The Bad Plus return to form on 'It's Hard' / Kentucky.com


Maybe this is stretching the point, but there is a photograph among the inside cover art of The Bad Plus' new album "It's Hard" that speaks not only to the record's repertoire of cover material, but to the very nature of this purposely out-of-time jazz trio. It pictures two outdoor phone kiosks standing side-by-side with their instruments removed - the skeletal remains of a formative but obsolete means of communication. That's not to insinuate The Bad Plus is in any way an archaic band - quite the opposite, in fact. What it achieves on "It's Hard" is a return to form. There are no guest soloists, no outside vocalists and no askew production touches. It has the trio adapting a set of what could be called new standards, a collection of largely pop-directed works that aren't simply recast in a jazz setting but are wholly reconfigured. Such a task isn't new to The Bad Plus. The trio has interpreted a variety of material throughout its career, culminating with a full transformation of Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" on a 2014 album. "It's Hard," ironically, is both an easier listen and a more direct glimpse of the trio's sense of pop-to-jazz transference with seemingly abandoned works (by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio and Kraftwerk), contemporary classics (from Crowded House, Cyndi Lauper and Johnny Cash) and tunes representing two cross-generational jazz stylists (Ornette Coleman, Bill McHenry). READ THE FULL Kentucky.com REVIEW
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Yo-Yo Ma set to open 2016 Hong Kong Philharmonic season / South China Morning Post


The acclaimed Chinese-American cellist - Yo-Yo Ma returns to Hong Kong next month to perform Silent Woods and Zhao Lin's Duo with the city's top orchestra. Those attending Ma's performance of Antonin Dvorak's Silent Woods should prepare to be transported somewhere arboreal. "It's a case of ‘once upon a time'. You try to take the audience to that place – you want them to imagine that they are there," says Ma. "You want to be there yourself, you want to be absolutely present in the act of recreating the narrative. Dvorak's work is atmospheric, and in that atmosphere lies a true potential for magic." Composed in 1883 and transcribed for cello and orchestra in 1893, Ma will perform with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra on September 9 and 10 at the Cultural Centre Concert Hall to launch its new season. Also on the programme are Georges Bizet's 1855 Symphony in C and Zhao Lin's Duo, a concerto for cello and sheng that Ma will perform with Wu Tong. The HK Phil will be under the baton of Yu Long, principal guest conductor. READ THE FULL South China Morning Post ARTICLE
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Is Tchaikovsky's VC in D unplayable? Jennifer Koh explains / WFMT


Jennifer Koh, Musical America's 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year, headlines an album of Tchaikovsky's complete works for violin and orchestra. It's the "remarkable . . . thoughtful and vibrant" (Strings Magazine) American violinist's first recording of music by Tchaikovsky, who has figured prominently in her rise to the top ranks of violinists worldwide. Tchaikovsky's Concerto in D Major is one of the most celebrated and daunting works in the violin repertoire. The subdued Sérénade mélancolique illustrates the composer's ear for orchestral color. The delicate Valse-Scherzo melds old-fashioned elegance with spirited playfulness. Souvenir d'un lieu cher's poignant, nostalgic mood gives way to a delightful finale. Koh shared the top prize in the 1994 Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow, where she played the Tchaikovsky (and Brahms) concerto and won three special prizes, including for the best performance of Tchaikovsky's work. Here at WFMT: Chicago - We asked listeners to vote for their favorite violin concerto, and Tchaikovsky's concerto was the clear winner. Jennifer Koh spoke about what makes this piece such an enduring favorite, her own journey with the piece, and why the concerto was considered "unplayable."   Violinist Jennifer Koh, who just recorded Tchaikovsky's complete works for violin and orchestra, spoke about what makes this piece such an enduring favorite, her own journey with the piece, and why the concerto was considered "unplayable."
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The Bad Plus - It's Hard / Jazz Weekly review


The trio of Reid Anderson/b, Ethan Iverson/p and David King/dr continues to play with their winning hand here, by bringing their sound to music that inspired them in their nascent days. They produce unique and clever (dare I say tongue in cheek?) arrangements of songs that you'd never thought would be together on the same album. I mean, where else can Johnny Cash's "I Walk The Line" with a Grand Ol' Opry bass line feel at home with King's deft brushes on Ornette Coleman's "Broken Shadow"? They take the pop hit "Mandy" pretty straight while going kinetic on the staccato "Maps" and incessant "games Without Frontiers." Some rich spaces by Iverson teams with the dancing cymbals on "Don't Dream It's Over" and the team snaps on the New Wavey read of  Prince's "The Beautiful Ones." If nothing else (and these is something else), The Bad  Plus take the word "jazz" and make it a verb again. SEE THE Jazz Weekly PAGE
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Charlie Hunter - EHAPUTGPITM featured on Jazz Unlimited: St. Louis Public Radio


