Nicola Benedetti - Baroque is CLASSIC fM 'Album of the Week'

Decca Classics is thrilled to present a new Baroque album from Grammy award-winning violinist Nicola Benedetti. This is the first album Benedetti has released on a period set-up including gut strings, and she is joined by a leading group of freelance baroque musicians, forming the Benedetti Baroque Orchestra for the very first time. The album features a selection of concerti by Vivaldi plus Geminiani's incredible arrangement of Corelli's ‘La Folia', one of the oldest western classical themes which has been arranged by many composers over time, particularly in the baroque era. Geminiani was one of the greatest violinists of the era and Corelli was one of his teachers whilst growing up in Italy. Later when he moved to London, Geminiani reworked a number of Corelli's works for local audiences including this arrangement of ‘La Folia'. Singles will be released on 4, 25 June and 2 July in the lead-up to the full album being available from Friday 16 July.  Nicola Benedetti - Baroque is CLASSIC fM 'Album of the Week.' 
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Art of Time Ensemble's Andrew Burashko chats with

Life's a stage. On their stage in Toronto's Harbourfront Centre Theatre and during the life of the Art of Time Ensemble, audiences have been transfixed by performances that fuse dance, visual art, spoken word, film, and the remarkable hybridization of pop, classical, chamber music and Jazz. Led by pianist and founder Andrew Burashko, Art of Time shapes carnivals of invention, aligning their creative ingenuity with world class writers, producers, choreographers, filmmakers, composers, arrangers and musicians. Dream teams of talent like Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Madeleine Peyroux, Peter Mettler and Branford Marsalis are the norm for this exquisite inventive engine. In Jazz, spontaneity runs hand in hand with a chorus of preparation, fine tuning a balance between the spirit of improvisation against a foundation of learned musicality. Ain't Got Long, the ensemble's latest album, takes this practice to an exhilarating new level, incorporating lush cinematic soundscapes crafted from the brilliant arranging of musical savant Jonathan Goldsmith. Carefully teasing apart everything from celebrated pop tunes to Gershwin classics, Ain't Got Long lets you hear these songs for what they often are: raw, emotive catalysts that expose an awkward beauty found within the uglier sides of humanity. Love In Vain resists cliche with melodies drawn across a tense chalkboard of mood crafted from a bleak update of Robert Johnson's original blues paired perfectly with Madeline Peyroux's vocal mawkishness. LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW
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Everything old is new again as Andras Schiff's period instrument 'Brahms Piano Concertos' proves a revelation / LIMELIGHT: Editor's Choice

LIMELIGHT's Michael Quinn writes......Ably abetted by the period-instrument Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, András Schiff has stripped back Brahms's warhorse Piano Concertos to their essentials and the results are revelatory. Schiff's choice of a Blüthner grand piano dating from around 1859 (the year in which the First Piano Concerto was premiered) is both apt and inspired. Pianophiles will want to know that the model number is 762, the largest instrument the venerable Leipzig-based firm had built until then. With straight-strung bass strings (modern grands are cross-strung) its voice is characterised by a powerful, singing tone, while its branded "patent action" allows for a lighter but more controlled touch from Schiff enabling fine-spun textures and a rich, natural colour palette. Those qualities are well to the fore in this first coupling of the concertos on disc to present both on period instruments, and only the second to feature the soloist as conductor (Lars Vogt's Ondine recordings with the Northern Sinfonia the first). Manfred Eicher's production exploits the Abbey Road acoustic to the full, spotlighting moments of whispered poetry and framing declamatory drama with finesse. Schiff's introduction is complemented by Peter Gülke's detailed and informative notes. In a word: essential.  READ THE FULL LIMELIGHT REVIEW
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Alice Coltrane - Kirtan: Turiya Sings makes The Quietus 'Reissue Of The Week'

