Chris Thompson TV Auftritte

Thursday, 27. Sep 2012

ARD Morgenmagazin

Davy s on the road again – Chris Thompson – LIVE

http://programm.ard.de/TV/tagesschau24/morgenmagazin/eid_287218652262186?list=now

ARD Brisant

Pressetext Deutsch
Chris Thompson
„Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me“

Chris Thompson goes Swing? Echt? Echt! Für die Fans der ersten Stunde kommt dieser Schritt mit Sicherheit völlig unerwartet, und sogar der als „Stimme von Manfred Mann’s Earth Band“ bekannt gewordene Engländer selbst hat bis vor wenigen Monaten keinen Gedanken an eine Hinwendung zum Jazz verschwendet, schließlich waren sämtliche Erfolge seiner 40-jährigen Profikarriere im Rock- und Popbereich angesiedelt. Chris Thompson ist zwar seit jeher ein Anhänger der großen Vokalisten im Jazz (Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan usw. usf.), bis vor kurzem vertrat er jedoch stets die Auffassung, es sei besser, deren Erbe unangetastet zu lassen. Als ihn dann Henri Heymans, der gerade CD-Kompilationen für Reader’s Digest produzierte, eines Tages fragte, ob er sich vorstellen könne, eine Handvoll Swingklassiker aus den 30ern und 40ern einzusingen, war er deswegen zunächst auch recht skeptisch. Die neue Herausforderung reizte den 65-jährigen allerdings doch so sehr, dass er es wenigstens versuchen wollte. Im Studio stellte er schon bald erstaunt fest, dass seine Stimme überraschend gut zur Jazzmusik aus der ersten Hälfte des letzten Jahrhunderts passt. Die erste Aufnahmesitzung mit „Solitude“ (Duke Ellington) und „When I Take My Sugar To Tea“ (vom legendären Autorenpaar Sammy Fain & Irving Kahal verfasst) lief wie geschmiert, sodass schnell die Idee aufkam, noch weitere Oldies einzuspielen – und auf einmal lagen stattliche 15 Tracks für ein komplettes Album vor.

Die nun erhältliche Liedkollektion verdankt ihren Titel der ursprünglich als Instrumentalstück gedachten Duke-Ellington-Nummer „Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me“, die Mr. Thompson hier ganz klassisch samt Big-Band-Bläsersatz und schwelgerischen Streichern interpretiert. Neben diesem Evergreen aus dem Jahr 1940 hat der Brite auch noch andere unvergessene Meisterwerke der Swingunterhaltung im Repertoire. So versieht er etwa Juan Tizols exotisch anmutende Komposition „Caravan“ mit einem treibenden Beat, dem man beim besten Willen nicht widerstehen kann. Glenn Millers zeitlose „Moonlight Serenade“ erhält ein entspanntes Late-Night-Feeling, Hoagy Carmichaels und Johnny Mercers Oscar-prämierter Filmsong „In The Cool, Cool, Cool Of The Evening“ (aus dem 1951er Hollywoodstreifen „Here Comes The Groom“) klingt in der Neufassung betont heiter und beschwingt. „Georgia On My Mind“, von Ray Charles einstmals zur Unsterblichkeit geadelt und seit 1979 offizieller Song des US-Bundesstaates Georgia, präsentiert Chris Thompson in Crooner-Manier. Und Harry Warrens herzzerreißendes Minidrama „Boulevard Of Broken Dreams“ (aus dem Kinoklassiker „Moulin Rouge“; 1933) zuguterletzt singt der Brite so einfühlsam, dass die Tragik der „zerbrochenen Träume“ quasi mit Händen zu greifen ist.

