Like drum 'n' bass, ambient is a genre which relies on making a little go a very long way; the resultant glut of weedy minimalist pastiches barely bears a cursory listen for the most part, but this collaboration between Harold Budd and Hector Zazou demonstrates better than any recent offering how the spaces between the sounds can be made pregnant with possibility. On "Pandas in Tandem", the ghost of Erik Satie treads lightly over a shuffle breakbeat; the result is fragile and crystalline, as tentatively pristine as snowflakes. Elsewhere, heavy rhythmic breathing carries "Around the Corner from Everywhere"; slivers of what sounds like hammered dulcimer undulate through "Johnny Cake", and clarinets collude conspiratorially on "As Fast as I Could Look Away She was Still There".
Anyone who loves the crossover collaborations not remain insensitive to Havana Paris Dakar, wedding several cultures and rich musical colors of history. Beautiful World Village label reveals the union of a nomad of Senegalese music, Alune Wade, and a Cuban piano prodigy, Harold Lopez-Nussa time of an album. The duo portrayed the African musical landscape through covers of famous songs like Small Country, the success of Cesaria Evora, Sara Tavares, the standard of chaabi Yarahya, Aminata, salsa made in Dakar, or Independence Cha Cha, a tube of years of independence, composed by Joseph Kabasele.
Harold Budd's discs tend to end up in the new age section of the record store, because his music is generally pleasant, quiet, and soothing. But where most new age composers go for the obvious (and sometimes saccharine) melody, Budd veers off into ambiguity; he also lacks the mystical bent that often goes along with the new age style. Instead, his compositional voice is more like that of a detached observer – one who creates beauty without getting too involved with it. By the Dawn's Early Light finds Budd writing for various combinations of viola, guitar, harp, and keyboards. All of the music is lovely, but not all of the compositions sound complete. In several cases, they sound like raw ideas rushed into the studio before their time. Guitarist Bill Nelson provides much of the interest throughout the album, and the sighing, slithery viola of Mabel Wong lends an occasional turn-of-the-century salon feel to the proceedings. The only really embarrassing moments occur when Budd – whose voice sounds like an unfortunate cross between Garrison Keillor and Kermit the Frog – reads his own poetry. Skip those tracks and you'll be fine.
As scion of an illustrious musical family, the 29-year-old Cuban pianist Harold Lopez-Nussa is one of the brightest lights on Havana’s thriving jazz scene. Son of drummer Ruy Lopez-Nussa and nephew of pianist Ernan Lopez-Nussa, Harold gained international attention when he won top honors at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Piano Competition in 2005.
Legendary composer, arranger, pianist, educator, and leader Harold Mabern returns with another Smoke Sessions recording, the engaging album “To Love and Be Loved”. He brings a sextet of exceptional musicians featuring the fabulous tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb of Miles Davis “Kind of Blue” fame, protean trumpet master Freddie Hendrix, and the facile double bassist Nat Reeves, with percussionist Cyro Baptista, in his only appearance, enlivening the song, “To Love and Be Loved”. Mixing up the musicians, Mabern uses quartet, quintet, and sextet sized configurations, and plus a mesmerizing solo piano performance…
An excellent hard bop pianist, Harold Mabern has remained a highly regarded performer since emerging from the Memphis, Tennessee jazz and R&B scene of the 1950s. Much like fellow Memphis area pianist Phineas Newborn, Jr., Mabern developed a commanding style that combined harmonic and modal sophistication with an impressive technical virtuosity. He is described in The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings as "one of the great post-bop pianists".