Saturday, May 11, 2013

Moving Locations

This blog has moved to another platform.  The Dog is definitely still ALIVE and barking. Just in another location.

NOTE: IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR INFO/POSTS FROM SOUTH ASIA (india, pakistan, afghanistan, nepal, bangladesh, sri lanka, bhutan, maldives) PLEASE CHECK OUT THE HARMONIUMMUSIC, THE SITE THAT IS 100% DEDICATED TO MUSIC FROM THIS PART OF THE WORLD.

NOTE TWO: REQUESTS FOR INDIVIDUAL RE-UPS WILL BE ENTERTAINED AND RESTORED IN AS TIMELY A MANNER AS FEASIBLE.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Slow Road to Senegal: Spirit of Teranga





My first exposure to African music was to Fela’s record Zombie.  My second was to the dance music of Toure Kunda,  the Senegalese band whose records spiced up countless mid-80’s parties at University.  After their bright flash across the consciousness of American college kids TK seem to have faded from view. Sad, because they opened an intriguing window into the music of that West African country, that their disappearance or fall from critical favour, seemed to slam shut.

Today the spotlight is back on Senegal with a fabulous double disc set called African Pearls: The Spirit of Teranga Senegal.


A languid tour of Senegalese music as if on a local bus that stops frequently at village after village.  In no hurry to get to wherever you think you’re supposed to be going but by the time you get there your questions have been answered. Though curiosity is peaked and you are hungry for more.

Disc one is traditional music played on traditional instruments, to ancient rhythms. Disc two is full of that sleepy, sexy Latino club sound, played on loosely strung guitars and drum kits from another era.

All very addictive.



Track Listing: (Disc 1)
01 Mbueguel [Aminata Fail]
02 Boulmamine [Ensemble National du Senegal]
03 Niani [Amadou N’Diaye Samb]
04 Bambo Bodian [Lalo Keba Drame]
05 Fall Amadou Abdoulaye [Diabou Seck]
06 Tiedo [Ensemble National du Senegal]
07 Nieti Abdou [Ndiaga Mbaye]
08 Listakhar [Ensemble National du Senegal]
09 Saraba [Samba Diare Samb]
10 Birma Maofal [Ensemble Lyrique Sorano]
11 Bandia [Soundiolou Cissokho and Mahawa Kouyate]
12 Balingor [Soleyamama Et Watoo Sita]
13 Laagia [Samba Diabare]
14 Irando [Ensemble Lyrique Sorano]
15 Diegoye [Fa Mbaye Issa Diop]
16 Borom Keur [Thione Seck]
17 Lamine Gueye [Orquestre Baobab]

Track Listing (Disc 2)
2-01 Senegal Sunugal [Orquestre Baobab]
2-02 Jankaake [Star Numer One]
2-03 Santa Barbara [Super International Band]
2-04 Nobel [Ouza Diallo]
2-05 Laagia [Nigewei International]
2-06 Saraba [Ifang Bondi]
2-07 Simbondon [Star Numer One]
2-08 Aduana Jarul Naawo [Orquestre Baobab]
2-09 Thiely [Star Band]
2-10 Wallou ! [Guelewar Band]
2-11 Aminta [Labah Sosseh]
2-12 Waalo [Star Number One]
2-13 Ade [Xalam]
             


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ready?: Freddie Hubbard


Freddie Hubbard

I played the trumpet or tried to, as a lad. While my efforts were pretty lame and abandoned pretty quickly, I still love the instrument.  Freddie Hubbard, one of the all time greats of the trumpet/flugelhorn is my favourite player of the bugle.  Tonight we share one of his all time great albums, from 1961, Ready for Freddie, about which AMG had this to say.

Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard really came into his own during this Blue Note session. He is matched with quite an all-star group (tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Art Davis, and drummer Elvin Jones in addition to Bernard McKinney on euphonium), introduces two of his finest compositions ("Birdlike" and "Crisis"), and is quite lyrical on his ballad feature, "Weaver of Dreams." Hubbard's sidemen all play up to par and this memorable session is highly recommended; it's one of the trumpeter's most rewarding Blue Note albums.

And this bio from the same source.

One of the great jazz trumpeters of all time, Freddie Hubbard formed his sound out of the Clifford Brown/Lee Morgan tradition, and by the early '70s was immediately distinctive and the pacesetter in jazz. However, a string of blatantly commercial albums later in the decade damaged his reputation and, just when Hubbard, in the early '90s (with the deaths of Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis), seemed perfectly suited for the role of veteran master, his chops started causing him serious troubles.
\Born and raised in Indianapolis, Hubbard played early on with Wes and Monk Montgomery. He moved to New York in 1958, roomed with Eric Dolphy (with whom he recorded in 1960), and was in the groups of Philly Joe Jones (1958-1959), Sonny Rollins, Slide Hampton, and J.J. Johnson, before touring Europe with Quincy Jones (1960-1961). He recorded with John Coltrane, participated in Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz (1960), was on Oliver Nelson's classic Blues and the Abstract Truth album (highlighted by "Stolen Moments"), and started recording as a leader for Blue Note that same year. Hubbard gained fame playing with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (1961-1964) next to Wayne Shorter and Curtis Fuller. He recorded Ascension with Coltrane (1965), Out to Lunch (1964) with Eric Dolphy, and Maiden Voyage with Herbie Hancock, and, after a period with Max Roach (1965-1966), he led his own quintet, which at the time usually featured altoist James Spaulding. A blazing trumpeter with a beautiful tone on flügelhorn, Hubbard fared well in freer settings but was always essentially a hard bop stylist.

