Martin Stephenson & The Daintees - Salutation Road (1990)

«Martin Stephenson's English brand of folk/roots rock underwent a cultural translation of sorts on Salutation Road. For this album, he traveled to the U.S. to work with Los Angeles-based producer/guitarist Pete Anderson and engineer Dusty Wakeman. At this point, Anderson and Wakeman were best known for their involvement in the burgeoning Bakersfield sound of the 1980s – especially their work with Dwight Yoakam. The pairing of the Geordie with these equally roots-minded Americans in the town south of Bakersfield, along with the participation of a stellar group of musicians from the Anderson-Wakeman circle, was a mouthwatering proposition. Stephenson's first two albums (Boat to Bolivia and Gladsome, Humour & Blue) had displayed a considerable stylistic range; that versatility is not diminished here. Working within his familiar folk-rock idiom, Stephenson incorporates simple acoustic fare ("Morning Time"), more jazzy numbers ("Heart of the City"), and even a smattering of Latin grooves ("Long Hard Road"). With its smooth beat and sunny horns, the latter is the standout track. Although the making of Salutation Road took Stephenson far from home, he didn't forsake his roots in the northeast of England. This is especially clear in thematic terms, as Stephenson pays homage to his Geordie origins on the title track with its joyous brass and on "Big North Lights," which is enhanced by the warm melody of Skip Edwards' Hammond. "Left Us to Burn" takes a more politicized look at the Northeast, denouncing the Thatcher government's betrayal of the region's coal miners in the 1980s. In comparison with his previous recordings, the expansive arrangements of Salutation Road offer a grander setting for Stephenson's talents as a singer/songwriter.» (AMG)

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Sanseverino - Le Tango des Gens (2001)

«A descendent of Italian immigrants, Stephane Sansévérino was born on French soil in 1962. Thanks to his father's work, young Stephane was offered limitless travel opportunities throughout his early years. He was exposed to performers from all over the world, and by the age of 20 had fixed his sights on a career in performance. Initially focusing on theater, he studied comic acting for a number of years, learning guitar and banjo in the process. Sansévérino started his own troupe and worked primarily as a street performer, while surrounded with the alternative rock sounds that had sprung up during the mid-'80s. He began working as a musician with his hand in a few groups at any given time, maintaining a diverse array of musical and theatrical pursuits. The two disciplines met in the formation of Les Voleurs de Poules, an acoustic duo that explored Eastern European Gypsy styles with French chansons from the '50s. After years of busy touring, the group released its debut record, Tu Sens les Poivrons, in 1995. The group split four years later, and Sansévérino spent the next two years writing and recording his first solo record, Le Tango des Gens, which went gold upon its release in 2001. Following intense touring, the artist was honored with the Victorie de la Musique Award for Best Breakthrough Live Act of the Year in 2003. His sophomore project, Les Senagalaises, earned him the nickname of "Monsieur Swing." In that same vein, Sansévérino's 2006 album, Exactement, was his first to feature a full big band, a notable departure from former ensembles of from three to five musicians. In December of 2006, he took to the road again, accompanied by his 20-piece big band.» (AMG)

«Avec ce premier album solo, Sanseverino (ex-leader-chanteur des Voleurs de poule) nous donne envie de mettre nos petites contrariétés au placard. Accompagné par le violon, l'accordéon et les cuivres rutilants, le banjo et la guitare acoustique de ce zigomar font virevolter des rythmes d'une chanson à l'autre. Ici pas de répit. On se laisse mener par le bout du nez vers un drôle d'univers où les clins d'œil (notamment à Brel et Bruant pour "Frida") succèdent à l'autodérision ("Swing du nul", "Mal ô mains"). Le tout servi dans des ambiances de joyeux bastringue. Parfois, ça sent le petit vin blanc, les guinguettes du dimanche ou les caf'conc enfumés du quartier Saint-Germain d'après-guerre. Et c'est sans compter la voix éraillée de cette gouaille malicieuse qui court sans retenue sur les accords d'un swing jazzifié façon Django Reinhardt ("Mal ô mains") ou ceux du folklore tzigane ("André"). Le sarcastique "Tango de l'ennui" de François Béranger version Sanseverino se fait l'écho du très mordant "Tango des gens" et mérite une écoute particulièrement attentive. Un album sans concession, dont on appréciera les nombreuses influences. (Valérie Dupouy, Amazon.fr)

