Concert Review: Kayhan Kalhor And Erdal Erzincan – Persian and Turkish Improvisations

Date: May 19, 2018
Venue: Schimmel Center (NY)
Review by Piruz Partow

Kayhan Kalhor And Erdal Erzincan

Ghazal Ensemble

Legendary Iranian kamancheh performer, Kayhan Kalhor, has been one of the top World Music musicians in the world. Not only has he gained much recognition as an Iranian musician, having performed with Hossein Alizahdeh and Mohammad Reza Shajarian, but also being a pioneer in cross platform collaborations with YoYo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and also in duet with musicians like Indian Sitarist/Vocalist Shujaat Hussain Khan. Tonight’s duet concert with long-time collaborator Turkish baglama player Erdal Erzican was most enjoyable to any ear.

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Trio HLK with Evelyn Glennie

Concert Review: Trio HLK with Evelyn Glennie

Date: May 13, 2018
Venue: The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland
Review by F. Mactaggart

 Trio HLK with Evelyn Glennie

Photo by Adam Bulley

The sense of excitement is palpable as Scottish Trio HLK arrive briskly on stage at 8pm sharp, and persists undimmed until they take their modest final bows to the thrilled home crowd precisely two hours later. Such exactitude regarding time feels in keeping with a band whose music is predicated upon unrelenting changes particularly in time signature and tempo, a stuttering, gleeful symphony of polyrhythms and harmonic complexity.

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Arturo O'Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra

Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO) West Coast Tour

ALJO…The Power of Activism and Jazz: Resisting an Oppressive National Political Culture

Arturo O'Farrill & Afro Latin Jazz OrchestraOn Wednesday May 9, Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra kicked off a special five-city tour of California celebrating the power of activism and jazz in resistance to the oppressive national political culture currently taking shape in America..

Arturo O’Farrill and ALJO invited diverse communities throughout California to partake in their revolutionary musical movement propelled by the orchestra’s fiery big band compositions. Beginning on May 9, Stanford Live presented the West Coast debut of O’Farrill’s The Cornel West Concerto at Stanford University featuring Dr. Cornel West alongside ALJO. On May 12, O’Farrill headlined Radio-Active Resistance: A Benefit for KPFA FM and DACA Support Services with opening acts Bobi Céspedes Band and the Son Jarocho All Stars at UC Theatre in Berkeley, CA. Additional ALJO performances included concerts at Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts (May 11), UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures @ Campbell Hall (May 17), and a rare Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble (octet) performance at Bach Dynamite & Dancing Society in Half Moon Bay (May 13).  ALJO concluded its California tour with a live recording on the San Diego – Tijuana border on location at the Fandango Fronterizo Festival, joining together with noted Son Jarocho artists from Veracruz, México, and other special guest artists drawing from various countries and musical genres.

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Genetic druGs

CD Review: Genetic druGs (Germany) “Echoes of Berlin’s Cold War”

Genetic druGsArtist: Genetic druGs
Title: Echoes of Berlin’s Cold War (An anthology of tracks created between 1981-1989)
Label: Pharma Tunes
Genre: electronica
Buy: https://itunes.apple.com/de/album/echoes-berlins-cold-war-anthology-tracks-created-between/1370345398
CD Review by Dawoud Kringle

A frightening melange of noise and military sounds, arrayed in a brilliantly executed series of loops, assaults those who listen to the first track, “Cosmic Dust.” Soon, a beat emerges and forms an inviting backdrop over which paints a picture of Cold War era Eastern Europe.

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Concert Review: Vasen (Sweden)

Vasen

Photo by Denise Canavan

Date: April 26, 2018
Venue: The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland
Review by Fiona Mactaggart

Before the Swedish string trio Vasen have even strolled on stage in this their first visit to The Queen’s Hall in 15 years, the band’s name intrigues and perhaps gives advance notice of the complexity of the sound. Swedish word ‘Vasen’ translates as essence, a living or spirit being, or a potentially unpleasant noise. This last definition points to their wry, gently self-deprecating humour, which together with exceptional musicianship, the ancient sound of the nyckelharpa and extensive touring over the last 29 years, has brought the trio a world-wide fan base – they even have a street named after them in Bloomington, Indiana! They are worthy fillers of this prime slot on the first night of the 2018 Edinburgh ‘Tradfest’.

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