Wednesday’s World Music Challenge!

(Maybe the beginning of a new series…..we’ll see…)

This Wednesday: Mulatu Astatke, The Grandfather of Ethio-Jazz

The absolute Master. A sound not entirely like anything else you’ve ever heard.

The Challenge?

Don’t. Move.



Just try and listen to this and NOT move.

I’m pretty sure it’s impossible.

Even if by some strange chance you are able to keep your various limbs and digits from thumping, bumping or tapping, I am quite certain that the neurons in your Auditory Cortex will be having their own Massive Dance Party.

It’ll probably raise your heart-rate too….

So there you go. A (BIG!) little something to help you Groove and Boogie your way over (or past or through) Hump Day!


You know the drill.

Press play.

Go on about your day.

Sunday’s Soundtrack for Surfing: Tigran….again

Been a while since I did one of these, but I recently came across this “lockdown” performance by one of my all-time favorite musicians/composers/performers and I had to share.

There is Jazz. There is Piano. There is Cross-Cultural Music. There is Jazz Piano. There is Cross-Cultural Jazz Piano Music.

And then there is Tigran Hamasyan, in whom they all become one, and he becomes one with them. One living, breathing Behemoth of Passion: he and the piano become the one body that delivers forth……this……Universe of Sound.

I have never witnessed another pianist who is so at one with his instrument. I swear that, watching him play, one can see him swinging his instrument around–as much as any Jimi Hendrix or David Gilmour or Joe Satriani does with their guitar–through some kind of 4th-Dimensional Space that he is creating right there in front of us. And he is taking us there, into that space, leading us through strange enchanted lands of Tone and Harmony…

…and Rhythm….let’s not forget what amazing Rhythmical Journeys he is capable of taking us on as naturally as we take a walk down the block for a pack of smokes.

Now, what really gets me about this performance, if you pay attention, is the near-alien, almost inhuman, organic-machine-like movement and precision of his hands (especially the right) that you can see throughout the video but really comes to the fore starting at about the 4:48 mark…..

And, really, if you think about it, it is rather alien…..Tigran and Piano Become One…..a Homunculus of Human Tissue, Steel, Brass, Felt and Wood….(from the elbow up, his right hand really is rather reminiscent of the face-huggers from the Alien movies….no?)

Here is a great in-depth discussion of some (perhaps only a bit) of what Tigran is doing (poly-) rhythmically in his music…if you feel like getting your head bent…..

And here: the two songs mentioned by Mr. Bruce…..if you’re of a mind to hear how all this rhythmical-technical wizardry plays out to create amazing music…..

And here…..finally…..your actual Sunday Soundtrack. Tigran playing an awe-inspiring concert of solo piano music……


You know the drill.

Press play.

Go on about your day.

Monday’s Music Box: Jazz Soundtrack for Cooking…

Well, I usually do longer tracks for Sunday’s Soundtrack for Surfing and shorter stuff for Monday’s Music Box but I promised Trent some groovy music to cook dinner to and then….well….I kinda lost track of the days….

So here you have it.

Monday’s Music for Making Meals….or something.

We return to the Eastern-European Jazz stylings of one of my favorite guitarists, Gabor Szabo. Hungarian born, emigrated to the US sometime around 1956 following the Hungarian Revolution.

He had a truly unique style of playing that, once you hear it, is unmistakably his own.

I find his music to be the best cooking music ever.

With varying levels of cheese.

He can get pretty cheesy in his choice of cover tunes, but somehow always seems to inflect it all with his unique Eastern flavor.

Here is his 1968 release from the Skye label, Bacchanal…


You know the drill.

Press play.

Go on about your meal-making day.

(Just watch you don’t use too much paprika…)

You can find plenty more Gabor on YouTube, of course, and my previous sharings


Monday’s Music Box: Giant Steps….

…like you’ve never heard them before…

…lending me a whole new level of appreciation for this Giant of Jazz…

…and for the Carnatic music tradition…

…and for the amazing talent of this young lady…

…this is no small feat…

…this is Giant…

and, in case you want to hear the original…


Monday’s Music Box: FKJ

Three little letters.

One seriously funky cat from France (here with the American mixed-musical-media artist Masego):

Is there anything he can’t play?

Here with Tom Misch, an also-seriously-funky Brit dude (and a helluva songwriter):

And in case you’re still in the mood for a Surfing Soundtrack, here’s a nice long live set from him in a ridiculously cool spot:

Further digging into any of these dudes will reveal hours and many, multiple layers of funky fun….

I’m pretty sure this much talent would have gotten you burned at the stake back in the dark ages….must be black magic…