Cally Banham speaks with classical radio about new 'Cor Christmas' recording

Cor Christmas is an instrumental collection of sacred and secular carols featuring the soulful sound of the English horn, performed by the Saint Louis Symphony's Cally Banham. Featured on the album are Banham's own ensemble Cortango, Adam Maness Trio, and Trombones of the Saint Louis Symphony. Cor Christmas presents a varied journey through popular Christmas tunes, presented in a fusion of classical and jazz styles and reimagined in new and sonorous arrangements! In conjunction with this release, Cally Banham has made herself avail. to speak with radio networks and stations around the US. Watch for our tweets throughout the day
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BRSO - Jansons, at their peak on Rachmaninov - The Bells / GRAMOPHONE

This superlative performance of Rachmaninov's choral symphony The Bells is one of those stratospherically accomplished, ‘cosmic' ones that Jansons says he is always trying to attain. For a long time my benchmark as a conductor of The Bells has been Evgeny Svetlanov.  Like Svetlanov, Jansons has Rachmaninov in his very soul; but he is also able to capitalise on his remarkable ear for colour, clarity and atmosphere, coupled with his distinctive energy and probing depth of emotional understanding. His Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, captured at Munich concerts in January 2016, is at its peak; the choir is well drilled, disciplined and red-blooded in the Russian text; and the three soloists are impeccable. Oleg Dolgov brings a lyrical, seductive tenor voice to the first movement; Tatiana Pavlovskaya is enchanting in the second, secure in intonation at that perilous climax where Rachmaninov has the soprano sing a high G while the orchestral harmony is luring her towards an A flat or an F; and Alexey Markov has a sonorous, burnished quality ideal for the finale. Jansons is well known and acclaimed for the detail that he can bring out of a score, and such is the case here with all sorts of subtle emphases and shifts of dynamics that highlight, for example, an unnerving stab of harmony or, in general, the panoply of bell-like sonorities that Rachmaninov achieves with only the rarest recourse to bells themselves. READ THE FULL GRAMOPHONE REVIEW
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After a busy 2018, Tedeschi Trucks Band are set again for Wheels of Soul Tour this summer / RollingStone

The road goes on for Tedeschi Trucks Band. After a busy 2018 and already with a hearty slate of winter and spring tour dates on the horizon, the versatile 12-piece outfit, led by the husband-and-wife team of guitarist Derek Trucks and blues singer-guitarist Susan Tedeschi, have announced they will once again headline the multi-band Wheels of Soul Tour in the summer. Rolling across the country for the fifth straight year, the upcoming tour will feature support from Southern rockers Blackberry Smoke and Americana duo Shovels & Rope, a group also made up of married musical collaborators, Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent. READ THE FULL RollingStone ARTICLE   p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d}
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John Coltrane, Bill Frisell & The Bad Plus make 'Best of 2018'

Though it's always been the case to some extent, jazz has increasingly become more an approach to creating music than an easily definable style. Scanning over the year's standout jazz releases, what's most impressive is the divergent paths they take, each boldly different and incorporating a wide range of influences in distinctive ways. The major story of the year was, all too typically for the genre, about a long-dead artist. Both Directions at Once, the much-touted "lost John Coltrane album," was indeed an exciting find, a thrilling glimpse at a previously unheard session with the iconic saxophonist's classic quartet at the height of their powers. It didn't reveal anything particularly new in the broad strokes, but it did serve as a reminder of Coltrane's relentless push forward. That quality is shared by all the artists on this year's list, all of whom are finding their own ways to reinvent a genre that thrives on continual evolution. From these 10 albums, perhaps only Walter Smith III's Twio and the Bad Plus' rebirth, Never Stop II, would be recognizable to listeners in Coltrane's era. The former is a tightrope-walking sax-bass-drums trio date in the Sonny Rollins mold, with the imaginative tenor saxophonist Smith unleashing torrents of bracing melody over the roiling rhythms of drummer Eric Harland and bassists Christian McBride and Harish Raghavan. The addition of Philly pianist Orrin Evans to the longstanding Bad Plus gave that impish trio a reinvigorating jolt of raucous power. Guitar hero Bill Frisell, meanwhile, continues to refine his achingly gorgeous sound with a career-highlight solo outing that is captivating in its shimmering lyricism. Here's the list   Ambrose Akinmusire Origami Harvest (Blue Note) Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg Dirt … And More Dirt (Pi) Bill Frisell Music IS (OKeh) Dan Weiss Starebaby (Pi) Tyshawn Sorey Pillars (Firehouse 12) Walter Smith III Twio (Whirlwind) Mary Halvorson Code Girl (Firehouse 12) The Bad Plus Never Stop II (Legbreaker) Dave Holland, Evan Parker, Craig Taborn, and Ches Smith Uncharted Territories (Dare2) Matthew Shipp Zer0 (ESP)   p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d; min-height: 14.0px} READ THE FULL ARTICLE
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Fado and flute with Susan Palma-Nidel / Jazz Weekly

