Angele Dubeau offers meditative music from contemporary composers / New Classical Tracks

"I was looking for a title with the same spelling for French and English, so Pulsations. Pulsation marks time, infuses its rhythm in it and also evokes the heart, just like those composers I chose, who, with their unique signature, mark time. Our time." Composers of our time - that's what Canadian violinist Angèle Dubeau's 44th recording with her all-female ensemble La Pietà is all about. She titled it Pulsations. Dubeau continues; "Twenty years ago, I started to make a series of musical portraits of icons of contemporary music - I'm thinking of Philip Glass, of Arvo Part, of John Adams - and what makes this repertoire of minimalists so special and so successful. It's because this music brings great melodies, great moments of introspection and inner calm. And I think those moments we all need in our stressful lives today. In the minimalist music, the repetition captivates just like a mantra. Scientifically, it's proven that the repetition factor brings a high level of calm and concentration. If the music speaks to me and I have something personal to express, I should share it." LISTEN TO THE New Classical Tracks SEGMENT
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Oded Tzur - Here Be Dragons. Introspective stance and immensely melodious structure / Gina Loves Jazz

Israeli tenor saxophonist and composer Oded Tzur (who was actually born in the Netherlands) has released his first album on the prestigious ECM label. Oded, who is working in or from New York since 2011 (where else?), debuted in 2015 with "Like A Great River" which was followed in 2017 with "Translator's Note". It seems as if his new-found home at ECM has somehow earthed him, grounded him, since this release is much more connected and quintessential than its predecessors. We have lived with the album for a month now and the beauty of its content has not vanished. From the opening notes of the title track, its introspective stance, immensely melodious structure, almost hushed playing by the leader, this album sometimes comes across as Americana meets the Eastern world. Pianist Nitai Hershkovits is the perfect, reflecting partner during the opening piece, and Jonathan Blake‘s drum work is deeply balanced. Greek bassist Petros Klampanis rounds out the team on this beautiful piece of work. READ THE FULL Gina Loves Jazz REVIEW
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Thomas Newman paints a superb audio landscape that utterly envelops '1917' / Irish Film Critic

April 6th, 1917. As a regiment assembles to wage war deep in enemy territory, two soldiers are assigned to race against time and deliver a message that will stop 1,600 men from walking straight into a deadly trap. Soaring and tacking as two lonely soldiers navigate an unforgiving World War I battlefield, Thomas Newman paints a superb audio landscape that utterly envelops "1917" almost as well as the stunning visuals provided by Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins. At once, foreboding and inspiring, Newman's score successfully manages to evoke a range of emotions from audiences throughout the film's two-hour runtime. Newman's list of superlatives across his distinguished career as a composer never seems to be long enough. Director Sam Mendes regularly brings Newman on board his productions – a list that includes "Road to Perdition," "Revolutionary Road," "Spectre," "Skyfall" and "American Beauty." Here again for "1917," Newman serves up a thoughtful and moving score that deeply enriches the overall experience of the movie-going experience. While many people favor more accessible, celebratory music from the likes of John Williams, or edgier works akin to Hans Zimmer, my favorite composer almost certainly has to be Mark Isham. Not only does he create fine compositions for a variety of films, but he also boasts a delightful body of album work in his own right. Nonetheless, Newman probably clocks in at a close second, with what many might consider a greatest hits of movie soundtracks. Of course, some of Newman's musical works stand apart from their film counterparts better than others, with "Road to Perdition" and "American Beauty" offering perhaps the two best examples. Nonetheless, the "1917" score exhibits another magnificent effort by the gifted Newman. Surprisingly, the composer has yet to win his first Academy Award, despite fifteen nominations. No doubt that day cannot remain very far away. Sony Music's "1917" (Original Motion Picture Score) is now available everywhere with music by Oscar-nominated and Grammy-winning composer Thomas Newman. The score is the latest in a long series of collaborations between Thomas Newman and director Sam Mendes. The two artists previously worked together on titles including "Skyfall," "Spectre," "Road to Perdition," "Jarhead," "American Beauty" and more. SEE THE Irish Film Critic PAGE
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Blue Landscapes III: Frontiers is the KUSC: Download of the Week

