Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 11:53 pm
Many will describe Blank Project as Neneh Cherry's comeback album — and, to be fair, it is her first solo work in 18 years. In that time, though, Cherry has released two collaborative LPs, contributed to numerous artists' projects, started a band with her husband and daughter, toured the world and lived in several different countries, just to name the relevant accomplishments. So, while Blank Project might seem perfectly timed for a '90s-revivalist, Coachella-baiting cash-out, it's actually the culmination of a fascinating career arc.
When you hear a musical recording that's scratchy and distant, you might naturally assume it's old: a relic from the early days of sound recording. But what would modern music sound like were it subject to the same limitations that musicians faced in those days?
That's the question posed by The 78 Project, which gives musicians the chance to record using 1930s technology.
Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 3:18 pm
Joel Thibodeau's music doesn't emanate from a single place: The singer who records under the name Death Vessel was born in Germany and raised in New England, and he recorded his new album Island Intervals in Reykjavik with the aid of producer Alex Somers and Sigur Rós singer Jónsi. That list of places provides context beyond mere biographical background, because Thibodeau's music reflects virtually every direction in which he's been pulled.
Coming up through the Greenwich Village folk scene, John Hammond collected the work of some of the greatest blues artists of all time. On his latest album, that music is presented as bare-bones and honestly as possible: just him, his guitar, his harmonica and a deeply appreciative audience.
The lilting voice of Rachel Ries comes to us courtesy of many different landscapes: the wide open spaces of South Dakota, the equatorial humidity of Africa, the bucolic green of Vermont and the managed urban chaos that is Brooklyn.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
RACHEL RIES: (Singing) Time, I forgiven you, time. You were songs in my head, so I threw you over my little shoulder and you land, you landed on the floor...
The basic story behind drummer Rudy Royston's first album sounds like that of many sidemen in jazz. He moved to the New York area. His talent got him into bands led by higher-profile artists like Bill Frisell, JD Allen, Ben Allison and Dave Douglas. And when it came time to document his own composing and arranging, he could rely on the network he had tapped into. Douglas issued Royston's album 303 earlier this month on his own record label, Greenleaf Music.