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(2010 Archived Home Page)

 

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2010/12/27

Outstanding features this week include the first part of an exclusive in-depth interview with Afro-Latin jazz and jazz flute giant Mark Weinstein. The second part will follow next week. Because of its in-depth nature and great length this interview had to be split into two parts. Weinstein's latest album Jazz Brasil, to be released in January, was reviewed last week. Head to the Jazz page for more.

A second exclusive in-depth interview is with Sarah Gillespie, the giga volt electrifying Anglo American singer-songwriter whose latest album with jazz legend Gilad Atzmon, In The Current Climate, was also reviewed last week and is also to be released in January. Head straight for the Other Music or Jazz page for more.

Last but not least, a little special feature on Classic Soca Anthems From The Golden Age Of Soca and the music of Trinidad & Tobago (as well as the wider eastern Caribbean). The vibrant music of this part of the world is sadly too often ignored in the wider world of world music, and here we hope to take one small step in helping to set this to rights. For more head straight to the Other World Music page.

Also, more news on the ongoing campaigns to save BBC local radio shows, DJ Ritu's fabulous A World in London and the equally fabulous Mick & Lester's Folkwaves which are being axed in an act of utter cultural vandalism by the BBC. Also, the Save AWiL campaign has started an online petition - hopefully to be followed by a similar move from the Folkwaves campaign. Head straight to the Other World Music page for more on all of this.

 

Happy 2011!

Rainlore's World of Music

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2010/12/20

Not one, not two but three brand spanking new and fabulous albums are reviewed this week, two of which are to be released in January, a third in March.

There's Afro-Latin and jazz flute legend Mark Weinstein's superlative Jazz Brasil, an album of Brazilian music from a jazz perspective and jazz from a Brazilian perspective. The most mainstream of Weinstein's 'Brazilian' albums, there's something here for everybody. To go with the review and the new album, there's an exclusive in-depth interview with Mark Weinstein in two parts, starting next week! Head to the Jazz page for more.

Not only that, we also have fabulous Anglo-American singer-songwriter Sarah Gillespie's stunning In The Current Climate, with modern jazz legend Gilad Atzmon. Her debut album, Stalking Juliet, was the mutt's nuts of singer-songwriter albums - but here, Ms. Gillespie goes one better still! This is insanely fab-u-lous. Again, to go with the review and the new album, there's an exclusive in-depth interview with Sarah Gillespie next week! For more head straight to the Other Music or Jazz page.

And last but by no means least, there's the incredible Eclectica!'s Flight Of Fancy, slated for a March release. It's this wonderful jazz-string-quartet-with-a-difference's second outing on CD. How much more eclectic could you want your music? To find out more, head for the Jazz, Classical, or Other World Music pages.

If you have any interest at all in the wonderful accordion, last Tuesday BBC Radio 4 presented a fascinating programme titled The Big Squeeze with classical accordionist James Crabb. The programme deals with a bit of the modern history of the accordion, the amazing capabilities of the modern instrument, its importance to post-WWII Italian industry, and more. Absolutely riveting. Thanks go to fellow classical accordionist and composer Romano Viazzani for pointing the programme an link out. You have, sadly, by now just about one day left to catch up with it on BBC iPlayer.

Time is fast approaching for the scheduled end of such excellent BBC Local Radio programmes as DJ Ritu's A World In London and Mick & Lester's Folkwaves, as well as Celtic Fringe and possibly others we haven't yet heard about. Even as the campaigns to save these programmes gather strength and support, the respective BBC Local Radio stations seem hardly bothered to respond in any meaningful way. However, it increasingly looks like the BBC may actually be in breach of its local radio licence in scrapping these shows! For more, please head to the Other World Music page.

 

Happy Holidays!

Rainlore's World of Music

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2010/12/12

Two reviews of two very different albums from earlier this year this week. From the jazz world, there's the Philip Clouts Quartet's wonderfully accessible and delightful Sennen Cove. Clouts may be more familiar to many as pianist in long-running Afrobeat band Zubop/Gambia. Head for the Jazz page for more.

By way of complete contrast, there is leading UK Jewish music band Shir's outstanding Ashk'Farad, an enchanting album that should be of interest to general world music aficionados as much as to Jewish music specialists. Also, news of California-based fabulous Jewish music/world music band The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band's recent album launch for their Rainlore's World of Music Jewish Music Album of the Year, Klezmer At The Confluence, in Sacramento, Ca. For more head for the Jewish Music or Other World Music page.

Sad news from the world of Jazz is the passing away of jazz great James Moody from prostrate cancer this Thursday, 9th December, in San Diego, at the age of 85. Our heartfelt sympathies and condolences go out to his family. For more please turn to the Jazz page.

Meanwhile in the realm of world music, the campaign to save DJ Ritu's wonderful A World in London programme on BBC London 94.9 continues to gather pace, with more and more support also comig from various international world music organisations. Please help save London's - indeed, the UK's! - only comprehensive weekly two-hour radio programme devoted to world music by joining the campaign! Your world music show needs YOU! You can also find out how to help and keep up with the campaign on its blog as well as on twitter @saveawil. Don't be disheartened by the entrenched attitude of BBC London - the BBC had to cave in and change its mind before over BBC Radio 6! We can do it! Save AWiL!

For more details, also see News for 2010/11/23. More on the Other World Music page on this and other stories, including:

From Ian Anderson, editor of fRoots magazine: "Here's what's happening in Derby, just announced today. These campaigns should join forces to some extent. It's all part of a bigger picture. But unity is power!" See Save 'Folkwaves' on BBC Radio Derby campaign on Facebook.

Don't forget you can now keep up with Rainlore's World of Music on Facebook. New releases and selected gigs all over the planet feature prominently.

A new feature will also see the light of day very shortly on Rainlore's World of Music. Planned for a long time, interviews with leading as well as new artists from all spheres will commence soon, with the first two exclusives in preparation. They're going to be sensational!

 

Rainlore's World of Music

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2010/11/28

Astonishing, utterly amazing Anglo-American singer-songwriter Sarah Gillespie's brand new album In The Current Climate is due for release early January. A review copy has already found its way here, but all I can say for now is that it's a real cracker. Look for a review here soon. Meanwhile, this is a good time to catch up with a belated review of her 2009 debut album, Stalking Juliet, to whet your appetites. For more please head to the Other Music or Jazz pages.