In 1970, Freddie Hubbard recorded two of his finest albums (Red Clay and Straight Life) for CTI. The follow-up, First Light (1971), was actually his most popular date, featuring Don Sebesky arrangements. But after the glory of the CTI years (during which producer Creed Taylor did an expert job of balancing the artistic with the accessible), Hubbard made the mistake of signing with Columbia and recording one dud after another; Windjammer (1976) and Splash (a slightly later effort for Fantasy) are low points. However, in 1977, he toured with Herbie Hancock's acoustic V.S.O.P. Quintet and, in the 1980s, on recordings for Pablo, Blue Note, and Atlantic, he showed that he could reach his former heights (even if much of the jazz world had given up on him). But by the late '80s, Hubbard's "personal problems" and increasing unreliability (not showing up for gigs) started to really hurt him, and a few years later his once mighty technique started to seriously falter. In late 2008, Hubbard suffered a heart attack that left him hospitalized until his death at age 70 on December 29 of that year.Freddie Hubbard's fans can still certainly enjoy his many recordings for Blue Note, Impulse, Atlantic, CTI, Pablo, and his first Music Masters sets.


Track Listing:
01 Arietis
02 Weaver Of Dreams
03 Marie Anoinette
04 Birdlike
05 Crisis
06 Arietis (alt tk)
07 Marie Antoinette (alt tk)


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bollywood Gone Africa: Harafinso


For our last in this mini-series of the cinematic ‘woods’ taking or providing inspiration to Bollywood, we travel to Kannywood, in northern Nigeria.

In the early 1990’s I was working for some months on the borders of Iran and Iraq. We lived in tents on a sort of heavily mined DMZ on a plateau in the dry dun hills that rose steadily into the Zagros mountains. The nearest city, to which we repaired once a fortnight or so, was Suleymaniah, the largest centre of Kurds in Eastern Iraq.

On one trip into town I swung through the crowded bazaars in search of a particular brand of cigarette.  The constricted street led into a small square which was crowned with a cinema hall.  That evening’s show was a potboiler from India called Insaaf ke Tarazu (Scales of Justice). I had been aware that Bollywood films were popular beyond the borders of India but this was the first time I had actually seen Indian heroes and heroines doing their moves and making their faces on posters in a foreign land.

A few months before arriving in Iraq, I had spent a long time in Pakistan working for the UN; I was interviewing refugees from Iraq and Iran for resettlement in the West. One Iranian young man took the interview in flawless Urdu.  I was surprised and impressed and asked him how he had become fluent. I suspected he might be a local student and was trying to rort the UN system to get to Europe. He insisted that he’d learned Urdu from watching Bollywood movies on TV. One day, he hoped to return to the sub continent to try his hand at acting. 

Raj Kapoor’s giant hit of 1955 Shri 420 , had been a major hit in the Soviet Union and other East European countries. Across the Middle East and South East Asia, people who otherwise spoke not a word of Hindi, could rattle off entire dialogues from Indian films.  Indeed, for the developing and recently Independent former colonies of Asia and Africa, the films of Bombay were a sort of cultural security blanket, far more important to popular culture than the films and heroes of Hollywood which were causing similar waves in post war Europe. 

And like jazz, that American music that found such fertile ground around the world, the playback singer based music of Hindi cinema, was the soundtrack for millions of African, Middle Eastern and Asian youth growing up in the 50s-70s.

So I wouldn’t say I was surprised but rather entirely pleased to discover through today’s featured record, Harafinso: Bollywood Inspired Film Music from Hausa Nigeria. Put out by the excellent cultural warriors at sahelsounds this record gives the world the chance to listen into contemporary popular music from Kano and Kaduna and the Islamic lands of northern Nigeria.

Full post and goodies here


Monday, May 6, 2013

Other logs from the Fire: Kollywood

And for many years the most exciting, challenging, innovative and free flowing film music has come from the music directors, composers and musicians of Tamil Nadu.

Full post and goodies here

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Other logs from the Fire: Tollywood



Continuing the journey through the Woods of sub-continental cinema, tonight’s stop is a place called, even less convincingly than Lollywood, (wait for it)...Tollywood. 

Where the hell is Tolllywood you might ask? 

Read full post and goodies here