The Quietus Daniel Spicer writes.....When John Coltrane recorded his masterpiece of modal hard bop in December 1964, it was meant as an offering of devotion and gratitude to the Almighty, in return for helping the saxophonist end alcohol and heroin dependencies that were compromising his health and his art. Coltrane wrote in his liner notes: "In the year of 1957, I experienced, by the grace of God, a spiritual awakening, which was to lead me to a richer, fuller, more productive life." After this initial epiphany, Coltrane's commitment to going clean wavered a few times but, by the time he recorded A Love Supreme, he was fully on track: "As time and events moved on, I entered into a phase which is contradictory to the pledge and away from the esteemed path. But thankfully now, through the merciful hand of God, I do perceive and have been fully reinformed of his omnipotence. It is truly a love supreme." Though Coltrane was raised in the southern Christian church there was a powerful sense that his conception of God was of a universal Almighty. Moreover, in the remaining years of his life, up until his death from liver cancer in 1967, his move into more avant garde musical territory was mirrored by a growing fascination with religious traditions from around the world, from Islam to Zen Buddhism and Hinduism. His posthumously released album Om, recorded in October 1965, was a deep dive into the properties and meaning of the sacred syllable at the heart of Indian religion – what Coltrane in his liner notes called "the first vibration – that sound, that spirit, which set everything else into being." Coltrane was such a revered and energising figure in jazz that, after his death, followers and admirers took up and championed not just his musical path but his philosophical and religious investigations too. This included famous disciples such as saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, who was a member of Coltrane's final quintet after 1965, and whose molten tenor scream brought a heightened intensity – a kind of feral, ecstatic glossolalia – to Coltrane's final recordings. After the master's passing, Sanders' own spiritual offerings became less frenzied and more reflective, as on the classic hymn, 'The Creator Has A Masterplan' – an undisputed, and much anthologised, classic of spiritual jazz. But no one took these ideas further than Coltrane's widow, pianist and harpist Alice Coltrane. Alice had been central to John's burgeoning interest in spirituality, a catalyst and fellow seeker on the path to the Almighty. After his death, she dived headlong into the search, following Indian guru Swami Satchidananda, and releasing a string of albums that explicitly foregrounded a quest for religious meaning, from 1968's trio date A Monastic Trio, through classics such as 1970's Journey in Satchidananda – the title track of which, with its thick tambura drone, eternal bass vamp and cascading harp, epitomises the popular notion of spiritual jazz. Yet, Coltrane was being inexorably drawn away from the jazz life. By the late-70s, she had moved to California, changed her name to Turiyasangitananda (The Transcendental Lord's Highest Song of Bliss) and become spiritual director of Shanti Anantam Ashram northwest of Los Angeles, adopting the saffron robes and duties of the swamini. As the 80s dawned, her musical focus was centred entirely on the daily life of the ashram, as she arranged traditional Vedic devotional chants – or kirtans – for ceremonial use. This refined an approach that had first appeared on her 1977 album, Transcendence which reimagined ancient Sanskrit songs of praise as joyously Gospel-infused vocal call-and-response jams. This idea reached its apogee in 1982, with the release of Turiya Sings, the first of a series of private, cassette-only releases made available solely to members of the ashram, on which Coltrane swathed her arrangements for Wurlitzer organ and voice in lush, otherworldly synthesizer and strings. It's this astonishing album that has now been officially reissued for the first time as Kirtan: Turiya Sings – with a crucial difference. In 2004 (three years before Alice's death) Coltrane's son, Ravi (who has produced this reissue) unearthed a skeletal mix that stripped away the billowing synth and strings, revealing simple tracks of just Coltrane's organ and voice. They are, quite simply, beautiful: tender, loving recitations of the names of God, both fragile and sure in their utter devotion, infused with Coltrane's background in blues and gospel just as much as they are in the Carnatic tradition. It's likely you'll hear this breath-taking album referred to as spiritual jazz. It isn't, of course. There's no improvisation here, no solos or showy virtuosity. But, you know what? It doesn't matter. Let people call it whatever they like. So long as they let its pure message of devotion and joy shine into their hearts and lift their spiritual vibrations. It's what Alice would have wanted. READ THE FULL Quietus REVIEW
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Isata Kanneh-Mason's 'Deep River' the beloved spiritual, gets heard in strikingly diverse setting of Sierra Leone / NPR

NPR's Tom Huizenga writes ........"Deep River," the beloved spiritual, gets heard in strikingly diverse settings – from a swing version recorded by Tommy Dorsey in 1941 to an operatic performance at the memorial of Ruth Bader Ginsberg last year. For this new recording by the rising young British pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason, the backdrop is Sierra Leone. That's where her mother is from, as was the father of the mixed race composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, who published this arrangement in 1905. Kanneh-Mason says she feels a familial connection to the music. You can hear the water lapping at river's edge in the gently rolled opening chords. In exploring her musical roots, as it were, Kanneh-Mason offers the arc of Coleridge-Taylor's cinematic drama while tapping into the song's inherent melancholy and hope for a brighter tomorrow. SEE THE NPR PAGE
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Patricia Barber discusses 'Clique' and career on 90.7WGXC's Jazz Disturbance - Situation Fluxus

