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The Depue Brothers - When It's Christmas Time / Second Inversion 'CD Of the Week'


The DePue Brothers Band puts a bluegrass twist on classic Christmas carols in their holiday album, "When It's Christmas Time." In addition to performing their own arrangements of Christmas classics like "Sleigh Ride," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," and "Winter Wonderland," the album also features two original Christmas tunes. The DePue Brothers-Wallace, Alex, Jason, and Zach-grew up in a musical family, where they played violin together from a young age. Each of them has since grown into virtuosic violinists, but they still frequently perform together, especially around the holidays. The band also features their honorary brothers, guitarist Mark Cosgrove, banjoist Mike Munford, bassist Kevin MacConnell, and drummer and vocalist Don Liuzzi, he says. "All four brothers, when they're together and when the music is happening-it's symphonic in power," READ THE FULL KING: Seattle: Second Inversion PAGE
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'Boys of St Paul's Choir School' CD makes WFMT: Chicago / 'Best Christmas Recordings Of 2014'


Since 1963, Saint Paul's Choir School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has formed and educated boys in grades four through eight in the rich music tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. Their new album 'Christmas in Harvard Square' features 19 classic Christmas songs of both traditional and contemporary arrangements, including original versions by Director of Music John Robinson. Selected as one of WFMT: Chicago /  'Best Christmas Recordings Of 2014'
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Renee Fleming - Christmas in New York makes WFMT 'Best Christmas Recordings Of 2014'


Renée Fleming releases her first-ever holiday album. While known mostly as an opera singer, Fleming's career has encompassed numerous genres and styles of singing. For ‘Christmas in New York,' she sings in a more intimate style. The album features guest artists Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti, Brad Mehldau, Kelli O'Hara and others. Selected as one of WFMT: Chicago /  'Best Christmas Recordings Of 2014'
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Somi gets - "PopMatters Best of 2014" for: The Lagos Music Salon


...but that voice. No matter how many times you listen to this record and walk away, each time you come back, you're met with that reality: ...but that voice. You can quibble with Somi's The Lagos Music Salon being more of a jazz record than an R&B record, but why split hairs? When you create a set of songs this good, the act of genre classification is transcended. It doesn't really matter which box you try to pack this stuff in; all that's relevant is the pure quality, and in this case the pure quality is undeniable. "Last Song", a surefire candidate for Most Delicate Song Of The Year, is everything a great tune should be: passionate, affecting, irresistible, poignant, and versatile. So much so that by the time the second half kicks in, you can't help but wipe away the tears that first movement brings in order to get a clear vision of the dance floor. "Ginger Me Slowly" kind of sounds like Jill Scott wrote it and then two A-list collaborators pop up to cement this record's place among the year's best as Common offers up a peaceful verse on "When Rivers Cry" and Ambrose Akinmusire, who released his own viable candidate for Album Of The Year in 2014, adds dashes of trumpet in "Brown Round Things". Jazz. World. Rhythm and Blues. Soul. Hip-Hop. Funk. Reggae. Caribbean. The Lagos Music Salon belongs in all of those categories for a plethora of reasons, not the least of which being-you guessed it-the feather-like, angelically passionate voice that Somi is blessed with. Argue all you want about placement, but in the end it all comes back to the same three words: ...but that voice. http://images.popmatters.com/rating_circle_full.pngColin McGuire
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Blind Boys set to play 'Escondido' - Jimmy Carter on KPBS: San Diego


In case you haven't heard yet, this holiday season The Blind Boys of Alabama & Taj Mahal have a new CD together - Talkin' Christmas!  This summit meeting of two American music icons is available via Sony Masterworks and includes new versions, hidden gems, and seven brand-new holiday songs. A Two-time Grammy Award-winning composer and musician, Taj Mahal began his five decades ago career with the blues and has been updated ever since with original inspiring music. Commenting about Talkin' Christmas!, he says: There are just some wonderful tunes that allow me to find a totally different way to play on this album. It's exciting to be a part of something that is such incredible music." In the middle of an extensive tour to suppor the album, the boys who are coming to the California Center For The Arts on Tue. Dec. 23 took some time to phone into to KPBS: San Diego to promote the show. The segment will air today at 12:40p PT ( 3:40p ET ).    LISTEN LIVE
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Alisa Weilerstein interview with KDFC: San Francisco