Neben diesen Meilensteinen aus dem „Great American Songbook“ hat Thompson auch ein paar Lieder aus anderen Stilrichtungen ausgewählt und sehr gekonnt verjazzt. Richtig famos gelingt ihm das zum Beispiel beim DooWop-Souvenir „Those Wedding Bells“ der Four Aces, bei der Rock & Roll-Tanznummer „Do The Hucklebuck“ eines Chubby Checker und beim Country-Oldie „Take These Chains From My Heart“, der letzten Single und Nummer eins des kurz danach verstorbenen Hank Williams. Einen besonderen Coup landet Chris Thompson darüber hinaus mit Swingbearbeitungen von zwei Songs, die aufs Engste mit seiner eigenen Laufbahn verbunden sind: „True Love Wins Again“ hatte er in den 1980er Jahren mit seinem Freund Harry Bogdanovs geschrieben, fürs neue Soloalbum wurde der Track geschickt in eine Swingballade mit schnurrendem Stehbass, locker aus dem Handgelenk geschüttelten Klavierakkorden und butterweichem Flügelhorn verwandelt. Auf Anregung von Labelchef Detlef Engelhard ertönt des Weiteren der Popklassiker „Davy’s On The Road Again“ so fetzig im Big-Band-Arrangement, dass man meinen könnte, er wär schon immer als Swing geplant gewesen. 1978 war dieser Top-5-Hit zuerst auf dem Album „Watch“ von Manfred Mann’s Earth Band zu finden, das allein in Deutschland 700.000 Mal über die Ladentheke ging.

Apropos Earth Band: Der Zeit in Manfred Manns Poprock-Formation gebührt zweifelsohne das Hauptkapitel in Chris Thompsons Biographie. Zwischen 1974 und 1999 fungierte er mit Unterbrechungen als deren Leadsänger, in diese Zeit fallen neben „Davy’s On The Road Again“ auch internationale Chartstürmer wie „The Runner“ und das Bruce-Springsteen-Cover „Blinded By The Light“ (Nummer eins in den USA und zahlreichen anderen Ländern rund um den Erdball). Zwischendurch nahm Christopher Hamlet Thompson, so der vollständige Name, immer wieder Auszeiten für Kooperationen mit prominenten Kollegen wie Patrick Simmons (The Doobie Brothers), Mike Oldfield, Jan Hammer, Elton John, Alan Parsons, Peter Maffay, Gary Moore, Steve Hackett und Bonnie Tyler. Daneben veröffentlichte er mehrere Soloalben („Out Of The Night“, „Radio Voices“, „The High Cost Of Living“), die so manchen Singlehit hervorbrachten. Insbesondere in Deutschland konnte der Künstler aus dem United Kingdom solo immer wieder höchste Chartpositionen verbuchen. So eroberte etwa „The Challenge“, offizieller Song der Wimbledon Tennis Championship 1989, die Topposition der Verkaufsliste, und „Jolly Joker“ aus der TV-Serie „The Joker“ tummelte sich hierzulande in den Top 10.

Mit „Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me“ fügt Chris Thompson seiner Diskographie jetzt einen ganz besonderen Tonträger hinzu. „Damit entferne ich mich weit von meinen bisherigen Sachen“, merkt er dazu an, „dieses Album ist sehr, sehr anders.“ In der Tat! Stand der Brite bislang immer mit beiden Beinen fest im Hier und Heute, so gestattet er sich nun erstmals einen vergnüglichen Nostalgietrip zurück in die Goldene Ära des Swing. In den Liner Notes zum Album, das er im Herbst übrigens auch live vorstellen wird, bekennt Chris Thompson, dass er mit dem Ergebnis der amüsanten Zeitreise äußerst zufrieden ist, und er fügt freudig hinzu: „Ich glaube, sogar meine Mutter und mein Vater wären stolz auf das Resultat!“

Liner notes English

Liner notes by Chris Thompson

Normally the artist doesn’t write his own liner notes, but as I’m really the only person who knows how this CD came about, I’m writing them anyway!

