ARTIST

Henrik Schwarz - Instruments / Audiophile Audition review


In an unusual twist, Henrik Schwarz has pursued a career in German deep house music, while exploring classical and jazz formats. His skill at remixing music for clubs (including songs by James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Boy George) has brought him eminence as a DJ. Additionally, he has produced with Mary J. Blige and Coldplay. Schwarz became a pioneer in the live laptop performance scene. His music embraces minimalist format, but he collaborates with orchestras for his own compositions, some of which are commissioned. For his latest album, Instruments, Schwarz has taken a classical large chamber approach to interpreting his electronic dance music. With the Tokio Secret Orchestra (conducted by Emi Akiyama) providing violins, violas, cellos, double basses, woodwinds, bass clarinets and percussion, the sessions were recorded at Tsukiji Hongahji Temple. Arranged by Johannes Brecht, seven tracks are interpreted in an organic, "kick drum free" frameworks. The opening track, "Walk Music Four" (a reworking of "club" material) begins with a vibraphone/string counterpoint that builds a repeat refrain. At the 2:00 mark a rhythmic shift transition with bass clarinet and concise 4/4 percussion sets against accented strings. In the third part (or movement), the atmospheric dynamics return with the expanded instrumentation of the previous segment. "Marvin Two", comprised of bass, flute, viola and cello surround a single note with syncopated accents. This mood is interrupted (for a long second) with a gong. There appear to be transitions from theatrical festiveness and whimsy to dramatic accent. At nearly ten-and-a-half minutes, it is the longest track on Instruments.  READ THE FULL Audiophile Audition REVIEW
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ZOFO will showcase new album@Kronos - Terry Riley Festival


ZOFO is set to play the Kronos' Terry Riley Festival in San Francisco on Saturday June 27th at the Joe Henderson Lab@Jazz Center. The festival which runs between June 26-28 honors and celebrates the composer's 80th birthday on June 24th.    The 90 minute event includes a moderated Public Conversation with Terry Riley and Kronos Quartet founder David Harrington to discuss their long professional and personal association. ZOFO will be invited into the conversation towards the end of the hour to talk about their new-found relationship with Terry and their new album, followed by a 30 minute music set which will include the world premiere performance of their commission from Terry, "Praying Mantis Rag."  They will also perform their original arrangements of two pieces originally commissioned by the Kronos Quartet - G Song and Half-Wolf Dances Mad in Moonlight.
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Nelson Freire - Chopin / KDFC: CD Of the Week


In the third of three new landmark albums on the Decca label, Nelson Freire marks his 70th birthday year with a stunning recording of Chopin's lyrical and brilliant Piano Concerto No. 2 made in Cologne with the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln and Lionel Bringuier, one of the most talked-about of the younger generation of conductors. The release also features some favorite Chopin solo works – the Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52, the Berceuse in D flat major, Op. 57, the Polonaise in A flat major, Op. 53, Three Mazurkas, Op. 50, plus the Impromptu in G flat major Op. 51. This is Freire's fourth Chopin recording for Decca, which includes his celebrated set of the complete Nocturnes, of which the Guardian wrote: "[Freire] respects the poise and elegance of the melodic lines, floating them exquisitely while teasing out the harmonies beneath with fastidious care; this is Chopin playing of high quality, from one of the finest pianists alive today." This new Chopin collection by Freire is the KDFC: San Francisco - CD Of the Week
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Pablo Marquez - El Cuchi bien temperado / WFMT: New Release of the Week


Gustavo "Cuchi" Leguizamón (1917-2000) was a unique figure in the musical culture of Argentina. Born in Salta (where guitarist Pablo Márquez was raised), Leguizamón was a poet, composer, pianist and guitarist, a popular artist and a highly sophisticated musician. He was rooted in Argentina's traditional music, but also brought a new harmonic freedom to it, inspired by classical music and by 20th century composers including Debussy, Ravel and Schoenberg. Gustavo Leguizamon: Zamba de Lozano (4:47); El silbador (3:59) from Pablo Márquez - El Cuchi bien temperado: Music of Gustavo Leguizamon ECM New Series is a WFMT: Chicago 'New Release of the Week.'
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Zofo Plays Terry Riley is the WFMT: New Release Of the Week


