This lesser-known set, released by several Japanese labels including a 1991 CD issue by Denon, features flugelhornist Art Farmer with pianist Masahiko Satoh (doubling on electric piano), bassist Ron Carter, drummer Jack DeJohnette and a 14-piece string section arranged and conducted by Satoh. Despite its initial release in Japan, the music was actually recorded in New York City. Farmer is in excellent form on the seven modern jazz originals, most of which are given fresh treatments. The arrangements are fine, and Farmer is up to the task of carrying the main load on such songs as "Nica's Dream," "Blue In Green," "Maiden Voyage" and "Naima".
Despite an excellent debut, India.Arie still had much to prove with her second record. Several of her neo-soul compatriots, from D'Angelo to Erykah Badu to Macy Gray, had faltered with sophomore albums, and it appeared she may have already said everything she had to say on Acoustic Soul. That anticipation, and trepidation, is exactly what makes Voyage to India such a beautiful surprise; it's a record that easily equals her debut, boasting better vocal performances but also better songwriting and accompanying production. As on her debut, there is a marked balance of organic and artificial: an acoustic guitar paces many tracks, though the edges are shorn off for a digital feel; the beats are often sampled, but there are still plenty of handclaps and fingersnaps; and the arrangements are simple yet obviously very polished. The improvement in her songwriting is most obvious from the first three tracks (after the short intro). The themes driving "Little Things" (keeping it simple), "Talk to Her" (the importance of honesty, warmth, and communication in relationships), and "Slow Down" (taking life one day at a time) certainly have been covered already, many times even, but India.Arie writes with a fresh perspective that makes it sound as though she's the first to broach the topic.
Funerary Music of Carriacou Presented here are the magnificent Big Drum songs from Carriacou, Grenada, a font of African and European musical traditions. This is music for the ancestors, or “Old Parents,” performed at Tombstone Feasts held years after death and burial, when the body is finally entombed and the spirit of the departed may at last rest in peace. Caribbean Voyage Released for the first time, Alan Lomax’s legendary 1962 recordings of the rich and many-stranded musical traditions of the Lesser Antilles and eastern Caribbean: work songs, pass-play and story songs, calypso, East Indian chaupai, and steel band music, reflecting the Central and West African, French, English, Celtic, Spanish and East Indian contributions to Caribbean culture. The Alan Lomax Collection The Alan Lomax Collection gathers together the American, European and Caribbean field recordings, world music compilations, and ballad operas of writer, folklorist, and ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax.
Over the past 15 years, Tunisian oud master Anouar Brahem has assembled a relatively small but profound body of work. A skilled improviser who refuses to be part of the historical authenticity argument, Brahem works from the same trio setting that performed on Le Pas du Chat Noir in 2002, with pianist François Couturier and accordionist Jean-Louis Matinier. The dialogue between these players is, despite the sparseness of the music and the considerable space employed, intense. The deep listening necessary in the improvised sections allows for a natural flow of ideas to emerge from silence. The compositions themselves are skeletal, with repeating, slowly evolving vamps and lyric lines.
The true story of Christopher Columbus was not only one of victorious discovery; it was also marked by disaster, accusation, and betrayal. Ten short years after his discovery of the New World, Columbus languished in a Caribbean prison. There, awaiting the gallows, he plotted what he called his most treacherous voyage–one that ended with the loss of all four of his ships and left Columbus and his crew shipwrecked with little hope of survival.