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Steve Tibbetts:

Hellbound Train

Steve Tibbetts: guitars, dobro, piano, kalimba, percussion; Marc Anderson: congas, percussion, gongs, steel drum, handpan; Michelle Kinney: cello, drones; Jim Anton, Eric Anderson, Bob Hughes: bass; Mike Olson: synthesizer; Marcus Wise: tabla; Tim Weinhold: vase, bongos; Claudia Schmidt, Rhea Valentine: voice (collective personnel)
Recordings 1981-2017

ECM 2656/57 2CD: 6024 4557480 3 Release: 1. Juli 2022

A question for Steve Tibbetts

Hellbound Train is a double album anthology drawn from your work on ECM. What was the criteria for inclusion? How did you select the pieces? Is this The Best Of Steve Tibbetts?

Lang Lang:

The Disney Book

In celebration of 100 years of The Walt Disney Company, globally acclaimed piano virtuoso Lang Lang is set to transport listeners into the magical world of snow castles and flying carpets with his latest album, The Disney Book.

This enchanting musical journey through iconic movie melodies, reimagined in new versions written especially for him by some of the world’s leading arrangers, invites fans of all ages to enjoy classical music through Lang Lang’s unique interpretations. The recording will be released on 16 September on Deutsche Grammophon, in collaboration with Disney Music Group.

A truly international production, with recording sessions taking place in London, New York, Shanghai and Paris, The Disney Book traces the history of music in Disney films from the 1920s to the present day, whilst also reflecting Lang Lang’s own personal journey. Lang Lang explains: “Animation sparked my imagination and transported me to other worlds. The music was a big part of this experience – and led to my life-long love of classical music. There is such a variety of styles in Disney songs; truly, something to inspire everyone. I hope that people of all ages will enjoy this recording and experience the joy that we all felt the first time we saw a Disney film.”

The album’s first single, released today, is “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins – which Walt Disney himself famously declared to be his favourite Disney melody. The film’s co-composers, brothers Richard and Robert Sherman, were regularly asked to join Walt in his office on a Friday afternoon to play it for him; they even continued this tradition after the legendary animator’s death in 1966. Lang Lang’s own version of “Feed the Birds” features an accompanying music video, shot as dawn broke over Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland Park in California, making him the first classical pianist ever to perform there.

Antonio Sanchez:

SHIFT - Bad Hombre Vol II

SHIFT (Bad Hombre Vol. II) is the sequel to Antonio Sánchez’s 2017 Grammy-nominated Bad Hombre. On his premiere release for Warner Music, Sánchez approached a who’s-who of collaborators — some of his favorite singers and songwriters — for material he could deconstruct and reimagine. He then called upon his “Bad Hombre” alter-ego, where he plays virtually all the instruments while adding his compositional, production and percussion talents to “shift” the song to new realms while still leaving its essence intact.  

The result is a beautiful circle that sees Dave Matthews & Pat Metheny, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, Meshell Ndegeocello, Lila Downs, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Kimbra, Ana Tijoux, Becca Stevens, Silvana Estrada, MARO, Thana Alexa & SONICA sitting in on their own tunes — or ideas cowritten by Sánchez — as a familiar yet original space regifted to the composers for joint musical exploration.

John Williams - Anne-Sophie Mutter:

Williams_ Violin Concerto No. 2 & Film Themes

Following the huge success of John Williams – The Berlin Concert, which topped the German pop charts earlier this year, Deutsche Grammophon is now proud to present the world premiere recording of John Williams’ Violin Concerto No. 2. The work was written for and recorded by the venerated composer’s friend and frequent collaborator Anne-Sophie Mutter. Her impassioned performance was given with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Williams, who celebrated his 90th birthday on 8 February.

The new album also includes three film themes newly arranged for the violinist by their composer – the Theme from The Long Goodbye, “Han Solo and the Princess” from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and “Marion’s Theme” from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Williams: Violin Concerto No. 2 & Selected Film Themes is out now on CD, Vinyl and digitally. Blu-ray and eVideo formats will be released on 19 August,  together with an exclusive 10-inch Vinyl available on the DG Store.

Rokia Kone - Jacknife Lee:

BAMANAN

It’s a voice that soars – pure, clear and true — above bass and synths, traditional percussion and infectious Mande guitar grooves. A stop-you-in-your-tracks voice instantly familiar to anyone in Mali, West Africa: Rokia Koné, aka the Rose of Bamako.

