Posts Tagged ‘Todd Boston’

Tangents-Echoes Live CD

November 5, 2012

All Tangents Lead to Echoes

Hear ALL of Tangents tonight on Echoes.

Tangents is the latest collection of live music performances from the Echoes Living Room  and once again, it’s a seamless trip through the Echoes soundscape with exclusive live recordings.

Centering Tangents is Ozric Tentacles who absolutely ripped our heads off with their live performance.  Spinning out synthesizer swirls, grooving drums and trance bass, they literally dropped the floor out of the Echoes Living Room and sent us hurtling through space.

Carving a different dimension in space  is the German-Dutch trio of Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder. Playing “Red One,” they traverse a largely improvised soundscape on synthesizers and electronic percussion, recalling the heady days of German space music.  Like most retro-space groups, they clock in with the longest track, although it’s abbreviated compared to most of their compositions which can stretch over 30 minutes in length.

Ozric Tentacles Live on Echoes

Trumpeter Jeff Oster conjures his own spaces, improvising in loops and effects with bassist Michael Manring and electric slide guitarist Carl Weingarten.  You can hear hints of Miles Davis circa Get Up With It as these three musicians create an intuitive improvisation of viscous colors.

Acoustic guitarists are always a part of Echoes and Living Room Concert CDs, but even they like to plug in and process their sound.  Todd Boston spins a hypnotic web of guitar and a touch of flute with “Celtic Heart.”  Despite its name, “Celtic Heart” is a raga-infused track that builds from a tamboura-like drone under meditative flute, gradually evolving into a web of acoustic guitar filigree that

Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder in Echoes Record Den

made it a perfect opening for Tangents.  Italy’s Sergio Altamura is also a looper, creating an acoustic chamber guitar ensemble complete with percussion, all played in real time in a gorgeously serene piece.  Of the solo guitarists, only Glenn Jones plays it straight, at least in terms of acoustics.  Otherwise, he took his 12-string guitar into melodic mazes that make him one of the leading bearers of the John Fahey, American Primitive Guitar torch. What a perfectly pure ending to the journey of Tangents.

Johanna Cranitch with Omnichord live on Echoes.

Tangents may have more singers than any previous Echoes CD as dream pop floats into the show’s soundscape.  Low Roar, the performance persona of Ryan Karaziya, brought his moody, often heartrending songs into the Echoes living room, channeling Nick Drake into a more atmospheric sound.  Frankie Rose had one of the more rocking sessions on Echoes, including her anthemic track “Moon in My Mind” with that great Echoes & the Bunnymen reverb guitar and charge-up-the-hill chorus.  And finally, Johanna and the Dusty Floor brought a mixture of bittersweet nostalgia to the Echoes living room with “Heavy Heart.”

A couple of acoustic chamber groups also grace Tangents.  The new acoustic trio, One Alternative makes their second appearance with one of guitarist Mark Oppenlander’s songs, “Sweetness-n-Light.”  They’ve been around for 30 years, but around even longer than them is Wall Matthews who was making ambient records in the mid-1970s with the Entourage Theater and Music Ensemble.  He came into to play the delicate chamber music off his CD The Dreaming Light.

Volker Goetze & Ablaye Cissoko in Echoes Record Den

There’s always one artist on these discs who, on the surface, doesn’t seem to fit in, but the serene and soulful sound of Senegalese kora player Ablaye Cissoko and German trumpeter Volker Goetze goes as directly to the heart as anyone on Tangents.

I’m sitting in the actual Echoes Record Den right now where many of these tracks were recorded.  As I listen to Tangents, these musicians seem to appear before my eyes, whether it’s Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder amongst a tangle of wires and keyboards or Cissoko & Goetze communing with just a trumpet and a kora.

Tangents is here because I want you to have that same experience. As Ryan Karaziya sings on Low Roar’s “Friends Make Garbage, Good Friends Take It Out”: “What’s the fun when you can’t share what you have found.”

Travel through Tangents and hear music that will change your world and send you off into new tangents. You can get it here.

