World Music Mix: Plena Libre(Puerto Rico)-Album: Cuatro Esquinas (2023)

Plena Libre-Cuatro Esquinas-jazzworldquest

Plena Libre celebrates 30 years of bringing the iconic sounds of their Puerto Rican homeland to stages worldwide w/the release of new album Cuatro Esquinas (Four Corners) and worldwide tour dates

Puerto Rico’s multi-Grammy–nominated musical masters, Plena Libre have consistently been enthralling audiences around the globe over the course of their storied 30-year, 16-album career with their original sound — one that infuses the traditional plena and bomba rhythms of Puerto Rico with a fresh spring mix of Afro-Caribbean and jazz styles to create groove-laden dance music that honors their deep sense of the unique indigenous musical traditions, while embracing modern trends.

Now, Plena Libre are celebrating their 30th anniversary in style, unleashing a new wave of awe-inspiring hand drumming, vivacious horns, and soul-soaring three-part vocal harmonies with the release of their new album Cuatro Esquinas (Four Corners), to be released March 31, 2023. The fine-tuned, original band of 12 versatile virtuoso musicians will also be captivating audiences across the map in 2023 with live performances scheduled at festivals in Puerto Rico, the United States, and Europe, including an appearance at the prestigious New Orleans Jazz Festival.

Founder, bandleader, and bassist Gary Nuñez stress the appropriateness of the title, since the group’s music, and especially that of this new album, reflects personal, universal situations, accompanied by the unique sounds of the Puerto Rican rhythms of the bomba and the plena. The album title was inspired by Nuñez’s youth, growing up in a Puerto Rican neighborhood where “Four Corners”, alluded to a local meeting point that sometimes even carried an unfairly bad reputation.

Says Nuñez, “Cuatro Esquinas”, in my adolescence, used to be a meeting point in my neighborhood, with some ‘bad reputation’. It was known as ‘4 Esquinas’ because in each corner there was a bar or bodega. It was the place where people met and all sorts of characters gathered there and replaced their sorrows with some joy, romance, adventure, or consolation. It is the part of our history that does not appear in the “stories” that we were told about who Puerto Ricans are”

Cuatro Esquinas is a representation of some of those experiences, captured in a mix of “traditional” and original songs. Featuring four vocalists singing in lush three-part harmonies – with an aggressive, tight, yet sensitive style, which balances the traditional with the contemporary, the global, and the local – Plena Libre creates a brand of music and live performance that captivates the multicultural audience, invites to dance and to listen to their sound.

The track, “Tu cintura con la mía” was arranged by Luisga Núñez, son of Gary Nuñez who shares with his father a passion for parranda, bajo, and vocal harmonies — bringing a taste of the next generation to the distinctive elements of the group.

“We dedicate this recording to the public and to all those people who have supported Plena Libre, through those 30 years. To all the musicians who are and who have been part of this experience, we are GRATEFUL”, enthused Núñez, who took the opportunity to particularly thank his wife Valerie Cox “for the unconditional, necessary and total support for three decades and to all the musicians that were part of this album, making it possible”.

Apart from Gary Núñez as director and bassist, Plena Libre is made up of: Víctor Vélez (vocals/percussion), Luisga Núñez (vocals/percussion), Rafi Falú (requinto), Miguel A. de Jesús (vocals/percussion), Alex “Callejero” López (vocals/percussion), Rafy Torres, Randy Román and Kevin Ortiz on trombones, Pedro Dominicci (timbales), Manuel Rivera (congas), Karla Martínez on piano and Yarina Torres in charge of choirs.

Cuatro Esquina will be available on all major streaming platforms on March 31, 2023.

Check here for tour updates: https://www.plenalibre.com/tour-dates

Website

World Music Mix

World Music Mix: Armagos (Greece)- Album: “7 times in America” (2022)

Armagos-7 Times in America

“7 times in America,” the latest album by Greek pianist Armagos, is a wonderful display of musicianship and sensitivity. The seven pieces’ minimalist style enables for the compositions’ true beauty to stand out. With emotional depth and that special cinematic quality previously present on his previous albums, the compositions have a softly meditative nature painted with great care and finesse. A beautiful album for listeners who appreciate the inventiveness blessed with grace.

