The concert clearly demonstrates that Shankar was still a masterful instrumentalist, who still brought passion and innovation to Indian classical music. He was joined by a set of accomplished instrumentalists, including Tanmoy Bose on tabla; Ravichandra Kulur on bansuri flute and kanjira; Parimal Sadaphal on sitar; Samir Chatterjee on tabla; Kenji Ota on tanpura, swarmandal; and Barry Phillips on tanpura.
The program on the DVD includes four pieces. The first two are evening ragas, ‘Yaman Kalyan’ and ‘Khamaj.’ They are followed by a percussion segment in which Samir Chatterjee plays an unconventional tabla set composed of 5 drums (tabla is usually a 2 drum set).
On ‘Goonga Sitar,’ Ravi Shankar uses an innovative percussive sitar technique, which he described to the audience. The DVD concludes with ‘Ragamala,’ which is a medley of various ragas, Indian folk tunes and improvisation.
The excellent quality video shows the musicians from various camera angles with Shankar as the central focus. It was made by cinematographer and director Alan Kozlowski. The concert took place in Escondido, a city north of San Diego, in southern California.
Tenth Decade – In Concert: Live In Escondido is a memorable audiovisual document of Ravi Shankar, showcasing his talent, kindness and music innovation, giving the relevance and respect that he deserved.
Musician, composer and band leader Eddie Palmieri celebrated his 50th anniversary with a live concert filmed at the Bushnell Memorial Theater in Hartford, Connecticut. Palmieri is a legendary figure in salsa and Latin jazz. The video, which is now available, is titled Eddie Palmieri – 50th Year Anniversary DVD.
For this occasion, Palmieri and his Salsa Orchestra performed many of his greatest hits. The DVD combines live pieces with interview segments, where Palmieri talks about his musical influences and evolution.
The superb band featured on the DVD includes maestro Eddie Palmieri on piano, Herman Olivera on lead vocals, Brian Lynch on trumpet, Richie Viruet on trumpet, Phillip Dizack on trumpet, Conrad Herwig on trombone, Jimmy Bosch on trombone, Nelson Gonzalez on tres guitar and vocals, Jose Claussell on timbales, Vicente “Little Johnny” Rivero on congas, Luques Curtis on bass, Orlando Vega on bongo, Joseph Quique Gonzalez on backup vocals, and Julio Salgado on backup vocals and maracas.
Eddie Palmieri – 50th Year Anniversary DVD showcases salsa and Latin jazz of the highest caliber.
On October 1, 2011 Eddie Palmieri will be headlining a concert in support of the Los Padres Foundation ’s College Tuition and Assistance (CTA) Program at 8:00 pm at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts. The program was created for Puerto Rican/Hispanic high school students in the New York City/New Jersey metropolitan area who are interested in pursuing a post-secondary education. Lehman College is located at 250 Bedford Park Blvd. in the Bronx. http://lehmancenter.org/buytickets.html
Bach & Friends is a two DVD set that contains a two-hour documentary about Johann Sebastian Bach and his musical legacy and an additional bonus disc with performances.
The producer of the documentary, Michael Lawrence, interviewed and recorded numerous world class musicians from the areas of classical music, jazz and American roots music. The participants provide their insights about Bach’s music and then play versions of some of his greatest works.
The folk-rooted musicians provide some of the most intriguing renderings of Bach’s music. Hawaii’s Jake Shimabukuro shows us what a ukulele can do in the right hands. Bela Fleck skillfully adapts Bach’s music to the banjo and bluegrass sensation Chris Thile shows the capacity of the mandolin. Continue reading Bach Recreated by His Modern Friends→
Fiesta Cubana is a great opportunity to watch Omara Portuondo, one of the legendary voices of Cuba, still at her prime. She was recorded live with her band at the Tropicana in Havana, December 1-3 of 2009. It was a special occasion, celebrating the Tropicana’s 70th anniversary.
Even though this DVD is advertised as an Omara Portuondo video, you really get a double bill. There is a performance by Omara and her band, but there are also performances by the musicians and showgirls of the famed Cuban nightclub.
Omara Portuondo offers a vibrant and at the same time melancholic concert that includes boleros, son cubano, guajiras, mambos and jazz, with songs such as ‘Tal Vez’, ‘Amame Como Soy’, ‘Yo Vi’, and ‘La Sitiera’, as well as audience favorites like the perennial ‘Guantanamera’ and Chico Buarque’s ‘O Que Será’. Continue reading Omara Portuondo Celebrates the Tropicana→
While feature films like The Harder They Come and Rockers had story lines that included a good many truths about the Jamaican music industry, there are documentaries (beginning with 1977’s Roots, Rock, Reggae) which explore much of the same territory, gleaning ample dramatic effect from the music itself, the people who create it and the forces that impact it. And guess what? One such documentary is now on DVD.
