The booklet photos for Kate McGarry's new CD "The Subject Tonight is Love" show her, guitarist Keith Ganz and keyboardist Gary Versace in a living room, making music for their own enjoyment. The music contained on the disc carries the same intimacy one might find at a house concert, where a small audience provides the necessary energy to inspire the performers to greater heights. McGarry's variations on "Gone with the Wind" are breathtaking, and her unique combination of innocence and emotional depth unite to create a version of "My Funny Valentine" which stands as near definitive. I have new respect for the Benny Golson/Kenny Dorham composition, "Fair Weather" because of McGarry's sensitive interpretation which collects a series of seemingly random thoughts into an integrated whole. On her original "Climb Down", McGarry tries to make peace with her Irish ancestors, and the track concludes with a brief rendition of an Irish pub song (with guest drummer Obed Calvaire). Another medley, "She Always Will" and "The River", is a mesmerizing piece linking our lives with nature. Ganz (who is also McGarry's husband) and Versace (a long-time friend and collaborator) are far from mere accompanists on these tracks. Their solos add necessary depth to the arrangements, enhancing McGarry's conception of the lyrics and adding immeasurably to the emotional impact of each song. For example, during the guitar chorus on "Valentine", Versace and Ganz employ rubato in a most subtle way (a device easily missed by those not paying close attention). That hesitancy in tempo-which is echoed by McGarry in the next chorus-brings out the uncertainty embedded in Lorenz Hart's lyric. Not everything on the disc is serious and intense: "What a Difference a Day Made" is a light-hearted romp over an implied samba rhythm. McGarry's voice captures a sense of utter joy as she freely switches between lyrics and scat over Versace's whirling Wurlitzer. The album opens with a recitation of the title poem and it closes with a quirky version of the Beatles' "All You Need is Love" (with Ron Miles added on cornet), but to my mind, the true bookends of the album are the versions of "Secret Love" and "Indian Summer", two well-worn standards that are revitalized by McGarry, Ganz and Versace-not through fancy arrangements or unusual concepts, but by performing them in a straight-forward manner which lets the innate qualities of the songs come through. That indescribable sense of adding just the right nuances is what makes Kate McGarry, Keith Ganz and Gary Versace masters of their art.
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This week in the Classic FM Chart, 'The Glorious Garden' has managed to hold onto its No. 1 spot from last week - and Murray Perahia jumps up 20 places with his Beethoven Piano Sonatas!
The Classic FM Chart sees Alan Titchmarsh and Debbie Wiseman holding the No. 1 spot, with their brand-new album of original poetry and symphonic music. And it's good news for Andre Rieu with his album Amore, which stays strong at No. 2. The only change in this week's top five sees Einaudi's Islands and Sheku Kanneh-Mason's Inspiration switching places at No. 3 and No. 4 respectively. At No. 6, Murray Perahia has leapt up a huge 20 places with his album of Beethoven Piano Sonatas, while Sing Me Home by Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble has also leapt up seven places from No. 14 to No. 7.
There are only two new entries this week: Language of the Heart by the Santiago Quartet at No. 9, and The Complete Recitals on Warner Classics by Christa Ludwig at No. 12. However, the bottom end of the chart sees a number of re-entries, including Ramin Djawadi's soundtrack to Game of Thrones Season 7, Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man, and two albums from Ludovico Einaudi.
On WCRB's CD of the Week, the soloists from the Montreal Symphony call on their virtuosity to bring out the light-heartedness in Beethoven and Richard Strauss.
Symphony orchestras are miraculous for what they can do as one complex entity. They possess a special chemistry that tunes their musicians directly into one another. And smaller miracles tend to crop up, too. Groups of orchestral players get real joy from stepping out of the bigger entity and finding camaraderie and spontaneity in chamber ensembles. Here in Boston, we've got the Boston Symphony Chamber Players and the Boston Cello Quartet. Now, in Montreal, the Soloists of the Montreal Symphony have begun a new series of recordings, and WCRB has chosen their first as our CD of the Week.
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Johnny Cash built his mythic self to fit his actual voice, behaving as if it had arrived from somewhere else, as if the voice (like a flame) had traveled a great distance to get here. This was correct. As the story goes, Cash's voice presented itself to him late in his adolescence. It just showed up one day, unannounced, there to be misunderstood and wasted, like any other blessing. His mother was a simple woman but she referred to his voice as The Gift.
Its snarl, however full of bombast and sanctimony it might have been, also had a lazy cruelness to it, a sense of malignant power held in reserve. It was like an ink drawn from some prior place. Cash would always imply that his voice did not come from his own earthly person but from a spectral elsewhere, outside of him, coming on like the Holy Ghost, selecting him and then commencing its ravishing. There was no way he could have prepared himself for its arrival. He had been working when he received it, simply doing his chores, adding his blood and sweat to the family engine, keeping on keeping on. "When I was 17," he wrote, "I had been cutting wood all day with my father and I came in and I was singing a gospel song, ‘Everybody's gonna have a wonderful time up there, Glory hallelujah.'" PHOTO: Getty/Bloomsbury Publishing/Salon)
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The Cranberries have just announced they will be releasing a reissue of their Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can't We for its 25th anniversary as well as a brand new album. The band, as Rolling Stone reported, had already started working on the reissue before singer Dolores O'Riordan death in January, which caused the project to be put on hold. The surviving members of the group, however, have revealed they will get back to the project and complete their new album, on which O'Riordan recorded her vocals before her sudden death. The band said their hope is to release the new record in the beginning of 2019.
