Some great musicians grace the Malta Jazz Festival stages / Lovin Malta


Valletta's magnificent Grand Harbour sets the backdrop to the Malta Jazz Festival. This event has become a byword for high-calibre performances, which delight jazz aficionados and lay persons alike. The festival, which runs from 16 to 21 July, boasts three of the biggest names in jazz today – Chick Corea, Christian McBride, Nasheet Waits, John Patitucci and many others. Held over six days in various venues across Valletta's historical setting, the festival promises to be one of the highlights of the summer festivals, presenting an eclectic range of styles, which make up the contemporary jazz scene. Perfectly on time, Malta's capital city is back with another edition of the Jazz Festival this weekend. While people chill, drink, sway, and pretend like they know shit about jazz, some great musicians will be gracing the stages for a diverse three days. Why? Because the acts included are super diverse. So diverse, in fact, that even jazz-noobs will feel welcome and amazing at this year's festival. Included in this year's unmissable lineup is the newly-formed international music ensemble named after the Creole word for "exchange" - Bokante, which brings together some highly accomplished musicians from all around the world. Among the eight musicians from four continents (all hailing from beloved acts like Snarky Puppy, Sting and Yo-Yo Ma) stands Malika Tirolien, a Guadeloupe resident who went from quitting seven bands to taking the lead in Cirque Du Soleil's La Nouba. The young jazz star will be belting out some beautiful harmonies alongside the all-new world music supergroup, closing off Friday night the only way they know how to do; excellently. READ THE FULL Lovin Malta ARTICLE
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Blake Pouliot - Ravel, Debussy Sonatas is the KUSC: Download of the Week


Considered one of the most promising young artists and a rising star, 23-year-old Canadian violinist Blake Pouliot, accompanied by the brilliant pianist Hsin-I Huang, presents Ravel-Debussy: Sonatas. This album, on the Analekta label, comprises of mature and refined masterworks by two great composers from the first half of the 20th century: Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy. Pouliot was the Grand Prize winner of the 2016 OSM Manulife Competition. He has been described by the Toronto Star as "one of those special talents that come along once in a lifetime." After his performance of the Korngold Violin Concerto at his debut with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (OSM) and conductor Vasily Petrenko in February 2017, he was described thus by Montreal's La Presse: "Clearly. Absolutely. Undoubtedly a virtuoso." Pouliot and Huang perform these sonatas for violin and piano, and demonstrate the different styles of these two French 20th century masters.  Grab Ravel's gypsy showpiece Tzigane right here for free on KUSC: Los Angeles.
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The Music Center at LA's Grand Park, set for Max Richter's 'SLEEP' / OCRegister


Composer Max Richter doesn't want a boisterous standing ovation or to hear loud cheers during the live performance of his album, "Sleep." He prefers the quiet sounds of breathing – or even a bit of snoring. Richter will bring "Sleep," an eight-hour classical music experience, to Grand Park in Downtown Los Angeles on Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28. However, this isn't a standard concert. Guests are issued cots instead of seats, are encouraged to wear loose fitting and comfortable clothing and are expected to fall sleep as the overnight performance runs from 10:30 p.m.-6:30 a.m. on both nights. "There is almost always some snoring," Richter said during a recent phone interview. "I get sort of a weird sense of validation when I hear it. That makes me really happy, actually. It's quite comforting as well, almost like having a cat purring." READ THE FULL OC Register ARTICLE p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060; min-height: 14.0px}
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Blake Pouliot - Ravel, Debussy Sonatas is the KDFC: Download of the Week


p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060; min-height: 14.0px} Considered one of the most promising young artists and a rising star, 23-year-old Canadian violinist Blake Pouliot, accompanied by the brilliant pianist Hsin-I Huang, presents Ravel-Debussy: Sonatas. This album, on the Analekta label, comprises of mature and refined masterworks by two great composers from the first half of the 20th century: Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy. Pouliot was the Grand Prize winner of the 2016 OSM Manulife Competition. He has been described by the Toronto Star as "one of those special talents that come along once in a lifetime." After his performance of the Korngold Violin Concerto at his debut with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (OSM) and conductor Vasily Petrenko in February 2017, he was described thus by Montreal's La Presse: "Clearly. Absolutely. Undoubtedly a virtuoso." Pouliot and Huang perform these sonatas for violin and piano, and demonstrate the different styles of these two French 20th century masters.  Grab Ravel's gypsy showpiece Tzigane right here for free on KDFC: San Francisco.
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John Coltrane 'Both Directions at Once' shouldn't be thought of as lost / the arts fuse