The Portuguese traditional sounds of Fado are both celebrated and brought to modern ears from the flute of Susan Palma-Nidel. Produced by Gil Goldstein (who also supplies keyboards and accordion), the album boasts rich support from Fausto Bordalo Dias, Jose Afonso, Ne Ladeiras, Pedro Joia, Ze Manel Neto, Carlos Barretto, Ruca Redbordao, Sandra Martins and Leo Traversa, all mixing together with traditional and modern. Palma-Nidel's flute is warm and glowing lovely with guitar on "Os Indios De Meia-Praia" and the dreamy "Cancao." Folksy sounds on the strings team with the leader on the lilting "Fado Lopes/Meditando. Some wonderful intricate moments take place with fiery unison lines on the prancing ""Maria LIsboa" while the flute floats over the festive percussion on "As Certezas Do Meu Mais Brilhante Amor." The music oozes with taste like Serra de Estrela cheese. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d; min-height: 14.0px} SEE THE Jazz Weekly PAGE
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SLSO's Cally Banham adds a spin on Christmas tunes from the sacred to the secular / RIVERFRONT TIMES

For members of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, the holiday season brings a yearly dusting-off of some old chestnuts. As the month of December goes on, the SLSO calendar becomes less a showcase for the works of Bruckner or Mendelsohn and more a repository of holiday shows and Christmas pops matinees.  Cally Banham, a symphony musician who is normally featured on the English horn, notes that the SLSO's programmers walk a line between popular, seat-filling favorites and newer holiday fare. "I think it is a little bit of a challenge for them to come up with something fresh; there are obviously things that are tried and true, the warhorses of Christmastime like selections from The Nutcracker, that will never get old or tired," she says.  Banham is always happy to play the holiday hits; her English horn even gets a prominent role in a few of those Nutcracker selections. But this year Banham has added her own spin on a range of Christmas tunes from the sacred to the secular with her album Cor Christmas. Befitting her pedigree, there are plenty of orchestral assists from her SLSO chums on strings, brass and percussion. But across thirteen tracks, Banham collects a varied stretch of arrangements and moods that push Cor Christmas outside the realm of classical music.    CELESTE BOYER PHOTOGRAPHY READ THE FULL RIVERFRONT TIMES REVIEW
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Olafur Arnalds & Solomon Grey make 'The Best of Echoes 2018'

It was a wild year for music on Echoes and we've sorted through the hundreds of new music releases to pick the Top 25 albums for 2018. BAFTA winning artist, composer, musician and producer Ólafur Arnalds has unveiled his new track ‘re:member' featuring his ground-breaking new software, Stratus, which transforms the humble piano into a unique new instrument. It is released today Friday April 6 along with a brand new music video. Ólafur will be performing The Stratus Pianos across the world later this year, including a sold-out date at London's Royal Albert Hall and New York City's Le Poisson Rouge on June 30 (full US tour dates below). Human Music is a collection of intricately crafted songs showcasing Solomon Grey's cinematic-style emotive soundscapes. The album delves into themes of choice, love and loss, and was written by the band at the time singer Joe's mum was diagnosed with a terminal illness. The album was influenced by her passing. Solomon Grey explain, "The album is fundamentally about exploring loss and finding out how integral it is to life. That's where it started for us but it can mean whatever you want it to." Echoes is a daily two-hour music soundscape, distributed by Public Radio International and broadcast on 120 radio stations from Maine to Hawaii. With host John Diliberto, a writer for Billboard, Pulse and other magazines, Echoes brings together a wide array of styles, from acoustic to electronic, jazz to space music, the avant-garde to rock. Echoes is a sound that is cross-cultural and trans-millennial, merging cultures and forms, technology and tradition, the ancient past and the possible future.
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Sarah Brightman set to perform in Russia in support of her latest album - HYMN

English classical crossover soprano singer Sarah Brightman will perform in Russia in 2019 as part of the world tour in support of her latest album HYMN, the press services of SAV Entertainment and PMI Show concert agencies told TASS. The world's most successful and bestselling soprano will give concerts at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow on October 29 and at the Oktyabrsky Concert hall in Petersburg on October 30. Last time the singer performed in Russia in 2017. READ THE FULL TASS ARTICLE
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Sleepless nights with Andras Schiff and Beethoven / The New Yorker

