Posts Tagged ‘Jazz’

Carl Weingarten’s Pastoral Trek

June 2, 2014

An Echoes Favorite Evokes Windham Hill, Miles Davis and Ry Cooder in a Pastoral Americana Journey
Hear it tonight on Echoes

life_cover_250I don’t know why I’m surprised that Carl Weingarten has made an album of such sweet simplicity and pastoral bliss. I shouldn’t be. Over the course of more than three decades this musician has taken so many twists and turns in his music that the only surprise would be if he repeated himself. I first heard of him in the early 1980s with the St. Louis progressive rock group Delay Tactics. That was followed by his ambient period reflecting the influence of Robert Fripp and Brian Eno. His move to San Francisco brought more acoustic elements into his music as he became a devotee of the dobro, a resonator guitar that he deployed on Redwood Melodies: A Traveler’s CompanionThe Bay Area’s vibrant world music scene also had an impact on albums like Blue Faith.

He brings many of these elements together on Life Under Stars, creating an album that’s like a ride through the countryside, with landscapes changing around every corner. You can smell the fresh air on the opening track, “I Remember Summer,” a wistful trek down a backwoods lane with Robert M. Powell’s yearning pedal steel guitar buoyed by the liquid flow of Michael Manring’s electric bass and some high plains piano from Kit Walker.

The album shifts between these Windham Hill like reveries to more spacey night sky excursions like “A Different Rain” and “Sundial.” The former track harkens back to his 1980s music, built around delays and loops of Weingarten’s electric guitar. Playing mostly solo, he creates a guitar chamber ensemble articulating a perfect, circular balance, like a Zen garden, but without using any Asian modes or instruments. “Sundial” is a free-float of dew-glistened sustained electric guitar suspended over a cycling acoustic guitar motif.

Ever since he picked up the dobro, Americana has been an important part of Weingarten’s sound, and it suffuses Life Under Stars, especially on tracks like “Western Overnight.” Once again Powell’s pedal steel calls down from a prairie heaven, casting a chrome glow over Weingarten’s rustic guitar and dobro.

Western Overnight

Carl Weingarten Live in Echoes Living Room

Carl Weingarten Live in Echoes Living Room

Michael Manring, Weingarten’s longtime associate, is all over the album, lending his deep rubbery bass lines to Weingarten’s compositions. He’s like a wise soul both anchoring and propelling Weingarten’s airy flights. Both musicians have been playing in a trio with trumpeter Jeff Oster over the last few years and you can hear a hint of that in the electric-Miles Davis inflections on “Nightwalk. ” It echoes In A Silent Way, with Celso Alberti’s brush stroked train groove and Troy Arnett’s piano-in-space mood laying the starfield for Oster’s muted trumpet melodies and Weingarten’s electric slide guitar.

Nightwalk

Only “Code Blue,” with its funky groove and Weingarten’s distorted blues guitar licks, sounds out of place. I guess it’s the roadside bar on Weingarten’s travelogue.

Weingarten’s compositions are so beautifully arranged it’s easy to forget that his guitar is the center of the album, sometimes a gentle, acoustic ramble; other times a celestial siren or a wild electric slide. A lot of musicians make albums inspired by nature, cross-country journeys and celestial reflections. Most of them are insipid. Carl Weingarten’s Life Under Stars is sublime. It’s a defining album for this underrated musician.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

life_cover_250Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get Carl Weingarten’s  Life Under Stars, the June CD of the Month. You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time. You can do it all right here.

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

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Thus Owls in Echoes Podcast

May 23, 2014

The Canadian-Swedish Band Thus Owls Talk about Turning Rocks on Echoes Podcast.