Already dubbed "the holy grail of jazz" by publicists with a shaky grasp of theology, Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album is a two-disc set of music recorded by the John Coltrane Quartet with McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones on March 6, 1963. It was then (mostly) put away by producer Bob Thiele. One number, the fifth take of "Vilia," was issued on the third of a valuable series of recordings from Impulse called The Definitive Jazz Scene. The track has been reissued since. The rest of the music on Both Directions at Once is being made available for the first time. Some of it was repressed for obvious musical reasons; the rest perhaps because the recording date was elbowed aside by the dozens of other Coltrane sessions recorded by Impulse. (Coltrane made what I consider to be a masterpiece, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, the day after this Lost Album session.) READ THE FULL arts fuse REVIEW p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060}
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An idyllic setting for a bluegrass show at the Oregon Zoo / glide MAGAZINE


The scene was set for a perfect night. Crowds soaked up the sun and the fragrant air that comes with a hot summer night in Oregon, while nearby elephants and cheetahs lounged in the shade. Oddly enough, the Oregon Zoo in Portland made an idyllic setting for a bluegrass show. And not just any bluegrass show, but one featuring three bands with some of the best musicians in the world. Yes, few in attendance could have dreamed up a better way to spend a summer Saturday night on July 14 than with the Jerry Douglas Band, David Grisman Trio, and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. The main attraction, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, opened with a wonderfully manic mélange of sounds that got downright funky and found Howard Levy jumping in headfirst with a wild harmonica solo. On tour celebrating their thirtieth year, the Flecktones sounded spry as ever, each at the absolute highest level of craftsmanship on his instrument. Victor Wooten would lay down thick and dirty bass grooves throughout the night, while Bela Fleck would create sounds with the banjo that are seemingly impossible. At times he would alternate from gritty blues guitar tone only to drop on a dime into a jazz solo or break off into a full on a banjo bluegrass riff. READ THE FULL glide MAGAZINE REVIEW
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Mark Abel - Time and Distance is scorching stuff, savagely sounded, glittering and thunderous / beyondcriticism


Time and Distance (Delos) consists of world premiere recordings of works for voice and piano, plus organ and percussion, by Mark Abel. "Those Who Loved Medusa," to verse by Kate Gale, recycles Greek mythology for the #MeToo era. Medusa, it seems, had many suitors back in the day but spurned them all, until the god Poseidon came along and raped her in a temple. "You wore red," the goddess Athena scolds after the fact, blaming the victim. "You smiled." Post-Poseidon, her hair now a mass of hissing snakes, the monster Medusa survives to receive lovers in her island cave. "It isn't true," she insists towards the close, "that all of them died." Scorching stuff, savagely sounded by the soprano Hila Plitman, partnered by Carol Rosenberger, piano, and Bruce Carver, now glittering, now thunderous, on percussion. READ ALL OF THIS WEEK's beyondcriticism REVIEWS
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Joshua Bell - Alessio Bax, in an exquisite performance at the Newport Music Festival gala / The Providence Journal


Chamber music galas are usually a chance to dress fancy, eat fancy food, and visit fancy places. The music is usually an afterthought. But you don't engage Joshua Bell as an afterthought. The esteemed violinist, with his equally estimable piano accompanist Alessio Bax, performed Sunday evening at Ochre Court for the annual gala of the Newport Music Festival. There was plenty of fancy throughout the evening, but thanks to Bell and Bax, plenty of music as well. The program was "only" two major sonatas - Mozart and Grieg - along with a tender song from Mexican composer Manuel Ponce, and Sarasate's unimaginably virtuosic "Zigeunerweisen." All of it served as a vehicle for the brilliance and supreme musicianship that Bell brings perpetually to any concert stage. READ THE FULL Providence Journal REVIEW
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John Coltrane 'Both Directions at Once' featured on 89.1KMUW: Musical Space


I try not to live in the past, but when an album of music by John Coltrane is discovered and released decades after it was recorded, I'm justified in getting a little maudlin. Coltrane recorded this in 1963, but Impulse Records never got around to releasing it, probably because they were concentrating on more commercial aspects of Coltrane's output; the master tapes were eventually destroyed to make space. Luckily some reference tapes were found in the attic of his ex-wife's family. The record features Coltrane's classic band: McCoy Tyner on piano, Elvin Jones on drums, and Jimmy Garrison on bass - the same quartet that would record A Love Supreme, the album that would change the face of jazz. This one was finally released June 29 under the name "Both Directions at Once: the Lost Album," a title that well describes its place in jazz history. Some of the standards in the collection reaffirm Coltrane as a master of the older bebop style. But as much as it looks backward, everyone in the band is looking forward, urgently testing the limits of form, harmony and style. Check out Coltrane's use of the novel soprano sax and and Tyner's futuristic piano chords; this is an essential point on the graph of Coltrane's stratospheric rise. There are a lot of other newly discovered albums now coming out by very high profile artists. It's a lot cheaper to release an album now than back in the vinyl days, so being nostalgic is easier than ever.    Art: Paul King LISTEN TO THE FULL KMUW: Wichita KS - Musical Space PODCAST
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Ray Chen - The Golden Age is 99.5WCRB: CD Of the Week


