Archives for posts with tag: Liz Green

Feature: 2012 in Review – New, New to Me, and those we lost

Reflecting on my musical discoveries in 2012, there were many but the theme that emerges is squarely in the 1970’s. That decade pre-dated my musical awareness, which only sprung in the Eighties. But thanks to great DJs and musical curators like Gilles Peterson (@gillespeterson), Jason Palma (@jasonpalma), Kon (@Kon1200), and Huggs (@huggs), I rediscovered an amazing slice of musical magic from the 70’s.

So here are my favourite finds, some new releases, and a reminder of some of the musical greats we lost this year:

New Releases:

New to Me: Re-discovered

  • Leon Ware – An impressive body of work from the 70s that blends soulful vocals, jazz-influenced arrangements, and a dose of disco. The track, “What’s Your Name,” in particular, kills.
  • Ahmad Jamal – Calming, patient jazz that I overlooked in my younger years
  • The Philly Sound – Velvety
  • Donald Byrd – My 70s music hero and a mentor to the Mizzell Brothers, my other 70s heros. Not mention Harvey Mason, a spectacular jazz drummer. Mason’s beats on “Flight time” drive that track more than any other instrument in the arrangement. Not a lot of drummers can do that.
  • D-Train – Groovy synth funk from the early eighties; Credit the keyboard genius of Hubert Eaves III. “Keep on” is simply addictive.

Notable Passings

  • Don Cornelius – Host of Soul Train
  • Donna Summer – Queen of disco
  • Jose Roberto Bertrami – Azymuth keyboardist, one of the world’s best on the Rhodes
  • Sam ‘The Record Man’ Sniderman – Toronto record shop pioneer
  • Dave Brubeck – Legend of jazz
  • Ravi Shankar – Legend of Indian Classical music

Most Anticipated Release in 2013: New album from Alice Russell (expected February 2013)

Happy and Peaceful New Year!

Album Review: O, Devotion, Liz Green, 2011

  

Liz Green has a voice that you must hear to believe. The marvel of her voice is not in its power or her ability to hold a note. Rather, there is something antiquarian about it. It’s as if she swallowed a vintage phonograph. When she sings, a dusty and muffled voice emanates, as if from the tin horn of her internal gramaphone.

The result is absolutely mesmerizing. Listen to “Midnight Blues” and I’d wager you will want a second, third, and fourth listen, just to savour it. “French Singer,” seemingly accompanied by an ill-tuned player-piano, evokes a western saloon. And it is sublime.

As I write this, her sole full length album, “O, Devotion” is pending release in North America on Feb 7, 2012. However, it is already available in the UK and you can stream various songs on YouTube. A nice version of “Midnight Blues” can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVwCwTvrLx8&feature=related

If you find your musical centre of gravity in more conventional genres like R&B, Pop, or Rock, a dose of down-home blues/folk is a refreshing change. Ms. Green delivers on that account, pulling her wagon ’round and serenading you from a long-ago era.