Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Two for Tuesday

Sorry for not updating yesterday, to make it up to you I will post double the songs today.

Soil and Pimp Sessions

This is jazz. This is not jazz. In Japan they call this stuff club-jazz, meaning it’s music for the club scene. It’s a jazz combo with a hype man out front instead of a vocalist. Acoustic instruments with a hard, hard electronic sound. Did I say hard? Diamond hard.

Either you’ll dig it or hate it. They don’t fade off into the background. My reference is hard, hard bop (think Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers when Lee Morgan was in the band) except these guys are more horn led (after all who could do Art Blakey on drums?). But hard bop is just the foundation of the sound. The other part is this almost manic, hyper kinectic veneer, sort of like playing a Dizzy Gillespie LP at double time.

I don’t know how they make the sound, but it’s no accident. They work at it. Have honed it to an artform. I’ve seen videos. Imagine a guy walking around with a megaphone, shouting out encouragement as a saxophonist does his best to blow the keys off his horn. (The sax player reminds me of a Eric Dolphy approach with a junior league Albert Ayler sound.) These are computer children playing acoustic instruments. They sound like they drink acid for breakfast and eat healthy for dinner. There is something brilliantly not-quite-right about these guys.

(I don’t know how they came up with the off the wall name. One legend is that the band was originally called “Soil and Hemp Sessions” but Singapore wouldn’t let them in with for a tour with that name so they choose “Soil and Pimp Sessions.” Go figure.)
soil and pimp 01.jpg
The band is Shacho - "agitator"/president, Tabu Zombie - trumpet, Motoharu - sax, Josei - keyboards, Akita Goldman - double bass and Midorin – drums. Regardless of what you call them or the style of music they play, it’s really clear that this is an original development. Check them out and come to your own conclusion.

We Want More! -Soil and Pimp Sessions

buy Soil and Pimp Sessions

Vusi Mahlasela

In his home country of South Africa, singer/songwriter Vusi Mahlasela is fondly known as "The Voice". Apart from his remarkable songwriting talent, Mahlasela is in fact blessed with one of the most remarkable voices in contemporary popular music.Vusi Mahlasela grew up listening to people singing in his grandmother's shebeen (an informal pub in South African townships) and taught himself playing the guitar. As a teenager, he started writing his own songs with lyrics of social significance. In 1981, he joined the poetry group Ancestors of Africa, who were on the watchlist of the Apartheid regime. His joining of the Congress of South African Writers in 1988 marks a new quality in his artistical maturing process. His first international performance in London (1990) made him more popular overseas than back home. Consequently, his debut album When You Come Back (1992), a tribute to the political exiles of South Africa, catapulted him to instant fame in Europe and North America. Nowadays, it is considered a South African classic.

When You Come Back (live at Live 8) - Vusi Mahlasela

Buy Vusi Mahlasela

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