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
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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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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".
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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.
BILL FRISELL'S career as a guitarist and composer has spanned more than 35 years and 250 recordings, including 40 of his own. Described as being "at the very epicenter of modern American Music" (BBC), Frisell's recording catalog has been cited by Downbeat as "the best recorded output of the decade," including his recent album, All We Are Saying, a new collection of John Lennon interpretations. Currently Frisell is the Guest Curator for the Roots of Americana series at Jazz at Lincoln Center and Resident Artistic Director at San Francisco Jazz.
WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR, Frisell's latest recording draws upon the classic film and television music we have heard on screen and how it shapes and informs our emotional relationships to what we see. Frisell, whose own music has been featured in major motion pictures like Finding Forrester and The Million Dollar Hotel performs with singer Petra Haden, bassist Thomas Morgan, and drummer Matt Chamberlin in re-imagining time-honored gems such as "When You Wish Upon a Star," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "The Shadow of Your Smile," "Moon River," "You Only Live Twice," Frisell's own theme for Gary Larson's television special, Tales from the Far Side and others. Produced by Lee Townsend; engineered by Tucker Martine and Adam Muñoz and mastered with Greg Calbi.
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."
When You Wish Upon A Star, the latest project from legendary guitarist/composer Bill Frisell features music from iconic film and television scores. Conceived not only as an homage, but as a celebration of music-making with longtime collaborators and their collective commitment to refined interpretation of material. Produced by Lee Townsend (Loudon Wainwright III, John Scofield, Carrie Rodriguez), the LP brings together an all-star "dream team" of musicians including; violist Eyvind Kang, drummer Rudy Royston, bass player Thomas Morgan and vocalist Petra Haden.
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"May you never hear surf music again." – Jimi Hendrix
"Space is the place." – Sun Ra
Just when you think you've got guitarist-composer Bill Frisell all figured out, confident in your expectations, this American original shakes things up with a heretofore unexpected glimpse into those layers of consciousness which inform his rootsy, inclusive, oh so personal style of musical outreach. Because while Bill Frisell is capable of routinely navigating the most harrowing ascents into the outer reaches of the improvisational Ionosphere without once ever flinching, there emerge at regular intervals suggestions of something more childlike and elemental; a sensibility which revels in expressions of earnest, unadorned directness-the aesthetic poetry of an impressionistic painter who is unafraid to distill things down to their most folkish, heartfelt essence.
10 NEW 'ON' - 115 Total
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Legendary jazz guitarist Bill Frisell's first release on OKeh Records,Big Sur, features all-new music commissioned by the Monterey Jazz Festival which premiered at their festival in 2012. While staying at the Glen Deven Ranch, Frisell was captivated by the beauty and grandeur of the Big Sur, California coastline which inspired him to write this transcendent new music. He is joined on the recording by the talented musicians of his Big Sur Quintet; Jenny Scheinman (violin), Eyvind Kang (viola), Hank Roberts (cello) and Rudy Royston (drums).
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