work is deeply poetic with louder rock, banjo-fringed folk and baroque styling. Strong lead vocals, each unique to their three songwriting members, and marvelous harmonies stay my attention alongside progressive arrangements. Every song is a painting embodying the band in surreal brushstrokes detailed with touching piano, disquieted hallways, or Spanish hue. Serious yet playful; connected to growth and learning; the unstitched fibers of their being are rooted in sounds branching out – forming a companionship that includes you. (thx, Elana)
I suppose many of you would associate Denmark with good music and cinema. Under Byen is no exception, and to me it’s all about extraordinary beauty. So far, everything I’ve ever heard by Under Byen I’d describe as floaty and sensual, sharp and intenseÂ—all at once. It’s the kind of music that captures and allures you with the beautiful arrangements, sensitive female vocals and poetic lyrics. (Yes, it does sound poetic and magical even if you don’t know a single word in Danish.) Melodic and dreamy “Byen driver” gives an idea of the earlier works. “Den her sang handler om at fÃ¥ det bedste ud af det” from Samme Stof Som Stof (2006) sounds intense, very powerful and fascinating for seven and a half minutes.
Viennese chanteuse and songwriter Madita musical debut came as she lent her soulful vocals to dZihan and Kamien’s critically acclaimed album Gran Riserva back in 2002. Produced and co-written by Vlado dZihan, Madita’s second album Too (2008) offers richly textured electro-jazz. Madita’s standout track “Because” delivers a mixture of eccentric piano-tingled beats, spectacular vocals and the glitter glamour of Goldfrapp, while the seductive quality and retro lounge vibe of “Deep Down” brings to mind the playful elegance of Bitter:Sweet.
Gaida is one of those (*yawn*) dime-a-dozen singers who also makes a living as a speech pathologist, and has a similarly dull list of cities that she’s called home: Damascus, Kuwait, Paris, Detroit, and now, New York. Barely worth mentioning, right? In the meantime, she’s received classical voice training, recorded a couple of tracks for Jonathan Demme films, and at the end of last year dropped her first full album, Levantine Indulgence, a spooky mix of traditional Arabic and Syrian sounds, plus her own, jazz-like vocals, and the occasional hip hop beat for good measure. She’s currently shopping for a distributor; until she finds one, the full album is available at her shows, or via MySpace message.
Eric Hillman and Brian Holl author Foreign Fields simulating an escape within the grace of enthralling novels. Delicate trembles near calm rolling thunder are sung while immersed in ambient wonder on paths lit from acoustic guitar before being swept off feet by flourishing strings confessing secrets to a hopelessly romantic piano. Anywhere But Where I Am and the striking live set Tuscaloosa turn pages of intimate harmonies lending me free.
Nostalgia 77, also known as Benedic Lamdin, is a prolific producer of Jazz with a highly developed sense of rhythm. On the 22nd of March his new LP The Sleepwalking Society will be released on Tru Thoughts. This is officially the fourth Nostagia 77 studio album and it has taken almost four years since the previous release. In the mean time he has worked with Jazz legends Keith and Julie Tippett, played with Larry Stabbins of Stonephace and produced for Sara Mitra & Lizzy Parks. Last year he released two albums on his own Impossible Ark imprint: the afro-funky project SkeletonsSmile LP and an afro-latin influenced project with Hugo Mendez titled Rhythmagic Orchestra. See discogs for an extensive list of his work. Out now is the single “Simmerdown” featuring the warm vocals of german Josa Peit (also on soundcloud). Josa provides all vocals on the upcoming LP, of which the track “Cherry” is included below. More material by Josa Peit can be found on her soundcloud.
French pianist and composer Albin de la Simone is best known for his collaborations with Jeanne Cherhal, Vanessa Paradis and Keren Ann. Although Un Homme (2013) is his fourth solo album, de la Simone is still relatively anonymous among contemporary French chansonniers. His lyrics are clever and his melodies engaging, but what makes de la Simone stand out is his voice and remarkable subtle string and piano arrangements. “Moi Moi”, featured below, is a delightful duet with the lovely Emiliana Torrini.
Elegant songwriting with a dose of whimsy. Albin de la Simone & Emiliana Torrini – Moi Moi Albin de la Simone – Le Fuite + Purchase/Visit
Originating from Austin’s diverse, musical underbelly, Silent Land Time Machine draws its influences from such cult hits as Godspeed You! Black Emperor and A Silver Mt. Zion. This one-man symphony features the viola, violin, guitar, accordion, piano and anything else he can get his hands on. While he credits much of his instrumental inspiration to violist Anni Rossi and Zion’s Sophie Trudeau, his dynamic self-recordings successfully create his own polyphonic brand of music. It’s the perfect music to attach to the soundtrack of your sentimental memories and dreams.
To get an idea, imagine Basement Jaxx in a damp island jungle instead of a nightclub. With Boozoo, the beats are wet, the grooves are deep and the hooks are funky-ass funky – Mike Reinboth of Compost Records aptly called them, “NuDubReggae-meets-Mambo-Bossa”. These German blokes have been pumping out LPs and remixes for some time, but have now found their groove with their new record Dust My Broom on K7. “Killer” is the body-moving, hip-shaking stunner on the disc – dancehall vocals on top of a wide tropical bass. “Take It Slow” unfolds a smooth summer reggae ballad of a more intimate feel. One to move your hips. And one to move your lips.