 

Thus Owls Parker Shper, Simon Angell, Erika Angell live on Echoes

Thus Owls Parker Shper, Simon Angell, Erika Angell live on Echoes

Thus Owls’ Erika Angell is a singer who isn’t afraid to cut loose.  Like Kate Bush and Tori Amos, she takes unexpected vocal flights, but unlike them, her voice is throatier, earthier giving her vocal turns a depth of knowing.  She can exude the declamatory sound of Siouxsie Sioux and the poignant refrains of Joni Mitchell. It’s the perfect voice for a band that brings a theatrical feel to Turning Rocks, their song-cycle of life on a Swedish island that is sometimes pastoral but often dark and haunted.  Thus-Owls_Turning-Rocks_cover With husband Simon Angell on guitar, Thus Owls conjures dramatic musical structures that range from gentle autoharp refrains to screaming 60’s style rave-ups replete with Farfisa organ and Wurlitzer electric piano.    They played live on Echoes a few weeks ago.  Now hear the story of this band whose influences range from Japanese surf guitar to Alice Coltrane organ; from Abba to Meredith Monk.  You can hear them talk about it in the Echoes Podcast.

Hear Thus Owls Powerful Live Performance at Echoes On Line

You can stream it on-demand from Echoes On-line, our streaming subscription service.  You can sign up for a 1 week trial of unlimited streaming for $2.99 here.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get Hans Christian’s Hidden Treasures, the May CD of the Month. You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time. You can do it all right here.
Hidden Treasures-225

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

 

 

10 Sun Ra Albums to Blow Your Mind

May 22, 2014

Calling Planet Earth: Sun Ra, the Original Space Musician:
The 100th Centenary on Echoes Tonight

StarburstTonight on Echoes, we take a side trip to a different kind of space music to celebrate the Centenary of Sun Ra.

Upon hearing Sun Ra’s “Constellation” in a blindfold test Brian Eno said, “I wish I had done it myself. I’m extremely envious that somebody else did it. I’d give that five [stars] actually.”

Guitarist Syd Barrett reputedly blew his mind to The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra before launching Pink Floyd.

Guitarist Daevid Allen was inspired by Sun Ra when he formed the Daevid Allen Trio and went on to found The Soft Machine and his long-lived space band, Gong.

SUN RA was the original space musician, although when most people think of space music, he’s probably not the artist who comes to mind. A quick list of cosmic artists might include Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd, Hawkwind and Gong. But probably not Sun Ra. Music from the Hearts of Space has never played him, but Sun Ra was creating cosmic fantasies since at least 1956 when he released his first album, Jazz by Sun Ra (later called Sun Song). But, Sun Ra wasn’t “chill” or “contemplative.” He didn’t float through space, he screamed. But he was also funny, funky, and free floating.

Szwed BookSun Ra was born this day, May 22, 1914, a date which wasn’t known until the mid-1990s when author John Szwed dug it up for his excellent book, Space is the Place: The Lives & Times of Sun Ra.   Tonight on Echoes, we’ll delve into the more contemplative side of Sun Ra, on his centenary. He left the planet in 1993.

Thirty Sun Ra albums have just been released on iTunes this week so there’s a great opportunity to catch up on these masterworks. Some of the albums below are in that release.

TEN SUN RA ALBUMS TO BLOW YOUR MIND

Space is the place 1 Space Is The Place
This is a middle period Sun Ra album from 1972 and it’s related to the film of the same name, but it’s not the soundtrack. The album is centered by the side-long title track, a chanting excursion with an insistent funk groove with Danny Thompson playing the baritone riff that anchors you in a series of free blowing excursions from saxophonist John Gilmore, altoist Marshall Allen and Sun Ra while singer June Tyson chants the lyrics of freedom in space.

Heliocentric-12 The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra Volume 1
This is the chamber jazz side of Sun Ra, a music that works with space of the musical kind. Using instruments like the bass marimba, Ra carves out an abstract world that’s about as serene as he gets.
Astro-Black3 Astro Black
This is probably the best example of Sun Ra’s Afrofuturism. The title track is another of Ra’s groove centered songs with heavy synthesizer washes while June Tyson unfolds Ra’s mythology

Astro Black Mythology
Astro Timeless Immortality
Astro Thought in Mystic Sound
Astro Black of Outer Space
Astro Natural of Darkest Stars
Astro Reach Beyond the Stars

It’s intoxicating music.

