The formidable task of leaving a major rock band for a solo career has been undertaken by Gustavo Cerati, formerly of Soda Stereo, with an adventuresome spirit. Siempre Es Hoy (It's Always Today), Cerati's third solo venture, is a blend of old and new; the sound of a Rhodes intertwined with scratching and loops; '60s melodies on one track, pure ambience on the next. It's an album that keeps the listener guessing—the trumpet that breaks the vamp on "Camuflaje," the discreet rap in "Altar," for example—but there's a common atmospheric thread that oozes relaxation. Siempre is built on multiple sounds, yet all the ingredients work in a cohesive, organic manner, down to the vocals, which Cerati treats like part of the overall instrumentation rather than a solo voice. Siempre is probably way too progressive to ever make it to Latin radio. Of course, for Cerati and Soda Stereo fans, it will be
Ambiances du Sahara: Desert Blues, released in '96, was a huge hit that lingered on Europe's world-music charts for months. Such success has sparked Desert Blues 2, a second double-CD compilation highlighting the bluesy soul of North Africa. And like love, the blues is a universal language. For proof, look no further than these 26 tracks that spotlight marvelous, entrancing, bahr bela
Saxman Stefano di Battista, well-known for his work with Michel Petrucciani and Elvin Jones, has also enjoyed the frontman spot for a number of years with his own quartet. A favorite in the Parisian jazz scene, di Battista's preoccupation here is Rome, his birthplace and
The latest release in Thirsty Ear's Blue Series—a line that seeks to help keep jazz modern by mixing tradition with fresh sensibilities beyond jazz—is the fourth and finest in the series from its avant-minded curator, pianist Matthew Shipp.