Myung-Whun Chung - Piano Encores / WFMT 'New Release Of the Week'

The ECM New Series debut of Myung-Whun Chung features the widely-celebrated conductor as pianist. Recorded at Venice's Teatro La Fenice in July 2013, the album marks the first occasion that Chung has recorded solo. Although conducting now fully occupies his professional life, Chung (born 1953 in Seoul) made his debut as pianist with the Seoul Philharmonic at the age of seven. He later studied with Maria Curcio, the last and favorite pupil of Artur Schnabel. In 1974, Chung was a prize winner in the Tchaikovsky Competition. He then began his career playing piano trios with his sisters, Kyung-Wha Chung and Myung-Wha Chung. The Schumann: Arabeske and Schubert: Impromptu in G-flat major from the Myung-Whun Chung: Piano Encores on ECM is a WFMT - Chicago / New Release Of the Week.'
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Dom Flemons - Prospect Hill / Record-Racks review

Dom Flemons may be most recognized as a member of the Grammy-winning group Carolina Chocolate Drops, but he is no stranger to solo work. On his latest project, Prospect Hill (which we're also happy to see was released on vinyl), he continues blazing down the folk path that made many music fans fall in love with him but also expands his comfort zone with extremely positive results. It's readily apparent that this album – and this career – is a true labor of love for him. As you scan through the album booklet, where most artists only cobble together a Thank You's section, Flemons has taken the time to give a full paragraph commentary on each track presented on this 14-track opus. It's this attention to detail that breathes added life into each track but also helps to bring understanding and sense of community to the folk craft that he is both trying to shine a light upon its past while also paving a road for its future. READ THE FULL Record-Racks REVIEW.
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Zofo's twenty-finger orchestra / Interview with KBIA Radio

When you were growing up did you play classical music? Did you have your own instrument? The classical classical duo Zofo - made up of Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi - play one piano. At the same time. KBIA's Trevor Harris  recently talked with the duo by phone about the nature of playing one piano with four hands, the process of commissioning new music for their repertoire and their new CD Zoforbit. Their name Zofo is shorthand for twenty-finger orchestra. The duo has been performing together since 2009. Along the way they have performed at Carnegie Hall, garnered two Grammy nominations and comissoned eleven works for one piano, four hands. Performing together they coax a surprisingly wide range of sounds from their Steinway.   The duo's third CD release is Zoforbit: A Space Odyssey on the Sono Luminus label. It features Urmas Sisask's Piano Sonata op. 24 for four hands; Gustav Holst's The Planets, George Crumb's Makrokosmos IV: Cosmic Dances for Amplified Piano, Four Hands; and David Lang's Gravity. The duo recently sat down with KBIA - Columbia MO's Trevor Harris to discuss the new album and their winning collaboration. 
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Richard Reed Parry - Music for Heart and Breath / San Jose Mercury News interview

There's nothing unusual about a rock star indulging in a side project. But Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry explores particularly challenging musical avenues, and his new album, Music for Heart and Breath (Deutsche Grammophon), his debut as a neo-classical composer, proves to be extraordinarily enthralling and deceptively intricate. The music arose from a fascinating concept -- having the musicians play in time to their heartbeats or breathing. Within an ensemble, you might imagine that the result would be chaotic and cacophonous. In fact, the opposite is true. Parry's music throughout is immersive and profoundly soothing. READ THE FULL San Jose Mercury News INTERVIEW.
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Jane Ira Bloom - Sixteen Sunsets / Jazz Police review

