The Ponys have signed with Matador Records. A new release is due next year.

I have no intention of turning this blog into the Reader’s obituary section, but another important musician has passed away. Cuban conguero Miguel “Anga” Diaz died on Wednesday, August 9, at his home in Barcelona. He was only 45. (I have no details on the cause of his death.) Diaz released a fascinating debut album last year on World Circuit/Nonesuch, Echu Mingua, on which he dynamically blended Afro-Cuban forms and rhythms with jazz, hip-hop, Malian grooves, and even tango. He first made his mark through collaborations with American jazzmen like Steve Coleman and Roy Hargrove before hooking up with the Buena Vista Social Club juggernaut, playing on records by the Afro-Cuban All-Stars, Ruben Gonzalez, and Orlando “Cachaito” Lopez.