Giant Donut Discs ® – May 2015

30. 5. 2015 | Categories: Articles,Giant Donut Discs

[by Ken Hunt, London] This month’s collection is a mixture of project-related listening and, that luxury, music listened to just for pleasure. In the latter case that doesn’t happen too often. Rojda, Little Feat, Martin Simpson, Andy Cutting & Nancy Kerr, Peggy Seeger, Scarlett O’ & ‘the little big band’, Jackson Browne & David Lindley, Jyotsna Srikanth, The Young Tradition, Kirsty MacColl and Tritonus


Wannes van de Velde (1937-2008)

5. 4. 2015 | Categories: Articles,Lives

[by Ken Hunt, London] It is a knee-jerk reaction when evoking Belgian song to extol Jacques Brel and his impact on Francophone chanson. But Belgium is a composite nation, with Walloon, Flemish and German populations. When it comes to articulating what it means to be Flemish, one of the giants of contemporary Flemish song and poetry was Wannes van de Velde, who for more than 40 years defined Flemish culture and defied cultural laziness.


John Mayer’s Indo-Jazz Fusions, Jazz Café, Camden Town, London, Tuesday, 8 January 2002

14. 3. 2015 | Categories: Articles,Live reviews

[by Ken Hunt, London] John Mayer’s impact on hyphenated fusion exceeds calculability. Though the Jazz Café’s ‘Events Brochure’ rebirthed him as Bombayite, Mayer is Calcutta-born. In the 1960s when he and the Jamaican-born saxophonist Joe Harriott combi-doubled their quintets, even more than Don Ellis, they were the defining ensemble shaking (up) the raag and jazz cocktail.


Best of 2014

31. 12. 2014 | Categories: Articles,Best of Year,Feature

[by Ken Hunt, London]Like some misbegotten mantra, I usually say that the year started slow. Happens year after year after year after blooming year. For 2014 that applied particularly in terms of live performances. In the annual polls to which I contribute I am fully aware that what my bread-and-butter music diet is will never register in anything anywhere apart from here.


Giant Donut Discs ® – November 2014

30. 11. 2014 | Categories: Articles,Giant Donut Discs

[by Ken Hunt, London and Prague] This month’s selection anticipates two December deaths: my father Leslie Lloyd Hunt (1912-1995) and Lubomír Dorůžka (1924-2013), the father of my co-host on this website’s father. In my father’s case it is through Acker Bilk’s most famous vehicle. Among others providing the music are the Bosnian singer Amira Medunjanin, Vlasta Grycová, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, the Incredible String Band, Kala Ramnath and Ali Akbar Khan, Martin & Eliza Carthy, Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen and Acker Bilk.


Giant Donut Discs ® – September and October 2014

31. 10. 2014 | Categories: Articles,Giant Donut Discs

[by Ken Hunt, London] Two months rolled into one, thanks to the aftermath of travelling and delivering copy. The choices reflect work, death and making associations. The musical scatter cushions include Kishore Kumar, Carlos Paredes, Kavita Shah, Olga Bell, Abhishek Raghururam… And more.


Iva Bittová and a Paper Cone (Paper Cone of Cherries)

10. 9. 2014 | Categories: Articles,Feature

[by Ken Hunt, London] It is a warm, sunny afternoon in September 2004. I am sitting on the steps outside Brno’s railway station scrutinising each tram because one will bring my interpreter, Irena Přibylová. Trams come and trams go. As always, I am writing and observing. I scribble “The drunks hang round the station/Each begs his ‘daily bread’.”


Giant Donut Discs ® – August 2014

30. 8. 2014 | Categories: Articles,Giant Donut Discs

[by Ken Hunt, London] A good deal of music this month came out following up new musical experiences gained over the summer. There was also prepping interviews and anticipating 2014’s annual Darbar Festival, then about to take place between 18 and 21 September. (Before that festival there is generally a good measure of music to listen to by way of preparation or homework to be done. Much of this month’s selections sprang from attending Colours of Ostrava. This month Jackson Browne, The Pogues, June Tabor & Oysterband, the Velvet Underground, Ganesh-Kumaresh, Shirley Collins and Steve Ashley, Lo Còr De La Plana, Jackson Browne & Graham Nash, Alla Rakha and Aruna Sairam are in attendance. But there are many more discoveries waiting in the wings.


Political song in Britain I – The state of affairs in 2014

17. 8. 2014 | Categories: Articles,Feature

[By Ken Hunt, London] The Summer of 2013 saw the 30th Anniversary Edition of Billy Bragg’s Life’s A Riot With Spy Vs Spy. It counts as a landmark release in the history of British political song, even though its most enduring morsel in the wider popular consciousness is A New England – a song that Kirsty MacColl covered so well and took into the UK Top Ten in 1985. At the time of its release Margaret Thatcher was at the helm of her ship but hell-bent on stormy weather ahead. In 1984 the seismic Miners’ Strike would forever reshape Britain’s political contours.


Impressions from Colours of Ostrava, Ostrava, Czech Republic, 17-20 July 2014

1. 8. 2014 | Categories: Articles,Feature

[by Ken Hunt, Ostrava, Vienna and London] A fortnight before the festival happened, The Prague Post informed readers that Colours of Ostrava is “the Czech Republic’s top summer music event”. Impressions from attending the festival serve to confirm that indisputably it is. Ostrava is in the top right of the country. Poland is 15 km away and the Slovak Republic 55 km distant. Inevitably therefore it is a festival that attracts an international audience. Ten years after the festival’s founding, in 2012 it switched locations in Ostrava and since then has taken place in Ostrava’s Vítkovice district. Its new setting is one of preserved industrial ‘dereliction’ – aka a UNESCO heritage site. And to mangle the Four Seasons’ comeback hit, ‘Oh, what a site!’


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