With every recording Omar Sosa releases, his horizons continue to broaden within the context of world ethnic fusion, but with Across the Divide, he's bettered himself yet again. This collection of jazz-influenced, Latin-tinged music crosses the disparate genres of country folk and tribal sounds, recognizing the migration of the banjo from Africa to the Eastern seaboard of America, and percussion from the griot village to the rural Mid-Atlantic. In collaboration with vocalist and story teller Tim Eriksen, Sosa merges rhythm and ancestry via inspiration from Langston Hughes, John Coltrane, King Sunny Ade, Pete Seger, and contemporary bluesman Otis Taylor as popular reference points.
The album ASCENSION played a profoundly important role in John Coltrane's final period. Recorded in June 1965, almost exactly two years before his death, this session marks Coltrane's final stepping off point into free jazz. The album also marks a division for Coltrane's fans, as there are some that applaud his final escape from jazz tradition while others simply couldn't follow him into the great unknown.
Never content to remain stagnant over the course of their almost decade long career, 2009 finds Pelican has shifted gears once again. This year sees them on a new label, Southern Lord, and presenting a brand new full length. "What We All Come To Need" is Pelican through and through and the apex of their creative aspirations. It is the album that straddles most confidently the fine line between adherence to roots and the mining of the unexplored. Recorded with Chris Common, who has helmed records for a variety of bands, from Minus The Bear to These Arms Are Snakes, "What We All Come To Need" is as punishing as it is calming. This is Pelican at their most inspired and sonically adept, delivering 50 minutes of weighty riffs and textured progressions in momentous succession…
Dorothee Oberlinger was born in Aachen and raised in Simmern. At the University of Cologne, she studied music education and German studies. After university, she studied recorder in Cologne, Amsterdam and Milan. Her teachers include Günther Höller (Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln), Walter van Hauwe (Amsterdam) and Pedro Memelsdorff (Milan). In 1997 she won the first prize at the international "Moeck" UK / SRP competition. In 1998, she made her solo debut at London's Wigmore Hall.
Thomas Tafirenyika Mapfumo is a Zimbabwean musician known as "The Lion of Zimbabwe" and "Mukanya" (the praise name of his clan in the Shona language) for his immense popularity and for the political influence he wields through his music, including his sharp criticism of the government of President Robert Mugabe. He both created and made popular Chimurenga music and his slow-moving style and distinctive voice is instantly recognisable to Zimbabweans. Mapfumo's first LP remains a favorite. Made before he got heavily into reggae, this is street-Zimbabwean at its best, with Zairian and eastern African overtones.
War, social injustice, personal plaints, and calls for action have long fueled musical creation and performance. In Classic Protest Songs, Mark Gustafson and Jeff Place tap the historic Smithsonian audio collections to compile 22 songs favored by leaders of antiwar, civil rights, industrial labor, farm worker, and other struggles to air their grievances. Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Janis Ian, Big Bill Broonzy, Pete Seeger, Barbara Dane, Guy Carawan, Phil Ochs, and other marquee artists let their voices ring out with calls for peace and justice.