You’ve Gotta Shine On and ‘Move On’ Sabijn

Jazz We Can - Sabijn

Every musician has a story to tell in their music and Jazz Singer Sabijn from Gent, Belgium is no exception. Life has a habit of giving us lessons on living each day as if it were your last, encouraging each and every one of us to turn lemons into lemonade and skillfully transform the shit into manure.

I feel priviledged every day when I meet and hear musicians pieces of art, as I know there is always a story behind every track. I am an inquisitive soul, so when given the opportunity to meet Sabijn having heard a remix of her track ‘Move On’ (Beatblenderz Club Mix) I seized the opportunity without hesitation and felt truly inspired.

I was immediately impressed how professional Sabijn was. She had her briefcase with ‘Jazz We Can‘, poster on the front and introduced herself with a smile and a posture of confidence. This lady has the  grace of Mae West and the formidable spirit of Muhammad Ali. The referee starts counting and this lady picks herself right up off the floor. I could see nothing could knock this lady out!

Sabijn’s parents divorced when she was 11 years of age, which is a tough blow when your a kid, which no doubt inspired her to become a poet, singer and also a stand up comic. We are all a product of our past and this lady chose the path of artistic flair to express her life story. Sabijn later decided to study music, then spent 20 years as a Teacher at a Music Academy.

Any great teacher wants to help inspire and encourage others and she did just that, but Sabijn had a dream that had been dormant but not forgotten for many years.

Tragedy has a habit of striking unannounced and Sabijn suffered a brain haemorrhage, which left her laying in her bed for 4 years. Feeling completely powerless and often thinking she was going to die, Sabijn could only lay in a bed with depression as her pillow.

Being a Personal Development Coach, I am fully aware how strength of character and the power of will and determination is a successful resolution for lifes dramas.  Following a slow recovery, Sabijn knew it was time to make a life changing decision to turn her dreams into reality! Looking death in the face most definitely has a habit of giving us a wake up and smell the roses alarm call!

Any lady that can smoke a cigar has the balls to get with the programme called life. Sabijn has a relentless dream to sing at The Blue Note in New York and she knew laying in bed thinking she was going to die was not going to fulfil that dream. Whilst laying in bed, Sabijn began to hum a tune, she then began to put words to the tune and then sang into a dictaphone. She finally sang and danced her way slowly out of bed.

Music is indeed an extremely powerful therapy, which quite clearly helps people to ‘Move On‘!

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Sabijn went to New York earlier this year to begin the dream. Not everything went to plan, however, she met some interesting and influential characters including Ambassador Herman, the Consulate General of Belgium in New York and decided to take herself to Time Square and Empire State to give the public a free show. Heading in the right direction, and in true Sabijn Jazz We Can style, she has a gig arranged in New York in September and we at Buzzin Media have no doubt the Triad Theatre will offer her a standing ovation and New York an almighty Encore!

Sabijn On Soundcloud

Buzzin Media on Soundcloud

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Classic Albums – Ill Communication by Beastie Boys (1994)

The Beastie Boys burst onto the UK music scene with their 1986 hit single, (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party).  The single was a commercial hit on both sides of the Atlantic and their debut album Licensed To Ill was released later the same year to critical acclaim.

The album sat firmly in the hip hop camp but the Beastie Boys had started life in 1981 as a hardcore punk thrash band.  The original line-up included Adam Yauch (MCA) and Michael Diamond (Mike D), along with John Berry and Kate Schellenbach (who later became a member of Luscious Jackson).  They supported the likes of Bad Brains and Dead Kennedys and released a debut EP Pollywog Stew.  But in 1983 John Berry had left to be replaced by Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) and they released a second EP, Cooky Puss which saw the band change music direction from thrash punk to an experimental punk hip-hop.

Following License To Ill they released the critically acclaimed second album Paul’s Boutique (1988) though the album wasn’t as commerciallyl successful as their debut and with no hit singles from either this or their third album, Check Your Head (1992) any mention of the Beastie Boys and most people would remember three young arrogant American brats in a video for Fight For Your Right wearing baseball caps with VW signs hanging around their necks.

