►The Alternative Music Lounge: John Surman

Sometimes, it just strikes you: how come I’ve never heard anything at all about this great musician until now? Have I been living hiding somewhere on a deserted musical island or what? But then again, I don’t consider myself that ignorant, I mean, I know quite a few musicians, bands and composers from lots of different genres, even way back in musical history. And still, if it wasn’t for my mom suggesting me to have a listen, I might as well never have discovered the music of John Surman.

So, let’s talk a little more about this John Surman. He actually is from the same generation as my mother (little coincidence hehe), so has been a musician for a long time and achieved great things, another reason I’m so “upset” about not having heard of him before. I mean, how is it possible, some south korean girls band launches a video that you can’t even listen to until the end for being so impossibly bad (this didn’t even happen to me with Lady Gaga, so go figure…), but it has 16 million views in a week and everyone talks about it. And who talks about real great musicians like John Surman? Anyway, back to focus: he especially plays saxophone and bass clarinet and has been playing in lots of different projects with many other great musicians (just to name a few: Dave Holland, Richard Galliano, John McLaughlin, John Taylor, Jack DeJohnette) and although his main genre is located somewhere between Jazz and Ambient / Fusion, he does not limit himself to this, his compositions and performances cover a large spectrum of inspiration, from English folk music, Choral and church music to songs of John Dowland. He also has written music for quite a few movies and dance performances.

But well, if you want to know more about his biography, read on over here.

Wait, while you’re reading, have a listen to some of his tracks:

Winter Wish

 

Portrait of Romantic!

 

Whistman’s Wood

 

Enjoy! :)

 


About this series:

One of the ideas I have for this blog is to start periodic post series about a few interesting topics. Like one post a week or a month, about the same topic but always bringing you new (or classic but little known) musical discoveries.
This series that I gave the name “The Alternative Music Lounge” is about presenting you bands and projects that I like a lot or respect much because of the quality of their music although they haven’t made it into the so called “main stream” and therefore probably will remain unknown for many people.
Whatever might be the reasons for this (sometimes their creations are just too good, too unique, lacking any “commercial characteristics”, othertimes it’s just another case of being disregarded by the music industry, we all know what’s usual to happen…), I think the’re more people out there who might like their music but just didn’t have a chance to discover it yet, so I hope these publications of mine might be helpful.
By the way, if you’re a musician and think I might like your music and would like to propose your creations for being featured in a post of this series, you’re welcome to comment this post or any other future post of this series, stating your project’s name, a link to where I can listen to some tracks and a way to contact you.
I promise to try and listen to everyone’s tracks and respond, even if I happen to not accept the proposal.

 

 

►The Alternative Music Lounge: Daniel Mille Quintet

Finally a new episode for this series =)… This one is about french Jazz Accordionist Daniel Mille who I happened to “discover” while listening to a radio program that was transmitting a recording of a live concert at OndaJazz Bar.

I really enjoyed his tunes… dreamy and inspiring, very melodic and showing great musicianship of him and also all other members of the quintet (Alfio Origlio – piano, Jérome Regard – double bass, Julien Alour – flugelhorn, Pascal Rey – drums).

On YouTube I was not able to find videos of the same combo (first two videos is Daniel Mille together with André Ceccarelli, Jérôme Regard, Stéphane Belmondo while the third is with Remy Vignolo, Eric Legnini and Pascal Rey and the last features Alfio Origlio, Jérôme Regard, Julien Alour, Andy Barron) but the music is as good as what I heard on radio, so have a listen by yourself right now:

L’Attente

Les Beaux Jours

Ouro Preto (original by Daniel Goyone)

At Montreal Jazz Fest (video is an excerpt)

To finish this post, here are some more links about him:

http://www.myspace.com/danielmille

http://daniel-mille.artiste.universalmusic.fr/

 


About this series:

One of the ideas I have for this blog is to start periodic post series about a few interesting topics. Like one post a week or a month, about the same topic but always bringing you new (or classic but little known) musical discoveries.
This series that I gave the name “The Alternative Music Lounge” is about presenting you bands and projects that I like a lot or respect much because of the quality of their music although they haven’t made it into the so called “main stream” and therefore probably will remain unknown for many people.
Whatever might be the reasons for this (sometimes their creations are just too good, too unique, lacking any “commercial characteristics”, othertimes it’s just another case of being disregarded by the music industry, we all know what’s usual to happen…), I think the’re more people out there who might like their music but just didn’t have a chance to discover it yet, so I hope these publications of mine might be helpful.
By the way, if you’re a musician and think I might like your music and would like to propose your creations for being featured in a post of this series, you’re welcome to comment this post or any other future post of this series, stating your project’s name, a link to where I can listen to some tracks and a way to contact you.
I promise to try and listen to everyone’s tracks and respond, even if I happen to not accept the proposal.

