Posts Tagged ‘leyla mccalla’

Songlines Best Albums of 2016

Posted on November 24th, 2016 in News, Recent posts, Reviews by .

Best Albums 2016

Songlines’ editors Jo Frost and Simon Broughton select their favourite albums of 2016

Jo Frost and Simon Broughton have handpicked their ten favourite albums of the year from over 700 featured reviews. These are the albums they found themselves returning to over and over, and the discs that made a lasting impression. Here are their choices for year’s greatest albums, but be sure to pick up a copy of the new issue (January/February 2017, #124), on sale December 9, for a full rundown.  

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Anda Union  – Homeland
(Hohhot Records, will be reviewed in #124)
These are distinguished songs about nature, history and identity from this nine-strong Inner Mongolian group, featuring horse head fiddles and growly throat singing.


Bollywood Brass Band & Jyotsna Srikanth – Carnatic Connection
(Bollywood Brass Band, will be reviewed in #124)
An energetic and cinematic journey south, with fuel provided by Jyotsna Srikanth’s Karnatic violin. Renditions of AR Rahman compositions appear alongside South Indian musical gems.


Calypso Rose – Far from Home
(Because Music, reviewed in #120)

With the help of Manu Chao, the Calypso queen represents her home country of Trinidad and Tobago, covering a range of social and political issues with a contemporary Caribbean flair.


Roberto Fonseca – ABUC
(Impulse!, reviewed in #123)
A raucous, dizzying journey back and forth through Fonseca’s Afro-Cuban musical heritage. An ambitious and convincing offering from the young maestro.


Derek Gripper – Libraries on Fire
(Derek Gripper, reviewed in #119)
With great aplomb, the South African takes on the compositions of the great 21-stringed kora players on his classical guitar. Gripper’s delicate transcriptions deliver beautiful results.


Kefaya – Radio International
(Radio International Records, reviewed in #122)
This debut album fizzes with the energy of the international collective’s acclaimed live shows and is hard hitting with its political commentary.


Lakou Mizik – Wa Di Yo
(Cumbancha, reviewed in #117)
Lakou Mizik’s debut is a passionate tribute to the people and culture of Haiti. Formed in the aftermath of the country’s 2010 earthquake, the collective deliver a project of celebration and hope.


Leyla McCalla – A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey
(Jazz Village, reviewed in #119)
An outstanding sophomore album from the young cellist and banjo player. Three years on from her stellar debut, McCalla once again draws from her Haitian heritage and Creole influences.


Vaudou Game – Kidayú
(Hot Casa Records, reviewed in #122)
Vaudou Game take a magpie-like approach to African music styles, uniquely blending Afrobeat, Ethio-jazz and highlife for an album that is unpredictable and fresh from start to finish.


Various Artists, featuring Musicians of the Calais ‘Jungle’ – The Calais Sessions
(Sessions of the World, will be reviewed in #124)
An extraordinarily and moving collaborative album. The resilient testament to the human spirit will reduce you to tears, but also uplift your heart.

 

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Leyla McCalla – A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey | Album Review | Top of the World

Posted on July 2nd, 2016 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Leyla-McCalla-©Sarah-Danziger-Free1

Words by Kevin Bourke

Leyla McCalla - A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey Cover

Second album from cellist and one-time Chocolate Drop
★★★★

A former touring member of award-winning African-American string band Carolina Chocolate Drops, cellist Leyla McCalla made her solo debut with Vari-Colored Songs, a tribute to Langston Hughes, one of the best albums of 2013. Here, she alternates between cello, tenor banjo and guitar, singing in English, French and Haitian Creole on a set that’s just as impressive.

Once again she draws extensively and imaginatively on the graceful, defiant Haitian folk songs of her heritage along with ones from the Creole tradition of Louisiana, her adopted home. Significantly, though, three equally appealing songs have been written by McCalla herself, including the splendidly poised opening title-track, named after a Haitian proverb that also provided the title of Gage Averill’s 1997 book about popular music, power and politics in Haiti.