Mindfulness music leader Real Music presents Blue Landscapes III: Frontiers, the pioneering third album in the award-winning Blue Landscapes series from internationally renowned pianist Robert Thies and flutist Damjan Krajacic. The instrumental album ushers in the new new age by generously offering 15 improvisational tracks. "Blue Landscapes is inspired and grounded by our love for Earth's beauty and all of her natural wonders. Whether it be the motion of the seas, the majesty of the mountains, the rhythmic flow of the rivers and streams, the migrations of her creatures, or the mysteries of the forests, all feed the imagination," they share, adding "It is our hope that this music will take you to a quiet and reflective space."   Blue Landscapes III: Frontiers is the KUSC: Los Angeles 'Download of the Week' with ‘Le Musicien' 
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Blue Landscapes III: Frontiers is the KDFC: Download of the Week

Mindfulness music leader Real Music presents Blue Landscapes III: Frontiers, the pioneering third album in the award-winning Blue Landscapes series from internationally renowned pianist Robert Thies and flutist Damjan Krajacic. The instrumental album ushers in the new new age by generously offering 15 improvisational tracks. "Blue Landscapes is inspired and grounded by our love for Earth's beauty and all of her natural wonders. Whether it be the motion of the seas, the majesty of the mountains, the rhythmic flow of the rivers and streams, the migrations of her creatures, or the mysteries of the forests, all feed the imagination," they share, adding "It is our hope that this music will take you to a quiet and reflective space."   Blue Landscapes III: Frontiers is the KDFC: San Francisco 'Download of the Week' with ‘Le Musicien' 
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Bela Fleck explores the banjo's roots with kora master Toumani Diabete / glideMagazine

Most of you know that the banjo originated in West Africa, so banjo master Bela Fleck was almost obligated to explore the instrument's roots at some point. After all, there may not be a more explorative musician than Fleck who has won 15 Grammys in nine different categories, stretching from country to pop to jazz to classical and world music.  Fleck says, "I knew that my beloved instrument had originally come from West Africa. And, from time to time I found tantalizing tidbits of African acoustic music that gave me the confidence to know that there was a phenomenal amount of incredible stuff going on under the radar." Throw Down Your Heart: The Complete Africa Sessions documents this journey with two volumes of music across three CDs and a DVD capturing the acclaimed documentary Throw Down Your Heart which is the basis for two of the CDs. Ripple Effect, the third one, is Fleck's duo collaboration with kora master Toumani Diabete and is also available as a standalone 2-LP set. They all are available in digital formats as well. There's so much to digest here and hopefully, you're not too confused with the depth and breadth of this expansive set. You have some choices. Dig in and enjoy. READ THE FULL glideMagazine ARTICLE & WATCH THE VIDEO
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Murder, mayhem & bloodshed set to music sums up Lorne Balfe's 'Bad Boys For Life' score / Irish Film Critic

"It's strong, loud, repetitive and fitting but not very memorable." Old-school cops Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett team up to take down the vicious leader of a Miami drug cartel. Newly created elite team AMMO of the Miami police department along with Mike and Marcus go up against the ruthless Armando Armas. The score for "Bad Boys for Life" says it all. Composed by Lorne Balfe, who has a long resume of movie scores reflecting the more violent side of life, this movie score accurately and definitively delineates the crushing brutality of the film. Balfe invokes percussion to pound out the six-beat recurring theme and brings in repeating complementary bongo-like background drums that add an almost reggae or Jamaican resonance. Balfe, a veteran of Hans Zimmer's Remote Control Productions, has received high praise and many accolades for his film and TV scores such as "Mission Impossible – Fallout," "The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi" and "Genius" (TV) for which he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. READ THE FULL Irish Film Critic REVIEW
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On 'Big Vicious' Avishai Cohen proves he has never cared much about genre boundaries / kulturnews

