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CD/DVD Releases: December Delights From Musea

Posted on Saturday, December 17 @ 16:00:00 UTC by nightowl

As you look for items to add to your holiday gift list (even if the recipient is yourself), Musea Records offers these 7 December delights, some jazz, some prog...:

Alkozaur - Serum Of Life: Alkozaur is a new french band influenced by Genesis, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, and more recently Porcupine Tree. Created a few years ago by Antoine Ferrera, bass, and Didier Lapchin, guitars, the band presents in this first album, Serum Of Life, atmospheric, precise and unusual compositions. Philippe Compagnon brought in his inspired lyrics and melodies. Serge Ruiz and Thierry Laurent, respectively keyboards and drums, completed the musical arrangements with virtuosity. A subtle, energetic album, with rhythms sometimes surprising, born after several years of maturation and passion.

Maria Laura Baccarini - Furrow - A Cole Porter Tribute: Cole Porter composed many songs; almost all became immortal songs that have evolved through jazz, pop and even rock, with ever-changing interpretations. It is exciting to offer today this title, with intelligent and unusual arrangements by Régis Huby, who with his band recorded them for the wonderful voice of Maria Laura Baccarini. Why has there always been love for Cole Porter and why do we [the French*,] continue to love? That's their culture - musical, acrobatic ability to play with the English language by mixing of French words, Italian, Spanish, for its erotic tension so urgent and last but not least, the wonderful irony and also the rigorous metric of his compositions ... It is clear that it is not easy to sing Cole Porter and there are very few performers able to provide us with its many aspects.

Maria Laura Baccarini, miraculously, through elective affinity, is moving and passionate, and is capable drawing out a very emotional response when listening as she sings Cole Porter. The "single" three titles of foreshadowing that were sent to reporters had not left them indifferent, and concerts in Paris and the Festival Sons d'Hiver was veritable triumph to the public and critics. This was followed by recording the album's final song, a little pop, a little rock ... and great jazz!

* I translated this press release from their original Frech... I think this is what they meant, if not a more general, global we, which would also be true -ed.]

Faton Cahen Quintet - Amalgama: François "Faton" Cahen and François Causse are friends since the seventies, around bands like Magma, Gong, Zao, Ethnic Trio, with Christian Vander, Didier Malherbe, Yochk'o Seffer and many more. After having played this music at the Satellit Café in Paris under the name of Don Faton, it was then recorded in 2010 in François Causse's studio in Massy, using the computer technology, without loosing the warmth of live music.

No more preconceived ideas about style, but simply a process where each musician brings his ideas and feeling. Then,comes the selection of the best moments, which explains the title Amalgama, a word coming from classical Arab language, which means fusion of metals. Tracks are build step by step, with generous unexpected guests, and this process takes some time. This is what is called fusion music.

Echoes - The Black Cat's Step: In the wake of the 2007 Rachel album, Echoes comes back with The Black Cat’s Step, recorded in June 2011. The quartet from Rouen strikes an acid and psychedelic rock, in which insistent guitar riffs filled with reverb, and potent ambiance of Hammond organ melt down into a hypnotic trance, sprinkled with vocal arrangements that remain the band’s personal signature. With The Black Cat’s Step, Echoes brings a French touch to the psychedelic temple that is being constructed on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, with bands like The Black Angels or Sleepy Sun, and immerses us in the delightful sounds of its glorious elders, from The Velvet Underground to King Crimson, and The Doors. If you fancy saturated atmospheres and shamanic inspirations, depart with Echoes in the footsteps of the dark feline.

JPP - Project One: J: Joel Widmaier is Haiti’s most respected jazz drummer and a connoisseur of Caribbean drum rhythms. A big fan of Weather Report, of guitarist Pat Metheny and of drums studio legend Steve Gadd, he knows well how to blend different kinds of music with Haitian rhythms and musical styles.

