"Creating a journey of songs that have traveled up hills and down mountains, traversed open grasslands and floated down rivers, huddled in tiny villages, crept past lonely rooms and wafted out onto misty churchyards, Márta Sebestyén has truly triumphed with her latest I Can See the Gates of Heaven… Hungarian Religious and Secular Songs. Carving out elegantly wrought musical signposts with her shapely vocals, Ms. Sebestyén lays down a path to the rich, ripe folk traditions of Hungary’s past. I Can See the Gates of Heaven… is astonishingly good.

With appearances on more than 100 recordings like the movie soundtrack The English Patent, Deep Forest’s Boheme, Peter Gabriel’s Big Blue Ball and Kismet, Ms. Sebestyén’s stellar career also includes performances throughout Europe, China, Japan and the United States, as well as, numerous awards such as the St. Martin Prize, Fellini Award, a Grammy Award and a Golden Giraffe. Joining Ms. Sebestyén on I Can See the Gates of Heaven… are musicians Mátyás Bolya (dudák, shepherd’s flutes, fujara, tárogató, saxophone and overtone singing), a member of the Moldavian music scene and a researcher at the Folk Music Archive of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Musicology and Balázs Szokolay Dongó (lute, and zithers), a former member of Békés Banda and a bagpipe teacher at the Óbunda Folk Music School. Together, they have turned their talents toward the revitalization of the Hungarian folk tradition.

Stringing pearls of melodies and folk songs into sparkling tracks, I Can See the Gates of Heaven… opens with the eerily ancient sounding “Vision,” incorporating the Moldavian ‘Csángó’ Hungarian tunes “Mountains and Valleys” and “Mary Lullabye.” Dipping into a font of overtone singing by Mr. Balázs and achingly lovely vocals by Ms. Sebestyén, “Heritage” pairs the Eastern sounds of a Cheremis song with the delightful lonely sound of a shepherd’s song. The quaintly Medieval-sounding “Flower Gatherers” shimmers with flute, tin whistle and koboz.

The vibrant jaunt that is “Sending off Sorrow” includes “If You Too, Laci…,” “Goat-Like Dance” and “A Rhythmic Yell” from the Moldavian ‘Csángó’ tradition. The solemn “Invocation” is crafted out of potently reverent “Oh, Saint Stephen” before blossoming into the Eastern flavored “Don’t Let Me Fall…” with a sultry serpentine saxophone and koboz. The bright ribbon of folk melodies on “Valiant Knights,” “Good King Matthias” with its winding troubadour melody and couple dance and finally “Evening Prayer” with the opening Middle Ages melody “Kyrie” and delicate flute and zither work steep I Can See the Gates of Heaven… in crystalline beauty.

Ms. Sebestyén’s silvery vocals and expressive delivery surely cast a spell over the listener, invoking rich folk images of Hungary that only sparkle more brightly with the additions of Mr. Balázs on flutes, fujara and saxophone, along with Mr.Dongó on koboz and zithers. I Can See the Gates of Heaven… is a delightful journey, colored by centuries of Hungarian tradition, preserved and presented by these true Hungarian masters."

1. Látomás / Vision
2. Örökség / Heritage
3. Virágszedők / Flower gatherers
4. Bú-küldöző / Sending off sorrow
5. Könyörgés / Invocation
6. Válogatott vitézek / Valiant knights
7. Jó Mátyás király / Good King Matthias
8. Estéli ima / Evening prayer

Márta Sebestyén - voice, flute, tamburine
Balázs Szokolay Dongó - bagpipe, flutes, saxophone
Mátyás Bólya - Moldavian lute, zither


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René Lacaille is the musical embodiment of the unique Creole culture of the Indian Ocean island of La Réunion, incorporating African, Indian, Madagascan and European rhythms and instruments. On the album Mapou, this remarkable singer, accordion player, guitarist and extraordinary songster tells the story of his troubadour life, which highlights the evolution of the music of La Réunion and features (among others) the fascinating styles of séga and maloya.