Zofo is at it again, this time with an all-Terry Riley album, which includes original compositions, arrangements and a special commission by the duet. It is quite evident in this music that the composer and the performers were personally engaged in the making of this electrifying project. Riley himself said: "There is nothing quite like hearing the full 8 octaves of a piano sounding in all its orchestral richness." Riley: Jaztine (8:53) from Zofo Plays Terry Riley on Sono Luminus is the WFMT: Chicago 'NEW RELEASE OF THE WEEK'            
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The Catalyst Quartet - Bach/Gould / WFMT: CD Of the Week


Through a collaborative arranging process, the Catalyst Quartet has created the first fully realized 4-voiced version of the Goldberg Variations for string quartet. The album features this special contribution to the string quartet repertoire along with Glenn Gould's only published composition, his String Quartet Op. 1, completed just before recording his own debut album of the Goldberg Variations in 1955. Having been collectively inspired by Bach's genius and Glenn Gould, the artist responsible for bringing the Variations into our collective consciousness, we have decided to explore and highlight this three dimensional relationship amongst Bach, Glenn Gould, and the medium of the string quartet. The Gould: String Quartet No 1 (35:47) by The Catalyst Quartet from their Bach/Gould recording on Azica is a WFMT: Chicago 'CD Of the Week'
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Peter Boyer's 'Silver Fanfare' featured@Hollywood Bowl opening night with Journey


Rock music superstars Journey will launch this year's Hollywood Bowl season on June 20th with a spectacular full-length set to benefit the LA Phil and its education/community programs. 'Opening Night at the Bowl' is one of the most anticipated highlights of the summer season and culminates in a spectacular fireworks display. The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, led by Principal Conductor Thomas Wilkins, will open the program with Peter Boyer's 'Silver Fanfare' which Boyer composed for the Pacific Symphony some years ago, and which opens his recent Naxos recording. Boyer commented - "I grew up listening to 'Escape', 'Frontiers', and simply never would have imagined that my music would be on the same program with them at the Hollywood Bowl. Though my orchestrations have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl before, this will be the first time my own music will be performed there. It's been a LONG wait for this moment... but, to quote the Journey song, "Don't Stop Believin'", and yes, "Hold on to that feeling."
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Jersey City composer and dancer make their mark / Hudson Reporter


Ariel Grossman grew up in New York City. David Homan grew up in Gainesville, Fla. She is a dancer; he is a composer. As a compromise between urban and suburban, the artistic couple ended up in Jersey City, where they are raising a family while pursing their careers. Scheduled to take part in a series of performances from Thursday to Saturday, May 28-30 New York Live Arts Theater, they are among several diverse artists to find common ground in a performance series of cutting-edge contemporary dance that includes Carolyn Dorfman Dance, Sean Curran, Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch, and Paul Dennis. Their company, called Ariel Rivka Dance (ARD), will premier "Ori," which is their collaboration. Meaning "my light" in Hebrew, Ori manipulates fast- paced lighting shifts and their consequent shadows to create a raw, energetic performance by seven contemporary ballet dancers and four electrifying cellists.

The husband and wife team founded Ariel Rivka Dance in 2008 as a contemporary ballet company based in New York City. Committed to creating work that explores raw emotion in the context of strong technique and form, ARD's most recent work, "The Book of Esther," tours nationwide including performances at the Gershman Y in Philadelphia, Pa., and the Center for Jewish History in New York City. "In a lot of my music, my intention is to get to the core emotional as quickly as possible." – David Homan READ THE FULL Hudson Reporter ARTICLE READ THE Jewish Week ARTICLE
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Spotify CEO says middlemen gobble cash / New York Post


Musicians say they're receiving micro-pennies for streaming while Spotify says its paying big bucks. So what gives? After speaking at Spotify's press conference unveiling its new video product and mood-music playlists, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek sat down and told On the Money that his company is paying big artists between $5 million and $10 million annually. "That is meaningful money." So where is it going? Ek responds: "I don't want to point fingers. I think it's more of a systemic thing." READ THE FULL New York Post ARTICLE
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Snarky Puppy keyboardist Bill Laurance releases Swift / theguardian review


