Liberate Instrumental Music! The history of western music is one of the instrumental living in harmony (ahem) with the vocal. A Beethoven symphony, a Verdi opera. Billie Holiday's Strange Fruit, Duke Ellington's Isfahan. The Beatles' Let It Be, Herbie Hancock's Watermelon Man. But recently, instrumental music has gone missing. Become nearly invisible. Inaudible. In old media. In new. Words and music, yes. Music alone, no.
Instrumental music must be restored to culture's apex. We need an Instrumental Music Liberation Front. SymphRONica to the rescue. This record is the opening salvo. A journey through the great fountainheads of the instrumental. Jazz meets classical musics (emphasis on the ‘s': European, Québecois, Sepahrdic, Manouche). Let musical freedom ring! Let Instrumental Music be Liberated!
LISTEN TO THE JazzCast SEGMENT, attached
Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Myer and Chris Thile, each highly accomplished musicians in their own right, unite in their eagerly anticipated follow up album to Grammy Award winning The Goat Rodeo Sessions.
"Goat Rodeo" is an expression meaning a chaotic situation, one in which everything has to go right by skill or luck, or everything will be thrown off course. It's an appropriate title for the complexity of Not Our First Goat Rodeo. "Every Note A Pearl" shows this with dissonant notes in which the strings slide into new keys. In less skilled hands, this would be a mistake, but here it's a testament to the group's skill. It takes a good musician to sing in the wrong key on purpose, but it takes a great one to make the "wrong" key right.
Not Our First Goat Rodeo is a delicate ecosystem of sound. Like most ecosystems, any little change could bring the whole thing down, but here it's perfectly balanced. At the climax of "Scarcely Cricket" and "Not for Lack of Trying," each instrument takes on a life of its own. Rather than one sticking out and the rest supporting, they often each take their own stage, in a cacophony of interlocking chaos. A person can listen to the same track multiple times and get totally different impressions as the ear picks up new parts each time. It's the sonic equivalent of a forest path that demands multiple explorations to be fully known.
READ THE FULL mxdwn.com REVIEW
Violin virtuoso Niv Ashkenazi joins FM91: Toledo OH to talk about Violins of Hope, an artistic and educational project composed of instruments that were owned by Jewish musicians before and during the Holocaust. With his fellow Juilliard graduate, pianist Matthew Graybil, Niv has released the first solo album to be recorded on one of these instruments.
LISTEN TO THE SEGMENT
Since bursting on the scene as a child prodigy, Benjamin Grosvenor has established himself as the most exciting and accomplished British pianist of his generation. Remarkably mature for his 27 years, he has five albums under his belt since being the youngest pianist to sign with Decca in 2011. His latest release, the two Chopin concertos, marks his first orchestral outing since his 2012 Rhapsody In Blue album which featured Saint-Saens' second and Ravel's G major concertos as well as George Gershwin's showstopper.
Opinion has always been divided over Chopin's ability as an orchestrator. There are some who think his scores for the two piano concertos, both written when he was 20 and still living in Poland, are boring and unadventurous. Others believe he got the job done, albeit unspectacularly, and that the instrumentalists complement the soloist.
Whichever camp the listener falls into, there is no doubting that the piano writing is wonderful and memorable, and under the fingers of Grosvenor backed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra the two concertos are glittering and achingly lovely, fully-formed masterpieces.
His technique shows great clarity and technical ease. His touch is light and there is an innate artistry, taste and thoughtfulness in his playing. Still only 27, there is no telling what new heights he may scale. This is certainly a beautiful and impressive survey of Chopin's two masterworks.
READ THE FULL LIMELIGHT REVIEW
Norwegian composer and pianist Ola Gjeilo presents a stunning collection of brand-new original works for solo piano, composed and performed by Gjeilo himself. NIGHT is an intimate and meditative collection of peaceful piano music, inspired by the twilight hours in the place he now calls home – New York City.
Gjeilo's musical style is often described as cinematic and evocative, characterised by warm harmonies, flowing melodies and gently rocking, repeated figures. He is an exclusive Decca Classics recording artist, and the new album follows the highly successful Winter Songs (2017) and Ola Gjeilo (2016), which also feature Tenebrae, Voces8 and the Choir of Royal Holloway. NIGHT is his first solo piano album to be released on Decca.
Gjeilo is one of the most frequently performed composers in the choral world. He grew up outside Oslo, Norway in a musically eclectic home listening to classical, jazz, pop and folk, a broad background he later incorporated into his classical composition studies at The Juilliard School and the Royal College of Music in London.