The Beastie Boys third album, Ill Communication was released in 1994.  Before hearing the album I remember watching an amazing performance at Glastonbury in the pouring rain to a small but dedicated crowd.  The TV performance started with the opening track from the album, Sure Shot. A great groove complete with a flute loop and MCA, Ad-Rock & Mike D taking turns rapping; a great opening track that has all the power of their earlier hip hop complimented by a maturity in both sound and delivery.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhqyZeUlE8U&feature=related

But what makes Ill Communication a classic album is its depth and scope of music.  Without a breath-taking gap between tracks, as Sure Shot fades the opening thrash guitar of Tough Guy bursts from the speakers. Beastie Boys not only return to their punk thrash roots but they play it as well as they play hip hop! And less than one minute later we swiftly move onto the third track, B-Boys Makin With The Freak Freak (“Shit, if this is gonna be that kinda party, I’m gonna stick my dick in the mash potato!”) a dub infested jazz grooving hip hop tune with distorted rapping giving the track a garage feel.

Bobo On The Corner is a percussion-heavy funky instrumental. Four tracks into Ill Communication and the listener has been pulled every which way through an audible jungle of sounds including rap, hip hop, jazz, funk and punk hardcore thrash. And the reason it works is that every musical direction I am pulled, the Beastie Boys nail perfectly.  I don’t know of any other album that does this so well.

Root Down offers more funky jazz complete with Hammond organ, and all this is followed by the awesome Sabotage which has the three Beasties playing guitar, bass and drums and merging hard throbbing rock with DJ scratching to deliver what is possibly their most perfect track to this day.

Get It Together is a welcome relief from the heavy vibe of Sabotage and takes us back to square one with another funky beat and the three rapping over a more traditional sounding hip hop track.

While other hip hop artists were busy sampling ‘genre standards’ like James Brown grooves and Led Zeppelin beats the Beastie Boys have always shown the scope of their influences.  Here they use the likes of Jimmy Smith, Kurtis Blow, Lee Scratch Perry, Doug E Fresh and The World Famous Supreme Team.

And there’s more… the instrumental Sabrosa with its lazy funky Latin style, the return of hardcore thrash with Heart Attack Man and another groovy beat and flute loop in a similar vein to Sure Shot, with the wonderful yet short and sweet, Flute Loop.

The album jumps all over the place with so many genres and styles that it’s hard to understand why it works.  But the reason it does is down to the sincerity and perfection of the Beastie Boys; and if not for any other reason, that alone in my opinion is enough to consider Ill Communication as a classic album.  An album that sees the Beastie Boys, in many ways one of the most underrated groups of all time, at the peak of their powers.

Ill Communication has 20 songs that stand alone as great tracks and collectively become a pick-n-mix assortment worthy of any Woolworth’s sweet counter.

And if that’s not enough, Spike Jonz directed one of the best music promo videos ever for the single, Sabotage.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5rRZdiu1UE

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Julia Barry ‘Once or Twice’ Album Review

Julia Barry - Once or Twice

Julia Barry is an indie pianist, singer, and songwriter based in New York.  Her newest album, “Once, or Twice,” was independently released July 17, 2010 and features jazz- and blues-inspired songs of wonder and longing.

Often compared to artists like Norah Jones and Joni Mitchell, Barry’s voice is as gritty and sweet as her songs are kick-you-under-the-table honest.  Her live sets have been described as “mesmerizing” and “provocative,” and you can catch her performing live across the U.S., especially in New York City.

Julia Barry

Barry found her love of creativity through music at an early age, improvising songs on piano and constantly singing around the house. She began formal study of piano (inspired by her older sister’s lessons) and joined a children’s choir during grade school, beginning to write more seriously as she got older. Her first album, Arrivals, debuted in 2002; fans review this album on CDBaby.com as “breathtaking,” “a blessing to find in today’s music world,” and “a real jewel.”

Once or Twice is an album that when listened to will create an atmosphere of charm and relaxation. ‘Tell Me‘ is definitely a track you can imagine listening to at Ronnie Scott’s, as it full of  that classic jazz ambiance.  Throughout the album, Julia Barry’s vocals are graceful and her piano skills are exemplary.

I was introduced to Julia Barry’s music on Soundcloud when she was given Artist of The Day status and quickly recognised her musical talents. I also admired Julia Barry’s independence following my research into her background. I realised that she is extremely self sufficient as she not only creates her own music, but also created and managed her own website. This in my opinion, shows real determination and is a recognition of her hard work and self belief, which is a strength beyond all measure in the music industry.

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“Once, or Twice” features 11 original songs played by Julia Barry on vocals and keyboard instruments, John Lenis on bass, Dan Tinkoff/Samuel Stein on guitar, and Jon Searles on drums. Additional instrumentals include strings and organ (Ryan Gregg).  “Once, or Twice” was recorded and mixed by Meredith McCandless at FLUXstudios.net, NYC, produced by Ben Lindell, and mastered by Michael Tudor at Defiant Recording in Woodstock, NY.

