CD Selections

Jazz CD Selection
7:21 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Maureen Malloy Suggests: SOUTHERN EXPOSURE, Christian Howes With Richard Galliano

It's not often that you hear the words "jazz" and "violin" used in the same sentence.  But over the past few years, violinist Christian Howes has become one of the artists to masterfully bring these words together. 

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CD Selections
3:27 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

A 1969 Bootleg Unearths Miles Davis' 'Lost' Quintet

Miles Davis' Live in Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2 is a compilation of previously unreleased material performed by a short-lived incarnation of his touring band.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 6:18 pm

After a slew of multidisc sets devoted to key points in the career of Miles Davis, you'd think Columbia Records would have unearthed every speck of consequential music by now. But not quite.

This week, Columbia brings out Live in Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2 — a three-CD, one-DVD set devoted to the jazz maverick's "lost" quintet, his touring band from 1969.

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Classical CD Selection
6:08 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Mark Pinto Recommends: Game Music

Let me make one thing clear: I am not a gamer. I am, however, an admirer of the recordings of La Pieta, the Canadian all-female string orchestra, and their leader, violinist Angele Dubeau. In particular, I appreciate their impeccable musicianship and the good taste of the arrangements that are composed for the ensemble. In recent recordings, they've championed the music of notable contemporary composers Philip Glass, John Adams, and Arvo Part, all favorites of mine.  

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Jazz CD Selection
2:38 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Zivit Recommends: The Mosaic Project

Drummer, composer, producer, and vocalist Terri Lyne Carrington has been on the scene for over 20 years, and her interpretation of jazz has always blurred the alleged boundaries of the genre. She's a self-proclaimed jazz head who creates complexly evocative melodies and harmonies cross-bred with funk, soul, and pop elements.

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CD Selections
4:17 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Five Jazz Christmas Albums For 2012

The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra's new album is called Christmas Time Is Here.
Courtesy of the artist

There's a certain intensity of spirit in jazz and improvised music, to the point where it occasionally aligns with religious worship. You especially see it around Christmastime, when certain musicians who happen to be Christians purpose their craft in observance of the season.

Of course, sometimes jazz musicians just like playing familiar songs.

Here are five records, all from 2012, which run the gamut of Christmas jazz. From deep meditations on the holiday's narrative to more offbeat ways to get into the spirit, inventiveness isn't a scarce resource this winter.

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CD Selections
4:23 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

A Classical Musician's Game Theory

The epic strings and chanting monks of the Halo series are just some of the video-game sounds reinterpreted by Angèle Dubeau on her new album, Game Music.
Microsoft

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 10:46 pm

Though it may not be on any singles charts, the theme from Angry Birds is likely one of the most widely heard pieces of music ever. For Canadian violinist Angèle Dubeau, that's just one reason to take it seriously — even though it originated in a video game.

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CD Selections
3:04 pm
Sun December 9, 2012

A Bald Mezzo And Three Shades Of Violin: Classical Favorites From 2012

On Silfra, violinist Hilary Hahn improvises with prepared pianist Hauschka.
DG

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 7:09 pm

From mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli's ambitious revival of the early Baroque composer Agostino Stefani (and yes, she's got another outrageous album cover) to three very different roles for the violin, here's a clutch of classical albums I returned to again and again this year for sheer delight and aural inspiration. Bartoli lavishes extravagant attention on the music of a fascinating but forgotten link in the history of opera.

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CD Reviews from NPR
9:29 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Joyce DiDonato: Sublime Singing Makes The Unreal Real

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.
Josef Fischnaller courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 12:24 pm

It's true — opera is totally over the top. Plots can strain even the barest semblance of credulity (too many cases of ghosts and mistaken identities to count), with characters that could get you thrown out of an introductory writing course, down to the blushing ingenues and the evil connivers who might as well be twirling waxed mustaches.

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Music Reviews from NPR
1:26 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

The Mythic Power Of Bessie Smith

circa 1935: American singer Bessie Smith (circa 1894 - 1937), known as the Empress of the Blues. (Photo by Three Lions/Getty Images)
Three Lions Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 11:39 am

Vocalist Bessie Smith's musical career, spanning 1923-33, has been collected in a new 10-CD box set, Bessie Smith: The Complete Columbia Recordings.

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CD Selections
7:43 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Maureen Malloy Suggests: Elegant Soul, The Life and Music of Gene Harris

The phrase "elegant soul" could describe numerous things: a person, a fashion, a way one deals with life. But after listening to Gene Harris' 1968 recording, I realized that the phrase perfectly describes Harris' style as a pianist. Beautifully accompanied by Andy Simpkins on bass and Carl Burnett on drums (the other "Two Sounds"), Harris plays in the classy way he has been known for, but this time he incorporated ribbons of gospel and maybe A dollop of funk. When you stir this all together, it equals Elegant Soul.

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