Timeless Gems: Tom’s Personal Selection Pt. 2

This week I wanted to again feature music that has stuck with me over the years. First up, a trio of wonderful guitarists. We begin with Hungarian guitarist Zsófia Boros, whose debut ECM album has her covering some beautiful songs from the Americas, hence the CD title En Otra Parte (“In Another Place” or “Elsewhere”). Boros coaxes the ache, sadness, and joy out in all tracks, and her touch on the instrument is tender and beautiful. Next we hear a Belgian guitarist, Gilbert Isbin, with a song called “Patience” that I liked enough to put on one of the Trance Planet CDs that I produced. The guitar trifecta concludes with an amazing track by Brazilian Baden Powell, recorded in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1975. It’s his version of a famous forró by Luiz Gonzaga, “Asa Branca” (“White Wing”).

Next we hear two Brazilian songs that literally name names. Together they catalog a who’s who of famous Brazilian musicians: Jobim, Ary Barroso, Wanda Sa, Noel Rosa, Pixinguinha, and others. The first song, “Clementina De Jesus,” refers to the Brazilian singer who started her recording and performing career at almost 70 years of age. In the second song by Rosalia De Souza, she starts naming names in tribute about two-thirds into the piece.

Two African songs follow, the first from Senegalese kora player Ablaye Cissoko with German jazz trumpeter Volker Goetze, and the second cut from Guinea-Bissau’s Eneida Marta.

Three spiritual songs are next, beginning with Armenian pianist Tigran Hamasyan with the pristine soprano of Jenni Nazarian; then music of Vivaldi sung by countertenor (highest range for male voice) Andreas Scholl; and finally, Lebanese-born, Paris-based nun Sister Marie Keyrouz.

We wrap it up this week with a poignant, beautiful song written in 1938 by Ariel Ramirez, performed here by Mercedes Sosa. “Alphonsina y el Mar” (Alphonsina and the Sea) is about a despondent poet who takes her life by drowning. Ariel Ramirez also long ago gave us the beautiful Argentine mass Missa Criolla.

Part 3 of timeless gems continues next week. If you like this eclectic selection, you can follow Rhythm Planet on Facebook to hear about the latest shows. I always enjoy reading your comments!

Rhythm Planet Playlist for 9/16/16:

  1. Zsófia Boros / “Canción Triste” / En Otra Parte / ECM NEW
  2. Gilbert Isbin / “Patience” / Trance Planet Vol. 4 / Triloka
  3. Baden Powell / “Asa Branca” / Mestres Da MPB / Warner Music Brasil
  4. Ze Keti & Nadinho Da Ilha / “Clementina De Jesus” / Casa Da Mae Joana / Blue Jackel
  5. Rosalia De Souza / “Bossa 50” / D’Improvviso / Schema Records
  6. Ablaye Cissoko & Volker Goetze / “Amanke Dionti” / Amanke Dionte / Motema Music
  7. Eneida Marta / “Mindjer dôce mel” / Lôpe Kaï / Iris Music
  8. Tigran Hamasyan / “Havoun Havoun” / Luys I Luso / ECM Records
  9. Andreas Scholl and Australian Brandenburg Orchestra / “Cum Dederit” / Vivaldi: Nisi Dominus / Decca
  10. Soeur Marie Keyrouz / “Amamaka (Devant Toi, Seigneur)” / Cantiques de l’Orient / Harmonia Mundi
  11. Mercedes Sosa / “Alphonsina Y El Mar” (featuring Ariel Ramírez and Hector Zeoli) / 30 Años / Universal Music Latino

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Tom Schnabel