There's a long way to go in the campaign to save DJ Ritu's most excellent A World in London Saturday evening show on BBC London 94.9 from the axeman, David Robey, head of the station who remains adamant that the show will end from the New Year. Please join the campaign to save this fantastic world music show on Facebook, or on its new blog. Ideally, both! Please help fight this appalling travesty, and don't be put off by the form letter sent out in reply by Robey's PA - keep arguing the case! The situation may not look good, but don't give up the fight. Dropping AWIL would be a double blow to world music on the BBC as Mark Cole's World Service World of Music show will also be dropped from next March.

For more details, also see News for 2010/11/23.

Stand up for your rights as a licence payer and don't give up!

As we're getting very near the end of the year, this is as good a time as any to pick Rainlore's World of Music's albums of the year, book of the year, and a few really outstanding albums from the past decade. So here goes.

Albums of the Year:

(Joint) Jazz Album of the Year: Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble - The Tide Has Changed & Wyatt/Atzmon/Stephen - For The Ghosts Within

Latin Jazz Album of the Year: Mark Weinstein - Timbasa

Jazz Trio Album of the Year: Nicolas Meier - Breeze

World Jazz Album of the Year: Meier Group - Journey

Jazz Fusion Album of the Year: Asaf Sirkis Trio - Letting Go

Newcomer Album of the Year: Pete Roth - Meridian

World Music Album of the Year: Mehran - Angels of Persepolis

'Klez-Jazz' Album of The Year: Stewart Curtis' K-Groove - I Can't Hear U When U Shout

Jewish Music Album of the Year: Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band - Klezmer At The Confluence


Book of the Year: Dennis Burton - Lagan River, Black Mountain


Outstanding Albums of the Past Decade:

Jazz Album of the Noughties: Gilad Atzmon - In Loving Memory Of America

Jazz Fusion Album of the Noughties: Asaf Sirkis Trio - The Monk

Latin Jazz Album of the Noughties: Mark Weinstein - Con Alma

(Joint) Piano Trio/Piano-led ensemble Album of the Noughties: Frank Harrison Trio - First Light & Louis Stewart with The Frank Harrison Trio - You've Changed

Classical/Jazz Album of the Noughties: Eclectica! - And This Is One Of Them

Classical Album of the Noughties: Modern Guitar Orchestra (Nicolas Meier) - Vivaldi - Four Seasons

Singer-songwriter Album of the Noughties: Sarah Gillespie - Stalking Juliet

Accordion Albums of the Noughties (Triptych): Romano Viazzani - Encore; Piazzolla - Ángel Suite, Bobiç - Liturgical Suite & Viazzani takes Stok

(Joint) World Music Albums of the Noughties: Guillermo Rozenthuler - The Blue Hour/La Hora Azul & Guillermo Rozenthuler & Rio Platenses - A Route To The Roots

Jewish Music/Klezmer Album of the Noughties: Adrianne Greenbaum - Fleyt Muzik


That's it!

You can now also follow Rainlore's World of Music on Facebook!

 

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2010/11/23

Special: BBC plans to axe DJ Ritu's A World in London Saturday evening world music show on BBC London 94.9FM

For a great many years now the schedule of the BBC's local London radio station, BBC London 94.9 FM, has included a Saturday early evening programme that, broadly speaking, covers the realm of world music. For many years, this was the late great Charlie Gillett's The Sound of the City show, and when Charlie became too ill he passed on the reins to DJ Ritu and her A World in London show. In the nearly two years (if memory serves) that A World in London has now been running, it and indeed its superb presenter DJ Ritu have become something of a unique national institution and even national treasure, being heard far beyond the London area via the internet.

No other programme so well reflects London's - and indeed Britain's - hugely diverse multicultural population musically as AWIL. It brings the music of diverse culture to its audience, something that cannot be found elsewhere on British airwaves, and moreover all this is presented most excellently and entertainingly. Beyond that, AWIL is also highly educational and most decidedly helps broaden its audience's musical and cultural horizons. As such, DJ Ritu and her AWIL show make an invaluable contribution to not only the general culture of this country but to its multicultural society and to greater tolerance and understanding.

Now, the BBC plans to axe this most excellent programme at the end of December! This would be singular, shameful act of cultural vandalism and is simply beyond comprehension and belief.

Please support DJ Ritu and help save the wonderful programme that is A World in London. You can do so in a number of ways:

You can keep up with what is happening with Save DJ Ritu's A World in London show on BBC London on Facebook.

Please send emails of support to DJ Ritu to: saveawil@gmail.com

You can show your support by writing a personal email to David.Robey@bbc.co.uk cc'd to the Director General Mark.Thompson@bbc.co.uk, also please cc to save AWIL@gmail.com just in case some messages get classed as spam and don't get through to the powers that be. Many thanks!

You can also lodge your complaints on the BBC Complaints - Homepage.

Emailing yourlondon@bbc.co.uk may also be useful.

Please help save A World in London! Unity is Power! Let's try to keep A World In London on the air and get this disgraceful decision overturned.


In other news:

If you missed tonight's Jamie Cullum show on BBC Radio 2 with jazz giant Gilad Atzmon you can catch it on BBC iPlayer for the next seven days, or download the podcast.

On Sunday 28th November you can also catch the BBC Radio 3 broadcast of the Asaf Sirkis Trio's London Jazz Festival performance at the Clore Ballroom, South Bank Centre of last Friday, 19th November, on the Jazz Line-Up show at 11.30pm.

 

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2010/11/21

Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble celebrated their tenth anniversary in style with a three-set tour de force at London's Artsdepot last week, as part of the London Jazz Festival. It is of course reviewed here. Nobody who was there will forget this marathon extravaganza of the best jazz on the planet. For more, see the Jazz page.

At long last, there's a new album from Stewart Curtis' K-Groove. The review of I Can't Hear U When U Shout should have gone up last week, but alas a very peculiar computer problem resulted in files having been temporarily inaccessible and thus this review had to be held over for this week. Go to the Jazz or Jewish Music pages for more on this excellent album from Curtis.

On the jazz scene, don't miss tonight's album launch gig for Pete Roth's Meridian album at the Guildford Jazz Club at the Rowbarge pub in Guildford, Surrey. See the Jazz page for details.

