Snarky Puppy-Culcha Vulcha / theartsdesk

Snarky Puppy make music on their own terms. Boundary-straddling is their stock in trade, from their origins between Brooklyn and Texas, their technique comprising complex orchestration and individual improv, an expansive approach to genre that spans spiky experimental to the seediest lounge-funk, and an aesthetic that's heavily amplified but flavoured with horn-driven acoustic sound. After a series of Family Dinner albums that flouted their eclecticism with guest appearances from world music, gospel and blues stars including Lalah Hathaway, Salif Keita and Laura Mvula, for Culcha Vulcha, their 11th album and first studio album in eight years, they retreated to an isolated Texan recording studio, and have created an original album of darker, intensely experimental and introspective music. The tricksy, addictive jazz-funk fusion is immediately recognisable, but there's less showmanship than on their live albums, while the sparks from their creative forge come through bright and loud. The big-stage energy that characterises their live performances becomes a slow-burn stew of playfully fused influences, diverse in origin but united by a slick, big-band funkiness. The intellectual heat of composition is most evident in the choppy rhythm of "Grown Folks" or the sizzling energy of "Palermo", while the cinematic space of the Texan landscape emerges in "Big Ugly", a moody portrait of epic horizons. The band's homage to smoky funk electronica smoulders through "Beep Box" and "Gemini", while some of the crowd-pleasing melodic invention familiar from the live releases wafts through two of the less intense tracks, "Servente" and "Go". Acoustic brass blurs to trancey electronica on "Palermo" and "Grown Folks" – for me, the stand-outs – while the more cerebral opportunities of the studio show Michael League's Grammy-winners briefly leaving jazz-funk for a more spacey electronica. Occasionally, with the studio freedom, comes a sense of experimentation for its own sake, but listeners who appreciate the band's attempts to keep a foot in four or five musical camps simultaneously will enjoy this more intense stage of their musical journey.   READ THE FULL artsdesk ARTICLE
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Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra - Ravel: Complete is WFMT 'New Release Of the Week'

This four-album set features Maurice Ravel's complete orchestral works and concertos, performed by the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra under its new music director, Lionel Bringuier. The choice of the composer was a carefully-considered artistic decision according to Bringuier: "For my first recordings with the Tonhalle Orchestra, I've opted for Ravel. We all know his Daphnis et Chloé, Boléro and La Valse. A complete cycle allows us to get to know some lesser-known works as well." NEW RELEASE OF THE WEEK Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra / Lionel Bringuier - Ravel: Complete Orchestral Works on Deutsche Grammophon is the WFMT: Chicago 'New Release Of the Week.' Featured track - Ravel: Le Tombeau de Couperin (16:41)
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Ola Gjeilo - Voices, Piano, Strings / WFMT: Featured New Release

Norwegian-born Ola Gjeilo is one of the most frequently performed composers in the choral world. Improvisations over his own works have become a trademark of his collaborations and are featured within the eleven tracks on this album. His approach to choral music draws inspiration from his Nordic background and from composers such as Morten Lauridsen, John Adams, John Tavener and Alexandre Desplat. Ola Gjeilo: Voices, Piano, Strings on Decca is the WFMT: Chicago 'Featured Release. Featured tracks are Gjeilo: Serenity (5:09); The Lake Isle (6:18). Tenebrae; Voces8;   Chamber Orchestra of London / Ola Gjeilo, piano      
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Simone Dinnerstein set to play Simms PAC / Albuquerque Journal

Noted pianist Simone Dinnerstein is asking her May 8 concert audience to keep their minds, and their ears, open. For the program, Dinnerstein will meld music by two famous composers – Philip Glass, a living American minimalist, and Franz Schubert, who died in 1828. Each half of the Chamber Music Albuquerque concert has its own title. The first half is "Seven Pieces." "I play continuously, going back and forth between Glass and Schubert," Dinnerstein said in a phone interview. "It's a kind of suite." It features "Metamorphosis One" by Glass plus four impromptus and two etudes by Schubert. For the second half of the program, called "Five Pieces," she will play a Glass etude and the four movements of a Schubert sonata. "I think there's a really interesting, thought-provoking connection between Schubert's and Glass' music. Both have a lot of elements in common, patterns, using harmony in a particularly expressive way," Dinnerstein said. "Schubert will often have these kinds of modulations, harmonics that are surprising. In my mind, he is looking ahead toward 20th century popular music." And she thinks Glass likes the element of surprise.  READ THE FULL Albuquerque Journal ARTICLE
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Q&A with Arturo Sandoval / The Washington Post