"Music fans will have to read the informative liner notes to Rene Lacaille's Mapou to get a detailed explanation of how Creole culture came to La Reunion, which is a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Like Creoles everywhere, the La Reunion's culture is a mixed one: in this case made up of slaves and free people from Africa, India, Madagascar, Europe and China. Son of a working musician who played events of all kinds on the island, Lacaille has broad range of styles at his disposal. The album opens with an African-influenced "Madina" (featuring ukulele, triangle, and bongos) and moves through a very fulfilling but varied 20-song program where elements of tango, bolero, cha cha cha and calypso come out in such local strains as sega and maloya. Singing in Creole, Lacaille's voice is warm and inviting even to those who don't speak the language. A veritable inside-out version of western hemisphere Creole music, Mapou is a one-of-a-kind listening experience."

Tad Hendrickson

01. Madina
02. Ogardanou
03. La Bou Dan Fon
04. Lusaka
05. Game Zoboc
06. Isis
07. La Mandoz
08. Atmosfer
09. Kiz'n Man
10. Mazurka 28
11. Dalonaz
12. Titep
13. Pecheur Quat'sou
14. Sega 58
15. Zamalgamer
16. La Roses Si Feuilles Songes
17. Cabaret Sam
18. Quand Moin La Quitte Mon Pays
19. Lo Ker I Bat
20. Cos Cote


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A miraculous eastern whirlwind breaks up from this music, an eddy that nips you away like a dream! Natural easiness, joyful power that makes you fly. The latest album of Grandpierre Attila's group playing world music of ancient power is characterized by freshness from Middle-Asian, Moldavian, Transdanubian, Chinese and Indian folk music. In the endless plains of Eurasia the horse-riding people lived through this compelling world of experience,from which the impressive folk music of the ancient steppe was born, speeding on the back of galloping horse throughout thousands of years. On this CD the Vágtázó Csodaszarvas (Galloping Wonder Stag) lets the magic power of the compelling of music free. Everithing is pervaded by the fascinating feeling when the energy is liberated, the gates to the living universe open wide, and the cosmic creating power of the All blooms there. The Galloping Wonder Stag gives over the direction of its music to the miraculous cosmic creating power living within us. This is the secret of its genuineness of ancient power.

01. Napkapu- Sungate
02. Hunok Csatája - Battle Of Huns
03. Ének A Csillagokig - Song To Reach For The Stars
04. Tengertánc - Dance Of The Sea
05. Égi Áramlás - Heavenly Flow
06. Mámoros Éji Vágtázás - Ecstatic Galloping At Night
07. Emlék - Memory Of An Other Life
08. Emberélet - Human Life

Attila Grandpierre - voice
Csaba Bakos - percussion
Botond Bese - bagpipes
Róbert Benkő - double bass
András Fazekas - drums
András Fábri - cister
Géza Fábri - strings
Bernadett M. Gebri - vocals
Krisztina Molnár - violin
Géza Orczi - tapan, ud, saz, buzuki, dzura, tambura, tamburica
Zsolt Vaskó - wind instruments


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"The Klezmatics have always chosen the path less traveled in its 20 years as a band. And with a variety of lefty political messages injected into traditional klezmer music, there's no disputing its reputation as radical. This live effort is a collaboration with guest singers Joshua Nelson and Kathryn Farmer joining in on the fun. The Newark, New Jersey-based Nelson brings (believe it or not) a serious gospel music flair to four songs, turning the klezmer band into a fire-and-brimstone gospel group as he exhorts both the players and the crowd on songs like gospel standard "Walk Into Jerusalem." The remarkable pairing is more balanced on the rest of the album, but never better than on "Shnirele, Perele," a duet featuring Nelson and Klezmatics singer Lorin Sklamberg that has an ecstatic drama that bridges these seemingly contradictory religious cultures. The album's eight new songs and two hits is as good a collection yet produced by this band, and one of the most remarkable examples of genre-bending heard in years.

To the question of what this all means in terms of Frank London's sense of new American Jewish music, he responded: "Links in the chain, Ari." Which takes me back to where I began: the dialogue about what it means to be Jewish is alive and well. Judaism and Jewish culture are no longer frozen in time as they seemed to be during my growing up in the shadow of WWII. The Holocaust didn't succeed. Bands like the Klezmatics—especially the Klezmatics, are playing amazing music linked directly to the chain of Jewish tradition, and more. It's perfectly okay to purchase this album because it contains great live music. What makes this album great is that there is so much more here than mere great live music. Enjoy."

