Echoes profiles WXPN's Chuck Van Zyl

We recently explored some of the early 1980s Philadelphia electronic music scene in our interview with The Nightcrawlers, the electronic trio who's 1980 cassette recordings have just been collected on The Biophonic Boombox Recordings. This was music steeped in the sounds of 70s German electronic artists like Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel (now just Ashra). Among the leading acolytes of this sound was Chuck Van Zyl. He is a DJ at WXPN, hosting the old Diaspar show and taking over the reins of Star's End from me in the 80s. He still hosts the show on WXPN to this day. Chuck also produces The Gatherings concert series, which has brought live electronic music to Philadelphia since 1992 including performances by Steve Roach, Robert Rich, Richard Pinhas of Heldon and Cluster. But Chuck wasn't content spinning the discs of his electronic heroes. He started making his own music. He released some of them on cassette, some under his own names, some as Xisle, an ad hoc group that sometimes included members of The Nightcrawlers, and released a CD with his duo, The Ministry of Inside Things. Last year he released an epic double CD live album, with the inauspicious name of Recitals and now he's readying Recitals 2, another set of live performances. Van Zyl is currently getting ready to play E-Day 2018 in Holland opening for Zanov and Ulrich Schnauss. Here's a video of Chuck Van Zyl playing one of the segments of Recitals 2. SEE THE Echoes PAGE & WATCH VIDEO
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Ennio Morricone announces final UK performance / Evening Standard

Morricone will conduct his iconic film scores live at the O2 in London on November 26, all with the backing of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra and the Crouch End Festival Chorus. Tickets for the show go on general sale on March 23. "I have very fond memories of my tours to the UK," Morricone said about his final London show. "From my very first concert at the Barbican Centre to my shows at the beautiful Royal Albert Hall and recently the spectacular nights at the O2 Arena and the Blenheim Palace grounds." As well as planning the upcoming live show, Morricone has written the score for soon to be released Italian film A Rose In Winter. His most recent work for film was the soundtrack to 2016 movie Correspondence, starring Jeremy Irons and Olga Kurylenko. READ THE FULL Evening Standard ARTICLE
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PMG set for his sold out 'Annenberg Cuba Festival' show /

America's political relationship with Cuba has long been complicated and uncertain, but the two countries have always enjoyed a rich and mutually beneficial cultural exchange. The breadth of the island's contemporary artistic output will be spotlighted in Philadelphia over the next three weeks as the Annenberg Center hosts its Cuba Festival, featuring performances by Cuban musicians and dancers, along with film screenings. One of the biggest success stories to come out of that convergence is percussionist Pedrito Martinez, whose concert this Saturday is already sold out. Martinez became a sensation over his decade-long residency at the Manhattan club Guantanamera, where regulars included Eric Clapton and Derek Trucks. He's since gone on to perform with notables from Wynton Marsalis to Bruce Springsteen while taking his infectious show on the road in front of enthusiastic crowds. The festival kicks off this week and culminates April 13. READ THE FULL Philadelphia Inquirer ARTICLE
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Lara Downes beautifully encapsulates the spirit of Leonard Bernstein / Mendocino County's Public Radio

Leonard Bernstein is a treasure of American music.  The son of Ukranian immigrants he was a prolific composer, pianist, educator, and conductor associated with New York Philharmonic for forty-seven years. The conservative culture of classical music wouldn't let a gay man hold a prestigious conducting position so he lived his whole life in the closet. Leonard Bernstein was born in 1918. In honor of his 100th birthday pianist Lara Downes has released a tribute to Lenny, twenty-eight tracks which beautifully encapsulate the spirit of the man and his music. The album is called For Lenny, the track we're hearing is The Story of my Life. SEE Mendocino County's Public Radio PAGE p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060}
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McGarry,Ganz,Versace. A unique combination of innocence and emotional depth / Jazzhistoryonline

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. SEE ALL THE REVIEWS ON Jazzhistoryonline
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Murray Perahia - Beethoven Piano Sonatas jumps up 20 places on CLASSIC fM chart

