The singer-songwriter Georges Moustaki, who died on 23 May at the age of 79, described himself as a "wandering Jew" and a "Greek shepherd" in his signature song "Le Métèque", French slang for a mongrel, writes Pierre Perrone. Moustaki's nonchalant delivery and the diverse nature of the 300-plus chansons he composed for Edith Piaf, Juliette Gréco, Dalida and Françoise Hardy mirrored the easy-going, multicultural lifestyle of his native Alexandria, where his Corfiot parents ran a bookshop.
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Wednesday 11 November 2009
The Cinematic Orchestra defy classification. Is it jazz? Electronica? Hip-hop or trip-hop? Or movie soundtrack music? What is obvious, though, is that the shape-shifting outfit formed by John Swinscoe in the late 1990s does not lack musical conviction. Which other band could perform an hour-long instrumental accompaniment to an 80-year-old silent Soviet movie and be confident of a capacity crowd?
Monday 21 September 2009
You don't really dance to Massive Attack, so much as sway to their dark tones, acid house keyboards and soulful vocals. At Brixton Academy though, the once untouchable masters of trip-hop struggled to elicit even that muted reaction.
Sunday 09 August 2009
Feed five decades of black American music into a supercomputer, press "random", and you've got Twisted Tongue.
Thursday 18 June 2009
With its moody, ominous sound and pioneering mix of beats, samples and strings, Blue Lines, the debut album by the Bristol collective Massive Attack, defined a new musical genre, trip hop. Released in April 1991, the landmark album contained three hit singles – "Unfinished Sympathy", "Safe From Harm" and "Hymn Of The Big Wheel" – spent the next 18 months in the British charts and became part of the soundtrack of the early Nineties alongside grunge and Britpop.
Friday 08 May 2009
Friday 22 August 2008
During his relocation from Leeds to his new home and studio in Ibiza, Nightmares On Wax leader/producer opted to travel in a convoy of camper-vans carrying his equipment, sound engineer, band and singers, the caravan making stops to take in the sights and evoke moods and landscapes through impromptu recordings.
Monday 16 June 2008
Friday 21 March 2008
This elegant saunter around the streets of Paris touches on spots both familiar – St Germain is "a beatnik brat grown up to be an elegant and rather brainless matron" – and specialised: "Some of my happiest moments have been spent making love to a stranger beside dark, swiftly moving water below aglowing city." Whether he takes us into the entrancing past, with Theophile Gautier eating green, jellified marijuana at Le Club des Hachichins, or themundane present, typified by the new Bastille opera house like "a cow palace in Fort Worth", White is a wholly engaging guide to the city in which he spent 17 years of his life.
Tuesday 22 January 2008
Sunday 13 January 2008
Monday 07 January 2008
Mostly used for colour in rock and pop, the vibraphone has been a bona fide lead instrument in jazz for decades, most notably with Lionel Hampton, who presented a six-year-old Roy Ayers with a pair of mallets at a concert in the 1940s.
Sunday 28 May 2006
Sunday 05 February 2006
Sunday 12 September 1999
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