Solar-Myth V14 The Solar Myth Approach Volume 1
This is another one that uses a lot of space in the music, broken up by mind-fracturing improvisations. The first piece is a prototypical space work with Ra playing a trance pulse while horns drone in long sustained tones creating a mood of mystery and menace. For the flip side of sonic density, get the second volume.

End of the World5 It’s After the End of the World
If you have never seen Sun Ra live, then you really haven’t experienced him in full effect. Released in 1970, this combines two live performances from Europe and features the Arkestra at a peak of tightness and innovation.

Lanquidity6 Lanquidity
This is one of Sun Ra’s best produced albums and also his funkiest and spaciest in a more conventional sense. Among the usual Ra regulars was guest trumpeter Eddie Gale. Ra adopts a space age bachelor pad approach on tracks like “Lanquidity” and “Twin Stars of Thence” and gets downright spooky spacey on “There are Other Worlds They Have not Told your of)”

Montreux 7 Live at Montreux
This album might be overlooked, but it’s a transitional album where Sun Ra began reincorporating swing music into his repertoire. Along with tracks like “On Sound Infinity Spheres” he also plays a roaring version of “Take the ‘A’ Train.”

ra_space_soundtrack8 Soundtrack to the Film Space is the Place
This is a great place to start with Sun Ra. It’s the soundtrack to a science fiction film (what else?) he produced in the early 1970s. It features more muted versions of the title piece and “It’s After the End of the World” as well as Sun Ra themes like “We Travel the Spaceways” and “Outer Spaceways Incorporated.” This is as close as Ra gets to bite-sized.


Media Dreams9 Media Dreams
I cite this album, which I have on an original Sun Ra El Saturn Records pressing with hand-drawn artwork, for one track, the aforementioned “Constellation.” It’s one of the few times where Ra uses a drum machine, in this case a primitive one like you’d find on a home organ, but Ra amps up that groove, doubling it with baritone horns and leads it into a free-funk improvisation with a John Gilmore tenor solo that will rip your gut out.

Patch of Blue10 Impressions of a Patch of Blue by Walt Dickerson
This isn’t a Sun Ra album, proper. He’s a sideman to vibraphonist Walt Dickerson and it’s remarkable to hear him in a more restrained and supportive role, playing celeste and harpsichord against Dickerson’s melodic vibe inventions.

I’ve had a more personal relationship with Sun Ra than with most other musicians. Ra came to Philadelphia in 1968. I arrived in 1972. I saw Sun Ra dozens of times live and when I worked at WXPN I saw him in many studio performances and interviews, some of which I conducted. I produced a radio documentary on him in 1982 and in 1997 I produced another one for NPR’s Jazz Profiles, Sun Ra’s Cosmic Swing.

I’ve written liner notes for a few Sun Ra albums, including the reissue of Lanquidity on the Evidence label. In reading over those notes, I realized a lot of it was about my own personal journey with Sun Ra and probably the reason I felt compelled to do an Echoes show on Sun Ra, even though it’s not quite the sound we have on the program.

 Lanquidity Liner Notes

In the Germantown section of Philadelphia, there’s an anonymous stone rowhouse with little to distinguish it from the other rundown buildings on the block. But for 25 years, this home had an interior glow powered by a seismic engine of big band jazz, cosmic space music and intergalactic tribalism. This was the home of Sun Ra and his Arkestra.

It was an unlikely location for this “band from outer space,” but then, as Sun Ra confessed to me, “Earth is an unlikely place for me to be in the first place.”

SunRaPosterPhiladelphia is often known as a spawning ground for innovative jazz musicians, but it’s also known as a city that musicians eventually leave. John Coltrane, Philly Joe Jones, The Heath Brothers and countless others headed up the New Jersey Turnpike to New York as soon as they garnered any reputation at all. As far as I know, Sun Ra is the only musician to reverse that course of jazz migration, moving to Philadelphia in 1968 and remaining there until he left the planet in 1993.