On Steve Lacy's birthday day (July 23), it seems fitting to write a tribute to someone playing today who has set a new standard for this, one of the loveliest and mysterious of the family of saxophones. As with many musical details, most listeners have no idea how technically challenging this particular sax is, or how musicians spend countless hours on just the mouthpiece problem--how one can find the right one to avoid the harsh grittiness that can infest a player's sound. The problem goes back and forth from plastic mouthpieces that can warm the instrument to metal ones that give it power and presence. Jane Ira Bloom (DownBeat Critics and Jazz Journalists Association Soprano Saxophonist of the Year for 2014) has solved this difficulty, given the sound of her Grammy-nominated recording Sixteen Sunsets (Best Surround Sound Album 2014); she has developed a unique sound on the instrument that manages to be warm and inviting, but still includes a bop attitude and melodic fluidity that dances through the twists and turns of harmony and expression. She does not succumb to sentiment, nor does she shy away from the highest notes, the most difficult to sustain and enunciate on this particular horn.  Rather, Sixteen Sunsets (Outline Music, 2013) creates a remarkable sense of rhythmic and melodic feel, and joyous celebration of love and loss. READ THE FULL Jazz Police REVIEW.
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The Bad Plus plays Manchester Jazz Festival / The Manchester Evening News review

There was a great moment that came right at the very end of jazz trio The Bad Plus' concert at the RNCM. For the benefit, perhaps, of those who were just a little taxed by the mental exertions of the past hour and a half, their encore was a 'cover' of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit. Over drummer Dave King's skittering, funky beat, they sliced open Kurt Cobain's masterpiece with the precision of surgeons and the brio of true masters. It's the ability of the piano trio to unpick tunes under a musical microscope that makes the format so endlessly fascinating. In the case of the Bad Plus, you might hesitate to use the phrase 'piano' trio given their obvious tendency towards the democratic equilibrium of collective improvisation. READ THE FULL Manchester Evening News REVIEW.
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Magos Herrera & Javier Limon - Dawn / Jazzweekly review

Vocalist Magos Herrera and guitarist Javier Limon aren't well known in the US yet, but Dawn is a good landing on the beach head. They hail from Mexico, mixing sounds of folk, samba, flamenco and jazz in a alluring fashion. Herrera's got a rich and earthy voice, sensuous and husky, and works it to perfection along with Limon's flamenco strums on "Afro Blue" and "Wild is the Wind." A folksy reading of "Skylark" takes to a local village, along with a barefoot in the red clay take of "Nature Boy." She renders traditional local pieces like "La Martiniana" with gentility, and passion is percolating on the samba "O Que Tinha De Ser." Limon's tensile touch on the strings caresses "Tierra Movida" and the patient strums caress "My Love For You." A melding of art and romantic embraces that is rarely seen these days. Look out for this dynamic duo!
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Orbert Davis - Sketches of Spain / Audiophile Audition review

The first of this pair of reconceptualizations of classic works of the past is an orchestral transformation of the 1960 Columbia recording by Miles and Gil Evans which used music of Rodrigo and others.  There have been a number of re-dos of that great album, including one of much of it by Miles himself shortly before his death. The trumpeter, composer and artistic director of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic got involved in the ‘90s when he was asked by Bill Russo to play Miles' solo trumpet part in a reperformance of the work. He developed his own version of the classic by studying the original recording, plus Spanish music and culture. Orbert Davis introduced new elements to reflect the Moorish influence on Spanish culture, new jazz grooves, and arrangements to highlight the special talents of individuals in the Jazz Philharmonic. He even replaced some of the original movements with completely new compositions. READ THE FULL Audiophile Audition REVIEW.
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Time for Three interview on KDFC - State Of the Arts

