Patrick Rydman

October 27, 2008 at 5:05 pm

Patrick Rydman“I Will Do It” (Footprint Records) is the name of Patrick Rydman’s debut album. It’s an album with variation with ingredients from different styles, but the base is a jazz-pop, where we we find stars from before like Tony Bennett and younger ones like Harry Connick jr, Jamie Cullum and Diana Krall. What Patrick presents is soft with a tender melancholy and I find him in the smoky jazz club rather than the big arena.

With the jazz hat on, the album shows a nice blend of styles; from blues, pop, jazz to soul. Melodies faithful to the genres and also more experimental ones. I suggest that you listen to more songs from “I Will Do It” on Patrick Rydman’s Myspace page. If you want to buy the CD, it’s available at Footprint Records.

Listen to two smooth tracks from the album:

Only the Devil
Still Alive

Max Lorentz

October 24, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Max Lorentz sings David BowieIf there’s any artist that I would confess to having been a fan to, and then in the sense of being slightly fanatic, then it would be David Bowie. It was worst in junior high school, when the walls of my room was covered with photos and attempts were made trying to look like the idol. In high school the fanatic part of it all vanished, but Bowie was there to mark my identity. Others were hard rockers or devoted to synth pop; I was a Bowie fan.

My admiration for this fantastic artist is still there and has always been there. As an admirer I have always been sceptical of artists trying to cover his work, maybe not so unusual with that attitude; the original rules. So far I can’t really come up with anyone that has succeeded in making something really good. Bauhaus made a decent cover of “Ziggy Stardust” in the eighties though. Maybe you know of someone else?

Up until now! I heard a few songs from Max Lorentz’ “Kiss You In the Rain – Max Lorentz Sings David Bowie”, my initial scepticism was completely swept aside after a while, and in the end I was completely caught. Now that I’ve heard the entire album I feel childishly entranced by how damn’ great this is. If I was to choose only one album out of all the albums I’ve listened to this year, and I’ve heard quite a few, I would choose this one without hesitation.

Max has chosen one song from every studio album Bowie made between 1967 and 1980 (except Pinups), and the choices are not the most obvious ones (which is great), at least not for the wider audience. But what great songs they are, and how Max emphasises this in his interpretations!

Carefully he undresses the songs to rebuild them again, trying to catch the essence of the songs. Completely acoustic and with the help of fantastic jazz musicians like Patrik Boman, Wojtek Goral, Karl-Martin Almqvist, Per “Texas” Johansson and André Ferrari with the addition of Bebe Risenfors, Anna Sise and his sons Kevin and Loi.

The original is always there, respectfully regarded with love, and influences the songs to various degrees. Sometimes it means more naked acoustic versions like in “Five Years” below, and sometimes he creates new pieces of musical art like in “All the Madmen” and “Blackout”, which you can listen to here. Other songs come alive in a way that they never have done before like for example “Rock ‘n’ Roll With Me”, “When I Live My Dream” and “Can You Hear Me”.

Well, I have to mention Max Lorentz’ voice here, a voice with an incredibly nice depth, which touches Bowie’s own in the lower registers. That cool, relaxed voice that many of us love. Many times he follows Bowie faithfully in the phrasings but when a song permits it, he makes his own case.

Do you have to be a Bowie fan to appreciate this? No, definitely not. This stands for itself as a piece of innovative art with a great feeling, and the songs in themselves belong to the classics of pop and rock history , but luckily haven’t been played too many times on radio, and still have a lot to give.
Now to the sad part. The album is not out yet and I have no exact information on when this will happen. I suggest that you go to Max Lorentz’ Myspace page and urges him on a little.
For Bowie fans it could be interesting with a list of all the tracks: “Station to Station pt1”, “Five Years”, “All the Madmen”, “Be My Wife”, “Drive-In Saturday”, “Blackout”, “When I Live My Dream”, “Scream Like a Baby”, “Rock ‘n’ Roll With Me”, “Quicksand”, “Yassassin”, “Cygnet Committee”, “Can You Hear Me”, “Station to Station pt2”

Listen and download:

Five Years
All the Madmen
Blackout

Listen some more by visiting Max Lorentz on Myspace.

Max has also released four solo albums, which all have their own page, where you can listen and tell him what you think:

Lovely – 1994
Bravo – 1996
12 Songs – 2000
The World Is Watching – 2004

Tomeu Alcover

October 21, 2008 at 1:00 pm

TomeuMusic through the fingertips

Intrumental music talks to me in quite a different way than when it’s accompanied by vocals and lyrics. It flows more freely through my ear canals and creates a contact with my emotional self. And Tomeu’s music makes my argentinian blood swell in lustfulness and makes me homesick. ‘Cause deep down, there lives an acoustic guitar.
In Tomeu’s music I can hear influences of flamenco, classical music, jazz, blues and world music. Originally he’s from Mallorca where he started his guitar lessons with Damià Timoner.

After a short jump to Barcelona he continued his education with the grammy winner David Rusell, and with the highly regarded Manuel Granados, and his assistant David Leiva. After this he travelled to Sweden, where he’s now working on his upcoming album with the drummer Robert Ikiz and the bass player Kristian Lind. The producer is Josep Umbria.

Solely for Meadow Music he has mixed down two tracks, but tells me to point out that these are not finished tracks, just a taste from the upcoming record. The album will be finished by next summer.

Leia’s Song
A Time In Barcelona

Listen more on his Myspace page

Half a Grape

October 17, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Half a GrapeThe band Half a Grape from Gothenburg released their first album “Life and George” a couple of weeks ago. They offer a soft, often relaxed, slightly melancholic music in a jazzy setting with drums, double bass, piano with organ or Rhodes at times. And it is within the jazzy range I usually find them – from pure cool jazz tunes to slower jazz rock and blues. Add the expressive and varied vocals by Roger Gunnarsson and it is a perfect blend to sink into, close your eyes and forget about the troubles of your day.

Visit them on Myspace where you can listen to a couple of songs from “Life and George”

On Last.fm you can also listen to some earlier recordings and download more songs.

Listen, download and enjoy two songs here:

Going Home
Cold Inside

Agnes Mercedes

October 17, 2008 at 1:00 am

Agnes MercedesMusic+Play = Great creativity

I am in love. I fell head over heels for this sweet lady. My first thought was:
– What is this?
My second was:
– Geez, this is SOO cool!

This is truly creativity on a high level. Musical jumps, mixed with presentations of sounds that caresses and shakes you at the same time. Agnes’ ability to step outside the box entirely is admirable – to think that more artists would have that courage, and ability.

To me, Agnes’ music is a huge vitamin injection, a virtual “happy pill” that picks me up and makes me happy. Throw in Agnes in the Parliament and make all politicians happy – her love of sounds and words inspire and is truly contagious! A true and great artist.

She describes herself like this:

“I usually perform with a sort of melodic fairy tales, told in the made up language “sprak”. This language is a mixture of forgotten dialects. Words with a bitter, sweet and sometimes salty aftertaste. All within a frame of “sprinkle soundscape”. To abeat of percussion-like piano playing.

Here’s the place to download two of her creations:

Freezie Froze
Dammtussmonster

Curious? Hear more? Visit Agnes Mercedes on Myspace

Want to know more about her? Go to her web site Ordfrosseri (in swedish)

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