One of Mali’s most beloved and dynamic artists, Koné is a force to be reckoned with. Her captivating performances in the city’s local maquis clubs very often last for hours, as Koné runs the gamut of emotion from joy to despair, fury to tenderness, wielding that astounding voice with grace and power. For her debut album, Koné might have been content with showing off that soulful instrument on a traditional repertoire of songs.

Instead she’s teamed with Irish-born, California-based rock producer Jacknife Lee — and reimagined the Malian sound in ways leftfield and ground breaking.

Welcome, then, BAMANAN, a collaboration that connects the great ancient kingdoms of Mali and the bustling modern street life of its capital, Bamako to a remote recording studio nestled within California’s Topanga Canyon. That bridges deep tradition and forward-facing innovation.

Julius Rodriguez:

Let Sound tell All

Julius Rodriguez – multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and ‘rising jazz phenom’ (NPR) – releases a new single “Where Grace Abounds” accompanied by a stunning music video. The song is a gospel-infused, vibing meditation about self-acceptance and gratitude, and the music video stars Julius and dancer Joyce Edwards in a minimalist and moving metaphor exploring those themes. Watch the music video here. This is the third single from the debut album from Julius Rodriguez Let Sound Tell All set for release June 10 on the legendary Verve Records.

Rodriguez also previously announced a new show date in NYC on June 15 at the Sultan Room to celebrate the release of the album.

The vibing gospel meditation “Where Grace Abounds” shows Rodriguez’s profound spiritual side. The self-reflective composition is, according to Julius, “a song I wrote at a time where I felt like I wasn't being the best version of myself yet, and still a lot of great things were happening to me. So it’s me being grateful for being in the situation I'm in, even though I felt like I didn’t deserve it.”

It begins as a duet between Rodriguez on piano and Hammond B-3 organ, speaking to himself through these two instruments and showing the profound compositional understanding and restraint. Eventually, Giveton Gelin’s trumpet and Hakim’s voice arrive as late -in-the-song punctuations, providing an ethereal and echoing chamber of reflection. Drew Ofthe Drew and Jon Castelli mix it into a ghostly, gospel-like wonder.

Matt Haimovitz:

PRIMAVERA III - the vessel

PRIMAVERA II the vessel is the third of six albums in a momentous series encompassing 81 world premieres for solo cello. This digital album presents 9 new commissions by The Primavera Project for groundbreaking, multi-GRAMMY nominated cellist Matt Haimovitz. Composers from diverse backgrounds respond to both Sandro Botticelli’s enigmatic painting, Primavera, and the prophetic large-scale triptych, Primavera 2020, by world-renowned contemporary artist Charline von Heyl. The Primavera Project is currently featured in collaboration with von Heyl’s Primavera 2020 in the 59th Biennale Arte 2022.

Referencing the time of Botticelli, PRIMAVERA III the vessel begins with Josquin des Prez’s Praeter Rerum Seriem, arranged for cello choir by Haimovitz and offering 500 years of perspective on the newly commissioned works. Stripped of the Latin text, Josquin’s repeating motives and ubiquitous canons are illuminated by the six celli (all recorded by Haimovitz at von Heyl’s artist studio in Marfa, Texas) in this contrapuntal tour-de-force.

The album includes two new works by legendary composer Philip Glass: the lyrical Philip’s Song, as well as Haimovitz’s haunting rendition of Glass’ Samsara which begins with the simplest of musical elements, winding its way as the cello metamorphoses into a tambura – the instrumental drone of raga. The themes of death and rebirth, darkness and light, possession and liberation permeate through the new works. Layale Chaker’s heartfelt lament Before Bloom takes the form of a Middle Eastern taqsim, evoking the flowers and leaves bearing witness to suffering, yet blooming defiantly each Spring. Annabelle Chvostek’s (formerly of the Wailin’ Jennys) Your Shadow and Inflorescence invites the cello into a bluegrass realm as she grapples with internalizing the darkness of Zephyrus’ assault and regaining her own breath. Tamar-kali sparingly uses col legno, pizzicato, and arco timbres in Little Bear Awakens to capture a dance of Spring. Lewis Spratlan’s One for Two leads us on a tour of the two paintings, the symbols, and figures. Marcos Balter’s ironically operatic Millefleur celebrates and demolishes the beauty of Botticelli’s elaborate garden. The sprightly overtones and microtones of Osnat Netzer’s Diaphanous Diaphony depicts the buoyancy and transparency of the three dancing Graces. Finally, Phonodelica transforms Botticelli’s cathedral forest into the drowning meadow of von Heyl’s Primavera 2020.