Cellist Alisa Weilerstein is comfortable in front of an orchestra and playing chamber music, but her new album from Decca is just her alone. Fittingly, it's called Solo - and she decided to highlight works that have all been written for unaccompanied cello in the past hundred years, by Zoltán Kodály, Gaspar Cassadó, Osvaldo Golijov, and Bright Sheng.  For many casual classical music listeners, solo cello repertoire might not be very familiar. But Weilerstein says there's much to explore. "The Bach suites are of course incredibly familiar to the general audience, and there was this vacuum - there's no really good solo cello music that was written in the nineteenth century, but in the twentieth century, we have this embarassment of riches." The first work on the disc, the earliest, from 1915, is Kodály's Sonata, opus 8, "which was this really groundbreaking piece, that was really the first piece of its kind for the solo cello. Thirty-five minutess, stretching the technique to the highest it had ever really been stretched, and just really an emotionally satisfying, wonderful celebration." It uses the technique called scordatura, with two strings intentionally tuned differently than is standard for the instrument. "The lower two strings are tuned down a half step, each of them are," she says. "Which means that not only can you play chords which are simply not possible to play with a normal tuning, but it creates a kind of different sonority. The cello vibrates differently when the strings are tuned down to that pitch." It also means the range is extended.   All the works on the disc owe a debt to folk traditions. Kodály, who along with Bartok studied the melodies of gypsies they encountered in the Hungarian woods, Gaspar Cassadó (who was a cellist himself) borrowed from Catalan and Spanish folk dances in his Suite for Cello. Osvaldo Golijov, whose parents were Eastern European Jews, was born in Argentina. "And the Omaramor is a kind of long tango," Weilerstein explains. " In fact the cello is supposed to be walking through the streets of Buenos Aires. Sometimes these are rough, sometimes these are very melancholic, very nostalgic memories." Finally, there's Bright Sheng's Seven Tunes Heard in China. "Little vignettes, based on some ancient Chinese folk songs... also inspired by ancient Chinese instruments. And you also hear some more modern Chinese and Tibetan songs." For that work, the cello channels such traditional instruments as the erhu and pipa.  LISTEN TO THE KDFC: San Francisco - State Of the Arts Interview INTERVIEW
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Blind Boys play City Winery - Chicago


There may be some limited seats still available for tonight's The Blind Boys of Alabama's Christmas show Thursday, Dec. 11 at City Winery Chicago. The Blind Boys make atheists believe in a god Touring in support of their new CD  Talkin' Christmas!, a summit meeting of two American music icons the Blind Boys and Taj Mahal There are 6 original songs including the compassionate ‘What Can I Do?,' featuring Taj. He says "There are just some wonderful tunes that allow me to find a totally different way to play on this album. It's exciting to be a part of something that is such incredible music."
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The Great British Carol Collection is KDFC: Download Of the Week


Each week KDFC: San Francisco members can download a free mp3 from some of the biggest releases in the world of Classical music, "The Great British Carol Collection" is a 2CD set of best-loved carols that captures the essential essence of a traditional Christmas. This special collection features  the most popular classics, from evergreen standards "Silent Night" and "Away in a Manger" to "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing" and "O Come All Ye Faithful." The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge is one of the leading exponents of British choral tradition and acknowledged by "Gramophone Magazine" as one of the world's greatest choirs. On this beautiful collection, the choir performs under the baton of the critically acclaimed and internationally renowned maestro, Richard Marlow.   Join KDFC & Download a free mp3 of the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge performing their rendition of "In Dulci Jubilo".
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iTunes Canada selects Angele Dubeau - Blanc as 'Best Classical Album of 2014'


With Angèle Dubeau's 38th album - BLANC - the violinist once again demonstrates her great musicality and virtuosity winning - iTunes-Canada 'Best Classical Album of 2014.'   Joined by La Pietà, Dubeau focuses on BLANC as musical purity and serenity, referring to it as - "Luminous music that can bring interior peace through it's strength and powerful evocation."  An Analekta release, contributing composers on the disc include - Garry Schyman, Osvaldo Golijov, Adrian Munsey, Marjan Mozetich, Joe Hisaishi, Ennio Morricone, Mark O'connor, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Dave Brubeck.
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Yo-Yo Ma Interview with SF Weekly


In a 45-minute, wide-ranging phone interview with Yo-Yo Ma prior to a Cal Performances "Berkeley Talks" appearance / Wednesday, Dec. 10, the 59-year-old, 17-time Grammy winner - who plays his instrument with immeasurable assuredness and technical command - is primed to query and postulate.

