We're taking a look back at the legendary 1969 cover of Leonard Cohen's ‘Suzanne' from the imperious Nina Simone, as the singer takes Cohen's ethereal lead protagonist and embodies every mystical moment of her.
Whether it's because he began writing without the intention to ever sing his songs or indeed his poetic imagery was so universal that almost everyone can connect with it. Either Way, we're betting that despite being, as Nick cave once said, "inimitable", Leonard Cohen is one of the most well-covered artists of all time.
That's not to say that Leonard Cohen has had the most covers. You'd be looking to David Bowie and The Beatles for that kind of honour. Moreover, when people do eventually pluck up the courage to take on a Cohen song, then it's usually a bloody brilliant effort. Naturally, your mind wanders to Jeff Buckley's incredible handling of ‘Hallelujah' as the shining example, but there was another cover which we felt grabbed Cohen's work by the scruff of the neck.
That person is, of course, Dr. Nina Simone. The artist may well be thought of now as a powerhouse performer, human rights activist and serial civil rights hero, but she was only just getting started when she took on Cohen's track. While others may have played with the idea of the titular character, Simone purely embodied her.
READ THE FULL FAR OUT & LISTEN TO THE SONG
Revered melodic techno pioneers Tale of Us have jumped into the ring in the fight against COVID-19. The Italian duo has released a 31-track opus titled Unity with an extensive assortment of material from themselves and the coven of producers who comprise their esteemed label, Afterlife. All proceeds garnered from the fittingly titled compilations' release is set to be donated to relief efforts against COVID-19 in Tale of Us' home country, Italy.
Unity is comprised of productions spanning the full spectrum of Afterlife's signature sounds. In the 31-track opus we see tracks from Ae:ther, Colyn, Anii, Hunter/Game, Avidus, Ceous, Denis Horvat, Fideles, Stephan Bodzin, KAS:ST, Agents of Time, Mind Against, Methane, Innellea, Kevin De Vries, Recondite and more - alongside two new works from Tale of Us themselves.
READ THE FULL EARMILK ARTICLE
For a little culture while you stay at home during the coronavirus outbreak, we're offering daily recommendations of streaming concerts, online musicals, virtual art exhibitions and more. Here are eight picks for Friday, all times Pacific:
The rising young British cellist; Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who famously played at the nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, performs classical favorites with family members live from their home quarantine. 10:30 a.m. Friday. Free. facebook.com/ShekuKMOfficial
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra concertmaster Margaret Batjer plays solo pieces for violin by Bach, and composer-pianist Sarah Gibson performs her work "Our Eyes Once Watered." 7:30 p.m. Friday; available on-demand afterward. Free. LACO.org
READ THE FULL LATimes ARTICLE
The Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo will present Joyce DiDonato's "In War and Peace" through its Teatro Digital between April 2 to 9, 2020. The concert, which features Il Pomo d'Oro, will be shown on the Teatro Mayor's Facebook page and on the www.teatrodigital.org. The program features baroque music from composers Händel, Leo, De Cavalieri, Purcell, Gesualdo, and Pärt.
The concert was part of the international tour which began on Nov. 17, 2016, at the BOZAR in Brussels and lasted nearly three years traveling across four continents to 44 cities within 25 countries. The tour ended this past fall in Washington, D.C. The tour was inspired by her album "In War and Peace: Harmony through Music" which was released in November 2016 on Erato, which was also inspired by the tragic events of November 2015 in Paris.
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Jazz has always been Slow Culture's forte. That being said, vocal jazz never really got our full attention. But that was before Laila Biali's single Sugar hit our inbox on a rainy morning. At that time, we din't believe that the whole album would stay in our playlist for long. Little did we know! We will review ‘Out of Dust' – Laila Biali's eighth album – next week. To cure our wait (and hopefully, yours!), we're delighted and honored to publish today the interview we did with The Artist Formerly Known As Laila Biali.
READ THE Slow Culture INTERVIEW
Last summer, back when family trips were still a thing you could do, our family took a great one – starting with a family event in southern California, there was a day at Disneyland, some Los Angeles sightseeing, and then a Route 66 road trip all the way from San Bernardino to Albuquerque.
But in our family, even a family vacation ends up including some radio – and so while the kids went off to see the Peterson Automotive Museum, your editor took advantage of the chance to meet one of radio's most interesting owners. Saul Levine, now in his nineties, put 105.1 FM on the air in Los Angeles back in 1959 as KBCA and has owned it ever since, now as one of the last independent big-market radio owners in the country.
After expanding his empire over the years with stations as far away as Hawaii and San Francisco, Levine's Mount Wilson Broadcasters is back to his base here in Los Angeles, anchored in an office building hard by the side of the 405 freeway in West LA. (It's visible mostly for the big billboard that advertises Saul's stations to what's usually a packed audience of rush-hour drivers a few yards away.)