Jazz Unlimited for August 28, 2016 will be "The Keys and Strings Hour + New Music."  The Keys and Strings hour for August will present the quieter side of jazz with four female modern jazz pianists: Lynne Arriale with new music from Geri Allen, Hiromi, and Renee Rosnes.  New music with Dr. Lonnie Smith's Evolution group, vocalist Camille Bertault, pianist Bill Carrothers, Pierre Dorge and the New Jungle Orchestra, guitarist Charlie Hunter, the New Standard Jazz Orchestra, the David Weiss big band, harmonica player Gregoire Maret with Dianne Reeves, pianist Steve Cohn and a duet between drummer Whit Dickey and cornetist Kirk Knuffke. And speaking of Kirk Knuffke, Jazz Unlimited will also be featuring music from Charlie Hunter's latest album - Everyone Has a Plan Until They Get Punched on GroundUP Music/Verve Label Group, featuring Kirk Knuffke, drummer Bobby Previte and trombonist Curtis Fowlkes. The superlative ten-tune collection of songs-all originals except for one cover-is steeped in the blues and r&b. Hosted Dennis Owsley, Jazz Unlimited is a unique weekly radio show covering the continuum of jazz from Louis Armstrong to Lester Bowie. Each show is scripted and is based on a theme to provide the broadest coverage of the music.   SEE THE St. Louis Public Radio PAGE
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David Crosby sets dates for Boston and Connecticut / MassLive


Rock Hall of Fame performer David Crosby will head out on a tour this fall that includes stops in Boston and Connecticut. Crosby will perform at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Connecticut on Dec. 10 and the Wilbur Theater in Boston on Dec. 12. The shows are part of the a tour to support Crosby's upcoming studio release "Lighthouse" which is due out on Oct. 21. Crosby will be joined on stage by his studio collaborators including producer Michael League. When David Crosby released Croz in 2014, it had been two decades since his last solo album. NOW IN 2016, the 74-year old returns with Lighthouse, an intimate, stripped-down set that highlights Crosby's instantly recognizable voice, incisive songwriting, and incomparable guitar work.  SEE THE MassLive PAGE
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Kristina Reiko Cooper - Around the World with Love / HAARETZ


The new CD from cellist Kristina Reiko Cooper, on Roven Records "Around the World with Love" is a collection of love songs from all corners of the globe: America, Brazil, France, India, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Russia and Spain. Produced by Glen Roven and performed by Cooper with Or Matias at the piano, and Satoshi Takeishi on percussion. "Love songs are the most sublime expression of song; every country, every culture has its own ubiquitous collection of love songs," says Kristina Reiko Cooper. "It is fascinating how each country's  songs of love so aptly illustrate its national characteristics and charms. The French are elegant in their reserved lyricism, the Americans, optimistic, the Japanese quietly tragic, and the hotter  countries, passionate and sultry. I am Japanese-American, Israeli, and recently converted to  Orthodox Judaism. My cello and I have traveled the globe, so this project speaks to my diversity both musically and culturally."
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Jean-Yves Thibaudet - Erik Satie Complete Works for Solo Piano / KDFC: CD Of the Week


2016 marks 150 years since the birth of the world's first minimalist composer, Erik Satie.  This indefinable fixture of the avant-garde landscape of Paris in the early 20th century influenced composers as diverse as Igor Stravinsky, Philip Glass and Claude Debussy.   Decca's set presents Satie's Complete Works for Solo Piano performed by Jean-Yves Thibaudet with a bonus featuring four-handed piano music performed by Pascal Rogé and Jean-Philippe Collard.  Decca's set will be released on May 13, 2016. Jean-Yves Thibaudet - Erik Satie Complete Works for Solo Piano / KDFC: CD Of the Week
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Pedrito Martinez Group, Habana Dreams featured in Sep 'Downbeat'


