Sarazino

Sarazino

I have a love for world music and especially this band. Sazarino is fronted and I assume created by Lamine Fellah. He is an Algerian who currently lives in Ecuador. He is also very political which I love. He sings in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dioula and a bunch of others I can’t distinguish. It is infectious world music. I first found out about him from a Putumayo record. The song “Cochabamba” was on it. I couldn’t find any lyrics or anything about it really. However, I easily found and bought the Album “Ya Foy”. It is a grooving album. I love the world/reggae feel and I would probably put it at the top of my favorite albums list. The album is also full of Babylon imagery which is very important in reggae music and Rastafarianism.  So far it looks like only one album (Ya Foy, 2009). But hopefully, there will be something else coming out.

If you like reggae or world music and you are looking of something else, I highly recommend Sarazino.

http://www.facebook.com/sarazino

http://www.myspace.com/sarazino

HR-57 Jazz Bar

HR-57

If anyone lives in DC, like I do, you may have heard of HR 57. HR is a jazz and blues club that I have been going to lately. I have been listening in on the jams sessions and they are really great. I have to admit when it comes to Jazz hard bop and cool jazz are not my favorites but I can sit and listen for hours. So if you go with me be prepared for listening and little talking. I usually prefer New Orleans style like some Louie Armstrong or Cab Calloway but this is a lot closer.

There are a few key things about HR that I really like

1. You can bring your own wine or beer or liquor. They have a little charge at the door but it is well worth it, because their drinks are more expensive.

2. You can bring an instrument and jam with them onstage. I have brought my guitar but I have yet to go up on stage. Unfortunately, I know shit about jazz guitar and I don’t want to look a fool. I could play some blues but I feel like people are there more for the Jazz. The last time I went with my guitar is was kind of this calling people up in sequence and I got scared. There is an open mic night at the big board across the street that I will one day go to, I think I can play some old time or Americana and it will fit in a little better.

3. Always a great horn player. I love trumpets, saxophones, trombones, any brass at all.

4. Posters of Robert Johnson and Charlie Parker on the wall

If you live in DC or are on a trip and want to see some great Jazz. Go to HR-57. I love the Jam nights, and I the regular nights are fun.

Meanwhile, I’ll be learning some jazz chords.

Steinway

Model D Grand Piano from Steinway.com

Model D Grand Piano from Steinway.com

I know I usually like to talk about guitars, banjos and basses but there is a an instrument that is crucial to almost every genre of music, the piano. I used to play piano and it is my second biggest music regret of all time, first was giving up the violin. Anyway, Steinway and sons has been making the best pianos out of New York for over 150 years. What really impressed me was this documentary called Note by Note The Making of L 1037. I loved watching the process of making a grand piano. Which if you have ever seen a grand piano it is enormous. To make one of these pianos takes a long time like a year long. Also like the best guitars it is all hand crafted, but you need about 10 different people to make parts of the piano. There is one guy who just makes the soundboard and nothing else. One person can make a guitar but the amount of work that goes into one of these masterpieces. It’s no wonder why they cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Just like wood for guitars it has to be seasoned, dried and cured. It also need to be cured after it is built and tuned regularly for a month or so.

I would recommend this doc to anyone who likes pianos, woodworking or instrument building. I thought it was so cool. One more thing about it was that they interviewed a lot of famous pianists who rent out the Steinways for an evening performance or a tour. Just like every hand crafted guitar has a unique sound so does every Steinway and just like guitar manufactures are struggling with cheap imports, Steinway is too.

I was looking around on the site and it is impressive. They have all of their models and they just look beautiful. When I look at guitar and banjo specs I feel right at home, I know exactly what they are talking about. Here not so much. It is cool to see that they both use spruce and brass hardware is what is used on the top of the line models. I have talked about spruce but not Brass. I will in a later post but for now I’ll just say that brass is a prized metal for is sonority and popularity in instruments like saxophones and trumpets. Theses are also in the brass family of instruments. Also in banjos a brass tone ring is the sign a of a high quality instrument.

I saw it on Netflix so I believe you can still see it there. Otherwise you can buy it from PBS.

Here is the site

http://www.notebynotethemovie.com/

and if you have an interest in Steinway and Sons.

http://www.steinway.com/

Hello Music and Indaba Music

This is a quick one.

For all of you song writers out there there is a recording competition going on through Hello Music and Indaba music. For those who don’t know Hello Music is a discount seller like woot.com. They sell a few music items every day like guitars, processors, pedals, amps, basses and services. Unfortunately no banjos which I happen to be in the market for right now. They started sometime last year and so far I have been following them, but I have yet to buy anything. They do repeat, especially Orange amps, Les Paul studios and american standard strats. Inbada music is like bandcamp.com where you can sell or disperse your music around the internet. right now there is a contest to win $2,000 worth of recording gear for writing original songs. I know I’ll be entering. I have a couple new songs up my sleeve, and I am still a total stranger to home recording. Good Luck.

Here are the links

http://www.hellomusic.com

http://www.indabamusic.com/

Also I am looking for a new banjo so if anyone has any suggestions or good sites to buy from I am all ears. Musician’s friend and guitar center are not that good selection wise, but I have been looking at banjo.com. I had to step up from my Epiphone because it was too unbalanced and I like to play clawhammer.