Listen

World Music Mix

World Music Mix: Al-jiçç(Portugal)- EP Traveler / Rupta

Al-jicc- Traveler Rupta

‘Chants’ is Al-jiçç’s fifth album and represents a new aesthetic evolution of the band. It was composed and produced during the pandemic, with the musicians individually recording their parts.

The music started with six little themes composed on an electric piano, which served as a harmonic basis for the improvisations. These improvisations were edited and manipulated, with the mixing and post-production playing a fundamental role on the record.

Keeping the Mediterranean-inspired melodies as a brand, in ‘Chants’ these were mixed in a universe influenced by Miles Davis’ electric period (in ‘Route’), by Dub (in ‘Zadar’) or more ambient electronics ( in ‘Lost Signal’).

This record represents a new direction for Al-Jiçç, using the melodic side as a starting point for more electronic and contemporary universes.

Nuno Damião – guitar, keyboards and percussion
Gonçalo Lopes – clarinet and bass clarinet
Ricardo A. Freitas – electric bass
Jorge Lopes Trigo – percussion

Facebook Bandcamp

www.facebook.com/aljicc.lisboa

 BEST OF BANDCAMP JAZZ – January 2019 and September 2021
” The quartet Al-jiçç embrace a number of influences, (…), With slinky tempos that slide into thick grooves, the quartet (…) give the different melodic approaches a bird-of-a-feather quality. the interplay between guitar and bass clarinet , like shadowplay between the sun and shade, results in some seriously absorbing moments.” Dave Sumner

World Music Mix

World Music Mix: Noga(Switzerland/Suisse) Nouvel album: LEV

Noga
Nouvel album LEV
Sortie le 14/04/2023 2023 chez Evidence Musique

Entre world, jazz, et musique classique, la chanteuse Noga annonce son nouvel album LEV pour le mois d’avril 2023.Avec ce disque, la musicienne suisse nous éblouit et nous démontre le pouvoir transformateur de la voix. Elle nous rappelle à l’épure et à sa beauté comme autant de forces à se réapproprier.

Et nous insuffle cette énergie fédératrice et nourricière telle qu’elle nous l’adresse en concert.  Noga prend appui, en hébreu, sur des poèmes millénaires, pour faire face au chaos de notre époque. Avec son groupe de musiciens complices, elle convoque des sons très actuels et invite à un voyage dessiné à partir de psaumes. Vibrations positives et bienfaisantes.

LEV
 est un album organique, avec des touches d’électronique subtiles qui créent des textures sonores singulières aux émotions libres. Sur fond classique et allures jazz, la musique se teinte de notes tribales, d’éclats moyenâgeux, d’accents méditerranéens, de réminiscences hippies, pop ou fifties… dans un paysage rythmé par la pulse des percussions et la voix bienfaisante de Noga.

On peut découvrir en premier extrait le clip de Shir, qui met en valeur l’incroyable chant de Noga.

 Pour regarder et diffuser le clip de Shir :https://youtu.be/XHwegt1aMFg
Tout le monde est perdu, tout le monde se cherche… et l’on pense trouver la réponse en soi… et si elle se trouvait dans la connexion aux autres et aux générations précédentes ?” Noga

Chanteuse, auteure, compositrice, Noga est aussi improvisatrice et performeuse. Membre de différents groupe et projets, elle a sorti une dizaine d’albums sur divers labels. LEV est son second disque chanté en hébreu. Quelle que soit la langue, le propos reste le même : utiliser la voix pour canaliser la lumière et se mettre au service de la vie, tout en jouant une musique actuelle, crossover et libre.

Noga est aussi connue pour l’association Catalyse qu’elle a fondée et qu’elle préside, avec à Genève un centre dédié à la voix.  Avec sa musique qui emprunte au jazz, aux musiques du monde et à la musique contemporaine, l’artiste suisse, née de parents émigrés d’Israël, canalise son éducation cosmopolite, les langues qu’elle maîtrise, la diversité des sons, styles, valeurs qui l’ont bercée, pour servir ce qui l’appelle : nourrir notre humanité commune et dissiper nos peurs.

Pour son nouvel album LEV, elle s’est tournée vers des poèmes ancestraux, en explorant leurs sonorités pour élever la fréquence vibratoire et la connexion entre les êtres.Le passé peut-il se conjuguer au présent ? Peut-on revisiter les psaumes et tirer de ces chants millénaires une vibration universelle et positive, qui élève la connexion entre les êtres et permet aux coeurs de battre, collectivement, à contre-peur ?

