t amazes me how many films today have a soundtrack that isn't informed by the movie itself. This interchangeable claptrap has made it almost impossible to review. But composer William Susman flavors the setting of Sarah Sifer's Fate of the Lhapa beautifully. Interestingly enough, I saw this documentary many, many years ago, and it truly affected me, but I never knew the soundtrack was available until it was sent to me to review 13 years after its original release. Go figure.
While there are certainly traditional forms of Western instrumentation such as harp, Susman has incorporated sounds we would associate with Nepal: There is no list, but I believe we are hearing drums - such as the dhimay, madal, and khin - a bansuri (a bamboo flute), a plucked string (perhaps the tunga), tingsha cymbals, a sringa (a large "C"- or "S"-shaped horn which is also a political symbol), and more. Along the way is minimalism that is so transporting it would make Philip Glass proud, as it helps achieve a sense of bittersweet spirituality so prevalent in the film. (Glass is also a fierce proponent for Nepal's freedom and Buddhist principles - the latter evidenced in his opera, Satyagraha.)
At first, part of the fun for me was parsing out the instruments (wait - is this sound that conch shell that has both ritual and religious importance in Hinduism?), but magically by the seventh of eleven tracks, they merge into a higher plane of trance-inducing balminess that lovingly elucidates the subject matter. While it's accurate to say that the music of Susman (who also performs) blends that mysterious, uncanny long-established Asian music with those soul-moving Western strings evokes what the press notes call an "ancient healing tradition in danger of extinction," this is music that stands alone from the film - in fact, this journey requires you to listen with headphones on and your eyes closed. The mixing by Stephen Hart at Berkeley's Fantasy Studios makes everything sound crystal clear.
READ THE FULL STAGE & CINEMA REVIEW
James Whale's film classic Frankenstein (1931), starring Boris Karloff, was released without a musical score, as were many films in those early days of the talkie. A number of critics, including Leonard Maltin, have remarked that Frankenstein is badly in need of music. Michael Shapiro's 70-minute score is written to be played simultaneously with the screening of the film. For modern-day concert- and moviegoers, his haunting music adds significantly to the emotional impact of the film.
Harmonious World Podcast's Hilary Robertson interviews composer and conductor Michael Shapiro.There's a good chance that I'll be jumping on a plane as soon as such things are possible again - this time to see the operatic version of Michael's film score to the original film of...
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Ben Rosenblum plays both piano and accordion on this pastoral session with the blended horns of trumpeter Wayne Tucker, Jasper Dutz on tenor sax or bass clarinet, guitarist Rafael Rosa, bassist Marty Jaffe, drummer Ben Zweig and guests Jake Chapman/vib, Sam Chess/tb and Jeremy Corren/p. Chapman's vibes team with Tucker's horn on an Old World tango of a title track with added accordion atmosphere, with similar moods with Corren replacing Chapman on the European "Motif From Brahms". A fun tarantella with Tucker out in front gets you dancing on "Fight Or Flight" with the horns in gorgeous harmony on the elegiac "Bright Above Us" and the folk tune "Izpoved". The team takes a dreamy read of Leonard Bernstein's "Somewhere" with Neil Young's "Philadelphia" a rich vehicle for Rosa and Chess. Sounds of the piazza.
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Labrinth pulls off yet another pristine, passionate endeavour through his latest number ‘No Ordinary.' The British singer-songwriter has always displayed a knack for taking simple melodies and working wonders with them, and he does so again with this latest feature.
The composition is gentle but magical in its own way, especially when coupled with Labrinth's soulful, touching voice that seems to hit every feeling in the range. The first verse makes use of light bass instrumentation that is resounding without being overpowering; the vast majority of the focus is on Labrinth's phenomenal vocal range that's underscored at each and every step of the way. What gives the composition the extra edge is the vocal layering and overlapping that carries us all the way to the chorus. His voice is so powerful that even the moderate notes are charged with an all-consuming force. The lyrics refer to both ‘devotion' and ‘Holy Ghost,' hinting to the religious stylings of the melody, though they're never hammered in.
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NPR Music and Lara Downes announce the launch of AMPLIFY With Lara Downes, a new bi-weekly series of intimate and deeply personal video conversations with visionary Black musicians who are shaping the present and future of the art form, premiering Saturday, October 17 on NPRMusic.org, YouTube, and social media platforms.
Created and hosted by pianist and artist Lara Downes, and co-produced by NPR Music's Tom Huizenga, this series invites viewers to experience raw, revealing, and open-hearted conversations reflecting on how artists are responding and creating in this time of profound challenge and change. Downes and her guests-initially including MacArthur Fellow vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens, 2020 Avery Fisher Prize-winning clarinetist Anthony McGill, multidisciplinary artist Helga Davis, and vocalist Davóne Tines, with other guests such as Sheku Kanneh-Mason and family to follow-connect and reflect on highly relevant themes ranging from music and mission, legacy and lineage, to transformation and change.