Lanquidity is one result of this often overlooked chapter in the cosmic annals of Sun Ra. His Arkestra’s gestation in Chicago and pilgrimage to New York City in the glory days of the 60s avant garde are the stuff of legend, but once Ra traveled south to Philadelphia, he might as well have taken a left turn into his hallowed home of Saturn. With long stays in Europe and the west coast and constant touring, he seemed to become a musician of the world rather than a local hero.

Sun Ra arrived in Philadelphia without ceremony, taking up residence at 5626 Morton Street in the declining Germantown section of the city. He said he came because “Philadelphia was the most evil place in the country,” but likely it was because the home was rented to the Arkestra by altoist Marshall Allen’s father. It looked like all the other rowhouses in the neighborhood, except they didn’t have windows covered with tin foil and psychedelic swirls on the door. But then, in the late sixties, that kind of decor hardly warranted a second glance.

Inside the darkened living room, Sun Ra’s electronic keyboards were stacked at one end while the Arkestra piled amongst the frayed furniture and surreal paintings of aliens and Egyptian symbology. Tucked amidst this clutter was an array of cosmic and spiritual paraphernalia. Ra would pull books off the shelf and floor, usually weighty philosophical-mystical tomes like “Book of Urantia.” A garish psychedelic oil painting of Ra, done by a fan, stared from the walls while the aroma of Ra’s vegetarian “Moon Stew” wafted from the kitchen in back.   Several members of the Arkestra lived a communal existence in the house, including tenor sax giant John Gilmore and most of the reed section.

You’d think they’d create a scene with the neighbors, but aside from around-the-clock rehearsals, no one was taken aback by Ra and the multi-hued raiment of his band members. Sonny would sit on the front stoop of the house, bantering with neighbors as they walked by on a hot Philly summer afternoon. And he was listed in the Philadelphia phone book just like them, under Ra, Sun.

Across the street from the house was an empty, wooded lot. When a tree there was felled by a lightning strike, Sun Ra had James Jacson get a piece of it to create the “Thunder Drum,” a centerpiece of Ra’s performances thereafter.

If you were on the Philadelphia jazz scene from 1968 to his passing in 1993, you couldn’t miss Sun Ra’s presence. Ra played concerts on a consistently irregular basis. In the early days, you might catch the Arkestra literally falling off the stage of Geno’s Empty Foxhole, their 18 plus musicians and dancers finding scant room on a minuscule proscenium accustomed to trios. Located in the parish hall basement of St. Mary’s Church, the Empty Foxhole, gave new meaning to the term “underground.” The first two rows were ripped out bus seats, the next few were old church pews and the rest were a motley collection of folding chairs. Yet, this was the Philly stop for The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Pharoah Sanders, Anthony Braxton, Sam Rivers and other luminaries of the seventies avant-garde.

Sun Ra quickly outgrew the parish hall basement of the Foxhole and moved up to the actual church itself. St. Mary’s was one of many religious venues in which Ra performed in Philadelphia and although his music may have been sanctified, these churches never had an experience like this before or after. Playing a Halloween eve show at United Calvary Methodist Church in West Philadelphia, the altar/stage was bathed in a classic 60s liquid light show from Michel Polizzi’s Quasar Lights, while the Arkestra danced through the pews in a cosmic conga line. Ra would pull unsuspecting audience members out of their seats and shout in their faces, “Will you give up your death for me?”
But Sun Ra didn’t need churches or light shows for atmosphere. He transformed every place he played into a carnival, whether it was the cramped club Grendel’s Lair on South Street, the Painted Bride Art Center in Old City or the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Michel Polizzi's Quasar Lights