The Pedrito Martinez Group follows up their GRAMMY-nominated debut with the release of Habana Dreams, pushing forward the group's cutting-edge sound with some of the biggest names in Latin music - Rubén Blades, Descemer Bueno, and Issac Delgado. Recorded in both Cuba and New York, the album marks the homecoming of Cuban-born conguero and rumbero Pedrito Martinez, and a return to his Afro-Cuban roots. With magnetic personality and dynamic musicianship, Habana Dreams showcases the group's impressive range, from contemplative ballads to electrifying rumbas, while remaining irresistibly danceable throughout. Pedrito Martinez Group, Habana Dreams featured in Sep 'Downbeat'
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Here's what other bassists say about Ron Carter / Detroit Free Press


Ron Carter's style has become so deeply embedded in the DNA of post-1960 jazz that his influence is impossible to avoid for contemporary bassists. You can't play the bass without studying the recorded legacy of the Detroit-bred Carter, the artist-in-residence of the 2016 Detroit Jazz Festival. The Free Press asked a number of other bassists performing at the festival to pick a favorite recorded track by Carter. Here's what they said: READ THE Detroit Free Press ARTICLE
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Joan Baez Announces Fall tour dates / mxdwn.com


Iconic folk singer Joan Baez has confirmed her latest United States tour, which will take place in October and November. The tour commences in the Northeast with an October 4 appearance in Portland, Maine and concludes a month later on the West Coast with a show at Oakland's Fox Theatre. The concerts in Boston, MA and Philadelphia, PA will feature a guest appearance by Mary Chapin Carpenter. The kick-off of the tour is specifically timed to coincide with Wrongful Conviction Day – in fact, Baez is partnering with The Innocence Project and Innocence Network during the entire tour in order to raise awareness of wrongful convictions. During each stop on the 20-city tour, volunteers will give information to concert-goers about the efforts being taken to exonerate individuals who are believed to be wrongly convicted. Keeping the narrative close to home, each city will point out specific local convicts who the Innocence Network believes have been unjustly incarcerated. "We hope to provide a platform that will amplify the heartbreaking stories of men and women wrongfully convicted, who suffer so needlessly," Baez declared in a press release. "The fight against their unlawful convictions shines a light on both a broken criminal justice system and the racial inequality of people serving time. I hope my audiences will be motivated to support their work."   READ THE FULL mxdwn.com ARTICLE
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KCRW: Rhythm Planet features Mehmet Ali Sanlikol & Whatsnext?


This week KCRW, Los Angeles - Rhythm Planet features 'The Turkish 2nd Line' from Mehmet Ali Sanlikol&Whatsnext? new album: Resolution. Sanlikol is an expert at Turkish music, and manages to put a little second-line gumbo into the mix in "The Turkish 2nd Line." Brilliant! Resolution marks a major step forward for Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol, the musical polyglot, multi-instrumentalist, restless bandleader and prolific composer who writes in both contemporary classical and jazz but draws heavily from Turkish influences. His band Whatsnext' -- a shapeshifting jazz orchestra that can be pared down to a combo, depending on his needs -- is a force to be reckoned with, able to conform to the demands of Sanlıkol's complex but accessible compositions and shift genres on a moment's notice. Sanlıkol was able to recruit a roster of A-list guests to solo on the compositions of Resolution, including clarinetist Anat Cohen, soprano saxophonist Dave Liebman, trumpeter Tiger Okoshi and drummer Antonio Sanchez. Moreover, he composed their showcases with them in mind after he secured their commitments, rather than try to fit them into the music he had already completed. "I designed (the compositions) to make sure that it was these four specific artists that these pieces were written for," he says. "This was not a project where I brought them in to blow. Absolutely not." Here's the full Rhythm Planet Playlist for 8/26/16: Wolfgang Schalk / "Zenzibility" / From Here to There / Frame Up Music
Carlos Henriquez / "Cuchifrito" / The Bronx Pyramid / Blue Engine
Mehmet Ali Sanlikol & Whatsnext? The Turkish 2nd Line (New Orleans Çiftetellisi) [feat. Anat Cohen] / Resolution, Dunya
Sara Gazarek and Josh Nelson / "Sunny Side of the Street" / Dream in the Blue / Steel Bird Music
Toots Thielemans / "Ne Me Quitte Pas" / Ne Me Quitte Pas / Milan
Irving Fields / "Mazeltov Merengue" / Bagels and Bongos / Reboot Stereophonic
Peruchin / "El Aguardiente" / The Heart of Cuba / GNP Crescendo
Chico Freeman 4-Tet / "Erika's Reverie" / Spoken Into Existence / Jive Music Austri
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Top 10 Albums for August