On the world music side of things, legendary folk singer Danny Spooner has now completed his latest album, on the subject of Hunting And Poaching. Go to the Other World Music page for more.

Rainlore's World of Music is in the process of establishing a presence on Facebook, so you'll be able to keep up with all the latest from there as well soon. A presence on mySpace Music has also been planned for some time and should be implemented fairly soon.

Finally, as we are nearing the end of the year, another first for Rainlore's World of Music. For the first time, "Albums of the Year" will be selected in various categories and announced with the next update. (Only albums released during 2010 will qualify.) Also, some very special albums of the past decade (i.e., albums released during the "noughties").

 

Rainlore's World of Music

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2010/10/30

Just a quick addendum of an item that accidentally got left out on 28th.

Don't miss the most exciting singer-songwriter since Janis Joplin, the fantastic, fabulous Sarah Gillespie tomorrow, 31st October, 8 pm at The Vortex Jazz Club, 11 Gillett Square, Dalston, London N16 8JH. Website http://www.vortexjazz.co.uk - phone 020 7254 4097. More details - Jazz page, Other Music page.

 

Rainlore's World of Music

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2010/10/28

To kick off this week, three reviews of three very different albums. Jeff Berlin, one of the great pioneers of the electric bass in jazz, presents us with something a bit different from his more usual fusion fare and something a bit special with his High Standards - as the title might suggest, an album of great standards. And indeed, needless to say, very high standards. For more head to the Jazz page.

Mehran may be a name as yet unfamiliar, but certainly is one to look out for. His album Angels of Persepolis is an outstanding blend of flamenco guitar, Latin forms, and Persian melodies and an excellent representative of the world music genre, and with jazz ambitions. Go to the Other World Music as well as the Jazz page for more.

From the world of avant garde/experimental music, we have a review of Random Touch's Reverberating Apparatus. Don't dismiss this out of hand, an open mind could prove rewarding. Head for the Other Music page for more.

Jazz titan Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble's 10th Anniversary Extravaganza, comprising of no less than three full sets and featuring a number of special guest artists, takes place at the Artsdepot on Thursday, 18th November, as part of the London Jazz Festival. Be there or be square! As both Atzmon gigs and London Jazz Festival events such as this tend to sell out fast, early booking is advisable.

Meanwhile, traps and jazz fusion giant Asaf Sirkis' next London date with his Asaf Sirkis Trio, promoting their new album Letting Go, is the following evening at The Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall on Friday, 19th November, also as part of the London Jazz Festival.

Also taking part in the London Jazz Festival is the incomparable genius of the ivories, pianist Frank Harrison (also of Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble). He can be seen with his Frank Harrison Trio and singer Tina May at The Pheasantry on Saturday, 20th November. More details of all these events on the Jazz page.

Still vaguely and very broadly on the topic of jazz, Mike Gerber, a writer for the Jewish Socialist Magazine, a publication of the Jewish Socialists' Group, and author of a tome somewhat dubiously titled Jazz Jews, is to host a show on UK-based internet radio station UKJazzRadio.com, like his book titled, perhaps somewhat disturbingly, Jazz Jews. From Gerber's press release, it would appear that this is to be a "Jews only" show. Discover why this is so disturbing on the Jazz and Jewish Music pages, and if you too object to ghettoization, be sure to let UKJazzRadio.com know. [This item has now been moved into a separate article.]

An even more disturbing matter has also come to my attention in the form of a prominent Sephardi Rabbi and former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rav Ovadia Yosev's pronouncements as part of a sermon reported in the Jerusalem Post of 18th October. While I generally endeavour to keep politics off this site, the truly horrifying statements by the good Rav cannot be ignored. At a time when the Jazza Festival in London just days earlier, and also just days earlier an unprecedented uncensored no holds barred interview with Gilad Atzmon and Robert Wyatt in Haaretz, gave hope that not only had the tide changed but maybe, just maybe there might be the beginnings of a real sea change with regard to the situation pertaining to Israel and Palestine, the Rav comes along and crushes any such optimism with an insight into what is truly one of the darkest kinds of mentality imaginable. Welcome to the dark side, Lu... err, Yisrael? For the full story, go to the Jewish Music and Jazz pages. [This item has now been moved into a separate article.]

 

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2010/10/17

What a momentous week it's been! Two glorious days of glorious music of all kinds at the fabulous Jazza Festival 2010, which is of course reviewed, with page 2 here)! The review runs into two full pages, and courtesy of the multi-talented Tali Atzmon, who kindly supplied some of her excellent photographs, it is also beautifully illuminated. Head straight for the Jazz, Other Music, and Other World Music pages for more on this great event.

This two day festival also saw the launch of the brilliant new Robert Wyatt/Gilad Atzmon/Ros Stephen album For The Ghosts Within, also reviewed at last. For more, head straight to the Jazz and Other Music pages.

 

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2010/10/10

With only two days to go now until the start of the Jazza Festival of Music, be sure not to miss this fabulous event at the Scala in London on 12th & 13th October. In the last couple of days, an appearance by Palestinian hip-hop queen Shadya Mansour has also been confirmed for this. For more details on this please see the Jazz page. There, you will also find details of updated profiles for Gilad Atzmon, Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble, as well as Asaf Sirkis, and updated A/V Page for Mark Weinstein, as well as all the other news from the world of jazz.

Also updated is the A/V page for contemporary Yiddishe blues singer Wolf Krakowski - for details go to the Jewish Music page.

The monumental Lagan River, Black Mountain two-volume epic novel by Dennis Burton, originally reviewed from an early preview copy, has now been fully edited, and the review has consequently been revised to reflect this. For more go to the Literary page.

 

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2010/10/03

Friday the 1st was the date for Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble's tenth anniversary The Tide Has Changed album launch at Ronnie Scott's. This was an occasion not to be missed, and it is of course reviewed. For more as well as for details on other forthcoming Atzmon & The OHE gigs head straight to the Jazz page.

 

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2010/09/28

The launch gig for their new Letting Go album saw the Asaf Sirkis Trio Live at The Spice of Life on Thursday the 23rd. Of course, a review of this outstanding event was inevitable! Any Asaf Sirkis gig is a unique experience, and this one proved to be something extra special. For more, go straight to the Jazz page.

