Orest Soltykevich— Voces8 / Ola Gjeilo, piano, “Ubi caritas”
A choral work by the Norwegian-born New York-based composer Ola Gjeilo. It begins “Where charity and love are, God is there.” And the composer himself improvises on the piano while a renowned British octet sings his music.
Lionel Rault— Wilco, “Cry All Day”
Subtle and understated, Cry All Day features gripping lyrics and soft but powerful vocals from Jeff Tweedy with exactly the appropriate accompaniment from the rest of the Wilco crew…
Bob Chelmick— Birds Of Chicago, “Old Calcutta”
A fine melody and an odd, abstract, poetic lyric. ‘Can you be quiet in your skin?’ ‘Rock’n roll is dead’.
Amy Van Keeken— Amadou and Mariam, “Bofou Safou”
Title track from their latest album it’s a total summer dance party. Seeing them at Edmonton Folk Fest last weekend was a dream come true. I did not sit down once because the beats were bumpin’! Total dance party jam, turn it up!
Lisa Wilton— Guided By Voices, “Just to Show You”
A lovely, swinging mid-tempo number from Guided By Voice’s new album, How Do You Spell Heaven, which happens to be the band’s second record released this year.
Great tune that highlights Robert Pollard’s keen sense of melody.
Terry David Mulligan— Van Morrison, “Domino (live)”
I think everyone has a van song or two to recommend. I re-discovered this live track on his At the Movies album.
The song was great coming out of the studio but given the punch of live horns, the audience and van in his element..the whole thing is pure magic!!
Want to lift your spirits in under 5 minutes. This track is for YOU!!
Mark Antonelli— Dave Brubeck/John Salmon, “Koto Song”
A slightly bluesy evocation of Japan inspired by a koto player Brubeck heard at a restaurant during his first trip to Japan. It’s actually based on the musical scale of the koto and is very ear-catching. It’s just one of 26 Nocturnes on the recording. The pieces are often musical picture post cards inspired by moments in Brubeck’s life.
Grant Stovel— Ibeyi, “Away Away”
Twins Naomi and Lisa-Kainde Diaz are young French musicians who are influenced by a bunch of different stuff — contemporary hip-hop and pop sounds; the Yoruba folk music of their West African ancestry; and the Cuban rhythms of their father, the late Cuban percussionist Anga Diaz (who played with legendary groups like Irakere and Buena Vista Social Club).
They made waves at age 19 with their impressive 2015 debut LP, simply called “Ibeyi” (which means “twins” in the Yoruba tongue). They say this uplifting new single is about looking into the world’s craziness, and wondering if the promises of a better world will be made true.
Baba— Myles and Lenny, “Can You Give it All to Me”
The year is 1975, a year of many cultural awakenings for me. Myles Cohen and Lenny Solomon lived (as did I) and made music in Toronto, this track was a radio hit. Meaningful lyrics and musically fully developed. Miles and Lenny played our college bar one weekend, for me to see live musicians, one would normally hear only on radio, was a revolutionary concept!
*This song is not available on Spotify.
Monica Miller— Hudson, “Dirty Ground”
This song first appeared on legendary jazz drummer Jack DeJohnette’s album “Sound Travels” with Bruce Hornsby on vocals. Here it reappears on the first album from jazz supergroup HUDSON (Jack DeJohnette, Larry Grenadier, John Medeski and John Scofield) and DeJohnette – at age 75 – decides it’s time to use his own voice. HUDSON will appear as part of Arts Commons TD Jazz Series in October.
David Ward— She-Devils, “Darling”
A duo from Montreal with lots of forward motion on a lo-fi mash-up of 60s sounds and contemporary sensibilities. They call it “cave rock”!