Face à la montée des courants anxiogènes, Noga s’affirme dans une musicalité qui parle au corps, à l’esprit et à l’âme, et revient à ses racines pour les transposer, aujourd’hui, dans des airs lumineux en équilibre sur un fil de spiritualité reliant passé – présent – futur.

 Site officiel Facebook Instagram

World Music Mix

World Music Mix: Haftor Medbøe and Konrad Wiszniewski(UK)-Poiesis(Subcontinental Records, 2022)

Haftor Medboe and Konrad Wiszniewski-Poiesis

Poiesis is a mesmerizing improvisational musical journey that takes the listener on an ambient and ethereal adventure created by Haftor Medbøe on guitar/effects and Konrad Wiszniewski on saxophones. The album is collection of ten dialogues permeated by an unearthly sense of infinity and borderless astral energy.

What came out from the synergy between the two musicians is a balanced sonic experience in which each instrument finds its right place in time while leaving no room for overstated interventions. The result is not just organic in its essence but adventurous reaching the unexpected.

From mellow to majestic, going through meandrous melodic lines that reach the lyrical realm, the fusion between acoustic and electronics offers a singular and enthralling experience. It is also about the solidarity of human souls facing the mystery of the universe using the music as vehicle for meaningful expression.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it: “All life is an experiment”, a vision that both musicians embraced throughout their spiritual encounter fueled by individual creative freedom.

Website

World Music Mix

World Music Mix: The Holy Rollercoasters(Australia) – Album: Odyssey

The Holy Rollercoasters -Odyssey

Meanjin/Brisbane livewire indie soul octet THE HOLY ROLLERCOASTERS are Ithaca-bound at last with the final installment of their Odyssey trilogy

Odyssey releases on February 8th on 12” vinyl and digital

Launching at It’s Still A Secret on February 25th

“Odyssey … has at its heart an utterly satisfying bombast and pose: the smell of greasepaint and the bright, blinding shine of floodlights infuse every note, every stab of the horns and every lyrical expression.”

  • Backseat Mafia

Homer’s Odyssey is a legendary, decade-long journey of myth-making, god-dwelling and monster-defeating. This album has similarly been a tumultuous quest for The Holy Rollercoasters, dividing the album into a triptych of EPs – Odyssey I in November 2021 and Odyssey II in April 2022, with the final collection of tracks being released as part of the album as a whole on February 8th, 2023.

With both EP’s receiving favourable reviews and airplay from alternative media and community radio alike and with their respective Brisbane launch shows selling out, The Holy Rollercoasters are ready to put the psych in your soul with Odyssey, a heady retelling of the epic poem, set in a post-civil war Australia.

Website

World Music Mix

World Music Mix: Giorgio Panico(Italy)-Album: I Ching (Dodicilune Records, 2022)

Giorgio Panico-I Ching

Giorgio Panico(Italy)-Album: I Ching (Dodicilune Records, 2022)

This album is based on the homonymous ancient Chinese divination text. The tracks were composed by elaborating the underlying philosophical and mathematical concepts. The musical choices were confirmed by consulting the oracle itself.

“The method of the I Ching does indeed take into account the hidden individual quality in things and men, and in one’s own unconscious self as well.” (C. G. Jung – Zurich, 1949)

Tracks
1. Ch’ien the creative, heaven 2. Sun the gentle, wind, wood 3. K’an the abysmal, water 4. Li the clinging, fire 5. Tui the joyous, lake 6. The effect of signs on building character 7. K’un the receptive, earth 8. The inner world arrangement 9. The primal arrangement 10. Chên the arousing, thunder 11. Kên keeping still, mountain 12. Cultural history

Musicians
Giorgio Panico: bass, pipa Carlo Cantini: violin Luca Maria Burocchi: guitar, banjo Emanuele Pellegrini: drums, percussions Music by Giorgio Panico

Produced by Giorgio Panico and Maurizio Bizzochetti, Gabriele Rampino, Dodicilune Label manager Maurizio Bizzochetti (www.dodicilune.it)