Guest appearances include her Carolina Chocolate Drops colleague Rhiannon Giddens on a lovely version of ‘Manman’, originally penned by Haitian activist Manno Charlemagne, while legendary guitarist Marc Ribot lends a Tom Waits-esque clatter and bang to traditional Haitian song ‘Peze Café’.

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Top of the World July 2016: The best new releases

Posted on June 10th, 2016 in Features, Recent posts by .

Our selection of the top ten new releases reviewed in the July (#119) issue.

Fanfare Ciocărlia
Onwards to Mars! (Asphalt Tango Records)

Fanfare-Ciocarlia---Onwards-to-Mars!-Cover

Balkan brass band Fanfare Ciocărlia offer 14 tracks on their latest record, released in celebration of their 20th anniversary in the music business.
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Elza Soares
The Woman at the End of the World (Mais Um Discos)

Elza Soares - The Woman at the End of the World Cover

Elza Soares, now in her late 70s, demonstrates why she is considered one of Brazil’s best samba singers in a bold release that is a fiery mix of original, uncompromising tracks.

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Kel Assouf
Tikounen (Igloo Records)

Kel Assouf - Tikounen Cover

Another guitar group to come out of the Touareg music scene, Kel Assouf return with a strong, rocking second album. Powerful rhythms and contagious grooves are aplenty on this feisty record.

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Leyla McCalla
A Day for the Hunter, a Day for the Prey (Jazz Village)

Leyla McCalla

An outstanding sophomore album from the young cellist and banjo player. Three years on from her stellar debut, McCalla once again draws from her Haitian heritage and Creole influences.

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Matthias Loibner
Lichtungen (Traumton Records)

Matthias Loibner - Lichtungen Cover

Austrian composer Matthias Loibner possesses extraordinary skill on the hurdy-gurdy; his new album shows the astonishing range this unusual instrument has in his hands.

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Maarja Nuut
Une Meeles (Maarja Nuut)

Maarja-Nuut---Une-Meeles-Cover2

Fiddler and singer Maarja Nuut delivers her experimental second album – an exceptional listen that draws influences from her Estonian roots and displays her promising talent.

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Melt Yourself Down
Last Evenings on Earth (The Leaf Label)

Melt Yourself Down - Last Evenings on Earth Cover

Utilising abrasive sounds and forward-thinking production, the London-based band Melt Yourself Down show they are a force to be reckoned with on this game-changing album.

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Derek Gripper
Libraries on Fire (Derek Gripper)

Derek-Gripper---Libraries-on-Fire-Cover

With great aplomb, the South African takes on the compositions of the great 21-stringed kora players on his classical guitar. Gripper’s delicate transcriptions deliver beautiful results.
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Mahsa Vahdat
The Sun Will Rise (A Cappella) (Kirkelig Kulturverksted)

Mahsa Vahdat - The Sun Will Rose Cover

Vahdat is one of only a few female singers living in Iran to record regularly outside the country, and here she produces a profoundly personal album with no instrumental accompaniment.

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Bellowhead
Live: The Farewell Tour (Navigator Records)

Bellowhead---Live-The-Farewell-Tour-Cover

Bellowhead’s final album highlights the 11-piece big band in blistering live form. Known for their fantastic live shows, the album exhibits why these guys will be dearly missed.
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Leyla McCalla: The Making of ‘A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey’

Posted on April 28th, 2016 in News, Recent posts by .

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The making of Leyla McCalla’s new album A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey

The young American multi-instrumentalist Leyla McCalla releases her new album on May 27, three years on from her impressive debut Vari-Colored Songs. We review her new material in our upcoming issue (June, #118).

Whilst we wait for the release date to arrive, here is an exclusive insight into the making of this captivating album.

McCalla is to perform at The Slaughtered Lamb on May 3. Tickets are available via Songkick.

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