WFMT: Chicago 's Candice Agree writes....From the age of 3, CBS News political correspondent Ed O'Keefe toiled at a keyboard-not in typing, as unintended preparation for his 13 years at the Washington Post, but in studying classical piano in Delmar, a suburb of Albany, NY. Although he loved playing, his interest in current events and politics pulled him into a journalism career. No stranger to Chicago, in 2008, O'Keefe was in Grant Park the night that Barack Obama was elected president. O'Keefe, 37, is about to become a fixture in the White House press room, as he will cover the Biden administration for the TV network he joined in 2018. But he has never left his first passion far behind. He shared some musical memories with us before taking on his new assignment at CBS News as Senior White House & Political Correspondent. Photo courtesy CBS News)
READ Candice Agree's Q&A with Ed O'Keefe.
Jane Ira Bloom, Mark Helias 'Some Kind Of Tomorrow' was Reviewed by JAZZ VIEWS Sammy Stein, who wrote........
Saxophone player Jane Ira Bloom and bass player Mark Helias are long-time collaborators. This album was born out of the need to create music in such a unique time where live audiences and in-person studio recordings were impossible. Recorded remotely from their homes, the music stands as a departure from any kind of release they have done together as all tracks are completely improvised. The resulting sound is raw, intimate, and fearless.
I asked Jane Ira Bloom about the recording, and she explained, " Given how we had to make this made Mark and I rely on the most basic aspect of our collaborative impulse – our two sets of ears. Mark and I have known one another for over 40 years. We first met in New Haven CT in the 1970s, and when you think about it, you build up so much shared vocabulary when you've played with someone over such a long time.
We really didn't plan this recording. It happened because we needed to improvise with one another and so the music emerged from a different place than normal when you plan a recording project."
READ THE FULL JAZZ VIEWS REVIEW
An ensemble that attracts rave reviews and sell-out crowds at prestigious venues everywhere from Vienna to New York, the sensational Signum Saxophone Quartet presents their first Deutsche Grammophon album. Featuring inventive arrangements of music by composers from Dowland to Peter Gregson, as well as Guillermo Lago's Sarajevo, a saxophone quartet original, Echoes showcases the full potential of the saxophone – a modern instrument more than capable of capturing the echoes of the past.
For January 19, 2021, the Signum Saxophone Quartet: Echoes is the WFMT: Chicago 'Featured New Release.'
"the Monet of the classical guitar" Sharon Isbin, returns to Montana Public Radio's - Musician's Spotlight to talk technique, collaboration and guitar diplomacy with host John Floridis. Isbin's accomplishments involve big numbers: she has recorded more than 30 albums, premiered 80 new works by composers like John Corigliano, Joseph Schwantner and Lukas Foss, performed as a soloist with over 200 orchestras around the world, appeared on numerous television and radio programs, hit #2 on Billboard, and won dozens of prestigious honors and awards. Montana Public Radio's Musician's Spotlight will Broadcast this segment on Tuesday 1/19/2021.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE & LISTEN
TFOV Founder - Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck writes.....RE-INVENTIONS takes talent and a lot of courage to take world-renowned and treasured classical pieces by the masters and rework them into your vision. After hearing this album, I think you will agree that Robin should put the crown on her head because she proves why she is piano music royalty.
The 2 LP set is a beautiful translucent smokey marble with three sides of music. The sound for instrumental piano is exceptional. I would think most instrumental music is well suited for the vinyl format. Of course, when you have an equally exceptional musician such as Robin Spielberg performing, the sound is that much more beautiful and defined.
Robin Spielberg has poured her heart and soul into this music, which becomes apparent quite readily. Track after track you have the opportunity to revisit classic compositions and the old blended with the new reborn into several variations. The color, ambiance, and heavenly beauty of this music is brilliantly performed. I can guarantee if you appreciate piano solo music, you will fall in love with RE-INVENTIONS. I know it did not take me long!
READ THE FULL Final on Vinyl REVIEW
THE Violin Channel writes......The United States Marine Band commissioned American composer Peter Boyer for special fanfare at Biden/Harris Inauguration, to be performed at the U.S. Capitol on January 20th, 2021. Boyer's new work, "Fanfare for Tomorrow," will be performed as part of the one hour prelude music of the inauguration, conducted by Colonel Jason K. Fettig., the Marine Band's Director.
The piece was originally for solo French horn, was commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra. Boyer significantly expanded and developed it for a full concert band for this inaugural commission.
The United States Marine Band, the "The President's Own," is America's oldest continuously active musical organization. It is said that debuted in 1801 for Thomas Jefferson's inauguration. "I had just over a week to compose and orchestrate the piece," Boyer said. "Col. Jason Fettig had cautioned me about writing too high for the brass, due to the very cold conditions in which the piece would be performed outdoors. I had just a few hours to create and deliver this lower key version of the piece to the Marine Band. Happily, It seems to have worked out well!"
READ THE FULL Violin Channel ARTICLE
Hollywood Soapbox - John Soltes writes......Arturo O'Farrill, who heads The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, has always brought the real world into his musical compositions, and that's especially true of his latest release, Four Questions, featuring well-known academic Dr. Cornel West. The album was met with acclaim in 2020 and received a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album.
The title of the album is pulled from the original composition featuring West on the album. The 16-minute piece pairs the academic's voice with the measured musical musings of the orchestra. Surrounding this central tune are other songs that speak to the versatility of O'Farrill's creative output, including "Baby Jack," "Jazz Twins," "Clump, Unclump" and the "A Still, Small Voice" series.
"What happened was I had been very interested in Dr. West's speaking for many, many years," O'Farrill said in a recent phone interview. "You can't help but be aware of Dr. West, and periodically he would come to a show. And I'd see him in the audience."
READ THE FULL Hollywood Soapbox ARTICLE
An ensemble that attracts rave reviews and sell-out crowds at prestigious venues everywhere from Vienna to New York, the sensational SIGNUM saxophone quartet are now set to present their first Deutsche Grammophon album.
"The London-based trio The Comet Is Coming-made up of the saxophonist King Shabaka, the percussionist Betamax, and the keyboardist Danalogue-thrusts empyrean jazz into an apocalyptic future, where raucous psych rock and danceable electro-grooves ride lush tenor lines to outer space.
The soul legend and the indie wunderkind talk releasing music during the pandemic, privilege in the industry, and making Pete Townshend cry.
On this week's show, we pair in conversation the artists behind two of 2020's best albums: soul and blues legend Bettye LaVette and indie wunderkind Phoebe Bridgers. Though separated by five decades in age, when the two met backstage at a Tibet House US benefit at Carnegie Hall earlier this year, they immediately developed a mutual friend crush. Now that we've gotten them reconnected here, it appears something very dope is on the horizon… but more on that in the talk!
Their warm, freewheeling convo takes in a lot, including: a wonderful overview of a career Bettye calls "tenuous at best"; the unexpected benefits of promoting a new album during the pandemic; and privilege in the music industry. We also get to hear about making Pete Townshend cry, quirky Little Stevie Wonder, and learn the answer to Bettye's query "What is a Princess Nokia?" (Photo Credit: left, Frank Ockenfels; right, Carol Friedman; Edited by: Keenan Kush)
Blues Hall of Famer Bettye LaVette has decided to release her stirring rendition of "Strange Fruit" ahead of schedule as it says as much about the history of American racism and the state of the country today. "Strange Fruit" was originally recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939 and written by Jewish teacher Abel Meeropol who wrote the song based on a photo of two black men who were lynched as a crowd of white people looked in the camera pointing and smiling. LaVette's version will be featured on her album, "Blackbirds" (Verve) set for release August 28.