Tad Hendrickson

"The entire band pitches in vocally on several cuts to great effect, particularly on a cheerful a capella 'Moses Smote the Water´, and the instrumental contributions from the 'Matics are superb as usual, with particular garlands due Matt Darriau´s reeds. A pure delight from start to finish."
Songlines, March/April 2005

"One spiritual transformation after another... makes being black and Jewish seem as obvious and natural as matzo."
John Szwed, The Village Voice, New York

"A moving summit of African-American, Jewish worker's, spiritual and festive songs."
Peter Müller, Berliner Morgenpost

01. Eyliyohu hanovi (trad., arr. London)
02. Elijah rock (trad., arr. Klezmatics and Joshua Nelson)
03. Ki loy nue (trad., arr. Klezmatics)
04. Shnirele, perele (trad., arr. Klezmatics)
05. Walk in Jerusalem (trad., arr. Klezmatics and Joshua Nelson)
06. Go down Moses (trad., arr. Klezmatics and Kathryn Farmer)
07. Moses smote the water (trad., arr. Klezmatics)
08. Oh Mary don't you weep (Sam Cooke / Leroy Crume)
09. Didn't it rain (trad., arr. Klezmatics, Joshua Nelson)
10. Ale brider (trad., arr. Klezmatics)

Lorin Sklamberg: lead vocals, accordion
Frank London: trumpet, keyboard, organ, vocals
Matt Darriau: alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet, vocals
Lisa Gutkin: violin, vocals
Paul Morrissett: bass, tsimbl, vocals
David Licht: drums, vocals

Joshua Nelson: lead vocals, piano, organ
Kathryn Farmer: lead vocals, piano, organ


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01. Eszterlánc - Elvész A Nyom
02. Csik Zenekar - Csillag Vagy Fecske
03. Vágtázó Csodaszarvas - Hunok Csatája
04. Cimbaliband - De Szépen Szól A Cimbalom
05. Dutar - Idegen Vendég A Kinai Menyegzőn
06. Fabatka - Nyáron Piros Télen Kék
07. Istvánfi Balázs - Duda Blues
08. Mydros - Pote Vudas Pote Kudas Anapse To Tsigaro
09. Khamoro - E Mery-Mari
10. Topán György - Két Csárdás Dallam
11. Fondor- Szerelmes A Muzsikás
12. Vágtázó Csodaszarvas - A Zene Lakodalma
13. Etnorom - Kotyka Tele Bassaven
14. Borbély Dresch Quartet - Erdély Blues
15. David Murray & Balogh Kálmán Gipsy Cimbalom Band - Ballada
16. Udrub - Parfume De Gitane
17. Morotva - Cifra Palota
18. Agocs Gergely - Három Árva
19. Herczku Ágnes - Arany És Kék-Kalotaszeg
20. Kallós Zoltán - Bonchidai Gyűjtés Ritka Csárdás
21. KMB - Volt Egyszer Egy Rózsa
22. Relax - Earthrise
23. Chagall Klezmer Band- - Shabechi Yerushalayim
24. The Transform Quintet - Sushi
25. Csik Zenekar - De Szeretnék
26. Hirős Zenekar - Menyasszonykisérő
27. Unger Balázs És Barátai - Bulgáros-Arges
28. Szerelmem Nagysajó - Tizet Ütött Az Óra
29. Fodor Sándor Neti - Legényes
30. Dresch Quartet - Tedd Rá
31. Szilvási Gipsy Folk Band - Phurdel Balval Duj Duj Deshuduj
32. Cimbaliband - Oppadirida
33. Fonó Zenekar - Három Éjjel Három Nap
34. Csillagok Palotája - Egy Lengyel Ének

Link 1.
Link 2.
Link 3.

