Saturday, January 23, 2021

Celebrate The Masterful Songwriting Of Syd Barrett With New "Love You" Tribute

For Syd Barrett's 75th birthday, Gonzo Multimedia released a two-disc tribute to the artist titled simply "Love You." It features artists from around the world paying homage to the music of this rock icon. Most of the songs in this set are taken from Barrett's two solo albums following his departure from Pink Floyd, but there are also a couple of Floyd gems sprinkled in this set.

The first disc begins with the loving, acoustic-based "Terrapin," delivered beautifully by Italian artist Andrea Achilli, and on the flip side you have the raw, guitar-driven frenzy of "No Good Trying" by France's Luna Park. The dark overtone of "No Man'd Land" is executed perfectly by Mexico's Humus, while the psychedelic folk sound of "Octopus" by Sherpa (Italy) brings you right back to the sixties, along with In The Labyrinth's (Sweden) nearly eight-minute version of "Golden Hair." The edgy, hard rock approach of "She Took A Long Cold Look" and the sweet balladry of "Late Night" showcases the diversity in Barrett's songwriting, pulling out every emotion he was feeling at that moment. The first disc closes with a collaboration between the Italian duo of Boris Savoldelli and Umberto Petrin on the early Pink Floyd classic "Astronomy Domine."

Disc two starts off with the swirling psychedelic rock of "Baby Lemonade" from ST37 and the playful, innocent sound of "Love Song" by Italy's La Forma Delle Nuvole. One Of Syd Barrett's most masterful pieces of art, "Dominoes" is a sonic trip delivered by Germany's Sula Bassana, while "Waving My Arms In The Air/I Never Lied To You" is an acoustic folk tale from Italy's Luca Raio. The hard sounds of "Wolfpack" is executed perfectly by the USA's Keeper Of Atlantis, before the odd sound experiment "Birdie Hop" takes over your musical mind. This new set finishes with U.K. singer/songwriter Joss Cope filling in the role of storyteller for "Bob Dylan's Blues" and Nick Bensen (USA) mellowing out to the Pink Floydian "Vegetable Man." To find out more about this new collaboration "Love You - A Tribute To Syd Barrett," please visit gonzomultimedia.co.uk.

Friday, January 22, 2021

New Music From These Two Ladies Of Song, Melbreeze and Sue Maskaleris

Turkey-born artist, Melbreeze has been calling Los Angeles her home when she began collaborating on songs with Grammy-winner Jimmy Haslip and Alan Pasqua. She released her debut album "Solitude: A Dream In Green Minor" almost a decade ago and has been on a role, releasing new music nearly every year since.  Her latest album titled "I Love Paris" is her first in the producers chair, as she co-produced the album with fellow artist, Scott Kinsey. Melbreeze's new ten track release features her re-imagined version of classic, traditional pop songs like "Autumn Leaves," "Sentimental Journey" and the title-song "I Love Paris." You will definitely appreciate the way she take a song like "I Fall In Love Too Easily" and makes it her own, by changing the tempo and delivering her vocals in a unique style. The way Melbreeze turns Oscar Brown Jr.'s "Dat Dere" into a swinging jazz/pop anthem is simply magical. Her singing style perfectly matches the sultry melody of "What Lola Wants," turning the song into one of the greatest musical pieces of her catalog. Melbreeze wraps up her new album with an elegant version of Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly With His Song." To find out more about Melbreeze and her latest release "I Love Paris," please visit melbreeze.com.

Singer, songwriter, musician Sue Maskaleris recently released her new studio album titled "Love Is The Key." It features eleven tracks that showcase the many different styles of music that Sue simply loves and will have you falling in love with also. The album begins with the ticking rhythm of "Procrastination," which takes off with Sue's vocal excitement. The tempo slows down for the gentle flow of "Bliss," which wraps you up like a warm blanket on cold winter night. I feel that a musical is in her future, as she sings in Portuguese on "March Of The Refugee (Dire)," the choir sings in English and you can picture this big stage number. Sue delivers a swinging jazz vibe for "Love Is The Key," which appears again at the end of the album in edited form. She returns to singing in Portuguese once again during the samba-movement of "Voce Pra Mim," before finishing with a loving duet with Luiz Simas on "Summer" and the elegant jazz of "Flay Away," as the music is the featured guest on this closing number. To find out more about Sue Maskaleris and her latest release "Love Is The Key," please visit suemask.com.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Discover New Music From Musicians Bill DiCosimo & Edgar Pagan, Along With Composer Wayne Alpern

New York City composer/arranger Wayne Alpern recently released a new full-length album titled "Jukebox." This new twenty-song set gathers many well-known tunes together to be performed by Wayne's five-piece band. The album begins with the the gentle, classical touch of "Accustomed To Her Face" and the waltz of "All The Things You Are." He mixes in some very well-known movie tunes like "Beauty And The Beast," "Do-Re-Mi" and "Over The Rainbow," giving them a subtle makeover. Other tracks featured in this set are new, classical renditions of pop/rock classics like "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Penny Lane," as Wayne Alpern's rendition turns these into new classical standard pieces of art. The mood picks up with the swinging tempo of "Have You Met Miss Jones" and the well-known holiday instrumental "Nutcracker Suite." The album closes with the up-tempo melody of "Surrey With The Fringe," from the musical "Oklahoma!" and an almost unrecognizable version of James Taylor's "You've Got A Friend." To find out more about Wayne Alpern and his latest release "Jukebox," please visit facebook.com/pages/category/Artist/Wayne-Alpern.