Also in the world of jazz, the launch gig for Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble's forthcoming album The Tide Has Changed is approaching very fast now. Be sure not to miss this likewise unique experience at Ronnie Scott's on Friday the 1st October. There are two sessions, doors open 6pm for the first and 10.30pm for the second. More details for this and the whole tour can be found here.

On the world music scene, we have a review of another recent album by legendary folk singer Danny Spooner, Years Of Spooner, a fabulous compilation of his first forty years of recording. For more, see the Other World Music page.

 

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2010/09/19

From the world of Jewish music, poste haste a review of The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band's recently released third album, Klezmer At The Confluence - Jewish Music From Sacramento. Don't let the sub-title mislead you - the Freilachmakers' brand of music fits very nicely into general world music with its innovative blend of a miscellany of Jewish music and that distinctive southern Appalachian Old Time string band style and fabulous clawhammer banjo. More on the Jewish Music and Other World Music pages.

On the jazz front, don't forget this week sees the incredible Asaf Sirkis Trio's exciting launch gig for their new Letting Go album at the Spice of Life in London on 23rd September. (Details.) Not to be missed!

Also, time's approaching fast for the one and only Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble's main launch gig for their forthcoming 10th anniversary album, The Tide Has Changed, at Ronnie Scott's in London on 1st October. Don't forget the album itself will be available from 4th October (for pre-order deatails see the review). The tour is already underway. Also, keep the Jazza Festival in mind - it's all happening on 12th and 13th October at the Scala in London.

Good news from Oz - folk singer hero Danny Spooner's on the mend and has managed to make all gigs. No stopping this man! For news of the forthcoming review of another of Spooner's recent albums see the Other World Music page.

And finally, the sad death of soca artist Arrow (Alphonsus Cassell) from complications of brain cancer was announced on the 15th. For more, go to the Other World Music page.

 

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2010/09/12

Available at last is the review of the one and only Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble's tenth anniversary album, The Tide Has Changed. To be released on 4th October on World Village/Harmonia Mundi, this momentous album is not to be missed, nor is the extensive associated UK and European tour. For more and all the other news from the jazz world, head to the Jazz page.

Also on the Jazz page, the Jazza for Gaza Festival has issued a release that's reproduced there in full.

On the steel pan side of things, two reviews that were lost a few years ago and turned up in their first draft recently have been given completely new reviews now. One may also be of mild interest on the jazz front. This is Rudy Smith, Annise Hadeed, Felix Roach & Friends' Pan-Jazz Improvisations. The other is Pamberi Steel Orchestra's Carnival Madness, a wonderful compilation of their Panorama entries from 1988 to 1999. More on the Steel Pan page.

On the world music/folk side, a review of another recent album by legendary folk singer Danny Spooner should be up soon. In the meantime, news from Oz is that Danny Spooner was taken ill this last week and may have to miss a few gigs. However, hopefully he'll be fine for his Washington, DC engagements in October. Get well soon, Danny and take it easy!

 

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2010/09/05

If variety is the spice of life, we certainly have a very spicy dish today. From the jazz scene, there's a review of a forthcoming debut album from young guitar talent Pete Roth, Meridian. Also, a review of Eclectica!'s incredible debut album from 2009, And This Is One Of Them... For more head straight to the Jazz page.

Still on the jazz front, time's rolling on for the fabulous Asaf Sirkis Trio's Letting Go album launch gig at The Spice of Life in London on 23rd September - be sure not to miss this exciting date. Details on the Jazz page.

Also, there's news of the most anticipated album release of the year - and forthcoming review - there. Plus, a new A/V page for the incredible Nicolas Meier, and updated A/V pages for the one and only Gilad Atzmon and Asaf Sirkis.

On the folk/world music front, another recent album by legendary folk singer Danny Spooner, Brave Bold Boys, is reviewed - for more, see the Other World Music page.

Another album review comes in the shape of sensational metal band Seven7's 2009 debut album, Try Something Different. More on the Other Music page.

All the above reviews include a very appetising sample track.

In the Jewish music area, there is a new A/V page for the fabulous Wolf Krakowski, also featuring the equally fabulous Fraidy Katz, and Koby Israelite's A/V Page is also updated. Details on the Jewish Music page.

Last but not least, in the Steel Pan section there's news of two forthcoming album reviews - more on the Steel Pan page.

 

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2010/08/17

An update to the news item of 2010/08/08 on Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble's 10th anniversary album, The Tide Has Changed, and tour is now available on the Jazz page. Don't miss!

 

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2010/08/08

Recently, legendary Anglo-Australian folk singer Danny Spooner, at the tail-end of his recent UK tour, dropped off some of his recent albums and thus two of them are reviewed here now, Emerging Tradition, a collection of (fairly to very) recent songs from down under, and his latest album, Bold Reilly Gone Away, the finest collection of authentically performed sea shanties yet. More on the Other World Music page.

Although ready in all but html formatting, a review of guitar ace Tassos Spiliotopoulos' debut album with the Tassos Spiliotopoulos Quartet from 2006, Wait For Dusk, unfortunately didn't make the last update but is here now at last. A fine debut to be taken note of! For more go to the Jazz page.

All of the above reviews are accompanied by a very tasty sample track.

Staying with the jazz scene for a moment or two, modern jazz titan Gilad Atzmon has just officially announced The Tide Has Changed, the 10th anniversary album and tour of Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble for this autumn. No firm dates yet, so watch this space. A review of the album will of course follow ASAP. It's certainly promising to be a real cracker!

The album and tour of course feature, apart from Atzmon himself on saxes and clarinets, ivories supremo Frank Harrison and master bassist Yaron Stavi, the "new kid on the block", drummer Eddie Hick, who has taken over at the traps since Asaf Sirkis' departure in 2009. Hick was originally 'discovered' by Atzmon while attending one of the latter's seminars. It can be taken as read that a musician of Atzmon's standing and calibre does not work with anything less than exceptional artists, and thus Hick seems to have fitted just dandy into the OHE.