With a precious instrument once owned by one of the most legendary violinists of all time, Ray Chen has channeled the flexible charm of the players of the past on his new recording "The Golden Age," WCRB's CD of the Week! Bookending the CD are performances by Made in Berlin, Chen's own string quartet. The opening piece, "A New Satiesfaction" is a mesmerizing arrangement by cellist Stephan Koncz that weaves in Satie's famous Gymnopédie No. 1. It was a major YouTube hit on Chen's channel even before the CD was released. The final track is another arrangement by Koncz, a nod to Australia in the form of variations on "Waltzing Matilda." Koncz has also created a gorgeous arrangement of Debussy's "Clair de lune" that hits the spot with just the right atmospheric restraint.  It trembles like a soft French breeze, and Chen and his quartet make it breathtaking. READ THE FULL 99.5WCRB: Boston ARTICLE
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Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm, and A Winged Victory For The Sullen hit the road / Under The Radar


In honor of avant-classical label Erased Tapes' fifth birthday, Ólafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm, and A Winged Victory For The Sullen are hitting the road for a brief European tour. Check out the full jaunt below.  10/8 -  HAMBURG (DE) – Fliegende Bauten 10/9 -  PRAGUE (CZ) – Palac Akropolis 10/10 -  BUDAPEST (HU) – Trafo 10/11 MANNHEIM (DE) – Alte Feuerwache 10/13-14.10 BERLIN (DE) – Radialsystem 10/15 AMSTERDAM (NL) – Paradiso 10/16-17.10 LEUVEN (BE) – Stuk 10/18 LONDON (UK) – Hackney Empire 10/19-20 ISTANBUL (TR) – Salon IKSV
  SEE THE Under The Radar PAGE
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Robin McKelle discusses Melodic Canvas with GreenArrow Radio


An enigmatic sound, a storyteller's narrative and a live performance style oozing with Rat Pack moxie – singer and songwriter Robin McKelle is like a genre-blurring musical alchemist, taking listeners on a sonic trip to the old South, sprinkling in hints of the Motown Era or even the smoothness of Sade album, and mixing it together to create her inspiring ‘Melodic Canvas' of Soul, Jazz, Gospel and More. On her most recent album, Melodic Canvas, which dropped late April, she embracing her genre-blurring style and no longer trying to fit into a box. The result is a deeply textured, rich, authentic collection, a mix of timely social commentary, intimate lyrics and a thoughtful call to action. A savvy songwriter and a powerhouse vocalist, Robin has long found a home where soul, jazz, pop, gospel, blues and the American Songbook cross paths. For the new album (which she produced), Robin sought a more ‘acoustic' vibe with a focus on percussion, to allow the subtleties of her voice to shine. In her songwriting and in the arrangements/production of the album, she mixes her varied influences together with strength and grace. LISTEN TO THE GreenArrow Radio PODCAST p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060}
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  Interview with GREENARROW
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Top 10 Albums for July

John Coltrane :

Both Directions at Once - The Lost Album

On March 6, 1963, John Coltrane and his Classic Quartet - McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones - recorded an entire studio album at the legendary Van Gelder Studios. This music, which features unheard originals, will finally be released 55 years later. This is, in short, the holy grail of jazz. Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album will be released on June 29 on Impulse! Records, Coltrane's final and most creative label home. The first week of March in 1963 was busy for John Coltrane. He was in the midst of a two-week run at Birdland and was gearing up to record the famed John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman album, which he did on March 7. But there was a session the day before that was the stuff of legend, until now. On Wednesday, March 6, Coltrane and the quartet went to Van Gelder Studios in Englewood, NJ and cut a complete album's worth of material, including several original compositions that were never recorded elsewhere.  They spent the day committing these to tape, taking time with some, rehearsing them two, three times, playing them in different ways and in different configurations.
Lee Konitz, Dan Tepfer :

Decade

Having first performed together in 2007, acclaimed Jazz musicians Lee Konitz and Dan Tepfer join forces to release their Sophomore duo album,'Decade, on Verve Records. The album will be released digitally on 7/6 and is available for pre-order now. The duo will'play two NYC dates on July 26 and 27 at the Jazz Gallery, where they first performed together, in light of the album release.' Decade'marks ten years since the duo's first and only release together in 2008, the critically acclaimed,'Duos with Lee, lending to its title. Having spent the intermittent years individually touring across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia both as a duo and in larger settings, Konitz and Tepfer have developed a deep complicity that is evident on the upcoming album.'
Ray Chen :