With last year's Flint, Snarky Puppy's British keyboardist Bill Laurance revealed his parallel life as an imaginative TV and film composer, and used the band's powerful rhythm team of bassist Michael League and drummer Robert "Sput" Searight to reinforce the point. Swift resumes where Flint off, with Laurance further broadening his soundworld of blended classical music, jazz, funk grooves and improv. Vocoder speech-bends nudge through orchestral swirls and heart-thudding drums, while whimsical piano vamps and soft bass figures become gliding dances pushed by choppy cello riffs. The title track has a hard-rocking undertow that drives a cooing wordless vocal and then a dubstep groove, and the dramatic U-Bahn showcases Laurance's powerful writing for cello. A percussion showcase for Searight on The Rush, north-Africanised world-music on Red Sand, and imaginative use of electronica on Mr Elevator testify to the formidable Laurance's rapid evolution, even if it's toward a musical world in which most forms of jazz-rooted improv have to be content with a textural role.  SEE theguardian PAGE
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Mike Garson, David Bowie's piano man / The Irish Times


On May 5th, the one millionth visitor was welcomed to the David Bowie Is exhibition, which began at London's V&A in 2013 and has now reached Paris. The resurgence of interest in Bowie, with 2013's album The Next Day, his first in 10 years, rapidly becoming a world best-seller, has confirmed the durability of his stunning artistry. In the spring of 1973 I was an 11-year-old growing up in north London and going to weekly piano lessons with a little old lady by the name of Miss Beryl Silley. Given my surname, quite a pairing. My parents had sent me to her from the age of seven, because the miniature piano they had bought me was my favourite toy, which I took everywhere with me. I had started watching pop music on television and went to buy my first album, Aladdin Sane by David Bowie, in April of that year. It was a revelation to me. As its orange RCA label span on the turntable, my world was turned upside-down. Many of the songs were adorned with the intricate embellishment of bright piano, at turns both melodious and unnervingly discordant. Like shards of broken glass, the rapid, cascading high notes danced over the rumbling, thunderous bass runs of this pianist, who seemed to have at least three hands. My lessons with Miss Silley were never quite the same. Mike Garson's fusing of avant-garde jazz and classical styles on the sublimely original songs of David Bowie excited and inspired me, giving new purpose to my weekly lessons.  READ THE FULL Irish Times ARTICLE
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2015-16 Schubert Club Mix series showcases Crossover Media Artists / Twin Cities Pioneer-Press


A Grammy-nominated mandolin player and a string quintet that tackles everything from Mozart to Radiohead are among the acts booked for the newly announced third season of the Schubert Club Mix, a series of concerts that spotlight "a new generation of classical music." A series subscription for all four performances is $100 and goes on sale Aug. 3. Sponsored by St. Paul's Schubert Club, the concerts will take place in St. Paul's James J. Hill Center and Bedlam Lowertown as well as Aria in Minneapolis. Featured Crossover Artists include - David Greilsammer, Dec. 3, James J. Hill Center: Israeli pianist David Greilsammer is known for interpreting baroque and contemporary music. In this performance, he alternates between the two worlds of Domenico Scarlatti and John Cage, two composers born more than 200 years apart. Avi Avital, March 8, Aria: Grammy nominee Avi Avital joins Ksenija Sidorova (accordion) and Itamar Doari (percussion) for "Between Worlds," which explores the borders between folk and classical music. Gabriel Kahane and Timo Andres, April 5, Bedlam Lowertown: This pair of classically trained musicians presents a free-associative program combining music from four centuries, from J.S. Bach to world premieres by Kahane and Andres, each one writing for the other.  VIEW THE TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press PAGE
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Top 10 Albums for May

Tiempo Libre :

Panamericano

Three-time Grammy-nominated Afro-Caribbean group Tiempo Libre will release Panamericano, their first album for Universal Music Latin Entertainment in partnership with Universal Music Classics on June 30.  Tiempo Libre are seven classically-trained musicians internationally renown for their critically acclaimed, dance-inducing, Latin-fused music. "We have always written songs about our lives – both past and present.  But Panamericano is truly about Tiempo Libre today – living a culturally rich and fulfilling life, personally and musically, in Miami.  We are surrounded by people and influences from all over the US and Latin America who inspire us. And the featured artists on the album reflect that amazing diversity and inspiration.  This is possibly our most personal album yet – and to have it released by Universal Music Latin Entertainment is a dream come true," says band founder Jorge Gómez. 15 TOTAL Markets include: Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, Salt Lake, Knoxville TN Online: New World Buzz  
The Catalyst Quartet :