Gilad Atzmon - The Tide Has Changed Poster
Meyer Group - Journey

Meanwhile, guitar phenomenon Nicolas Meier is having the proper album launch for the Meier Group's Journey at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho, London (0845 6027 017), on Thursday 12th and Friday 13th August. Personnel will be, in addition to Meier on acoustic guitars, glissentar and baglama, drum genius Asaf Sirkis, Pat Bettison on bass and his outstanding harmonica, Chris Jerome on piano and Mark Lockhart on soprano and tenor standing in for Gilad Atzmon. Exciting stuff and not to be missed!

For more dates and venues check out the Meier Group's MySpace page.

Also, watch out for more news from Nicolas Meier including new albums with his groups Eclectica! and metal band Seven7 soon.

Last but by no means least, the review of Dennis Burton's exciting, fascinating two volume epic novel Lagan River, Black Mountain is finally ready. Nothing less than a literary masterpiece, this should be the great Belfast novel. More on the Literary page.


NB - Regrettably, upload of the above news for 8th August, and the complete site update, was delayed till 17th August.

 

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2010/07/21

Arriving here hot of the presses in the last couple of weeks has been drum and jazz fusion genius Asaf Sirkis' latest and much anticipated album with his Asaf Sirkis Trio, Letting Go, to be released on 23rd September. We have an early review of it, and advance copies are also available now on Sirkis' web site and from Jazz CDs UK. Be sure not to miss the Asaf Sirkis Trio's exciting launch gig at The Spice of Life in London on 23rd September! For more details go straight to the Jazz page.

The same line-up as the Asaf Sirkis Trio can of course also be heard as the Tassos Spiliotopoulos Trio, consisting of guitar wizard Tassos Spiliotopoulos, foremost drummer of our time Asaf Sirkis, and that finest of young bass masters Yaron Stavi. Tassos Spiliotopoulos' recently released album with his trio, Archipelagos, is also reviewed at last. Go to the Jazz page for more. (The Tassos Spiliotopoulos Quartet's earlier release from 2006, Wait For Dusk, will also be reviewed very shortly.)

The review of Dennis Burton's epic two-volume novel Lagan River, Black Mountain will also come up very soon now. At some thirteen hundred pages this is an extremely beefy work to get through, especially as my time is very constrained presently. Exploring "The Troubles" of Northern Ireland, it is also a riveting read that I just hate to have to put down. More on the Literary page.

 

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2010/07/04

A quick album review today - Breslov Bar Band's newly released debut album Have No Fear, as infectious as anything and with wide appeal across genres. Go to the Other World Music or Jewish Music pages for more on this fabulous release.

Coming up soon, a review of a veritable modern 'War And Peace', a substantial two-volume epic novel exploring "The Troubles" of Northern Ireland spanning five decades from 1941 to 1996 by Dennis Burton, to be published shortly. More on the Literary page.

Regrettably won't be fully up-and-running again for a while yet.

 

Rainlore's World of Music

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2010/05/02

At last caught up with reviews of two outstanding albums by sensational Latin (amongst others) singer Guillermo Rozenthuler - already familiar on this site through his association with Gilad Atzmon And The Orient House Ensemble and reviews of one of their gigs at the Pizza in Soho, London, and their outstanding album Musik. Guillermo Rozenthuler & Rioplatenses' A Route To The Roots is their fabulous live debut album of traditional songs from Argentina and Uruguay released in 2008, while the equally fabulous Guillermo's The Blue Hour - Songs From Argentina is a superb collection of traditional Argentine songs and originals recorded in Buenos Aires and released in 2004. This extraordinary singer, a kind of João Gilberto and Carlos Gardel rolled into one, really is not to be missed. Go to the Other World Music, Other Music, Jazz, or Jewish Music pages for more.

I expect to likely have to take a break from updating the site for about six to eight weeks due to surgery shortly, but more will follow ASAP.

 

Rainlore's World of Music

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2010/03/28

The world of music, and world music in particular, lost one of its greatest advocates and champions with the death of Charlie Gillett at the age of a mere 68 following a long illness on 17th March. Gillett's many achievements include the seminal book The Sound of the City, the first comprehensive history of popular music, the discovery of, among others, Dire Straits and Ian Dury's first band Kilburn and the High Roads (the latter of whom he also managed), several long-running radio shows including The Sound of the City on BBC London 94.9 from 1995 to 2006 when he sadly had to relinquish it due to health issues and Charlie Gillett's World of Music on BBC World Service since 1999. In the 1980s, he was also the first DJ to play Montserratan soca singer Arrow's perennial monster hit Hot Hot Hot on British radio, and Charlie Gillett was also one of the influential group of people who - reluctantly - coined the term "world music". Gillett's enthusiasm for world music was as tireless as his efforts to promote it, both in the UK and internationally. Many international world music artists acknowledge owing their career to Gillett. In 1991, Charlie Gillett was awarded the Sony Gold Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2006 The John Peel Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music Radio by the Radio Academy.

Gillett's weekly half hour BBC World Service show, Charlie Gillett's World of Music, was compulsive listening for anybody with half an interest in any kind of world music. Charlie Gillett will be sorely missed by all whose lives he touched.

Our thoughts at this sad time are with Gillett's wife Buffy, daughters Suzy and Jody and son Ivan, and two grandchildren. RIP, Charlie Gillett.

 

A special feature in the form of a television review may serve to further draw attention to the plight of the British brass band. BBC2's A Band For Britain, broadcast on consecutive Mondays this month, focused on one of the many of the remaining brass bands that are failing, the Dinnington Colliery Band, and, with the more than capable help of the unstoppable and irrepressible Sue Perkins at its helm, attempted to revive this band with a proud 100-plus year history. The programme also served as a last-minute wake up call to the peril the glorious brass band movement faces, and maybe it can serve as a rallying cry to save our glorious British brass band heritage before it's too late!

 

Rainlore's World of Music

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2010/03/14

One album review and an article this week hope to draw attention to two - almost - "cause celebres". The album in question is the magnificent The Music Lives On: Now The Mines Have Gone, featuring The Best Of Colliery Bands, while the article, Double Zed Music - Everything Accordion! explores one of the finest accordion resources on the web.

The Music Lives On: Now The Mines Have Gone is a compilation album featuring some of the greatest British colliery brass bands surviving today, as well as some of the finest brass band music selections. The album was released to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the end of the last great miners' strike on 3rd March 1985, as well as to celebrate the survival of the colliery bands and the brass band movement. Go to the Classical, Other World Music or Other Music pages for more.

