It is no secret that Swedish jazz drummer, composer and producer Bengt Berger has a weak spot for Indian music. He even lived in India for a while (in the 60s) and studied there with different teachers.
January of last year, Bengt took his Beches Brew ensemble to India where they were joined by eminent Indian maestros of the Karnatic and of the Hindustani tradition for a series of concerts.
Later the same year, some of the Indian musicians traveled to Sweden for the Swedish leg of the tour.
On "Beches Indian Brew", we get treated to recordings from this latter part of the tour. Eight amazing tracks.
It's fascinating to hear how beautiful jazz and Indian music blend together.
A short film by Jöns Jönsson about the meeting between the Swedish group Beches Brew and four of today's greatest Karnatic instrumentalists in Chennai and the concert at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha on January 3, 2016.
Featuring Mats Öberg !!
Dutch Rock Legends FOCUS Announce New Double Album Collection THE FOCUS FAMILY ALBUM feat. Extensive Unreleased and New Material! OUT NOW!
London - Focus is pleased to announce the release of its new 2 CD collection “The Focus Family Album” which has been prepared over the last 12 months. The 20 track set gives fans new insight into the band and includes 15 unreleased original songs, alternate versions from the Focus X sessions, solo tracks from each of the current members and tracks from the beginning of the Focus 11 sessions.
Many of the tracks have been recorded in a variety of countries in Europe and South America and are exclusively available on this collection. Thijs van Leer said, “Dear Friends & Fans! With pleasure we present to you our new double album 'The Focus Family Album,' it makes us so happy that you will listen to pieces recorded together as a band and solo songs too, in many different countries during our travels! We hope it will make you happy as well!!!”
The set includes all of the rarities from the “Focus X” era and is an ideal companion to that album and the forthcoming “Focus 11.” The set also introduces the band's new bass player Udo Pannekeet, who takes over the position from long term bass player Bobby Jacobs, who said, “Dear beautiful fans, after 15 years playing the beautiful music of Focus with my heart and soul I decided to stop and focus on new life adventures (music and a lot of other things). Thank you and love! Hope we will meet again...”
“The Focus Family Album” features artwork by Roger Dean and is being released to coincide with the band's South American and European tour dates. It's the latest release on the band's own 'In and Out of Focus Records' (via Cherry Red): https://www.cherryred.co.uk/artist/focus/
1. Nature Is Our Friend - Thijs Van Leer
2. Song for Eva - Focus
3. Riverdance - Pierre Van Der Linden
4. Victoria - Focus
5. Two-Part Intervention - Menno Gootjes
6. Mosh Blues - Focus
7. Raga Reverence 1 - Swung
8. The Fifth Man - Focus
9. Song for Yaminah - Udo Pannekeet
10. Clair-Obscur - Focus
1. Let Us Wander? - Thijs Van Leer
2. Birds Come Fly Over (Le Tango) - Focus
3. Spiritual Swung - Pierre Van Der Linden
4. Santa Teresa - Focus
5. Hazel - Menno Gootjes
6. Fine Without You - Focus
7. Raga Reverence 5 - Swung
8. Five Fourth - Focus
9. Anaya - Udo Pannekeet
10. Winnie - Focus
of course i said yes ! - the amazing adventures of a life in music by arthur barrow (2016, book, uk, cydonian music / amazon)
Last year, Arthur Barrow wrote a book about his musical adventures.
As you know, Arthur played bass in Frank Zappa's band from the summer of 1978 until the end of 1980.
Afterwards, in 1981 and in 1982, Arthur didn't tour with the Zappa band, but he did take care of the rehearsals in Frank's absence (as FZ's 'clonemeister') and he still did some recording sessions with FZ.
In "Of Course I Sais Yes", Arthur talks in detail about his time with the Zappa band, about working with other musicians that had played with Zappa, and, of course, about his Band From Utopia project.
Sure, he also writes about his time with Giorgio Moroder and about working with Janet Jackson and Joe Cocker, to name just two, but for me, the most interesting part was about his time with Frank and his relation to Frank's music.
The most fascinating chapter is the one in which Arthur explains how he headed out to L.A. and he seemed to be predestined to play in Zappa's band.
I loved reading this book and I learned a lot of interesting facts on the side.
Available from Amazon.
Here's a recent podcast that touches on a couple on these topics :
In 2005, together with five of his fellow students, Andreas Schaerer founded the Hildegard Lernt Fliegen ensemble. At the time, he was still finishing his studies in composition at the Bern University Of The Arts.
Ten years and a couple of albums later, Andreas was asked to write a piece for the Orchestra of the Lucerne Festival Academy, an orchestra that had been founded by one of Andreas' heroes : Pierre Boulez !
The result is entitled "The Big Wig", and it was performed by Hildegard Lernt Fliegen together with the Orchestra of the Lucerne Festival.
The concert got broadcast by Radio SRF, but fortunately for those who couldn't hear it (or attend), it has been made available on CD and on DVD.
Mind you, this album exists in different formats: as a 2LP album, as a CD, and as a CD/DVD package. You definitely have to go for the CD/DVD package as the performance is a joy to be heard and to be seen !!