Fresh and clean, the jazz pop trio from Hungary called Mizar debuts their first international release, called Natural Design.  Reminiscent of 80s soft jazz and pop, the group’s tunes often call on a world beat flavor to add international dimension .  Lead singer Fanni Sarkozy’s vocals are smooth and mellow, even soothing.  And the overall feel of Natural Design is up tempo with warm tones.  Track 7, A Tale of Two Hearts, is my personal favorite and offers up some gorgeous violins and treats you to a dose of traditional Hungary seeping into the mix, just to remind you where you are.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know this CD, and it seems I’m far from the only one.  Smoothjazz.com, a longtime favorite internet stop among jazz fans, has been giving Mizar air time on their online radio station.  Several jazz radio stations around the U.S. have been taking notice and spinning their tracks as well.  And that beloved of jazz magazines Jazziz?  They’re calling them “engaging and atmospheric“.   And carp(e), a smaller fish in the big pond of indie music (that’s me in case you hadn’t yet noticed where you’ve landed), thinks the original Mizar, famed star of the Big Dipper, may have a bit of shining competition.  This jazzy version of its celestial self has its own way of expression:  smooth jazz drawing on various eras and cultures to build its own Natural Design.

Want to win your own copy of the Natural Design CD by Mizar?  I’ve got 3 to give away!  Scroll below the video clip for entry rules (but be sure to give the music a listen first!)

Video: While Natural Design is performed in English, the below Szombat Reggel is in Hungarian.

Multiple Options for Multiple Entries:

1.) Just tell me what you enjoy about Mizar’s music based on the above clip. Or visit BeagleBeat and tell me what else you liked there and why. (***You may enter once a day, but please list a new item you like each time.) Remember, leave an interesting comment. If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Blog about, Twitter, and/or Subscribe! Get an extra entry for each of these activities.  This time just leave a separate comment for each (only one time for each extra activity completed), giving me a link to your blog post, your Twitter name, and/or a note saying you’re a subscriber. (Subscribe in the upper right!)

(Psst!  My Twitter name is dkMommy.)

Feel free to do all four to gather multiple entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Wednesday, May 7, 2010, to enter.

Click Here for More Giveaways

In their new CD Altamira, guitarist Gabor Olgyay and percussionist Aurel Hollo of Hungary give us an intensely entertaining blend of world music and jazz.  While the musical stylings vary throughout, the most present sounds are those of the classical guitar, the meringue and wind instruments as well as occasional gentle vocals.  The compositions range from a more classic Spanish feel and hints of Hungarian folk, to more experimental jazz and new age flavored pieces, and each song progresses throughout the CD from the classical to modern jazz, making for a most enriching musical journey.

In this journey, listeners will start out with Abel, a gorgeous melody rich with the sounds of a Spanish inspired classical guitar, flute, bass guitar, even maracas.  Sunny, mediterranean, and a little jazzy, the feeling remains throughout the CD, but merges more often with gentle jazz rhythms and a decidedly contemporary sound.  The overall impression is of a warm and vibrant collection of Old World meets New, making Altamira a project worthy of an earnest listen.

Want to win your own copy of Altamira?  We have TWO to give away! ($12.97 retail, each)

Or if you can’t wait…

Multiple Options for Entry:

1.) Just visit the Altamira CDBaby page and listen to a few samples in the left-hand column.  Tell me what you like about the music and why. (You may enter once a day.) Remember, leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Thursday, May 14, 2009, to enter.

Click Here for More Giveaways

Nabil Khemir’s music commands a lot of attention. And why not?  His unique style of jazz fusion incorporates the incredible hybrid instrument, the RayJam, which was created by Khemir himself.  This one-of-a-kind electric guitar/lute combo allows Khemir to seamlessly move back and forth between the two instrumental sounds, producing a flavor that is all his own.  He’s been so successful with it that in 2007 he was decorated by the President of the Republic of Tunisia, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, for his cultural contribution to the country and his performance.  

Khemir’s third music collection, RayJam, offers five tracks featuring his masterful blend of Arabic-Andalusian and jazz.  Listeners will be giving their ears a real treat, something you certainly won’t find anywhere else for Nabil Khemir is certainly a one-of-a-kind musician.

Nabil Khemir is kindly offering an EP of his latest work, RayJam, to one of you.  The winner will be able to instantly download the high-quality electronic version of RayJam.  Want to win?  Options for multiple entries are listed below the video clip!

Multiple Options for Entry:

1.) Just watch the above video and tell me why you’d like to win Nabil Khemir’s EP RayJam.  (You may enter once a day.) Remember, leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Thursday, May 1, 2009, to enter.

Purchase RayJam in EP format here.

Check out all current giveaways for both my blogs here.