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The band Cicala Mvta was founded in 1994 by its leader Wataru Ohkuma who is rated as one of the most innovative musicians of contemporary Japanese music. He is a superb player of the clarinet, saxes, vibes and accordeon. As producer and bandleader Wataru Ohkuma had participated in many revolutionary recordings of the 80ties (a.o. "Soulflower Mononoke Summit"). Wataru Ohkuma merges in his music Okinawa-style music and other traditional Japanese forms like Jinta with western composition techniques and traditions. Some say this CD "Ching Dong" is the Japanese answer to Giora Feidman and to Fanfare Ciocarlia. The bands name, Cicala Mvta is Italian and is written as the epitaph on the gravestone of the greatest street singer songwriter of popular music in Japan before the 1920s,Soeda Azembo, who at the time around 70 years ago, unable to speak his mind in fear of being thrown into prison, like having a cicala stuck in his throat, a "mute cicada".

The band Cicala Mvta merges Japanese Chindon music with own compositions and traditional music from various ethnic regions. Ohkuma plays a composition by Paul Dessau as well as Kabuki-melodies (Shi-chome) and Nepalese wedding dances or Klezmer songs.

Basis is Chindon music which until 50 years ago was a popular street form of advertising. Chindon bands were common in Japanese cities where new openings of shops, inaugurations of Pachinko's a.o. were announced by them.

In Cicala Mvta brass bands from Balkan meet Klezmerbands as well as New Orleans Marching Bands within the overcrowded streets of Tokyo.

The British magazine "FolkRoots" about "Ching Dong":
“The stirring debut album by Cicala Mvta, Wataru Ohkuma's own band, produces complex, challenging and powerful music.”

01. Ohfuku Jinta
02. Punku Mancha No Odori
03. Rajamati Kumati
04. Michikusa No Tameni
05. Azuma Hakkei
06. Fratanisation Song
07. Okuni Tsujiru Tobira
08. Turkish Dance
09. Nekomushi Ga Hairu Kara
10. Aohige No Yu-Utsu
11. Shi Come
12. Punku Mancha Reprise

Wataru Okuma (clarinet, bass clarinet, vocals),
Yoshiyuki Kawaguchi (saxophone),
Yoshiki Sakurai (guitar),
Takero Sakijima (tuba, recorder),
Tatsuya Yoshida (drums, vocals),
Keisuke Ota (violin, vocals),
Yoshiaki Sato (accordion),
Yoichiro Kita (trumpet),
Akiko Watanabe (trombone),
Miwazo Kogure (ching-dong, gorosu)


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So many excellente musicians on one recording! "Composer-musician M. Montanaro, with Vents d'Est, rewrites the geographical map of Europe with jazz and folk music, Czech, Slovak, Serb, Hungarian or French violins and harmonies are laced sometimes with swing sometimes with sacred music."

01. Orient express
02. Várom
03. Marina
04. Cancon d'amor
05. Jeux d'enfants
06. Turca
07. Rotroenge
08. L'erba d'ongria
09 Migrations

Miqueu Montanaro - galube, tamburine, flutes


Szarka Tamás - violin
Buják Andor - clarinet, viola
Buják Krisztián - clarinet
Szarka Gyula - double bass
Pukkai Attila - cimbalom

Borbély Mihály - clarinet, saxophone
Horváth Zoltán - tambura
Béhr László - cimbalom
Eredics Gábor - accordion, tambura
Szendrődi Ferenc - tambura
Eredics Kálmán - double bass

Écsi Gyöngyi- vocal

Serge Viallat - piano
Ökrös Csaba - violin
Alan Vitous - percussions
Kobzos Kiss Tamás - vocal
Viliam Mesko, Rudolf Cikatricis- fujara

Galambos Edit, Mózes Katalin, Polák Ildikó, Pócs Erzsébet, Urbán Valéria, Szatmáry Zsuzsa, Zábreczky Tímea


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Big thanks for Frankie for the CD!