Renowned jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval has come a long way from the Cuban village where he was born 66 years ago. He has won 10 Grammys, an Emmy and, in 2013, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His many recordings have been influenced not only by his Latin roots, but also by such jazz musicians as Charlie Parker, Clifford Brown, Clark Terry and Sandoval's onetime mentor, Dizzy Gillespie. A U.S. citizen since 1999, Sandoval has continued to tour extensively while scoring dozens of film soundtracks and recording his trumpet, piano and classical compositions. Sandoval's Live at Yoshi's recording for ALFi reveals what's essential. In part, a greatest hits collection, a history of jazz lesson and a tribute to the trumpeter's heroes, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis and especially Gillespie, who remains deeply embedded in Sandoval's heart despite having passed in 1992. We talked to Sandoval recently. READ THE Q&A READ abc ARTICLE   Arturo Sandoval says he owes everything to the audience
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Rufus Wainwright - Take All My Loves / Yahoo Tech review

So sayeth William Shakespeare with the opening and closing lines of Sonnet 71, one of 154 infamous mini poems the noted English Bard penned about the passage of time, love, beauty, and mortality over five centuries ago. My fellow Bard has now been gone for exactly 400 years, having shuffled off this mortal coil on April 22, 1616. So who better to celebrate such an auspicious anniversary by focusing on his Sonnets' storied legacies than another noted wordsmith of our modern times - the baroque-minded singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright?   Released by Deutsche Grammophon in multiple formats on, of course, April 22, Wainwright's Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets merges pop, classical, and spoken-word themes to create a new aural hybrid. "This really hasn't been done before," Wainwright says exclusively to Digital Trends. "There's no album that equals classical with pop. Yeah, there have been some soundtracks and some rock operas, but they're not as pure as what this album has to offer in terms of those two worlds being very true to each other." READ THE FULL Yahoo Tech ARTICLE
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Rock Gets a Handle on Classical Music / Paste

One of the highlights of this year's South by Southwest Music Conference was Austin's hometown classical-pop ensemble Mother Falcon. Crowding onto the small stage at the Hideout, these 13 classically trained youngsters proved they could be as edgy and as riveting as any of the much louder rock bands blaring forth along Sixth Street. They did so by harnessing the strong melodies and pushy rhythms of their competitors to the kind of mind-boggling shifts from theme to theme and harmony to harmony that only classical musicians can pull off. The group held together through high school and college graduations to release its third full-length studio album, Good Luck Have Fun, last year. The record divides neatly into two parts: five vocal numbers that blend elliptical indie-rock lyrics with pulsing contemporary art music, followed by seven instrumental selections from the score for a forthcoming film documentary about competitive gaming. READ THE FULL Paste ARTICLE
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Harry Shearer sits in with Snarky Puppy at Jazz Fest

Just a few hours after headlining the Jazz Tent at Jazz Fest, Snarky Puppy took the stage at the Republic in New Orleans for a two set show that was heavy on material from their brand new album Culcha Vulcha. Though the show was technically billed as the "Ground Up All Stars" (a reference to the band's record label), it was undoubtedly a Snarky Puppy affair, as members Michael League, Bob Lanzetti, Nate Wert, Chris Bullock, Mike ‘Maz' Maher, Justin Stanton, Jason ‘JT' Thomas, Caleb Sean McCampbell, Jay Jennings and their newest member, Grammy-nominated New Orleans drummer Jamison Ross, were all present. When the band took the stage for the encore, New Orleans resident Harry Shearer, who helped the band with a cover of Spinal Tap's "Big Bottoms" while in character as bassist Derek Smalls.  SEE THE Off Beat ARTICLE
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Trio Settecento in Ames on IPR

