Music | MUSIC NOMAD May 13, 2001

Lonesome Strings come out of the shadows

Like anyone who's really good at something, Yoshiki Sakurai makes it look easy. On stage, as he lets fly with complicated riffs and rhythms in any variety of styles, he stands expressionless. Lonesome Strings: (l to r) Genichi Tamura, Satoshi Hara, Yoshiki Sakurai and Takayoshi ...

Music | HIGH NOTES Apr 25, 2001

Baaba Maal

In 1989, Senegalese singer Baaba Maal released an album with blind guitarist Mansour Seck titled "Djam Leeli." A mix of two acoustic guitars, a dash of percussion and Maal's intense singing, it was simple but hypnotic and, for many, a revelation to hear the ...

Music | MUSIC NOMAD Apr 8, 2001

Moreno comes of age

Escaping paternal shadows can be tricky for a musician, especially if that musician's name happens to be Lennon, Marley or Dylan. Brazil's Moreno Veloso, however, probably shares more in common with Nigeria's Femi Kuti. Both are sons of superstars in their native countries who ...

Music | MUSIC NOMAD Mar 27, 2001

Tradition and innovation in modern Celtic music

Julie Murphy and Sharon Shannon are two of the most talented, forward-looking and musically challenging women in Celtic music. Both have captured the spirit of the times, setting a benchmark for a new generation of musicians in their respective traditions. They will soon be ...

Music | MUSIC NOMAD Mar 13, 2001

Checkered history lives in a motley crew

Chindon-ya (brass, wind and percussion bands peddling goods or services on the streets) might not immediately spring to mind as a part of Japanese musical "tradition." Indeed, chindon has never been fully recognized as even a legitimate form of music. Cicala Mvta's Wataru Ohkuma on ...

Music | MUSIC NOMAD Feb 27, 2001

Making music in no-man's land

Through my work in the music industry, I have secured record deals with local labels for foreign musicians and have organized releases and tours overseas. As a columnist and DJ, I've been sent CDs from countless bands seeking promotion. I know there is no ...

Music | MUSIC NOMAD Feb 12, 2001

Getting back on the right track

In all walks of life, those who make successful comebacks have always been admired. They become figures of resilience with a commendable never-say-die attitude; think Muhammad Ali or even Bill Clinton. Two American singer/songwriter/guitarists have recently made impressive comebacks. Dan Hicks and Geoff Muldaur have ...

Music | MUSIC NOMAD Jan 23, 2001

Artists with eclectic tastes dispute the 'healing' tag

Of all the nonsensical musical genres, perhaps the most irksome is one coined here in Japan: "healing" music. For "healing" read Muzak of the blandest variety -- an endless drivel of so-called mystical keyboards, some "meaningfully" intoned lyrics, a few natural or "ethnic" sounds and ...

Music | MUSIC NOMAD Jan 9, 2001

Hitting the high notes of jazz

At the age of 5 or 6, Cassandra Wilson recalls hearing the music of Miles Davis for the first time. "Sketches of Spain" was part of her father's record collection, himself a jazz musician and was one of the records he would often play ...