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Darker Than Blue: Soul from Jamdown 1973-1980 (2001)

«Arriving months before this Blood & Fire compilation was a similar release from Soul Jazz Records. Studio One Soul was just that, a collection of 18 covers of American soul tunes by the famous Jamaican label's finest '60s and '70s artists. Darker Than Blue however, has a distinct advantage over its predecessor. As it is not tied to the output of any one particular label, it manages to come up with a selection that's broader in scope and more diverse in sound. Bassist Boris Gardiner's band, with the help of organ maestro Leslie Butler, gets the proceedings off to a superb start with "Ghetto Funk," one of two originals that bookend the set. A series of gems follow. Carl Bradney turns out a suitably heavy version of War's "Slipping into Darkness," Al Brown adds a touching reading of Bobby Bland's "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City," and Freddie McGregor performs a wake-up call to the silent majority via George Jackson on "Get Involved." Though Sly Johnson's "Is It Because I'm Black?" can also be found on Studio One Soul, there's plenty of room for another version, particularly when the artist in question is Ken Boothe. Stripping away the horns that appeared on the original U.K. pressing, this mix reveals the rhythm in all its glory, letting it churn between Boothe's exceptional verses. Following a series of love songs, Darker Than Blue delivers another series of excellent reality themes. Among them are the Curtis Mayfield song that titles the set (performed by Lloyd Charmers) and Timmy Thomas' "Why Can't We Live Together?," presented in discomix form by Tinga Stewart and the Revolutionaries. The finest in Jamaican reggae meets the finest in American soul – the combination is superb.» (AMG)

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Music of Cyprus / Kibris'In Sesi / Tragoudia Tis Kyprou (2007)

Greek and Turkish Cypriot musicians present the musical traditions of the island of Cyprus.

Directed by Mehmet Ali Sanlikol
(voice, ud, cura, zurna, ney, kaval, def)

Theodoulos Vakanas (violin, voice Panayiotis League, kemençe, lyra, laouto, davul, voice)
Cem Mutlu (percussion)
Engin Günaydin (voice, percussion)
Noam Sender (voice, ney)
Robert Labaree (voice)

Produced by

I. Wedding Songs / Düğün Müzikleri / Tou Gamou
1. Kozan Marşı/Syrtos (Turkish and Greek)
2. To Tragoudi Tou Gamou (Greek)

II. Love Songs / Aşk Şarkilari / Tis Agapis
3. Sabahın Seher Vahdında (Turkish)
4. Dolama/Na Sou Goraso Mihanin (Turkish and Greek)

III. Sacred Music From Cyprus / Kibris'ta Dini Müzik / Thriskeftiki Mousiki Tis Kyprou
5. T'ai Giorki (Agios Giorgis, Greek Orthodox para-liturgical song)
6. Sem-i Ruhuna (ilahi: Sufi devotional song)

IV. The Village / Köy / To Horkon
7. Abdal Zeybeği/Aptalikos (Turkish and Greek)

V. Cyprus "Re-Constructed" / Kibris'ta "Geçmise Yolculuk" / Kypros: "Mousiki Anadromi"
8. Kartal (Turkish)
9. Sousta (Greek and Turkish)

VI. Dance Songs / Zeybekler / Zeybekikos
10. Varys Zeybekikos (Greek)
11. Sarhoş Zeybeği/Ime Tze Ganomatzis (Turkish and Greek)

VII. Music Of Cyprus / Kibris'in Sesi / Tragoudia Tis Kyprou
12. Agapisa Tin Pou Karkias (Greek)
13. Feslikan/Syrtos (Turkish and Greek)
14. Orak/To Mashairin (Turkish and Greek)
Dillirga/Tillyrkotissa (Turkish and Greek)

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