Jan
15
2019

Paris of the East in the Jazz Age

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It was just an old, dusty trunk in a Mumbai warehouse – one that EMI was cleaning out prior to its demolition in 2003. The trunk had Chinese writing on it, and inside was a treasure: the mother-shells (from which 78rpm records were made) of 800 songs recorded in Shanghai, mainly during the 1930s, in […]

Jan
13
2019

Year in Review – recorded music: Dangerous times breed protest and revolution

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If Donald Trump has been good for anything, it has been prodding the art of protest songs with the sharpest stick since the Vietnam War. Simultaneously, after cracking for half a century, the foundations underpinning musical genres collapsed almost entirely in 2018. Occasionally the genre-disintegration and protesting collided, as on Marc Ribot’s brilliant Songs of […]

Jan
12
2019

Tim Stevens Double Trio

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WITH WHOM YOU CAN BE WHO YOU ARE (Rufus) 8/10 Ultimately the secret lies in the integration. It is one thing to put improvising and non-improvising musicians in the same room; another to avoid one group sounding like a river, while the other sounds merely like the banks. In his first attempt at writing for […]