Ella Fitzgerald:

Ella At The Hollywood Bowl

Will Friedwald writes…..On August 16, 1958, just a few months after Ella Fitzgerald recorded her now-classic album, Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Irving Berlin Songbook, The First Lady Of Song performed selections from that album live at the Hollywood Bowl to an adoring, sold-out crowd. Conducted and arranged by Paul Weston, who also arranged and conducted the studio sessions, this concert marked the only time that Ella performed these iconic arrangements live with a full orchestra.

On June 24, Verve/UMe will proudly release the full, never-before-released 15-song performance, aptly titled, Ella At The Hollywood Bowl: The Irving Berlin Songbook, on CD, vinyl, limited edition yellow splatter vinyl, and digitally. This landmark record, discovered in the private collection of producer and Verve Records founder Norman Granz, marks the first time a live Songbook has been released from Ella. It is also significant in that it captures the only time Ella worked in concert with arranger-conductor Paul Weston. And, although she performed regularly at the Hollywood Bowl, this is the first full-length concert by Ella from this iconic venue to be released (notably, Ella was featured prominently on Verve’s Jazz At The Hollywood Bowl album, recorded and released in 1956, the year Granz formed the label). The live tracks were mixed from the original ¼” tapes by Grammy Award-winning producer and musician Gregg Field who played drums for Ella in her later years. The album is rounded out with insightful liner notes about the concert and Ella’s Songbook series by noted author and music critic.

The majesty and magic of Ella Fitzgerald performing live is brought to vivid life in the new animated video for the incredible, one-of-a-kind performance of her beloved tune, “Cheek To Cheek,” recorded live at the Hollywood Bowl on August 16, 1958 with a full orchestra, conducted and arranged by Paul Weston. Directed and animated by London-based artist Sharon Liu, the whimsical, beautifully hand drawn and painted video pays homage to the world-famous venue which played such a pivotal part in Ella’s story and celebrates The First Lady of Song through a dazzling array of gorgeous, ever-changing gowns as she struts and twirls across colorful scenes while masterfully singing the timeless tune.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason:

'Myfanwy' from Song

Song, the new album from cellist Sheku-Kanneh Mason, features music from across the entire spectrum of classical, folk, jazz and pop – all personally curated by Sheku. The eclectic mix of styles are tied together by one thing – the unique singing voice of Sheku’s cello.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason became a household name in 2018 after performing at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle. His performance was greeted with universal excitement and was seen by nearly two billion people globally. 

Sheku initially garnered renown as the winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician Competition, the first black musician to take the title. He has released two chart-topping albums on the Decca Classics label, Inspiration (2018) and Elgar (2020). The latter reached #8 in the overall UK official album chart, making Sheku the first cellist in history to reach the UK top 10.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason has included some of his own arrangements including of Aretha Franklin’s ‘I Say a Little Prayer’ (written by Burt Bacharach) for solo pizzicato cello, Bach arrangements for multiple cellos, and the folk tune ‘Myfanwy’, his Welsh grandmother’s favourite song. Sheku said, “This is one of my absolute favourite melodies, and one that I’ve known for as long as I can remember. I spent a lot of my childhood in Wales with my family and particularly my Welsh Grandma, so this is for her.”

As well as performing solo Sheku is also joined by family and friends for many of the pieces on his new album Song. He improvises with jazz pianist Harry Baker on ‘Cry Me A River’, collaborates with singer-songwriter Zak Abel on their original song, ‘Same Boat’ and joins the South African soprano Pumeza Matshikiza on Massenet’s ‘Élégie’.

The album also includes the world premiere on a new work (commissioned by the Royal Academy of Music, where Sheku studied) from British composer, Edmund Finnis, who wrote the ‘Five Preludes’ especially for Sheku, and a movement from Messiaen’s moving ‘Quartet for the End of Time’.

“I wanted to show who I am as a musician right now,” said Sheku Kanneh-Mason. “In doing so, I was able to showcase different styles and approaches to music.”

Shabaka:

Afrikan Culture

Celebrated saxophonist, philosopher, bandleader, and musician Shabaka Hutchings, now professionally known as Shabaka across all solo musical efforts, debuts his first major label solo body of work, Afrikan Culture (impulse!).  Entirely written by Shabaka, the eight-track digital only EP showcases him on various wind instruments and focuses on the aural meditative space.

