South African jazz pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim will be 85 on October 9. He’s been recording since 1960. Apartheid led him to spend a lot of his life outside his native country, so he’s lived a lot of places and recorded with just about everybody. For The Balance, Ibrahim relies on a septet of longtime musical colleagues (Ekaya), loading up with three saxes, flutes, two double basses, harmonica, drums and trombone. The result is 10 tracks (in just over 40 minutes!) that simply do not waste your time. It’s fast, dance-y, heady, and much happier than you might expect.
– Bruce Collier
Sami Linna Quartet
Finnish jazz guitarist and leader Sami Linna joins with Jussi Kannaste (sax), Mikko Heleva (organ) and Dana Hall (drums) for this quartet album. Linna is reportedly in the process of earning a doctorate in music, but obviously he’s been taking study breaks. Scandinavian jazz can be full of surprises and twists on traditional forms. This five-track album clocks in at under 38 minutes; still, nobody’s rushing things. Linna has been playing for a while, and he’s not afraid to time-travel. There’s strolling, bluesy stuff (“Dreamville”) some shimmering and soulful ’70s fare (“Black Mountain”) and plenty of opportunities for solo passages (“Umoya”).
– Bruce Collier
German classical cellist Julian Steckel pays tribute here to Hungarian violinist/composer/educator Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967). The all-Kodaly album offers seven tracks—a sonatina, sonata, and duo for cello, variously with violin or piano. Kodaly reportedly wrote some challenging stuff, and along the way developed a teaching method that bears his name. Steckel, himself an educator, is known for delving deep into the pieces he plays. His performances here have both strength and purity of tone, and an ease and sweetness that makes them all the more accessible to a casual listener like me. Maestro Kodaly is well served here.
– Bruce Collier
Brotherhood Built This
From collaboration births friendship, community and art. At their heart, The Strangers are about giving a voice to the continually growing batch of hip-hop visionaries with roots right here. That all might make Brotherhood Built This seem like it could be fractured—the product of many voices and ideas—but thanks to their extraordinary talents, this full-length album beautifully excels at being a fluid combination of talents. A well-rounded addition to Elevated Underground’s extensive catalog.
– Nikki Hedrick
A Sunday Fire
An Open Letter
This high-energy rock band from Mobile, Alabama, has an undeniable punk backbone. An Open Letter is the follow-up to their 2017 debut, and it’s obvious from the first few minutes that the band took their time to craft this full-length into something mighty special. One of the hardest tasks with this type of music is balancing a pristine, deliberate recording with one that captures the roaring energy of their punk influences. It requires a certain amount of patience and fearlessness to find that balance, and A Sunday Fire is triumphant in that goal. The band just wrapped up an impressive West Coast tour, and I look forward to seeing what they put their sights on next.
– Nikki Hedrick
The Specialty Recordings 1956-58
Twenty tracks of early Art, sure to appeal to anyone who digs, say, Fats Domino (pretty much everyone). “Cha Dooky-Doo” is probably the best known of these, but I also savor the two tributes to the music I love—“Let’s Rock” and “That Old Time Rock ‘N’ Roll.” (Yes, even in the mid-to-late ‘50s, folks were trotting out the nostalgia.) And who can resist another rendition of “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie-Woogie Flu”? Not me.
– Chris Manson
- Restaurant Guide
- Vermouth – Out of the Liquor Closet and Into Your Glass
- Where to Spend Your Happy Hours in Beachcomberland
- Kite Film Fest Call for Submissions
- Local Film Screenings
- Review: “Stories” Falls Short on Grownup Scares
- Beachcomber Music Awards #11 Set for Monday, Aug. 26… Call in Sick Tuesday, Aug. 27!
- Live Music
- Remembering Hans McMinamin
- The Pauseandplay.com Record Roundup
- Culinary Arts Greenhouse Honors Kay Litke
- Pat Carlyle Scholarship Established for Children’s Advocacy Center
Hurricane Michael Over Six Months Later: Robert’s Story
By Carrie Hunter A large group of people wait outside of Innovative Charities in Jackson County an hour before the food pantry opens. Rules for hurricane relief supplies and how to register...
Don’t Mess with Beachcomber
Recently, someone on Twitter called this publication “un-American” and said some really terrible things about us. And about you, loyal readers. His body was later found in a Tom Thumb parking...
Wolf Preserve Commemorates Two Decades
Seacrest Wolf Preserve celebrates their 20th year with a Full Moon Festival event Friday, Aug. 16. The overnight camping event quickly sold out, but they have a constant stream of events and...
Art Classes & Workshops
ARTS AND DESIGN SOCIETY (ADSO) Classes at the Art Center, Fort Walton Beach. More info at artsdesignsociety.org. Mondays and Wednesdays. Clay and Pottery Open Studio, 9 AM-noon both days and 6:30-9 PM Mondays. Beginners...
Where to Spend Your Happy Hours in Beachcomberland
Baxter’s Bar & Grille 605 James Lee Road Fort Walton Beach 850-812-6868 When: 3-6 PM and 10 PM-Midnight daily. Drink Specials: $3 wells, $2 drafts. Camille’s at Crystal Beach 2931 Scenic Highway...
Beachcomber Music Awards #11 Set for Monday, Aug. 26… Call in Sick Tuesday, Aug. 27!
In case you’ve been living on Mars for the last few months, a friendly reminder that Beachcomber Music Awards Chapter 11 will take place Monday, Aug. 26, at Al’s Beach Club &...