March 12, 2001 |
Burhan Ocal is one of the busiest percussionists in the world, shifting easily through gigs with Joe Zawinul, George Gruntz and a funk/hip-hop band with bassist Jamaladeen Tacuma. But the foundations of his art--Turkish folk and classical music--took center stage at UCLA's Royce Hall on Saturday. Leading his Gypsy Istanbul Oriental Ensemble, Ocal was a multi- instrument wizard.
November 5, 2002 |
Dating from the 13th century, "Cantigas de Santa Maria" (Songs to the Virgin Mary) are no musty antiquarian oddities. At least, not in the care of the Boston Camerata, the Camerata Mediterranea and the Sharq Arab-American Ensemble on Sunday at UCLA's Royce Hall.
December 17, 2006 |
Ali Farka Toure, "Savane" (Nonesuch). The Malian singer-guitarist's final album (he died of bone cancer in March) is one of his best, a superb example of his primal linkage of African music and the American blues. * Anouar Brahem, "Le Voyage de Sahar" (ECM).
April 16, 2001 |
The Persian Arts Society continued its quest to showcase the traditional and contemporary arts of Iran with "an evening of ecstatic music and dance" on Saturday at the Wilshire-Ebell Theatre. Titled "Nava & Namah" (Sound & Reverence) the lengthy but illuminating program featured the music of the Dastan Ensemble and the dancing of the Namah Ensemble.
June 21, 2000 |
Israel and the Andalusian province of Spain don't immediately come to mind as musical aficionados. But in the dense intersection of cultures that took place around the 10th and 11th centuries, the musical currents of Spain and the Middle East became inextricably blended. One contemporary result of that blending turned up at Grand Performances in the California Water Court on Monday in the form of the Israel Andalusian Orchestra.
October 2, 1993 |
Whatever else Peter Sellars may not be, he is loyal: To his artists, his ideas, his politics. He is less loyal to playwrights, especially dead ones. Take the American premiere of "The Persians," a modern adaptation of the play by Aeschylus that opened Thursday at the Mark Taper Forum. Two of its actors were in Sellars' production of Sophocles' "Ajax," seen at the La Jolla Playhouse in 1986. On the "Ajax" team were James F.
June 22, 1986 |
Marion Scott is sitting in her Westwood penthouse apartment talking about a fire that broke out the previous night in her husband's aluminum tubing factory in New Jersey. Two men have been killed, and, Scott says, "he's lost everything." Still she will not fly home to console him. She is giving an interview instead, testing the strength of a new, independent life in which, like the emblematic phoenix, she is a resurrected performer--at 63, making one last bid for recognition as an artist.
May 15, 1998 |
Drawing hoots and shouts of "Ow!" at a concert grounded in medieval balladry and performed on harp, hurdy-gurdy and oud seems about as likely as a song based on ancient Middle Eastern and Celtic modes becoming a big pop radio hit. But Loreena McKennitt, who achieved the latter distinction recently with a techno remix of her song "The Mummer's Dance," managed the former feat Wednesday at the Universal Amphitheatre.
November 4, 2003 |
Guitarist Bill Frisell's latest album, "Intercontinentals," is a dramatic expansion of the musical eclecticism that has characterized his long career. Blending his jazz, blues and country roots with the music of Brazil, Greece, Mali and beyond, the album discovers compelling, boundary-free creative linkages. Surprisingly, however, the live performance of selections from the album at Royce Hall on Sunday rarely achieved a similar degree of believability.
April 26, 1999 |
Bassist Avishai Cohen is one of the early arrivals in a generation of jazz players whose musical visions reach beyond the familiar American jazz arena. On Saturday night at the Baked Potato Hollywood, he offered a too-brief glance at the potential within that global perspective. Working with the same sextet present on his current album, "Devotion" (Stretch Records), Cohen played a set that moved from straight-ahead mainstream to mixtures of jazz with Middle Eastern timbres and rhythms.