Kepa Junkera — Bilbao 00:00 h
(Resistencia RESCD-065, 1998, 2CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2000-05-01
The first I ever heard of Kepa Junkera was at the first WOMAD USA festival. He was an unknown quantity that my wife and I checked out and became enraptured with. He plays the traditional Basque versions of the accordion with names strange to the English-speaker, but has expanded well beyond the confines of traditional Basque music. In the live setting he was joined by stand-up bass, drums, and acoustic guitar, and they played a fluid, rhythmic stew that had me totally fascinated. Justin Vali, the Malagasy master of the valiha, joined him on stage for a few numbers. Luckily, the WOMAD merchandise stands had this import-only double CD available, and even the steep price tag couldn’t keep us away. On this set, Junkera and his band are joined by great players from all over the world, including Béla Fleck, Justin Vali, Paddy Moloney of the Chieftains, members of Hedningarna, and a host of others. Bilbao is packaged beautifully as a little hardbound book, with 140 pages of liner notes (in Spanish and Basque, with translations in English and French) and photographs. All in all, it is quite a treasure for the musically adventurous.
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more