If only for the ethnic composition of the group, Vershki Da Koreshki is one of the most radical ensembles in the world. Composed of a Tuvan singer and musician (Huun-Huur Tu's lead singer, Kaigal-ool Khovalyg), two Russian avant-garde jazz instrumentalists (Vladimir Volkov and pianist/accordionist Alexi Levin), and a Senegalese singer and percussionist (Mola Sylla), Vershki Da Koreshki truly brings the world under one musical umbrella.
The group's multi-weave of East and West is dazzling. The wiry Asian inflections of Khovalyg's awe-inspiring throat singing abut complex tribal polyrhythms and Sylla's warm West African melodies. These disparate elements are spliced with progressive jazz accompaniment and wild improvisational soloing, creating a shifting, seething whole that is at once dark, evocative, propulsively rhythmic, and celebratory. As the band's name indicates ("Vershki" is Russian for 'leaves,' while "Koreshki" means 'roots'), these international experimentalists are simultaneously anchored in fundamental world rhythms and dedicated to exploration in the more ethereal realms. They meld the two approaches to create an organic whole. THE REAL LIFE OF PLANTS, the band's debut, is more than a musical document. It is a beautiful articulation of a singular global musical vision.

01. Real Life Of Plants
02. Chimtchak Salghin
03. Vershki Da Koreshki
04. Pitchendebin
05. Ana
06. Khomouz-Bas
07. Borbannaadyr
08. Doudobas
09. Toumkoumani
10. Khoomei-Bas
11. Choro Baye Samba
12. Koreshki Da Vershki
13. Berioza

Mola Sylla (Senegal) - vocal, kongoma, xalam, kalimba
Kaigal-ool Khovalyg (Tuva) - vocal, khoomei, ighil, khomyss, khomouz, amyrga
Alexei Levin (Holland) - accordion, prepared accordion, piano, khomuss, doudka, chen
Vladimir Volkov (Russia) - double bass


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"Hellwood is Johnny Dowd, Jim White, and Willie B; three distinct songwriter/musicians brought together by years of friendship, mutual respect, and camaraderie.

You wouldn't want to visit Hellwood, a place bereft of hope and spiritual sustenance whose population, the CD cover claims, numbers only three: melancholy observers of the underside of the American Dream Jim White and Johnny Dowd, and the latter's drummer, Willie B. Chainsaw of Life is replete with psycho-tableaux of life's losers - which home territory for White and Dowd, with the latter acknowledging his pessimistic tendencies in "Thomas Dorsey", comparing the gospel songwriter's inspirational work with his own output. "I sing songs of lust and depravity," he apologises, "That's the only kind of song that comes out of me." But there's an abundant musical enthusiasm about their collaboration, ranging from mordant alt.country, punk-blues and Beefheartian marimba-rock to the wan combination of banjo and melodica that underscores White's admission, in the concluding "Dream On", that "I might be a dreamer/But I'm all dreamed out." Though not, on this showing, entirely free of nightmares."

"It’s a weird and wonderful journey the three artists paint with characters and scenarios that stretch the imagination. With every listen, new nuances about these stories reveal themselves."


"Coal-black gothic Americana from Johnny Dowd, Jim White, and Willie B that brings Tom Waits exotica and Vic Chestnutt wit to a sedately rocking David Lynch setting."
Classic Rock

"A concept album about God, Satan, death, war and an all-American, fucked-up family man, by Johnny Dowd and Jim White with Willie B: this marvelous mess of beat, punk, and country noir makes you worry more than usual about the U.S."
Sylvie Simmons, MOJO

"Cheer up. No matter how bad it gets, you can be pretty sure life will never plumb the depths depicted in Hellwood. The love child of Jim White and Johnny Dowd, the Burke and Hare of alt Americana, Hellwood begins with 'Thank You, Lord,' possibly the most sarcastic prayer ever uttered, and ends with the end-of-the-rope lullaby 'Dream On.' The fast food thumper 'Chicken Shack' and the battered relationship in 'A Man Loves His Wife' describe unremitting misery, but tenderness and beauty save the day."
The Mirror (London)

01. Thank You Lord
02. Fireworks Factory
03. A Man Loves His Wife
04. Alien Tongue
05. God's Back Pocket
06. Chicken Shack
07. Spider In The Bed
08. Thomas Dorsey
09. The Good Die Young
10. Man In A Plaid Suit
11. Ten Commandments
12. Dream On


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