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.
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OSM Chamber Soloists - Beethoven & Strauss is WCRB: CD Of the Week

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. READ THE FULL WCRB: Boston ARTICLE
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The day Johnny Cash's voice walked in the door / salon

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) READ THE FULL Salon ARTICLE
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The Cranberries to release final album recorded with the late Dolores O'Riordan /

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. READ THE FULL ARTICLE
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Todd Rundgren still sounds brand new at SXSW / Los Angeles Times

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 READ THE FULL Los Angeles Times ARTICLE
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Vijay Iyer Sextet will play two different sets on two different nights at Cape Town Jazz Festival / IOL

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. READ THE FULL IOL ARTICLE
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Listen to Star Wars: The Last Jedi - score only featurette on

Throughout all of the changes the Star Wars galaxy has gone through, from different trilogies of films from different directors, to the different characters that have taken center stage, there has been one constant throughout it all: John Williams. The legendary composer has been featured in every entry of the main saga, but Williams' score has yet to receive the recognition that it has for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Fans who purchase the movie have access to a score-only version, comparable to what writer and director Rian Johnson calls a "silent film" with Williams music as the only sounds. And now you can watch a teaser for that version in the clip above. Johnson revealed this version of the movie during a live Q&A, saying it was one of his passion projects for the home video version. READ 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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Top 10 Albums for March

Bill Frisell :

Music IS

Almost every day, Bill Frisell gets up in the morning, has some coffee, and writes music. At this point, there are piles and piles and piles of single pages of staff paper filled with his graceful script. "I don't know where the melodies come from," says Frisell. "I try not to judge anything and just let them be." Frisell's mantra, or motto so to speak, is, "Music is good" – a statement said to him by his dear friend and great banjo player Danny Barnes. "That is something that I can say is always true. It's so perfect. Everything I need to know is that phrase, ‘Music is Good.' I almost called the album that, but then I thought that might be too literal. It's good to leave it open."  44 TOTAL Markets include: New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Louisville, Madison WI, Reno, WV(Statewide), OR(Statewide), Barcelon, Berlin INTER: Canada, UK, Spain, Italy, Germany Online: JazzPages, ArkansasOnline, Radio Valencia, popMATTERS, Jazz From Gallery 41, GreenArrow, Jazz Weekly, Radio Free Amsterdam
Solomon Grey :

Human Music

Human Music is a collection of intricately crafted songs showcasing the band's cinematic-style emotive soundscapes. The album delves into themes of choice, love and loss, and was written by the band at the time singer Joe's mum was diagnosed with a terminal illness. The album was influenced by her passing. Solomon Grey explain, "The album is fundamentally about exploring loss and finding out how integral it is to life. That's where it started for us but it can mean whatever you want it to."
Sons of Kemet :

Your Queen Is A Reptile

Shabaka Hutchings, saxophonist, band leader and composer, has signed to impulse! records under the umbrella of Verve Label Group. One of his groups Sons of Kemet will release their third album Your Queen Is A Reptile on impulse! on March 30, 2018. To celebrate this signing and the label returning to the United States under VLG, impulse! will present a showcase at Winter Jazzfest on January 12 at Le Poisson Rouge, featuring Sons of Kemet and pianist Sullivan Fortner.   16 TOTAL SYND: NPR/All Songs Considered, Songs We Love   Direct: AccuRadio Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Boston, New Orleans, ME(Statewide) INTER: Canada, UK Online: Textura, Pitchfork, RollingStone, Felix, theguardian
The Lao Tizer Band :

Songs From The Swinghouse

With more than five years since their last release, The Lao Tizer Band has taken the time to grow in every aspect. An updated larger band is exploring some new methods on their upcoming CD/DVD combo, Songs From The Swinghouse: recorded live in just three days at Conway Studios in Hollywood, the band explores three cover tunes with vocalist, a first for the group, alongside original instrumental tracks, bringing them to new heights of excellence and exuberance. 56 TOTAL SYND: Smooth Jazz Network, BBC Radio, All Jazz Radio Markets include: New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Atlanta, St. Louis, Baltimore, Long Island NY, Las Vegas, Madison WI, Honolulu, Ottawa, Barcelona INTER: Canada, UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, South Africa Online: BDS, Live For Live Music, Pure Jazz Radio, KUHS, GreenArrow, Jazz From Gallery 41
Max Raabe with Palast Orchester :


