27-year-old Benjamin Grosvenor is considered to be one of the greatest pianists of his generation, or any other generation, for that matter. Ever since emerging in his teens as a prodigy mature beyond his years, Grosvenor continues to evolve artistically, as he builds a legacy of recordings that often achieve reference status, such as his Chopin Scherzos and Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit, and a new release encompassing both Chopin Concertos.
This week, Grosvenor will be the featured guest on Episode 243 of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Virgil Thomson Award winning program Between the Keys, hosted by The Classical Network's Artist-in-Residence, composer/pianist Jed Distler. "Benjamin was an absolute delight to interview," says Distler. "He's warm, affable, unassuming, yet completely comfortable with his high place in the pianistic firmament, and passionate about a wide range of music. Long after our official conversation ended, we kept on talking shop and sharing repertoire ideas. No wonder all of my pianist friends adore Benjamin, personally and artistically."
Grosvenor's new recording of two concerto favorites: Chopin's Piano Concertos Nos.1 and 2, released on Decca Classics, was recorded with Elim Chan and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO). The album marks Benjamin's fifth on Decca Classics, following the hugely successful Homages in 2016, and is his first orchestral album since 2012.
Tune in to Between the Keys this Tuesday February 18th at 10:00 PM with special guest Benjamin Grosvenor, including musical selections by Ravel, Mendelssohn, Bach, Chopin and Brett Dean, only here on The Classical Network and WWFM.org New Jersey.
Ted Poor, who the NY Times wrote; "a trustworthy engine in countless modern-jazz settings," isn't your typical jazz drummer, and either is his New Deal/Impulse! debut recording 'You Already Know.' If you're at all familiar with the Seattle-based Poor's explorative career-or the wide-ranging work of his principal collaborators here, the deeply influential guitarist-producer Blake Mills and the saxophonist Andrew D'Angelo-this should come as no surprise.
Poor's album release show is set for the Columbia City Theatre on March 7,8
SEE The Stranger PAGE
Alterations is jazz vocalist/composer Robin McKelle's follow-up to her 2018 Melodic Canvas which we covered on these pages. While that was mostly an album of originals, McKelle chooses here to, as she says, "fuse jazz, soul, r&b, blues and rock while keeping continuity in the music." These are mostly familiar songs from some of the most celebrated women in song interpreted through a jazz lens. They include Dolly Parton, Sade, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Janis Joplin, Carole king, Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell, and Land Del Ray. For good measure, McKelle adds just one of her own, in tribute to female artistry.
READ THE FULL MAKING A SCENE REVIEW
Flamenco guitarist, composer and multi-instrumentalist Dave Soldier has been exploring cultural boundaries throughout his life. He founded a string quartet that fused punk, classical and R&B, but also played punk Delta Blues and started the Thai Elephant Orchestra. Now he explores the roots of pop songs, and found them about a thousand years ago at the crossroads of Muslim, Jewish and Christian cultures in southern Spain, more specifically in Andalusia at the time of the Moors. The song titles of these compositions are therefore in English, Arabic and Hebrew. The lyrics were always sung, are based on muwashshaha & zajal, and were taken over by singers in Provence. And that is what our Western pop music would be based on, from Schubert, The Beatles, Hank Williams, to opera. These old texts have now been given a flamenco, jazz and world music twist and are usually sung by Ana Nimouz. They sometimes sound cheerful, sometimes mysterious, and sometimes as fusion. A special release for those who are interested in the origin of our music, and who are not averse to world music. - Patrick Van de Wiele
SEE THE keysandchords PAGE
Let the Rhythm Lead: Haiti Song Summit Vol. 1 is a meeting of musical styles and traditions that brings together the world views of songwriters Paul Beaubrun, Jackson Browne, Habib Koité, Jenny Lewis, Raúl Rodríguez, Jonathan Russell and Jonathan Wilson alongside members of Haitian roots band Lakou Mizik at the Artists Institute of Jacmel.
Steeped in polyrhythmic drumming of Haitian Vodou, complex notes of Spanish Tres, Flamenco and Malian Guitar, interwoven with North American folk and rock, Let the Rhythm Lead is a musical odyssey, employing an array of diverse songwriting traditions and genres to tell stories of new friendships and collaborations, powerful spirits and ancient traditions, all the while honoring humanity, love, understanding, awakening and rejuvenation. Six languages narrate the journey with singing in English, French, Creole, Khassonké, Manding and Spanish.