Time for Three, The trio Time for Three is made up of a pair of violinists and a double bassist (Zachary DePue, Nicolas Kendall, and Ranaan Meyer) who met when they were studying at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. What began as a bit of spontaneous 'jamming' in various styles has led to a successful career for the group as artists-in-residence with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and a brand new self-titled CD through Universal. They'll be playing at Yoshi's on the 30th, and then at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in early August. There's more information about the group at the Time for Three website, and here's where you can learn about their upcoming dates at Yoshi's and the Cabrillo Festival. Renaan Meyer says that their collaboration was, at first, just a way to play together and let off steam while at music school: "We got a gig to play down in D.C., and we were told we needed to put 25 minutes of music together. We were already jamming, just having a good time after orchestra rehearsals, and we were getting paid a little money, and getting a limo ride down to the gig.. Really we were doing it for all the perks as college kids, because we just wanted to have some fun." But he says the reaction they got made them take things a bit more seriously. "We played, and the audience loved it, and they wanted us to do an encore. We didn't have an encore, and we're shrugging our shoulders thinking, 'Man, this is really going well, maybe we should do this again.' And we did - and we had a similar reaction. So then we thought: 'this started organic, and that's all great, but now let's maybe put some thought and time into this and see what happens.'" Their career as a trio got a boost when they were named Artists in Residence at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, where Zachary DePue has ben Concertmaster since 2007. They've been in that position for five seasons, curating a "Happy Hour" concert series there that appeals to younger audiences, as well as stretching the boundaries of expectations of Classical Music. Some of the collaborations that they've had over the years are revisited on their new CD - with Alisa Weilerstein, Branford Marsalis, Jake Shimabukuro, and singer songwriter Joshua Radin appearing, with others. "We thought that the most authentic way to put our foot forward," says violinist Nick Kendell, "was to introduce the world to our natural affinity towards collaboration with artists that are as varied and diverse as our own musical tastes as a group." The State of the Arts on Classical KDFC - San Francisco airs weekdays, just before 8 am, 1 pm, and 6 pm. The features are produced by Jeffrey Freymann-Weyr, a veteran of National Public Radio's Arts Desk and Performance Today. Listen to the Interview
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Kavita Shah - Visions is 'Jazz Weekly' - Ringer Of the Week

Looking for some inspiring and creative jazz vocals? Here's the disc you've been dreaming of! A native of New York, of Indian descent and fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and French (don't you want to meet her parents?!?), Kavita Shah uses her earthy yet kaleidoscopically crystalline voice to mix with American, European , African and Indian instruments to create a rich curry of sounds that is spicy, attractive and above all, tasty.  READ THE FULL Jazz Weekly REVIEW
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Dom Flemons performs live with Martin Simpson / BBC Radio: Front row

Dom Flemons (from the Carolina Chocolate Drops) & Martin Simpson perform two songs from their current live set, St James Hospital & St James Infirmary. Listen to their performance on BBC Radio: Front row.
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Patti LuPone to perform at New York's 54 Below twice yearly /

Earlier this week it was announced that 54 Below, Broadway's Supper Club, has a multi-year agreement with two-time Tony Award winner Patti LuPone. Twice yearly, LuPone will play two-week engagements at the venue.The agreement, which runs through 2016, launches with the upcoming July 21 - August 2 engagement, "The Lady with The Torch." In an evening, conceived and directed by Tony Award winner Scott Wittman, LuPone will perform an eclectic collection of torch songs by songwriters including Arthur Schwartz, Howard Dietz, Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn,Billy Barnes, Harold Arlen, George and Ira Gershwin, and Cole Porter. Don Heckman of The Los Angeles Times described the show as "a beautifully paced, marvelously delivered torch-song exploration of the pleasures and pains of love; LuPone's remarkable, larger-than-life qualities and stunning musicality are distilled into the pure essence of her art." BroadwayWorld was there for a special press preview with Patti and you can check out a sneak peek of the concert below! 54 BELOW, Broadway's Supper Club, is the new performance venue in the grand tradition of New York City nightlife. A few blocks from the heart of Times Square and just below the legendary Studio 54, 54 BELOW is a classically designed state-of-the art nightclub in the theatre district that hosts audiences with warmth and style. The venue provides a food and beverage menu from early evening through the wee hours of the morning that is worthy of the world-class entertainment on the stage. Watch the preview of Patti Lupone's performance at 54 Below on
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Top 10 Albums for July

Time for Three :


