Categories
Africa Boogie Composers Electronic Funk Jazz Lists Orchestral Performers Piano Pop Postclassical R&B Soundtrack

Best of 2016

Childish Gambino “Awaken, My Love!” (Glassnote)

Vicky Chow A O R T A (New Amsterdam)

King We Are King (King Creative)

Laura Mvula The Dreaming Room (Sony · RCA)

Holly Roadfeldt The Preludes Project (Ravello)

Solange A Seat at the Table (Saint · Columbia)

Esperanza Spalding Emily’s D+Evolution (Concord)

reissues · remasters · restorations · box sets

Wally Badarou Back to Scales To-Night (Barclay · Expansion)

The Emotions Blessed: The Emotions Anthology 1969-1985 (BBR)

Philip Glass The Complete Sony Recordings (Sony)

Bernard Herrmann Twisted Nerve (Stylotone)

John Williams Jurassic Park · The Lost World: Jurassic Park (La-La Land)

Various Artists Doing It in Lagos: Boogie, Pop & Disco in 1980s Nigeria (Soundway)

Various Artists Star Trek: 50th Anniversary Collection (La-La Land)

Categories
Anniversary Compositions Dance Electronic Experimental Memoir Theatre Uncategorized

1996+20: Coupling

“Coupling” (1996) is a section from the score to Woo: Cases of Bloodletting and Natural Selection, a multimedia work by Liminal Zoo Theatre (Derek Mohamed and Tracy Renee Stafford, co-creators). It was heard as a live mix and provided the accompaniment to silent onstage action as well as prerecorded spoken word passages. It is a drone collage, restored here using three elements from the original version: a digital track created on the Korg 01W/FD with a custom just intonation tuning; portions of an older theatre score, “The Monster” (1992), for 4-track cassette and Yahama DX-27; and various excerpts or loops from other pieces of mine that were added in performance.

The original “Coupling” ran 30 minutes in performance; I have removed 10 minutes for this edition. The piece begins with a slow canon in G and from the two minute mark onward remains fixed on D. While the drone root does not change, many different upper pitches, sound colours, textures and moods are encountered along the way.

Composed July 1996
Restoration December 2016

Equipment: Tascam Portastudio cassette 4-track, sound sources Roland S-50 sampler and Sony home CD player with loop function, across several generations of tape and Yamaha DX-27 synthesizer, Roland reverb;

Photo: detail from NOW Magazine, August 1996, newsprint, low res scan December 2016

Music and composer’s notes copyright Bruce A. Russell 2016

Categories
Chamber Collaborations Composers Electronic Hip Hop Jazz Lists Orchestral Percussion Performers Piano Pop Postclassical R&B Soundtrack

Best of 2015

Some great new discoveries and otherwise the usual company in abundance.

John Adams Absolute Jest · Grand Pianola Music San Francisco Symphony · Michael Tilson Thomas · John Adams (SFS Media)

Bang on a Can All Stars Field Recordings (Cantaloupe)

eighth blackbird Filament (Cedille)

Mahan Esfahani Time Present and Time Past (Archiv)

Morton Feldman · Erik Satie · John Cage Rothko Chapel [Gnossiennes, In a Landscape, etc.] Kim Kashkashian · Sarah Rothenberg · Steven Schick · Houston Chamber Choir · Robert Simpson (ECM)

Floating Points Elaenia (Luaka Bop/Pluto)

Kendrick Lamar To Pimp a Butterfly (Top Dawg · Aftermath · Interscope)

Steve Martland Band Martland (NMC)

Steve Reich Music for 18 Musicians Ensemble Signal · Third Coast Percussion · Brad Lubman (Harmonia Mundi)

Max Richter Sleep (Deutsche Grammophon)

Linda Catlin Smith Thought and Desire Eve Egoyan (Earwitness Editions)

Stephen Sondheim Liaisons: Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano Anthony de Mare (ECM)

Ann Southam Glass Houses for Marimba Taktus (Centrediscs)

Tennyson Like What EP (self-released)

Kamasi Washington The Epic (Brainfeeder)

John Williams Star Wars: The Force Awakens Gustavo Dudamel · William Ross · John Williams (Walt Disney)

reissues · remasters

Bernard Herrmann Obsession Special Archival Edition (Music Box)

The Spinners Spinners (BBR)

John Williams A.I. Artificial Intelligence Expanded Archival Collection (La-La Land)

John Williams Jaws and Jaws 2 (Intrada)

John Williams, Herman Stein, Hans J. Salter, Joseph Mullendore, Alexander Courage, Cyril J. Mockridge, Gerald Fried, Leith Stevens, Robert Drasnin, Fred Steiner and others Lost in Space 50th Anniversary Soundtrack Collection (La-La Land)

Categories
Boogie Electronic Funk Mixtapes Pop R&B

Boogie Dedication

The Salsoul Orchestra ft. Loleatta Holloway | Seconds

Linda Williams | City Living

Stephanie Mills | You Can’t Run from My Love

Esther Williams | I’ll Be Your Pleasure

Odyssey | Inside Out

Pleasure | Nothin’ to It

Unlimited Touch | I Hear Music in the Streets

Kool & the Gang | Steppin’ Out

Prince | I Wanna Be Your Lover

Eighties Ladies | I Knew That Love

Logg | Dancing into the Stars

Change ft. Luther Vandross | The Glow of Love

Stevie Wonder | As if You Read My Mind

B O O G I E D E D I C A T I O N

79-82

To Nina with Love

beatmixing and harmonic mixing has been employed
without altering the tempo or pitch of the original tracks

Ibrahim El Mahboob
July 2015

Categories
Composers Electronic I Care If You Listen Media Music Journalism Performers Postclassical Toronto

An Evening with Barrière and Saariaho

My review for I Care If You Listen.

