[New release]Casker, and more

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[New release]Casker, and more

Each of the 13 tracks on this album tells its own story. Yet, as different as they may be, the songs are interwoven to form a more complete overall sound. The album makes listeners feel almost as if they are hearing an epic unfold. Techno music, modern rock, tango and jazz are blended together and create a unique, mystical vibe.
“Inhyeong” (Doll), the second track, starts off as tango but transitions to techno half way through the song. The repetitiveness is highly addictive. Casker notches up the “tangoness” in “Nabibuin” (Madame Butterfly). Yung-jin’s melancholy vocal and bossa nova beat on “Dal” (Moon) creates a phantasmal sound. A collaboration with rapper Kjun makes “NU” another surprising track. Kjun’s rap and up-tempo beat are matched with the jazziness of Yung-jin’s vocals.
Casker is individual, and it is hard to compare the band to any other existing musicians in Korea. One need not understand Korean to appreciate the highly experimental sound of Casker, but it will definitely be a plus to understand the lyrics for they bring a quirky, yet pleasant sensibility to the songs.

By Choi Hae-won

Label: Lupin Records
Genre: World Music

When I first began listening to Harry Connick, Jr., I had difficulty understanding his music. I am a beginner to jazz, and nothing felt familiar.
Luckily, Connick Jr. includes explanations of the songs on his latest album, “Oh My Nola,” on the back cover.
As I read, the motives for composing this album became clear ― Connick, Jr. dedicated it to New Orleans, his hometown, which is still struggling to recover from the effects of hurricane Katrina in 2005.
He wrote “All These People” out of sympathy for the people left stranded at the convention center after the hurricane. Each verse describes what he saw when someone Connick, Jr. met on the street showed him how he had been living since the storm.
It is often believed that Connick, Jr. is a handsome guy who plays jazz, but this album shows there is more to him than meets the eye.
If listening alone enhances your understanding of jazz, that pleasure cannot compare to what you feel when you read the lyrics and understand his motives.
It is not too much to say that this album features a brass band that combines jazz, gospel, rhythm and blues, country, and funk with Connick, Jr.’s different styles of playing.
Listeners who are passionate about the music of Harry Connick, Jr. will find satisfaction in both the rhythmic quality and the sympathy the artist feels for his hometown in this latest offering. By Choi Eun-jin

Harry Connick, Jr.
“Oh My Nola”
Label: Sony BMG
Genre: Contemporary Jazz

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