P: Pascale Monier is a French classically-trained musician who studied piano and the semiclassical instrument Ondes Martenot. She is also a bass and Chapman Stick player and a true admirer of composer Olivier Messiaen, of King Crimson’s Tony Levin and of Van der Graaf’s Peter Hammill.

P: Poncho, Alfonso Medina is a Mexican classical trained guitarist and composer, but also a jazz, blues and rock fan. An enthusiast of Bach’s works and of Prokofiev’s harmony, he has been influenced by Rush, Pink Floyd and even Al Di Meola in his playing.

In 2006 Pascale met Joel in Port-au-Prince, where she lived at the time. As she had played with Poncho previously in Mexico, the idea of inviting him for a series of concerts was proposed. So, they got together as a trio for a series of jazz performances in Haiti the same year. As soon as they started playing, they immediately understood each other and their concerts were an instant success. Therefore, they decided to compose new pieces and record an album together. For this purpose, most of their influences were brought in: jazzy pieces and melodic songs, heavy rock guitars and the delicacy of classicism, world music in the form of Haitian voodoo drums and Mexican pre-Hispanic ocarinas. What would they do with all these different styles? Well, JPP, as pronounced in French (“jeepepay”) is an expression in Haitian Creole that means “whatever will be, will be." The result was Project One, a varied but still concise record, a blend of different styles and influences from three different countries by three different musicians in the same path.

Noetra - Résurgences d'Errance: It's also Musea's aim to rediscover some past masterpieces which didn't even reach the stage of discographic release. That is the case for Noetra's Neuf Songes. Jean LaPouge composed and recorded those thirteen instrumental pieces between 1979 and 1981, with a line-up half-way between rock and chamber music (guitar, bass, drum, oboe, flutes, cello, clarinet, saxophone and trombone). Considering in retrospect having too quickly turned down some tracks of the first album, he decides to release Définitivement Bleus.... So this album includes twelve tracks of the 1979-1982 era, a logical continuation of Neuf Songes. Superb compositions with superb sound, always with feeling. In both cases, his music takes from contemporary composers (Stravinsky, Debussy), blending these influences with subtle touches coming from jazz or rock. It reminds sucessively of Julverne or Terpandre, but Noetra reveals a rare originality and char music. Seen from another angle, Noetra's music can be tense and harmful: let's imagine The Mahavishnu Orchestra without its typical angry outburst, but keeping in the meantime that anguished rhythm guitar and that twirling violin... Apart from a legitimate studio offering, Noetra required a live album to prove how good its music was. The gap is filled today, thanks to the combined efforts of guitar player Jean LaPouge and the Musea label. They digged deep enough to reach the precious gem in Radio France's archives. So, there came Live 1983. It has been recorded straight in stereo, in live conditions, in Cubjac, in the Dordogne region. Featured here are five tracks, for hardly one hour of music. Don't miss that twenty-seven years feast, waiting for your ears! And now comes also Résurgences d'Errance.

And to round out this round-up, Quatuor IXI - Cixircle: Quatuor IXiI created in 1994 by Guillaume Roy and Régis Huby, which Irène Lecoq joined in 2003, starts a new phase with the incredible cellist, Atsushi Sakai, a virtuoso of the baroque, classic and contemporary repertoire as well as of improvised music. From his experience with classical string quartets, Atsushi Sakai has drawn a taste for collective, long-term projects, working with the sound as a "material," and of course, has also acquired an impressive instrumental expertise (working on such a rich, two-century repertoire). From his jazz quartet experience, he possesses a strong sense of rhythmic dynamics, and, above all, masters the art of improvisation, used here not in relation from the main theme to the solo, but rather in a dialectical relationship between the soloist and the other instruments. Quatuor IXI displays such a spontaneous virtuoso precision in its compositions that it's almost impossible to tell which parts are written and which are improvised. During its fifteen years of existence, Quatuor IXI has played over 400 concerts and performed everywhere in Europe and other places.

[Source: Musea]

Posted in Album Release News