In the broadcast, a music segment and an interview with pianist and vocalist Patricia Barber. Her new release on Impex Records is "Clique." The album includes nine standards that Barber has performed as encores during her career like All in Love is Fair by Stevie Wonder, Straight No Chaser by Monk, I Could Have Danced All Night by Lerner and Loewe, and more. Situation Fluxus is a one-hour program focused on jazz and improvised music, news, talk, and topics. Hosted by Cheryl K., host of "The Jazz Disturbance" broadcast Sunday on WGXC-FM. Hudson Valley NY.  LISTEN TO THE PROGRAM
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Rare & Iintimate recording of Alice Coltrane's voice & wurlitzer organ shines on 'Kirtan: Turiya Sings' / glideMagazine

glideMagazine's Jim Hynes writes....As Alice ‘Turiya' Coltrane's son, Ravi Coltrane, admonished, this is not a jazz album. Although Alice Coltrane, John Coltrane's wife and musical partner, had her share of groundbreaking spiritual jazz albums in the ‘70s, Kirtan: Turiya Sings falls far from that camp. Those familiar with Alice's (we will revert to first-name basis) career, know that by the early ‘80s she had become a guru and a spiritual teacher, establishing her community called The Vedantic Center, northwest of Los Angeles. Leading up to that, she had immersed herself in Eastern philosophies, mythologies, and Vedic religious practices in the later ‘70s. The original recording of these songs was released exclusively on cassette in 1982 for the students of the ashram. Those recordings also included synthesizers, strings, and sound effects in addition to her voice and Wurlitzer organ. In 2004 Ravi found mixes of just the latter and knew that it should be released as just an intimate recording of the two instruments.  READ THE FULL glideMagazine ARTICLE
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Attacca Quartet dig into dance music on 'Real Life' / NPR

NPR: Weekend Edition Saturday's JEFF LUNDEN writes......One of the most adventurous classical ensembles, the Grammy Award-winning Attacca Quartet, has made its reputation with an eclectic musical palette – they've explored the string quartets of Haydn and Beethoven and premiered new pieces by contemporary composers. But the latest album from the group – violinists Amy Schroeder and Domenic Salerni, violist Nathan Schram and cellist Andrew Yee – might be their most surprising: Real Life features adaptations of electronic dance music by Flying Lotus, Louis Cole and Daedelus, among others. "Attacca means attached; to keep playing music and to not stop," says Yee, a founding member. "And I think that's been sort of what we've done over the past almost 20 years; is to do something, but always be sort of in motion, always be really intentional about moving on and then discovering new things and finding joy in different places." The quartet is aware that the new album, Attacca's first on the Sony Classical label, might raise some eyebrows. "For us, this music isn't that different than Beethoven-like, in so many ways it is!" Schram says, laughing. "Ultimately for us, it's music we love playing. We're using our instruments in the same creative way we would if we were playing classical music. Obviously, the production techniques are very different. But for us, it still feels very much like we're playing string quartet music." And already, Attacca Quartet is promising more instrumental mash-ups: Their next album, scheduled for fall release, will pair works by contemporary composers Philip Glass and Arvo Pärt with Renaissance polyphony. 
PHOTO: David Goddard/Sony Classical LISTEN TO THE NPR SEGMENT
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Listen to Neon Jazz Interview with Alchemy Sound Project's David Arend

Welcome to a new edition of the Neon Jazz interview series with Jazz Double Bassist David Arend of Alchemy Sound Project .. He opened up about their new 2021 CD Afrika Love, this COVID world we are all surviving, his history in music and the band's lineage .. Sessions for Afrika Love took place in January 2018 and the album's title was borrowed from the composition that reflects the band's keen awareness that this recording arrives in the wake of one of the most tumultuous years in recent U.S. history - a pivotal period in which race relations and social justice protests have taken center stage. David is a freelance artist who moves easily across classical, jazz, electronic, avant garde and singer/songwriter contexts and the band was formed in 2014 two years after the group's members met in Los Angeles at the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute .. It's a great story .. CLICK HERE TO Enjoy ..THE VIDEO  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 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 Check us out at All About Jazz @ 
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  Neon Jazz Interview

Matthias Goerne beckons you towards the sunset in this glorious recital / LIMELIGHT: Editor's Choice

LIMELIGHT's Tony Way writes.....Richard Strauss's evocation of sunset in his Four Last Songs must be one of the most sublime musical pictures ever written, having left an indelible impression on the imagination of countless listeners since its appearance in 1949. Having witnessed the physical and psychological destruction of much that he held dear, Strauss gave the distinct impression that the sun had also set on the lied, that distinctive but intimate emblem of Germanic musical culture. Strauss would be relieved to know that the Lied has many fine interpreters today; not least the persuasive baritone Matthias Goerne, who has arguably inherited the mantle of his former teacher Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Goerne has chosen to explore the sunset of the Lied in a thoughtful, thought-provoking program reaching back to Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder, and then pitting Strauss against his cranky contemporary, Hans Pfitzner.  Goerne's inspired detour off the beaten track of Lieder recitals is absolutely a detour worth taking. Don't miss this superbly talented singer at the height of his powers.  READ THE FULL LIMELIGHT REVIEW
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Isata Kanneh-Mason - Summertime is the WFMT: Featured New Release