Sadly, however, it seems to me that celebrating the survival of the brass band movement may be a little premature when so many former colliery and other brass bands have perished since the 1980s, and many more are struggling to survive today - both financially and in attracting new membership. When even a quite well-known band from a basically fairly prosperous corner of southern England so very nearly faced extinction a few years ago, it certainly became very obvious that the whole brass band movement was facing problems. And it's not only the demise of the mining industry and its support for the colliery bands that's been at the root of these problems. Far more, and more seriously, it is changing public tastes and attitudes. Sadly, the glory days of the height of the most widespread popularity of British brass bands of the 1970s and early 80s have long gone. The days when brass band was televised regularly by the BBC, when brass band even penetrated the pop charts, when in 1977 the Brighouse & Rastrick Band scored a massive and unprecedented singles hit with The Floral Dance and were only prevented from reaching the No. 1 spot by the release of Paul McCartney's Mull of Kintyre, or when new-wave pop star Jona Lewie had a monster hit with brass band accompaniment in Stop The Cavalry that was only stopped from reaching the No. 1 spot by the sad death of John Lennon and the speedy re-release of some of his records. And who could possibly forget the 1970s Hovis Bread TV commercial with Shaftesbury's Gold Hill standing in for a road somewhere in what we were supposed to believe to be Yorkshire, with a young lad carrying a loaf up the steep hill to the unforgettable strains of the second movement of Dvorak's Symphony From The New World played by a brass band (if memory serves, the Black Dyke Mills Band?)!

Despite the occasional flashes of brilliance since those days (such as 1995's Brassed Off movie), somehow the braas band movement never quite captured the wider public imagination to anything like the same extent again. In the 1970s, there were some 20-30,000 brass bands in Britain, yet today we are left with a mere 500-1,000 perhaps, and many of those are struggling. And this is a very sad state of affairs indeed. Brass band music is not only absolutely glorious music, it's as quintessentially British as Yorkshire pudding, cheddar cheese, pork pie, the great British banger, a sense of fair play and tolerance, the glorious British landscape, excentricity, the Last Night of the Proms, the British sense of humour, jellied eel, pie and mash, fish and chips, 'warm' beer, panto, the boat race, Ascot, the Grand National, Mrs. Beeton, curry and chips, the institution of the monarchy, wippets and greyhounds, cream teas, and whatever else you might care to think of. The brass band is a British tradition and heritage to be immensely proud of and that ought to be cherished and nurtured. Isn't it time we all in Britain took more of an interest and pride in some of the best and finest traditions of the land and kept our heritage alive and well? Before it's too late?

One really has to hope that The Music Lives On: Now The Mines Have Gone, as well as the currently running BBC 2 television series A Band For Britain (about the struggles and revival of the Dinnington Brass Band, aided by irrepressable TV presenter Sue Perkins) will go some way in helping to widen popular interest in brass band music and the heritage as a whole.


Double Zed Music - Everything Accordion! explores what is probably the greatest single accordion music resource on the web, ZZ Music. Everything from accordion albums by a huge variety of artists, accordion sheet music, books and more to accordions of the highest pedigree from Claudio Beltrami. Head for the Classical, Other World Music or Other Music pages for more.

Again, accordion music, especially in the UK, tends to be rather neglected and/or ignored. All too often, the accordion is still regarded as either something somewhat old-fashioned or "humble". Yet, neither could be further from the truth. The accordion is one of the most versatile instruments around and finds a place in just about any type of music you could think of, from folk right up to jazz and classical music - concertos have even been written for it, including a contemporary one in the last ten years by accordion maestro extraordinaire Romano Viazzani (three of his solo accordion albums were recently reviewed on this site). If you labour under the very much misguided impression that the accordion is simple or "humble", then you really ought to have a look at - and more importantly, a listen to some of the finest accordions around as played by some of its finest exponents. Even the accordion's still more "humble" cousing, the concertina, is anything but. Not only could a good quality instrument cost you enough to have to extend your mortgage, but again it has found its way into all manner of musical styles including classical - indeed, many a folk concertina player is classically trained on the instrument.

The accordion is at least very much alive, but it certainly is deserving of much wider popular interest in this country especially. Maybe you'd like to explore a little further?

 

Rainlore's World of Music

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2010/03/07

At last catching up with amazing jazz piano virtuoso Frank Harrison's first leader albums, we have two reviews. First, the Frank Harrison Trio's First Light, and then Louis Stewart and the Frank Harrison Trio's You've Changed. Although dating from 2006 and 2007 respectively, these albums are as fresh as the day they first hit the streets and are just breathtaking. Delicious sample tracks with the reviews to bowl you over as well. There's more on the Jazz page.

The 2008/09 version of the "Home" page has now been archived, along with all other relevant section pages.

Finally, it has come to our attention that there appear to be a few minor problems with our web forms, specifically with radio buttons and check boxes, with some browsers. This is continuing to be checked out, but as everything seems to work just fine in Internet Explorer, it seems likely that the problem lies with the other browsers in that they may not have fully implemented this aspect of forms. In which case there appears little that can be done about it other than to suggest you temporarily switch to Internet Explorer in order to use our forms, if you are affected. Flash based forms might be another option longer term.

 

Rainlore's World of Music

© 2010 Rainlore's World of Music/Rainlore. All rights reserved.

 

 

2010/02/28

To end the month, three reviews of more outstanding albums. There's more from guitar virtuoso Nicolas Meier in the shape of his 2004 album Vivaldi - Four Seasons, with a multi-tracked Meier forming the Modern Guitar Orchestra. As fresh as the day it was released, this album is more than worth another look - Vivaldi as you've never heard before! Go straight to the Classical, Jazz or Other Music pages for more on this electrifying sensation. You'll find an irresistable teaser in the form of a sample track with the review.

There's more for guitar aficionados - Eyal Maoz & Asaf Sirkis' Elementary Dialogues album from last year is another thriller. The review's also complete with a mouth-watering sample track. Maoz will be more familiar to those on the other side of the Atlantic, where he has become a mainstay of the Downtown scene in NYC. You'll find more on the Jazz, Jewish Music, and Other Music pages.

