From the Music Director: May 27th 2016

What happens when a ship full of synthesizers, organs, and other keyboards is marooned on a volcanic island in the central Atlantic ocean in 1968?

A cosmic sound is born, highlighted on a new compilation CD.

Read on to learn more about this and other new arrivals to cross KHSU music director Mark Shikuma's desk.


JAZZ: For drummer-composer Matt Wilson, he stated he approached his wife’s recent death, musically speaking, with a celebration rather than laden with grief. With the assistance of his various groups, culled from his Quartet, Arts & Crafts, and Christmas Tree-O quartet, Wilson does just that with his new recording, Beginning Of A Memory, revisiting the music Wilson’s late wife Felicia loved. It features cornetist Kirk Knuffke, tenor saxophonist Jeff Lederer and and Gary Versace on piano, organ and accordion, among many others (All About Jazz review link). Inspired by San Jose – in Trinidad, in Costa Rica and in California – Trinidad native, trumpeter-composer Etienne Charles set out in 2015 to create a suite in three parts, resulting in his superb new release, San Jose Suite (Summerfest San Jose Jazz Festival article).

ROCK: Boston-based singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler teams up again with producer Randall Dunne (Sunn O))), Six Organs of Admittance), releasing a new recording, Strangers, expanding on the atmosphere and songwriting explored on Nadler’s previous July album, with some great sonic surprises (Consequence Of Sound review link). Bay Area singer-songwriter and eccentric, Sonny Smith collaborates with tUnE-yArDs (Merrill Garbus), who produces and contributes to Sonny And The Sunsets’ new, wonderfully oddball release, Baby Moods Baby (The 405 review link).

WORLD:  In 1968, a ship carrying hundreds of Korgs, Moogs and Hammond organs headed from Baltimore to Rio de Janeiro, found itself marooned on the São Nicolau island of Cabo Verde (now called Cape Verde). Hence, the orphaned instruments were distributed among the schools of Cape Verde, influencing a generation of young musicians with cutting edge instruments. The global label, Analog Africa, has compiled an excellent set-example of this influence over the Cape Verde’s music scene during the early to middle ‘70s, entitled Space Echo: The Mystery Behind The Cosmic Sound Of Cabo Verde Finally Revealed (UK’s The Guardian review link).