Tagged: international review of music

Cambodian Space Project

Aside from the usual side-effects of hypnotic music — tapping toes, pumping heads, swaying shoulders — one of the interesting results of listening to the Cambodian Space Project is the onset of what feels vaguely like a psychoactive hallucination. They’ve got a delightful weirdness factor (at least to unseasoned Western ears). You feel transported. But...

American Tune

We were youngsters in 1973 when Paul Simon recorded his song “American Tune,” too immature to understand the profoundity of his words, too busy listening to disposable records to grasp the greatness of his creation. The song has been covered many times subsequently, but now that Kurt Elling sings it on his new album “1619...

The International Review of Music

Everyone’s got an opinion; some are worth noting carefully. At IRoM, “The International Review of Music,” folks who think and feel deeply about music share essays, reviews and recommendations. Curated by the long-time jazz critic of the Los Angeles Times, Don Heckman, IRoM is reliably smart, impassioned and┬áprovocative. Read on!  

Tigran

For the past couple of years, musician friends of mine have been telling me about an Armenian pianist who they believe is, variously, “a freak,” “a genius,” and “the next Keith Jarrett.” Since almost nobody but the disgraced Cultural Elite know who Jarrett is, despite his nearly mythic status among jazzheads, being the next him...

Vocalizing Versus Singing

Beautiful vocalizing is often mistaken for beautiful singing. Both sonic phenomena require the production of a ringing tone that exploits the peculiar vibration of the ligaments and muscles — the cords — at the back of the human mouth. Both require an acute sensitivity to intonation (being “in tune”). And both demand a steady flow...

The Perspective of a Tiny Jazz Record Label

I run a tiny jazz record label called FreeHam Records, which recently released new albums by Zaxariades (“Mr. Z”) and Charmaine Clamor (“Searching for the Soul”). Hundreds of individuals like me dedicate much of their life (and most of their savings!) to jazz music, with no realistic expectation that it will ever earn a penny...

Colorblind Music

No matter how insistently racism tries to insert itself into our social interactions, a few transcendent arenas remain where the truth is immune to strenuously repeated stereotypes and preconceived notions. One of these rare places is music. Either you swing or you don’t; you’ve got soul or not. There’s no faking it. Jazz and blues...

A Tale of Two Venues

Last night in Los Angeles, the Grammy awards were distributed at Staples Center, the basketball/hockey arena downtown. The vital business of marketing jesters ennobled by the moniker “musical artist” went smoothly from what I gather; the festivities were broadcast all over the world, and demure statuettes were disbursed to those who played along with the...

America’s Greatest Export

While traveling abroad in Southeast Asia, we shirked from inquiring eyes when George Bush’s coronation was broadcast live on CNN. We weren’t ashamed to be an American — on the contrary, we’re proud to be a citizen of this glorious country — but at that inglorious moment in history we were mortified to have come...