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NEW RELEASES IN BRIEF
Stefano Bollani and Hamilton de Holanda
Classical harp and urbane voice place this talented artist (who is first harpist of the Orquestra Sinfônica do Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro) in an enchanting jazz category of her own fine tuning, essaying a fetching array of archetypal composers (Vinicius de Moraes, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Candeia, Caetano Veloso, Moacir Santos), with restrained backing by the Modern Samba Quartet (trumpet and flugelhorn, vibraphone, percussion and double bass), taking Brazilian jazz into new territory. - MS
All my songwriter friends list Guy Clark as an essential influence. This collection of ten new co-writes is yet another demonstration of why this Texas native is indeed the songwriter's songwriter. “Heroes,” and “El Coyote” stand with Clark's best songs, and that's saying something for the man who wrote “Dublin Blues” and “Desperados Waiting for a Train.” The accompaniment is sparse, perfectly framing his words rendered passionately and emotionally. The title track, written for his wife Susanna who passed away last year, is especially moving. - GH
Uri Sharlin and the DogCat Ensemble
Former director of and pianist with the Israeli Army jazz band, now New York based, Uri Sharlin (piano, wurli, accordion) employs a palette of flute, bassoon, bass clarinet, guitar, bass and percussion on mostly original material with Eastern (“Night Swim,” “One for Frankie,” “Munday by Night”), Brazilian (“Baião” and Hermeto Pascoal’s “Dia #342”), reggae (“The Real DogCat”), funk (“Don Quixote”) and ambient (“Monte Verde”) strains. - Michael Stone
Well, as a big fan of this singer and guitarist from Mali, I have to express disappointment in her 2013 release. It's clichéd in a dozen different ways, with overwrought production courtesy of produced by English musician John Parish of the band PJ Harvey (who I personally know little about and won't be inspired to explore now). Previous recordings by Traoré have always felt vital and fresh. This one seems like they were trying too hard to do some sort of crossover, in an era where it's just so unnecessary. So after a brilliant opening track, the rest just slowly glides downhill. I had high hopes when I opened this up. Dashed! - CF
Tom Russell and the Norwegian Wind Ensemble
Tom Russell is certainly one of the greatest American songwriters, churning out incredible songs since “Gallo Del Cielo” in the 1970s. This record takes a dozen of his best and adds arrangements by a 23-piece jazz orchestra from Halden, Norway, the Norwegian Wind Ensemble. The pairing makes sense as Russell comes from Norwegian roots (mined in his 1999 recording The Man From God Knows Where). The standout tracks are “Guadalupe” and “East of Woodstock, West of Vietnam.” Highly recommended. - Greg Harness
CD available from cdRoots
More new releases:
Bengt Berger - Beches Brew Big (Country and Eastern)
About RootsWorld: RootsWorld is a world music magazine started in 1993, pretty much at the dawn of the term "world music" as well as the pre-dawn of internet publishing (I suspect this was the first music magazine of any sort published on the www). Our focus is the music of the world: Africa, Asia, Europe, Pacifica and The Americas, the roots of the global musical milieu that has come to be known as world music, be it traditional folk music, jazz, rock or some hybrid. How is that defined? I don't know and don't particularly care at this point: it's music from someplace you aren't, music with roots, music of the world and for the world. OK?
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