Snarky Puppy

Almost two years ago, I “discovered” (with a little help from a Debian developer) the truly awesome Youn Sun Nah, together with a few of her fellow musicians, like Vincent Peirani and/or Lars Danielsson.

Since then, not so much. I was busy with other things until I decided to get some audio interface and microphone for my computer, and started to learn using Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software like Ardour, and the likes. I also started scanning Youtube for howto videos on these topics, which inevitably also lead to the discovery of other musicians.

And last Sunday I stumbled upon what is in my opinion the most advanced and exciting band currently existing on this planet – and they call themselves “Snarky Puppy“.

Here’s a short (ca. 35 minute) documentation about them, by none less than Christian McBride, himself being one of the best bass players today:

And here’s a New York Times article about them, from a year ago. From that article, let me cite David Crosby on his Twitter account:

“quite possibly the most advanced band in the world … certainly the best I’ve heard/seen.”

So I’m not alone in realizing that this is some new and fresh kind of music – and certainly and without any doubt, it’s also highly entertaining.

I don’t know about your taste in music of course. If you like songs for instance, maybe you should listen to Snarky Puppy feat. Becca Stevens & Väsen – I Asked (Family Dinner – Volume Two), or to the wonderful Snarky Puppy feat. Laura Mvula & Michelle Willis – “Sing to the Moon” (Family Dinner Volume Two), both from their Snarky Puppy – Family Dinner Vol 2 stream on Youtube.

If you’re an “advanced” listener (which is what I’d call myself), who needs something for both brain & booty, like Christian titled it, I suggest their Snarky Puppy – We Like It Here stream, in which they just blew me away. This is unbelievable, and awesome, and inspiring – it’s hard to find words for this level of art. Consider me a “fanboy” from now on – with some of their stuff being on my wishlist (of a big store in the interweb) already.

For those living around here, they’ll be in Frankfurt in May. And since I’m still waiting for a Youn Sun Nah concert around here, maybe I should go and see them first.

As always, thanks for reading. And now enjoy the music!

P.S.: about this “don’t know about *your* taste – I recommended this to two of my colleagues yesterday. And while one of them replied that this wasn’t to his taste at all, the other one came back with this concert of Thelonius Monk (and some others). Thanks for the link again, mate! 😉

insaneintherainmusic

Look at this – these guys are really good. And if you or your kids have a Nintendo Wii console, you might know the tune:

You can even download the scores for the instruments; just printed the piano sheets for Zuleikha.

Update: at Live at Grillby’s – UNDERTALE Jazz Album – Album Stream you can listen to a complete album of these guys, and they’re *really* good. Plus you can also download the musical sheets, and support them if you wish.

Cool stuff – congratulation to these talented young people.

Enjoy…

Update 2: still listening – still being blown away. Much better than I thought it would be – gotta buy this…

A lesson in Jazz, and in composition

Listen to Herbie Hancock explaining how and why he wrote his “Watermelon Man” like he did:

Incredible. With one of my favourite bass players, Christian McBride, and Karriem Riggins on drums. Now listen to this one from the Live under the sky festival in Yomiuriland, Japan in 1991. You might know Herbie’s melody from about 20 years later, when someone said “funky, funky”, and made it a hit again. But this version with its original title “Cantaloupe Island” is far better:

Enjoy…

Solo piano

Zuleikha had her first solo piano performance today at the Jugend- und Kulturzentrum (JuKuZ) Mörfelden:

7e1_2126446-zuleikha-concert

Zuleikha in concert, February 2017

It wasn’t her first gig this year – there was an earlier one where she played the horn in the school’s “Brass & Co” Jazz band, but the first one for this year where she was alone on stage.

And it was a good one. Congratulations again, Schätzchen!

Thanks for reading & viewing.

An interesting story

Read the interview with Markus Schmidt, one of the makers of the Calf Plugins, at LibreMusicProduction.

Warning: some strong language is used – tho in this case it even seems appropriate; you will understand after reading.

His band from that time, Jammin’Inc* is also a good tip. You may download and use all that stuff, as it’s under a CC license. As are the Calf Plugins and everything else Markus is using now (except that Debian and other software is of course GPL).

Getting a bit more active with music again

Music was my first love”

sang John Miles back in 1976, when I was just 19. And he was so right (and I even played that song with one of the bands I performed with). And what do you do during long and cold winter days and nights, when you don’t even want to think about going out with a camera? Right – I remembered music.

And so I read a lot; I had a bit of catching up to do since I last dealt with making or even recording some music. I stayed with free and open source software of course, and Linux has a lot of wonderful tools to get creative these days. I ended up with configuring the repositories of KXStudio on my machine, so I can still use Debian. And for Zuleikha, who started composing and writing her own first songs, I installed Ubuntu Studio on Mitchie’s old Lenovo Thinkpad SL500. And there are other guys making cool stuff like for instance AVLinux – their user manual alone is worth a look if you want to get up to this stuff real quick.

Mitchie’s old machine has only a Celeron, and 2GB of main memory – so it’s not the machine for some samples of Grand Pianos I downloaded lately (one Yamaha C5, ca. 2GB, and one Steinway, ca. 5GB). I guess it would struggle hard if you put up some audio and midi tracks in Ardour with it, but for Zuleikha it’s nice to start arranging and composing with MuseScore. So today a USB type AB cable arrived, and I hooked up the machine to Zuleikha’s Yamaha YDP-142R piano:

7e1_1196392-mobile-ubuntu-studio

Mobile Ubuntu Studio

It all started when Zuleikha got some nice and easy pieces from her piano teacher, like this one:

7e1_1196393-bluestone-alley

Bluestone Alley, by Congfei Wei

I downloaded some free scores and tablatures for the guitar, and let’s see – maybe we’ll get some microphone to even record the small one playing her horn (and/or her friend Yuma, who’s perfect on her recorder)…

Of course I’ll also document this with the camera. Cannot wait. 🙂 So, with a bit of fantasy and dedication, winter is actually good for something.

As always, thanks for reading.

An awesome video production

In contrast to yesterday’s obituary, here’s another piece for guitar:

Silvius Leopold Weiss – ” Fantasie”, guitar Asya Selyutina

Like the title says, this is from Sylvius Leopold Weiss (see English and German Wikipedia pages), and the performing artist is Asya Selyutina.

Interesting how different an instrument can be. Anyway, here I liked everything, especially the camera and sound work. Awesome performance on this Baroque piece (which is some 300 years old) as well. And she plays a guitar hand-made by Peter Barton.

Oh, and in case you play the guitar yourselves, find the score with tabs, and midi as well as Guitar Pro files here. And yesterday’s Tango is here. Thanks go to Christian Liang for these.

Thanks for viewing and reading.

R.I.P. Roland

On October 29th last year, one of the world’s best guitar players, composers, and arrangers died – Roland Dyens (see English and German Wikipedia pages in case you didn’t know him).

Here he’s performing one of his better known own compositions:

Roland Dyens, playing his “Tango en Skai”

Also listen to his interpretations and arrangements of Dizzy Gillespie’s “A Night in Tunesia“, and Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “A Felicidade“, the latter of which is now played by countless guitarrists around the world.

And if you play the guitar yourself, read this very good analysis of “his style of arranging and performing” (45 page PDF) by Michelle Birch.

R.I.P. Maestro.