FanFare's Henry Fogel writes.....Gregoriadou is a Greek guitarist who draws a remarkably wide range of color from her guitar. The calm beauty of the third movement of the Bach violin sonata, simply marked Andante, is followed by a brilliantly executed final Allegro that manages to wed crisp articulation with lyrical flow.
Britten's Nocturnal after John Dowland, written for Julian Bream, is given a superb reading. The music is a set of variations that appear before the Dowland theme itself emerges at the end. Britten said that the music contained "disturbing images," though he never specified what they were. This is unsettled music that seems to stop and start, building tension in its halting, quiet way. Release, at least to a degree, is found at the end with Dowland's original theme. Gregoriadou's performance emphasizes the work's underlying tension without overplaying it.
Sofia Gubaidulina's Serenade was composed in 1960 when the composer was 29, and is a gentler and more introspective work than we are used to from her. At three minutes, it is also very brief. Not unlike the Britten, the music is tonally ambiguous until resolving in what Gregoriadou, in her excellent notes, calls "a therapeutic G major chord."
Jacques Hétu was a Canadian composer (1938–2010) who wrote his Suite pour guitare in 1986. It is predominantly a lyrical work, much of it at soft dynamics. The third movement, "Ballade," is marked by an underlying darkness that is relieved in the following "Rêverie." After these two quiet movements the work ends with a brilliant finale, in the style of a moto perpetuo.
What is special about this recording is Gregoriadou's focus on timbre. Her technique is exceptional, but it is always at the service of creating a sound world with a wide spectrum. Her dynamic shading in the last movement of the Hétu is astonishing, and it is so effortlessly achieved that you don't think about technique as you listen. I don't think of Gregoriadou as a guitarist. I think of her as a musician who happens to play the guitar. This is a very beautiful guitar recital, with recorded sound that makes it seem as if you are in the room with Gregoriadou, and at just the right distance for the best perspective.
HAPPY's Rian Howlett writes.....2020 was an incredible year for gaming for a few reasons. A lot of free time went around the place, imminent next-gen releases pushed everyone into a gaming frenzy, and Keanu Reeves called another man, and all of us, breathtaking. And just like the titles they represent, the video game soundtracks released in 2020 were top notch.
We trawled back through the year that was to single out who we thought brought true heat to the musical table. For the most part, these OSTs are albums you can listen to in their own right, some of them however just complemented the game so perfectly that now it's hard to think of one without the other.
From electrically charged thrash metal to spine-tingling orchestral scores, HAPPY picks the 10 best video game soundtracks of 2020. On the list is Gustavo Santaolalla - The Last Of Us Part 2.
Gustavo Santaolalla has stood as the invisible third piece of the Joel and Ellie puzzle for as long as we've known them. The guitar in the original TLOU was a sparse, exquisite affair. Barely noticeable builds, and almost entirely acoustic. It was haunting and instantly recognisable.
With all of the weapons of the contemporary music producer at his arsenal, he brought a much bigger world for our ears to play in. While absolutely different to the original, there wasn't anything lost through the shift in the music from part one to two. The Last Of Us Part 2's soundtrack is a gorgeous, expansive experience that complemented the jump from adolescence to adulthood that Ellie makes between the games.
SEE THE FULL HAPPY PAGE
99.5CRB - Boston - CHRIS VOSS writes.......When I asked Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital about his newest album and how it differed from his previous mandolin albums, he answered me with a wry, winking smile: "I don't have other mandolin albums."
Which is true enough.
Avital's past albums - like the 2012 Bach album or the 2015 Vivaldi album - have mostly included pieces composed for other instruments, like the keyboard, violin, or guitar, in arrangements for mandolin. The mandolin was not the focus. As he puts it, those albums featured works that he enjoys playing "because it's beautiful music." To this day, that he plays the mandolin is simply "is a technical fact."
But with Art of the Mandolin, music written for his instrument takes center stage.
In our discussion we explore the ins and outs of the instrument, talk about how composers's social perception of the mandolin shaped how they wrote for it, hear a work that was assumed to be for keyboard but simply makes more sense played on mandolin, and chat about Avital's passion for expanding the repertoire for his instrument through frequent commissioned works.
LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW
Welcome to a new edition of the Neon Jazz interview series with Jazz Composer & Pianist Sarah Mckenzie. When the corona virus hit in early March., she was just on tour in France and all her shows got cancelled. At the same time the US government implemented a travel ban for everyone who was traveling from the Schengen territory so Sarah was unable to return to her home in Los Angeles immediately. ‘In order not to get stuck during lockdown in a big city – she rented an old school house in the very South of England, in Hastings at the English Channel coast. It was a very romantic place from the 17th century. They had planned to stay for two weeks, in the end it was 3 1/2 months. She explains was ensured .. Enjoy ..