Bach/Gould Project

Through a collaborative arranging process, the Catalyst Quartet has created the first fully realized 4-voiced version of the Goldberg Variations for string quartet. The album features this special contribution to the string quartet repertoire along with Glenn Gould's only published composition, his String Quartet Op. 1, completed just before recording his own debut album of the Goldberg Variations in 1955. Having been collectively inspired by Bach's genius and Glenn Gould, the artist responsible for bringing the Variations into our collective consciousness, we have decided to explore and highlight this three dimensional relationship amongst Bach, Glenn Gould, and the medium of the string quartet. 22 NEW -  24 Total SYND: Classical 24 Direct: Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Detroit, Baltimore, Denver, Austin, Buffalo Online: ClassicallyHip
ZOFO :

Plays Terry Riley

ZOFO is at it again, this time with an all Terry Riley album, which includes original compositions, arrangements and a special commission by the duet. It is quite evident in this music that the composer and the performers were personally engaged in the making of this electrifying project. From the very beginning, Terry Riley worked in collaboration with ZOFO in the making of this album. Mr. Riley himself said: "There is nothing quite like hearing the full 8 octaves of a piano sounding in all its orchestral richness." He certainly makes full use of the sounds of the piano in the pieces originally written for piano-four-hands, from The Heaven Ladder, Book 5, which include the varying "Cinco de Mayo," "Jaztine," "Waltz for Charismas," "Tango Doble Ladiado," and "Etude From the Old Country." Keisuke arranged "G Song" and "Half-Wolf Dances Mad in Moonlight," which were originally composed for the Kronos Quartet, and Eva arranged "Simone's Lullaby," originally for solo piano. The arrangements were both challenging and fun to create, but ZOFO managed to keep the transparency and flavor of Riley's originals while exemplifying the unique potential for four-hand piano. The "Praying Mantis Rag" was composed especially for ZOFO, and actively illustrates their vibrant character as a duet.
Snarky Puppy | Metropole Orkest :

Sylva

When Snarky Puppy won a Grammy in January of 2014, the question I was asked most was, "Was this on your bucket list of things to do before you die?" And my answer to each of them was, actually, no. I have only one thing on my list. The only thing I want to do before I die is make an album with an orchestra. It had been a topic of discussion for three months at that time. During the October 2013 recording sessions for "We Like It Here" in Utrecht, our good friend Friederike Darius had invited two of the Metropole Orkest's managers to join us as guests. Within ten minutes of the performance's end, we had already crafted a plan to make a record together. Sometimes life is that easy. Not always, not most of time, but every once in a while, it is. 13 NEW  107 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Jazz After Hours, Jazz Variations, CBC Markets include: Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Portland, New Orleans, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Detroit, San Diego, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Albuquerque, Long Island NY, Hartford CT. Rochester NY, Buffalo NY, Honolulu, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver Online: MOJA, artsdesk, Taintradio, Jazz From Gallery 41, DirtyDog INTER: Canada, UK, France
David Sanborn :

Time and the River

After saxophonist David Sanborn recorded the well-received Quartette Humaine acoustic jazz album with pianist Bob James as a one-off for OKeh Records in 2013, the label continued the conversation with the renowned six-time Grammy winning alto sax star who released eight gold albums and one platinum. That exchange led to Sanborn to link up with his old collaborative friend, electric bassist Marcus Miller, to serve as producer in creating the superb jazz-meets-R&B recording Time and the River. "I felt like I was in good hands," says Sanborn. "Marcus can cover all the bases-as arranger, composer, instrumentalist, producer-and since we have a lot of history together, working together was like shorthand." 8 NEW  142 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Jazz After Hours DIRECT: In-Flight Markets include: New York, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Miami, Atlanta, Miami, Minneapolis, Portland, Houston, Baltimore, Denver, Detroit, Milwaukee, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Orlando, Memphis, Albuquerque, San Antonio, El Paso, Omaha, Raleigh NC, Honolulu, Toronto, Vancouver, UK Online: Jazz From Gallery 41, GreenArrow, MOJA, JazzBreakfast, TheJazzIntersection, JazzRadio.com, JazzWeekly, Taintradio, SoulandJazz.com INTER: Canada, UK, Australia 55 JazzWeek ADD's Reported by New World 'n' Jazz Promo
Pablo Marquez :