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The music (and film and tech and everything else) at South by Southwest almost always looks to the future. Emerging acts and novel sounds and panels try to make sense of a music industry turned inside-out.
So what a treat to wander into a club set from '70s rock experimentalist Todd Rundgren at the end of Thursday evening's slate of music at 1 a.m. There are usually a few legacy acts or established mainstream performers each year, but it's rare to catch a singer-songwriter who has been pushing the outer edges of rock since the '60s - and has a worthy new collaborative album to add to that legacy.
Rundgren had some chart hits in the U.S. ("Hello It's Me" and "I Saw The Light" among them), but today, he's more of a cult figure and deep inspiration for today's crop of psychedelic acts and electronic producers. His new LP "White Night" has collaborations with current electronic boundary-pushers like Trent Reznor and Robyn, and nods to his classic rock legacy with turns from Joe Walsh and Steely Dan's Donald Fagen.
There's always pleasure in discovering something brand new at SXSW, but there's just as much as rediscovering something older that turns out to still sound brand new. "You're playing checkers and I'm playing chess," he sang on "Let's Do This," from his newest LP. That's been true for 40 years and counting. PHOTO: Gordon Lamb
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Internationally acclaimed jazz pianist Vijay Iyer is one of the few artists to play two different sets on the Rosies Stage at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. Iyer brings out his sextet to play both nights of the Festival on March 23 and 24, presenting original compositions on both nights.
Speaking from New York, Iyer said it had not been a tough decision to travel so far to get to Cape Town. While it is difficult to organise and schedule a six-member band made up of people who also have their own careers, playing in South Africa is something he has wanted to do for a while. "My mother-in-law is from Durban so I have been hearing stories for 20 years now," said the Grammy-nominated composer/ bandleader.
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Following her acclaimed album with the Staatskapelle Berlin and Daniel Barenboim, Tchaikovsky & Sibelius Violin Concertos, Lisa Batiashvili releases Visions of Prokofiev, a new album with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Daniel Hope returns to core repertoire with Journey to Mozart, an intimate exploration of Mozart's world comprising both works by the titular composer and pieces by his contemporaries Gluck, Haydn, Mysliveček and Salomon.
Martha Argerich, high point of Celebrity Series / The Boston Musical Intelligencer
Posted: October 25, 2017 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Undoubtedly Sunday afternoon will turn out to have been a high point of this year's Celebrity Series of Boston's roster of stars. Pianist extraordinaire Martha Argerich appeared on this series in 1982 and in 1989 (with Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Armin Jordan, music director). She had cancelled four times with the Boston Symphony , and was famously replaced by a very young Yuja Wang. Now on a U.S. tour that began last Friday in Carnegie Hall, Argerich is collaborating with the classy British-born, Sir Antonio Pappano, conductor of London's Covent Garden since 2002) and the Rome-based Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (since 2005). Appearing here for the first time since 1969, the ensemble was a real treat to hear, especially the winds and brass, but I imagine that what drew a full house to Symphony Hall was the rare chance to hear the legendary Argentinian-born Martha Argerich, renowned for her transcendental technique and musical genius, which leave most critics running out of superlatives.
When Argerich came on stage, applause pent up for decades erupted. The concerto's opening clarinet solo began the best reading I have heard. The orchestra collaborated perfectly with this mercurial artist; in many instances it felt like exquisite chamber music. Argerich deployed shattering bass, tiger-like pouncing attacks, thundering chords, double octaves galore, and magically placed glissandi. She has the strength to cut through a large orchestra, and the pianissimo to create a hushed reverie. The second movement, sardonic and dry, which consists of a meditative theme and five variations, was particularly exquisite. After the thrilling third movement, riotous applause broke out. Three curtain calls later, Pappano and Argerich sat side by side and gave a charming four-hand performance of Ravel's "Laidronette, Empress of the Pagodas" from his Mother Goose Suite. Dazzling, high fun, it went by far the fastest I had ever heard it. The person next to me had tears in the eyes and her hand on her heart throughout the concerto. "Laidronette" simply made everyone smile. Argerich's transcendent pianism caused widespread goosebumps in a Prokofiev Third for the ages.
In 1960 Martha Argerich was not yet a household name. Her début album was not to be released by Deutsche Grammophon until the following year, and the popularity that she was to achieve on winning the 1965 Warsaw Chopin Competition was not yet hers for the taking. And yet she was not completely unknown. She was born in Buenos Aires in 1941 and had already attracted attention as a child prodigy. Among her teachers were such famous pianists as Friedrich Gulda, Madeleine Lipatti and Nikita Magaloff. And soon after winning the 1957 Busoni and Geneva international competitions at the age of only sixteen, she had already made a number of important concert débuts. It is no wonder, then, that her name had come to the attention of various broadcasters. Only now has she sanctioned the release of some of the recordings that she made for North German and West German Radio in 1960 and 1967. They round off and complement our picture of Martha Argerich's pianism.
SYND: C24 Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, St. Louis, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Portland, Detroit, Baltimore, Denver, Austin, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Albuquerque, Louisville, Columbus OH, Honolulu, Canada Online: AccuRadio
Recorded live at the 2007 Verbier Festival, this very special evening took place when the Festival gave pianist Martha Argerich carte blanche to program any repertoire and with any colleagues she desired. The result was a special evening of music-making with an eclectic cast of friends and colleagues. Amidst all the chamber music, Argerich also performs Schumann's Kinderszenenin a rare solo moment.
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SYND: Classical 24, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, Cleveland, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Denver, Portland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Buffalo, Columbus OH, Honolulu, Canada Online: Taintradio