Last but by no means least, and still more from near-ubiquitous traps icon Asaf Sirkis with the SGS Group, Inc.'s SGS Group, Inc. presents... The "SGS" here stands for Simcock-Goloubev-Sirkis, a jointly-led trio with bassist Yuri Goloubev and pianist Gwilym Simcock. Dating from 2008, it's great to catch up with this exciting album of 'new standards' from the previous generation of jazz masters such as Allan Holdsworth, Bobby Watson, John Taylor, Buster Williams and others, and there's a sample track as well to tempt you. More on the Jazz page.

 

Rainlore's World of Music

© 2010 Rainlore's World of Music/Rainlore. All rights reserved.

 

 

2010/02/15

A sad loss to not just the jazz but the whole music world is the death of altoist Sir John Dankworth on 6th February at the age of 82 following an illness of several months. The finest British jazzman of his era, Johnny Dankworth introduced bebop onto the British scene, having played with Bird. He also first brought one of the finest jazz singers of all time, later his wife, Dame Cleo Laine, to public attention. Sir John was often said to have selflessly held back on his own career in order to promote and support Dame Cleo's. They have two children following in their footsteps, bassist Alec Dankworth and singer Jacqui Dankworth. Sir John also formed The Dankworth Generation Band with son Alec in the 1990s. Not only a great musician but also a great human being, Sir John lives on in his music and in the legend that he became long ago.

At this sad time, our thoughts are with his wife and family.

Rest in piece, Sir John.

 

Out this month are three outstanding new jazz releases, reviewed here. Released on 9th February is jazz flute and Latin jazz /Afro-Cuban jazz giant Mark Weinstein's latest album, Timbasa. Sizzlingly hot! Even if you just like to groove, this sensational album is a must!

Also released this month are two new, long-awaited albums by guitar phenomenon Nicolas Meier, Breeze with The Meier Group and Journey with the Nicolas Meier Trios, one acoustic, the other electric. Don't miss!

All three reviews are accompanied by mouth-watering tasters in the form of sample tracks.

And there'll be another stunning Nicolas Meier album reviewed next time.

More on all three of these fabulous albums on the Jazz and Other World Music pages.

 

A month after the quake, and the world's media have more or less forgotten about Haiti. The distribution of aid still seems somewhat sporadic, and there still doesn't appear to have been any positive action on temporary resettlement and reconstruction. With the rainy season not far away and the Hurricane season starting quite soon after that, one can only shudder in horror at how much more suffering the people of Haiti will still have to endure. It is the collective shame of the so-called "civilised world" and its leadership.

 

Rainlore's World of Music

© 2010 Rainlore's World of Music/Rainlore. All rights reserved.

 

 

2010/01/31

Some more "catch-up" album reviews today, and a retrospective literary one. From 2006, there is exquisite Yiddish singer Fraidy Katz's remarkable and adventurous album The Eternal Question - Di Alte Kashe. Yiddish song with a twist! There's a fab sample track to go with the review, of course. For more on this please see the Jewish Music page.

Accordion maestro Romano Viazzani, one of the very finest exponents of his instrument of the younger generations and already familiar on this site through his association with contemporary jazz legend Gilad Atzmon's extended Orient House Ensemble, released a trio of superlative solo accordion albums in 2007. Titled Piazzolla - Ángel Suite / Bobiç - Liturgical Suite, Encore, and Viazzani takes Stok respectively, they could and probably should be regarded as a boxed set but work just as well individually. Together, they span a huge variety of genres and styles. A gourmet feast for every accordion lover! And just to wet everyone's appetite, there's a glorious sample track accompanying each review. Go straight to the Classical, Other World Music or Other Music pages for more.

The retrospective litarary review covers bestselling master storyteller W. A. Harbinson's fantastical 1991 novel Dream Maker. This seemed especially warranted in view of the fact that most reviews and descriptions of this previously encountered were factually inaccurate and fairly obviously seemed to indicate that their authors had not even bothered to actually read this novel as their plot summaries do not bear much resemblance to the actual plot. Please visit the Literary page for more.

 

A Happy 2010?

Hardly an auspicious beginning to the New Year when almost three weeks after the initial quake, most of the people of Haiti are still waiting for the aid they so desperately need. In fact, the whole situation is an utter disgrace and surely must outrage any caring and righteous person. Whoever is supposedly organising this aid effort evidently couldn't organise a piss-up (a boozing session) in a brewery! From where I stand it looks more like a cynical exercise in self-promotion by the various aid agencies and governments involved.

Strange how aid efforts in similar circumstances, sometimes in almost inaccessible areas with disrupted or destroyed infrastructure, have been much more rapid and successful in the past. Oh, silly me, perhaps I forget that these involved situations where Western tourists, Western economic or strategic interests or any two or all three were involved? After all, what's little Haiti? Of no economic or strategic value, and hardly a typical holiday destination. Just another pain-in-the-neck third world country, and one of the poorest at that.

I have always been more than a little cynical when pop and/or film "stars" have become involved in fundraising efforts for one disaster or another. Another golden opportunity for self-promotion. Sure enough, there very quickly came a fundraising "Telethon" for Haiti on US TV. Some of the "stars" involved even actually gave the odd million or so dollars themselves. Wow - am I supposed to be impressed? Well, I'm not. What's the odd million or so to these people - it's like the odd ten bucks for the average Joe. Not to mention the PR value! If they'd really just wanted to do something useful for disaster relief and the like, they'd just open their wallets generously and keep shtumm about it. And the total that this "telethon" raised is hardly impressive either, given the size of the American population and the American economy. Little Britain (with a lower case "l" - not the comedy series of that title!) managed to raise more than twice the amount in the same period, and without any kind of "telethon".

Still, in any event, what's the use of any donations by the general public when so little aid is actually reaching the people who need it the most?

But then, it's "just Haiti" anyway... Same old same old, really.

 

Finally, a huge thank you for a few more recent donations to this site. These now make it possible to send out all remaining CDs of photographs of gigs reviewed that are still owed to various artists. Unfortunately, a lot of my contact information has been temporarily lost, but I'll endeavour to catch up with everybody concerned ASAP.

