VOICES Notes and news on New Releases
21 JUL 14 CONCORD MUSIC GROUP
"The excellent single “Do You” now has a video by Hiro Murai that finds Britt Daniel sporting a head wound and driving a station wagon through an apocalyptic Los Angeles with a lady in the backseat." — Stereogum
Spoon have premiered their new official music video for "Do You." You can watch it here via Urban Outfitters.
If that's not trippy enough, check out the visual for "Inside Out," the band's next song, out digitally July 22nd and on Vinyl Gratification 10".
Read the live chat and see how Spoon premiered "Inside Out" to their fans on Consequence of Sound.
17 JUN 14 CONCORD MUSIC GROUP
Japan has produced an impressive assemblage of jazz pianists, from Toshiko Akiyoshi and Makoto Ozone to Junko Onishi. And now, well into the change of the 21st century, the pianist/composer Hiromi Uehara is the latest in that line of amazing musicians. Her ninth CD as a leader, Alive, heralds the return of Hiromi’s Trio Project, featuring contrabass guitarist Anthony Jackson (Steely Dan, Paul Simon, Michel Camilo, The O’Jays and Chick Corea) and drummer Simon Phillips (Toto, The Who, Judas Priest, David Gilmour and Jack Bruce). This terrific triad, which DownBeat magazine proclaimed as “one of the most exciting groups working in any genre today,” first formed in 2011 and recorded their first album Voice that year, followed by Move in 2013. On Alive, Phillips’ powerful, yet poetic percussion and Jackson’s flowing, glow-in-the-dark basslines beautifully buoy and support Hiromi’s ingenious and impassioned improvisations. Her evocative and expansive compositions evoke the myriad moods and mysteries of life and reveal the soulful, syncopated simpatico of her thrilling threesome.
“Alive has a double meaning for me,” Hiromi says. “I wanted to write songs that deal with things and emotions that we encounter in life. But the word Alive can also mean ‘played live.’ I’ve been performing with Simon and Anthony for four years. We’ve made three records together, and we’ve done so many live shows as a trio. We have a great time being adventurous, and I felt that we can make the record sound like a live recording in front of the audience.”
That’s the great thing about having a working trio: We understand how to make each other shine. Anthony is an amazing improviser. He composes incredible counter-lines when I solo, and he always plays something to make [the music] shine even more. And Simon has an amazing tone and a beautiful sound on the drums; he's like an orchestra. They can play anything, and they understand so many different genres of music. They have no boundaries. It’s been a great journey with this group.”
And the journey continues on Alive, featuring nine selections (all composed by Hiromi, beginning with the leadoff title track), which features a shimmering McCoy Tyner/Coltrane-like introduction that morphs into a torrid up-tempo pace. “I wanted the first track to sound like the beginning of life,” Hiromi says, “with every complicated and detailed combination of life’s creation.”
CD | MP3
11 JUN 14 CONCORD MUSIC GROUP
We celebrate Black Music 24/7, 365 here at Concord Music Group, nonetheless June is a special month, so along with new releases from Al Jarreau, Harvey Mason, Dianne Reeves and Kris Bowers—and some classic catalog titles, we are proud to share with you a FREE copy of our annual Black Music Month Sampler:
Soul'd Out! Volume 4
There truly is some special music included on this year’s sampler, so whether it is Cannonball Adderley serenading all the “Gemini’s” or Kris Bowers “Waking the Neighbors,” we cover the spectrum of Black Music with sound, style and of course soul!
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27 MAY 14 CONCORD MUSIC GROUP
Love Bug, Raffi's first album of children's songs in twelve years, marks a welcome return for the artist. The effortlessly engaging 16-song collection, which will be released July 15 on Rounder, embodies all of the qualities that have already established Raffi as a beloved and trusted icon for young listeners.
"I see this album as a celebration of the real world, in response to the digital overreach that now touches every aspect of our lives," Raffi says. "I think that these songs are rich in themes and styles and rhythms, but the main thing is that it's filled with joy. Essentially, this is an album about love. When I hear this album, I hear myself strong and smiling."
Raffi recorded much of Love Bug in his own living room, accompanied by an extended family of musicians whose talent and sensitivity on a wide range of instruments lends added warmth and uplift to the artist's new songs of love ("Love Bug," "Seeing the Heart"), nature ("In the Real World," "Blue White Planet"), play ("Free to Play," "To the Park"), chores ("Mama Loves It"), teamwork ("On Hockey Days"), imagination ("Magic Wand") and the need to slow down and catch one's breath amidst the accelerated pace of modern life ("Cool Down Reggae").
Other album highlights include Raffi's tributes to a pair of recently-departed heroes: folk-music iconoclast and children's-music pioneer Pete Seeger, whose spirit animates the upbeat instrumental "Pete's Banjo," and human-rights icon Nelson Mandela, whose achievements are celebrated on the poignant "Turn This World Around." Elsewhere on Love Bug, Raffi delivers a rollicking reading of the Woody Guthrie classic "This Land Is Your Land," Love Bug's only non-original composition.
"I had a lot of fun putting the album together," Raffi notes, "and I put a lot of thought into assembling and sequencing this group of songs. Once I felt that inner spark telling me that it was time for a new CD, I'm amazed at how smoothly it went."
Although Love Bug is his first children's album since 2002's Let's Play, Raffi has been remarkably active and productive over the past several years. He has devoted much of his time and energy to the his vision of Child Honouring, an original holistic philosophy for creating a humane and sustainable world by addressing the universal needs of children and a unifying ethic for restoring human and natural communities.
In 2013, after learning about the online extortion that led to the suicide of Vancouver teenager Amanda Todd, Raffi was inspired to write his widely acclaimed book
Lightweb/Darkweb: Three Reasons To Reform Social Media Before it Re-Forms Us. The book addresses the myriad concerns posed by the internet in relation to young children's developmental needs.
"For me, to be a children's advocate in this day and age, and not comment on social media, I wouldn't be doing my job properly," Raffi states, adding, "I'm a tech enthusiast myself, and I've kept up with the times, in terms of how I record and the freedom that the online and digital worlds give me. But with all tech events, the challenge is to keep your humanity in the forefront.
"InfoTech is changing childhood and changing parenting, and parents are now raising children in two different worlds, the real world and the virtual world. Many parents don't understand that this tech isn't good for children in their early years. We adults are custodians of a real world that children growing up today may not know or remember. Zero to six is a formative time for children. What’s forming is how it feels to be human, and we need to give those kids the chance for real-world textures and rhythms to be imprinted in their growing brains. So I think that the best thing I can do, coming out with a new CD at this time, is to add a fresh voice to that dialogue."
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