READ THE FULL fybush.com ARTICLE
JUNO Award winner Laila Biali's deeply personal new album, Out of Dust features not only contributions from the singer/pianist's husband; Ben Wittman and son, but also multiple GRAMMY nominees and winners including Lisa Fisher, Alan Ferber, John Ellis, and Larnell Lewis. "There's a line from a song by the indie gospel group, Gungor, that has become like an anthem to me," Biali says. "‘He makes beautiful things out of dust.' That's where the title for the album comes from, and as a songwriter and musician, my ultimate intention and hope is to spread a little more love."
Laila Baila's 'Take Me To The Ally' from Out of Dust is the Jazz FM Breakfast Track of the Week for April 6, 2020
‘Love Letters' marks a different direction for the internationally celebrated artist; it offers a shift in intimacy and content and comes at a pivotal time in her career as she signs to her new record label, Mercury KX.
Milan Records today announces the February 28 release of WENDY (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK) with music by award-winning composer, songwriter and producer DAN ROMER and the film's award-winning director BENH ZEITLIN.
Wolfgang Muthspiel, whom The New Yorker has called "a shining light" among today's jazz guitarists, returns to the trio format with Angular Blues, the Austrian's fourth ECM album as a leader, following two acclaimed quintet releases and his trio debut.
World-renowned guitar hero Al Di Meola welcomes a new decade with an ambitious follow-up to his 2013 studio recording All Your Life: A Tribute to the Beatles with a sophomore homage to the Beatles, entitled Across The Universe, due out on earMUSIC on March 13, 2020.
On the 8th of June, Apple's CEO announced the release of Apple Music, the new streaming service which will be released at the end of the month and will be installed on all the devices running the latest iOS 8. With the application, Apple enables customers to listen to music and interact with artists in a similar way to the main competitors, namely Spotify or Google Play Music. And when the most valuable company in the world starts competing against you, you know you are in a fix.
With 20 million premium users and 55 million subscribers who listen to the free version, Spotify is the market leader in music streaming and one of the most funded start-ups in Europe, having raised more than $1bn since it was founded. However, a few days after Apple's WWDC, Spotify raised $526m from investors to face the increasing pressure from its new main competitor.
Indeed, even though the Swedish company has the first mover competitive advantage, the Silicon Valley giant will release its new application in a much more efficient way as customers won't be required to download the app and will be allowed to probe it with a three months trial. Furthermore, Spotify's ability to generate profit is strictly fastened by music copyright owners: according to the contract, Daniel Ek's app is required to pay out 70% of profits to record labels and music publishers. The company is so bound by three major music labels (Vivendi's Universal Music Group, Sony Corp's Sony Music Entertainment and Len Blavatnik's Warner Music Groupthat) that in 2014 it reported a net loss of more than $180m and that, in the worst case scenario, it could be made insolvent.
The main threat is that Spotify is required to at least equate Apple's slice of profits paid out to the music industry. But Apple has already announced it will pay 73% of revenues to music labels against Spotify's 70%: those three percentage points are the biggest threat for a company which is already facing net losses and this is why Spotify needs to invest all of the $526m to innovate at an unprecedented pace.
The "massive leap forward" Spotify is making – Daniel Ek says – is a new version tailored to the listener's tastes and which includes the addition of video and podcasts. Indeed, the new version of the application will be able to understand what the right track is based on what the user is doing (like running very fast or just warming up) and what he usually listens to. This semantic development will be made possible by the recent acquisition of the data group The Echo Nest. Moreover, video streaming will be added to the platform following the signing of contracts with major players like BBC, ESPN, MTV, NBC and TED, just to quote few of them. READ THE FULL Market Mogul ARTICLE
Recorded live to the highest industry standards in front of the magnificent scenery of Beijing's Forbidden City, this unique gala concert celebrates the 120th anniversary of Deutsche Grammophon. The concert features conductor Long Yu and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, both freshly signed as exclusive recording artists to Deutsche Grammophon, and performances from Aida Garifullina, Daniil Trifonov, Mari Samuelsen, and more.
Impulse! has brought together some of the great progressive jazz musicians of our time to pay tribute to The Beatles'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. A Day In The Life: Impressions of Pepper will be available on vinyl for Record Store Day on November 23, available on CD, digital, and streaming platforms on November 30, with a wide vinyl release on January 18, 2019.
A Day In The Life: Impressions of Pepper includes performances and interpretations by artists such as UK saxophonist and Impulse! recording artist Shabaka Hutchings, Impulse! pianist Sullivan Fortner, Verve recording artist Miles Mosley, Onyx Collective, percussionist Antonio Sanchez, guitarist Mary Halvorson, The JuJu Exchange and more.
This stellar lineup represents some of the great progressive jazz artists from around the world: Shabaka from the UK Jazz scene, Miles Mosley and Cameron Graves from LA's West Coast Get Down, Onyx Collective from NYC, Makaya McCraven and the JuJu Exchange from Chicago.