Neon Jazz is a radio program airing since 2011. Hosted by Joe Dimino and Engineered by John Christopher in Kansas City, Missouri giving listeners a journey into one of America's finest inventions. Take a listen on KCXL (102.9 FM / 1140 AM) out of Liberty, MO. Listen to KCXL on Tunein Radio at http://tunein.com/radio/Neon-Jazz-Wit.... You can now catch Neon Jazz on KOJH 104.7 FM out of the Mutual Musicians Foundation from Noon - 1 p.m. CST Monday-Friday at https://www.kojhfm.org/. Check us out at All About Jazz @ https://kansascity.jazznearyou.com/ne.... For all things Neon Jazz, visit http://theneonjazz.blogspot.com/
lab.fm writes....Saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom and bassist Mark Helias have released Some Kind of Tomorrow, an improvised duo album they worked on during coronavirus lockdown.
Bloom (soprano saxophone) and Helias (double bass) worked on the 11-track record together over the course of 2020, collaborating remotely online. The two recorded simultaneously in their respective homes and combined the tracks together in post-production, Helias explained in a Facebook post. "The first time that Jane and I improvised together through Wi-Fi sometime in April or May 2020 was a very high experience on so many levels," he said in a statement.
"We were sorting out the possibilities of making music remotely and assessing the technology and our relation to it. Once we made peace with the situation and the medium, listening, feeling, hearing and responding was the same as it ever was."
Bloom added, "There is a vibration between us that's uncanny given the circumstances and a deep need to play what was real to us just then. It's as real as it gets for two musicians who needed to create music together to try to find some way to mend the world."
Listen to the adventurous title track and purchase Some Kind of Tomorrow in its entirety via Helias' Bandcamp below.
SEE THE lab.fm PAGE
Michael Bonner writes.......This month's Uncut contains a rare interview with Sonny Rollins – the last of the true jazz titans, whose music Dylan once described as "big league sound, covering all bases". John Lewis's superb interview reads like history unfolding, as Rollins takes us through his memories of some of the 20th century's most profound musical and cultural revolutions, including jazz, the civil rights movement and more. I'm thrilled.
Theodore Walter Rollins was born on September 7, 1930 in New York City. He grew up in Harlem not far from the Savoy Ballroom, the Apollo Theatre, and the doorstep of his idol, Coleman Hawkins. After early discovery of Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong, he started out on alto saxophone, inspired by Louis Jordan. At the age of sixteen, he switched to tenor, trying to emulate Hawkins. He also fell under the spell of the musical revolution that surrounded him, Bebop.
He began to follow Charlie Parker, and soon came under the wing of Thelonious Monk, who became his musical mentor and guru. Living in Sugar Hill, his neighborhood musical peers included Jackie McLean, Kenny Drew and Art Taylor, but it was young Sonny who was first out of the pack, working and recording with Babs Gonzales, J.J. Johnson, Bud Powell and Miles Davis before he turned twenty.
In 1956, Sonny began recording the first of a series of landmark recordings issued under his own name: Valse Hot introduced the practice, now common, of playing bop in 3/4 meter; St. Thomasinitiated his explorations of calypso patterns; and Blue 7 was hailed by Gunther Schuller as demonstrating a new manner of "thematic improvisation," in which the soloist develops motifs extracted from his theme. Way Out West (1957), Rollins's first album using a trio of saxophone, double bass, and drums, offered a solution to his longstanding difficulties with incompatible pianists, and exemplified his witty ability to improvise on hackneyed material (Wagon Wheels, I'm an Old Cowhand). It Could Happen to You (also 1957) was the first in a long series of unaccompanied solo recordings, and The Freedom Suite (1958) foreshadowed the political stances taken in jazz in the 1960s. During the years 1956 to 1958 Rollins was widely regarded as the most talented and innovative tenor saxophonist in jazz.
Sonny remembers that he took his leave of absence from the scene because "I was getting very famous at the time and I felt I needed to brush up on various aspects of my craft. I felt I was getting too much, too soon, so I said, wait a minute, I'm going to do it my way. I wasn't going to let people push me out there, so I could fall down. I wanted to get myself together, on my own. I used to practice on the Bridge, the Williamsburg Bridge because I was living on the Lower East Side at the time."