Time for Three – violinist Zachary (Zach) De Pue, violinist Nicolas (Nick) Kendall and double-bassist Ranaan Meyer – defy traditional genre classification happily and infectiously, with an uncommon mix of virtuosity, creativity and showmanship.  The American trio who thrive on originality will release their Universal Music Classics self-titled debut. The album showcases not only the trio's melody-rich string weave but also its unique flair for collaboration.  It was these compelling qualities that led Universal Music Classics to sign the trio as their first U.S. act to their newly branded label.   Time For Three features tracks co-produced by Rob Moose from Bon Iver and Grammy-winning producer David Lai, and memorable pairings with pop singer-songwriter Joshua Radin, jazz saxophone icon Branford Marsalis,  Decca's young cello star Alisa Weilerstein, ukulele ace Jake Shimabukuro, and folk-pop sister duo Lily & Madeleine. 44 NEW   98 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Echoes & Classical 24, FolkScene Direct: SiriusXM, MOOD Markets include: New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Cleveland, St. Louis, Seattle, Atlanta, Houston, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Portland, Austin, Denver, New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Albuquerque, Louisville, Columbus & Toledo OH Online & Press: the indie,, Classically Hip, wildmansteve, Taintradio
Gabriel Kahane :

The Ambassador

From Die Hard to the architecture of Richard Neutra and R.M. Schindler, from Blade Runner to the fiction of James M. Cain and Raymond Chandler, and from fires, riots, and earthquakes to the lives of so many Americans who have looked to Southern California as a panacea, Gabriel Kahane's The Ambassador (Masterworks)draws its inspiration from a multitude of sources to tell intimate, human stories against the backdrop of Los Angeles architecture and popular culture.  42 TOTAL Markets include: New York, Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis, Cleveland, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Honolulu Online & Press: The NYTimes  
Various :

Red Hot + Bach

Red Hot + Bach charts a new pathway into the musical universe of Johann Sebastian Bach. Through the collaboration of performers, producers, DJs and artists from around the world and across the spectrum of contemporary music, different facets of Bach's centuries-old masterpieces are transformed with fresh energy and modern virtuosity that know no limits. The creators of Red Hot + Bach embrace Bach as a living artistic force, as real and as vital today as he was when he lived (1685-1750). They range across nineteen freely imagined tracks from mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile (Nickel Creek, The Punch Brothers), singer/songwriters Gabriel Kahane and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), jazz legend Ron Carter, DJ/producer King Britt and the Icelandic band amiina, to imaginative classical artists such as the Kronos Quartet, composer Max Richter, violinist Daniel Hope and organ virtuoso Cameron Carpenter.  33 NEW   46 TOTAL SYND: NPR/Hearts Of Space, PRI/Echoes & Classical 24 Direct: SiriusXM, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, Minneapolis, Portland, Denver, New Orleans, Detroit, Albuquerque, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee Online & Press:  Taintradio, MOJA, Bass Musician Magazine
The 442s :


Genre-defying 21st century acoustic quartet - The 442s release their debut recording combining a virtuosic blend of musicianship, singing, improvisation and whistle solos. The 442s are quickly gaining a substantial following throughout the U.S. The band includes a violinist and cellist from the world-renowned St. Louis Symphony, plus two of the most accomplished jazz musicians in St. Louis. Performing the innovative original compositions of Adam Maness, who plays piano, guitar, accordion, melodica and glockenspiel in the group, The 442s features violinist Shawn Weil, cellist Bjorn Ranheim, and bassist Sydney Rodway. Famed vocalist, Erin Bode, appears frequently with the group and is also featured on the new album.  12 NEW ON - 47 Total SYND: Classical 24, Out Of the Woods Markets include: New York, Houston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Cleveland, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, Detroit, Denver, Austin, Berkeley CA, San Antonio Online: wildmansteve, Taintradio, RadioFreeAmerica
Richard Reed Parry :

Music For the Heart and Breath

Music For the Heart and Breath is Richard Reed Parry´s debut as a neo-classical composer, inspired by the likes of Steve Reich and Brian Eno. Parry is well known for his work as a multi-instrumentalist with the critically acclaimed, Grammy award winning alternative rock band, Arcade Fire. The concept behind Heart and Breath is that every musician involved in the piece generates his own tempo by listening to his/her pulse during the performance. Fragile and intimate, these stunningly created pieces are the result of a conceptual compositional approach that reflects Parry's deep love of music, and his philosophy that music and nature can by explicitly linked. 20 NEW   29 TOTAL SYND: NPR/Weekend Edition Sunday, PRI/Classical 24, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Denver, Austin Online & Press: Paste Magazine, NME, Taintradio, Wondering Sound, Billboard
Milos :


