It's been a while. I apologize. I've been busy. That's the easy explanation.
Here are the details: For the past year or so I've been balancing a host of activities that have included searching for a new job (I was downsized during this recent "economic downturn"); winding down a jazz/improv radio show (AKA Now's The Time) that I'd co-hosted with four other like-minded music geeks (AKA the Improvised Music Collective); performed some minor home renovations, started this music blog and, most recently, agreed to be part of a new four-person collective (AKA the This Island Earth Collective) alternating each Sunday afternoon for three hours serving up our favourite World Music on (appropriately enough) This Island Earth.
It's been a new challenge for me in a couple of ways. I was never much of a World Music listener so co-hosting a three hour show devoted entirely to World Music has meant an almost constant listening regime for me just to get a bit of a foundation. It wasn't like that for NTT because I felt like I had a handle on the history of jazz/improv and a firm grasp of the current jazz/improv scene. The greatest challenge has been the vastness of the source of all this rich music and the many languages it incorporates. I didn't have that challenge with NTT because the bulk of the music we dealt with was strictly instrumental. This meant language rarely came into play. That's not the case now...
What has been, to me, the most rewarding aspect of this new enterprise (let's call it TIE) has been the opportunity to delve into how music has crossed cultures, geography and time. With a three hour music canvas at my disposal, I am able to drill down into music set in a place and time and come up where the music leads me.
My most recent episode of This Island Earth showcased the connection of the Blues from the southern USA to the music of Northern and West Africa.
If you're interested in hearing the show, you can get it here.
You can get the playlist here.
The king is dead, long live the king...