Avishai Cohen never cared much about genre boundaries. On "Big Vicious" he proves this with an impressive range from Beethoven to Massive Attack. This is an unusual ECM album. A "ping" reverberating for a second, like from the sonar of a submarine, marks the beginning of "Big vicious". Avishai Cohen, who returned to Israeli homeland after many years in New York, founded the band of the same name six years ago. The quintet does not stand for the purely acoustic, sometimes almost uneventful, beautiful sound that the trumpeter celebrates on albums under his own name. A lot happens in "Big vicious", almost too much: rock grooves meet on ambient surfaces, psychedelic echoes on the massive sound of doubled drum kits. Some songs are overloaded, the spherical keyboards and reverberated electric guitars sometimes seem redundant. The cover versions that the band loved during warm-up in the studio are convincing.Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" and Massive Attack's immortal anthem "Teardrop", in which Cohen's trumpet takes over the part from singer Liz Fraser - a wistfully easy climax. jp SEE THE kulturnews PAGE
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Laila Biali revives the urge to fight for a better world / kulturnews

On her new studio album, Laila Biali revives the urge to fight for a better world. This is achieved primarily through a good arrangement. The title of the opener is doubly coherent: Laila Biali starts with "Revival". The one awakening that the Canadian is singing about is the worldwide pioneering urge to take to the streets again for a better world - a deep curtsey in front of the Greta Thunbergs of this world. The other reawakening that runs through the entire album "Out of Dust" is musical in nature: Such ambitious songwriter jazz rock has most recently been heard from a Cassandra Wilson, or much earlier from a Flora Purim or Joni Mitchell. Instrumental arrangements that have been brushed off with a fine brush alternate with Laila Bialis's sparkling timbre. She uses her piano playing as clearly contoured as her voice. That has a deep effect, in their own compositions as during the only cover -Gregory Porter's "Take me to the Alley". Soprano saxophonist Godwin Louis delivers soulful moments in the almost perfectly acting studio ensemble. ron READ THE FULL kulturnews ARTICLE
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In these difficult times, Laila Biali releases an album that has a lesson for all of us / Kind Of Jazz

In these difficult times, singer-songwriter Laila Biali releases an album that has a lesson for all of us. She's had a roller-coaster few years with success and adversity mixed together and the result is her latest album: Out of Dust. Biali is clear about her inspiration. She says: "These new songs took shape as I processed my own feelings of doubt and loss. I believe that nothing is wasted, that even life's greatest trials can produce something meaningful, if only to make us more empathetic to the struggles of those around us."  And so comes Out of Dust, right when we need something uplifting. The first track is Revival and that's exactly what we need right now, with socialising out of the question, bars, restaurants, music venues and even churches closed. Our own revivals will have to take place while we self-isolate. There's a beautiful cover version of Gregory Porter's Take Me to the Alley,  the only track not penned by Biali herself. But for now, it is the album's final track - Take the Day Off - which we all need. In these difficult times we all feel the need to "pull the sheets over your head". So take some time off and listen to Out of Dust. READ THE FULL Kind of Jazz REVIEW
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Laila Biali, equally at home in both the pop and jazz worlds - WVIA Public Media - Graham Album Review