Click Here for More Giveaways

I’m a sucker for Latin jazz, especially the likes of Afro-Cuban and the sounds of the Charanga era.  Perhaps that’s why I’ve found myself lost in the sounds of Bomba, a latin-jazz group based out of Toronto, Canada.  The clean sounds of Cuban and improvisational jazz have been a real treat to my frazzled ears.  Mellow, crisp instrumentals, lively vocals and violin, and on-the-spot Latin congas and percussion give their latest CD, Cuatro Caminos, a winning sound that will appeal to a variety of jazz lovers.  

Bomba is led by percussionist Mario Allende and bassist Rubim de Toledo.  This CD also includes drummer Raul Tabera, violinist Aldo Aguirre, and singer Luis Emilio Rios.  What results is a phenomenal Latin group that has toured the world to great acclaim.  Bomba has even been heating things up globally, having played in the UK, Italy, Cuba, and even South Korea’s top international drumming festivals, but I’ve no doubt they’re just getting warmed up.  A musical force to keep your eye on!  

Ready to win your own copy of their latest, Cuatro Caminos?  Multiple chances to win listed below the video clip.

 

Multiple Options for Entry:

1.) Just watch the above video (from their previous CD Entre Sol y Luz) or visit their CDBaby page to hear clips, and tell me why you’d like to win Bomba! Cuatro Camino.  (You may enter once a day.) Remember, leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Thursday, April 30, 2009, to enter.

Check out all current giveaways for both my blogs here.

Click Here for More Giveaways

Looking for some sexy music to warm things up for a dramatic evening?  QuinTango’s dynamic chamber tango music is certain to heat you up enough to steam the very windows of your casa.  This tango quintet has just released its fifth CD, Triunfal, and its sound is wonderfully elegant, hot, sexy – everything a tango should be.  The quintet is made up of two violins, a cello, a bass, and a piano.  They’ve performed live the world over and have a dedicated following.  QuinTango has even performed at a White House State Dinner in 1999 when President Clinton hosted the President of Argentina, his Excellency Carlos Saul Menem.  

Starting in Buenos Aires during the turn of the 20th century, the Tango became one of the great dances of the Golden Age and has seen quite a resurgence of late through the rediscovery of ballroom dance.  QuinTango celebrates that history with its vivid collection of music.  The songs vary from the more slow and restrained to the all-out exotic and passionate.  If you don’t know how to Tango at the beginning of the CD, you’ll be looking for classes by the end!  Triunfal is certainly a triumphant collection for any serious music lover (or perhaps any serious lover, period!)

From the Washington D.C. area, this dynamic group has won 5 Wammie Awards, D.C.’s local music award, for Best Latin Recording.  See why in this video, then tell me what you think to win your own copy of QuinTango’s Triunfal CD.

Multiple Options for Entry:

1.) Just watch the above video and tell me why you’d like to win QuinTango’s Triunfal (You may enter once a day.) Remember, leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Thursday, April 2, 2009, to enter.

Check out all current giveaways for both my blogs here.

Click Here for More Giveaways

When you need good music and jazz is the answer of the day, try a little Tri Boro Trio.  Band leader and trombonist Rob Susman, with guitarist Ed MacEachen and Bass John Loehrke,  serve up a soothing and mellow jazz menu with the trio’s self-titled CD.  Many of the songs, written by Susman himself, feature the smooth sounds of his trombone as the lead.  Also featured are a couple Duke Ellington favorites such as “It Don’t Mean a Thing if You Ain’t Got That Swing”, and “In a Sentimental Mood”; both are fantastic arrangements with some very entertaining solos.  Having been a featured soloist with the Duke Ellington Legacy Band, Susman certainly knows his Ellington!  

Listening to the Tri Boro Trio, you might just forget you’ve got a CD in the player; instead you’ll be transported to a cozy little jazz bar where the music is hot and the evening is for relaxing.  Or perhaps dancing – tracks such as “Running with Scissors”, written by Susman, will make it hard to keep your feet still.  The way the guy can move that trombone slide, you may have a hard time concentrating on your dance moves, however.  Jazz lovers will want to catch the Tri Boro Trio in concert to see for themselves.  

If you can’t get to the concert, you should at least enjoy the CD.  Shoppers can purchase Tri Boro Trio at CDBaby for $9.99; or enter to win your own here at carp(e).  Rob Susman is giving away one copy to a carp(e) libris reviews reader!

Multiple Options for Entry:

1.) Just visit Tri Boro Trio’s CD Baby Page, turn up your speakers, play a few track samples in the lower right.  Come back and me why their sound interests you.  (You may enter once a day.) Remember, leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Wednesday, March 25, 2009, to enter.

Check out all current giveaways for both my blogs here.