Mehmet Ali Sanlikol & Whatsnext? :

Resolution

Resolution marks a major step forward for Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol, the musical polyglot, multi-instrumentalist, restless bandleader and prolific composer who writes in both contemporary classical and jazz but draws heavily from Turkish influences. His band Whatsnext' -- a shapeshifting jazz orchestra that can be pared down to a combo, depending on his needs -- is a force to be reckoned with, able to conform to the demands of Sanlıkol's complex but accessible compositions and shift genres on a moment's notice. Sanlıkol was able to recruit a roster of A-list guests to solo on the compositions of Resolution, including clarinetist Anat Cohen, soprano saxophonist Dave Liebman, trumpeter Tiger Okoshi and drummer Antonio Sanchez. Moreover, he composed their showcases with them in mind after he secured their commitments, rather than try to fit them into the music he had already completed. "I designed (the compositions) to make sure that it was these four specific artists that these pieces were written for," he says. "This was not a project where I brought them in to blow. Absolutely not."
The Bad Plus :

It's Hard

OKeh Records/Sony Music Masterworks has announced the release of the eagerly awaited new album by The Bad Plus. IT'S HARD arrives in stores and at all leading digital retailers on August 26th. The Bad Plus' eleventh studio recording IT'S HARD sees the leaderless trio – bassist Reid Anderson, pianist Ethan Iverson, and drummer David King – returning to the distinctive deconstruction of pop forms that drew their first international attention almost two decades ago. Recorded this past April at NYC's Brooklyn Recording with longtime engineer Pete Rende (Joshua Redman, Bill McHenry), the album spans both era and inspiration as The Bad Plus offer new perspectives on classic songs from the 1970s to the 2010s.
Charlie Hunter :

Everyone Has A Plan Until They Get Punched

Charlie Hunter is not only a singular guitarist - he uniquely plays a custom-made seven-string ax that allows him to deliver bass grooves simultaneously with rhythm chords and solo notes - but he's also a creative whose style and expression continue to advance with each project he immerses himself into. Proof positive is Hunter's new album-and 18th as a leader-whimsically titled Everyone Has a Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth, out July 22nd on GroundUP Music/Verve Label Group. The superlative ten-tune collection of songs-all originals except for one cover-is steeped in the blues and r&b. Hunter has enlisted a stellar support team of trombonist Curtis Fowlkes, cornetist Kirk Knuffke and drummer Bobby Previte who play live in the studio for optimum effect. 14 NEW  164 TOTAL SYND: NPR/Fresh Air, NPR/Songs We Love, WFMT-Jazz Net, Jazz Variations Direct: SiriusXM, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Portland, Denver, Detroit, Kansas City, New Orleans, Austin, San Diego, Milwaukee, Baltimore, San Antonio, Berkeley CA, Indianapolis, Orlando FL, Jacksonville FL, Wichita KS, Omaha NE, Madison WI, Boulder CO, Hartford CT, Santa Fe, Honolulu INTER: Canada, UK Online: MOJA, WSJ, allaboutjazz, Jazz Weekly, Jazz From Gallery 41, GreenArrow, Downbeat, SoulandJazz, All Music, Dirty Dog, radiovalencia 51 JazzWeek ADD's
House of Waters :

self-titled

House of Waters (GroundUP)   "In today's world, there are no boundaries." Max ZT is trying to explain House of Waters, a nearly impossible-to-define trio that incorporates elements of Afrobeat, jazz, psychedelic, indie rock, classical and world music-as well as a 100+ string instrument that probably 99% of the mainstream music world has never experienced. Add in a strong spiritual and philosophical undertone, as well as musical and cultural influences that stretch from India and Senegal through Ireland and the heart of New York City, and you have, as one critic noted, "The most original band on the planet." Five years after their groundbreaking Revolution, House of Waters now returns with its eponymous follow-up. Alongside the eight-string bass of Moto Fukushima, the album features percussionist and n'goni player Luke Notary, virtuosic cellist Dave Eggar, flautist Sam Sadigursky and the singer Priya Darshini.
Olafur Arnalds :