Trio Settecento - John Mark Rozendaal, Rachel Barton Pine, and David Schrader. CREDIT JANETTE BECKMAN (COPYRIGHT TRIO SETTECENTO) Violin superstar Rachel Barton Pine is in the headlines because a pilot refused to let her carry on her Guarneri -but that precious instrument is only the most famous of her fiddles. Rachel is also a master of its Baroque and Renaissance predecessors, and she brought one to Ames for a concert of Italian Baroque music with her Trio Settecento.  You can hear the result on this week's University Concert. They played Veracini, Locatelli, Geminiani, and an honorary Italian named Handel (known during his stay in Rome as "my dear Saxon"). Karen Impola hosts and produces this broadcast as part of IPR's University Concert series. This is not the first time Rachel has changed flight plans to keep the Guarneri out of the luggage compartment, where it'd almost certainly be wrecked. (The instrument, worth tens of millions of dollars, is on loan to her.) Last year, she and her family slept a night on an airport floor instead of taking a chance on check-in. By the way, Barton Pine used the Guarneri on a recent recording of the Mozart concertos with Sir Neville Marriner; she talked about that set with Barney Sherman here. 
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Dom Flemons honors Knoxville Stomp / Knoxville News Sentinel

Dom Flemons and his friends were so inspired by vintage Knoxville band The Tennessee Chocolate Drops that they named their own band The Carolina Chocolate Drops in the band's honor. On Friday, May 6, Flemons will be part of the Knoxville Stomp, a four-day event celebrating recordings made at the long-demolished St. James Hotel in 1929 and '30, including songs recorded by the Tennessee Chocolate Drops. "The Knoxville Sessions 1929-30: Knox County Stomp," released by Bear Family Records, includes four CDs and a hardback book chronicling the recordings made at the beginning of the Great Depression. "The sessions are interesting," says Flemons. "They're a lot different from ones that were held in Bristol and Johnson City. They're a little more diverse." READ FULL Knoxville News Sentinel ARTICLE
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Five things you didn't know about Leif Ove Andsnes / LSO

The talented Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes is returning to the LSO for his second Artist Portrait, in which he is giving performances throughout May and June, featuring Mozart's Piano Concerto No 20 and Schumann's Piano Concerto. We found out more about his busy schedule, his family and how important he feels exposure to music is.  Leif Ove Andsnes - Concerto – A Beethoven Journey, Award-winning filmmaker Phil Grabsky follows the extraordinary Norwegian pianist on a four year journey performing and recording the five Beethoven Concertos. Filmed over four years, Concerto explores Ludwig Beethoven's life revealed by these masterpieces and Leif Ove's - ‘Beethoven Journey'  The London Symphony Orchestra presets - Five things you didn't know about Leif Ove Andsnes
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Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich tour is a triumph / euronews

Czech composer Antonin Dvořák's Eighth Symphony, written in 1889, was like a balm in an increasingly strident, mechanising world. The music has recently cast its spell again over the Konzerthaus, during the Viennese stop of the Tonhalle Orchestra's tour. Talented young conductor Lionel Bringuier has again been winning praise for his work. Invited to Vienna to play with him were two top soloists: Lisa Batiashvili and Gautier Capuçon. Their performance of Brahms' Double Concerto was mesmerizing. "It's a piece full of humour and lightness at the same time, and our two soloists are so gifted at bringing that out. I think it's like a dialogue, with the music rebounding from one instrument to the other. One only needs to look at the connection between them to feel that humour," says Bringuier. "I think very highly of Gautier. There was a time when we were both at the conservatory. I was thirteen and Gautier had just graduated, at seventeen. A few years later we met again on the stage: I as a conductor, he as a soloist. We love playing together!" READ & WATCH euronews
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Top 10 Albums for May

Snarky Puppy :

Culcha Vulcha

Snarky Puppy will release their eleventh album and first true studio album in eight years on April 29 via GroundUP Music/Universal Music Classics. Dubbed Culcha Vulcha, the record was recorded at Donic Ranch Studios in Tornillo, TX for a week, and nine new tracks. The album title refers to how we-the Western civilized world-have all become slaves to Pop culture, consuming as many messages to "buy", "be" and "get" as possible. We circle above and wait to swoop in and ravenously eat or "consume" as much messaging as possible so we can feel "full" and satisfied that we are "cool," losing our sense of self-confidence and self-acceptance as we are. 61 NEW  106 Total SYND: NPR/First Listen, PRI/Jazz After Hours, Sing Out!,  Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Cleveland, Portland, Denver, New Orleans, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Albuquerque, Madison WI, Boulder CO, Buffalo, Raleigh NC, Omaha NE, El Paso, Honolulu, Montreal, Toronto Online: MOJA, Taintradio, SoulandJazz, Jazz Weekly, Jambands, GreenArrow, stereoboard, 21 Jazzweek ADD's
Yo-Yo Ma & Silk Road Ensemble :