Gustavo Leguizamon - El Cuchi bien temperado

Guitarist Pablo Márquez celebrates the work of a remarkable figure in Argentinean music: Gustavo "Cuchi" Leguizamón. Leguizamón (1917-2000) was a composer, pianist, guitarist, poet - and also a lawyer and teacher in the city of Salta where Marquez grew up.  It was in his teaching capacity that Márquez first encountered him in person: "He was my history teacher at the Collegio Nacional when I was thirteen years old. When I saw Dr. Gustavo Leguizamón come into the classroom for the first time, I had no idea that I was in the presence of one of one of Argentina's greatest musicians, the composer of famous zambas I'd known and sung since early childhood. Cuchi liked to say that ‘the ultimate accolade for an artist is that people think his work is anonymous.'" 28 New:  33 Total SYND: PRI/Classical 24, Stingray Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Minneapolis, Portland, Baltimore, Austin, Detroit Online: Taintradio, ClassicallyHip
David Chesky :

Jazz in the New Harmonic Quintet - Primal Scream

Once again pianist/composer David Chesky courts a dark, masterful muse on this second recording by his Jazz in the New Harmonic quintet. The noirish atmosphere prevails from his first dissonant stabs at the keyboard with cool solos from veteran jazz artists Javon Jackson and Jeremy Pelt, while Peter Washington and Billy Drummond lock down the time. This is a different kind of cool jazz, one that grooves along steadily. Close your eyes and you can feel the pulse of the New York streets colliding with 21st century ethereal classical harmony. 12 NEW  117 Total SYND: PRI/Jazz After Hours, Westwood One Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Portland, Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, Detroit, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Madison WI, Honolulu Online: Jazz From Gallery 41, MOJA, Party 934, KUHS, Taintradio, Jazz Weekly, SoulandJazz INTER: Canada, Italy, Germany
Angele Dubeau & La Pieta :

Ludovico Einaudi - Portrait

Portrait is a string of recordings presenting contemporary composers with a unique musical signature. Ludovico Einaudi is one of them. A music that captivates the listener, a sonic landscape to discover"says Angèle Dubeau. Driven by the works of this grand and prolific Italian composer, the internationally renowned violinist shares once again her passion with the excellent musicians of her string orchestra, La Pietà. For her 39th album in career, Angèle Dubeau offers a unique revisit to Ludovico Einaudi's music, "changing its texture, rethinking its character, while bringing a new sonic dimension." 25 NEW  61 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Classical 24, CBC Direct: Music Choice, Spafax Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Portland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Austin, New Orleans, Memphis, Albuquerque, Columbus OH, Canada Online: Taintradio, ClassicallyHip
Tony Succar :

Unity - The Latin Tribute To Michael Jackson

Fueled by his relentless commitment, quiet determination and passionate faith in the loving message behind much of Michael Jackson's music, producer/multi-instrumentalist/arranger Tony Succar has thoughtfully created Unity: The Latin Tribute To Michael Jackson. The result is Jackson's timeless pop and R&B tunes, such as "Thriller," "Billie Jean," and "I Want You Back" married with glorious salsa and tropical rhythms, resulting in innovative, vibrant arrangements that snap to life with exhilarating energy. Unity will be released April 14 on Universal Music Classics in collaboration with Universal Music Latin Entertainment.  11 NEW  79 TOTAL SYND: PRI/The World Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Miami, Atlanta, Portland, Houston, San Antonio, Orlando, Sacramento, Tucson, El Paso, Rochester NY, Ft. Wayne IN Online: Jazz From Gallery 41, Taintradio, Music Times, Party 934
Riccardo Chailly :

Brahms Serenades with Gewandhausorchester

Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhaus Orchestra take another significant step in an extraordinary musical journey with the release of the two Brahms Serenades. The Serenades have been unjustly neglected and are rarely heard in concert, making them perfect repertoire for Chailly's enquiring mind. Widely respected as a conductor with a "rare talent for transforming music ripe for rediscovery" (Gramophone), his reading of the Serenades fits with his philosophy that "all music must aspire to be ‘new music' again". The recording follows Chailly's multi-award-winning sets of the Brahms and Beethoven symphonies. The album is available now. 28 Total SYND: Classical 24, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Houston, Portland, Detroit, Denver, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Denver, Austin, Buffalo Online: ClassicallyHip
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