WFMT's Lisa Flynn writes.....Following her debut album Romance, a portrait of Clara Schumann, British pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason presents her vibrant second album Summertime. She says, "Summertime features a rich array of pieces from many of my favorite American classical composers. The Barber Piano Sonata forms the anchor around which the rest of the album was developed; I fell in love with the piece the first time I heard it, and it's a real pleasure to have recorded it for Decca. I wanted this album to illustrate the diversity of music in America at that time, and so it was important to me to include the more familiar Gershwin songs, as well as the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor spirituals to which I feel a personal connection." For July 12, 2021 - Isata Kanneh-Mason - Summertime is the WFMT: Chicago 'Featured New Release'  SEE THE PAGE
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At thirty-five minutes, Attacca Quartet's 'Real Life' doesn't overstay its welcome / Sequenza 21

Sequenza 21 writes.....Kronos Quartet excepted, there have been a lot of really bad arrangements of pop music for string quartet. Part of the problem is that the arrangers of these covers attempt to translate a medium that involves amplification, electronics, and a flexible sense of rhythm into straight notation for acoustic ensemble. Attacca Quartet's Real Life, on the other hand, sees the opportunity for collaboration in electronic music covers.  At thirty-five minutes, the recording doesn't overstay its welcome, with several of the selections truncated from their original versions. A welcome exception is "Drifting Circles" by Anne Müller, in which minimal ostinatos adorn the song's sumptuous chord progression and evolving textures are explored. Cole's "More Love Less Hate" provides an aphoristic, supple coda to the proceedings.  READ THE FULL Sequenza 21 REVIEW
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Top 10 Albums for July

Marco Beltrami, Anna Drubich & Marcus Trumpp :

Fear Street Part Three: 1666 (Music from Netflix)

Milan Records today releases FEAR STREET PART 3: 1666 (MUSIC FROM THE NETFLIX FILM) by composers MARCO BELTRAMI, ANNA DRUBICH and MARCUS TRUMPP. Available everywhere now, the album features music co-composed by Beltrami, Trumpp and Drubich for the third and final installment in the Netflix horror film trilogy based on R.L. Stine's best-selling horror series. Today's release follows soundtracks for Fear Street Part 1: 1994 by Beltrami and Trumpp and Fear Street Part 2: 1978 by Beltrami and Brandon Roberts. Fear Street Part 3: 1666 debuts on Netflix today. 
Marco Beltrami, Brandon Roberts :

Fear Street Part Two 1978 (MUSIC FROM NETFLIX)

Milan Records today releases FEAR STREET PART 2: 1978 (MUSIC FROM THE NETFLIX FILM) by composers MARCO BELTRAMI and BRANDON ROBERTS. Available everywhere now, the album features music co-composed by Beltrami and Roberts for the second installment in the Netflix horror film trilogy based on R.L. Stine's best-selling horror series. The soundtrack follows last Friday's release of FEAR STREET PART 1: 1994 (MUSIC FROM THE NETFLIX FILM) by Beltrami and Marcus Trumpp – listen here. Milan Records will also release the soundtrack for Fear Street Part 3: 1666 by Beltrami, Anna Drubich and Trumpp on Friday, July 16, coinciding with the film's wide release date on Netflix. Fear Street Part 1: 1994 and Fear Street Part 2: 1978 are available to watch on Netflix now.
Brian Tyler, John Carey :

Escape Room - Tournament of Champions

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions is the sequel to the box office hit psychological thriller that terrified audiences around the world. In this installment, six people unwittingly find themselves locked in another series of escape rooms, slowly uncovering what they have in common to survive…and discovering they've all played the game before.
Nicola Benedetti :


Decca Classics is thrilled to announce a new Baroque album from Grammy award-winning violinist Nicola Benedetti. This is the first album Benedetti has released on a period set-up including gut strings, and she is joined by a leading group of freelance baroque musicians, forming the Benedetti Baroque Orchestra for the very first time. The album features a selection of concerti by Vivaldi plus Geminiani's incredible arrangement of Corelli's ‘La Folia', one of the oldest western classical themes which has been arranged by many composers over time, particularly in the baroque era. Geminiani was one of the greatest violinists of the era and Corelli was one of his teachers whilst growing up in Italy. Later when he moved to London, Geminiani reworked a number of Corelli's works for local audiences including this arrangement of ‘La Folia'. Singles will be released on 4, 25 June and 2 July in the lead-up to the full album being available from Friday 16 July. 
Long Yu - Shanghai Symphony Orchestra :