In the mid-two-thousands, when Schiff performed the full cycle of sonatas at Wigmore Hall, in London, each of his eight concerts was preceded by a separate lecture-recital, in which he explored and reflected on the works more deeply before his audience (Wigmore Hall has since posted the lecture-recitals on its Web site). As Schiff opened the first evening of his lectures, which covered sonatas one through four, he advised that, ideally, music should be experienced directly-not picked apart or overanalyzed. Talking about music, he added, qualifying his own endeavor, is "really not my métier." Still, since Alfred Brendel's retirement, a decade ago, Schiff has arguably become the éminence grise of Beethoven piano performance. (Murray Perahia and Daniel Barenboim, both in their seventies, are close contenders.) So, métier or not, Schiff's attempt to "put a few ideas into words," as he phrases it, is well worth a listen-even for those who know the sonatas backward and forward. READ THE FULL NEW YORKER ARTICLE p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d}
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Yuja Wang has a thing for Bartok, and gets her first Grammy nomination / KPCC

Thirty one-year-old piano virtuoso Yuja Wang was born in China and was a stand-out talent from a very young age. She studied in Canada and the United States and today lives, more or less, in New York - though she's in such demand that she's rarely home at all. Back in 2017, John Horn spoke with her at Disney Hall as she was preparing for an engagement with Gustavo Dudamel and the L.A. Philharmonic. Today we revisit that interview, following her Grammy nomination last week in the Classical Instrumental Solo category for her recording of Bartók's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker. 
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The cyclone of exuberance that is Yo-Yo Ma, tore through the Washington, D.C., area / The New Yorker

The cellist is in the middle of a sprawling tour called the Bach Project, which involves performances of Bach's six solo-cello suites in thirty-six places, on six continents. Most of Ma's concerts are slated for large spaces capable of accommodating thousands. Each is accompanied by a Day of Action, in which Ma meets with local artists, community leaders, students, and activists, exploring how culture can contribute to social progress. In Washington, the venue was the National Cathedral. The Day of Action took place in Anacostia, the historic African-American neighborhood in southeast D.C. READ THE FULL New Yorker ARTICLE
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David Crosby Lighthouse Band set for Capitol Theatre - relix channel webcast / JamBase

David Crosby & The Lighthouse Band will offer a free webcast of their concert Saturday night at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. The livestream is presented by The Relix Channel. The Lighthouse Band features Michael League of Snarky Puppy, Becca Stevens and Michelle Willis. Crosby collaborated with League, Stevens and Willis on his 2016 solo album Lighthouse and again on this year's full-length release Here If You Listen. Saturday's concert at The Cap begins at 8 p.m. ET.

Photo by Anna Webber.         SEE THE PAGE
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Top 10 Albums for December

John Coltrane :

1963: New Directions

A selection of Coltrane's 1963 Impulse! recordings, derived from the original albums Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, Dear Old Stockholm, Newport ‘63 and Live at Birdland In the brief, bright arc that is the career of John Coltrane, 1963 marks a point of transition between past jazz masterpieces and future work, which would transcend the boundaries of the music itself.  That year's recorded output shows movement in many directions: a look back at the past, continued examination of a familiar repertoire, exploration of more traditional formats and a look forward at compositions and approaches that would further extend the reach of jazz.
Robert Ziegler - Czech Philharmonic :

Christmas at the Movies

‘Christmas at the Movies' is a dazzling new album of movie music that beautifully captures the Winter holiday spirit.  This stunning collection features some of the greatest Christmas movie themes of our time, written by some of the world's leading composers for the big screen and is guaranteed to enhance the holiday season for everyone. Featured movie themes span almost 80 years of big screen magic and offer something special for all the family, from timeless classics such as 'The Wizard of Oz', 'White Christmas' and 'Home Alone' through to unmissable contemporary Christmas blockbusters 'Frozen' and 'Elf'. Newly recorded arrangements by the renowned Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under Robert Ziegler provide here the perfect festive soundtrack for your essential holiday preparations - decorating the tree, baking mince pies, wrapping the presents and more! Relive treasured memories of Christmas movies around the fire or treat someone special with this perfect present - Christmas at the Movies – it's the most wonderful time of the year!
Giuliano Carmignola :

JS Bach Sonatas & Partitas BWV 1001-1006

Giuliano Carmignola has earned his reputation as one of the top interpreters of Baroque music. Following his critically-acclaimed recording of the Bach Concertos, the "prince among Baroque violinists" (Gramophone) releases a new interpretation of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, adding the first period-instrument recording of these works to DG's rich catalog. 
Gustavo Dudamel :

Tchaikovsky - The Nutcracker w/LA. Philharmonic

The Christmas ballet by Tchaikovsky that needs no introduction is brought to life in its entirety by Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Featuring beloved pieces such as the "Waltz of the Snowflakes" and the "Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy," this new recording of The Nutcracker is the first in Deutsche Grammophon's new partnership with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Dudamel.     
Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra :

The Capitol Studios Sessions

Decca Records is thrilled to reveal details of the forthcoming album from Hollywood icon Jeff Goldblum and his long-time band The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, entitled The Capitol Studios Sessions. The highly anticipated debut from the jazz pianist will be released on November 9, 2018. Goldblum, who has been playing the piano since he was a child, has performed with his jazz band at venues in Los Angeles and New York City over the past few decades. When he's not filming, the actor hosts a weekly jazz variety show at LA's Rockwell Table and Stage. Frequented by locals and A-listers alike, the show intersperses Goldblum's love of jazz with his passion and skills at improvised comedy. The atmosphere and energy of these shows is captured perfectly on this album, which Jeff credits to producer Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, Madeleine Peyroux). For the recording, Larry recreated the buzz of The Rockwell at the legendary Capitol Studios. The studio was transformed into a jazz club – food and drink was served to an invited live studio audience of Rockwell regulars, friends and family. 
Cast Albums :

Head Over Heels

The producers of Head Over Heels, the new musical comedy featuring the iconic songs of The Go-Go's – the most successful female rock band of all time, and Sony Masterworks Broadway today release The Original Broadway Cast Recording.  Included in the 20-track cast album is a true bonus from The Go-Go's themselves: an exclusive new recording of one of the band's most popular songs, "This Town," which marks their first studio recording in more than 17 years since their album God Bless The Go-Go's (2000). The track, produced by Scott Sigman, was recorded exclusively for the Broadway collection by members Charlotte Caffey, Belinda Carlisle, Gina Schock, Kathy Valentine and Jane Wiedlin.  The album is produced by Scott M. Riesett and Tom Kitt with co-producers Louise Gund and Christine Russell, engineered by Isaiah Abolin and Lawrence Manchester, and was recorded at the DiMenna Center in New York City on August 26-28.
Tall Heights :

Pretty Colors For Your Actions

Rising duo Tall Heights release their much-anticipated sophomore album Pretty Colors For Your Actions today via Sony Music Masterworks.  Pretty Colors For Your Actions heralds a new chapter for Tall Heights, who made their major label debut with 2016's Neptune and have since racked up 140 million streams to date as well as critical acclaim from the likes of NPR, Wall Street Journal, Paste, Stereogum and more.  The 11-track collection is grounded by the duo's signature melodies, layered and shaped with live instrumentation and contemporary production to create a sonic universe all their own.  
Imogen Heap :

The Music of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Written, composed, performed and recorded by Grammy and Ivor Novello Award-winner Imogen Heap, The Music of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is presented as four contemporary musical suites, each showcasing one of the play's theatrical acts.  This unique new album format from Imogen Heap chronologically features the music heard in the stage production, further reworked to transport listeners on a sonic journey through the world of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Charlie Haden-Brad Mehldau :

Long Ago and Far Away

Legendary jazz bass player Charlie Haden and pianist Brad Mehldau joined forces back in November 2007 to perform together at the Christuskirche church in Mannheim, resulting in the live recording Long Ago and Far Away. After 11 years, the recording has finally been released on Impulse! Records. After meeting for the first time back in 1993, Haden found a way to bring Mehldau out to LA to perform with himself and Lee Konitz at the Jazz Bakery in 1996. This led to a trio recording on Blue Note (1997) called Alone Together. In 2011, he and Brad recorded a live album with Lee Konitz and Paul Motian for ECM called Live at Birdland. Mehldau and Haden remained friends from the time of their first meeting – they had a special connection. In the early days, Haden, in a sense, mentored this young pianist in life lessons. He would later go on to pronounce Mehldau one of the most important musicians of his generation because of his unique voice, his depth of knowledge and facility on the instrument, and how he has moved the language of jazz forward.
Brian Newman :


Trumpeter and singer Brian Newman's first album for Verve, SHOWBOAT, is out today and features a brand new track with his long-time friend and colleague  LADY GAGA on "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," a song that was first recorded by Nina Simone in 1964, and subsequently covered by The Animals. Joe Cocker and Elvis Costello among a host of other artists through the decades.  Brian explains, "Please Don't let Me Be Misunderstood was on a short list of songs we wanted to record with LG. Our choices of how to arrange this song and every song always stays true to our original sound as a band. While steeped in the tradition of the Great American Songbook and at the same time we are pushing the boundaries of the music we know and love. LG makes that very easy for us because of her great range and vast knowledge of the music. We didn't want to do what was already done and make it our own. This definitely shines on this track and I'm excited for everyone to hear it!"