World Music Mix: Sanfeliu(Australia)-Album: To Absent Friends(4000 Records, 2022)

Sanfeliu-To Absent Friends

Sanfeliu(Australia)-Album: To Absent Friends(4000 Records, 2022)

Sanfeliu-Leopardi

Sanfeliu’s sophomore album To Absent Friends is a collection of songs and sound-collages about the people that make us who we are: friendships, relationships based on the free sharing and exchanging of care, nurture, pleasure and knowledge in different times and places.

Like each friend, each song presents different patterns, and a different relationship or exchange model: some friends you see every week, some every summer, some sporadically, some regularly, but they all share a focus on self-reflection, awareness, cooperation, collection creative pursuits, shared passions that bring you together.

Similarly to friendships, these songs show an interest in change, growth, transience, willingness to embrace change and to grow. Some pieces have a clear pop-song structure with verse, bridge and chorus. Others have a ballad structure, and rely on the repetition and contrast between vocal and instrumental parts. Some are entirely built on repetition, whereas others explore development and change, with slowly shifting harmonic sequences.

“In most of the pieces,” says Sanfeliu, “working with very minimal rhythmic and melodic motifs and presenting these across both piano and subtle synth layers helped me integrate the writing into something that allowed for more complex arrangements, whilst feeling still natural, seamless, organic.”

The album’s opening track, ‘To Absent Friends’, is a simple note addressed to all our dear friends: perhaps a letter, or a postcard, a message that travels through space and place between oneself and another, bridging that distance and using it as a strength to build a process of active exchange and communication.

Several of the songs in the album refer to actual people: friends, relatives, writers, philosophers, thinkers and activists that have been influential in Carles’ life.

For example, ‘Leopardi’ is dedicated to the 19th century Romantic poet Giacomo Leopardi, possibly the founding father of emo-core music/poetry, and draws heavily on his own lyrics.

‘El Rey y la Reina de los Desamparados’ is dedicated to Kurt Cobain and its lyrics are an adaptation/mechanical translation of his diaries.

In contrast with Sanfeliu’s debut album (Flores – Colores), To Absent Friends has perhaps a brighter sound, and more uplifting songs with a clear pop structure, whilst continuing their exploration of melodic variety from different musical traditions.

Recorded at Moon Room with Nell Forster and mastered by Marly Lüske at Alchemix Studios, several friends also joined the creative and recording process: Isabel Torres plays flute on 4 songs, Paco Johnson-Cash contributes guitar and lap-steel guitar on 2 songs and Nell Forster herself contributed sound-collaging, drums and percussion.

To Absent Friends tracklist:

1. To Absent Friends [3:22]
2. Leopardi [5:11]
3. Lonely Village [3:57]
4. Bicycles [6:04]
5. Digital [2:30]
6. El Rey y La Reina de Los Descastados [8:11]
7. La Maga Fina [2:47]
8. Grassy Patch [5:40]
9. To Dear Friends [2:55]

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World Music Mix: Russ Hewitt(USA)-Chasing Horizons(2022)

Russ Hewitt(USA)-Chasing Horizons(2022)

Russ Hewitt(USA)-Chasing Horizons(2022)

On Chasing Horizons virtuoso Texas-based guitarist Russ Hewitt integrates a diverse palette of Latin and world music in a selection of ten original compositions that define his entire artistic career to date. The album’s beauty stems from an extraordinary synthesis of sensitivities and abilities that speaks directly to the listener’s heart and leaves an enduring impact.

Beyond the technical mastery and distinctive melodicism Russ displayed on his previous three albums, lies a genuine inventiveness he infuses to every track of the new album. The Latin-Flamenco vibe that permeates his music is skilfully infused into each song in a unique way, giving the album the appearance of a collection of hits.

In addition to a band composed of high-class musicians, the present album features a couple of famous guest guitarists, the end result being a cohesive concept where every component fits together perfectly.

The album takes off with Allende on a Spanish Rumba Flamenca notesetting the stage for the exciting program that follows. Hewitt playing is concise and sharp, building the melody with what can be called “refined clarity”.

The title track Chasing Horizons, features guest guitarist Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme) playing in full synergy with Hewitt on an energised composition with a nouveau flamenco tinge with outstanding bass work from Bob Parr.

On Vivir Libre, the guitarist shares the spotlight with Marty Friedman(ex-Megadeth), a real joy to hear both musicians interpolate their skills through dazzling solos.

Amor Perdido is a beautiful merging of guitar and strings thanks to the participation of the Bucharest All-Star Orchestra. Interesting how the symphonic dimension enhances the emotional touch of the guitar.

The contemplative Luminous features the guitarist weaving an unforgettable bright and shiny melody. 

Gently swinging, Sunset Samba welcomes the guest musician Jorge Strunz (Strunz & Farah), the Brazilian breeze emerges with delicacy, we hear a fiesta of joyous spirits.

Luna is a composition of sheer beauty where sadness and joy mix together in a timeless cinematic narrative.

Cubalia Cafe with guest Ardeshir Farah (Strunz & Farah) spreads a Cuban perfume delicately fused in the texture of the song.

Serein-a nicely well-structured piece with a reflective, dreamy side with a superb arrangement.

Ending the album, Return to Simitai reveals an intricate melodic line flowing along the fusion between the guitar and the exotic sonority of the zither performed by the Vietnamese virtuoso Tri Nguyen.

All in all, Chasing Horizons is one of those refreshing albums to uplift the spirit, a real gem to delight the soul and beneficial for any music therapy!

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World Music Mix
Russ Hewitt @ JazzWorldQuest


World Music Mix: Tom Glide feat. Sophia Ripley(UK) – A Deep Love

Tom Glide feat. Sophia Ripley A Deep Love

Tom Glide feat. Sophia Ripley(UK) – A Deep Love
Tom comes back here with an organic , magical dream team/cast of international musicians as Eddie Brown on Pianos , Antoine Katz on Bass and Kamil Rustam on Acoustic Guitar , mixing and arranging the yummy jam with soulful house ,latin or afro spices in a groovy , contemporary jazz house saucepan . Good Appetite !

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