Noteworthy

The Christian Science Monitor, December 3, 2004 | Go to article overview

Noteworthy


World

Tinariwen - Amassakoul (World Village): In the Tamashek language of the southern Sahara, "Tinariwen" means "deserts" or "empty places." This seven-piece band of nomads beautifully conveys the solitude of life among the African sand dunes by fusing traditional Tuareg music with electric guitar. The result is a thrilling form of blues in which primal call-and-response vocals are shadowed by liquid guitar solos that shimmer like the heat of a distant mirage. Utterly unique and wholly accessible. By Stephen Humphries

Jazz

Jane Monheit - Taking a Chance on Love (Sony Classical): Jazz singer Jane Monheit puts her golden pipes and exquisite technique to work on tunes from old Hollywood musicals. It's a perfect blend, from her lively vocal ornamentations on "Honeysuckle Rose" to the aching storytelling of Cole Porter's "In the Still of the Night." Her bubbly duet with fresh-faced crooner Michael Buble ("I Won't Dance") is full of coquettish charm. And while "Over the Rainbow" must forever belong to Judy, Monheit's darker rendition has the makings of a classic all its own. By Gregory M. Lamb

Classical

Craig Armstrong - Piano Works (Sanctuary):Blessed with an angel's touch on the keyboard and a gift for gorgeous melodies and atmospheric settings, this multifaceted composer/pianist is as at home collaborating with Madonna and U2 as he is scoring films like "Moulin Rouge" and writing chamber symphonies. On this, his fourth solo recording, Armstrong presents 19 solo piano works - spanning his career - that evoke the understated beauty of Debussy and Satie, and yet sound as modern as this minute. And it takes far less than a minute to be swept away by Armstrong's aural dreamscapes. By John Kehe

Pop/Rock

Razorlight - Up All Night (Universal): Here's a garage band that knows more than three chords. The debut album by Razorlight - perhaps the world's only Anglo-Swedish rock group - easily eclipses other recent releases in the genre through its sheer diversity of moods and textures. …

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