 

Rainlore's World of Music

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Reviews

 

Reviews added 2010/12/20:

Eclectica! :  Flight Of Fancy (2010/12/18)

Sarah Gillespie with Gilad Atzmon :  In The Current Climate (2010/11/29)

Mark Weinstein :  Jazz Brasil (2010/11/25)

 

Reviews added 2010/12/12:

Philip Clouts Quartet :  Sennen Cove (2010/12/07)

Shir :  Ashk'Farad (2010/12/08)

 

Reviews added 2010/11/28:

Sarah Gillespie :  Stalking Juliet (2010/11/26)

 

Reviews added 2010/11/21:

Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble :  Live At The London Jazz Festival, Artsdepot, London, Thursday 18th November, 2010 (2010/11/21)

Stewart Curtis' K-Groove :  I Can't Hear U When U Shout (2010/11/12)

 

Reviews added 2010/10/28:

Jeff Berlin :  High Standards (2010/10/26)

Mehran :  Angels Of Persepolis (2010/10/27)

Random Touch :  Reverberating Apparatus (2010/10/27)

 

Reviews added 2010/10/17:

Jazza Music Festival London 2010, Scala, 275 Pentonville Road, London N1 9NL, Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th October, 2010 (page 1/2) (2010/10/15)

Jazza Music Festival London 2010, Scala, 275 Pentonville Road, London N1 9NL, Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th October, 2010 (page 2/2) (2010/10/15)

Wyatt/Atzmon/Stephen :  For The Ghosts Within (2010/10/17)

 

Reviews added 2010/10/03:

Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble :  Live At Ronnie Scott's, London, Friday 1st October, 2010 (2010/10/03)

 

Reviews added 2010/09/28:

Asaf Sirkis Trio :  Live At The Spice Of Life, London, Thursday 23rd September, 2010 (2010/09/27)

Danny Spooner :  Years Of Spooner (2010/09/20)

 

Reviews added 2010/09/19:

The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band :  Klezmer At The Confluence (2010/09/15)

 

Reviews added 2010/09/12:

Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble :  The Tide Has Changed (2010/09/02)

Pamberi Steel Orchestra :  Carnival Madness (2010/09/06)

Rudy Smith, Annise Hadeed, Felix Roach & Friends :  Pan-Jazz Improvisations (2010/09/07)

 

Reviews added 2010/09/05:

Eclectica! :  And This Is One Of Them... (2010/09/01)

Pete Roth :  Meridian (2010/08/30)

Seven7 :  Try Something Different (2010/08/31)

Danny Spooner :  Brave Bold Boys (2010/08/29)

 

Reviews added 2010/08/08:

Tassos Spiliotopoulos Quartet :  Wait For Dusk (2010/07/20)

Danny Spooner :  Bold Reilly Gone Away (2010/08/03)

Danny Spooner :  Emerging Tradition (2010/08/03)

Literary Review :
Dennis Burton : Lagan River, Black Mountain (2010/08/05)

 

Reviews added 2010/07/21:

Asaf Sirkis Trio :  Letting Go (2010/07/18)

Tassos Spiliotopoulos :  Archipelagos (2010/07/20)

 

Reviews added 2010/07/04:

Breslov Bar Band :  Have No Fear (2010/06/24)

 

Reviews added 2010/05/02:

Guillermo :  The Blue Hour - Songs From Argentina (La Hora Azul) (2010/04/29)

Guillermo Rozenthuler & Rioplatenses :  A Route To The Roots (2010/04/29)

 

Reviews added 2010/03/28:

Television Review: A Band For Britain (March 2010, BBC2) (2010/03/23)

 

Reviews added 2010/03/14:

The Best Of Colliery Bands :  The Music Lives On: Now The Mines Have Gone (2010/03/09)

 

Reviews added 2010/03/07:

Louis Stewart and the Frank Harrison Trio :  You've Changed (2010/03/07)

Frank Harrison Trio :  First Light (2010/03/07)

 

Reviews added 2010/02/28:

Eyal Maoz & Asaf Sirkis :  Elementary Dialogues (2010/02/28)

Nicolas Meier - Modern Guitar Orchestra :  Vivaldi - Four Seasons (2010/02/16)

Simcock-Goloubev-Sirkis - SGS Group, Inc. presents... (2010/02/28)

 

Reviews added 2010/02/15:

Nicolas Meier :  Journey (2010/02/14)

Nicolas Meier Trios :  Breeze (2010/02/14)

Mark Weinstein :  Timbasa (2010/02/14)

 

Reviews added 2010/01/31:

Fraidy Katz :  The Eternal Question - Di Alte Kashe (2010/01/24)

Romano Viazzani :  Encore (2010/01/28)

Romano Viazzani :  Piazzolla - Ángel Suite, Bobiç - Liturgical Suite (2010/01/28)

Romano Viazzani :  Viazzani takes Stok (2010/01/28)

Lit. Review:
W. A. Harbinson :  Dream Maker (2010/01/22)

 

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Artists' Profiles

 

Profiles added 2010/10/10:

Gilad Atzmon (updated/revised 2010/10)

Gilad Atzamon & The Orient House Ensemble (updated/revised 2010/10)

Asaf Sirkis (updated/revised 2010/10)

 

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Articles & Features

 

Features/Articles added 2011/01/03:

The Rainlore Interview: Mark Weinstein (Part Two) (2010/12/16)

 

Features/Articles added 2010/12/27:

The Rainlore Interview: Mark Weinstein (Part One) (2010/12/16)

The Rainlore Interview: Sarah Gillespie (2010/12/20)

Classic Soca Anthems From The Golden Age Of Soca (2010/12/26)

 

Features/Articles added 2010/03/28:

Television Review: A Band For Britain (March 2010, BBC2) (2010/03/23) Three-part series that focused on the plight of the failing Dinnington Colliery Band and, 'under the baton' of Sue Perkins, aided the band's revival.

 

Features/Articles added 2010/03/14:

Double Zed Music - Everything Accordion! Article exploring what is probably the greatest single accordion music resource on the web, ZZ Music. Everything from accordion albums by a huge variety of artists, accordion sheet music, books and more to accordions of the highest pedigree from Claudio Beltrami.

 

Features/Articles added 2009/07/26:

Composing and Arranging for the Steel Pan - Part I : Basics / An Overview of the Special Issues in Writing and Arranging for the Steel Pan By Richard A. Sharma

 

 

Info

 

Please note that the old Guzikow Archives have been moved to the Archived Pages section.

 

 


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