He spoke with 89.7WCPE: Wake Forest, classical hoist - Rob Kennedy. Listen to the attached conversation.
On her latest release, multiple Grammy winner Sharon Isbin performs multi-faceted and virtuosic new works for guitar, written for her by four leading composers. From the Africa-influenced El Decameron Negro by iconic Cuban guitarist/composer Leo Brouwer, through the Chinese and Spanish-inspired Seven Desires by Tan Dun, to Richard Danielpour's sensual song cycle Of Love and Longing, and the jazz and world music-influenced Affinity by Chris Brubeck, Sharon Isbin gives her inimitable imprint to, and vastly enriches major new repertoire for guitar.
The album has been covered for the whole note. See review as cover image
Nicholas McGegan may no longer be the artistic director of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, but the record of McGegan's inimitable touch - unmistakable, in the case of Handel's Saul - remains to savor. Everything about his artistry, including the buoyant and sprightly tempos, sly humor, deep reverence for beauty, and capacity for sincere emotional expression come through on this, his final live recording with PBO.
Although Saul's covers and liner notes shockingly fail to give him credit, the recording was superbly produced, recorded, edited, mixed, and mastered by PBO's former recording engineer, David v.R. Bowles of Swineshead Productions, LLC. Set down in Berkeley's First Congregational Church in April, 2019, this digital-only release shows the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Philharmonia Chorale, under Bruce Lamott, in fine form. Auditioned in 24/192 high-resolution, Bowles's achievement captures all the nuance and color that were transmitted by First Congregational's uniquely live, resonant, and spacious acoustic, and leaves me deeply regretting both his departure and that of his husband, McGegan.
The recording is available on various streaming/download services, including Qobuz, Amazon, and others. If you download or stream this recording and discover yourself without libretto, biographies, and Lamott's introduction, you can find them at philharmonia.org/saul., Make sure to access them because they'll help you understand just how wonderful this performance is. Having said that, there are many times when the sound and music are so captivating that you may find yourself closing your eyes as your relish their beauties. PHOTO: Laura Barisonzi
READ THE FULL San Francisco Classical Voice REVIEW
Sony Music Masterworks today releases Not Our First Goat Rodeo, the long-awaited follow-up album to the GRAMMY Award-winning The Goat Rodeo Sessions, with Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile.
In the fall of 1968, a sixteen-year old high school student named Danny Scher had a dream to invite legendary jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk and his all-star quartet to perform a concert at his local high school in Palo Alto, CA.
Blues Hall of Famer Bettye LaVette has decided to release her stirring rendition of "Strange Fruit" ahead of schedule as it says as much about the history of American racism and the state of the country today.
Guitarist John Scofield celebrates the music of his friend and mentor Steve Swallow in an outgoing and spirited recording, made in an afternoon in New York City in March 2019 - "old school" style as Scofield says, acknowledging that more than forty years of preparation led up to it.
Robin McKelle - Alterations makes 'Something Else - an occasional look at music that?s been in my car lately'
Posted: March 2, 2020 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Bela Fleck, Robin McKelle and Delfeayo Marsalis are part of the latest edition of Five for the Road, an occasional look at music that's been in my car lately …
There's a danger in navigating well-worn pop standards. Singer Robin Michelle seems to jump into the challenge with both feet. The resulting album, Alterations, shows that fortune does indeed favor the bold. Michelle's take on "Ordinary Love" makes sure not to copy the Sade original. Instead, she and producer/pianist Shedrick Mitchell utilize Robin McKelle's expressive phrasing, as well as fantastic backing by drummer Charles Haynes and bassist Richie Goods, to create an enchanting experience from start to finish. Also, check out "Jolene."
Robin McKelle is pleased to announce the February 14th, 2020 release of her new album Alterations. 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 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". The first single from Alterations, McKelle's rendition of Sade's "No Ordinary Love", will be released in late January. Alterations will be released on Doxie Records and distributed and marketed by the Orchard.
An Enigmatic Sound, a Storyteller's Narrative and a Live Performance Style Imbued with Rat Pack Moxie Singer and Writer Robin McKelle is a Genre-Blurring Musical Alchemist, Taking Listeners on a Sonic Trip to the Old South, Sprinkling in Hints of the Motown Era or Even a Sade Album, and Mixing it Together to Create Her Inspiring Melodic Canvas' of Soul, Jazz, Gospel and More. On her new album - Melodic Canvas, McKelle is empowered by not trying to fit into a box, and the music is deeply textured, rich, and authentic. Melodic Canvas is also a timely social commentary, from the struggling teen in ‘Lyla' to the immigrant tale of ‘Simple Man'; the moments of social awareness, in ‘Yes We Can Can' (an Allen Toussaint cover featuring Chris Potter) and ‘It Won't End Up', are wise and inspiring without feeling heavy-handed; on first single ‘Do You Believe', McKelle questions religion, hate, misogyny.
