One of the finest songwriters of the 1990s returns with an album on which her voice and writing sound as special as ever, writes Robin Denselow...Back in the 1990s, Iris DeMent was rightly considered to be one of the finest singer-songwriters in America. She wrote heart-tugging, country-tinged ballads such as Our Town, and ranked alongside the McGarrigles for her blend of emotion and melody. This is her first album of new material in 16 years, but it sounds as powerful and timeless as anything she has done. The songs are a blend of gospel and country, often driven on by rolling piano work that's as all-American as Randy Newman, and her voice is equally distinctive, with a harsh-edged twang. But what makes this special is the quality of her songwriting, from the stomping but pained story of bereavement and questioned faith, The Night I Learned How Not to Pray, to the upbeat Go On Ahead and Go Home, and the gloriously sad Morning Glory. Welcome back.
Jazz news: Jazz Musician of the Day: Kurt Elling. All About Jazz is celebrating Kurt Elling's birthday today! Grammy winner Kurt Elling is among the world\'s foremost jazz vocalists. He has won every DownBeat Critics Poll for the last thirteen years and has been named “Male Singer of the Year" by the Jazz Journalists Association eight times in that same span. Every one of Elling\'s nine albums has been nominated for a Grammy. Elling\'s rich baritone spans four octaves and features both astonishing technical mastery and emotional depth...
Elina Duni, the band’s namesake, started playing piano and singing when she was five. At 17 she learned the blues and picked up jazz naturally from there, eventually studying jazz in Switzerland at the University of Bern.
At Bern, she met Collin Vallon, who plays piano in the quartet. Vallon was the one who originally proposed combining jazz with Albanian folk music.
“He said ‘Why don’t we play Albanian folk songs and transform them, play them in a jazz way,’ ” Elina Duni said. “To improvise with them and play them in a free way.”
Though Duni lived in Albania until she was 10, she wasn’t familiar with the country’s traditional folk music until she met Vallon. Folk music was politicized by the Albanian communist state and widely disliked for that reason.
But after listening to some old cassettes, Duni quickly developed a connection to the music, which in turn developed her own sound as a jazz performer.
All About Jazz is celebrating Babs Gonzales' birthday today!
Jazz singers used the scat technique, that means using the voice to create notes that are not words so the voice works like a musical instrument - and they also used slang in their music. Vocalists such as Slim Gaillard, and Babs Gonzalez were larger than life characters who used strange, funny new words in rhythmically complex phrases. Born Lee Brown, 27 Oct. 1919, in Newark NJ;
This album finds keyboardist John Medeski, Chris Wood on bass and Billy Martin on drums continuing their jam-funk based jazz, but with a twist: this album is played solely on acoustic instruments as opposed to the electric jam fusion for which they...
Let's travel back to the mid-1970s. As we settle in at our tables, expectations rise as we await performances by two vibraphonist giants—Cal Tjader and Milt Jackson—who will perform separately with their respective groups.
Mandolin player is among 23 people awarded 500,000 prizes...Punch Brothers mandolin player Chris Thile was among 23 people awarded a $500,000 MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" yesterday, The Associated Press reports. The news came as a surprise to Thile: recipients don't even know they've been nominated until they get a phone call telling them they've won, and nominators remains anonymous.
Andy Warhol has figured prominently in Patti Smith’s life particularly through her friendship with another artist the late Robert Mapplethorpe In her 2010 book Just Kids Smith recalled how much Warhol was an inspiration to Mapplethorpe . . .
All About Jazz is celebrating Buddy Rich's birthday today! Arguably the greatest jazz drummer of all time, the legendary Buddy Rich exhibited his love for music through the dedication of his life to the art.
The Clash came to a rather sad ending in May 1983 The group had every reason to be on the top of the world by this point their previous LP Combat Rock was an enormous hit and their singles "Rock the Casbah" and "Should I Stay or Should I Go"...
Rolling Stone reports that former Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant has been recording with Band of Joy’s Buddy Miller and may have an album out next year.
Miller tells the magazine that Plant joined him at his home studio in Nashville last year and the two recorded a batch of songs with Band of Joy drummer Marco Giovino.
“We didn’t mean to, but we sort of wrote a record’s worth [of material] and I said, ‘While we’re doing this, why don’t I put up some mics and document it,’ because that’s better than just trying to remember it or record it on your phone,” Miller said. “And it sounded so good I think we, you know, accidentally made a record.”
There’s still some fine-tuning to be done before the record is complete and it likely won’t be released until next year, but Miller says it complements Plant’s 2010 album, Band of Joy. “If the last record might be pastoral, parts of it, [this one’s] much more tribal; it’s much more urgent and tribal and, dare I say, rockin’!”
The Avett Brothers appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night for a special performance of one of their classic tunes, “I And Love And You,” in tribute to New York City and all of those affected by Hurricane Sandy....
Hound Dog Taylor was one of the rawest and most incredible blues musicians ever recorded. This is a rare video of him. The only other footage I know of is from a series documenting the "American Folk Blues Festival" in Europe.
Universally acclaimed as the most influential debut album ever, The Velvet Underground & Nico spawned not just imitators but entire genres of music. Its mix of candy pop, modal drones and chugging rock riffs presaged virtually all of punk and indie, while its leaning to the Dark Side of sex and drugs cast a long shadow over subsequent Goth and metal developments. This deluxe 6CD edition features both mono and stereo mixes of the original album, copious tranches of rehearsals, alternative takes and concert material – including the lengthy, meandering trudge-jams "Melody Laughter" and "The Nothing Song" – plus Nico's Chelsea Girl album.
After 50 years, the singer tells David Frost that Brian Epstein's successor was to blame for rock'n'roll's most famous splitIt was almost 50 years ago and in black and white that a fresh-faced David Frost interviewed a baby-faced Paul McCartney and...
The Shins are nearing the end of the final leg of their tour behind their latest record Port of Morrow and while in Los Angeles the group swung by Conan for a performance of the careening guitar shaker "No Way Down" The band also stuck around for a...
Although it’s a subject of constant debate for long-time fans of the extremely talented siblings, we’re honoring Groucho himself (on what would be his 122nd birthday) by counting down our five favorite Marx Brothers films.
Few singers do anguish as Bettye does it, as if being strangled with plaited anguish. But there it is. Here she is, 50 years into her career, tackling Dylan, Neil Young, Sly Stone, Waits … You get the drift.
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