Singer-songwriters come in all kinds of musical flavors, from old-fashioned folkies to punk rockers. The most familiar musical format is of the acoustic-guitar wielding artist who strums and sings, and sometimes brings in a band for their recording. But there are a lot of piano-based artists, from Billy Joel to Elton John to Randy Newman to Bruce Hornsby. And some of those piano-types show some jazz influence in their music. This time, we have a pianist and vocalist who approaches the music from a jazz perspective. It's Canadian artist Laila Biali, whose new release is called Out of Dust. In fact, on most of Ms. Biali's previous albums, she could be considered a jazz vocalist. The new release takes a decidedly more pop direction, but maintains the general musical sophistication of jazz. Thirty-nine-year-old Laila Biali, a native of Vancouver, began playing piano at an early age and studied classical piano. She attended the Toronto school known as the Royal Conservatory of Music, where she was attracted to jazz. She released her debut album called Introducing the Laila Biali Trio in 2003, and later moved to New York, where she played piano for artists including Paula Cole and sang backing vocals on a recording by Sting, and toured with Suzanne Vega and Chris Boti. While much of her material has been very much in the jazz vein, she has done some interesting pop-influenced recordings, including a very creative version of Joni Mitchell's Woodstock on her 2011 live album. In 2018, she won a Juno Award, the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy, for her eponymous recording, her last release. Now she has come forth with Out of Dust which, with the exception of one song, consists of all original music, and the influences run more toward sophisticated singer-songwriter than jazz. Her co-producer on the album is her husband, drummer Ben Wittman, who has also produced singer-songwriters like Patty Larkin and Lucy Kaplansky. There is a fairly large cast on Out of Dust with various horn players, backing vocalists and a string quartet who appear on various tracks. Many of the songs were inspired by some turbulence in her life, with the death of a friend to cancer, a family member to suicide, and then Ms. Biali being diagnosed with two auto-immune disorders. So some of the songs have a degree of poignancy to their lyrics, but most ultimately come to an optimistic conclusion. While the jazz influence is apparent in the instrumentation on many of the tracks such as acoustic piano, and a big acoustic bass sound, there are enough pop ingredients to widen the appeal beyond jazzheads, Opening is a piece called Revival which celebrates the 2017 Women's March and teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg. It takes a kind of Gospel influenced direction, with a great rhythmic groove. <<>> Taking a more jazzy direction is The Monolith which also features the string quartet. It's a musically outstanding composition, which maintains an appealingly melodic sound with the kind of compositional details that would keep a jazz fan happy. <<>> Glass House is one of my favorite pieces on the album with its shifting colors and intricate changing rhythms, in the context of an attractive song. <<>> Wendy's Song revolves around a character facing a difficult time, again in a creative jazz-influenced setting. <<>> Taking a rather different direction is the song Sugar done in a funky groove. The song seems to be literally about sugar, which given the oblique reference to Ms. Biali's medical problems, might have led to sugar being off limits. <<>> Another attractive song carries the title Alpha Waves a reference to brain waves generally present during wakeful relaxation. The piece makes good use of the string quartet. <<>> The album includes a pretty waltz in French called Au Pays de Cocagne which however translates as "in the land of cocaine." The lyrics were written by Sonia Johnson, a singer-songwriter in her own right. <<>> The one cover on the album is Take Me to the Alley written by jazz singer Gregory Porter. Though this is some jazz influence, with the sax present, Ms. Biali takes the song in a decidedly more pop direction than Porter's original version. <<>> Laila Biali's new release, Out of Dust, her seventh album, is her most pop-oriented to date, and an altogether fine record that combines Ms. Biali's excellent vocals, with her jazz sophistication, and some first-rate original compositions featuring articulate lyrics, some based on experience. The arrangements, though sometimes involving a bunch of added musicians, remain thoroughly tasteful, with the extra players providing some nice sonic colors. Our grade for sound quality comes pretty close to an "A." The sound is clean and has good depth. Ms. Biali's vocals sound warm and inviting, and the mix keeps the added musicians and arrangements in perspective. These days, there are not many vocalists who are equally at home in both the pop and the the legitimate jazz worlds. In that respect, Laila Biali is one of the best. Listen to the attached WVIA Public Media - Graham Album Review
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  WVIA - The Graham Album Review

Explore the 'lyrical, feisty, energetic' and GRAMMY winning Higdon Harp Concerto featuring Yolanda Kondonassis & RPO on WCRB's 'Out of the Box'

WHY THIS MUSIC: Before this piece won the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition, I was unaware of it, and so wanted to explore it together. This Out of the Box project has been about exploring the new and the newly released. When Jennifer Higdon's Harp Concerto won the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition, I took note and made sure it would be part of Out of the Box in March. Now (and I hope you'll forgive my honesty here) I'm a little ashamed to admit that while Jennifer Higdon is one of the giants of the contemporary classical composition world, with three Grammy Awards and a Pulitzer Prize under her belt since 2009, I was less than knowledgeable on her music before exploring the harp concerto. I'm sure I'm not alone. And I would also like to say, after having enjoyed it, that ignorance is not bliss: the removal of the blind fold of ignorance is. Jennifer Higdon's Harp Concerto was written for Yolanda Kondonassis and co-commissioned by no less than six American orchestras – the Rochester Philharmonic, Harrisburg Symphony, Baton Rouge Symphony, Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, and Lansing Symphony Orchestras, and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic,. Doesn't get much more American than that. And the harp concerto does have a distinctly American feel to it, though what that means is hard to pin-point. It's gentle and introspective, playful and mischievous, epic and triumphant… and that's just the first movement! This is how harpist Yolanda Kondonassis put it: "We agreed on many aspects of what a new harp concerto should be – strong, agile, lyrical, feisty, energetic and even heroic when necessary; it should be challenging, but really fun to play, and it should have a groove that allows the harpist to catch a musical wave with the orchestra once in a while.Jennifer managed all this and more, delivering a work that is all at once powerful, heart-wrenching, whimsical, and original." It's been a joy to start my journey with Higdon's music, late though I am to the game. In addition to the Harp Concerto, I highly recommend a chamber album released by the Lark Quartet in 2013 called "An Exaltation of Larks", as well as her Alto Saxophone Sonata. Also, there's a great 2009 NPR interview between Higdon and conductor Marin Alsop discussing the issue of representation for women composers and conductors in the classical music world. I highly recommend taking 12 minutes to listen it! LISTEN TO THE WCRB: Boston 'Out of the Box' SEGMENT      PHOTO: ANDREW BOGARD
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Top 10 Albums for March

