The other day I was writing about the importance for me of Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew in opening up new musical horizons. Now, with news of the death of the composer and musicologist David Fanshawe, I’m drawn back to another album of the 1970s – African Sanctus – that was seminal for me, one of … Continue reading African Sanctus
This weekend in Sefton Park saw the annual Africa Oye festival draw probably the biggest crowds ever over two days of constant sunshine. The festival has grown considerably from its early days and now there’s a beer tent and stalls offering all kinds of food, CDs, clothes, musical instruments, jewellery and more. On Saturday I … Continue reading Africa Oye: Authenticite!
We saw Rokia Traoré play to a lamentably half-empty Philharmonic Hall last night in what was a triumphant, guitar-driven and characteristically high-energy set. The focus was mainly on songs from her most recent album, Tchamantche, with the rock-guitar direction of that album accentuated: Rokia and her band now really rock out. This was a major … Continue reading Rokia Traore rocks out at the Phil
In the last couple of days I’ve been celebrating the 40th anniversary of the founding of ECM Records. To round things off I thought I’d put together a list of my 40 favourite ECM albums, in no particular order. Keith Jarrett: The Koln Concert (1975) This is the one I would want on a desert … Continue reading ECM: 40 favourites
Forty years ago today the Mal Waldron Trio started to play in Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg. They were recording the first album, Free At Last!, issued early the following year on the new music label founded by Manfred Eicher. Since then, ECM has issued over a thousand albums spanning – and blurring the boundaries between – … Continue reading 40 years of ECM: Just Music
Last Friday’s World on 3 with Charlie Gillett was one of the best music shows I’ve listened to in a long while. As his studio guest, Charlie welcomed Yasmin Levy, whose music is a fusion of Flamenco and the Judeo-Spanish Ladino style. As well as performing songs from her forthcoming album, Yasmin also discussed her … Continue reading Birds without wings
Saw Oumou Sangare put on an electrifying show at On the Waterfront last night – a short series of free concerts in the spectacular setting of the Pier Head plaza. In the one-hour set, Sangare performed songs from her recent album, Seya (Joy) with a stripped-down band consisting of drums, djembe, kora, flute, ngoni, electric … Continue reading Oumou Sangere: On the Waterfront