When he returned to action in early `62, his first recording was appropriately titled The Bridge. By the mid 60′s, his live sets became grand, marathon stream-of-consciousness solos where he would call forth melodies from his encyclopedic knowledge of popular songs, including startling segues and sometimes barely visiting one theme before surging into dazzling variations upon the next. Rollins was brilliant, yet restless. The period between 1962 and `66 saw him returning to action and striking productive relationships with Jim Hall, Don Cherry, Paul Bley, and his idol Hawkins, yet he grew dissatisfied with the music business once again and started yet another sabbatical in `66. "I was getting into eastern religions," he remembers. "I've always been my own man. I've always done, tried to do, what I wanted to do for myself. So these are things I wanted to do. I wanted to go on the Bridge. I wanted to get into religion. But also, the Jazz music business is always bad. It's never good. So that led me to stop playing in public for a while, again. During the second sabbatical, I worked in Japan a little bit, and went to India after that and spent a lot of time in a monastery. I resurfaced in the early 70s, and made my first record in `72. I took some time off to get myself together and I think it's a good thing for anybody to do."
In 1972, with the encouragement and support of his wife Lucille, who had become his business manager, Rollins returned to performing and recording, signing with Milestone and releasing Next Album. (Working at first with Orrin Keepnews, Sonny was by the early '80s producing his own Milestone sessions with Lucille.) His lengthy association with the Berkeley-based label produced two dozen albums in various settings – from his working groups to all-star ensembles (Tommy Flanagan, Jack DeJohnette, Stanley Clarke, Tony Williams); from a solo recital to tour recordings with the Milestone Jazzstars (Ron Carter, McCoy Tyner); in the studio and on the concert stage (Montreux, San Francisco, New York, Boston). Sonny was also the subject of a mid-'80s documentary by Robert Mugge entitled Saxophone Colossus; part of its soundtrack is available as G-Man.
He won his first performance Grammy for This Is What I Do (2000), and his second for 2004's Without a Song (The 9/11 Concert), in the Best Jazz Instrumental Solo category (for "Why Was I Born"). In addition, Sonny received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 2004.
In June 2006 Rollins was inducted into the Academy of Achievement – and gave a solo performance – at the International Achievement Summit in Los Angeles. The event was hosted by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg and attended by world leaders as well as distinguished figures in the arts and sciences.
Rollins was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art, First Class, in November 2009. The award is one of Austria's highest honors, given to leading international figures for distinguished achievements. The only other American artists who have received this recognition are Frank Sinatra and Jessye Norman.
In 2010 on the eve of his 80th birthday, Sonny Rollins is one of 229 leaders in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, arts, business, and public affairs who have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. A center for independent policy research, the Academy is among the nation's oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and celebrates the 230th anniversary of its founding this year.
In August 2010, Rollins was named the Edward MacDowell Medalist, the first jazz composer to be so honored. The Medal has been awarded annually since 1960 to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to his or her field.
Yet another major award was bestowed on Rollins on March 2, 2011, when he received the Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama in a White House ceremony. Rollins accepted the award, the nation's highest honor for artistic excellence, "on behalf of the gods of our music."
Since 2006, Rollins has been releasing his music on his own label, Doxy Records. The first Doxy album was Sonny, Please, Rollins's first studio recording since This Is What I Do. That was followed by the acclaimed Road Shows, vol. 1 (2008), the first in a planned series of recordings from Rollins's audio archives.
Mr. Rollins released Road Shows, vol. 2 in the fall of 2011. In addition to material recorded in Sapporo and Tokyo, Japan during an October 2010 tour, the recording contains several tracks from Sonny's September 2010 80th birthday concert in New York-including the historic and electrifying encounter with Ornette Coleman.
On December 3, 2011 Sonny Rollins was one of five 2011 Kennedy Center honorees, alongside actress Meryl Streep, singer Barbara Cook, singer/songwriter Neil Diamond and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Rollins said of the honor, "I am deeply appreciative of this great honor. In honoring me, the Kennedy Center honors jazz, America's classical music. For that, I am very grateful."
SEE THE UNCUT PAGE
BroadwayWorld writes....On Friday, February 5, 2021, GRAMMY Award-winning Catalyst Quartet releases UNCOVERED Volume 1 on Azica Records. The first of a multi-volume set, Volume 1 features the works of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor including his Quintet in G minor for Piano and Strings with pianist Stewart Goodyear, Fantasiestück, and Quintet in F sharp minor with clarinetist Anthony McGill. UNCOVERED Volume 2 will feature the works of Florence Price and Volume 3 and beyond will feature Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, William Grant Still, and George Walker among others.