The Golden Age

Deemed one of today's most charismatic and compelling young violinists, Ray Chen reveals his new album The Golden Age – a thrilling collection of chamber and orchestral works – to be released on June 8. It is his first recording on Decca Classics since signing to the label last year. The Violinist handpicked a selection of works for the upcoming album, all of which celebrate the "golden age" of the violin – not only in terms of repertoire, but also in terms of performance style and ingenuity. The centrepiece is Max Bruch's Violin Concerto, performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Robert Trevino and recorded in August last year.
Madeleine Peyroux :

'On My Own' single from Anthem

Madeleine Peyroux's new album, Anthem, finds the singer-songwriter collaborating with writers/musicians Patrick Warren (Bonnie Raitt, JD Souther, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Lana Del Rey, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers), Brian MacLeod (Sara Bareilles, Leonard Cohen, Tina Turner, Ziggy Marley) and David Baerwald (Joni Mitchell, David and David, Sheryl Crow), who are also the basic rhythm section players on the album. Together, they cast a sober, poetic, and at times philosophical eye on the current state of the world. 
Leonard Bernstein :

The Best of Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein unquestionably was one of the most astonishing and magnetic personalities in the world of music. He bestrode the musical scene in the second half of the 20th century like few others: composer, conductor, pianist, educator; but it was as a great communicator – of music and through music – that every facet of his life and legacy is bound together. He was a Renaissance man, a multifaceted genius, but it was his career as a composer that meant the very most to him. Deutsche Grammophon joins the Bernstein centennial celebrations with a range of offerings including box sets, LPs and new recordings. The Best of Bernstein is a 3-CD compilation featuring some of Bernstein's very best recordings for Deutsche Grammophon. This album is only available to classical radio stations at an exclusive rate to support fund drives and even includes a special note of thanks to listeners and donors for their support. The album is programmed as a celebration of Bernstein's work as both a composer and conductor and features excerpts from Candide and West Side Story as well as ever-popular works by Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy, Gershwin, Mozart, Shostakovich, Stravinsky and others.
Pitbull ft. Leona Lewis :

Gotti - Original Soundtrack

The album features the film's original score music by GRAMMY® Award-winning, multi-platinum international music icon, business entrepreneur and motivational Armando Christian Perez, aka Pitbull, and his long-time Grammy-winning producer Jorge Gomez. The project marks Pitbull's first assignment scoring a motion picture soundtrack. The soundtrack also includes three solo Pitbull tracks, one of them being the single "AMORE" featuring Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Leona Lewis. "Everything about Pitbull - his style, creativity, and culture make his scoring of Gotti - the perfect marriage of the artist and the material," stated John Travolta.
Danny Elfman :

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot

One of the most acclaimed and distinctive film composers of his generation, four-time Academy Award® nominee Danny Elfman collaborates once again with director Gus Van Sant with his original score for Van Sant's new Amazon Studios film Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot.  Opening nationwide July 13, the film is a based on John Callahan, one of the most iconic American cartoonists, and his one-of-a-kind story of struggle and redemption. Sony Classical releases the film's original soundtrack recording on July 13.
John Williams :

A Life in Music

A Life in Music celebrates the London Symphony Orchestra's collaboration with John Williams that spans over 40 years, going back to Star Wars in 1977. Out May 4 (International Star Wars Day), this release features Williams's most iconic film scores, including the LSO's first ever recording of "Hedwig's Theme" from Harry Potter as well as a world premiere recording of the Theme from Schindler's List for solo cello.
Joshua Bell :

Bruch - Scottish Fantasy w/ASMF

A new Sony Classical release from Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell showcases two masterpieces from romantic composer Max Bruch. Available June 22, the album features Bell's first recording of the virtuosic Scottish Fantasy as well as a new recording of the Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, which he first recorded over thirty years ago with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Sir Neville Marriner. Now, as Music Director of the Academy, Bell both performs and directs the orchestra, and offers a fresh take on the Bruch Concerto in addition to a thrilling performance of the Scottish Fantasy. 
Robin McKelle :

Melodic Canvas

An Enigmatic Sound, a Storyteller's Narrative and a Live Performance Style Imbued with Rat Pack Moxie Singer and Writer Robin McKelle is a Genre-Blurring Musical Alchemist, Taking Listeners on a Sonic Trip to the Old South, Sprinkling in Hints of the Motown Era or Even a Sade Album, and Mixing it Together to Create Her Inspiring Melodic Canvas' of Soul, Jazz, Gospel and More. On her new album - Melodic Canvas, McKelle is empowered by not trying to fit into a box, and the music is deeply textured, rich, and authentic. Melodic Canvas is also a timely social commentary, from the struggling teen in ‘Lyla' to the immigrant tale of ‘Simple Man'; the moments of social awareness, in ‘Yes We Can Can' (an Allen Toussaint cover featuring Chris Potter) and ‘It Won't End Up', are wise and inspiring without feeling heavy-handed; on first single ‘Do You Believe', McKelle questions religion, hate, misogyny.
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