Michel Polizzi’s Quasar Lights

Because of Sun Ra’s residence in Philadelphia, it became the place to pick up his obscure, self-produced El Saturn sides. At Third Street Jazz & Rock, a record store at Third and Market Streets in Center City, Ra held a hallowed spot. The entire back wall was covered with John Coltrane albums, but the wall on the left was filled with the hand-painted covers of Sun Ra’s El Saturn label. Every few weeks or so, Ra baritone saxophonist and foreman Danny Thompson, would walk into the store, an armful of Sun Ra’s latest opus or two under his arms and negotiate a C.O.D. deal with store owner Jerry Gordon. Philadelphia fans heard Ra odysseys like Media Dreams and Disco 3000 that are rarities elsewhere, and classics like Live At Montreux debuted in Philadelphia on El Saturn years before they were released on “regular” commercial labels.

Ra probably never got as much radio exposure as he did in Philadelphia at this time. He appeared frequently on Temple University’s jazz station, WRTI and until the mid-1980s, Sun Ra sides were de rigeur on Blue Genesis, the nightly jazz show on the University of Pennsylvania’s WXPN. Sonny himself was a frequent guest, expounding on the universe as college DJs sat with a mixture of fear and confusion. I know. I was one of them.

“When you interviewed Ra, the questions that you asked really didn’t matter much,” remembers Russell Woessner, a DJ on WXPN and WRTI. “He’d respond with his own answers. He told me once he was an angel and that stopped me in my tracks.”

Often, Ra would bring up his books of poetry and read them on the air, as the DJ mixed in music from his albums.

I can remember more than one occasion with sixteen Arkestra members cramming into WXPN’s minuscule studio, Ra pounding on a creaky upright piano, the horns blasting and Ra dancers cavorting in the hallway while DJ/engineers Woessner, Jules Epstein and Kimberly Haas tried to wrestle the sound onto the air. After the last note had bleated away, Danny Thompson walked in the control booth and took the tapes, some eventually surfacing as Sun Ra albums like My Favorite Things.

bumperstickerAt one point, Ra tried to convince WXPN’s program director, Jules Epstein, to marshal 144,000 musicians to perform a sacred concert related to the coming biblical Armageddon. Epstein wasn’t quite persuaded, but Ra succeeded in convincing WXPN chief engineer Tom Buchler to record him for Buchler’s own fledgling Philly Jazz label, which you now hold in your hands.

Ra occasionally broke the surface of the jazz underground in Philadelphia. He performed on Philadelphia’s public TV station, WHYY and he was documented in local filmmaker Bob Mugge’s Sun Ra: Make A Joyful Noise.   Mugge couldn’t afford to bring Sun Ra to the great pyramids, so he filmed him in the Egyptian rooms of the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania.
The Mellon Jazz Festival was dedicated to Sun Ra in the year 2000, although I suspect Sonny, who always liked science fiction, would’ve preferred being honored in 2001, in keeping with Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. He certainly took Philadelphia on a trip.

Although he left the planet from his childhood home in Birmingham, Alabama, Sun Ra’s life effectively ended in Philadelphia after he suffered a series of increasingly debilitating strokes.

The house at 5626 Morton is a bit quieter now and other Arkestra members, including John Gilmore and James Jacson have also moved on to other worlds. Yet, the band continues on, now under the direction of Marshall Allen. Members of the Arkestra still live in Sun Ra’s home, and if you drive by you might still catch an echo of the music created there.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

WHERE & HOW TO LISTEN TO ECHOES

Echoes is on different stations, on different days and different times.
You can listen locally or stream-live from our many stations’ websites.
You can also stream it on-demand from Echoes On-line, our streaming subscription service.  You can sign up for a 1 week trial of unlimited streaming for $2.99 here.

Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get Hans Christian’s Hidden Treasures, the May CD of the Month. You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time. You can do it all right here.
Hidden Treasures-225

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

 

 

Thus Owls Interview on Echoes

May 20, 2014

The Canadian-Swedish Band Thus Owls Talk about Turning Rocks tonight on Echoes.