Instead of exploring how to monetize art, Ma asks, "How do cultural citizens, those of us in the arts, science and philosophy, discover arts' essentials? What is the value of art besides monetary value? Are people getting art in new ways? Are they stopping to think humanistically? Do you know how many drafts it takes to make something readable?"  READ THE FULL SF Weekly PIECE
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Valentina Lisitsa - Etudes That Dazzle / KMFA Radio


Listen to the Interview with KMFA: Austin / John Clare  Valentina Lisitsa has tackled some giants – yet again! Chopin and Schumann Études out now from record label Decca are stunning, and as the pianist says, "...aren't the typical fare for study pieces." Having recorded Rachmaninoff, Liszt and Beethoven previously, these Études have appeared on YouTube, where Lisitsa gained her worldwide fame, with over 50 million views! Now for her latest Decca release she has included both Opus 10 and Opus 25 Études by Chopin, and the Symphonic Études by Robert Schumann. The Daily Mail in London writes "...exceptional value...enjoyable listening. She has a formidable piano technique, shown to best advantage in the Schumann, which [is measured and mature]..." in their record review. We think you'll love it too! This would make a great stocking stuffer for any music lover. Look to the right of the post title to find the orange audio play button to listen to Valentina discuss her new release, with insights about the composers, performing, and how "Chopin puts more than an entire opera by Verdi" in his music! 
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Jeff Ballard - Time's Tales gets NPR Music - 50 Favorite Albums Of 2014


The staff of NPR Music and thier member stations have once again gathered to collect thier' favorite albums of the year.' Out of the thousands of they listened to in 2014, they selected 50 that they feel helped define 2014. One of those was - Jeff Ballard - Time's Tales. Jeff Ballard, the drummer of choice for plenty of major jazz figures, waited many years to release a true solo album. What he delivered impresses with its range, but truly astounds with its execution. With only guitarist Lionel Loueke and alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón - no true bass instrument - Ballard summons parades, ballads, intricate rhythmic games, free improv, West African and Latin American colors, even a distorted-guitar Queens of the Stone Age cover ("Hangin' Tree," in 5/4). But everyone here can staff multiple positions on the court, so the three-man team never lacks for players. It's a spare band with a full sound, pickpocketing ideas from far and wide and sprinting away with them. -Patrick Jarenwattananon
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Top 10 Albums for December

Blind Boys Of Alabama :

Talkin' Christmas! with Taj Mahal

This holiday season, music lovers will have a lot to celebrate because The Blind Boys of Alabama & Taj Mahal will be Talkin' Christmas! Available on October 21 via Sony Music Masterworks, Talkin' Christmas! is a summit meeting of two American music icons. It includes new versions of Christmas standards, covers of hidden gospel gems, and seven brand-new holiday songs - six of which are the first Christmas songs ever penned by the Blind Boys themselves. The new original songs include the title track ‘Talkin' Christmas!,' a funky tribute to the power of Christmas featuring Money Mark on keyboards, and the compassionate ‘What Can I Do?,' which features Taj Mahal on vocals and is one of two songwriting collaborations with Stax Records soul legend William Bell.  The album also features a hand-clapping rearrangement of the usually-slower classic ‘Do You Hear What I Hear?' and a refreshingly intimate, acoustic version of ‘Silent Night.' 5 NEW  65 Total SYND: IMUS, UnderCurrents Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Cleveland, Atlanta, Denver, St. Louis, Kansas City, Baltimore, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Orlando, Berkeley CA, San Antonio, El Paso Online: JazzWeekly, Daily Local News, MassLive, Jazz From Gallery 41
Bill Frisell :

