Wednesday, December 17, 2014

GM from the GG

Gizmo Guy's often looking for the GM - good new music - to take me places. This week the gods have been kind, with offerings from Diana Krall, Galician star Carlos Nunez and and an otherworldly bossa nova treatment of the Bee Gees.

GM from the GG

Gizmo Guy’s often looking for the GM – good new music – to take me places, pull me out of my skin. This week the gods  have been kind with offerings from Diana Krall, Galician star Carlos Nunez and anotherworldly, bossa nova treatment of the Bee Gees.

 Best known here for his  special guest touring slots  with The Chieftains, Carlos Nunez is a master of Galician music – a type of Spanish folkloric stuff that makes  very strong Celtic connections.  His main instruments are bagpipes and recorder, which the man  applies to sweeping and high stepping  ‘airs’  far removed from this mortal coil.  And did I mention Nunez  is rock star handsome ? Never a  negative in the show business. His new two  CD   set “Discover” (RCA Victor)  is a  career overview  capturing  collaborations  with everyone from Los Lobos to Sinead O’Connor to Laurie Anderson. You also can catch the man live at the Sellersville Theater on Wednesday night.

Likewise taking me out of my skin - Brazilian singer  Ana Gazzola with a surprisingly effective Portuguese language/samba styled  “Musicas e palavaras dos Bee Gees” (Vista Del Mar/Fuel”.  Dare I say “How Deep is Your Love” and “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” sound even better (and certainly more exotic) when you can’t understand the words?

Diana Krall is getting out of her traditional comfort zone with  “Glad Rag Doll” (Verve). The jazz chanteuse  trades her concert grand  for a rickety upright piano and  takes on ragtime and country tunes from the’20s and ‘30s with  some serious rustification by Americana  producer T. Bone Burnett, and twang bark guitarist Marc Ribot.  Some  of this project seems a bit studied, though Krall  got me good with the quiet reveries “Prairie Lullaby” and Let It Rain.” – the former a Jimmie Rogers tune that  mom and dad sung her as a child.

Also dwelling in the past, to great success is the all star crew gathered round the concert stage to celebrate with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on “St. Peter & 5th Street.” (Rounder), marking  the ensemble’s  50th anniversary. We’re talking the likes of Steve Earle, My Mourning Jacket wilh Phlily’s own King Britt,, a nifty match up of Yasin Bey (aka Mos Def) Trombone Shorty and Allen Toussaint, plus lively contributions by the Del McCoury Band.

Taking us  back, if not away, is the double disc Grateful Dead set “Spring 1990- So Glad You Made It”(Rhino) . It’s actually culling the cream from a much bigger, limited edition box., with locked in performances and concert sound quality ias good as you’ll  ever hear from the guys.

With Glen Campbell in  decline from Alzheimer’s, the newly uncovered 1983 Glen Campbell and Jimmy Webb TV studio recordings “In Session” (Fantasy) are particularly poignant.  Offered in both CD and DVD forms in the package, composer/piano playing  Webb recounts how he had several hits with Campbell interpretations – staring with “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” - before ever meeting the man.  Also included – the likes of “Galveston,” “Wichita Lineman” and particularly pointed reads of “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” and “Macarthur Park,” both making the most of  Webb’s broken romances.   If only we could all prosper from such despair! BTW -   Webb is co-billed with Judy Collins on December 9 at the Keswick.

About this blog
Encompassing the sounds and beats of the city, we're here to turn you on to the local notables and under-the-radar artists, while showing you more of the bands and hot spots you already know and love.

Jonathan Takiff Daily News Columnist
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