Guests to include Rhiannon Giddens, Anthony McGill, Helga Davis, Davóne Tines, and Sheku Kanneh-Mason and family.
Series premieres today!! Saturday, October 17 on NPR Music.org and NPR's YouTube and social media platforms.
Says Downes of the series: "In this time of our collective reckoning about historical inequities in American life and art, I'm excited to amplify the voices of extraordinary artists of color, shining a bright light on a diverse and rich future that is, in the words of James Weldon Johnson, 'full of the hope that the present has brought us.'"
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What is multiple Grammy-winning classical guitarist Sharon Isbin's response to everyone wearing masks to stay healthy? "Welcome to my world!" she says. "I've been wearing an N95 mask for almost 20 years on every single airplane flight, and since doing that, I've never gotten sick from flying."
In this 90.1WRTI: Philadelphia TIME IN interview, Sharon talks about navigating the pandemic with more healthy habits, including Transcendental Meditation, and learning the technology to create new ways (beyond Zoom) of teaching her guitar students at Juilliard, where she directs the department she founded in 1989.
Sharon met with me on Zoom on September 22nd, 2020 to talk about life during the panedemic. Here are edited excerpts from our conversation:
For her latest studio album, pianist Hélène Grimaud travels to Salzburg where she creates a fascinating juxtaposition between the eternal Mozart and the Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov. In selecting the music for this album, Grimaud has carefully chosen music by Mozart that fits into an overall dramaturgy: from his famous unfinished D minor Fantasy, she transitions seamlessly into the great D minor concerto, K. 466. The C minor Fantasy then signals "the end of Mozart" and a new beginning: Silvestrov's The Messenger starts with a theme reminiscent of Mozart and creates a connection between the present and the world that existed before.
For October 15 2020, Hélène Grimaud: The Messenger is the WFMT: Chicago 'Featured New Release'
Inspired by the ground-breaking mission of NASA's Juno space probe and its ongoing exploration of Jupiter, Juno to Jupiter is a multi-dimensional musical journey through electronic, progressive, ambient, techno, orchestral, and vocal music.
Milan Records today announces the release of Luca Guadagnino's WE ARE WHO WE ARE (ORIGINAL SERIES SCORE) featuring music by producer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, songwriter and vocalist DEVONTÉ HYNES.
Jane Ira Bloom: Sixteen Sunsets / The Blade review
Posted: April 11, 2014 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
The first thing listeners notice about soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom is her gorgeous tone. But on this disc - her 15th album as a bandleader and her first devoted exclusively to ballads - there's something equally beautiful about her musical vision and interpretation.
Nine of the 14 songs are American songbook classics; the other five are Bloom originals. Many have a wayward, peaceful serenity to them while captivating listeners with a style developed by a woman renowned jazz critic Bill Milkowski has described as "a restlessly creative spirit, and a modern day role model for any aspiring musician who dares to follow his or her own vision."
Bloom, who has performed at most of New York's most prestigious concert halls, is a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, a winner of the Downbeat International Critics Poll for soprano saxophone, and a multiple winner of the Jazz Journalists Award for Soprano Sax of the Year. - TOM HENRY
American original Jane Ira Bloom does it again. This time the 21st-century soprano saxophonist reimagines the poetry of 19th-century visionary Emily Dickinson in two different settings. This new 2 CD pack, has the quartet (Dawn Clement (piano), Mark Helias (bass)& Bobby Previte (drums) interpretating Dickinson's poetry both instrumentaly and in spoken word settings that feature readings by popular stage & film actor Deborah Rush. After the success of her 2016 trio album release Early Americans, Bloom shifts gears with Wild Lines / Improvising Emily Dickinson. Bloom composed Wild Lines when she was awarded a 2015 CMA/ Doris Duke New Jazz Works commission. She was inspired to musically reimagine Dickinson when she learned that the poet was a pianist and improviser herself.