Musicians Bill DiCosimo and Edgar Pagan have been performing music together for over twenty years, backing up artists like Dave Valentin, Bela Fleck and Wayne Newton just to name a few. Now, the duo decided it was time to release their own album titled "Con Moto" (meaning 'forward movement'), which features an all-star line-up of musicians, including 3-time Grammy winning producer Jimmy Haslip. The new release features seven tracks (5 originals, 2 covers), beginning with the smooth, jazz flow of "So It Begins," as you instantly feel the chemistry between these artists. The album continues with an exciting, rock infused version of "Magic Carpet Ride," before delivering the Latin flair of "Samba Pagan." The duo add a bit of funk to their sound with "Blues Clues" and their cover of War's "Cisco Kid," before finishing with the inspirational, healing sounds of "Show The World." To find out more about this latest collaboration between Bill DiCosimo and Edgar Pagan, please visit edgarpagan.com/news.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Check Out The International Sounds of Dwiki Dharmawan and Vasko Atanasovski

Pianist extraordinaire Dwiki Dharmawan recently released a new studio album titled "Hari Ketiga," which means "The Third Day." This new song suite is spread across two CDs and focuses on the documentation of alien terrain that protagonists have encountered. Dwiki delivers the spirit of those findings with melodic soundscapes and experimentation, with the help of Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis and Boris Savoldelli.

The first disc consists of only three tracks titled "The Earth," "The Man" and The Event Horizon." The first two musical pieces equal over an hour in length and take you on a musical journey of exploration, as Dwiki's piano leads the way, with Markus' guitar and Boris' vocals adding power and energy, while Asaf's drum add strength to these classical sounding improvisations. The six musical endeavors on disc two continue the journey with the spaced-out, jazz fusion of "The Loneliness Of The Universe," along with the beautiful piano piece "You'll Never Be Alone." Dwiki adds some of his Indonesian influence onto to energetic and spiritual delivery of "The Perpetual Motione," before closing his new album with the subtle musical movements of "The Memory Of Things." To find out more about Dwiki Dharmawan and his latest release "Hari Ketiga," please visit dwikidharmawan-moonjune.bandcamp.com.

Next, European maestro Vasko Atanasovski has gathered some of the best studio musicians from across Europe to create his Adrabesa Quartet. Together, this five-piece quartet recorded and released a new album in a matter of two months. The new release titled "Phoenix" features nine instrumental tracks, each of which highlights the many talents that this Adrabesa Quartet have to offer.

The album begins with the waltz-style melody of "Meeting," before slowing the tempo down to embrace the loving, classical flow of "Green Nymph." The eleven-minute suite of "Liberation" takes you on a musical journey, featuring hills and valleys of notes played perfectly by this ensemble. Vasko Atanasovski delivers the jazz fusion of "Balet" with shear force, before wrapping up his new album with the up-tempo, cabaret feel of "Concerto Epico" and the gentle climb of the closing track "Outro." To find out more about Vasko Atanasovski and his Adrabesa Quartet's new album "Phoenix," please visit vaskoatanasovski-moonjune.bandcamp.com.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Expand Your Musical Palette With New Releases From Soft Works and Stick Men

Back in December, Moonjune Records officially released the only live album from the Soft Machine spin-off band, Soft Works. This line-up of the band, which consisted of Elton Dean on sax, Allan Holdsworth on guitar, Hugh Hopper on bass and John Marshall on drums only existed for a couple years and released one studio album titled "Abracadabra." The foursome did tour in America, Japan, Italy and Mexico, before the untimely passing of Elton Dean in 2007 closed out that chapter of Soft Works.

This new release titled "Abracadabra In Osaka" features one of Soft Works only known live recordings, which was never officially released, until now. The show was carefully restored, enhanced and mastered by Mark Wingfield, who does an exceptional job bringing the music to life. This new two-disc set is highlighted by the interweaving of notes, as the band support each other on songs like "Alphrazallan" and "Baker's Test." Their progressive rock side shows up on the eight-minute "Kings & Queens," along with the aggressive jazz fusion of "Has Riff," which sounds like each instrument is fighting for the right to be heard. Soft Works closes the show with a wildly exciting, energetic version of the Soft Machine original "Facelift." To find out more about this new release from Soft Works titled "Abracadabra In Osaka," please visit softmachine-moonjune.bandcamp.com.

Another newly released live album documents the only show performed by the Stick Men in 2020. What was supposed to be a ten-date Far East tour, turned into one show at the the Blue Note Nagoya in Japan, due to political unrest and the rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus. So members, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Markus Reuter and Gary Husband performed and recorded their one and only show, which was tiled simply "Owari" (which translates to "the end") and was released in October of last year.

This eleven track release showcases the Stick Men prepared to takeover with their unique brand of progressive rock/jazz music. The music explodes during the hard rock edginess of "Hide The Trees," as Gary Husband's keyboard work adds another dimension to their sound. The addition of the King Crimson classic "Larks' Tongue In Aspic, Part II" really brings the band's musical talents to the spotlight, as the looseness of their performance only adds to the band's identity. Stick Men pick up the energy with the quick moving "Schattenhalt," before taking you on a slow-moving, ambient journey with "Crack In The Sky." They experiment with the spontaneity of "Owari," before finishing with the floating melody of "Swimming In The T" and the sixteen-minute, spaced-out bonus track "The End Of The Tour." To find out more about Stick Men and their latest release "Owari," please visit stickmen-moonjune.bandcamp.com.