Catalyst Quartet poses, "Over the course of time there have been many overlooked artists in classical music, especially because of their race or gender. It is important to acknowledge that we have not yet heard the whole story due to this sidelining of musical voices. Composers like Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Florence Price, and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson have contributed beautifully crafted work to the repertoire but are not widely celebrated because quality recordings and performances of their music are rare or non existent. With our next recording project we are helping to change this unfortunate reality."
SEE THE BroadwayWorld PAGE
"The London-based trio The Comet Is Coming-made up of the saxophonist King Shabaka, the percussionist Betamax, and the keyboardist Danalogue-thrusts empyrean jazz into an apocalyptic future, where raucous psych rock and danceable electro-grooves ride lush tenor lines to outer space.
Sony Music Masterworks today announces the release of THE PROM (MUSIC FROM THE NETFLIX FILM), an album of music from the forthcoming Netflix film directed by Ryan Murphy and based on the hit Broadway musical from Bob Martin, Chad Beguelin, and Matthew Sklar.
Rising baritone Phillipe Sly performs in Banff: Calgary Herald review
Posted: July 26, 2013 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Philippe Sly is on a meteoric rise. Already with two critically acclaimed albums to his credit, the young French-Canadian baritone seems to command the stage wherever he goes and has made favourable impressions everywhere he sings. He was the first prize winner of the 2012 Concours Musical International de Montréal, where he took home a considerable amount of money, and all this after he had won the grand prize at the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. It was with great anticipation that we attended Wednesday's recital at the Banff Centre's Rolston Hall to catch an evening of lieder from this rising star.
Opening the first half of the program with French art song, he sang the well-known "Chanson Triste" by Henri Duparc with clear harmonic intent and focused sound, making immediate use of his powerful instrument - a voice smooth as glass, imbued at times with a silky quality. Next came Duparc's "Phidylé," a challenging work of Arcadian echoes requiring the singer to change moods quickly, particularly in the second section. Sly showed he can move from mood to mood easily, with narrative fluidity and considerable maturity, ably duetted by collaborative pianist Andrea Grant, one of the premier instructors in this art form currently at the Banff Centre. The song demands great harmonic adjustments from both voice and piano, and Sly frequently issued the appropriate tonal colour lending him the expressive range he required to sing this difficult chanson. He is such a natural with this repertore and proved it repeatedly with a full command of his dramatic baritone voice.
Guy Ropartz's song cycle of love and grief through loss, "Quatre poémes d'après l'intermezzo de Heine," is less well known but evocative of the many themes tied in to love and bitterness that Robert Schumann used in his song cycle "Dichterliebe," based on selected texts by the same poet. Bookended by piano Prelude and Postlude, this cycle, unified by a recurring motive, represents a voyage inward describing love and the deeply psychological consequences from suffering its loss. The drifting quality of these chansons and particularly the piano solo sections (both of which I appreciated) were frequently buttressed with very clearly contrastingly-directed text-painted harmonies, all of which were well sung and with considerable intent, particularly Sly's use of the high range. Sly's unwaveringly musical interpretations helped me to a new appreciation of these pieces as very different interpretive settings of Heine's poetry, no less important than Schumann's. When the emotional temperature of the song cycle plummets considerably and things take a turn for the worse for the protagonist when the beloved is lost in the second chanson, Sly's voice conveys a carefully weighted mixture of angst with ernest searching - never too overstated - and reaches the desired peak of volume at just the appropriate moment. Sly resists the considerable temptation to which young singers often succumb, namely simple emphasis of one note, as a means of text expression. Instead, Sly's preternatural ability to feel the ésprit of the text combined with a mature sense of long-range phrasing endows the works with a special meaning, an interpretation that only comes with hard work and a genuine marquee talent.
The third and fourth chansons, my favourites of the set, were mournful in their realization of lost love, yet they were gently understated and appropriately subtle. Sly communicated the funereal final chanson with a direct naturalness, with the correct amount of vocal power, always without strain, and always with a clear sense of how to explicate the cycle's poetic beauty. If he can do all this now, one ought to look forward to how much more interpretively he will accomplish in the decades to come. The song cycle was an unequivocal success and moved many in attendance to say at intermission that it was their favourite.
The final set of the first half featured the contrasting Maurice Ravel three songs "Don Quichotte a Dulcinée." While often very naturally communicated and easily managed by Sly, he never quite equalled the Spanish élan evinced in Grant's delightful rendering of Ravel's Iberian piano rhythms. Sly's focus was thoroughly French, and to be fair, successful in that way. However the literary allusions to Quichotte's naïvely arcane sense of chivalry and ironic heroism are expressive requirements to meet Ravel's intention for these pieces. Overall the set was beautifully sung but nevertheless also lacked a certain variety of tone, once again, as demanded by the text. Still, Sly's dramatic approach to the cycle was a welcome one, and it was certainly pulled off musically well.