 

 

►The Alternative Music Lounge: Dhafer Youssef

After quite a while without anything new in this series (since I started to work full-time I have found it more difficult to have time to write on the blog, unfortunately), know here’s finally one more listening suggestion.

In this series, I’ve already presented to you a great musician who plays the Oud (Rabi Abou Khalil), but here’s another one, and I think the only things they have in common are the instrument, their interest in Jazz and the quality of their music…

His name is Dhafer Youssef and he was born in Tunisia but moved to Europe in 1990 to have more freedom and ways to perform his art – playing the Oud, singing and composing.

His music ranges from Jazz and World Music over Fusion right all the way to Avant-garde.

I especially admire his musicality (having listened to the album Malak (1999)  – where he performs with Markus Stockhausen and Renaud Garcia-Fons, among others), his impressive voice (listen to him singing unissono with a trumpet, for example, and you will feel that shivers going down your spine, I grant you) and the astonishing dynamic range of his music (right from ppp to fff, it’s like classical music – never had listened to something similar in Jazz or World Music before) aswell as the criativity of his compositions and the quality of his interpretation along with his other band members.

Have a listen for yourself:

http://www.dhaferyoussef.com/music/samples/malak/04-kind_of_love.mp3

http://www.dhaferyoussef.com/music/samples/malak/02-iman.mp3

Some more recent recordings of him (Dhafer Youssef Quartet):

Here’s the link to his official site: Dhafer Youssef

and the article on Wikipedia.

 


About this series:

One of the ideas I have for this blog is to start periodic post series about a few interesting topics. Like one post a week or a month, about the same topic but always bringing you new (or classic but little known) musical discoveries.
This series that I gave the name “The Alternative Music Lounge” is about presenting you bands and projects that I like a lot or respect much because of the quality of their music although they haven’t made it into the so called “main stream” and therefore probably will remain unknown for many people.
Whatever might be the reasons for this (sometimes their creations are just too good, too unique, lacking any “commercial characteristics”, othertimes it’s just another case of being disregarded by the music industry, we all know what’s usual to happen…), I think the’re more people out there who might like their music but just didn’t have a chance to discover it yet, so I hope these publications of mine might be helpful.
By the way, if you’re a musician and think I might like your music and would like to propose your creations for being featured in a post of this series, you’re welcome to comment this post or any other future post of this series, stating your project’s name, a link to where I can listen to some tracks and a way to contact you.
I promise to try and listen to everyone’s tracks and respond, even if I happen to not accept the proposal.

►The Alternative Music Lounge: Rabih Abou Khalil

Today’s chapter of this series is about a very eclectic and quite unique musician, his name is Rabih Abou Khalil.

Born in Lebanon, but having moved to Germany in 1978 because of the civil war, he early started his music studies, becoming a virtuoso on his main instrument, the oud (string instrument having common origins with the lute – read more here).

 

An oud
An oud (Author of photo: Viken Najarian)

Probably the best term to describe the style of Khalil’s music could be “World Jazz”, as he combines traditional arabic music with jazz, rock and classical music.

Having released several albums with different projects and colaborations, his original compositions feature a wide spectrum of styles, instrumentations and genres.

Along his career he ranged from an album with mostly arabic music, over two projects more oriented to jazz (one with Sonny Fortune and the other with Charlie Mariano and Kenny Wheeler), a lineup of string quartet, oud, tuba and frame drums producing the album called Arabian Waltz, an exotic project called Morton’s Foot (combining european and easter traditions, including tibetan throat singing) to his most recent project, consisting of a trio (oud, piano and drums), with the original name Journey to the Centre of an Egg.

For a more complete biography, read this.

Let’s listen to some of his music:

Ma Muse m’amuse (from CD The Cactus of Knowledge)

 

Live at Jazz Club 1990

 

Sahara!

 


About this series:

One of the ideas I have for this blog is to start periodic post series about a few interesting topics. Like one post a week or a month, about the same topic but always bringing you new (or classic but little known) musical discoveries.
This series that I gave the name “The Alternative Music Lounge” is about presenting you bands and projects that I like a lot or respect much because of the quality of their music although they haven’t made it into the so called “main stream” and therefore probably will remain unknown for many people.
Whatever might be the reasons for this (sometimes their creations are just too good, too unique, lacking any “commercial characteristics”, othertimes it’s just another case of being disregarded by the music industry, we all know what’s usual to happen…), I think the’re more people out there who might like their music but just didn’t have a chance to discover it yet, so I hope these publications of mine might be helpful.
By the way, if you’re a musician and think I might like your music and would like to propose your creations for being featured in a post of this series, you’re welcome to comment this post or any other future post of this series, stating your project’s name, a link to where I can listen to some tracks and a way to contact you.
I promise to try and listen to everyone’s tracks and respond, even if I happen to not accept the proposal.