Sunday, January 27, 2013

Cool & Strange Music - East Meets West Jan. 27, 2013


Recently I've been getting into Cool and Strange music (like I used to) because I find that very few Pop music artists of today really make me feel a sense of fascination.... There are some. I like the Jigsaw Seen, Eux Autres... And, now that I think about it, those two acts have songs that could qualify as Cool & Strange! So, let's let them in on the act!

Here are some Cool and Strange artists I have discovered just recently (even though these songs and artists are from long ago). Enjoy East Meets West Cool and Strange Music!

Arakawa Yasuo - Locoweed

Arakawa Yasuo - Shiji Shiroo - Baby

Arakawa Yasuo has been a "sort of" famous Jazz musician in Japan since the early seventies. Yasuo Arakawa graduated from the Berklee College of Music. While living in the USA, he appeared in Jazz clubs and also performed in the orchestra pit of a Broadway show. Some of the famous musicians he's played for include, Charlie Mariano, Roy Haynes, Chick Corea, Joe Williams, and Sam Rivers.  Currently he teaches Jazz at Osaka University and in 1994 he went to New York to perform as a member of the "Japan Just Jazz All Stars".  He has also performed on stage at Carnegie Hall and the Apollo Theater. 

Sorry folks, I cannot find out anything about Shinji Shiroo as I cannot find information in English or Japanese about him (I don't know how his name is written in Chinese alphabet so he's a tough one for me to track down. Help!)

Morphine Mambo Jazz Club - Assignment London


Jack Tisley - Jumbo Waltz

Morphine Mambo Jazz Club. I don't know anything about this band excepting that Jack Tisley has something to do with it... (Next question? "Who is Jack Tisley?" Heck if I know!) 

The other thing I know (or don't) is that the CD (record) is impossible to find (I have one though!) This is a compilation of, as the liner notes say, "thrilling sexy '60s Spectre Jazz Noir Club" library music from De Wolfe recording studios in the United Kingdom. 

I love this kind of music and I'd say that, for me, this is the definitive type of sound that I like so much that makes this sort of music "Cool and Strange"; it's like sixties movie music and does it ever have a beat!  

Afrodesia - Oom Gowa

The is some very cool heavy percussion driven world Jazz that has an extra shake or two of funk and exotica to add to the soup. This one is also extremely rare. Originally this group is from Texas but made a small name for itself in LA as the Afro Latin Blues Quintet +1 and a bit later as Afro Latin Soultet.

In this work they play a more world Jazz style that also include Latin percussions, Latin soul and rhythms... Yet just when you think you have them figured out, they hit you with African rhythms with a heavy dose of Jazz and... instrumental rock... 

Afrodesia! This is out of this world! 

Omar Khorshid - Pop Corn

Never heard of Omar Khorshid? Well, you should have. Actually, in India the guy is a superstar. Wikipedia says

"Omar Khorshid is a movie star and famed guitarist of the Middle east, he composed the music for thirteen films. In 1971 won the Premier Prix at the Film Festival of Tachkand for his music for the film Ebnati El Aziza."

Well, those are the newest ones that I really liked... But wait! I didn't forget... I promised you the new artists that I like... Here's the Jigsaw Seen (doing the East Meets West thingy)


The Jigsaw Seen "Baby Elephant Walk"


"Formed in 1988 by Dennis Davison (ex United States Of Existence, whose influential debut album “Introducing” was released by Bam Caruso in 1986) and Jonathan Lea, The Jigsaw Seen recorded their debut single “Jim Is The Devil,” which was released by Get Hip Records in 1989. The Los Angeles band then signed to New Jersey based Skyclad Records, releasing another single in 1989, "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” and unleashing their debut album “Shortcut Through Clown Alley” in 1990.   The Los Angeles Reader pronounced: “The Jigsaw Seen’s witty commentaries capture both general life and more personal emotions with equal depth of feeling, and the music always shines.”   The band toured in support of the record, playing shows with Smashing Pumpkins, Afghan Whigs, the Cynics and the Sneetches, among others."

Eux Autres - "Right Again"

From the Eux Autres web page

Eux Autres write smart, infectious garage-pop that makes you feel as if you’re simultaneously cartwheeling down a beach, singing by the fire in a mountain cabin, blowing out the candles on a cake, and eavesdropping on the elusive neighbors. If the Field Mice met Black Flag in a dark alley and teleported them to a Francoise Hardy show, the songs they’d be humming together on the drive home might sound something like Eux Autres.  Eux Autres originally consisted of brother and sister Heather and Nicholas Larimer. Heather played drums, Nicholas played guitar, and they both sang. In 2008, Eux Autres added drummer Yoshi Nakamoto (The Aislers Set, Still Flyin’) in order to expand their sound and referee their fights.

Hey! They have a guy named Yoshi in the band? Cool! He's Japanese. Keeps with the East Meets West theme of this episode. 

Hope you enjoyed it!

This Cool & Strange is dedicated to my friend, Scott Clifton

1 comment:

Mark said...

I love this stuff too. Good history lesson.