~© 2012 John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Echoes On Line

Sign up for the Echoes CD of the Month Club and get Tangents now as a bonus for your membership now

Sign up forEchoes CD of the Month Club and youwill not only receive the November CD pick, Jeff Johnson & Phil Keaggy’s WaterSky, but Tangents as well.  With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs like  WaterSky coming to you each month.  Join now and you’ll get Watersky plus Tangents. Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club  and see what you’ve been missing.

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.

Echoes Top 25 for June

July 16, 2012

June & July CDs of the Month Top Echoes Top 25 for June

It’s a little late, but here’s the  Echoes Top 25 for June.  These are based on spins and it’s notable that the number one and two selections were our June and July CDs of the Month,  Todd Boston’s impressive Touched by the Sun and Marconi Union’s Different Colours.  There’s the Echoes spectrum for you in a one-two punch with acoustic ensemble music drawing on world music influences in one instance, and ambient electronic soundscapes in the other.

Icebreaker’s Apollo

I like some of the ambient and space music connections this month.  Marconi Union are children of Brian Eno and look!  There’s Eno at number 5 with Icebreaker’s beautiful and subtle recording of Eno’s classic 1983 album, Apollo.  The Eno connection continues with UMA, an Estonian trio who are channeling the Eno-Jon Hassell sound of the Fourth World, Vol.1  Possible Musics.  And then there’s Sigur Ros at number 11, children of  Brian Eno and Pink Floyd.

Look down at the bottom and you’ll see a band called Shel, an acronym taken from the first names of the four Colorado sisters who comprise the group.  On the surface, they’re a folk band with great harmonies, and not something I’d normally play on Echoes.  But I heard something else in their detailed chamber arrangements, their sense of zen-space and their prairie angels vocal interplay that told me there was something else going on here that sits right in the Echoes sound.  It turns out there’s a reason for that.  They’re actually fans of the show.  Here they are live doing Zeppelin’s “The Battle of Evermore.”

You can see the complete Echoes Top 25 for June.

~© 2012 John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Todd Boston’s Touched by the Sun and Marconi Union’s Different Colours were both Echoes CDs of the Month.   Click on the link for review and several complete tracks.  You get great CDs like this by becoming a member of the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Follow the link and see what you’ve been missing.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news.

A Summer Solstice CD of the Month: Todd Boston’s Touched by the Sun.

May 31, 2012

Todd Boston’s Touched by the Sun is Echoes June CD of the Month

Hear an interview with Todd Boston Tuesday, 10/9/2012 on Echoes.

Todd Boston’s “Touched by the Sun”

In June, the month when the sun has unchallenged dominion, guitarist Todd Boston has released the perfect album for summer days. Touched by the Sun is a thematic suite centered on images of the solar orb and built around the global chamber sound that Boston has been working with for a few years. He has an Indian fusion duo with percussionist Ramesh Kannan called Urban Nature and he released a solo album, Alive, that was an Echoes CD of the Month in October 2010.  At that time he was already working with guitarist Will Ackerman, the founder of Windham Hill Records. Back then, I wrote that I wasn’t sure how much working with Ackerman would improve upon Alive.  The answer is, quite a bit.

A child of the Windham Hill generation, Boston heard seminal records by guitarists like Ackerman, Alex De Grassi and Michael Hedges on Echoes when he was growing up in the Philadelphia suburbs. Now he’s made a convincing statement to be considered in their ranks.  Ackerman brings in his posse of side musicians including cellist Eugene Friesen, bassists Tony Levin and Michael Manring and violinist Charlie Bisharat, allowing Boston to expand his eastern fusions to embrace Celtic, gypsy and chamber music in a sound of pastoral repose and gentle dances.  It’s Bisharat who brings the gypsy sound, wailing on tracks like “Sol Rising” and “The Brightest Night” with a free-form ecstatic brand of soloing.

