Three albums in the novelty has worn off, but Dengue Fever has smartly chosen to keep evolving. While that means their unquestionably unique offering no longer startles, it's no less riveting – Venus on Earth is at once the band's most accessible and most varied release. A recap: when first heard from in 2003 on their self-titled debut, Dengue Fever was like no other band, a bunch of L.A. hipsters fronted by a Cambodian-born woman, Chhom Nimol, who paid homage to that Asian nation's pre-Pol Pot cheesy psychedelic-cum-lounge-surf-garage pop sound of the '60s/early '70s, music obscure enough that only a tiny handful of Americans could honestly claim to have known the first thing about it – certainly, the source material spun outside of the orbit of the so-called core world music audience.
Esperanto is a language invented in 1887 by Zamenhof, who combined bits of various Romance language to make what he hoped would become a vehicle of universal communication. The Belgo-English band of the same name at the beginning of the 70s had a short but intense career and produced an extremely varied musical repertoire thanks to the many different nationalities, origins and outlooks of its members…
These Are Special Times is the sixth English-language studio album and the first English-language holiday album by Canadian singer Celine Dion. Released by Sony Music Entertainment on 30 October 1998, it features cover versions of popular Christmas tunes and original material. Dion worked with David Foster and Ric Wake, who produced most of the tracks for the album. Other producers include R. Kelly and Bryan Adams. Critics praised Dion's commitment to the recorded material, as well as the production of the songs. The album has been certified five-times Platinum in the United States. In Canada, the album has sold one million copies and been certified Diamond. The album has sold twelve million copies worldwide and is one of the best-selling Christmas albums of all time.
This Belgian composer is not well known among U.S. audiences, although he has made several highly regarded appearances at the New Music America festivals. In Spain, however, where he was the subject of a major television special, he is a new-music celebrity. Mertens's style employs mesmerizing minimalist techniques with a sense of the romantic that appeals to both serious music aficionados and more mainstream listeners. The keyboardist uses a certain amount of electronics along with some acoustic instruments like violin, flute, and saxophone.
Though it was recorded live at New York's jazz emporium, Iridium, Detroit born saxophonist Kenny Garrett makes a return home of sorts with Sketches of MD, his debut on the Motor City's own Mack Avenue Records. His quartet here, with bassist Nat Reeves, pianist/organist Benito Gonzalez, and drummer Jamire Williams, may not possess the star power of some of his studio albums, but this band is more than up for the gig. In addition, saxophonist Pharoah Sanders reprises his role from Beyond the Wall from 2006 as Garrett's foil, creating sparks aplenty.
Venerable jazz bassist and session musician of choice, Buster Williams steers this thoroughly swinging quartet through a set of vibrant standards and original compositions along with an ace front line consisting of pianist Mulgrew Miller and vibist Steve Nelson. Recorded live in 1999 at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the bassist once again exhibits his seasoned musical persona via fluent lines, limber soloing, and a comprehensive sense of swing. Meanwhile, Nelson and Miller share most of the soloing opportunities as they consistently demonstrate a keen harmonic relationship atop drummer Carl Allen's masterstrokes and the leader's sinewy walking bass patterns.
Nels Andrews gained plaudits far and wide for his debut album 'Sunday Shoes,' as parched as the American Southwest landscapes he inhabited. Three years on and his second album finds him in New York, employing a fuller, more produced sound but maintaining a restless, questing soul. He describes the intervening years as replacing one itinerant lifestyle (labouring in the canneries of Alaska and planting trees in the forests of South Dakota) with another (travelling musician or troubadour). In the hubbub of the city he has sought solace in solitary spaces, abandoned piers and rooftops.