Many people picture grim-faced Beethoven, shaking his fist at the heavens and persisting through deafness and illness to compose works of transcendent beauty, but he also stirs emotions that feel both deeply personal and ubiquitous. There are moments of red-cheeked optimism, quiet introspection, playful dances, heroic declarations, a restless search for the sublime. And while Beethoven is perhaps most famous for his sonatas and symphonies, he composed an opera, chamber works, songs, sacred music, incidental music for the stage, even dances. Taken together, these selections paint a rich portrait of Beethoven's humanity, which has attracted artists of the highest caliber such as Leonard Bernstein, Carlos Kleiber, Janine Jansen, and Martha Argerich. Some of these recordings are legendary, but all of them jump out with their undeniable virtuosity and brilliance. This collection may remind you of that iconic portrait of immortal Genius suffering for Art, but it will also reacquaint you with an artist from another time who somehow captured so much of the human experience.
Decca Records is proud to release The Official Recording of The Royal Wedding, one of the most eagerly awaited events of the year. Having recorded the entire service live at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle today, every piece of music, the readings, blessings and the vows will be available to listen to permanently on all streaming services in just a few hours: a first for a Royal Wedding. The physical album, on CD, will then be released into retail stores around the world from 1st June.
The musical highlight of the moving and joyous ceremony was British cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, one of the most exciting musicians of his generation, who was personally asked by the bride and groom to perform at their wedding. The 19-year-old musician took centre stage for the all-important signing of the register. Dressed in a black Paul Smith suit with vibrant pink tie, Sheku played three beautiful pieces: "Sicilienne" by von Paradis, Schubert's "Ave Maria," and "Après Un Rêve" by Fauré. He was accompanied by orchestra*, as the Royal Couple officially became husband and wife. Knowing he was performing not only for the Royal Family, 600 invited guests in the Chapel, and an estimated global audience of up to three billion people, the talented teenager was thrilled to be involved in the occasion:
History was written in 2000 BC, and 2018 marks the 150th anniversary of Brahms' Lullaby, so this precious musical tradition has deep cultural and emotional roots. These personal songs bring people together, span generations, and tell stories about where we come from, who we are now, and our hopes for the future. The legacy continues with the release of Hopes and Dreams: The Lullaby Project on Decca Gold (Verve Label Group). The recording is inspired by the Lullaby Project, a program of Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute which pairs pregnant women, new mothers, and family members with professional artists to write and sing personal lullabies for their babies, supporting maternal health, aiding child development, and strengthening the bond between parent and child. Hopes and Dreams: The Lullaby Project features fifteen lullabies written by parents from across New York City, as performed by Fiona Apple, the Brentano String Quartet, Lawrence Brownlee, Rosanne Cash, Joyce DiDonato, Janice Freeman (The Voice 2017), Rhiannon Giddens (Nashville), Angélique Kidjo, Patti LuPone, Natalie Merchant (10,000 Maniacs), Dianne Reeves, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Pretty Yende, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The second installment of the Jazz Loves Disney series, Jazz Loves Disney 2: A Kind of Magic features guest artists including Angélique Kidjo, Laura Mvula, Jamie Cullum, Jacob Collier, George Benson, Madeleine Peyroux and more, taking on beloved melodies from the Disney canon. The album will be released on Verve Records on November 10. The Jazz Loves Disney series celebrates the nostalgia and universal appeal of the music of Disney films. The rich catalogue of Disney songs that span genres and generations inspired producer Jay Newland and arranger Rob Mounsey to continue the series.
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SYND: NPR, CBC Direct: SiriusXM Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta, Portland, Detroit, Denver, Memphis, Orlando, Albuquerque, Wichita, Madison WI, Honolulu, HI(Statewide), Barcelona, Berlin INTER: Canada, UK, Spain, Germany, South Africa Online: LaughingPlace, Troonradio, Quisqueya, udiscovermusic, The Healthy Mouse, The Daily Shuffle, Dis411, NextBop.com, MOJA, GreenArrow, Jazz Gallery 41, The Jazz groove, Sun Music, Jazz Weekly, Radio Free Amsterdam
The Passion of Charlie Parker is a new album from producer Larry Klein that tells the story of Charlie Parker using his music as inspiration for new songs that narrate his life. Guest artists include Gregory Porter, Madeleine Peyroux, Kandace Springs, actor Jeffrey Wright, and more. The album will be available on impulse!/ Verve digitally on June 16, with physical release to follow on June 30. Larry Klein says, "With this album I've endeavored to do something new and different in an effort to illustrate who ‘Bird' was as an archetypal character, and to draw attention to the huge impact that his work had on Jazz." Rather than create another tribute of traditional bebop tunes, Klein partnered with lyricist David Baerwald to create a musical play that tells the story of Charlie Parker's life while still playing with the jagged melodic nature of Charlie Parker's compositions.
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SYND: Jazz After Hours, Jazz Happening Now, Jazz Inspired, Voice of America Direct: SiriusXM Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Portland, Miami, Detroit, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Austin, Denver, Albuquerque, Orlando, San Antonio, Sacramento, Louisville, Knoxville, Madison WI, Rochester, Tampa, Honolulu, OR(Statewide), WV(Statewide), VT(Statewide), KS(Statewide), MS(Statewide), HI(Statewide), Toronto, Vancouver INTER: Canada, UK Online: GreenArrow, Jazz & Blues Report, KUHS/Vaya, Soulandjazz.com, Jazz Weekly, Radio Valencia, Que4 Radio, Freaky Party, theguardian