wed 12/08/2020

New Music Features

theartsdesk at The Inntöne Jazz Festival

Matthew Wright

New Orleans. New York. Kansas City. Chicago. These are the places where the soul of jazz breathes free. In London, you’d head to Soho. Dalston, or Camden; none of these places have a blade of grass to share between them. Jazz must be one of the most determinedly urban genres of music. Even rap these days has flirted with country music. (Look up Spearhead’s entertaining “Wayfaring Stranger” if you don’t believe me.)

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theartsdesk in Aarhus: SPOT Festival 2014

Kieron Tyler

At last night’s Eurovision Song Contest, host country Denmark submitted “Cliché Love Song”, a weedy Bruno Mars-a-like designed to ensure they did not win for a second year running. It came ninth. While understandable that Danish national broadcaster DR would try to duck the expense of staging the extravaganza in Copenhagen again in 2015, they could have displayed some imagination by choosing an entrant that was certainly not a winner but had some worth.

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theartsdesk in Cabo Verde: Sodade, Slaves and Syncopation

Peter Culshaw

My preconceived and somewhat misguided idea of the Cabo Verde islands (the official name for Cape Verde these days) was that they were basically a hotter version of the Canaries, with a spare and volcanic landscape that, being a Creole culture in the middle of nowhere, produced a few remarkably wistful singers, most famously the great Cesaria Evora.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Singer Sonja Kristina

Graham Fuller

The March release of North Star, Curved Air's first studio album for 38 years, was no small triumph for vocalist Sonja Kristina and drummer Florian Pilkington-Miksa. Surging yet deliquescent, it echoes here and there the eldritch mood of the three sumptuous LPs they and original core members Francis Monkman and Darryl Way recorded at the height of the progressive rock era.

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Listed: Hauschka's Abandoned Cities

theartsdesk

Hauschka is a musician and composer from Düsseldorf, performing in what has been dubbed a "post-classical" vein, although he also has many fans in the electronica scene. His new album Abandoned City, written and performed almost entirely on a treated piano, was inspired by the idea of cities that are no longer, or never were, inhabited. It is full of approriately elegiac beauty. Here he introduces the different cities with a paragraph about each.


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Interview: Karol Conka - a shiny new rap star from Brazil

Peter Culshaw

Three years ago Karol Conka was a receptionist. Since then she had made a living from her music and, with the launch of her first international album Batukfreak, (“Beat-freak”, more or less) is making waves internationally. But that doesn’t tell you the punch her music has or her style (when I meet her, she’s wearing cute Japanese shoes, dyed short blonde hair, super-colourful jacket).

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theartsdesk in Estonia: Freedom and Music Thrive in the Shadow of Putin’s Russia

Kieron Tyler

“Art, real art, is a denial of the status quo. A tradition that values the role of the individual.” Speaking in Estonia’s capital for the opening of Tallinn Music Week, the Baltic country’s President Toomas Hendrik Ilves is referring to what’s just over his shoulder. Freedom is on his mind.

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Frankie Knuckles, 1955-2014

joe Muggs

It's rare that you can trace a genre to one man. But house music is well documented: “house” originally simply meant the music played at the Warehouse club, by one Frankie Knuckles, who died yesterday in Chicago from diabetes-related complications.

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News Exclusive: Tina Turner records with Led Zeppelin

Thomas H Green

Tina Turner has recorded an album of American blues and folk classics, as well as one original song, with the remaining members of Led Zeppelin. theartsdesk can exclusively reveal that the 74-year-old pop star and soul-funk legend met Led Zep guitarist Jimmy Page through her husband, the German music executive Erwin Bach, and that recording took place last November near her home in Küsnacht, Switzerland.

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Miles Davis: Live at Fillmore East

Tim Cumming

It’s strange to think that music recorded 45 years ago in what was once an old Yiddish theatre turned rock 'n' roll palace on the Lower East Side in the summer of 1970 – a few months before Jimi Hendrix’s death, as war raged in Vietnam and riots in the US – still sounds way ahead of our time, let alone the time in which it was made.

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