Robin McKelle might have called this album The Real McKelle. "It's the record I've always dreamed of making. Not that there was anything stopping me in the past, it's simply that things panned out differently." The singer herself wrote most of the songs on this new production, a contemporary blend of soul and rhythm 'n' blues that avoids today's retro tendencies. "I love that music so much that I couldn't see myself doing something ‘in the style of…". I grew up listening to Nina Simone and Gladys Knight. I sang their classics and what I enjoy most today is building my own repertoire in that same soulful vein." Soul Flower mainly consists of original tracks along with a few covers, including an upbeat Walk On By.
21 NEW 78 Total Stations/Shows
SYND: CBC Music Direct: MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Seattle, Cleveland, Portland, Austin, New Orleans, Long Is. NY, El Paso, Rochester NY, Madison WI, Hartford CT, Canada Online: RadioIO, The Jazz Intersection, Green Arrow Radio, Hot Time Radio Show, otticFM, Taintradio, Live 365, Paul Leslie Hour, Blues and Beyond, Jazzweekly, GURU
Robin McKelle comes out swinging on her second disc of big band jazz, Modern Antique. The bassist plucks some fat, rich chords, the pianist skitters over the keys, and McKelle herself confidently scats over the melody while the horn section eggs her on. The mood is playfully flirtatious, just this side of naughty. The entire combo is having so much fun and so are you that the tune is almost over before you realize it's an ingenious re-arrangement of Steve Miller's seventies classic, "Abracadabra."
2 New 'ON' this week: 140 Total
Peak: #19 Jazzweek SYND: WFMT: Jazz w/Bob Parlocha, PRI: Jazz After Hours, Jazz Variations, Music of Your Life, Sixty Second CD, The Bill Miller Show Networks: CBC, GPB, KPR Direct: XM: Real Jazz, Bloomberg Radio Markets include: Los Angeles, Boston, Wash DC, Philadelphia, Seattle, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Houston, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Baltimore, Detroit, Las Vegas, San Diego, Long Island NY, Indianapolis, Salt Lake City, Orlando, Raleigh NC, Tucson AZ, Sacramento, Wichita, Omaha, CANADA
On her newest release: Mess Around, Robin McKelle's warm contralto surrounds a first class rhythm 'n' blues record. After two albums devoted to big-band jazz and swing - Introducing Robin McKelle (2006) and Modern Antique (2008), Mess Around is a departure drawing from artists and groups such as The Bee Gees, Leonard Cohen, Doc Pomus, Willie Dixon and The Beatles. The aesthetic choices lend a wealth of meaning and consistency to the session, led by McKelle.
4 New ON this week: 163 Total Synd: Jazz Inspired, PRI/Jazz After Hours, WFMT/Jazz with Bob Parlocha, Sixty Second CD Direct: SiriusXM: Real Jazz & NPR Now(Jazz Inspired) Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Wash DC, Philadelphia, Seattle, Minneapolis, Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Cleveland, Denver, Portland, Baltimore, San Diego, Detroit, Las Vegas, San Diego, New Orleans, Memphis, Sacramento & Berekeley CA, Salt Lake, Austin TX, Orlando, Canada Online: The Jazzintersecion.com, RadioIO, Taintradio, Live 365, RadioIO
Having worked with Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, Michael McDonald, Wayne Shorter, Jon Secada & others, Robin McKelle now releases her debut album that broadens the boundaries of retro-swing. Introducing Robin McKelle evokes the spirit of 1940's America, while retaining an edge that speaks of a new time. With its balance of swing and balladry, the album heralds the arrival of a peerless interpretive artist.
1 New "ON" this week: 148 Total
SYND: NPR: Morning Edition, Bob Parlocha's Jazz Sat Network, The Bill Miller Show, Anything Goes Markets include: Los Angeles, Boston, Wash DC, Seattle(ADI), Houston, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Miami, Detroit, Cleveland, Denver, St. Louis, Baltimore, San Diego, Portland(ADI), Long Island(NYC:ADI), Las Vegas, Salt Lake, Louisville, Buffalo, Rochester, Raleigh NC, Australia, The Netherlands