Guitar in the Space Age

"May you never hear surf music again." – Jimi Hendrix "Space is the place." – Sun Ra Just when you think you've got guitarist-composer Bill Frisell all figured out, confident in your expectations, this American original shakes things up with a heretofore unexpected glimpse into those layers of consciousness which inform his rootsy, inclusive, oh so personal style of musical outreach. Because while Bill Frisell is capable of routinely navigating the most harrowing ascents into the outer reaches of the improvisational Ionosphere without once ever flinching, there emerge at regular intervals suggestions of something more childlike and elemental; a sensibility which revels in expressions of earnest, unadorned directness-the aesthetic poetry of an impressionistic painter who is unafraid to distill things down to their most folkish, heartfelt essence.  10 NEW 'ON' -  115 Total SYND: PRI/Jazz After Hours Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Miami, Denver, Seattle, Denver, Houston, Detroit, Austin, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Berkeley CA, San Antonio, Madison WI, Honolulu, Canada, Australia Online: Taintradio, Jazz From Gallery 41, GreenArrow, Audiophile Audition, MOJA, Jazz Intersection
The Hot Sardines :

Self-Titled

The Hot Sardines unleash their distinctly passionate, dazzling and inventive sound with their self-titled debut album. The electrifying record, produced by Eli Wolf (Norah Jones, Elvis Costello & The Roots), features both early jazz classics and original new Sardine compositions.  Their album launch marks a defining moment in the Sardines' evolution, which started as a slow burn fueled by a shared passion for music from another era, and escalated as the band's performances ignited the same passion in audiences all over the world. 17 New 'ON'  126 Total Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Atlanta, Cleveland, Miami, Seattle, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Houston, Portland, Denver, St. Louis, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Long Island NY, Berkeley CA, Albuquerque, Orlando, San Antonio, El Paso, Madison WI, Toronto Online: GeenArrow, Taintradio, Audiophile Audition, Live 365
DePue Brothers :

When It's Christmas Time

When the DePue Brothers were growing up in Bowling Green, Ohio, their house was always filled with music, especially during the holiday season.  Each year, their dad, Dr. Wallace DePue, Sr., who was music professor at Bowling Green University, would write a new Christmas carol as his holiday gift.  One, written in 1990, is called "When It's Christmas Time" and is the title of their new CD being released for the 2013 Christmas season.  The brothers -- Wallace Jr., Alex, Jason and Zach -- who are all classically trained violinists and have performed with the most prestigious musical organizations including The Philadelphia Orchestra, are proud to dedicate their CD to their dad.  Continuing their dad's tradition of sharing holiday music with family and friends, the DePue Brothers Band has put their own signature on their dad's carol with Alex's new arrangement and by enriching these holiday classic carols with adistinctive bluegrass, jazz, and classical groove. 57 New 'ON'  120 TOTAL SYND: Classical 24 Direct: In-Flight Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Atlanta, Seattle, Detroit, Miami, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Portland, Denver, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Albuquerque, Long Island NY, Berkeley CA, Sacramento CA, Jacksonville FL, El Paso, Madison WI, Raleigh NC, Wichita, Toldeo & Springdale OH, Canada Online: Jazz Weekly, Audiophile Audition, Live 365, Hear Hear Music, SouandJazz, Green Arrow, The Jazz intersection, The Jazzy Vegetarian, CD Insight
Sharon Isbin :

5 Classic Albums

Sharon Isbin - Troubadour is a one-hour documentary portrait of the world's premier classical guitarist, shows us a trailblazing performer and teacher who over the course of her career has broken through numerous barriers to rise to the top of a traditionally male-dominated field. The film, produced by Susan Dangel, explores what it takes to nurture a dream against all odds to become a world class musician. It will be presented by American Public Television for broadcast on nearly 200 public television stations throughout the US this November-December 2014, and released on DVD/Blu-ray by Video Artists International. In coordination with the documentary broadcasts, Warner Classics will release five of Isbin's most popular albums in a single box. The set brings together cornerstones of the guitar concerto repertoire by Rodrigo and Villa-Lobos, arrangements of perennial Baroque favorites, concertos by Christopher Rouse and Tan Dun that were written for Isbin herself (and featured in the documentary) and two imaginatively-programmed recital discs including the GrammyTM Award-winning Dreams of a World.  20 NEW -  93 Total SYND: Classical 24, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Dallas, Atlanta, St. Louis, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Portland, Detroit, Baltimore, Denver, Pittsburgh, Austin, New Orleans, Memphis, Albuquerque, Louisville, Columbus, Madison WI, Honolulu, Canada Online: Huffington Post, Taintradio, MusicGuy
Renee Fleming :