I did not just decide I was going to make a CD of Jazz Standards; in fact the thought had never occurred to me. As a fan of the greats, Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Bing Crosby, Louis, Ella, Ray Ellington, Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughn…. the list goes on, I thought it best to leave it alone. However Henri Heymans, who was working on recording various compilations in this genre for Reader’s Digest, and who I had worked with on some more rocky tracks, asked me if I would like to try singing four songs from the 30s/40s. Always up for a challenge, I asked him to send me copies of the originals to see if I thought it possible. As I began to sing along with the originals and work with the backing tracks they sent me, I realized that in a strange way my voice suited these songs, and I was intrigued to sing them, especially “Solitude”, which I found challenging but very enjoyable and “When I Take My Sugar To Tea”, which I felt able to interpret in my own way. I was amazed at the power of their recordings, so authentic yet somehow still vital today.

The first session went well and I was really thrilled with the results. Henri asked me to sing a few more, which I did. We reached a point where I had eight songs with my voice recorded in this style and it was at this point that Henri suggested six other songs in the same vein that I could record a vocal on if I wanted to. The tracks were simply amazing, the arrangements with big band and orchestra were so powerful, (singing to the arrangement on Boulevard of Broken Dreams was incredible), and at this point I felt I would be crazy to turn down this offer. There are not too many times in your life that you get offered a collection of music that sounds as good as these recordings. So there I was, thirteen songs, a CDs worth of Jazz / Swing standards, including the amazingly beautiful “Sophisticated Lady”.

At this point I decided to resurrect a song I wrote in the 80s with my friend Harry Bogdanovs called “ True Love Wins Again”, and get Ghislain to arrange it with the same feel as the other tracks, which he did beautifully with Big Band and Strings. I felt it was important for me if possible to have a self- penned song on the CD.

Joe Cassella (my manager) contacted Detlef Engelhard, (his company and Joe had worked together with the Buena Vista Social Club), who immediately agreed to release the CD. It was Detlef’s idea to re-record “Davy’s on The Road Again” in a swing style, I resisted at first, but asked Ghislain if he thought he could do an arrangement that would fit with the other songs on the CD. He laughed and said, “It’s swing anyway, eh”! As with “True Love Wins Again” when I went in to the recording sessions at Musiclab studio in Brussels, I couldn’t stop smiling at the way both songs just slotted right in to the CD and the arrangements were brilliant! So there you have it 15 songs and an incredibly happy singer. Pietro and I remixed all the songs, and as with everything during the making of this CD it went very smoothly and bought new meaning to the word relaxed! Thanks to all.

I can’t wait to perform these songs live and I feel very proud to have worked with such professionals during this process. I think even my Mother and Father would be proud of the result! And when you get it home, I hope it has a permanent place in your “chill out with a glass of wine” pile, “ play this to my friends”, or even “put it on when I do the housework” collection!

It’s one of the only CDs I’ve ever made that I can put on myself and really enjoy listening to or singing along with and I’m really happy about that.

C.T.

Roberto Blanco Du lebst besser, wenn Du lachst

Tuesday, 17. May 2011

Roberto Blanco Du lebst besser, wenn Du lachst

Info
First listen – then form an opinion.

