Maybe when you are Brazil’s most revered percussionist (Vasconcelos has played with Jan Garbarek and Pat Metheny among others) you feel obliged to stretch the bashing-and-tapping-things envelope. For there doesn’t appear to be any musical reason for what sounds like underwater conga playing or, for that matter, rigorous crisp packet shaking.
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Wednesday 21 July 2010
Friday 18 June 2010
Requiem in Blue is an ambitious, multi-disciplinary work in tribute to the composer's late brother, featuring sections of the Latin Mass in alliance with folk and jazz elements: in the opening "Introit & Kyrie", for example, Natacha Atlas's rendition of "Black Is the Colour of My True Love's Hair" presages the Latin text.
Friday 29 January 2010
Conceived in the late 19th century, the orchestrion was a large contraption allowing various instruments to be played by one musician simultaneously through an ingenious series of mechanical relays.
Friday 15 January 2010
Õÿö is Beninese diva Angelique Kidjo's celebration of her roots and influences, from early icons such as Miriam Makeba and the Togolese singer Bella Bellow to Santana – whose "Samba Pa Ti" brought the Saturday-night dances of her teenage years to romantic conclusions – and soul and funk legends such as Otis Redding, Curtis Mayfield, Aretha Franklin and James Brown.
Wednesday 21 October 2009
Kirsten Nematandani, the South African football president, is remaining tight-lipped on any possible successors to Joel Santana following the exit of the national coach.
Sunday 06 September 2009
Formed in Brazil in 1966, Os Mutantes combined pyschedelic rock with traditional Brazilian music to create a sound that has since found favour with artists as varied and influential as Beck, Byrne, Banhart and Kurt Cobain. But can the legend survive a new record, OM's first in 35 years?
Sunday 12 July 2009
Principally known for his keyboard works, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621) was also an accomplished madrigalist. Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam's three-disc set confirms his extraordinary facility for absorbing different styles, from the robust to the florid.
Album: Hille Perl, Lee Santana, Dorothee Mields, Dowland: In Darkness Let Me Dwell (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi)
Friday 13 February 2009
It might not be evident in Sting's versions, but the music of the 16th-century composer John Dowland involved an appreciation of the way despair could be surmounted by its transformation into melancholy artistic expression.
Monday 05 January 2009
It's testimony to the pulling power of Manu Chao that within hours of the announcement of two surprise UK December dates both had sold out.
Friday 22 August 2008
In February 1939 a young, unknown singer-songwriter got the most fabulous break of his life by recording a duet of his swinging samba "O Que É Que A Bahiana Tem?" ("What is it about Bahian Women?") with Brazil's biggest ever vocal star. The song became one of Carmen Miranda's signature pieces just before she took Hollywood by storm, and launched Dorival Caymmi as a leading figure in Brazilian song.
Sunday 27 April 2008
No one epitomises the enmansioned vocational rock muso of long, worthy standing more thoroughly than Winwood: he has been squelching up the path to his private studio of a morning for more years than seem plausible.
- 1 Cameron's freebie to apartheid South Africa
- 2 Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
- 3 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 4 Australian ultra-nationalist politician Stephanie Banister in car crash immigration TV interview
- 5 People will try to reduce Mandela to a lilting reggae tune about ‘love’. They will fail