Thus Owl's Erika Angel on Echoes

Thus Owl’s Erika Angel on Echoes

Thus Owls’ Erika Angell is a singer who isn’t afraid to cut loose.  Like Kate Bush and Tori Amos, she takes unexpected vocal flights, but unlike them, her voice is throatier, earthier giving her vocal turns a depth of knowing.  She can exude the declamatory sound of Siouxsie Sioux and the poignant refrains of Joni Mitchell. It’s the perfect voice for a band that brings a theatrical feel to Turning Rocks, their song-cycle of life on a Swedish island that is sometimes pastoral but often dark and haunted.  Thus-Owls_Turning-Rocks_cover With husband Simon Angell on guitar, Thus Owls conjures dramatic musical structures that range from gentle autoharp refrains to screaming 60’s style rave-ups replete with Farfisa organ and Wurlitzer electric piano.    They played live on Echoes a few weeks ago.  Now hear the story of this band whose influences range from Japanese surf guitar to Alice Coltrane organ; from Abba to Meredith Monk.

WHERE & HOW TO LISTEN TO ECHOES

Echoes is on different stations, on different days and different times.
You can listen locally or stream-live from our many stations’ websites.
You can also stream it on-demand from Echoes On-line, our streaming subscription service.  You can sign up for a 1 week trial of unlimited streaming for $2.99 here.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get Hans Christian’s Hidden Treasures, the May CD of the Month. You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time. You can do it all right here.
Hidden Treasures-225

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

 

 

Echoes Goes to the Darkside

May 14, 2014

Hear an Interview with Darkside Tonight on Echoes.

Darkside @ Mountain Oasis. Photo: Diliberto

Darkside @ Mountain Oasis. Photo: Diliberto

This past October I got to see the band Darkside at the Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit.  They played before an impressively large audience in the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, considering they only had one album out, Psychic.  They’re a band that favors shadows, standing in twin cones of low, smoke filled light, delivering snarling guitar leads over throbbing electronic drums and sequences like a pong game on acid. They recalled the German band Can, with their motoric grooves and free improvisation, but brought a modern DJ sensibility to their set.  It was like a rave in a bomb shelter.  Tonight on Echoes we’ll revisit our interview with Darkside’s Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington.

Guitarist Dave Harrington has just released a solo EP,  Before This There Was One Heart But a Thousand Thoughts .

Check out their live set in Paris last year.  And turn it up.

WHERE & HOW TO LISTEN TO ECHOES

Echoes is on different stations, on different days and different times.
You can listen locally or stream-live from our many stations’ websites.
You can also stream it on-demand from Echoes On-line, our streaming subscription service.  You can sign up for a 1 week trial of unlimited streaming for $2.99 here.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get Hans Christian’s Hidden Treasures, the May CD of the Month. You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time. You can do it all right here.
Hidden Treasures-225

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

 

 

 

Echoes Goes to the Darkside

January 13, 2014

Hear an Interview with Darkside Tonight on Echoes.

Darkside @ Mountain Oasis. Photo: Diliberto

Darkside @ Mountain Oasis. Photo: Diliberto

This past October I got to see the band Darkside at the Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit.  They played before an impressively large audience in the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, considering they only had one album out, Psychic.  They’re a band that favors shadows, standing in twin cones of low, smoke filled light, delivering snarling guitar leads over throbbing electronic drums and sequences like a pong game on acid. They recalled the German band Can, with their motoric grooves and free improvisation, but brought a modern DJ sensibility to their set.  It was like a rave in a bomb shelter.  Tonight on Echoes we’ll talk to Darkside’s Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington.

Check out their live set in Paris last year.  And turn it up.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Oblivion-cvrJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Hammock’s Oblivion Hymns is our January   CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR

LRC19-250pxPick Up  TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Jherek Bischoff on Echoes Podcast

December 22, 2013
Jherek Bischoff & Ukelele

Jherek Bischoff & Ukelele

Hear about Jherek Bishoff’s strange life and idiosyncratic music in the Echoes Podcast.