READ THE FULL MUSIC Monthly REVIEW
Nominated for instrumental album of the year, Upfront is the third release from pianist Ron Davis's SymphRONica project, an outlet for the jazz crossover that springs from his fertile imagination. Abetted by a string quartet, Davis covers a wide range of styles, from the genteel neo-baroque of "Drew Bourrée" to the intoxicating tango-meets-klezmer sounds of "Chance." Of the album's 12 tracks, his take on Miles Davis's iconic "So What" stays closest to the jazz idiom, and benefits from some nicely detailed drumming and expressive guitar and electric piano solos. Stay until the end and hear how the pizzicato strings ingeniously escort the song out of the room.
SEE THE FULL CBC PAGE
Vocalist Robin McKelle delves into the catalogue of some of the most celebrated women of song, interpreting these masterworks through the lens of the jazz idiom on her new album Alterations. McKelle follows in a long tradition of female song interpreters, lending her sultry vocal stylings to classics by a diverse list of female innovators including Dolly Parton, Sade, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Janis Joplin, Carol King, Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell, and Lana Del Ray. McKelle is joined on this release by a group of consummate musicians including co-producer, pianist and arranger Shedrick Mitchell, acoustic and electric bassist Richie Goods, drummer Charles Haynes, guitarist Nir Felder. In addition, esteemed saxophonist Keith Loftis is featured on McKelle's sole original composition on this release, "Head High"; and renowned trumpeter Marquis Hill is featured on Lana Del Rey's "Born to Die".
READ THE FULL BroadwayWorld REVIEW
Milan Records today releases THE NEW POPE (ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK FROM THE SKY – HBO – CANAL+ SERIES produced by FREMANTLE'S THE APARTMENT and WILDSIDE, co-produced with HAUT ET COURT TV and THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO) with music by LELE MARCHITELLI.
Referred to as "the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele," Jake Shimabukuro is a true virtuoso, and exhibits his talents once again with the release of ‘Trio', available February 14th through Music Theories Recordings.
You Already Know, the New Deal/Impulse! debut from the acclaimed drummer Ted Poor-"a trustworthy engine in countless modern-jazz settings," per the New York Times-isn't your typical jazz drummer's recording, almost defiantly so.
Neither fish nor fowl, Pablo Aslan's Contrabajo is an absolutely wonderful CD / The Art Music Lounge
Posted: January 8, 2019 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Bassist Pablo Aslan describes the genesis of this remarkable album thus: "At the suggestion of bandoneonist, arranger and composer Raúl Jaurena, I set out to create a body of work for bass and string quartet, in order to feature the bass not only as foundation and a melodic instrument, but as a driver of rhythm. "
The result is, as you will hear, a series of string quintets in which the bass is not only the primary timekeeper in terms of rhythm but essentially the lead voice, thus turning the normal concept of such a group within the classical music community on its collective head. It begins with a new arrangement (by Senanes) of Heitor Villa-Lobos' Preludio No. 1 and ends with a popular tango song from the 1920s, La Cumparsita (recorded in a famous version by tenor Tito Schipa). Both pieces, as well as the others in between, are now much more complex than before, with changing tempi and the addition of jazz rhythms, sometimes quite subtle.
But of course, the problem with such a disc, as I noted in my review of Justin Morell's jazz guitar concerto, is that the snobs on both sides of the musical aisle will probably reject it because a fusion of such elements is beyond their ability to grasp. Classical listeners, tied as if by Gorilla tape to The Score, won't know why Senanes arranged Villa-Lobos like this, let alone try to appreciate what is being done, while jazz listeners, who reject any and all formality in their music, won't like the classical elements.
Overall, then, an absolutely wonderful CD, neither fish nor fowl (though, believe it or not, I'm going to file it under classical) but as happy as a platypus swimming in Atlantis…provided that Atlantis is close to South America.
At the suggestion of bandoneonist, arranger, and composer Raúl Jaurena, I set out to create a body of work for bass and string quartet, in order to feature the bass not only as foundation and a melodic instrument, but as a driver of rhythm. As I was mulling over the idea, I got an invitation from Cho-Liang Lin, Artistic Director of the La Jolla Music Festival, to play a concert with Paquito D'Rivera and the Escher String Quartet in 2016. In turn, Pac-man, as he calls himself, invited me to bring some repertoire to the musical shindig, and thus the album was off to a start. I enlisted my teacher and friend Gabriel Senanes, who lives in Buenos Aires, to write and arrange several pieces. This led naturally to inviting him to be the Artistic Producer. He contributed two mini-concerti that sent me to the practice shed for months and forced me to up my game, a common thread throughout the making of this album.