Today’s Song of the Day is a beautiful and rare (and live) a capella recording made by two legends of calypso music.
Here, Lord Pretender and Lord Kitchener, both from Trinidad, come together to sing Pretender’s piece ‘True, True Calypsonian’, with Kitchener providing a bassline as solid as any double bassist. This piece explains and extols the virtues of the ‘true calypsonian’ whilst denouncing the newer form of calypsong. It’s an absolutely brilliant recording, and the sweetness and fragility of Pretender’s voice is perfect against Kitchener’s bass.
Okay, here’s a confession that will probably make you think less of me and not win me any friends here at Musika…but I’ve never really been able to ‘get’ David Bowie. That being said, this video absolutely knocked my socks off. How can an amateur musician playing a cover song create probably the coolest music video to date? Well, being an astronaut helps, I guess.
Dr. Graham Wiggins is an American physicist, who gained his Ph.D. from Oxford University specialising in solid-state physics and who has helped develop MRI scanners and penned such gripping reads as ‘Direct parallel image reconstructions for spiral trajectories using GRAPPA’.
He’s also known as Dr. Didg, the pioneering didgeridoo player whose band of the same name was one of the earliest innovators of the world electronica genre and the use of live looping technology. Creating music that fused trance, electronica, rock and funk underpinned by Wiggins’ didgeridoo acrobatics (including on his self-invented saxophone-inspired keyed didge), Dr. Didg were one of the hottest bands on the world music scene in the mid-1990s to early 2000s.
The Song of The Day serves as a tribute to one of the great names in world music.
Bob Brozman, the internationally-renowned American slide guitarist and ethnomusicologist died last Tuesday, April 26 2013. As well as working within his style of blues and ragtime, he was known for his open-eared collaboration with musicians from Hawaii, India, Okinawa, La Réunion, Papua New Guinea and Ireland.
Ethiojazz – that is, the form of jazz popular in Ethiopia between 1969 and 1978 – has been having a resurgence in the last few years due to the Éthiopiques series of reissues on Buda Musique and revival bands such as the Either/Orchestra and Debo Band. For today’s Song of the Day, we’re going right back to beginning of the style.
Gétachèw Mèkurya is one of the most famous exponents of Ethiojazz. He’s known as the Negus of Ethiopian Sax and has worked with bands such as the Either/Orchestra and The Ex. This recording, though, was made before he was even exposed to jazz. ‘Shellela Besaxophone’, from 1959, is a take on a traditional shellela, a song sung by soldier bragging of their abilities, but instead of being sung by one man with a masenqo (one-stringed fiddle), Mèkurya has arranged it for his saxophone and the Haile-Selassie Theatre Orchestra.
Need a pick me up? Well today’s Song of the Day may do that for ya, it’s time to make light of your lot.
Reid Paley is from Brooklyn, New York and this track, ‘Everything is Going Wrong (And That’s Alright)’ is from his 2007 album Approximate Hellhound. There’s no frills here – a simple blues trio playing stuff from the genre’s rockier edge. This is quite a rootsy piece though, and Paley’s increasingly anguished vocals – gritty at the best of times – work well over the perfect combination of the cool bassline, tight drumwork and loose guitar playing.
Today’s SOTD comes from sunny Norway, and it’s the title track of the Kaizers Orchestra’s debut album Ompa Til Du Dør.
Were you out Charlestonin’ on the ballroom floor last night? You may find yourself boarding a train…
Los Chinches – Fongo (Movimentos Records / April 1 2013)
By Jim Hickson
Where San Francisco-style psychedelic rock, funk and cumbia meet, that’s where Los Chinches reside.
It’s not your typical cumbia though, this is chicha – a style that evolved in 1960s Lima, Peru. It combines the Latin rhythms and brass of the Colombian genre with melodies inspired by Andean music and instrumentation taken from surf rock (it was the 60s, after all).
Right, time to get our funk on! But perhaps not our strut…
The Apples are a funk group from Israel, comprising of drums, double bass, a four part horn section and two turntablists. No guitars or keys here!
Not normally any vocals either, but on this track, they’re joined by renowned singer Shlomo Bar (who’s also playing the goblet drum, the darkbuka) as well as oud (lute) player Ilan Ben-Ami.
The Apples usually bring a fat lot of jazz and soul into their music, but in this album, 2010’s Kings, they’re joined by Bar as well as funk legend Fred Wesley for half the album each – so Wesley’s half is full of classic funk whilst Bar’s offering give the Apples’ usual sound a Middle Eastern zing.