I haven’t heard the corresponding soundtrack album to Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae, but if it’s as much of a delight as the documentary itself, I really must get around to it. After ska and before reggae there was rocksteady, a pulsating, urgent music that represented post-independence Jamaica settling into a groove as it was getting more conscious and celebratory in equal measure. Continue reading Steady As It Goes→
Only an accomplished vocalist/folkloric interpreter could open a concert with a fragile love song sung a cappella (“Touch Me”) and nearly bring the house down. However, Mariana Rossell, a Catalan folkloric specialist delivers a commanding performance ripe with heartfelt emotions.
On her CD from the concert released in 2009 on World Village, I could already hear Rossell’s immaculate phrasing, and felt amazed at the life she breathed into 100 year old songs. The DVD concert offers an hour and half of sheer pleasure as the collection of songs reflecting about love, death, patriotism for Catalonia, and defiance. And if that’s not enough, Rossell treats each story as if they’re her own and she’s a consummate storyteller too. Continue reading Marina Rossell presents Catalan Classics→
One of the great music documentaries of the 1970s is now available on a remastered DVD. Raga: A Film Journey into the Soul of India is dedicated to the the great Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar. The celebrated musician is one of the key figures in the introduction of Indian classical music in the West. He was George Harrison’s teacher and was a friend of British violinist Yehudi Menuhin.
One of the opening scenes shows Shankar mesmerizing a large audience of young adults, including many hippies, with Indian classical music. “George Harrison became my student in the mid sixties, which certainly opened up the biggest door in all the continents for me,” says Ravi Shankar. “George was one whom I loved very much as he was so deeply attracted to our music and the Vedic culture and traditions of India.” Continue reading Raga: A Film Journey into the Soul of India→
Daemonia Nymphe Live at la Nuit des Fées (Prikosnovenie, 2010)
I’ve always associated the world of fantasy literature and art with progressive rock. However, world music also has strong connections as represented in this DVD. French record label Prikosnovenie specializes in fairy music. That is the music that celebrates the magical creatures found in European literature and folklore. Every year, Prikosnovenie pus together a music festival called Night of Fairies (La nuit des fées) in Clisson (France) and they invite musicians who have connections with the worlds of fantasy. Continue reading Magical Time at the Night of Fairies→
El Chicano was formed in Los Angeles in 1970 and was characterized by its long jams, full of fiery guitar work, spectacular electric organ improvisations and percussion solos. “In the Eye of the Storm” is a two DVD documentary directed by David E. Meza that follows the evolution of El Chicano. The second DVD presents the latest version of the band with a May 2008 performance at The Avalon club in Santa Clara.
The documentary combines interviews with the musicians with footage from the era about the reaction of mainstream America to the rising militancy and importance of the Chicano movement. The band in 2008 included several founding members. Line-up in 2008: Mickey Lespron on guitar, Bobby Espinosa on organ and piano, Fred Sanchez on bass, John de Luna on drums, Rudy Regalado on timbales, Jerry Salas on vocals and guitar, and Marcos Reyes on congas.
Azteca’s La Piedra del Sol showcases another Latin rock legend. While El Chicano featured primarily Mexican-American musicians from southern California, Azteca was a short-lived multiracial supergroup from northern California led by Coke and Pete Escovedo, who came from the Santana group. The large band (up to 25 musicians on stage) was based in the San Francisco Bay Area and combined rock, jazz, soul and Latin musicians.
The Azteca documentary includes interviews as well as a reunion concert at the Key Club in Hollywood in 2007. The artists featured in the reunion concert include original members Pete Escovedo, vocalists Wendy Haas and Errol Knowles, bassist Paul Jackson, guitarist Bill Courtial, percussionist Victor Pantoja, trombonist Jules Rowell and former Miles Davis and Chick Corea drummer Lenny White.
Rainforest World Music Festival organizers assured international world music fans that there are no special travel requirements. "For those travelling from outside Sarawak, please note that there is no travel restriction into Sarawak and Malaysia at this present time despite of the travel advisories on the Influenza A(H1N1), " said Ben Jimbau, festival Chairman. "For the latest update on the situation, the Ministry of Health, Malaysia, www.moh.gov.my/MohPortal/index.jsp, provides comprehensive updates on the current situation. We, on our part, will continue to update you all on the latest situation, should there be any."
The 2009 edition of the Rainforest World Music Festival, , held July 10 to 12 in Sarawak Cultural Village (Sarawak, Malaysia), includes well-known bands such as the Saint Nicholas Orchestra from Poland, Poum Tchack (France), Dazkarieh (Portugal), Inti-Illimani (Chile), Jouhiorkesteri (Finland), Moana & The Tribe (New Zealand), Muzsikás (Hungary), Noreummachi (Korea), Sekaa Jaya Jenggala (Indonesia), Red Chamber (Canada/China), Zawose Family Africa (Tanzania), Oudaden (Morocco), Jeff and Vida band (USA). They will be joined by some of the finest Malaysian bands like AkashA, Asika, Kinabalu Merdu Sound and Lan-e Tuyang.