MIKAELIAN and Claude Langlois will soon release a 2 track CD for a media only
distribution (so French radios will hopefully play it). This CD will include two versions
of the song Tarantino featured on their album Le Premier :
the album version, named swamp and a version especially cut for the occasion,
named psycho-blues. A well-deserved tribute to a psycho-director !
On the 27th, 28th et 29th of April
Greg SZLAPCZYNSKI will record his second CD "live" at the
Utopia Jazz club in Paris. Greg has already released one CD "Ternaire
Madness", with whom he positioned himself as one of the most promising harmonica
players of his generation.He is also the founder of a harmonica school in Paris and
co-author with Jean-Jacques Milteau and Thierry Crommen of a harmonica method.
|Gary PRIMICHs new album Botheration should
be out since March 23 in the US under the Black Top label. Considering the line-up it
sounds like a traditional blues thing but with mostly Garys compositions. The album
release will be followed up by a US tour and a series of Scandinavian concerts
The new album will be a joyous blend of blues and jazz with several prestigious guests
like Jean-Jacques Milteau, Jean-Marie Ecay and Olivier Ker Ourio. These artists also
penned several tunes that will appear on the CD.
The Belgian progressive blues/rock band El Fish, strongly supported by Steven
De BRUYN on diatonic and chromatic harp has just opened up a website. It features
bios, a discography, concerts dates and some news.
Norton BUFFALO has finished recording his new album under the
title " King of the Highway ". He is currently looking for a
production company and hopes to release it by spring.99.
French software company Myriad Software is the first to try and
integrate harmonica tabs in its Melody Assistant software. This sequencer will be able to
read MIDI or Band-in-a-box files and generate tabs according to the key and the tuning of
the harmonica one wants to use. In future versions it should even generate tabs with no
harp specified by choosing a key of harp best suited to the melody according to pre-set
rules. We will try to get hold of a copy and review it in a coming issue.
|Canadian harmonica player Gérald LAROCHE has released a new CD
entitled Rubato-Arrêter le Temps. This album features 10 new compositions
inspîred by nature, its history, the spirits of the prairies and the Canadian North.
Storyteller and multi-instrumentalist Gérald LAROCHE plays all harmonicas as well as more
unusual instruments like indian mouthbow, pennywhistle, jew's harp and celtic flute. This
album will be reviews in the next issue of Planet Harmonica.
Grand Canyon the band lead by harp player Laurent CAGNON
is releasing two titles in the compilation of rock bands from the Limousin region of
France called Pour que vive le rock (For Rock to Live). Eight regional bands
are featured on this compilation that should be out as we speak. Laurent's other band
Ruine-Babines et Manivelle (Street organ / Harmonica) is picking up speed and
starting a tour of the region's bars that should culminate with a participation at the
Cognac Blues Festival at the end of July.
|Olivier KER-OURIO has just
finished recording his new album with Gildas Boclé (double-bass), Tony Rabeson (drums)
and Pierre de Bethmann (keyboards). Two guests are invited by the quartet : Denis
Leloup (trombone) and Pierrick Hardy (guitar). The title of the album is "Oté
lancêtre" which means 'Hi ancestor' in Reunion creole. Olivier is a Reunion
native and greets his French ancestor who in 1728 left his native Britanny for the Indian
Ocean island. The album will feature a folklore tinted jazz and will be released on April
15th on the Pee-Wee label.
Julian JACKSON is currently preparing a jazz album comprised of
90% compositions that should be out sometime this year. Julian is a young English
chromatic player whose repertoire mixes classical and jazz. He is the main performer in
the award winning music of the movie 'The Full Monty'.
Jean-Jacques MILTEAU has just spent a few weeks in the the
studio in preparation for his next album. This last one will be bluesier than previous
ones and completely instrumental. The accompanying musicians will be partlied changed from
the previous albums "for a different sound" says the artist.
IronMan Mike CURTIS, the one-man blues/jazz from Los Angeles is
currently working on his second album. The first one Doin it all myself
features mike live in the studio on guitar, bass pedals and valved diatonic with a drum
machine. The contents of the second one are still uncertain but could be entirley
instrumental with blues, rock and jazz on the bill.
Nico Wayne TOUSSAINT has gone back to Minneapolis for the
recording of his third album at the end of February. The repertoire should be more varied
in style than on the previous album, and the musicians are all French except the drummer,
the excellent Brett Forberg who played on the previous albums, and the pianist Mike 'The
Hook' Dutsch. The release of the new CD is planned for October. We will keep you informed
when we get more news.
|If you visit New York, don't miss Paul OSCHER's
weekly Brooklyn gig on Wednesday nights at the KB 140, 140 Lawrence Street. The band rocks
and the artmosphere is very electric. Don't hesitate to chat with Paul, he might even get
you up on stage ! Concerts start at 6.30PM until 10.30. No cover charge.
If you're feeling peckish afterwards, 'Juniors' is in the next street. We've been
told that that's where one eats the best New York Cheesecake...
The NHL (National Harmonica League), the main British harmonica
association has moved its website. It has been completely rehauled and you will find there
details on their activities, information and contacts.
A new and improved Carlos del JUNCO
homepage has opened. You will find there a complete discography, sound extracts and the
possibility of ordering Carlos' CDs.
The latest album by Malian musician Lobi Traoré entitles 'Duga' is
enhanced by the harmonica presence of Vincent BUCHER whose
exploration of African music is decidedly fruitful. Lobi's style is close to that of Ali
Farka Touré but in a more rythmic and festive way. Vincent's diatonic playing is subtle
and never too much in front, but it would easily lead us to believe that the harmonica was
born in Mali.
In January, Howard LEVY
spent 10 days in the studio with a quartet featuring drummer Steve Smith (Journey, Steps
Ahead, Vital Information), bassist Oteil Burbridge (Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Allman
Bros.) and violinist Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orch, The Flock, Dixie Dregs). All the
tracks recorded were originals with collective writing and arranging. The album's title
will be "The Stranger's Hand", and should be out on Tone Center Records around
May-June. Howard plays harmonica on it, of course, but also piano and ocarina.
||Dennis GRUENLING has just
released an album entitled 'Jump Time'. It's inspired by the music of Louis Jordan, Louis
Prima and generally 50's popular jazz. Dennis is a young American harp player whose name
is spreading in the US because of the quality of his playing and his sense of groove. He
plays both chromatic and diatonic. The album is available on order through Internet at the
web address below.
Two titles by Steve VERBEKE are available
on the compilation Hexagone Blues that has recently been released. This compilation
features several French Blues bands or performers playing a few tracks each. Steve plays
an amplified instrumental in the style of Little Walter, and a slow blues in Frencg where
his harmonica style reminds us more of Sonny Boy Williamson II. Also on this record,
Pascal Mikaelian's playing on the Karim Albert Kook track. Steve also announces the
release of a full album under his stage name Harmonica Steve under the Night & Day
label at the end of May.
|Charlie MUSSELWHITE has just released a new album
entitled 'Continental Drifter'. This unusual production sees him accompanied by the Cuban
band 'Cuarteto Patria' on part of the tracks and by his usual band on the rest. He also
has been working on a recording with James Cotton, Billy Branch, Sugar Ray Norcia and Kid
Bangham on the Telarc label.