Eric Vloeimans’ Oliver’s Cinema: Moving Sounds

Photo compilation by Abe Goldstien.

Photo compilation by Abe Goldstien.

The last time gregarious Dutch trumpeter Eric Vloeimans (pronounced Vlouie-mahns) came through Albuquerque, he brought his electronically supplemented quartet Gatecrash, which
delivered eloquent and funky kick-ass jazz at a fairly high volume. No louder than Vloeimans’ wardrobe, though, which is as floridly splendid as anything Carnaby Street ever produced.

This time around, Vloeimans, as sartorially colorful as ever, enlists his stunning virtuosity in the service of a very different musical experience: Oliver’s Cinema, a trio that also includes
Belgium’s Tuur Florizoone on accordion and Germany’s Jörg Brinkmann on cello, virtuosi in their own right, and which inhabits the other end of the volume spectrum. The three, who sound as if they’ve been together for years, draw on both original and popular compositions to produce
expressive, delicate, and uncategorizable chamber music played in the open air of jazz. Forget “third stream.” This music blends several streams—from jazz with a folkloric memory, to
popular movie scores with a classical sensibility.

This Thursday at the Outpost, if their eponymously titled album (Buzz/Challenge Records
International
) is any indication, Eric Vloeimans’ Oliver’s Cinema will unreel an evening of lyrical moving sounds. Continue reading

Roots Music, Cuban Style

Tradiciones @ OutpostNear as I can tell, Havana in the forties and fifties was a universe of its own, kind of a
combination of Las Vegas and New Orleans. As the former is now, it was a gambling and
entertainment center, a vacation destination where much was permitted. But unlike Las Vegas, what happened in Havana did not stay in Havana—at least not musically speaking. In that
regard, it was much more like New Orleans: a great port city that imported all manner of
people, blended their musics together, and exported its unique hybrid to the rest of the world, infecting one genre after another with its irresistible creation. Continue reading

Six Strings and a Soul

Shine OnTodd Tijerina, Shine On (indie)
A review

Before anything else, this must be said: Todd Tijerina is a stunning and expressive guitarist with an inborne grace. Shine On (available
October 11) is my first encounter with the man, and I could hardly take my ears off his fingers. He combines the rocking power of Stevie Ray Vaughan with the nuance of Blues Boy King in an economical, almost laconic blues style that wastes nary a note. Speed? Yeah, he’s got that, too, but it’s never an end in itself. He harnesses it in the service of the moment, using a flurry of notes here or there for emotional flashpoints. For most of the album, he’s on the acoustic that graces the cover, but he’s equally at home on his electric axe.
Whatever instrument he’s strapped on, he’s got a funky rhythmic sense that makes for
comfortable listening. Continue reading

Quick Hits: Three Reviews

It’s that time of year again: The baseball season is climbing to its climax (and my O’s are very much in the running for a postseason berth), so we spend an indefensible amount of time each game day willing balls and strikes, fair balls and foul, and of course, wins and losses. My
business clients have awakened from their estival slumber and are scrambling to spend their marketing budgets before they lose them. Plus, the late summer weather is so gorgeous that I don’t want to get off my bike. (Wanna ride up to Ojo Caliente tomorrow and have a soak?)

So there’s been less time to spend on music, just as the fall music season—with its raft of
musical releases needing review and incoming artists needing preview—bears down upon us. I’ll do my best in the coming weeks to appease the publicity folks who send out the new releases, and to satisfy your curiosity and mine about what’s going on in our small corner of the musical world.

Let’s start with three short reviews, starring Dave Douglas and Uri Caine, Apuh!, and Elizabeth Shepherd. Continue reading

Samba the Night Away

Baracutanga

Baracutanga.

When vibes/percussion player Nick Baker—anyone ever seen him without a smile on his face?—slipped me the word about a celebration of Brazil Independence Day this Friday at Sister Bar, featuring Baracutanga, PANdemonium, and Odara Dance Ensemble, I did some quick research on Brazilian Independence Day, since I knew absolutely nothing about it. Yet another gap in my education.

According to Wikipedia, on January 9, 1822, when Pedro, Prince of Brazil, refused to return to Portugal from the Kingdom of Brazil in response to the Portuguese assembly’s demand, he
created Dia do Fico, which Wikipedia freely translates as “I’ll Stay Day.” On September 7, the same cat declared Brazil’s independence, which is celebrated in Brazil by big military parades.

Outside Brazil, there’s no Brazilian military to appease, so people celebrate in a more Brazil-
appropriate way: with music and dancing. Wikipedia tells us that the 2008 celebration in New York City, called Brazil Day, drew 1.8 million people and was broadcast live in Brazil, so the folks down there had a choice other than military exhibitionism.

This Friday, Frank Leto’s PANdemonium, along with Pilar Leto’s Odara Dance Ensemble, will get things started. You won’t have to fight a crowd of 1.8 million, and you will likely be saying “Eu
ficarei”
along with Prince Pedro. Then, Baracutanga, fronted by singer Jackie Zamora, will justify your wise decision. Continue reading