CD Review: Two Hands To Tango, by Hakon Skogstad (Norway)

Hakon SkogstadArtist: Hakon Skogstad
Title: Two Hands To Tango
Label: Avantango Records
Genre: Tango/Latin

CD review, by Fiona Mactaggart

Based in Trondheim, Norway, Hakon Skogstad is a pianist specializing in Western classical and Argentine tango. His May 2018 solo piano release, Two Hands To Tango, proves that neither relative youth nor living a great distance from the home of tango, need impede the production of a careful and sensitive tribute to Argentine tango and to the Argentine concertina, the bandoneon, which contributes so much to tango’s distinctive sound.

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Rest in Power, Randy Weston

The memorial service for the recently departed Randy Weston, held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, was nothing short of inspirational

By Dawoud Kringle

Randy WestonMusic was performed. Randy Weston’s African Rhythms Ensemble paid tribute to their departed founder and leader. Every note, every stroke on a drum was a tribute to the master musician.

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MFM and Eclectix to Present an Evening of Jazz in Support of Professional Musicians

MFM’s 1st Official Public Event…An Evening of Jazz and Solidarity

Event review by Dawoud Kringle

MFM and Eclectix On Wednesday, Sept 5th, 2018, Musicians for Musicians (MFM) and Eclectix (a composers and musicians organization) united forces to present an Evening of Jazz in Support of Professional Musicians at Zinc Bar (NY). The night’s music was offered by tenor sax master and MFM board member Billy Harper and his Quintet, and the E.C.O. Ensemble, a quintet of jazz composers / musicians led by guitarist and MFM supporter Roger Blanc. Kim Schmidt hosted and opened the event.

Billy Harper’s ensemble (featuring Freddie Hendricks on trumpet, Francesca Tanksley on piano, Hwansu Kang on bass, and Aaron Scott on drums) opened with “Illuminations,” a piece that started with hits and silences. Hendricks and Harper joined the drums, bass, and piano. This led into a melodically vivacious head.

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Kamyar Arsani

Cassette and Digital Release by Kamyar Arsani & Benjamin Schurr “Voices in the Dark”

Kamyar Arsani had a vision…Voices in the Dark…

Music Review by Dawoud Kringle

Kamyar Arsani Artist: Kamyar Arsani & Benjamin Schurr
Title: Voices In The Dark
Label: Blight Rec
Genre: Electronic, Rock, Pop, Folk, World, & Country

There are voices in the dark. I hear them. I see them. When soul is pushed to the corner of time, dancing becomes more than a form, becomes a spirit. In the strangest of ways, you lose your fear when you dance with Voices in the Dark.” – Kamyar Arsani

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Randy Weston Remembered: A Master Musician Who Travelled the Bridge Between Africa and America

Text by By Dawoud Kringle

Randy WestonOn the morning of September 1st, 2018, pianist and composer Randy Weston was called home.

Randy Weston was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1926. to Vivian (née Moore; a native of Virginia) and Frank Weston (of Jamaican-Panamanian descent, who owned a restaurant in Brooklyn where Weston was raised). His father was a staunch Garveyite, who passed on the Pan-Africanist leader’s Afrocentric, self-reliant values to his son. He became interested in music at a young age. Among his early influences and inspirations were jazz giants such as Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Art Tatum, and Duke Ellington. He would often cite Thelonious Monk as having the greatest impact on him.

After serving in the US armed forces in WW2, taking time to study European classical piano, and later running a restaurant (which was frequented by many jazz musicians), Weston began performing in  the late 1940s with Bullmoose Jackson, Frank Culley and Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson. He worked with Kenny Dorham in 1953 and in 1954 with Cecil Payne. He formed his own trio and quartet and released his debut recording as a leader in 1954, “Cole Porter in a Modern Mood.” In 1955, Down Beat magazine’s International Critics’ Poll voted him New Star Pianist.

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