Sing Me Home

The latest album by Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble will surprise and delight, with guest performers and imaginative sounds that transform the traditional musical landscape. Sing Me Home is the sixth album by the Grammy-nominated Silk Road Ensemble and its founding member and guiding light Yo-Yo Ma. Available from Sony Music Masterworks. Sing Me Homeis a companion album, developed and recorded alongside The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, a documentary feature from Oscar® and Emmy-winning director Morgan Neville that tells the story of the Ensemble and Silkroad, its parent organization. The Music of Strangers is slated for theatrical release in June. 23 NEW  95 Total SYND: NPR/ATC, Performance Today, C24 Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, Minneapolis, Detroit, Baltimore, New Orleans, San Diego, Milwaukee, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Wichita, Rochester NY, Ft. Wayne IN, Montreal, Amsterdam Online: axs, CCTV,, MOVE - Maneater, The Bluegrass Situation Mother Jones, HuffPost,  
Rufus Wainwright :

Take All My Loves - 9 Shakespeare Sonnets

Rufus Wainwright celebrates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death in typically dramatic fashion by releasing a unique collection of nine sonnets in stunning performances by both actors and vocalists. Set for release on 22 April on Deutsche Grammophon, it also marks the first collaboration between Rufus and Marius de Vries since they co-produced the epic Want albums. The performers on this new recording include vocalists Florence Welch, Martha Wainwright, Anna Prohaska and, of course, Rufus himself, as well as actors Siân Phillips, Helena Bonham Carter, Carrie Fisher and William Shatner. 38 NEW  64 Total SYND: NPR/First Listen, PRI/24, CBC Direct: Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco,, Houston, Seattle, Minneapolis, Detroit, Baltimore, New Orleans, Albuquerque, Columbus OH, Honolulu Online: AccuRadio, Taintradio INTER: Canada, UK
Tonhalle Orchester Zurich :

Ravel Complete Orchestral Works

Deutsche Grammophon is proud to release a four album set of Ravel's complete orchestral works and solo concertos, performed by the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich under the baton of Lionel Bringuier in their first collaboration on record. The new set represents something of a rarity in its completeness and in having largely been recorded live. The soloists are pianist Yuja Wang and violinist Ray Chen. The choice of composer was a carefully-considered artistic decision, according to the conductor: "For my first recordings with the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich I've opted for Ravel. We all know his Daphnis et Chloé, Boléro and La Valse. A complete cycle allows us to get to know some lesser-known works as well." This is Deutsche Grammophon's first collaboration with the renowned Zurich ensemble. 36 Total SYND: Classical 24, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, St. Louis, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Portland, Detroit, Denver, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Louisville, Buffalo, Louisville, Columbus OH, Honolulu, Canada Online: AccuRadio
2Cellos :

Whole Lotta Love

2CELLOS, music's most thrilling and progressive instrumental duo, release a new music video for "Whole Lotta Love." The new track combines Led Zeppelin's classic song with Beethoven's 5th Symphony.  In the new video, Luka and Stjepan show what 2CELLOS are all about – breaking musical boundaries! Check it out here. Of making the video, Luka says, "It was a lot of fun – we wanted to incorporate two different time periods to showcase that our music is timeless and for everyone!  It was a dynamic filming situation since we had to clone ourselves from 2 cellists to 4 cellists – talk about being in two places at once!
The Sachal Ensemble :