There’s a lot of chamber music being written lately by rock musicians.  Ólafur Arnalds, Johann Johannsson, Rhian Sheehan all started out as pure rock musicians, often punk musicians.  So did Jherek Bischoff.  He’s played with people like Amanda Palmer, but on his own he makes a chamber pop music that includes vocalists like David Byrne, and pure contemporary chamber music that sounds more like Arvo Part.  coverHe has two albums out, Composed and Scores: Composed Instrumentals, and he makes a lot of his music with a ukulele.  At the Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit in Asheville, North Carolina this fall, I talked with Jherek Bischoff about his retro sound.

Jherek is moving into new directions in his music and some of it is up on youtube.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

GIVE THE GIFT OF THE ECHOES CD OF THE MONTH CLUB

Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club now and you can put David Helping and Jon Jenkins’ Found under somebodies Christmas tree.  It’s our December  CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

ORLRC19-250px

GIVE THEM THE GIFT OF TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Jherek Bischoff’s Chamber Pop & Deep Listening.

December 18, 2013
Jherek Bischoff & Ukelele

Jherek Bischoff & Ukelele

There’s a lot of chamber music being written lately by rock musicians.  Ólafur Arnalds, Johann Johannsson, Rhian Sheehan all started out as pure rock musicians, often punk musicians.  So did Jherek Bischoff.  He’s played with people like Amanda Palmer, but on his own he makes a chamber pop music that includes vocalists like David Byrne, and pure contemporary chamber music that sounds more like Arvo Part.  coverHe has two albums out, Composed and Scores: Composed Instrumentals, and he makes a lot of his music with a ukulele.  At the Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit in Asheville, North Carolina this fall, I talked with Jherek Bischoff about his retro sound.

Jherek is moving into new directions in his music and some of it is up on youtube.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

GIVE THE GIFT OF THE ECHOES CD OF THE MONTH CLUB

Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club now and you can put David Helping and Jon Jenkins’ Found under somebodies Christmas tree.  It’s our December  CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

ORLRC19-250px

GIVE THEM THE GIFT OF TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

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Keith Jarrett Gets Down on His Own

November 18, 2013

Keith Jarrett’s new album, No End, is a Jam Band of one.

No EndIf you’re shocked by any direction that Keith Jarrett takes, then you haven’t been paying attention.  The peripatetic pianist has recorded albums on solo pipe organ (Hymns/Spheres) and clavichord (Book of Ways). He’s recorded classical works from Bach to Mozart, including Bach’s Six Sonatas for Violin and Piano with violinist Michelle Makarski just this past September.  Jarrett was an early exponent of Arvo Pärt (Tabula Rasa) and took on the music of the mystic G. I. Gurdjieff (Sacred Hymns).  And let’s not forget his second album.  He followed his debut, a trio jazz release with Charlie Haden and Paul Motian, with Restoration Ruin, a singer-songwriter outing with Jarrett crooning in a Bob Dylan impersonation complete with harmonica. In a case of foreshadowing, he played every instrument himself.

So when Jarrett decides to create a jam band with him as the only member of the group, you shouldn’t be surprised. No End was recorded in 1986, the year after Spirits, which used a similar technique of Jarrett alone in his studio, using two cassette tape decks to overdub himself, bouncing tracks from one deck to the other.  It’s the anti-Manfred Eicher/ECM Records recording aesthetic.

SpiritsBut No End is the yin to Spirits yang.  Spirits was soft and meditative, with wood flutes, recorders and tablas. While No End is dreamy in its own way, it’s more the dreaming of an after-hours jam in a New Orleans nightclub.  There is a drugged out, heroin suffused mood to this album, with vamps that could go on forever and solos that meander like cigarette smoke, all of which are interesting analogies for a musician who has long eschewed drugs and cigarettes and the culture that surrounds them.