SYND: PRI/Jazz After Hours, Jazz FM Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, Miami, Cleveland, Portland, Seattle, Detroit, Austin, St. Louis, Kansas City, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Albuquerque, Berkeley CA, San Antonio, Louisville, Knoxville, Orlando, Madison WI, Long Island NY, Omaha, Hartford CT, WV(Statewide), OR(Statewide), ME(Statewide), Honolulu, Vancouver, Berlin, Pisa, Oslo INTER: Canada, Mexico, UK, Ireland, Wales, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Austria, Norway, Russia, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa Online: MOJA, Jazz From Gallery 41, Downbeat, Soulandjazz.com, salt peanuts, Contemporary Fusion Review, LEMON WIRE, Midwest Record, Green Arrow, Jazz Views, Radio Valencia, Jazzandrock.com, Keys and Chords, era jazzu
You never know what American original soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom is going to do next. After the success of her 2014 all-ballads release "Sixteen Sunsets" Bloom shifts into another gear showcasing the kinetic energy of her acclaimed trio playing with the musicians that she knows best on Early Americans (OTL142). It's her first trio album, sixteenth as leader and sixth recording on the Outline label. Her sound is like no other on the straight horn and she lets it fly on every track. She's joined by long-time bandmates Mark Helias on bass & drummer Bobby Previte and with over fifty years of shared musical history together the album is sure to be a winner. Bloom's collaboration with Helias dates back to the mid 70's in New Haven CT and her unique chemistry with Previte has been ongoing since 2000. She brought the group together in summer 2015 to Avatar Studio B in NYC to capture their breathtaking sound in both stereo and surround-sound with renowned audio engineer Jim Anderson. The album features twelve Bloom originals ranging from the rhythmic drive of "Song Patrol" and "Singing The Triangle" to the spare melancholy of "Mind Gray River." She closes the album with a signature solo rendition of the American songbook classic, Bernstein & Sondheim's "Somewhere." World-renowned portrait photographer Brigitte Lacombe contributes a stunning cover image of Bloom. "Playing in threes" has always held a special fascination for jazz artists - it offers the possibility that something can be slightly off balance and that's just what fires the imagination of players like Bloom, Helias, & Previte. With Early Americans Jane Ira Bloom stands in the vanguard of her generation carving out new territory in the heart of the jazz tradition. Don't miss this trio of "fearless jazz explorers who share a commitment to beauty & adventure."
"I grew up listening to these songs and knowing the lyrics. They were a part of my earliest listening experiences so playing them is like breathing to me. As time's gone by it's been easier to let the meaning of the songs come through the horn."- Jane Ira Bloom
Award winning soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom has always had a special feeling for ballad performances. So much so that she has now finally released: Sixteen Sunsets, a beautiful new recording featuring expressive interpretations from the American Songbook along with five compelling slow tempo original compositions. With this her 15th album as leader and her first all-ballads album, Sixteen Sunsets pairs JIB with long-time colleagues Cameron Brown on bass and Matt Wilson on drums, along with an exciting new pianist we will all be hearing a lot more from: Dominic Fallacaro.
After thirty years, Award winning soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom has returned to her original label, Outline Records, for a disc employing an electro-acoustic band which brings together fellow 70's New Havenite Mark Helias on bass, drummer Matt Wilson, and Seattle new comer Dawn Clement on keyboards for Mental Weather. After premiering the piece with the Doris Duke new jazz works program, Bloom then brought the band into Avatar Studio B in NYC with audio engineering legend Jim Anderson and laid down nine thrilling tracks.
4 New 'ON' this week: 198 'Total
SYND: NPR: Fresh Air PRI: All That Jazz, WFMT Net: Jazz with Bob Parlocha, CMJ & Jazzweek Charts Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Wash DC, Philadelphia, Seattle, Minneapolis, Miami, Atlanta, Cleveland, Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit, Portland, Las Vegas, San Diego, New Orleans, Buffalo, Albuquerque, Berkeley CA, Louisville, Jacksonville, Orlando, Honolulu, Buffalo, Omaha, Raleigh, Toledo, Santa Fe, San Jose, San Antonio, Knoxville, Stanford CA, Puerto Rico CANADA: Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Quebec INTER: France, The Netherlands, Australia, Germany, Poland, Portugal, New Zealand, Russia, Austria, Columbia Charts: CMJ & Jazzweek Press includes: Downbeat, All About Jazz, JazzTimes
Whether adventuring into interior or outer space in her music, award winning soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom continues to navigate her unique musical path with creative abandon. Wingwalker, her 14th album as leader and fourth album on the Outline label reunites Bloom with long-time bandmates Dawn Clement on piano, bassist Mark Helias, and drummer Bobby Previte. After two years since Bloom's last release "Mental Weather," she brought the band together in June 2010 to record new compositions written during time made possible by a Guggenheim Fellowship. Wingwalker was recorded in Avatar Studio B in New York City with renowned audio engineer Jim Anderson. The album features eleven Bloom originals and a solo sax rendition of Lerner & Lowe's classic "I Could Have Danced All Night." From the groove inspired "Life on Cloud 8" to the spare simplicity of "Adjusting to Midnight," Jane has journeyed further into jazz dimensions without a safety net. The CD also features an extra mp3 downloadable version of the music condensed into a 5 minute 49 second event.
8 New 'ON' this week: 336 Total
Synd: Voice Of America, PRI/Jazz After Hours
Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice
Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Wash DC, Philadelphia, Seattle, Houston, Atlanta, New Orleans, Baltimore, Portland, San Diego, Detroit, Long Island NY, Austin, Milwaukee, Memphis, Albuquerque, Orlando, Tampa, Puerto Rico
International: Canada, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, The Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan
Online: The Jazz Session, Moja, Live 365, Taintradio, Jazzweekly.com, All About Jazz, amazon, Aggie Radio, UKJazzRadio, Jazz Virtuosa, Hot House, Cory Weeds, Jazzreview.com, Jazz Police, PopMatters, Big Butter and the Eggman, IAJRC