New Reviews: May 1, 2001
Shapeshifters: The New Pulse of World Fusion
Soundings of the Planet
The inspiration-inspiring Shapeshifters is intended to accompany trance dance.
This fine collaboration of Alain Eskinasi, Aziz and Khabira Paige and Richard Hardy
is rich in melodic contouring of aerophones, chordophones, keyboards and vocals
and is supported effortlessly by energetic percussion. The skillful,
professional use of instruments and styles from throughout the world
identifies this effort as truly a contemporary approach to the generic
genre "fusion". In keeping with the artistic devotion to the healing of
the planet through sound, the creators and realizers of this enlightening
work share sonically the vision for which they work tirelessly. Brava!
This release is a landmark CD by former members of the Conjunto Cubanero,
the most celebrated orchestra in Santiago during the "golden era" of Cuban son,
bolero and swing. Most of the members of Los Jubilados, who formerly were
known under the names "El Nuevo Cubanero" and "Santiago Son", are seasoned,
"retired" musicians over sixty years old. It is said that their age enables
them to play sweetly and effortlessly a remarkable repertoire upon Spanish and
Tres guitars, bass, bongos, congas, hand percussion and trumpet, accompanying vocals.
This group embodies the heart of Santiago, the years of devotion to a heritage
that remains strong in the midst of a struggling tropical land.
Like a Prayer: The Sound Of New Gospel
Music Collection International
Artists in many musical styles, from R+B to hip-hop, rock and roll to
the blues have credited gospel as inspiration for their own endeavors.
This new compilation is a reverse tribute in that musicians such as Shirley
Caesar and the New Jersey Mass Choir here steep gospel with some newer
elements of these styles, while remaining faithful to the tradition. With a
funk, giving a higher message is the aim of these energetic ensembles; one
cannot but agree that surely they accomplish this, given the resurgence
in popularity of gospel and the respect shown to this genre by countless
musical icons, from Aretha Franklin to James Brown. Like a Prayer serves
as an excellent introduction to the genre of gospel yet has enough to
inspire even ripe collectors.
Reviews by Jenece C. Gerber.