Shabaka & The Ancestors :

We Are Sent Here By History

On March 13, Shabaka & The Ancestors will make their Impulse! debut with the band's sophomore album We Are Sent Here By History. Their breakout 2016 album, Wisdom of Elders, established Shabaka & The Ancestors as a sudden force in spiritual jazz. But where that record warned of impending societal collapse, this one unfolds within it. Shabaka refers to the album as a "meditation on the fact of our coming extinction as a species. It is a reflection from the ruins, from the burning." On the lead single "Go My Heart, Go To Heaven," Siyabonga pays homage to his father's favorite church song. The word "hamba" (or "go") is repeated, and within the context of this track, it's "about the point where one gives in and wants out of this world," Siyabonga says. "But in times of darkness is a call to the light and the heart."
Anoushka Shankar :

Love Letters - EP

‘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. Hailed by the Guardian as a "virtuoso sitar player", Anoushka truly pushes the boundaries of how the instrument is heard and perceived and "uses it as a vehicle for creativity" (Times). Love Letters documents a time of profound flux for Anoushka: health issues, heartbreak, domestic upheaval – "These were difficult times, which pushed me into some very vulnerable places. I've written from a personal place before, of course, but there was something particularly tender about the process this time, and it was a creative challenge to be brave enough to allow the music to remain as raw as it began" she says.
Avishai Cohen :

Big Vicious

Charismatic trumpeter Avishai Cohen launched his homegrown band Big Vicious six years ago, after relocating from the US to his native Israel, rounding up friends to shape the music from the ground up. Guitarist Uzi Ramirez, bassist Jonathan Albalak and drummer Aviv Cohen write much of the material together with Avishai. Ziv Ravitz, from Avishai's acoustic quartet, was recruited as second drummer a year ago. "We're all coming from jazz, but some of us left it earlier", Avishai says, summing up the stylistic reach of his cohorts. "Everyone's bringing in their backgrounds, and that becomes part of the sound of the band." Textures from electronica, ambient music and psychedelia are part of the blend, so too grooves and beats from rock, pop, trip-hop and more. A wide-open approach to cover versions - from Massive Attack to Beethoven - is also integral to the Vicious vision. Recorded in Studios La Buissonne in the South of France in August 2019 and produced by Manfred Eicher, Big Vicious's debut album is issued as the band gears up for extensive international touring.
Sally Potter :

The Roads Not Taken OMPS

Milan Records announces the March 13 release of THE ROADS NOT TAKEN (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK) with music by the film's critically-acclaimed, award-winning director SALLY POTTER.  Available for preorder now, the album includes music written by Potter for her new film and features long-term collaborator and guitarist Fred Frith, violinist Viktoria Mullova, cellist Matthew Barley, percussionist Paul Clarvis and bassist Misha Mullov-Abado.  Alongside today's preorder is the lead offering from the soundtrack – listen to "Thinking" now.  Making its debut at the Berlin International Film Festival and starring Javier Bardem and Elle Fanning, The Roads Not Taken will make its theatrical debut Friday, March 13 via Bleecker Street.
David Foster :

Eleven Words

Sixteen-time GRAMMY® award-winning composer and legendary producer, David Foster, sets to release a collection of personal and heartfelt piano solos, ELEVEN WORDS (April 17 via Decca Records US).  A return to his truest form, the album showcases the artist at his musical core and the first track from the intimate set is, "Love." You can listen to the first song and pre-order the album here.  ELEVEN WORDS is a return to the basics for the prolific songwriter and music producer.   A departure from writing and producing huge, chart-topping hits for megastars, Foster steps back to his roots, seated at the grand piano and delivers emotional and meaningful piano melodies. "What I truly wanted to do with this album, is strip away the lyrics and all the production that I'm known for, leaving just the melodies" says Foster. "I called it Eleven Words because I wanted to identify words that were meaningful to me and hopefully meaningful to the world - simple yet complex."
Leonidas Kavakos :

Beethoven Violin Concerto w/Bavarian Radio Symph.

