sun 09/08/2020

New Music Features

Jazz Central - London... or Odessa?

Peter Culshaw

For an art form that has been quite often written off over the last half century, Jazz seems in extraordinarily rude health. Today sees the opening of the biggest ever EFG London Jazz Festival featuring scores of venues and hundreds of groups throughout the capital.

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RIP musician and producer Allen Toussaint

joe Muggs

Allen Toussaint, who died last night aged 77, apparently just minutes after coming off stage in Madrid, was the soul of New Orleans. Irma Thomas, The Neville Brothers, Dr Longhair, The Meters, and of course the Nighttripper himself Dr John: all of them benefitted from his magic touch, whether as producer, arranger, songwriter or pianist of enormous talent.

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'We want you guys to do the video in the nude'

Travis Barker

We  had an awesome producer, Jerry Finn, who was just a few years older than us. Jerry was usually wearing a Replacements T-shirt and Vans sneakers. He had worked with Green Day, Jawbreaker, and a bunch of bands on Epitaph Records, including Rancid and Pennywise. Jerry wasn’t some asshole rolling up to the studio in a Bentley - he was one of us. He could be honest with us, and we would listen to him, which is really important.

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theartsdesk in Paris: Peregrinations on the Pigalle

Kieron Tyler

Sometimes appearances can be deceptive. The frontman on stage looks as generic it gets. His scruffy beard, retro specs, baseball hat, shapeless jeans and the bulging outline of a mobile phone stuffed in his trouser pocket don’t add up to suggest that his band Tahiti Boy & the Palmtree Family are going to be anything distinctive. But the studied casualness belies what actually takes place musically. This is exceptional.

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CD Special: Bob Dylan, The Cutting Edge 1965–1966

Tim Cumming

Can you have too much of a good thing? I ponder this as I scroll through the 109 watermarked MP3s of Bob Dylan’s recording sessions spanning 13 January 1965 to 16 February 1966, for Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, and Blonde on Blonde.

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theartsdesk in Hamburg: Reeperbahn Festival 2015

Kieron Tyler

An encounter with Hamburg’s Reeperbahn is akin to assimilation into a real-life kaleidoscope where bright lights, mass revellers and shills touting bars, night clubs or strip joints combine in a single multi-sense overload. The tumultuous thoroughfare is dedicated to excess.

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An Open Book: Laurent Garnier

Thomas H Green

Laurent Garnier, 49, is a key figure in the development of French electronic dance music. A DJ at the Haçienda in Manchester just as house music began to explode in 1987, he went on to helm nights at the Rex Club in Paris in the Nineties. These became a vital hub around which French dance music coalesced. Garnier went on to be a successful producer and live performer, releasing multiple albums, many for his own F Communications label.

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theartsdesk at the Chicago Jazz Festival

Martin Longley

The Chicago Jazz Festival is a freebie extravaganza, held over the Labor Day holiday weekend, its massive crowds welcomed by the looming chromium jelly bean that is sculptor Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate. Onward into Millennium Park, right on the shore of Lake Michigan, there are a pair of long tents for the afternoon sets, with alternating bands ensuring constant musical motion.

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theartsdesk at Green Man 2015

Barney Harsent

Sunday. Brecon Beacons. Very early in the morning. I am woken, as I have been every 20 minutes or so since falling asleep, by water dripping on my head. So far, I’ve been able to ignore it, the pain of sitting upright outweighing the inconvenience of a wet head by a factor I can’t begin to fathom. Now, however, the hangover has lifted slightly and the need to piss is so painful I can no longer ignore it.

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theartsdesk in New York: Folk City

Markie Robson-Scott

If you liked the Coen Brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis, with its Dave Van Ronk-esque hero in Greenwich Village in 1961, you'll enjoy the new exhibition Folk City: New York and the Folk Music Revival, a celebration of NYC as the centre of folk music from its beginnings in the Thirties and Forties to its heyday in the Fifties and Sixties.

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