Categories
Chamber Choral Composers Electronic Jazz Orchestral Performers Piano Pop Postclassical R&B

Best of 2014

John Adams, The Gospel According to the Other Mary – Los Angeles Philharmonic, LA Master Chorale, Gustavo Dudamel

John Luther Adams, Become Ocean – Seattle Symphony, Ludovic Morlot

D’Angelo and The Vanguard, Black Messiah

Morton Feldman, String Quartet No. 1 – FLUX Quartet

Flying Lotus, You’re Dead!

Philip Glass, The Complete Piano Etudes – Maki Namekawa

Meredith Monk, Piano Songs – Ursula Oppens, Bruce Brubaker

Laura Mvula, With Metropole Orkest Conducted by Jules Buckley at Abbey Road Studios

Steve Reich, Radio Rewrite – Jonny Greenwood, Vicky Chow, Alarm Will Sound, Alan Pierson

Ann Southam, Glass Houses Vol. 2 – Christina Petrowska Quilico

tuku, moonday sessions:the black

reissues

Herbie Hancock, The Complete Columbia Album Collection 1972-1988 (rel. late 2013)

Odyssey, Happy Together (Expanded Edition)

Sly Stone & various artists, I’m Just Like You: Sly’s Stone Flower 1969-1970

Categories
Anniversary Archive Choral Compositions Electronic Experimental Memoir Percussion Piano Pop Postclassical

Like It’s 1994/95: Uhuru

A recurring introspective retrospective of my music as it sounded twenty years earlier. In early 1994, I took my first trip to Europe, spending a week in Lyon where my music was heard at a university dance festival as well as in the subway for a pop up freestyle contemporary dance event. I spent the latter part of the year working on the indie cassette release Uhuru, which would come out the following spring, and playing keyboards and percussion in a post-punk band. In early 1995, another dance score was heard in London. In late 1995, I began graduate studies at York University, returning nine years after I had first arrived as an undergraduate.

Throughout this period, I continued to hold down a full time retail job selling classical and jazz CDs in Yorkville, as well as freelancing as a composer for dance and theatre. I also got my first taste of hosting college radio. It was my most active period being involved in music in general.

November 1994 rec. February 1995. 8 voices (2 per part), 8 track reel-to-reel. Begins with a row on the seven pitches of the diatonic scale. The pronunciation of uhuru was conflated with “yoo hoo” although I now prefer the proper initial “u” sound. This is life before autotune, for better or worse. Photo: handwritten score excerpt, 1995

Music and composer’s notes copyright Bruce A. Russell 2014

Categories
Electronic Funk Mixtapes Pop R&B

Spring Affair

Peter Brown | Without Love
Deniece Williams | How’d I Know That Love Would Slip Away
Táta Vega | Mr. Troublemaker
Greg Phillinganes | Lazy Nina
Ronnie Laws | All for You
Patrice Rushen | Music of the Earth
Michael Wycoff | Looking Up to You
Herbie Hancock | Stars in Your Eyes (Special Disco Remix)
Pleasure | I’m Mad
Donald Byrd | Love Has Come Around
Evelyn “Champagne” King | What Are You Waiting For
Loleatta Holloway | Love Sensation
Logg | Something Else
Donna Summer | Spring Affair
Gene Harris | Losalamitoslatinfunklovesong

Spring Affair

1974-1985

Analog keys, horns, vibes, strings, human drummers and sangin’

Classics with a tempo flow and a little harmonic mixing (no pitch shifting)

Dedicated with love, love, love to Nehal El-Hadi (aka Nina), writer, poet,
researcher, producer, my wife and mother/stepmother of our children

Thank you also to Nehal for the title graphic on the cover photo

I B R Λ H I M ΞL M Λ H B O O B
April 2014

Categories
Anniversary Composers Electronic Funk Lists Performers Pop Postclassical R&B Soundtrack

Best of 2013

Eve Egoyan – 5

Philip Glass – Visitors

Kuniko Kato – Cantus

R. Andrew Lee – November

Laura Mvula – Sing to the Moon

Omar – The Man

Quadron – Avalanche

Thundercat – Apocalypse

Hans Zimmer – Man of Steel

Best archive/reissue:

Sly and the Family Stone – Higher!

Categories
Electronic Funk Jazz Mixtapes Pop R&B

Golden Beats

Bilal | Back to Love
Quadron | LFT
Toto ft. Cheryl Lynn | Georgy Porgy
Gino Vannelli | Fly into this Night
Manzel | Midnight Theme (Dopebrother 12 Inch Remix)
The Emotions | There’ll Never Be Another Moment
Earth, Wind & Fire | Beijo (Interlude) ‧ Brazilian Rhyme
D.J. Rogers | Love Will Make It Better
Pockets | Come Go with Me
Donny Hathaway | Come Little Children
Gregory Porter | 1960 What? (Opolopo Kick & Bass Rerub)
Thundercat | Oh Sheit It’s X
Wally Badarou | He Was a Rasta in London Town
Rufus ft. Chaka Khan | At Midnight (My Love Will Lift You Up)
George Duke | Psychosomatic Dung
Sparkle | Let Yourself Go
The Staples | Love Me, Love Me, Love Me
Doug Carn ft. Jean Carne | Naima
Laura Mvula | Diamonds

Mixed by El Mahboob
Southward Equinox 2013

Golden Beats

Special focus on Kalimba Productions
(The Emotions, Earth, Wind & Fire, D.J. Rogers and Pockets)

RIP George Duke