[Music] Art Zoyd – Génération Sans Futur

I must have been about 17 years old when a disc called Symphonie pour le jour où brûleront les citésMusique pour l’Odyssée and Archives 1, performed by a band I had never heard of called Art Zoyd, kept staring me in the face, while I heard voices in my wallet saying, “Take it.”  I had just recently discovered Univers Zero, a contemporary band, and was told by the ever-knowledgeable staff at Rhino Records in Claremont, California, that it was a winner.  Indeed, it was, and it was unlike anything I had ever heard up until that point.  Chamber-rock wasn’t in my vocabulary at the time, but that would be the term which fit the band best.  It’s good to see this album in its proper form, but I really do hope that Sub Rosa, who took the time to do such a wonderful job producing this disc, re-releases Art Zoyd’s whole back catalog, including bonus tracks.  Each disc has been worth it.

[Music] Djam Karet – The Devouring

I’m particularly pleased to be reviewing this album, as it comes from a VERY local band.  They were living in city of Claremont, California, a college town minutes from my home, and the drummer, Chuck Oken, Jr., owns Rhino Records, by far the best independent record shop in the Inland Empire.  It was the first place I whet my appetite in new music.  Also, the fact that it’s on Cuneiform Records, who were based not too far from me (in Silver Springs, Maryland) when I my then-wife and I lived in Germantown.  It’s so nice to see this album being offered by the label.
Djam Karet are a progressive rock band, but I saw the comparisons to Pink Floyd off-putting.  Floyd is Floyd.  Karet is Karet.  There may be points of commonality here and there, but Djam Karet drift off into a more exploratory mode of long rock improvisations.  If there is anyone who DJ should be compared with, I’d reckon it would be King Crimson between 1973 and 1981, though without the intricacy of Adrian Belew’s guitar skronk.  This is exceptionally good prog, even after 22 years.

[Music] Silent Island – Rapa Nui EP


It’s been some time since we heard from our friend and Silent Island guitarist István Csarnogurszky, so when he told us he had a new EP out, we jumped at the chance to give it a listen.

It’s a shimmering as ever.  Relaxed, confident progressive rock instrumentals infused with a more modern post-rock feel.  There are elements of jazz fusion, albeit of a more smooth variety.

Another peach from István and crew!

[Video] Vagif Mustafa Zadeh – Jazz Compositions

Those who know me well, say, for at least 15 years, know that I have tried throughout my life to be a champion for Soviet Jazz. They had something exquisite that the world didn’t have full access to until the end of Communism. One of these treasures hailed from Azerbaijan.

With the passing of B. B. King a few days ago, I was reminded of a story when the legendary blues guitarist came to the Soviet Union to watch a jazz festival. After seeing Vagif Mustafa Zade play, he named the stunned pianist as the ‘true king of the blues’. Vagif would die at age 35 in 1979, suffering a heart attack while performing onstage at a concert in Uzbekistan.

May his memory be eternal.

Many thanks to Funked Up East for their incredible selection of Soviet music.