Prodigious pianist Harold López-Nussa has come full circle. With numerous acclaimed recordings, and acknowledged as a seasoned performer on international stages, he returns home and records El Viaje in Havana, Cuba, offering musical insights on the world through his piano. Continuing with his established trio format, which includes his brother Ruy Adrián López-Nussa on drums and Senegalese bassist Alune Wade, he improvises upon vast classical influences while adhering to his Cuban roots, concocting an exceptional style of global jazz.
For over 20 years, the trio of pianist Carla Bley, bassist Steve Swallow, and saxophonist Andy Sheppard have shared each other's creative company. The group's 2016 album, Andando el Tiempo, is a delicately passionate, classically influenced set. A follow-up to 2013's equally compelling Trios, Andando el Tiempo is, surprisingly, only the third album from the group after their initial live 1995 album Songs with Legs. Whereas on Trios they delved into various Bley compositions from throughout her career, on Andando el Tiempo they focus on several more recently penned works. "Naked Bridges/Diving Bridges" brings to mind the impressionism of composer Claude Debussy.
Andando el Tiempo features new music of wide emotional compass by Carla Bley, and underlines her originality and resourcefulness as a jazz composer. “Saints Alive!” sets up animated conversations between the participants with striking statements from Steve Swallow’s bass guitar and Andy Sheppard’s soprano sax. The stately “Naked Bridges/Diving Brides” draws inspiration from Mendelssohn and the poetry of Paul Haines. And the powerful three part title composition – which addresses the trials and tribulations of recovery from addiction - moves through sorrow to hopefulness and joy.
Killer, drug smuggler, folk hero, Houdini of jailhouse escapes–the legend of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is well known. But now this two-hour documentary special reveals an unprecedented look at the man behind the myth and how his international drug cartel impacts us right here at home.
Raised in a refugee camp in Algeria, Aziza Brahim embodies and mourns the displacement of North Africa’s Sahrawi people. Her ascent has been steady rather than spectacular, her breakthrough coming with 2014’s Soutak, an elegant acoustic set that drew from her adopted Barcelona home. Here, Brahim embraces the electric desert blues popularised by Tinariwen and Tamikrest (with whom she shares producer Chris Eckman). It’s a buoyant sound – Brahim’s voice is too airy for drones and chants – led by rolling pieces such as Calles de Dajla and followed by slow, contemplative blues. At its heart is a title track grieving for the exiled thousands stranded in an inhospitable tract of Western Sahara, whose only escape is “music and imagination”.