Project Lavrador: Week 12

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18 mar 2012, 17:25


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Week 12: Jazz 1, Alternative Country 1, Azerbaijani Folk

Day 78 -
Day 79 -
Day 80 -

Day 81 -
Day 82 -
Day 83 -

Day 84 -

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Day 78: Jazz

Jazz has gradually found my way into my tastes slowly but surely over the years, starting with smooth jazz and then getting into the more serious stuff about a couple of years ago. Mostly good stuff, but I do have to do some digging for it.

To Represent:

Charles Mingus - Mingus Ah Um

Samples:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-R11B7EGt0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sfe_8RAaJ0

Wikipedia:
Charles Mingus Jr. (April 22, 1922 – January 5, 1979) was an American jazz musician, composer, bandleader, and civil rights activist.

Mingus's compositions retained the hot and soulful feel of hard bop and drew heavily from black gospel music while sometimes drawing on elements of Third stream, free jazz, and classical music. Yet Mingus avoided categorization, forging his own brand of music that fused tradition with unique and unexplored realms of jazz.

Mingus focused on collective improvisation, similar to the old New Orleans jazz parades, paying particular attention to how each band member interacted with the group as a whole. In creating his bands, Mingus looked not only at the skills of the available musicians, but also their personalities. Many musicians passed through his bands and later went on to impressive careers. He recruited talented and sometimes little-known artists whom he assembled into unconventional and revealing configurations. As a performer, Mingus was a pioneer in double bass technique, widely recognized as one of the instrument's most proficient players.

Nearly as well known as his ambitious music was Mingus' often fearsome temperament, which earned him the nickname "The Angry Man of Jazz." His refusal to compromise his musical integrity led to many on-stage eruptions, exhortations to musicians, and dismissals.[1]

Because of his brilliant writing for mid-size ensembles—and his catering to and emphasizing the strengths of the musicians in his groups—Mingus is often considered the heir of Duke Ellington, for whom he expressed great admiration. Indeed, Dizzy Gillespie had once claimed Mingus reminded him "of a young Duke", citing their shared "organizational genius."[2]

Mingus' music was once believed to be too difficult to play without Mingus' leadership, and Gunther Schuller has suggested that Mingus should be ranked among the most important American composers, jazz or otherwise.[3] However, many musicians play Mingus compositions today, from those who play with the repertory bands Mingus Big Band, Mingus Dynasty, and Mingus Orchestra, to the high school students who play the charts and compete in the Charles Mingus High School Competition.[4]

In 1988, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts[5] made possible the cataloging of Mingus compositions, which were then donated to the Music Division of the New York Public Library[6] for public use. In 1993, The Library of Congress acquired Mingus's collected papers—including scores, sound recordings, correspondence and photos—in what they described as "the most important acquisition of a manuscript collection relating to jazz in the Library's history".[7]


7.6/10

Bebop to cool jazz to modal styles. Groovy scales and melodies with even a bit of improvisation.

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Day 79: Jazz-Funk

To Represent:

Herbie Hancock - Head Hunters

Samples:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3vhl88j9jg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSRir3n1ifg

Wikipedia:
Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock (b. April 12, 1940) is an American pianist, keyboardist, bandleader and composer.[1] As part of Miles Davis's "second great quintet," Hancock helped to redefine the role of a jazz rhythm section and was one of the primary architects of the "post-bop" sound. He was one of the first jazz musicians to embrace music synthesizers and funk music (characterized by syncopated drum beats). Hancock's music is often melodic and accessible; he has had many songs "cross over" and achieved success among pop audiences. His music embraces elements of funk and soul while adopting freer stylistic elements from jazz. In his jazz improvisation, he possesses a unique creative blend of jazz, blues, and modern classical music, with harmonic stylings much like the styles of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel.

Hancock's best-known solo works include "Cantaloupe Island", "Watermelon Man" (later performed by dozens of musicians, including bandleader Mongo Santamaría), "Maiden Voyage", "Chameleon", and the singles "I Thought It Was You" and "Rockit". His 2007 tribute album River: The Joni Letters won the 2008 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, only the second jazz album ever to win the award after Getz/Gilberto in 1965.

Hancock is a member of Sōka Gakkai International.[2][3]

On July 22, 2011 at a ceremony in Paris, Hancock was named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the promotion of Intercultural Dialogue.