The second half featured two sets of German lieder, beginning with Hugo Wolf's famous last set of Michelangelo songs (1897), here presented in their string quartet accompaniment arrangement. This was an unqualified success and for me the highlight of the night. The opportunity for Sly to sing such mature works and to blend with a quartet was certainly a tremendous one, and he rose fully to the occasion. Sly's understanding of the text painting and blend with late Romantic string quartet technique, including Wolf's natural lyricism, showed a breadth of maturity beyond his years. The second song in particular was moving, and featured a perfect combination of his naturally resonsant baritone harmonizing with the low setting of the quartet. Often, each phrase came off as carefully crafted, as if sculpted by his voice out of marble for our intimate acoustic space. To hear the quartet so subtly nuanced in the second song at the line "alles endet was entstehet" ("all ends what has arisen"), combined with Sly's exquisite reading of this whole text was as good as that phrase and this song can get, replete with all the poignancy Wolf meant for it to have both artistically and biographically at this point in the composer's life, when he was deeply laid in a depressive state. The third song was emotionally nearly overwhelming, set to expanded tonal intensity, suffused with elegiac loveliness, each phrase dripping with intensity. It was a masterpiece of expression and an experience of Wolf I will never forget. I look forward to these songs being recorded for later release.
The concluding section consisting of Franz Schubert lieder only drove the emotional temperature of this recital of mostly serious songs higher still. "Der Tod und das Mädchen," the famous dialogue lied, with its ominous opening, was outstandingly interpreted, and concluded perfectly. The set continued with "Erster Verlust" and Sly showed considerable beauty of tone and musical maturity. Sly adapted easily from song to song, and showed his ability to change the atmosphere with the contrasting worlds of the folksy lightheartedness found in "Lachen und Weinen" to the darker world of the deceptively simple "Ständchen." With its word-painted modal mixtures, Sly navigated its tonal difficulties well with true emotive power.
"Der Doppelgänger," the last song Schubert published, with its blackest vision yet of any protagonist, who here sees his own double aping him the night he lost his love, is one of the most difficult of Schubert lieder to interpret, with its long-held notes and long-breathed phrases. Each line was sung powerfully, convincingly, and Sly commanded everyone's perfect attention with every phrase, as was often the case throughout the night. In the notorious modulation to the suitably alien key of D sharp minor, Sly pushes for rhythmic expression rather than slowing at this point, to depict the strange otherness of the protagonist's identification with the Doppelgänger's psychological reality. It worked to good effect and is one of the finer versions of the song I have heard.
The contemplative "Wanderers Nachtlied," depicting a night over still waters, demands a fine use of harmonic coloration and certainly was one of the most beautiful moments of the recital, particularly at the line "warte nur warte nur, balde ruhest du auch" (wait, only wait; soon you too will rest"). This beautiful set, and the evening's outstanding recital earned Mr. Sly a well-deserved standing ovation and we all knew what was obvious: Philippe Sly shows all the signs of evolving into one of the premier baritones of his generation. It will be exciting to watch and listen to him in the years to come.
Shy personality, modest genius of all, Franz Peter Schubert is distinguished by this; he has never held formal musical function. Living frugally, surrounded by friends from the artistic and literary circles, Schubert was the focus of artistic events organized periodically and known as the Schubertiade. These meetings were an opportunity for him to hear his most recent compositions, including the songs included in the foreground. Many of these - he composed more than 600 - are likely to have taken shape on guitar;
SYND: Classical 24, CBC Direct: MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Wash DC, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Portland, Pittsburgh, Canada, Online: AccuRadio
"A Canadian bass‐baritone with a beautiful, blooming tone and magnetic stage presence", wrote the San Francisco Chronicle in August 2011. Winner of the Grand Prize and the People's Choice Award at the last Montreal International Musical Competition and RadioCanada's "Revelation classique 201213, the bass‐baritone Philippe Sly offers a first album 'In Dreams,' based on texts by Heinrich Heine. It includes Robert Schumann's sublime Dichterliebe (The Poet's Love), Guy Ropartz's Four poems after Heinrich Heine's "Intermezzo", Maurice Ravel's Don Quixote to Dulcinea and the first recording of Three Tennyson Songs by British composer Jonathan Dove. Michael McMahon accompanies the young singer on the piano. During a recital just a few days before the start of the MIMC, Claude Gingras of La Presse praised his maturity and the power of his performance:
36 New 'ON' this week: 36 Total
SYND: Classical 24 Direct:SiriusXM, Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland, San Antonio, Madison WI Online: RadioIO