Recorded March, May 2021 at Studio Teclas, Perugia, Italy Sound engineers Luca Maria Burocchi, Daniele Marinelli Mixed and mastered September 2021, January 2022 at Studio Teclas, Perugia, Italy Sound engineer Luca Maria Burocchi Cover artwork by Anna Gebbia Photos by Anna Gebbia, Leonardo Corgna

Website CD Store

World Music Mix

World Music Mix: Shugorei(Australia)-Meet The Sun (feat. Shêm Allen)

Shugorei-Meet The Sun

Shugorei(Australia)-Meet The Sun (feat. Shêm Allen)
4000 Records (2023)

Meet The Sun’ features local vocalist Shêm Allen, who has performed with Nonsemble, Skinny Jean and Yr Familiar. Their distinct, unguarded and unaffected tone is reminiscent of Jeff Buckley, and on this track he lends Shugorei an entrancing, expressive depth.

After playing a show together in early December, Shêm and Shugorei mutually approached each other to collaborate and within a fortnight they were in the studio recording this track.

‘Meet The Sun’ celebrates the risks artists take to pursue their dreams. Like many Shugorei songs, the message is delivered bilingually (here, in English and Japanese). It is also embellished by a lush string arrangement, performed by members of Black Square Quartet.

website CD Store

World Music Mix

World Music Mix: Clint Bahr(USA) – Puzzlebox (Moonjune Records, 2022)

clint-bahr-puzzlebox

Inextricably linked to the label, the 2003 self-titled debut of Clint Barr‘s seminal NYC-based power trio, Tripod, was MoonJune Record’s fourth release. Harkening back to the same “reaching beyond” mentality which defined the work, Puzzlebox – bassist / vocalist / composer / multi-instrumentalist Barr’s long-awaited epic – is a fitting way to document this most special of occasions: seeing both artist and label going full circle, and in grandiose style!

Delightfully blurring both stylistic and structural approaches, the tight-knit unit Barr has assembled proves as unpredictable as they are adept, articulate and convicted. Described as “a genre-defying global collaboration of artists; a cross-pollination of diverse instruments and talents,” Puzzlebox recalls prog in its early heydays: when albums as uninhibited and offscript as King Crimson’s Lizard and Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica were celebrated, and the Canterbury renaissance was in full swing. Brilliantly arranged and produced, Clint Barr has delivered a multi-faceted, timeless epic … at such a time as this.

CLINT BAHR’s PUZZLEBOX’s release culminates a 20-year relationship between Clint Bahr and Leonardo Pavkovic, as TriPod’s eponymous CD was the fourth album released on MoonJune Records in 2003.

PUZZLEBOX is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Clint Bahr (former member of TriPod, Andromeda & Flash).

PUZZLEBOX is a rock band, a multidimensional “Tabula Rasa” in both compositional and improvisational formats.

PUZZLEBOX is a genre-defying global collaboration of artists, a cross-pollination of diverse instruments and talents.

Featuring:
Clint Bahr – basses & vocals (TriPod)
Peter Banks – guitar (Yes)
Colin Carter – vocals (Flash)
Marilyn Crispell – piano (Pharoah Sanders, Anthony Braxton)
David Cross- violins (King Crimson)
Stephanie Feyne – dialogue (The Dotes)
Billy Ficca – drums (Television)
Dick Griffin – trombone (Sun Ra, Roland Kirk)
Mike Hough – drums (Flash)
David Jackson – woodwinds (Van der Graaf Generator)
Dan Parkington – sitar & violin (Andromeda)
Jeff Schiller – woodwinds (The Roots)

www.puzzlebox.band

bandcamp

World Music Mix

World Music Mix: The Motet -“Draccus” (single, 2023)

The Motet unveil “Draccus,” the existential second single off their forthcoming instrumental album All Day

Marking the funk-jazz-soul quintet’s 10th studio LP, All Day will release on Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Out now across platforms“The verses in Draccus paint a dark picture of our socio-political landscape. In contrast, the ascending chords on the instrumental choruses hint at optimism for the future.” – Garrett Sayers, bassist for The Motet
For a little over two decades, The Motet have cultivated a fervent fanbase through immaculate live performances and a seamless blend of funk, jazz, soul, and rock. This unique style and cohesive musical chemistry have led to sold-out shows across the nation – including six headlining slots at Red Rocks and sets at festivals such as BonnarooBottlerockElectric ForestBumbershootSummer Camp, and High Sierra.

