Thursday, February 12, 2009

rather lovely

Lionel Loueke - Incantation (lala) I've heard this Beninese jazz guitarist before, but not this album. Inspired by this announcement of his jazz workshop at UNO, which also offers a nice bio of Loueke. Incantation strikes me as a survey of pan-African music: Nigerian Afropop, Mali blues, etc etc run through the process of jazz. Rather lovely stuff.
Flügelschlag - Music for 3 Grand Pianos, 3 Composers, 3 Pianists (lala) This came up in the "also on this label" recommendations, and sounds like pushing both pan-Africa and the Jazz resulting from it through the mechanism of Minimalism. This is also rather lovely, and moving even.
Ecstatic Sunshine - Freckle Wars (ongakubaka) I saw these guys open up for someone in last couple of years, two guitarists surrounded by a tangled mass of pedals. A local musician nearby shouted it best over their scintillating din: "I remember when I got my first delay pedal too" but there was something more than that to what they were doing - in my hazy memory of it, they managed to occasional conjure a rising wave out of the waters in which they waded and rode that wave for just a few seconds, which is what I think they are after. This album comes off a little more organic than the grand continuum of electronics, paying tribute to the Ramones (and Buddy Holly a little too) in "Ramontana" and echoing a lot of the post-AfroPop guitarisms from the first on this list. The nakedness of two dudes guitaring it up for a whole album is a little wearing, but I keep thinking how much fun this music must be for them to play.

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