For more information on Julia Barry visit http://www.myspace.com/juliabarrymusic

Polar Bear UK Festival & Tour Dates

Polar Bear announce UK festival & UK tour dates
Polar Bear announce UK festival & UK tour dates photo: Steve Gullick

Sebastian Rochford‘s Polar Bear have announced UK music festival appearances this summer before travelling across the UK.

The band have added appearances at Dance Nations Dalston, Marlborough Jazz and Lounge On The Farm to their schedule. The former is a free festival in Dalston’s Gillett Square featuring dance workshops and live music that is part of the Barbican Blaze Festival.

Saxophonist Mark Lockheart won ‘Musician Of The Year’ at the 2010 Parliamentary Jazz Awards, which were held in May at the House of Commons. Rochford was also nominated for the same award. You can read more here.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0STSM2PUig

Polar Bear UK Festival & Tour Dates

Monday 21 June – Glasgow Jazz Festival, GLASGOW
Saturday 3 July – Mostly Jazz Festival, BIRMINGHAM
Sunday 4 July – Dance Nations Dalston, Gillett Square, LONDON (on stage 6pm)
Saturday 10 July – Marlborough Jazz, MARLBOROUGH
Sunday 11 July – Lounge On The Farm, CANTERBURY
Sunday 29 August – Aeon Festival, DEVON
Saturday 18 September – Richmond Jazz Festival, RICHMOND (N. Yorks)
Thursday 30 September – The Wardrobe, LEEDS
Friday 1 October – Band On The Wall, MANCHESTER
Saturday 2 October – Colston Hall, BRISTOL
Saturday 9 October – E.M. Forster Theatre, TONBRIDGE
Sunday 10 October – Warwick Arts Centre, COVENTRY
Friday 15 October – Norwich Art Centre, NORWICH
Saturday 16 October – Kazimier, LIVERPOOL
Sunday 17 October – The Tunnels, ABERDEEN
Monday 18 October – The Voodoo Rooms, EDINBURGH
Tuesday 19 October – Town Hall Crypt, MIDDLESBROUGH

For more information visit polarbearmusic.com and myspace.com

d_rradio & Lianne Hall – Making Spaces, album review

Making Spaces by d_rradio & Lianne Hall
Making Spaces by d_rradio & Lianne Hall

Making Spaces by d_rradio & Lianne Hall on Sentence Records

The latest d_rradio (pronounced ‘d r radio’ & short for death row radio!) album sees Newcastle’s finest collaborate with Brighton’s singer/songwriter Lianne Hall.  The result is a beautiful, wonderfully charming album full of electronic acoustic soundscapes perfectly accompanied by Lianne Hall’s beautifully soothing, velvet voice.

I hear whispers of Portishead (most clearly in the title track, Making Spaces), and echoes of The Cranberries & a hint of The Sundays (in Lianne Hall’s voice) along the way.  Her innocent and naked voice is a perfect accompaniment to d_rradio’s drifting calm.

Making Spaces errs towards double-bass jazz funk with tracks like Stormy Weather; and a vocal  that had me humming Donna Summer’s I Feel Love (never a bad thing!)

This collaboration is the first release following a chance meeting at Amsterdam’s famous Paradisco Club, and hopefully is the first of many.

Over 30 minutes and across the nine tracks there is experimental pop sensibilities, fused with ambience, electronica, stripped down folk and shuffling jazz funk rhythms; all brought together under one astonishing album full of evocative strings and uplifting choruses.

As well as tracks offering more jazz and folk paths Making Spaces also includes d_rradio’s now trademark ambient electronica freshness with its relaxing orchestral waves and calming drones. The addition of Lianne Hall brings a human touch and focal point to the otherwise perfect experimental electronic music of d_rradio.

John Peel once described Lianne Hall as “one of the great English voices.”  How right he was.

Making spaces is the first release on d_rradio’s own Sentence Records label.  It is a beautiful album and will undoubtedly be in every “Best Albums of the Year 2010” list, come December.

Making Spaces by d_rradio & Lianne Hall Track list:

1.    The Moral At The End
2.    Under Water
3.    Stormy Weather
4.    Full On
5.    Berlin winter
6.    Dressing Up
7.    Up
8.    Making spaces
9.    Spring

For more information and to listen to tracks from Making Spaces visit myspace.com/sentencerecords