That is how it should really be with new albums. But in this case it is more important to the artist than it usually is. You could say: listen first – then ask the name.
But that is hardly necessary: the moment you first hear the voice, you know who the singer is. If you live in Germany and don’t know this voice, you must have been asleep for the past few decades. Yet on Du lebst besser wenn du lachst (You live better when you laugh), this famous voice does the most unexpected things.
And yet Roberto Blanco is not an artist to deny what has made him famous: he is accosted almost every day on the street about it and he is grateful for it and honest about it. But he is more than just his singing voice. “I am an entertainer,” said Roberto Blanco. “I can do much more than just sing pop songs, and I’m going to prove it with my new album.” No sooner said than done. And very impressively, too.
Salsa sounds, inspired by Roberto Blanco’s Cuban roots, show this most popular artist from a different side. Fifteen tracks, eight of which are covers of hits by various stars such as the legendary Charles Aznavour (La Terre Meurt), Chris Rea (Fool), the South African star Solomon Linda (The Lion Sleeps Tonight), the Mexican star tenor Agostin Lara (Granada) and the Italian singer-songwriter Lucio Dalla (Carusso). To pay due tribute to this broad repertoire, on Du lebst besser wenn du lachst, Roberto Blanco sings in English, German, Spanish, French and Italian: and everything with a refreshing Latin American fair, accompanied by knife-sharp, typically Cuban, wind instruments, percussion and virtuoso piano.
The latter is a prime example of the spirit of this album: for some of the songs, Roberto was accompanied by that Cuban founder of Irakere, winner of several Grammies: Chucho Valdés, one of the best jazz pianists in the world. As musicians do, they “wanted to try something out together.” When Roberto Blanco visited Cuba, where the album was to be recorded (Blanco: “We couldn’t have recorded it anywhere else.”), they met by chance when they were exchanging currency at the Hotel Meliá Cohiba. Valdes had just returned from a world tour, was exhausted and had a heavy cold. He was on the verge of saying no, when he saw the same Oshun chain around Blanco’s neck as he wore himself: Oshun is the patron saint of Cuba. “Roberto, we’re brothers,” he cried. And he couldn’t turn down a brother’s request. A few hours later the two were in the studio. Valdes hardly looked at the score: he just started off playing. First the four agreed tracks. Then a fifth, because Valdes didn’t want to stop. If Roberto Blanco had stayed in Cuba a bit longer, they would have made more.
So now Du lebst besser wenn du lachst has turned out to be an album full of heart, love, soul and musical joy, with great new compositions and equally great interpretations of well-known tracks- as we would expect from a genuine entertainer, whom Josephine Baker once took on at a moment’s notice to join her on a concert tour.
That’s why: First listen – then decide

MP3 Download
Roberto Blanco Du lebst besser, wenn Du lachst iTunes Download

Links

http://www.roberto-blanco.de

http://www.du-lebst-besser-wenn-du-lachst.com

VIDEO – Sat1 Bayern Roberto Blanco gibt wieder Vollgas
Roberto Blanco im Porträt MDR

Los Dos y Compañeros Electronic Press Kit

Tuesday, 01. Mar 2011

Bavarian Salsa with Los Dos y Compañeros

Kula Sack
Kula Sack (Los Dos y Companeros die Salsa Guerilleros Kula Sack) - Los Dos y Companeros

Wou hanna Döi
Wou hanna Döi? (Die Salsa Guerilleros) - Los Dos y Companeros

Oda So
Oda So (A Bailar Con Los Dos y Companeros Die Salsa Guerilleros) - Los Dos y Companeros

Bela Mavrak & The Stars Of Buena Vista

Tuesday, 26. Oct 2010

Bela Mavrak & The Stars Of Buena vista

English
Béla Mavrák & The Stars of Buena Vista
Un Soplo en el Aire (A Breeze in the Wind)

“Music is a human thing, a warm thing, something that touches the heart.” That is the view of the world-famous Hungarian Béla Mavrák, who takes a great personal interest in the most far-flung tribes in the world. This quotation was the result of his visit to a tribe in Papua New Guinea, who received him as their first white visitor and adorned his farewell aria with unusual Aborigine vocals. His voice is heard and loved all over the globe. No lesser a personage than Lord Yehudi Menuhin accompanied the star tenor in 1999 at a concert performance in aid of the German Yehudi Menuhin Fund. It was from him that Mavrák adopted the humility of a great star which has gained him the worldwide affection of his fans, although since 2006 his international stage performances have become a little more ostentatious. Star violinist André Rieu enlisted Béla Mavrák to join his ensemble and made him known to an audience of millions in all the continents of the earth. Now, with “Un Soplo en el Aire” Mavrák has fulfilled a long-held dream in between his world tours with the great violinist Rieu from Maastricht. Whilst visiting Cuba he once again felt that strong urge to get to know the people and the origins of their culture. It was in some ways a melancholy experience, because the Cuba of the past has changed dramatically. His brand-new album expresses this change: grandiose vocals – Buena Vista feeling – passion and emotion!