The Song Of the Earth - Mahler, Ye Xiaogang

Centuries-old Chinese poetry is brought vividly to life in a new recording from Long Yu and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. Their second album for Deutsche Grammophon, The Song of the Earth, is set for international release on 09 July 2021. Recorded in Shanghai with soloists Michelle DeYoung, Brian Jagde, Liping Zhang and Shenyang, it pairs Gustav Mahler's symphonic song-cycle Das Lied von der Erde ("The Song of the Earth"), based on German translations of seven ancient Chinese poems, with the world premiere recording of Xiaogang Ye's settings of the same texts in the original Mandarin. Long Yu is passionate both about breaking down barriers between different cultures and about promoting new music by contemporary composers from China and across the world. He has brought international orchestras and a wide range of western classical music to China, toured the West with Chinese orchestras, and commissioned dozens of works from composers as varied as Qigang Chen, Tan Dun, Philip Glass and Krzysztof Penderecki.
Krystian Zimerman :

Beethoven - Complete Piano Concertos w/LSO, Rattle

Krystian Zimerman joined forces with Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra last December in Beethoven's five piano concertos. Their spellbinding performances, streamed on DG Stage from LSO St Luke's and recorded live by Deutsche Grammophon, harvested a bumper crop of critical superlatives. Here was "history in the making", wrote The Times in its five-star review, while Bachtrack noted, "Purity and clarity are hallmarks of Zimerman's playing and there was an almost aristocratic composure to his phrasing and a velvet touch … Everything was meticulous, not … a quaver out of place."
Stefan Obermaier :


Satisfaction is an unreliable feeling. That may explain the driving quality of this music. While the beats keep you calm and centred, his melodies also draw you ever upward. Listening to Stefan Obermaier's invigorating music places you at the mercy of this pleasurable interplay forces. In this series of classical works especially, eternal melodies hover over his intricately programmed rhythm and beats. In this case, the music of the personally unpredictable Ludwig van Beethoven becomes the focus of the 40-year-old electronic artist from the state of Salzburg, or Salzburgerland. He has made the big city his home since 2001. The urban comings and goings inspire music in him that has rhythmic urgency as well as cascades of dreamy harmonies. In his "Classic Reloaded" series he borrows the melodies only from the best – from Mozart, from Beethoven.  
Attacca Quartet :

Real Life

The ATTACCA QUARTET share the title track and video "Real Life" from their upcoming genre-defying debut album on Sony Classical. Their re-working of the Louis Cole original is a radical orchestral meets four-on-the-floor thunder stomp. Of the track, Attacca Quartet says: "Who doesn't love a little Louis Cole'! His music is zesty, humorous, and extremely satisfying. His song ‘Real Life' encapsulates the wild and carefree feelings that we enjoyed so much while making this album." For their forthcoming Sony Classical debut, the multi-genre, Grammy Award-winning string ensemble embody their redefinition of what a string quartet can be. Real Life, a vibrant album that transcends musical boundaries, is out July 9th and available now for preorder. Attacca Quartet's momentum will continue well into 2021, lining up a second album later this year featuring music by Philip Glass, Arvo Pärt as well as several Renaissance composers.
Andris Nelsons - Boston Symphony :

Shostakovich Sym. #1,14,15 - Chamber Sym. in Cm

Three Grammy Awards and a mountain of rave reviews stand behind Andris Nelsons' ongoing cycle of the fifteen symphonies of Dmitri Shostakovich. The conductor's run of visionary interpretations with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, recorded live by Deutsche Grammophon, is set to continue with the release of a double-disc album of the Russian composer's Symphonies Nos. 1, 14 & 15. The new recording connects with both the swaggering energy of youth and the profound reflections of a composer nearing the end of his life. It also includes a searing account of the tragic Chamber Symphony.
Michael Shapiro :

Michael's Songbook with Ariadne Greif

My song cycles, Dublin Songs and Canciones, were written during my twenties and reflect my fascination with the poetry of James Joyce and Federico Garcia Lorca.  In particular, I love the freedom of Joyce's lyricism and the visionary color and rhythm of Lorca.  They are very much my heroes in their choice of words and subject matter.  It is a long way from Dublin to Barcelona, but perhaps closer than one might imagine.  My way is to follow where the poems go and fill in with musical sounds the imagery and imagining of the poesy, remembering at all times the careful and caring depiction of humanity by these two great souls.