Beloved German singer Max Raabe once again takes his audience on a nostalgic trip to the ‘20s on his new album with the Palast Orchester, der perfekte Moment ...wird heut verpennt. This album is Raabe's third collaboration with pop producer Annette Humpe and features songs about both the triumphs and missteps of everyday life - all performed with Raabe's inimitable blend of humor and emotional vulnerability.  28 TOTAL SYND: The Bill Miller Show   Direct: Stingray Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Cleveland, Berkeley, San Antonio, Madison WI, TX(Network), ND(Network), Vancouver, Barcelona, Pisa  INTER: Canada, Spain, Italy Online: salt peanuts Stage and Cinema
The New York Philharmonic, Jaap van Zweden :

Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7

The New York Philharmonic will launch its partnership with Decca Gold, Universal Music Group's newly established U.S. classical music label, on February 23, 2018, with the release of Jaap van Zweden and the Philharmonic's performances of Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7.  15 NEW  71 TOTAL SYND: C24, Beethoven NET, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Wash DC, Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Seattle, Minneapolis, Portland, Denver, Detroit, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Hartford CT, Columbus OH, Santa Fe, Honolulu, AL(Statewide) MN(Statewide), WI(Statewide), NE(Statewide), MT(Statewide), MI(Statewide), IN(Statewide), WI(Statewide), NE(Statewide), Canada INTER: Canada, Korea Online: AccuRadio, bachtrack, U.S. News, OperaWire, BroadwayWorld, The Korea Times
Sheku Kanneh-Mason :


18-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason came into the spotlight when he won the prestigious BBC Young Musician award in 2016. Signed to Decca Classics, his debut album features Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No.1, the piece Sheku performed in the BBCYM final. Recorded live with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Inspiration also includes a broad range of new cello arrangements, from Saint-Saëns' "Le Cygne (The Swan)" to Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry." 26 NEW  65 TOTAL SYND: NPR, C24, CBC Direct: MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Portland, Cincinnati, Detroit, Austin, IA(Statewide), MN(Statewide), SC(Statewide) INTER: Canada, UK, Venezuela Online: AccuRadio, Nagaland Post, iNews, fancarpet, SLIPPED DISC, The Violin Channel, Chichester Observer, Henley Standard, The Sun, Financial Times, Mid Sussex Times, The Argus, Music News, Daily Mail, Crawley & Horley Observer
Lisa Batiashvili :

Visions of Prokofiev

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. The album features Prokofiev's two violin concertos as well as select movements from his famous ballets (Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, The Love for Three Oranges), newly arranged for solo violin and orchestra by Lisa's father, Tamás Batiashvili.
Murray Perahia :

Beethoven Piano Sonatas Op 106, Op 27

Grammy-winning pianist Murray Perahia stands in the tradition of the great keyboard virtuosi as an artist armed with consummate technical skills and boundless imagination. After years of studying the original manuscripts, working sketches and editions published during the Beethoven's lifetime, and having edited the new Henle Urtext edition of The Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas, Perahia records two sonatas for the first time in his career, Op. 106 (Hammerklavier) & Op. 27/2 (Moonlight). 
Daniel Hope :

Journey to Mozart

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. Performed with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Journey to Mozart features two popular violin concertos by Haydn and Mozart (both in G Major), the famous Adagio in E Major, K. 261 and more. 37 TOTAL SYND: C24, Beethoven Net, CBC Direct: MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Minneapolis, Seattle, Austin, Memphis, Hartford CT., SC(Statewide), MN(Statewide), NJ(Statewide), Canada Online: The Berkeley Daily Planet