Mavrák was born in Austria to Hungarian parents and christened in St. Steven’s Cathedral in Vienna; he grew up in Vojvodina (now a part of Serbia) and his youth years of learning and traveling took him to Italy and all over Europe. This time was followed by numerous tours of the great concert halls and opera houses around the globe. He started to study Song at Belgrade Musical Academy in 1989 and continued his studies at the College of Music and Dance in Cologne, Germany, where he graduated with an artistic diploma in 1994. After receiving private tuition from the world-famous Milanese tenor Franco Corelli and attending master classes given by Italian opera tenor Gianni Raimondi and the Swedish lyrical tenor Nicolai Gedda, he did not have to wait long for the first great parts and awards. He performed the leading role of Rodolfo in Puccini’s opera La Bohème at Belgrade State Opera, for which he was awarded first prize at the International Singing Contest in Italy. Numerous further roles took Béla Mavrák to Germany, Japan, Argentina and Brazil and around the world several times, until in 2006 André Rieu asked him to be guest tenor at 110 concerts on his Europe/Asia/America tour. Rieu and the audiences were delighted with him, and his contract was extended for hundreds more guest appearances. That is the glamorous side of this exceptional singer.

Mavrák’s artistic soul always draws him back to the originality of cultures, currently Cuba. “That is where I discovered the origins of a cultivated music with a simplicity, modesty, warmth and radiance that can capture the hearts of so many people of all generations all over the world,” he answered, when he was asked what so fascinated him about the Caribbean island of Cuba. Because if music is pure emotion – and who could doubt it – then the legendary “Buena Vista Social Club” is the personification of emotional Cuban music in its purest and most original form.

“When I was given the opportunity to select the tracks for this CD, I was keen to combine two things: the music I as a classical tenor have sung to people on stages all over the world in so many delightful years; and the original sound and authentic playing of the Buena Vista Social Club, sounds which have been touching people’s hearts for more than twenty years.”

He was gentle and cautious in the way he led the Cuban musicians toward a culture which was foreign to them, and the result is a respectful mixture of traditional Cuban folklore and European, largely immortal, melodies. “In the course of our work together, I recognized how great and significant a remark by Yehudi Menuhin was that he made at the close of our joint concert: ‘Singing is the mother tongue of all humanity’.”
This album is remarkable for its honesty and for the melancholy moments which Béla Mavrák describes like this: “The original music of Cuba combined with gentle references to modern western pop music and music from home country, supported by Indian tablas, Turkish drums and electric guitars in Latino sound have given the classics and evergreens of this CD a very special, unmistakable character. With no other song on the CD was I asked quite so often why I had chosen to record a new version of it: the immortal classic ‘Lili Marleen’. The answer is simple and it stands for the universal, unbounded power of music. Whenever this song was played over the loudspeakers on the warfronts of World War Two, the gunfire stopped and there was silence – on both sides….
And that is why I still believe in the power and magic of music!”

Barriers between genres? Definitely not here, because “Un Soplo en el Aire” is an atmospherically dense work, not of contrasts but rather of successful connections.

Videos
Bela Mavrak & The Stars Of Buena Vista Besame Mucho Video HD
Bela Mavrak & The Stars Of Buena Vista Dos Gardenias Video HDBela Mavrak & The Stars Of Buena Vista My Little Pretty Video HD

MP3 Download

Bela Mavrak & The Stars Of Buena Vista Un soplo en el Aire bei iTunes MP3 Download

Bela Mavrak & The Stars Of Buena Vista Un soplo en el Aire bei Amazon.de (CD)

Bela Mavrak & The Stars Of Buena Vista Un soplo en el Aire bei AmazonMP3

Bilder

Tour

No shows booked at the moment.


Radio-TV-Presse
Bela Mavrak Interview Dom Radio Köln (http://www.domradio.de/)

Bela Mavrak Interview (Teil 2) Dom Radio Köln (http://www.domradio.de/)

Los Dos y Compañeros auf Deutschland Tour mit Luis Frank !