Produced by Shabaka and frequent collaborator Dilip Harris, Afrikan Culture takes you on a sonically healing journey. Immersed in a sea of sound, diverse instruments that include the Shakuhachi (a Japanese end-blown flute), a Kora (a stringed instrument used extensively in West Africa), a Mbira (a “thumb piano” from Africa), and a music box envelopes the listener in a soothing sound that lingers on well past the last played note.

Jeff Beal:

The Paper Lined Shack

The recording features soprano Hilá Plitmann, Leonard Slatkin conducting the Eastman Philharmonia, and the New Hollywood String Quartet Jeff Beal, celebrated as both a concert composer of affecting chamber and orchestral works as well as a highly-proliic composer for film and television, will release his newest recording project, The Paper Lined Shack, on June 24, on Supertrain Records. Comprising two works - the album’s namesake, “The Paper Lined Shack” for soprano and orchestra, and “Things Unseen” for string quartet - this album is a deeply personal one for Beal in many respects, representing Beal’s lineage, past and present. The libretto to “The Paper Lined Shack” was compiled by Joan Beal, utilizing texts and images sourced from his great-grandmother’s memoir, composed in her late years. The cycle is performed by two-time Grammy Award-winning soprano Hilá Plitmann with the Eastman Philharmonia conducted by the classical music giant Leonard Slatkin; the world premiere of “The Paper Lined Shack'' took place in 2019 with Plitmann, Slatkin, and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Time for Three:

Letters for the Future

Innovative string trio Time For Three (TF3) – praised by Simon Rattle as “benevolent monsters, monsters of ability and technique surely. But also conveyors of an infectious joy that I find both touching and moving” – releases the new album Letters for the Future with the Philadelphia Orchestra led by Xian Zhang on Deutsche Grammophon on June 10. The album comprises world premiere recordings of two technically demanding and musically virtuosic concerti for trio and orchestra by two Pulitzer Prize-winning composers, written fifteen years apart but both commissioned for the group: Jennifer Higdon’s 2007 Concerto 4-3 and Kevin Puts’s brand-new Contact, the first track of which is available May 20. A PBS Articulate episode about the project will be released to PBS affiliates nationwide on May 24. 
 
Time For Three comprises two violinists, Nicolas “Nick” Kendall and Charles Yang, and bassist Ranaan Meyer; all three musicians are also vocalists, a defining feature of the group since Yang joined in 2015 that Puts makes good use of in Contact. Both Kendall and Meyer attended Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute and played early in their careers with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Yang graduated from Juilliard. Matías Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc., explains.

Peter Boyer:

Balance of Power - Orchestral Works

On July 8, 2022, Naxos releases American composer/conductor Peter Boyer’s newest recording, with the London Symphony Orchestra under his direction. The album includes eight of Boyer’s works, with six world premiere recordings. The centerpiece of the album is Balance of Power, a three-movement, 19-minute work commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in honor of the 95th birthday of Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State. The National Symphony Orchestra premiered Balance of Power at the Kennedy Center in September 2021. The recording also features Fanfare for Tomorrow, commissioned and premiered by the U.S. Marine Band at the inauguration of President Joseph Biden, in a new orchestral version.

The album includes two works originally commissioned and recorded by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as the Cincinnati Pops: Rolling River (Sketches on “Shenandoah”), a setting of the American folk tune, and In the Cause of the Free, on the theme of Veterans Day. Additional works include Curtain Raiser, an exuberant opener; Elegy for English horn, harp and strings; Fanfare, Hymn and Finale, originally commissioned for the 220th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Band; and Radiance, a string orchestra work composed especially for this recording.

This is Boyer’s third album in the Naxos American Classics Series, following his GRAMMY-nominated Ellis Island: The Dream of America with the Philharmonia Orchestra, and his Symphony No. 1 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Boyer stated: “I’m delighted to have my work included again in a series which features many of the greatest American composers—from Copland, Gershwin, Barber, Bernstein, Ellington, and Ives to contemporary giants such as Adams and Corigliano. It’s certainly meaningful to be in such musical company.”

Carlos Simon:

Requiem for the Enslaved

Decca is proud to announce the signing of US composer Carlos Simon and the release of his new album Requiem for the Enslaved. The title work sees Simon infuse the traditional Catholic requiem with music from African American spirituals to create a haunting piece for chamber ensemble and spoken word.

