mon 10/08/2020

New Music Features

Serge Gainsbourg vs The Anglo-Saxons

Kieron Tyler

The arrival of Gainsbourg: Vie Héroique in British cinemas this week – under its Anglo-Saxon title Gainsbourg – assumes that distributors think there’s an audience. Even so, Gainsbourg hardly has the appeal of a Johnny Cash biopic. Or even an Ike Turner biopic.

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Larkin's Jazz, Proper Records

peter Quinn

“A E Housman said he could recognise poetry because it made his throat tighten and his eyes water. I can recognise jazz because it makes me tap my foot, grunt affirmative exhortations, or even get up and caper round the room.” For those curious to discover the kind of music that made poet Philip Larkin leap around shouting “Yeah, man”, help is at hand.

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Interview: Os Mutantes

Peter Culshaw The mutants in regalia

Arnaldo Baptista of Os Mutantes is telling me why South American music can be so compelling: "It's the historical mix, Incas, black Africans, Europeans, beings from Outer Space." I beg his pardon. "Oh, yes, I have seen many flying saucers". Arnaldo is being perfectly serious and launches into his theory of Time (he has formulas and diagrams) which state that once humans go faster than the speed of light, we will be able to travel back to the past. He thinks will freeze himself cryogenically and...

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The Seckerson Tapes: Sting Interview

Edward Seckerson

The location is Sting's beachside house in Malibu the morning after the night before: another night, another venue - the Hollywood Bowl - another three-hour Concert of his songs. That's concert with a capital "C" because this time Sting has brought along more than just a few of his favourite musicians to join him, he's brought along the 50-strong Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, "the biggest band I've ever worked with".

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theartsdesk in Copenhagen: The Copenhagen Jazz Festival

peter Quinn

It's Friday afternoon, the sun's beating down, and I'm kicking back with a cold one in Kongens Have, Copenhagen's oldest and most idyllic park. From the bandstand, the music of Duke Ellington falls mellifluously on my ears, the languorously swinging, behind-the-beat groove of the specially assembled Band Leader Session perfectly suiting the sultry atmosphere. We can't know for sure what heaven will be like, but I'm hoping it'll be something like this.

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theartsdesk at the Gnawa Festival, Essaouira

Tim Cumming Gnawa musicians playing at opening ceremony

Come the end of June in Essaouira on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, up to half a million festival-goers team the narrow, traffic-free streets of the medina, its two huge open squares, and numerous courtyards and riyads around town, for what must be the world’s biggest free festival. It is dedicated to Gnawa, the trance and healing music of African Moroccans who had been inveigled into slavery in centuries past – there was a slave market in Essaouria until the early part of the 20th century – and...

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UK Festivals 2010 Round-Up

ismene Brown

Get your tent and ice-box and plan your summer's entertainment with theartsdesk's definitive clickable festival guide - listings and links for all the UK festivals this summer, from heavy rock by Scottish lochs to Morris-dancing in the south west, and taking on opera, classical and major international arts festivals for good measure.

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theartsdesk in Fes: The World Sacred Music Festival

Peter Culshaw

The interior world of Morocco seems a magical place where music and words have more power than in the disenchanted, cold light of the North. On the plane on my first trip to Fes I met a businessman, in import-export, wearing a Burton suit. The strangeness of Morocco revealed itself when he started telling me of his current problem, that his daughter has been put under a spell by a djinn (he translated the word as “devil”) residing in a frog. His mother was a member of the Hamdashas...

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Dinner with Caetano Veloso

Peter Culshaw

You forget how fast the night descends in the tropics, in half an hour the light goes, the sun disappearing with a grand melodramatic finality. You understand the Mexican tribe who believe without their prayers it will never rise again. But it leaves behind a warmth in the enveloping womblike darkness. With the breeze against our faces in the Bahian night, Brazil’s most celebrated pop star is showing me his domain, a fabulous clifftop house in Salvador de Bahia in the state in the North-East...

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All Das Jazz: the Berlin Phil swing with Wynton Marsalis

Kate Connolly

"It was only on Monday afternoon that the final scores of three of the movements were put into my hands," says Sir Simon Rattle, chuckling at the memory and casting a mock glance of disapproval at the composer and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis who is sitting next to him looking rather sheepish. "It makes us realise that composers are human beings just like we are," the conductor adds. "I'm just praying I get all my tempos right by tonight."

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