Jazz drummer Ed Thigpen died in Copenhagen on Wednesday, January 13. His death at age 79 followed his struggles with Parkinson’s disease and a late-2009 hospitalization for other “heart and lung problems”. Widely recognized as an exceptionally tasteful and versatile drummer, Thigpen played with Oscar Peterson, Billy Taylor and Ella Fitzgerald, among others.
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Just to get it out there in the open, what you are reading is a bit of a shameless plug—yet few shameless plugs are as fun as this one.
You see, I wouldn’t be here writing for PopMatters if it wasn’t for a guy named Benjamin Durdle. Ben was the guy who got me into recording songs, which has become one of my favorite hobbies in life. Am I any good at it? To be totally honest with you: no, not really—but that’s almost beside the point. Although I had always been a fan of pop music, it was Ben—the guy with keen underground sensibilities and an infectious love for actually recording whatever musical inkling dripped into his head—who opened me up to several new bands and the very concept of how music production works, which inevitably was one of the major things that lead me to become the writer that I am today.
S-M 2: Abyss in B Minor
Releasing: 22 March (UK), 23 March (US)
Norway’s recorded their new album in a cave outside Oslo, appropriate for a group mightily concerned with musical atmospherics. Emil Nikolaisen says of the new work and approach, “Studio environments often get on my nerves “and I love the underworld, you can silently head down there and do as you please, leave the world behind. So we found this huge cave with stone walls, it looked like a refugee hideout from World War II, with a huge, undiscovered treasure of sound.”
Nneka & J.Period
The Madness (Onye-Ala)
Nneka & J.Period Present: The Madness (Onye-Ala) available for download now. Featuring guest appearances from heavyweights of all kinds, The Madness (Onye-Ala) includes exclusive new tracks from M-1 (Dead Prez), Jay Electronica, Zumbi (Zion I), Rakaa (Dilated Peoples), Aceyalone (Freestyle Fellowship), General Steele (Boot Camp Clik) & Talib Kweli. Nneka’s The Uncomfortable Truth EP available on iTunes now. Full length album, Concrete Jungle dropping 2 February on Yo Mama/Decon/Epic Records.
These New Puritans
Releasing: 18 January (UK), 2 March (US)
Britain’s These New Puritans released a stellar debut two years ago in Beat Pyramid, a record we deemed an 8 and Chris Baynes called an “idiosyncratic, swaggering, and intellectual album, but more importantly for the listener, a damn exciting and original one too.” The group follows with their sophomore effort Hidden this month in the UK, March in the US. The first single, the cerebral and atmospheric “We Want War”, bodes well for the overall quality of the new effort.
01 Time Xone
02 We Want War
03 Three Thousand
05 Attack Music
09 Drum Courts–Where Corals Lie
10 White Chords
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