The album’s central piece, Requiem for the Enslaved, with text by Marco Pavé, was commissioned by Georgetown University, where Simon is currently Assistant Professor of Composition, following a decision by its student body in 2020. A majority voted to establish a reparations fund to be paid to descendants of 272 enslaved people who were sold for $115,000 by the Maryland Jesuits, the founders of Georgetown, in 1838 to rescue the university from bankruptcy. This work honors the passing of those people purchased and sold by the founders. Upon receiving the commission, Simon visited the Louisiana cotton plantation that purchased the enslaved people and delved through the Georgetown archives for historical research as he began work on the piece. The album’s cover is inspired by this location.

James Brandon Lewis - Lutoslawski Quartet:

These are Soulful Days

These are Soulful Days is a piece built and inspired by the fabric of a quilted history of African American Music from its folk traditions of blues, spirituals, and jazz. The piece embodies the sentiment of a joyful past, determined present and resilient future.

These are Soulful Days is the most recent commission from Jazztopad, a piece written for saxophone and the Lutoslawski Quartet by the celebrated tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis. The piece, the composer’s first writing for strings, was premiered in Poland last year and will get its US premiere at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola on June 21 and 22.

James Brandon Lewis (b.1983) is a critically-acclaimed composer, saxophonist, and writer. He has received accolades from NPR, ASCAP Foundation, MacDowell, and The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. He has been described as “a saxophonist who embodies and transcends tradition” by The New York Times, and a promising young talent having listened to the elders by Jazz Legend Sonny Rollins. “The saxophonist has balanced a deep, gospel-informed spirituality with Free-Jazz-abandon and hard-hitting funk-meets-hip-hop underpinning”—Rolling Stone Magazine. He has released several critically acclaimed albums, most recently highly touted Jesup Wagon and tours internationally leading several ensembles and is a member and co-founder of American Book Award winning poetry music ensemble Heroes Are Gang Leaders. James was voted Rising Star Tenor Saxophonist by Downbeat magazine's 2020s International Critics poll and most recently named top Tenor Saxophonist for 2021 by Jazz Times Magazine. Lewis attended Howard University, received his MFA from California Institute of the Arts and was recently named the inaugural recipient of the PhD Fellowship in Creativity by the University of the Arts in collaboration with The Balvenie, drummer and Academy Award-Winning Director Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson.

Founded in 2007, the Lutoslawski Quartet has become one of Europe’s foremost contemporary classical string quartets, specializing in the music of their namesake, Witold Lutoslawski. The Quartet began a partnership with Jazztopad over a decade ago and remains an essential part of the festival’s commission program. The Quartet has performed at prestigious festivals and concert halls in Europe, Asia, and South America. The ensemble has often performed with outstanding artists such as Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Uri Caine, Benoît Delbecq, Vijay Iyer, and Charles Lloyd as well as with Garrick Ohlsson, Piotr Anderszewski, Kevin Kenner, Bruno Canino, Michel Lethiec, and Tomoko Akasaka. The quartet performs music of the 20th and 21st centuries, devoting great attention to the popularization of Polish music that include works by Witold Lutoslawski, Karol Szymanowski, Pawel Mykietyn, and Marcin Markowicz, one of the ensemble members.

Royal Scottish National Orch. - Avlana Eisenberg:

William Grant Still - Music for Violin & Orch.

William Grant Still: Music for Violin and Orchestra - Featuring Violinist Zina Schiff and Conductor Avlana Eisenberg Leading the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Naxos American Classics Release Includes Nine of Still’s Long-Overlooked Gems

On Friday, May 27, 2022, the world premiere recording, William Grant Still: Music for Violin and Orchestra, featuring acclaimed violinist Zina Schiff and conductor Avlana Eisenberg leading the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, will be released by Naxos American Classics (Naxos 8.559867). The album includes world premiere orchestral versions of Summerland, Violin Suite, Pastorela, American Suite, Threnody, Serenade, Fanfare for the 99th Fighter Squadron, Can’t You Line ‘Em and Quit Dat Fool’nish.