7.7/10

Well, funky jazz. "Sly" especially makes you feel like you're in a cop chase.

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Day 80: Third Stream

To Represent:

Moondog - Moondog

Samples:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFJi3l1DPWk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjDfIEiU0Q0

Wikipedia:
Moondog, born Louis Thomas Hardin (May 26, 1916 – September 8, 1999), was a blind American composer, musician, poet and inventor of several musical instruments. Moving to New York as a young man, Moondog made a deliberate decision to make his home on the streets there, where he spent approximately twenty of the thirty years he lived in the city. Most days he could be found in his chosen part of town wearing clothes he had created based on his own interpretation of the Norse god Thor.[citation needed] Thanks to his unconventional outfits and lifestyle, he was known for much of his life as "The Viking of 6th Avenue".[1]

7.6/10

It's sort of like music at the theatres before the previews. Tries to tell stories with gaps between within the song. Very classical heavy as a result, a bit epic at times too.

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Day 81: Alt-Country

To Represent:

Paula Frazer - Indoor Universe

Samples:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig_jNuFNY4c

Wikipedia:
Paula Frazer is an American singer-songwriter. She grew up in Georgia and Arkansas and moved to San Francisco in 1981. Her music is frequently described as melancholic alternative country, but with an eclectic mix of folk, blues and pop, among other genres. She first came to notice by fronting the band Tarnation in the 1990s and has appeared on recordings and in concert with many bands and solo artists including Cornershop, Sean Lennon, Frightwig, Tindersticks, the Czars, and Handsome Boy Modeling School. She currently records for Birdman Records.

6.6/10

There isn't really much to say. Acoustic guitars, some strings, pianos and organs.

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Day 82: Americana

To Represent:

Steve Earle - El Corazón

Samples:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RML22z-EAFU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4WOys7sWvU

Wikipedia:
Stephen Fain "Steve" Earle (play /ˈɜrl/; born January 17, 1955) is an American singer-songwriter known for his rock, folk and Texas Country as well as his political views. He is also a producer, author, a political activist, and an actor, and has written and directed a play.

6.5/10

A bit varied country sound oftentimes pushing up against the rock genre. Lyrics are often subjective to travel mostly.

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Day 83: Gothic Country

To Represent:

16 Horsepower - Sackcloth 'N' Ashes

I've started getting into gothic country not very long ago starting with The Builders and The Butchers and based on my preference to dark-toned music, it's a style I can relate to. About the only country genre on my end that gets regular airplay at the moment.

Samples:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-vpAn15-vE&ob=av3e
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HO9uaHGQfdQ

Wikipedia:
16 Horsepower was an American alternative country music group based in Denver, Colorado. Their music often invoked religious imagery dealing with conflict, redemption, punishment, and guilt through David Eugene Edwards's lyrics and the heavy use of traditional bluegrass, gospel, and Appalachian instrumentation cross-bred with rock. For the bulk of its career, the band consisted of Edwards, Jean-Yves Tola, and Pascal Humbert, the latter two formerly of the French band Passion Fodder. After releasing four studio albums and touring extensively, the group broke up in 2005, citing "mostly political and spiritual" differences. The members remain active in the groups Woven Hand and Lilium.

6.5/10

Shockingly disappointed. Good if you're getting started with the genre I guess. Sinister hillbilly like vibes and lyrics echo across perimeters of banjos and some emphasized drum-beats.

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Day 84: Azerbaijani Folk

To Represent:

Alim Qasimov & Fargana Qasimov - Music of Central Asia Vol. 6: Spiritual Music of Azerbaijan

Samples:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jmTTZZSBDg

Wikipedia:
Alim Qasimov (born 1957) is an Azerbaijani musician, and one of the foremost mugam singers in Azerbaijan. He was awarded the International Music Council-UNESCO Music Prize in 1999, one of the highest international accolades for music. His music is characterised by his vocal improvisation and represents a move away from the traditional style of mugham.[1] Qasimov has recorded nine albums, three of which are mugham albums with his daughter, Ferghana Qasimova.

According to The New York Times, "Alim Qasimov is simply one of the greatest singers alive, with a searing spontaneity that conjures passion and devotion, contemplation and incantation."[2]


6.6/10

Middle Eastern chanting interludes between oriental instrumentation. Like I've said before though, chanting music doesn't do much for me in the long run.

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End of Week 12
Week 13

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