LOUIS VEGA & OTHERS – STARRING XXVIII
A massive project from the great Louie Vega – a man who's given us plenty of majestic moments since his early years in Masters At Work and Nuyorican Soul – but an artist who's maybe outdone himself here, thanks to help from a huge amount of guests and singers! The "starring" in the title doesn't refer to Louie, but to the key talents who help shape the individual tracks on the set – a talent roster large enough to include Vikter Duplaix, Tony Momrelle, N'Dea Davenport, The Clark Sisters, Winans Brothers, Zara McFarlane, Funkadelic, Jocelyn Brown, Kenny Bobien, Josh Milan, Lisa Fischer, Byron Stingily, Leroy Burgess, Caron Wheeler, and others – all of whom work perfectly with Louie – not in a way that has their talents thrown in for extra spice, but instead very deeply woven into the fabric of Vega's music – in a richly collaborative spirit that makes the album a gem all the way through! All the cuts are in the positive, soulful, inspirational vibe we've always loved in Louie's projects – and titles include "Gift Of Love", "Angels Are Watching Me", "Ain't That Funkin Hard On You", "You Are Everything", "Joy Inside My Tears", "You've Got It Bad Girl", "Es Vedra", "Everlasting Love", "I Deserve To Breathe", "Ain't No Stopping Love", "Gimme Some Love", "Can We Keep This Going", and "See Some Light". ~ Dusty Groove
ANOUSHKA SHANKARS – LAND OF GOLD
Land of Gold is Anoushka Shankars fervent response to the humanitarian trauma of displaced people fleeing conflict and poverty. The virtuoso sitar player explores an expressive range, conveying an evocative journey infused with a message of enduring hope. With exquisite arrangements blending genres and musical collaborations, Land of Gold is a narrative communicated with conviction and poetic beauty. Land of Gold originated in the context of the humanitarian plight of refugees. It coincided with the time when I had recently given birth to my second child. I was deeply troubled by the intense contrast between my ability to provide for my baby, and others who desperately wanted to provide the same security for their children but were unable to do so. Anoushka Shankar. The narrative thread carried throughout the album evokes themes of disconnection, vulnerability and the underlying hope that persists in our darkest experiences. My instrument is the terrain in which I explore the gamut of emotional expression evoking shades of aggression, anger and tenderness, while incorporating elements of classical minimalism, jazz, electronica and Indian classical styles. Notable electronic producer Matt Robertson (who is a long-term collaborator of Bjork) added cinematic soundscapes and textures, enhancing the initial compositions. Anoushka worked with a core-team of gifted musicians: At its base the album is designed as a trio of Anoushka, the famous Hang Drum player Manu Delago who performs on and co-wrote many of the pieces, and Sanjeev Shankar who was a student of her father Ravi Shankar, playing the Shehnai, a beautiful reed instrument from India.Top notch female guest artists lend their voices to the album: M.I.A. with the Song, Jump In (Cross the Line), the wonderful singer Alev Lenz on Land of Gold and the actress and activist Vanessa Redgrave on Remain the Sea (reading a poem by Pavana Reddy). Not only do they add different musical styles and voices of different generations but all of them represent strong women known for using their voices for equality and against injustice. The music is mainly based on western harmonics, features great electronic programming, string arrangements, hip hop elements, beautiful songwriting and virtuoso sitar performances embedded in exciting contemporary arrangements. ~ Amazon
ERIC CLAPTON - I STILL DO
Music legend Eric Clapton has reunited with famed producer Glyn Johns for his forthcoming 23rd studio album I Still Do, set for release on May 20, 2016 on his Bushbranch Records/Surfdog Records. Clapton and Johns who has also produced albums for The Eagles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and The Who most famously worked together on Clapton's iconic Slowhand album, which is RIAA-certified 3x-platinum and topped charts globally. The 12-track record includes some original songs written by Clapton. This album follows his last release, the 2014 chart-topping Eric Clapton & Friends: The Breeze, An Appreciation of JJ Cale. Includes: Alabama Woman Blues; Can't Let You Do It; I Will Be There; Spiral; Catch The Blues; Cypress Grove; Little Man, You've Had A Busy Day; Stones In My Passway; I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine; I'll Be Alright; Somebody's Knockin'; and I'll Be Seeing You.