Kamil Piotrowicz Sextet:

Weird Heaven

Weird Heaven is the third album by Kamil Piotrowicz Sextet, with Tomasz Dabrowski on trumpet, Kuba Wiecek on alto saxophone, Piotr Checki on tenor saxophone, Andrzej Swies on double bass, Krzysztof Szmanda on drums, vibraphone, and Kamil Piotrowicz as a pianist, composer. It comprises 9 compositions written between 2019-2021 which were premiered at a special concert at the Polish Radio Program 2 in Warsaw in April 2021.

The music opens a fresh perspective on the relationship between improvisation and composition, where strong, pop-like melodies, vocalised autotune, sonoristic, collective sounds and minimalistic, repetitive motives contrast to transport the listener to a place of infinite possibilities, silly feelings, hard logic and unreasonable dreams.

Kamil Piotrowicz Sextet's Weird Heaven will premiere live on June 21 and 22 at Dizzy's Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center during the 6th  Jazztopad Festival New York.

Anything I want
Anything you want
Anything we want
Winning is for Losers
Not for everyone

The album was recorded at the Polish Radio Dwójka on December 8-10, 2021. Mixed and mastered by Michal Kupicz. Cover artwork by Piotr Denlowicz and cover artdesign by Aleksandra Mleczko. “Weird Heaven” will be released by Howard Records with the support of Stoart, Zaiks and West Pomeranian Region.

John Williams, Yo-Yo Ma, New York Philharmonic:

A Gathering of Friends

John Williams and Yo-Yo Ma renew their celebrated, decades-long collaboration and friendship with A Gathering of Friends, an all-new recording from Sony Classical set for release on May 20, 2022 and available now for preorder. The album is comprised of two acclaimed concert works the composer wrote for the cellist, plus selections from his film scores for Schindler’s List, Lincoln, and Munich.  Featuring Williams himself conducting the New York Philharmonic, A Gathering of Friends also includes special appearances by the Spanish guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas and harpist Jessica Zhou.  Accompanying today’s album announcement is the first track release, Theme from Schindler’s List.
 
John Williams and Yo-Yo Ma first met some four decades ago, when the Oscar-winning composer became conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra and Ma was just beginning his remarkable solo career. Their creative collaboration has extended from the concert hall to the scoring stage to the 2008 inauguration of President Barack Obama, all anchored by an abiding personal connection and mutual regard. From their first encounters, each recognized in the other an understanding that, as Williams simply puts it, “music is our oxygen.”

Uri Caine - Lutoslawski Quartet:

Space Kiss

The dialogue between the world of classical music and that of jazz and popular music has been going on for decades. The roots of jazz laid far from the salons of classical music, initially it was classical composers (Stravinsky, Ravel, Milhaud and others) who eagerly referred to a new, fashionable phenomenon. The brilliant George Gershwin built the bridge between popular and classical music. To this day, a lot of jazz artists have endeavored to tackle classical themes. The phenomenal Keith Jarret knows how to connect the two worlds.

The Space Kiss album is an invitation to meet the extraordinary musical personality of Uri Caine, an American classical and jazz pianist and composer. Ha was born in the United States, in Philadelphia, on June 8, 1956. He began playing the piano at the age of seven and at twelve continued his education with the French jazz pianist Bernard Peiffer. In later years, he studied at the University of Pennsylvania, where George Crumb, one of the most famous representatives of the world’s musical avant-garde, was his mentor. During this period, he also explored the secrets of classical music, while performing in jazz clubs. Thus, already at an early age Uri Caine confronted different musical worlds (jazz, avant-garde, classics), which to this day results in an intriguing, specific style of his work.

On Space Kiss, the pianist is accompanied by the well-known Lutoslawski Quartet.

Trio Xolo:

In Flower, In Song

In Flower, In Song is the debut album from Trio Xolo, an improvising group composed of Mexican-American bassist Zachary Swanson, Baltimore-based saxophonist Derrick Michaels, and Lithuanian percussionist Dalius Naujo. With a telepathic ear toward musical interplay, Trio Xolo performs free-flowing stream of consciousness improvisations. The result is true, in the moment composition. The trio moves together dynamically as their voices simultaneously overlap and converge into one. In Flower, In Song was recorded live in one room and unveils a warm, organic sound: Swanson's distinctive use of gut strings produce a dark, woody tone, Michaels draws robust color from a vintage saxophone, and Naujo expresses a nuanced control of energy and dynamics. Through explorations of melody, atmosphere, and texture, they can either embrace or dispel the traditional hierarchy of the trio format. At its core, Trio Xolo creates music that seeks to capture the essence of the moment through deep listening.

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