Dr. L. Subramaniam / Karsten Vogel — Meetings
(Calibrated CALI 038, 2007, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2008-10-01Dr. L. Subramaniam is an icon of Indian improvisation. From his Karnatic traditional undertakings and Western classical endeavors his international collaborations with Ali Akbar Khan, Yehudi Menuhin and Larry Coryell, his violin playing is infused with a knowing passion for space and mood. Karsten Vogel's roots stem from 60s psychedelia to his groundbreaking work with Secret Oyster; his career characterized as a unique woodwind voice cutting through the ether. Twenty years ago these six improvisations would have been called New Age but today they suggest something far more spiritual and ambiguous. Across three separate sessions, the atmosphere is open with plenty of space for the melodic elements of the pieces to spread out. "Morning Beauty" opens the disc with a timeless serene quality that permeates the sound terrain. Subramaniam's long legato lines disappear into the beyond along with Vogel's alto almost as easily as they both appeared. The two establish a casual dialogue on several tracks ("Tandoori," "Robannas Playground") but really engage in deep thought on "M G Road," "Five O'clock Twins" and the closing finale "Afternoon Silk." The first piece is a spirited jaunt while the latter two pieces show the wide range of the soloists. Ole Fick and Klaus Mender occupy guitar and percussion supporting roles across the disc, building a firm mat for the soloists. In closing, it's delicate musical summits like this disc that continue to push open the harmonious doors between East and West.
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more