Tuesday, 26. Oct 2010
Los_Dos_y_Companeros mit Luis Frank Tour 2010

Los_Dos_y_Companeros Tour 2010

TOURNEESTART MIT LUIS FRANK ARIAS

Nun ist es endlich soweit. Diesen Freitag holen wir den Superstar aus Kuba am Münchner Airport ab, proben nochmal alles ordentlich durch und ab nächster Woche fängt dann ENDLICH unsere lang ersehnte Tournee mit Luis Frank an!

Wir hoffen euch alle zahlreich anzutreffen und Zeuge zu werden von dieser Weltpremiere! ☺
Hier noch einmal alle Termine im Überblick:

Di. 02.11.2010  D-92670 Neuhaus / Schafferhof http://kommunzoigl.de
Mi. 03.11.2010  D-82515 Wolfratshausen / Loisachhalle www.loisachhalle-wolfratshausen.de
Do. 04.11.2010  D-90441 Nürnberg / Hirsch www.der-hirsch.de
Fr. 05.11.2010   D-92249 Vilseck (Geschlossene Gesellschaft)
Sa. 06.11.2010  D-97506 Grafenrheinfeld / Kulturhalle www.grafenrheinfeld.de/Kulturhalle.html
So. 07.11.2010  D-97070 Würzburg / Posthalle www.posthalle.de
Di. 09.11.2010   D-66557 Illingen / Illipse www.illipse.de
Mi. 10.11.2010  D-76131 Karlsruhe / Tollhaus www.tollhaus.de
Do. 11.11.2010  D-82110 Germering / Stadthalle www.stadthalle-germering.de
Fr. 12.11.2010   D-93059 Regensburg / Alte Mälze www.alte-maelzerei.de
Sa. 13.11.2010   D-60329 Frankfurt am Main / Latin Palace Chango www.latinpalace-chango.de
So. 14.11.2010  D-88048 Friedrichshafen / Bahnhof Fischbach www.bahnhof-fischbach.de
Di. 16.11.2010   D-86199 Augsburg / Spectrum www.spectrum-club.de
Mi. 17.11.2010  D-92224 Amberg / Stadttheater www.amberg.de/index.php?id=3955

AKTUELLE MEDIENHINWEISE
Di. 02.11 – Radio BR 2/Franken bringt Los Dos Portrait
Di. 09.11 – Radio SWR2 bringt Interview
Mi. 17.11 – Bayerisches Fernsehen zeichnet Abschlusskonzert mit Luis Frank im Amberger Stadttheater komplett auf und sendet es Anfang 2011!! (später wird es davon auch eine Kauf-DVD geben)
Do. 18.11 – ARD Ausstrahlung “Inas Nacht” mit Los Dos
Fr. 03.12 – NDR Ausstrahlung “Inas Nacht” mit Los Dos
Januar.11 – Radio SWR 2 überträgt Los Dos live /Studiokonzert
Mo. 07.03.  spielen wir für SWR1 die Rosenmontagsparty in Mainz

Labana White CD Release Party im Zapata am 11 November

Friday, 01. Oct 2010

www.labana.de www.zapata.de

Paquito D´Rivera * Christopher Dell * WDR Big Band BENNY GOODMAN REVISITED

Monday, 20. Sep 2010

Benny @100

The first time I heard about New York City, it was from my father, the very day he came home with a record that changed my life forever. I must have been around 8 or 9 years old when on a sunny afternoon in that still beautiful Havana of the mid fifties, my old man brought an LP on a multicolor jacket with six pictures of a clarinetist with the heading: The Great Benny Goodman. The names HARRY JAMES, GENE KRUPA, TEDDY WILSON, LIONEL HAMPTON, and a few other great Jazz artists were highlighted in red, black and blue letters.

