Chen, Yuanlin – “Away From Xuan” – Innova/American Composers Chen studied music in his native China where he pioneered a computer and electronic music studio. He has a PhD from SUNY Stony Brook. These three pieces show a lot of variety in his music. “Away from Xuan” is a big symphonic piece. “Wondering along the Journey” uses instruments such as sheng, dizi, erhu, and pipa for a more Chinese sound. “Chasing the Sun” is startlingly original – this guitar quartet pushes the instruments into all kinds of sounds and percussive effects. Gorgeous, dramatic, and accessible.
Autistic Daughters – “Uneasy Flowers” – Staubgold On their 2nd release, “Uneasy Flowers” from 2008, Autistic Daughters create a moody atmosphere with their slow, quiet musical creations accompanied by emotional male vocals. Autistic Daughters is mainly a trio made up of New Zealander Dean Roberts vocals, acoustic/electric guitars , Vienna’s Martin Brandlmayr drums, vibraphone, computer based processing , and Werner Dafeldecker double bass, electric guitars . There’s also some guest piano from Chris Abrahams and mandoguitar by Martin Siewert. It’s pleasant, yet raw with lyrical gems like “feral roses.”
Ethnic Heritage Ensemble – “Mama’s House Live 35th Anniversary Project” – Katalyst Entertainment Jazz: This is a recording of a live February 2006 performance by the Chicago-based Ethnic Heritage Ensemble EHE . To say that this band, who through 35 years has had many incarnations, is tied to anything earthly is a misstatement, however. Ever since Kahil El’Zabar returned to Chicago from Ghana and formed the band whose intention was to combine African American music with traditional African music, the EHE has sought to transcend walls that would box music in. Joining the multi-percussionist, vocalist, and composer El’Zabar here are young and talented Corey Wilkes