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 surprising 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.