Tito–who was the name of my Dad, a classical saxophonist himself– placed the LP on his portable Silvertone turntable and put the needle almost on the edge of the striped surface of the vinyl record. The soft murmur produced for a few seconds by the friction of the minute metallic point on the virgin plastic, accented my curiosity of the unknown even more. Right away we heard the notes of “Let’s Dance”, the Benny Goodman Orchestra’s musical theme. The solid rhythmic section seemed to be like the root and trunk of a strong, healthy tree. On it, the 5 branches of the compact saxophone section bloomed exuberantly, like spring. The trumpets splashed the melody like fresh dew and suddenly stopped to let Benny’s crystal clear, playful tone step right in. Like a bird of light, his unique clarinet sound ascended stroking the sparkling stars. My God! That band moved as smoothly as a dinghy down the Hudson river.

Many years later, legendary producer John Avakian, who wrote the notes for the superb 1938 recording that didn’t come out until 1956; told me that the theme was arranged by the mastermind Fletcher Henderson for the popular radio show “Let’s Dance”. The piece was based on the celebrated Invitation to the Waltz, by Carl Maria von Weber.

“What was that?” I asked my Dad, extremely impressed by what I heard, when the first side of the record was over.

“Swing”––he answered with a mischievous smile––, “The Benny Goodman Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.”

“Did you say meat and beans?” (The sound of Carnegie Hall was almost like “carne y frijol” in Spanish), I asked, surprised by the relationship my mother’s cooking could have to such inspired music.

My old man cracked up laughing, but when he finally calmed down, he explained who Benny Goodman was, Swing, Carnegie Hall and the amazing city where its red brick columns were erected. Ever since, the Jewish clarinetist became my main musical idol and the “jungle of asphalt”, the city of my dreams.

Many moons later, in 2009, the entire music world celebrated the centenary of the dean of all clarinetists, and I was so happy when Lucas Schmidt proposed to me the idea of doing a concert commemorating the King of Swing’s 100 birthday at the magnificent Symphony Hall in Köln, with my dear friends of the WDR orchestra, under maestro Michael Abene’s baton.

A few month prior to the concert, Michael–who happened to play with Benny for a while– and I had a meeting in a piano room at Jazz at Lincoln Center, to pick the tunes to be re-arranged in a more modern style. Pieces like Memories of You, Goodbye, Stomping at the Savoy and (of course) Sing, Sing, Sing, all but one, related to Benny’s career were chosen. In those days I was commissioned by the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival to compose a sonata in 4 movements for clarinetist Jon Manasse and pianist Jon Nakamatsu. The first movement is titled “Benny @100” which I asked Abene to orchestrate for the Big Band. The chart is nothing less than superb, and I most tell you that if it was true what Duke Ellington said about “Good arranging is like re-composing”, this is the best example I can think of.

The present project pretends to be not only a tribute to The King of Swing, but to Krupa, Lionel, Harry James, Teddy Wilson, and all of those great musicians that helped giving shape to Goodman’s amazing history. As you’ll probably notice while listening to this live recording, for me, the experience was unforgettable, due to the exquisite combination of the charm of the ancient German city, the majesty of its Symphony Hall, the powerful, yet sensitive touch of the formidable WDR Orchestra and the magic pen of Michael Abene. I truly hope you guys (and Benny up there) enjoy the product of this work of love.

Paquito D’Rivera

Benny Goodman Revisited - Paquito D´Rivera

Amazon MP3 Download

Labana EPK

Thursday, 26. Aug 2010

Labana

Showmaster Volker Heissmann präsentiert Los Dos Y Compañeros mit Wies`n Hit 2010!