The first track will have you popping the CD out to make sure this is a Keith Jarrett disc you’ve inserted.  It opens to shakers, a snaky, swamp-walk bass line and Jarrett soloing freely and melodically, not on piano, but electric guitar, evoking a backwater storyteller or an African griot.  In fact, there’s a lot of Africa in Jarrett’s guitar playing, with his terse, slightly reverbed tone and cross-picking lines that recall Ali Farka Toure in an especially dreamy mood. Some of these tracks, like the blues-inflected “VI” could’ve been on a Les Baxter/Martin Denny space-age bachelor pad album.  All you need are the jungle animal noises.

Keith Jarrett

Keith Jarrett

Jarrett’s drumming and percussion veer between congo village grooves to Muscle Shoals earthiness.  The bass, a central sound on this album, is sensual, probing and as rubbery as Jim Carrey’s face.  The only recognizably Jarrett signature here is his grunt, which you hear occasionally, but usually his vocalizing is turned into trancy choirs on “XI” or murmuring voices on “III”  On “IV” he gets an “Iko Iko” style chant going ala the Dixie Cups.

No End, like Spirits, was completely improvised and occasionally comes off as casual to the point of off-handedness.  On “XII,” he sounds like he’s tuning up the bass, literally, before it slips into an ostinato groove.

You could see No End as the ultimate form of narcissism. In the liner notes, Jarrett himself says that “the pitfalls of playing music in a band are the ‘differences’ between each player’s musical experiences.”  That’s something a lot of bands would celebrate, but Jarrett eliminated the differences, playing an ensemble music without the ensemble, jamming with himself in what could be perceived as an exercise in total self-gratification. But Jarrett is a multi-dimensional musician and he pulls off these jams as if it were, indeed, a band, reacting and coaxing each other along in his lazy haze of sound.  This is as earthy and funky as Jarrett has ever been.  And if you don’t drift away, he does slip in some piano on “X”.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

ECHOES CD OF THE MONTH CLUB SPECIAL

InnocentsNew members of the Echoes CD of the Month Club will get Moby’s Innocents album, our November CD of the Month and a BONUS CD of Bombay Dub Orchestra’s Tales from the Grand Bazaar.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.  You’ll also get the new Echoes CD, Transmissions: The Echoes Living Room Concerts V19, You can do it all right here. You
TalesEchoes On Line
Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line.
Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Busking to Beauty: Ane Brun Interviewed on Echoes

November 12, 2013

Brun-SongsTonight on Echoes we revisit our interview with Anne Brun.

Norwegian-born, Sweden-based  singer-songwriter Ane Brun creates a dreamy, folk-based music. She looks back on her 10 year career and new double CD retrospective Songs 2003-2013.  But she started out as a busker.  There are thousands of them around the world:  Musicians playing on street corners, in cafes and any other place an audience might stroll by and listen.  Some of them are young musicians getting their music together, some just make their living as a busker, scrounging quarters and quid into something resembling a living.  Few of them actually break through to become recording musicians.  I can think of some, Kaki King, Portico Quartet, The Angels of Venice.  Add to that small list Ane Brun.  I talk to her about her 10 year career tonight on Echoes.  Since we interviewed her, Brun has released a second compilation, Rarities.

Highlights:

RaritiesAne Brun on her jazz Influences:  I think my voice is influenced a lot by jazz singers, actually.  I grew up with listening to vocal jazz a lot, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and the big legends.  So I was singing along to like Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald and that kind of stuff.

Ane Brun on the melancholy of Scandanavian music:  That’s true, it’s what we have.  I, I think it’s the long winters, it might be, and also the Lutherism and all that stuff.

Hear Ane Brun talk about her music tonight on Echoes.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

ECHOES CD OF THE MONTH SPECIAL.

InnocentsJoin now and get Moby’s Innocents album, our November CD of the Month and a BONUS CD of Bombay Dub Orchestra’s Tales from the Grand Bazaar.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.  You can do it all right here.get You can join them in getting a great CD every month by signing up for the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  New members will get

TalesEchoes On LineNow you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.


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