What we have here is an extremely rare example of a "complete" musician among the violinists of the present day: one of the most sought-after soloists in today's world of music, he regularly performs with leading international orchestras under the most high-profile conductors. He is also a convincing advocate of the repertory for violin and piano and in general is a passionate chamber musician. More recently, he has additionally taken up conducting. All of these aspects of Leonidas Kavakos's artistic activities are reflected in the present double-CD featuring works by Ludwig van Beethoven. This is also the first recording by Kavakos, who was born in Greece in 1967, to be released under the terms of his new exclusive contract with Sony Classical.
Dan Romer & Benh Zeitlin :

Wendy ( OMPS )

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.  Available for preorder now, the album features music co-written by the duo for Zeitlin's vivid reimagining of Peter Pan, which made its world premiere at Sundance Film Festival and debuts in theaters on February 28 from Searchlight Pictures.  The album is the latest in a series of scoring collaborations for the duo that includes both Zeitlin's own critically-acclaimed, breakout film Beasts of the Southern Wild as well as additional titles Brimstone & Glory and Mediterranea.  
Wolfgang Muthspiel :

Angular Blues

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. Like Driftwood - the 2014 trio disc that JazzTimes dubbed "cinematic" and "haunting" - Angular Blues finds Muthspiel paired with longtime collaborator Brian Blade on drums; but instead of Larry Grenadier on bass, it's Scott Colley, whose especially earthy sound helps give this trio its own dynamic. Muthspiel alternates between acoustic and electric guitar and, along with his characteristically melodic originals - including such highlights as the bucolic "Hüttengriffe" and pensive "Camino" - he essays the first standards of his ECM tenure ("Everything I Love" and "I'll Remember April"), as well as his first-ever bebop rhythm-changes tune on record ("Ride"). Angular Blues also features a single guitar-only track, "Solo Kanon in 5/4," with Muthspiel's electronic delay imbuing the baroque-like rounds with a hypnotic glow.
Artists For Peace And Justice :

Let the Rhythm Lead: Haiti Song Summit Vol. 1

Let the Rhythm Lead: Haiti Song Summit Vol. 1 is a meeting of musical styles and traditions that brings together the world views of songwriters Paul Beaubrun, Jackson Browne, Habib Koité, Jenny Lewis, Raúl Rodríguez, Jonathan Russell and Jonathan Wilson alongside members of Haitian roots band Lakou Mizik at the Artists Institute of Jacmel.  Steeped in polyrhythmic drumming of Haitian Vodou, complex notes of Spanish Tres, Flamenco and Malian Guitar, interwoven with North American folk and rock, Let the Rhythm Lead is a musical odyssey, employing an array of diverse songwriting traditions and genres to tell stories of new friendships and collaborations, powerful spirits and ancient traditions, all the while honoring humanity, love, understanding, awakening and rejuvenation. Six languages narrate the journey with singing in English, French, Creole, Khassonké, Manding and Spanish. All Press Secured By MISSING PIECE GROUP
Vikingur Olafsson :

Debussy - Rameau

Debussy has been with me as far back as I can remember, but my first encounter with the keyboard music of Rameau was Emil Gilels' 1951 recording of "Le rappel des oiseaux", which I came across during my student days in New York. I was immediately fascinated by the music and how well it lends itself to the modern piano, at least in Gilels' noble rendition, with its layered textures and light and shades. But it wasn't until the spring of 2019, as I waited (and waited and waited) for the birth of my first child that I finally had the chance, having cleared some weeks in my concert schedule, to sit down with all of Rameau's published keyboard works and read through every one of them. A world of wonder revealed itself: ingenious works of remarkable diversity, rarely programmed or recorded on the modern instrument.