Click Here for More Giveaways

Qawwali:  a form of Sufi devotional music popular in South Asia, particularly in areas with a historically strong Muslim presence, such as southern Pakistan, and parts of India. (Wikipedia)

You’ve probably never heard anything like the Brooklyn Qawwali Party.  I know I never have.  Energetic, jazzy music with a Middle Eastern hook, BQP gives us a whirlwind of sound in their self-titled CD.  Celebrating the music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, this collection features four intense tracks:  Mustt Mustt, Man Kunto Mavla, Beh Haadh Ramza Dhasdha, and Allah Hu.  

Who was Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan? He was a Pakistani musician famous for his qawwali music.  His traditional songs, put in the hands and the souls of BQP’s 14 capable and talented band members, results in a magical, heartfelt musical explosion.  Band founder and percussionist Brook Martinez became hooked on Nusrat’s music while attending the World Music Institute.  Martinez was struck by how closely the spiritual sounds were related to the jazz he loved.  He proves his point brilliantly through the arrangements performed by BQP. 

If you have eclectic tastes, if  you like  your music to take you places both global and spiritual, BQP is the place you want to go.  We can start you on that journey now – BQP is giving away a copy of their CD to one carp(e) libris reviews reader.  Please take a moment to visit the band’s site and listen to their sounds.  I want to hear what you think!

Or buy the BQP MP3 version here.

Multiple Options for Entry:

1.) Just visit BQP’s Website, turn up your speakersand explain to me why their sound interests you (You may enter once a day.) Remember, leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Wednesday, March 18, 2009, to enter.

Check out all current giveaways for both my blogs here.

Click Here for More Giveaways

Sam Lamont’s self-titled folk blues CD is a taste of sheer brilliance sure to inspire spontaneous fits of joy.  Pure, clean accoustics, earthy down-home vocals, and a musician who can do it all.  Lamont’s style is an easy, free-flowing sound with fantastic harmonies which gives the listener a break from the fast-paced soundtrack to life most uf us are accustomed to.  Lamont writes some clever lyrics as well, reflecting the things we all can relate to – broken hearts, worrying about wasting life’s opportunities, enjoying the perfect day with the perfect girl.  Hist oft-times Dylanesque stylings will have you lost in singing along.  Track #10, Nebo, gets me belting it out every time, now that I’ve heard the CD numerous times.  Many of these songs already feel like old friends.

Probably the most impressive aspect of Lamont’s feel-good music occurs when you realize he’s every guitar, bass, vocal, harmonica within the Cd.  he composed every song – a one-man folk and blues band, the production of such a work may just make you feel like quite the underachiever.  But no need to fret over your possible lack of self-motivation – just pop the Sam Lamont CD back in the player, grab a spot of sunshine on your porch, and press the play button again.  When you’ve got this one playing, everything’s gonna be alright.

Options for Multiple Entries:

1.) Just visit Sam Lamont’sCD Baby Page and give his songs a listen (down in the left-hand column).  Come back here to tell me what you like about it.  (You may comment once a day.) Remember,leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Monday, March 9, 2009, to enter.

Check out all current giveaways for both my blogs here.

Click Here for More Giveaways

If you were to blend the eclectic musical stylings of Nellie McKay add the incredible voice range of Kate Bush, you may begin to understand the wild ride Lesley Kernochan’s “The Pickle Jar” will take you on.  No need to try and pigeonhole Ms. Kernochan – that’s virtually impossible, and while it may be a frustration for many reviewers and music buffs, it’s a breath of fresh air to me.  I have listened to this CD countless times over the past few weeks, enjoying it more every time.  

Imagine being pulled and whirled through a series of musical stylings – staccato violins, banging pianos, musical saws, trombones.  Various key changes, tempo changes, timing; and that could be all in one song!  How it moves so effortlessly from mandolins and a little honky-tonk piano in one piece into a romp worthy of a stageful of dancing Roaring 20’s flappers I’m not sure, but every listen I give to it leaves me smiling and laughing at discovering some new piece of brilliance.  

Do I love The Pickle Jar?  Absolutely.  Will I look for more Leslie Kernochan in the future?  You bet your eclectic butt.  Due to this CD, I figured I’d better give special music finds the same carp(e) libris accolades bestowed upon my favorite reads, known around here as The Goldfish Award.  A humble award, yes.  I have no gleaming trophy to toss Leslie’s way, but I will offer up a virtual goldfish.  It is well earned in my opinion, and if you’re tired of the same old same old, I suggest you snag yourself a copy of The Pickle Jar and be prepared for a rollercoaster ride on a musical kaleidoscope.

Thank you to Lesley Kernochan for providing a free copy to one carp(e) libris reviews reader!  

Rules for Entry:

1.) Just visit Lesley Kernochan’s MySpace page and give her songs a listen.  Come back here to tell me what you like about it.  (You may enter once a day – following entries don’t require you to answer the question.) Remember, leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Sunday, February 22, 2009, to enter.

Check out all current giveaways for both my blogs here.