But even after their 20+ years of accolades and recognition, the legendary outfit – composed of Dave Watts (drums), Joey Porter (keys), Garrett Sayers (bass), Drew Sayers (keys and saxophone), and Ryan Jalbert (guitar) – are still exploring new sonic and thematic ideas.

Now, the band is revving up towards their 10th studio album, All Day, which will release on Wednesday, January 18, 2023. All Day marks The Motet’s first primarily instrumental project since 2009’s electronica-fueled Dig Deep.
Fans got their first taste of All Day with the album’s lead single, “‘79,” a lavish funk and soul epic. With a retro-futurist style, the track takes you into the funky past of the 70s and 80s while fortifying its pastiche with decidedly modern elements.

Today, The Motet release “Draccus,” a hazy, funk-fueled experience. Filled to the brim with lush sonic details and powerful lyricism, “Draccus” juxtaposes grim verses with cathartic, hopeful choruses.



Draccus” embodies what The Motet have concocted with All Day, an album that will retain the infectious grooves and immaculate, layered arrangements that The Motet have become known for. But by recentering the listening experience around the playing and composition, All Day emphasizes the band’s instrumental mastery molded by two decades of shared musical chemistry. As a result, the new LP promises to showcase a world-class band at the peak of their powers while simultaneously adding potent social themes that address modern political strife.

Draccus” kicks off with a growling, deep bass and guitar groove that underlie the dystopian vocoder-synth vocals. The verse then transitions into the song’s cacophonous chorus, which imbues the track with synth and organ chords on top of ascending guitar melodies.

Oscillating between politically-charged verses and optimistic instrumental hooks, “Draccus” speaks to the current social reality while offering a tone of hope and resilience in the face of existential doubt.

“First eat up all the trees, look out I spit fire/The keeper of the keys, flames are getting higher/Draccus does what he wants,” the band sings, a gloomy, poetic message on the state of the world.

But “Draccus” isn’t mere despair. It relates to the socio-political upheaval of the past several years, and uses its arrangements and instrumentation to bring focus to the importance of music and art. For The Motet, society can prosper through community, and music can be that bridging catalyst.

Fans can hear “Draccus” and other All Day cuts on The Motet’s upcoming nationwide tour, kicking off with a two-night New Years run at Crystal Bay Casino in Lake Tahoe and stopping through cities like Salt Lake City, St. Louis, Columbus, and Honolulu. In addition to performing at Tucson’s Gem & Jam Festival, the band will also play a special, hometown doubleheader at Denver’s Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, to celebrate both the LP release and the iconic venue’s 20th anniversary.

The Motet tour dates
12/30/22 Crystal Bay, NV | Crystal Bay Casino
12/31/22 Crystal Bay, NV | Crystal Bay Casino
1/13/23 Telluride, CO | Sheridan Opera House
1/14/23 Crested Butte, CO | Center for the Arts
1/20/23 Denver, CO | Cervantes
1/21/23 Denver, CO | Cervantes
2/3/23 Tucson, AZ | Gem + Jam
2/17/23 Bend, OR | Volcanic Theatre Pub
2/18/23 Bend, OR | Volcanic Theatre Pub
2/24/23 Bozeman, MT | ELM
2/25/23 Missoula, MT | Top Hat
2/26/23 Whitefish, MT | Great Northern Bar
3/1/23 Victor, ID | Knotty Pine
3/2/23 Boise, ID | Olympic Lounge
3/3/23 Salt Lake City, UT | Commonwealth
3/4/23 Salt Lake City, UT | Commonwealth
3/10/23 Buena Vista, CO | Ivy Ballroom
3/11/23 Buena Vista, CO | Ivy Ballroom
3/15/23 Indianapolis, IN | Vogue
3/16/23 St Louis, MO | Delmar Hall
3/17/23 Columbus, OH | St. Fatty’s Daze @ The Woodlands
3/18/23 Columbus, OH | St. Fatty’s Daze @ The Woodlands
3/19/23 Cleveland, OH | Beachland Ballroom
3/24/23 Honolulu, HI | Blue Note
3/25/23 Honolulu, HI | Blue Note

Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Soundcloud Website

World Music Mix