Wednesday, 07. Jul 2010

Volker Heissmann und Los Dos Y Compañeros

Die Dreharbeiten zu nächsten „Das ist Heiss-mann!“ Show sind letzte Woche abgeschlossen worden. Los Dos Y Compañeros aus Amberg waren dazu 2 Tage in den BR Studios München um dort in einem aufgebauten Spiegelzelt die Sendung aufzuzeichnen. Bei glühender Hitze fand dennoch ein erfrischendes und abwechslungsreiches Programm mit vielen bekannten Künstlern statt. Dabei waren unter anderem Michl Müller, Helmut Schleich, Jörg Knör, Clown Jigalov+Csaba, Angelika Milster, Eva Mähl, Constanze Lindner,  Francine Jordi, Luise Kinseher u.v.m…
Die Stimmung erreichte ihren Höhepunkt, als Heissmann die Los Dos Y Compañeros  mit dem – wie er findet – Wies`n Hit 2010 ankündigt. Bei dem  Titelsong ihrer aktuellen CD „Kula Sack“ wurde es im Zelt dann so richtig heiß! Zahlreiche Los Dos Fans unterstützten den gelungenen Auftritt dieser bemerkenswerten Gruppe.
Man darf sich auf die Show freuen, wenn sie am 10.09 im BR gesendet wird. Die nächste Sendung wird für die Amberger dann gleich 14 Tage später in Hamburg auf gezeichnet. Die Kultsendung „Ines Nacht“ hat die Oberpfälzer auch schon für sich entdeckt und lud sie kurzerhand ein.

Los Dos y Compañeros Online

“Das ist Heiss-mann!” Show

Jugando Super Mario Bros.

Monday, 14. Jun 2010

Calle Real – “Me Lo Gané”

This must be a first on the current world music scene: Cuban timba music from chilly Sweden! Sweden, as we know, is in the vodka belt but is not usually classed with the countries that produce first-class rum. Absolut vodka maybe, but not Bacardi. But the lads from Calle Real are impressive and living proof that there are Swedes who know about Cuba Libre – at least musically: because this twelve-strong combo is only one-twenty-fourth Cuban, which is hard to believe when you hear the timba strains of their brand new album Me Lo Gané . You could be forgiven for believing that the musicians had grown up under the Cuban sun rather than the influence of the polar night. Yet the only member of the group to have any Cuban roots at all is Rickard Valdés, who plays conga and timbales: his father is the legendary Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés, who migrated to Sweden in 1960. The other eleven members are all from the land of ABBA and Roxette – but they are as charged with Caribbean power as if they really played gigs to a delighted audience every evening in one of the legendary music clubs of Calle 23, THE street to go in Havana if you are looking for entertainment. Now, with Me Lo Gané they have brought us the perfect soundtrack for the next beach party and all the events to follow it! Those parties should be in full swing from 11th September, when the album comes to the stores (Timba/Edel Kultur).

Back in 2006 the band brought out their debut album, Con Fuerza, their first musical exclamation mark, so to speak. The enthusiastic public could scarcely believe their ears and thought the album with its incredibly powerful arrangements and the even more unbelievable vocalist Thomas Eby must be the latest masterpiece by Los Van Van. That was wide of the mark, but it was the biggest compliment that could have been sent from Cuba to Stockholm; so it only took a few puffs of a prime cigar for Calle Real to be knighted by Havana: the band was asked to attend the Festival Benny Moré in Cuba, an annual event bringing together the best salsa and timba bands from Cuba, with international guests too. This experience was certainly a defining one, the “salsa” in the soup of these twelve excellent professional musicians, because with Me Lo Gané the band not only maintained the level of the first album but upped their achievement, with liberal use of irresistible dance numbers and hits. The opener Somos Familia, with thoroughly modern timba, signalises that the eleven tracks are to be a kaleidoscope of energy and vibration to set off a real timba tsunami: variable tempi, full-scale brass music, perfectly authentic solo and ensemble vocals, earthy bass, spot-on percussion and piano every bit as good as the virtuosity of the legendary Los Van Van pianist César “Pupy” Pedroso. The whole brew is presented to us with endless power, and Calle Real gets better and better all the time, from song to song to song…

To sum up: the band could not have chosen a more fitting title for their album than “Me Lo Gané” – “I’ve earned it”. This refreshing, imaginative, absolutely superb album truly deserves to take its place on the Mount Olympus of the Cuban musical elite. Cuba ahora – old Swede!

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