CD Picks

A Grand Celebration: The Philadelphia Orchestra Live with the Wanamaker Organ at Macy's Center City
The Historic Grand Court Concert
Peter Richard Conte, organist. Rossen Milanov, conductor

Charlie Haden and Quartet West
Sophisticated Ladies

Charlie Haden and Quartet West have been around for years, and could easily be compared to a chameleon. They have a unique, distinctive style, but blend in easily performing with orchestras and vocalists. They stand out at certain times, but then long stretches of time go by when no one can find them. Well, they're back, and better than ever on Sophisticated Ladies.
 

Kile Smith Recommends...

Apr 26, 2011

John Zorn: The Gift

Composers have always used elements of popular music to make high art. The suites of Bach and entire movements of Mahler would never have appeared without the seeds of middlebrow entertainment. John Zorn cultivates this field, and, for The Gift, keeps to a corner of it called "The Sixties."

Kile Smith Recommends...

Mar 30, 2011

Relache: Press Play
Music of Mark Hagerty, Guy Klucevsek, Cynthia Folio

Relache has been slipping the thin leading edge of new music into Philadelphia since 1979. They've done it with a jolly indifference to the clashing of styles or the rocking of boats. Even their name, which in French means "the show is closed," exhibits their iconoclasm and humor. Downtown, uptown, no town, doesn't matter: if it's new - brand new - Relache is all over it.

 

Mark Pinto Recommends...

Mar 11, 2011

The Complete Choros
and Bachianas Brasileiras

Heitor Villa-Lobos
Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra and soloists

One of my favorite composers is the underrated Brazilian, Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959). This multi-disc set of instrumental music offers masterful performances of his two great nationalistic series, the Choros and the Bachianas Brasileiras. The Brazilian musicians playing here feel the music deeply, and speak it fluently. A final disc is devoted to his complete works for solo guitar - exquisitely performed.
 

Jill Pasternak Recommends...

Dec 20, 2010

Russian Music for Cello & Piano
Wendy Warner, cello; Irina Nuzova, piano

Songs for the Soul
Organist Radam Schwartz and Conspiracy for Positivity
Featuring Vocalist Miles Griffith

The voice was the first instrument. The ear, by logical progression, ranks second. Drums were used to communicate over long distances, so they're third. The fourth is the Hammond B-3 organ, with roots that are firmly embedded in the church. During the 1950s and '60s, it became the main voice for "soul jazz," providing a hand-clapping, feet-tapping, rise-up-out-of-your-seat-and-celebrate style that commands your attention. Read More...
 

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