Boston has adapted the techniques of his heroes, like the two-handed tapping of Hedges, as well as the ragas of Ali Akbar Khan, the Indian sarod master with whom he studied.  His  guitar playing often has Indian inflections and he also plays the dotar – kind of a baby sarod – to good effect especially on tracks like “Sol Rising.” Through the wonders of multi-tracking, he also plays flute on several tracks including “Full Moon” which carries a Celtic-suffused melody against Bisharat’s violin accents.

Boston earned nearly $25,000 in a Kickstarter campaign to fund the record, and you can hear every penny of it on this beautifully produced CD. Here’s one of several Kickstarter videos Boston made about his recording sessions with Will Ackerman.

Touched by the Sun sits comfortably in a world fusion landscape that goes back to The Paul Winter Consort, Shakti, Oregon and Ancient Future.  Ackerman’s influence on the impeccable, expansive sound and arrangements elevate Todd Boston out of the finger-style guitarists glut.

~© 2012 John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Hear an interview with Todd Boston Tuesday, 10/9/2012 on Echoes..

You get great CDs like Todd Boston’s Touched by the Sun by becoming a member of the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Follow the link and see what you’ve been missing.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news.

Acoustic guitar dreams tops Echoes Top 25 for October.

November 3, 2010

African singers, Resonator guitarists, laptop jockeys and Japanese icons hit the Echoes October Top 25.

Todd Boston’s CD of the Month, Alive, topped our Top 25 for October.  You can read a review of the beautiful album and hear tracks from it here.

While last month saw a rise of electronic music, this month sees an even split between acoustic and electronic sounds.
Note the #8 CD, Mark Preston’s Nature & Design.  It will lead off next month’s Top 25 as our Echoes CD of the Month.

See the complete Echoes Top 25 for October.

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Todd Boston Alive-Echoes October CD of the Month.

October 1, 2010

World Fusion in a Pastoral Mode from Urban Nature Guitarist

Todd Boston is a child of Windham Hill records and Shakti and you can hear that with his world fusion duo, Urban Nature and on Alive, his solo debut.  Although to call it solo might be a misnomer.  Boston plays acoustic guitar as well as flute, bass and percussion and he’s joined on many tracks by his Urban Nature partner, Ramesh Kannan on tabla.

Listen to Todd Boston’s “Twilight”

He’s also doing live looping.  He’ll lay a guitar line down and just as you’re getting lost in the melody, a new theme comes in, played in real time while the original melody continues in a loop.

Urban Nature with John Diliberto in Echoes Concert

That makes Alive a lot more than your standard finger-style solo guitar album.  Boston creates deep meditative pieces that swirl with melody, from the refined strains of “Harmony” with Boston weaving flute melodies through his guitar filigree to the gentle sound of “The Brightest Night,” where he plays a simple solo line, plucking harmonics against a back drop of bass and crickets. “Midnight Dreaming,” is a caravan crossing, with Kannan’s tabla groove loping underneath Boston who first plays guitar and then brings in the bansuri flute.

Calling this album meditative might be misleading.  Much of it is buoyant, like “Just The Beginning” with its Celtic trilling once Boston hits the solo run.  The folk-like refrains of “Skipping” sound like an Appalachian folk song with Indian percussion.  Boston isn’t afraid to toss anything into the mix, including some country slide guitar on “3AM.”

Listen to Todd Boston’s “Skipping.”

Todd Boston is getting into a different sound on Alive. You can hear his roots, but he has a more pastoral feel than Shakti, especially when cellist Matthew Schoening guests on the luxurious expanse of “Twilight.”   There’s also a more expansive approach to melody than you’ll find on most Windham Hill records.

Todd Boston is now working with Windham Hill founder/guitarist Will Ackerman, but I’m not sure how much that can improve upon Alive,  an auspicious debut from a soulful musician.

We’ll be featuring Todd Boston’s Alive,  on Monday’s Echoes, 10/04/10, as well as on our weekend stations that following Saturday and Sunday.

Hear an interview with Todd Boston’s duo, Urban Nature:

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

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