Even More Friday-Night Music | Bleader

Friday, May 21, 2010

Even More Friday-Night Music

Posted By on 05.21.10 at 02:25 PM

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Danilo Perez
  • Danilo Perez
As if all the shows previewed in this week's paper weren't enough, there's a slew of worthwhile music going down tonight that we didn't get to in print. Tonight at Symphony Center brilliant Panamanian pianist Danilo Perez presents Things to Come: 21st Century Dizzy, an homage to Dizzy Gillespie's United Nations Orchestra, where Perez got one of his first big breaks. That band was an international crew assembled to play one-world jazz, but the group Perez has assembled features members who more explicitly deal with regional nonjazz traditions, from Iraqi maqam (trumpeter Amir ElSaffar) to Indian classical music (reedist Rudresh Mahanthappa). The lineup also includes Puerto Rican saxophonist David Sanchez, Brazilian percussionist Rogerio Boccato, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Adam Cruz.

Dengue Fever Presents: Electric Cambodia
  • Dengue Fever Presents: Electric Cambodia
Also tonight, San Francisco'sLA's Dengue Fever plays at the Empty Bottle. The group recently released an excellent compilation of 60s and 70s Cambodian pop and rock called Electric Cambodia (Minky)—the same sort of stuff that's turned up on the essential Cambodian Rocks collections as well as Sublime Frequencies' Cambodian Cassette Archives Vol. 1, and which of course provides the DNA signature of Dengue Fever's sound. I think the band is just fine, but it was ballsy of them to release this collection—it makes it pretty obvious that they aren't as great as the music that inspired them.

Manolito Simonet
  • Manolito Simonet
Cuban musicians have been trickling into the U.S. over the past year, getting visas that seemed impossible to obtain under the Bush administration. On June 26 Omara Portuondo, the grand dame of the Buena Vista Social Club, will play Ravinia, but tonight a singer who's far more representative of contemporary Cuban music makes his local debut at Park West. I haven't heard much by Manolito Simonet y su Trabuco, but the stuff I have managed to check out makes it hard not to believe the hype from the folks who've seen him live in Cuba. He's a powerful salsero with an easy soulfulness and impressive improvisational intelligence, and though some of his recordings are plagued by chintzy keyboards, he plays with a powerhouse band, with punchy horns punctuating an armada of percussion.

Finally, in case you don't feel like leaving the house, tonight at 9 PM I'm making my monthly appearance on Radio M, the WBEZ show hosted by Tony Sarabia. I'll be playing new releases from Mali, Brazil, Italy, Ghana, and Syria (namely a track from the new Omar Souleyman album).

Today's playlist:

Cian Nugent, Childhood Christian Lies & Slaughter (Incunabulum/audioMER)
Raymond Scott & His Orchestra, This Time With Strings (Basta)
Ikue Mori, Class Insecta (Tzadik)
Grix (Floros Floridis, Antonis Anissegos, Yorgos Dimitriadis), Sweet, Sour, Sharp & Soft (Jazzwerkstatt)
Six Organs of Admittance, Luminous Night (Drag City)

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