Song of Lahore

"Song Of Lahore" is the latest feature-length documentary from Oscar-winning documentarian Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. Set in Lahore, Pakistan and New York City, the story follows the members of Pakistan's Sachal Ensemble, a group of master musicians who find international recognition after decades of being forced underground by dictators and religious extremists. Universal Music Classics was enlisted to create not a "soundtrack" to the movie in the traditional sense. Rather, what will be available as a standalone music piece is a companion album to the film, called Sounds Of Lahore. In effect, the album is an "East Meets West" concept project. These songs originate from Pakistan, India, the United States and Jamaica; and all of them are centered on the theme of universal love and hope. The way in which through music, we find the light within the darkness. The album is produced by Grammy-winning producer Eli Wolf (Norah Jones, Al Green, Willie Nelson, Robert Glasper, Elvis Costello).
Soundtracks :

Hardcore Henry

Sony Music Masterworks will release the soundtrack and score to STX Entertainment's much buzzed about, adrenaline-fueled action film Hardcore Henry, which hits domestic theatres nationwide on April 8th. Winner of the "People's Choice Award Midnight Madness" at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, and a Headline Premiere selection at the SXSW film festival, Hardcore Henry is an unflinchingly original, first-person action film where YOU are the main character, Henry. You have just been rescued from the brink of death by your wife, who is kidnapped moments later. You have no memory, and no idea why the people who took her want you dead.  Your mission is find her, solve the mystery of your existence & discover the truth behind your identity. 17 Total SYND: CBC Markets include: Philadelphia, Denver, Madison WI, Boulder, SC-Statewide, Canada, Spain Online: GreenArrow, Jazz From Gallery 41
Axel Tosca :


It was a fore gone conclusion, that Pianist, Composer, Producer, Arranger Axel Tosca Laugart, was destine to be a musician. Born in Cuba to singer/folkloric songwriter Albert Tosca, and world renown Cuban vocalist Xiomara Laugart, his musical influences were everywhere, and his fate was sealed. His first interest was the guitar, but by the age of 7 he found his calling with the piano. He began his formal training at the prestigious Paulita Concepcion Elementary School of Music and graduated as a teenager from the equally well known Amadeo Roldan Provincial School Of Music. In between at the age of 15,Axel immersed himself in the revolutionary Timba and the Hip Hop music scenes of Havana. Currently Axel lives in New York City and performs extensively with his band (U)nity. He also occupies the Keyboard chair in the band of ALFI Records CEO/Guitarist Albare. 10 NEW  149 Total SYND: PRI/Jazz After Hours, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Detroit, New Orleans, Detroit, Denver, St. Louis, Baltimore, Milwaukee, San Antonio, El Paso, Hartford CT, Raleigh NC, Honolulu Online: Jazz from Gallery 41, Soulandjazz, Taintradio, Jazz Weekly, Part934, KUHS, Moja, SoulandJazz, DirtyDog, NextBop 35 Jazzweek ADD's
Sonny Rollins :

Holding the Stage - Road Shows, vol. 4

For his new album Holding the Stage: Road Shows, vol. 4, the great tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins once again taps into his vast archives of his own concert recordings to compile superior performances for release in the acclaimed Road Shows series. The album encompasses some 33 years (1979-2012) yet coheres with all of the compelling logic and narrative force of an extended Sonny solo. Released by Doxy Records with Sony Music Masterworks - OKeh, this recording is truly a treasure chest that includes tunes Rollins has never before recorded and musical relationships previously undocumented. "This album consists of various periods of my career, with something for everybody," says Rollins. "It's who I am, and the music represents just about every aspect of what I do." 28 NEW  54 Total SYND: Voice of America Direct: SiriusXM Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Detroit, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Albuquerque, San Antonio Online: Taintradio, Jazz Weekly, MOJA 19 Jazzweek ADD's
Valerie Milot :


The title of Valérie Milot's seventh CD is both a nod to the circle of valued musical colleagues she has worked with over the years and a reference to the loop as a musical concept, a seemingly simple melodic or rhythmical motif that serves as both framework and source of inspiration. The disc features six complementary approaches, from John Cage's ethereal In a Landscape to Frank Zappa's turbulent G-Spot Tornado, not to mention the premiere of Antoine Bareil's Castille 1382, written especially for Milot. The recording also marks her 30th birthday, which she celebrates here with some long-standing musical partners and dear friends. 44 Total  58 Total SYND: Classical 24, Echoes, CBC, TRH Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, Minneapolis, Portland, Detroit, Baltimore, New Orleans, Austin, Honolulu, Canada Online: AccuRadio, Taintradio, Journeyscapes