Celebrated guitarist Miloš Karadaglić releases his fourth U.S. recording, Aranjuez, July 8th on Deutsche Grammophon/Mercury Classics.  Already a #1 charting record in the UK and France, Aranjuez pays tribute to the great composers and musicians who placed the modern classical guitar firmly on the international stage. Miloš takes the Concierto de Aranguez as the starting point for a journey across the Spanish landscape, celebrating the music of Joaquín Rodrigo and Manuel de Falla. 65 NEW - 73 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Classical 24, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Dallas, Atlanta, Austin, St. Louis, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Portland, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Denver, Detroit, New Orleans, Honolulu, Canada Online: MusiClassical, Classically Hip, Taintradio, WGOE
Gustavo Santaolalla :


Gustavo Santaolalla's solo instrumental album Ronroco was a game-changer for the visionary artist when it was released in 1998. Camino, released by Sony Music Masterworks is the long-awaited follow up to that album – a rich, beautifully crafted instrumental journey illuminating Santaolalla's unmistakable sound. Camino again features the Grammy® and Academy Award®-winning composer playing the ronroco, his signature 10-string Andean folk instrument similar to the charango, as well as other instruments that he has mastered including the guitar, guitarron, oud, cuatro, toba violin, and bouzouki. The album includes 12 new tracks, along with one of the featured tracks from Santaolalla's recent BAFTA Games-nominated soundtrack to Sony PlayStation's The Last of Us. 21 Total Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Houston, Portland, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Albuquerque, Berkeley CA Online: Taintradio, All Music,
Magos Herrera | Javier Limon :


Every relationship is about the commingling of two unique sensibilities into one harmonious experience. Dawn is a musical romance, bringing together the passion and rhythmic drive of Flamenco with the sultry sophistication and alluring wit of Jazz. As the title implies, Dawn, marks a bold beginning for the partnership between the Mexican-born Jazz vocalist Magos Herrera and the young Spanish Flamenco innovator Javier Limón.  19 NEW ON - 26 Total Markets include: Boston, St. Louis, Milwaukee Inter: Canada, UK Press & Online: NYTimes, Taintradio, examiner, Hot House, AXS, Blogcritics
John Holloway :

Pavans and Fantasies from the Age of Dowland

The composition of Lachrimae Pavans, one of the great works in the canon of English chamber music, was begun in Denmark at the end of the 16th century, while John Dowland was working as a lutenist at the court of King Christian IV. A unique seven-part work developing a theme from Dowland's famous song "Flow my teares" and exploring all its contrapuntal and harmonic possibilities, it is also music of persuasive emotional power. "How well he seems to have understood the power of music to move us," writes John Holloway in the liner notes, and "to express otherwise inexpressible emotions. He called them ‘passionate pavans', and within the stately constrained movements of the slow dance, passions are indeed to be found." 18 New 'ON'  32 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Classical 24 Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Denver, Portland, Detroit, Austin Online: Taintradio, Strad, Gapplegate, Classically Hip
Mak Grgic :

Cinema Verismo

Mak Grgić, has quickly established himself as one of today's top guitarists. His debut Marquis Music recording: Cinema Verismo, from presents a new approach for solo guitar music showcasing brilliant performances of age-old classical selections, such themes from The Godfather, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Volver, The Mission, West Side Story and Chariots of Fire. Grgić displays a powerful expressive range and a highly inventive combination of bravura, precision, and deep expression. One will be astonished by the reocording's flow and beauty as well as the striking quality of sound achieved on the variety of guitars used in this recording.  23 NEW - 115 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Classical 24, The Romantic Hours, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Atlanta, Seattle, Austin, St. Louis, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Portland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Denver, Detroit, New Orleans, Louisville, Buffalo, Columbus OH, Honolulu, Canada Online: MusiClassical, Taintradio, WGOE, ClassicsToday