Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sachal Vasandani- Royal Eyes

Eyes closed.

Did you know that Norah Jones has dozens, if not hundreds, of children?

They're not her biological kids. But Jones' unlikely commercial success has been so astounding that jazz-informed vocalists now have a shot at commercial acclaim in the post-Jones landscape.

One of the best of the new breed is Sachal Vasandani.

Don't mistake him for a smarmy new-school crooner. Where Michael Buble covers the Eagles, Vasandani covers Iron and Wine. And don't think he's a stuffy jazz formalist. Vasandani credits Bon Iver as an influence. It's precisely that progressive attitude that makes Vasandani so refreshing.

We Move, his excellent new album, contains a few songs that would please blue-haired fans of Frank Sinatra but still more manage to be entirely contemporary without ever resorting to smooth jazz cliches or failed stabs at pop.

Vasandani is also a gifted sonwriter. He explains the heart-wrenching story behind "Royal Eyes" in this video.

Vasandani was featured alongside Kurt Rosenwinkel and Jason Lindner yesterday at WBGO's The Checkout. Download the October 27 podcast here. You won't want to miss Rosenwinkel's appearance, but Vasandani's absolutely breathtaking rendition of "We Move" begins at the 17:51 mark.

Momma Norah would be proud.

I'm struggling with the new Tech N9ne album. K.O.D. is really dirty. Fortunately for me, the video version of "Leave Me Alone" edits out the most obscene lines. Tech gets bonus points for featuring Kansas City's skyline as a backdrop.

I didn't learn that Bruce Springsteen had canceled Monday's concert until I was a few hundred years from the arena.

The highlight of last night's BET Hip Hop Awards was the inspired performance by Goodie Mobb. In fact, "old" guys like Cee-lo, Missy Elliott, Eminem, Ice Cube, KRS-One, Mos Def and Snoop Dogg clearly outclassed the newer artists.

I'm encouraging my friends who think they don't like jazz to check out the Portico Quartet.

Kansas City Click: The unlikely bill of Jet, the Raveonettes, A Flock of Seagulls, Black Joe Lewis and White Rabbits has been assembled for a radio station event Wednesday at the Beaumont's Backyard. The Architects serve as headliners inside the club.

The wonderful Tommy Womack hits Knuckleheads on Thursday.

(Image borrowed from the Flickr account of ptcentrum.)

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