Christmas In New York

Following her acclaimed performance at Super Bowl XLVIII, America's favorite soprano Renée Fleming is set to release her first-ever holiday album, Christmas In New York.  The album celebrates the sparkle and sophistication of the beloved Christmas season in New York City, in a richly collaborative recording featuring holiday evergreens and nostalgic favorites. Guests include: Chris Botti, Kurt Elling, Kelli O'Hara, Gregory Porter, Wynton Marsalis, Brad Mehldau, and Rufus Wainwright.   30 NEW   85 TOTAL SYND: Classical 24, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Cleveland, Seattle, Atlanta, Denver, Detroit, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, New Orleans, San Diego, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Austin, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Memphis, Tampa, Orlando FL, Raliegh NC, Madison WI, Wichita Online: Taintradio, ClassicallyHip, Jazz From Gallery 41
Kat Edmonson :

The Big Picture

Kat Edmonson announces October tour dates in support of her third album, The Big Picture out September 30 via Sony Music Masterworks. A full tour will follow in early 2015. Edmonson's premiere track "Rainy Day Woman" is available via iTunes HERE and for streaming on SoundCloud HERE.  Check out her new video album trailer HERE. The album is her label debut and was recorded with Grammy-nominated producer Mitchell Froom (Paul McCartney) in his Los Angeles studio. Of the album, Edmonson states, "There's no particular theme, but there are some commonalities, one of which is my ever-underlying influence from motion pictures and film scores. I have always felt that music and film go hand in hand, because that was how I was first exposed to music-from old movies and musicals-and to me there wasn't a separation between an actor acting, dancing and singing." See full tour dates below. 
Sergio Mendes :

Magic

"The sound of Brazilian musician Sergio Mendes has been a summer soundtrack for generations of listeners." - NPR In a career that spans more than half a century, Sérgio Mendes is an old hand at creating a unique sonic blend that electrifies a mass global audience. His knack for delivering hit after hit has made him the most successful Brazilian musician of his time. A grand conceptualizer, his well-polished talents as a pianist, composer, bandleader, vocalist and producer make him a truly singular artist. With Magic, his debut recording for the storied OKeh label, he triumphs once again, delivering a timely update on the infectious mix of Brazilian rhythms and contemporary styles from his homeland, the U.S. and elsewhere that make the Mendessound instantly recognizable. 36 NEW  -  101 Total SYND: Tavis Smiley Direct: MOOD, Spafax Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Houston, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Denver, Seattle, Portland, Long Island NY, New Orleans, Albuquerque,  INTER: Canada, Australia, Spain Online: Sun Music, Taintradio, GreenArrow, Audiophile Audition, Something Else, Blogcritics.org, Naples Daily News, Union Tribune
The Boys Of St. Paul's Choir School :

Christmas In Harvard Square

The Boys of St. Paul's Choir School have an exciting season planned this fall and into the holidays with the release of their first international recording for Decca/AimHigher Recordings/UMC.  Christmas in Harvard Square was just released on October 7, and now Boston television station WGBH is confirmed to be the PBS presenting station of their one hour television special, "Christmas in Harvard Square," premiering on November 28 immediately following Thanksgiving at the official kick-off of the Christmas season.   The show will subsequently air throughout the holiday season on WGBH and additional stations to be announced, with additional interviews to be filmed at the WGBH studios with the boys and the choir's Musical Director, Mr. John Robinson.  10 NEW -  61 Total SYND: Classical 24, CBC Direct: Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Atlanta, St. Louis, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Detroit, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Austin, Albuquerque, Louisville, Honolulu, Canada Online: ClassicallyHip, Audiophile Audition
Barbara Padilla :

Ave Maria

Classical-crossover soprano, Barbara Padilla will release "Ave Maria" as her first single for the Christmas season, on November 28th. "Ave Maria," released by Moon Moosic Records, will be available exclusively on iTunes. Fans first heard Barbara Padilla perform this beloved Christmas song during her competition on "America's Got Talent." Her soaring vocals prompted unanimous praise and a standing ovation from the judges. Piers Morgan said, "The whole of America is going to remember where they were when they heard you sing that song because tonight, tonight a superstar was born on this show." "It doesn't matter what one's musical tastes are, because music goes beyond language," said Sharon Osbourne. "I bow down to you, I bow down to you as a survivor, as a woman I adore you." 9 NEW 'ON' - 15 Total Markets include: Chicago, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Iowa Network, Harlingen TX, Canada Online: Taintradio, Music Connection
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