Island Songs

Icelanders make up one of the most musical nations on earth with one of the highest rates of ensembles per capita in the world. How do the beautiful yet harsh Icelandic conditions affect their music-making' In Island Songs, the innovative and brilliant composer Ólafur Arnalds (BAFTA Award winner for Broadchurch) teams up with director Baldvin Z (BBC's Trapped, Life in a Fishbowl) to explore the vibrant artistic life of his fellow countrymen and women in a fascinating, real-time, audio-visual portrait of his home country of Iceland.
Jake Shimabukuro :

Nashville Sessions

Jake Shimabukuro's new album, Nashville Sessions, is one of the most adventurous, multifaceted and engaging recordings yet from the man whose music has redefined the ukulele for the 21st century. In Shimabukuro's gifted hands, the age-old Hawaiian instrument has become a medium for previously undreamed of levels of expressiveness and musicianship. And with Nashville Sessions he's reached a new plateau with the instrument. The result is one of the boldest and most unique ukulele records ever made-a new benchmark for the uke. 
Jennifer Koh :

Tchaikovsky-Complete Works for Violin & Orchestra

Jennifer Koh, Musical America's 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year, headlines an album of Tchaikovsky's complete works for violin and orchestra. It's the "remarkable . . . thoughtful and vibrant" (Strings Magazine) American violinist's first recording of music by Tchaikovsky, who has figured prominently in her rise to the top ranks of violinists worldwide. Tchaikovsky's Concerto in D Major is one of the most celebrated and daunting works in the violin repertoire. The subdued Sérénade mélancolique illustrates the composer's ear for orchestral color. The delicate Valse-Scherzo melds old-fashioned elegance with spirited playfulness. Souvenir d'un lieu cher's poignant, nostalgic mood gives way to a delightful finale. Koh shared the top prize in the 1994 Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow, where she played the Tchaikovsky (and Brahms) concerto and won three special prizes, including for the best performance of Tchaikovsky's work.
Soundtracks :

Florence Foster Jenkins

Florence Foster Jenkins is the new comedy-drama directed by Stephen Frears (Philomena, The Queen) which tells the inspirational true story of the eponymous New York heiress who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great singer. The film celebrates the human spirit, the power of music and the passion of amateurs everywhere. The voice Florence (Meryl Streep) heard in her head was divine, but to the rest of the world it was hilariously awful. At private recitals, her devoted husband and manager, St Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant), managed to protect Florence from the truth. But when Florence decided to give her first public concert at New York's Carnegie Hall, St Clair realized he had perhaps bitten off more than he could chew.
The Hot Sardines :

French Fries & Champagne

Formed by bandleader Evan "Bibs" Palazzo and lead singer "Miz Elizabeth" Bougerol, The Hot Sardines have released their sophomore studio album, French Fries & Champagne on Universal Music Classics. The record comes on the heels of their critically lauded self-titled debut album, which was named one of iTunes' best jazz albums of 2014 and spent more than a year on the Billboard Jazz Chart, debuting in the top 10 alongside Michael Bublé and Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga. 7 NEW   164 TOTAL SYND: NPR, PRI/Jazz After Hours, Jazz Happening Now, Radio DeLuxe, Jazz Inspired, CBC Direct: SiriusXM Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Detroit, Denver, New Orleans, San Diego, Baltimore, St. Louis, Kansas City, Orlando, Berkeley CA, Tampa, Santa Fe, Madison WI, Wichita KS, Omaha NE, Boulder CO, Rochester, WV-Statewide, Honolulu, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver INTER: Canada, UK, Italy, Singapore Online: billboard, Vogue, Bandsintown, Paste, examiner, Taintradio, GreenArrow, billboard, The Bluegrass Situation, Jazz Weekly, BroadwayWorld, Paste 36 JazzWeek ADD's
Various :

re:works

re:works is the result of a groundbreaking project that sees the rich catalogue of Decca Classics being opened to some of the world's foremost electronic producers, including Mr Scruff, Starkey, Henrik Schwarz, Fort Romeau, Patrice Bamuel, Martin Buttrich and Kate Simko. Re:works seeks to further establish the common ground between the historic and modern day aspects of musical composition, opening the hallowed Decca vaults-including works by Rachmaninov, Satie, Holst, and more-- to a selection of seminal electronic artists.  Ranging from the experimental to the more recognizable 4/4 structures of house and techno, Re:works elicits the full range of emotion – from the heartbreaking to the ecstatic – over the course of 13 extraordinary tracks.
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