At the end of every month, the NPR Music team picks their favorite albums and songs. Everyone has their passions and they vary widely, from the Atlanta rapper Deante' Hitchcock to the Australian ambient artist Madeleine Cocolas.
On this week's show, we hear the No. 1 albums and songs of May as picked by our staff. There's the Portland band MAITA, which features a singer who entered our Tiny Desk contest in 2018. We also have the 20-year-old Eve Owen (who released an album produced by The National's Aaron Dessner), a team-up between classical guitarist Sharon Isbin and Indian sarod master Ayaan Ali Bangash, and Buscabulla, a duo from Puerto Rico who met in New York City and returned to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria to rediscover their home. And then there's brilliant jazz guitar playing from the Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio and joy from Scotland's Vistas.
"Love Avalanche" a cool East-meets-West raga featuring multiple Grammy-winning classical guitarist Sharon Isbin paired with the Indian sarod master Ayaan ali Bangash. - Tom Huizenga
In episode 921 of "ANIMAJAZZ", conceived and conducted by BRUNO POLLACCI , broadcast on TUESDAY 2 June at 20.30, on PUNTORADIO, also streaming on www.puntoradio.fm and in an immediate podcast on http: // animajazz. eu will be the protagonists of the evening, which include; "The Dream"; by ODED TZUR from "Here Be Dragons"
Here Be Dragons is the ECM debut of New York based, Tel Aviv born tenor saxophonist Oded Tzur, one of the most strikingly original musicians to have emerged from Israeli's creative jazz scene in recent years, and the leader of an outstanding group.
Oded Tzur has found a new and personal sound for the tenor saxophone. Inspired by his extensive studies from 2007 onward with bansuri master Hariprasad Chaurasia, he has mastered the graceful slides of Indian classical music and brought raga's sense of pitch fluidity and microtonal shading into a jazz context. His pieces elegantly explore and unfold their melodic and atmospheric implications in a context of subtle group interaction. Structurally, each of Tzur's compositions on Here Be Dragons sets out to develop a "miniature raga" over a moving bass, juxtaposing two musical concepts. Oded: "The dialogue between these dimensions takes us wherever it takes us." The ragas deployed in the pieces "Here Be Dragons", "20 Years" and "The Dream" are of Oded's creation, while "To Hold Your Hand" uses an Indian scale called Charukesi and operates on similar principles. He stresses, however, that "raga is, for me, a universal concept. I hear its connection to synagogue prayers, or to the blues – a marvellous creation – and to music all around the world." Ancient and modern traditions are referenced in Oded's work, including traditions of storytelling. "If music has the ability to tell stories," suggested All About Jazz, "saxophonist Oded Tzur proves himself one of the jazz world's premier storytellers." Tzur's concept is also broad enough to embrace some unexpected song choices, and the album concludes with a tender interpretation of "Can't Help Falling In Love", made famous by Elvis Presley.
We remind you that "ANIMAJAZZ" can be heard on TUESDAY at 20.30 in immediate podcast on http://animajazz.eu and the "DOWNLOAD" of the episode can be made, free of charge, from the podcasts area. Happy listening. "ANIMAJAZZ" in collaboration with the PISA ACADEMY OF ART. SEE THE PAGE
The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit - stripped-down sets, an intimate setting - just a different space.
Lara Downes thrives on collaboration. Her new album features Toshi Reagon, the vocal ensemble MUSICALITY and the string quartet called PUBLIQuartet. But in this intimate piano recital from her home in Sacramento, Calif., her only collaborators are her son Simon, who takes on cinematography duties, and her beloved pooch, Kona.
The songs, all from her recent album Some of These Days, might be old, but they are strong statements that resonate in new ways. From Margaret Bonds, one of the first celebrated African-American women composers, there's "Troubled Water," a poignant riff on the spiritual "Wade in the Water" that Downes says takes a "journey from classical virtuosity to gospel, jazz, blues and back again." Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's arrangement of "Deep River," for Downes, now represents "crossing over" the coronavirus crisis, while Florence Price's "Some of These Days," is a vision of better times ahead.
In a moment of vulnerability, Downes admits that not being out on the road – performing, embedded in communities and working with young people – makes her feel "not very useful." But in these performances there's a sturdiness and purpose that provide both comfort and the strength to carry on. Very useful, indeed.
"Margaret Bonds: Troubled Water"
"Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Deep River"
"Florence Proce: Some Of These Days"
JUNO Award winner Laila Biali's new album, Out of Dust features not only contributions from the singer/pianist's husband; Ben Wittman and son, but also multiple GRAMMY nominees and winners including Lisa Fisher, Alan Ferber, John Ellis, and Larnell Lewis. "There's a line from a song by the indie gospel group, Gungor, that has become like an anthem to me," Biali says. "‘He makes beautiful things out of dust.' That's where the title for the album comes from, and as a songwriter and musician, my ultimate intention and hope is to spread a little more love."
Listen to the attached Laila Biali - 88.9WUCF: Orlando FL Interview with Kayonne Riley
Michael Whalen's "Sacred Spaces" is an epic recording nearly ten years in the making. "I have been pursuing a spiritual ‘awakening' for most of my adult life. Over the past decade, I realized that I am 100 percent responsible for whatever my relationship with a ‘higher being' might be," says Whalen. Filled with sonic landscapes built from hundreds of layers of sound, "Sacred Spaces" is Michael's tour-de-force electronic project, which seamlessly blends his natural gift for melody with fresh textures and percolating rhythms. Deeply inspired by Michael's film and TV work and his love for progressive rock, "Sacred Spaces" is the ambient recording of the year.
MW spoke with 88.1WMBR: Boston, 'New Edge' host; Ken Field. Listen to the attached file
I've covered the music of Mark Abel on these pages before (see articles from April 13, 2012, June 13, 2014, August 20, 2018). I never consciously sought to cover so many. It was one-at-a-time and I've found myself liking and posting on each. Now there is another one, a new one of chamber works, entitled The Cave of Wondrous Voice (Delos DE3570). It features a song cycle and three instrumental works for small chamber configurations.
Generally speaking this is not music that overtly seeks to call attention to itself by being extroverted-Modern or Avant Garde, nor is there a rock or pop influence in any obvious sense. Nonetheless it is inspired and very well put-together music that would not be mistaken for the music of the past nor perhaps as the music of some future utopia, either? It is straightforwardly intricate, expressive and inventive in good ways, in the best ways.
READ THE FULL Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review
Legendary maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and his sons Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangaash will be collaborating with multiple Grammy Award-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin. The new album will give viewers a unique teaming of two classical music instruments strumming together. The album, "String For Peace", is scheduled to release on the 22nd of May on the ZOHO label (ZM 202004).
Strings For Peace is a perfect blend of various classics. Viewers will get to listen to a melodious eclectic east-west fusion of sarod and classical guitar. Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Sharon Isbin have been contemplating about the east-west fashion and finally, their fusion will come to fruition. The album will contain four tracks and cover various ragas composed by Amjad Ali Khan.
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Guitarist John Scofield celebrates the music of his friend and mentor Steve Swallow in an outgoing and spirited recording, made in an afternoon in New York City in March 2019 - "old school" style as Scofield says, acknowledging that more than forty years of preparation led up to it.
Seattle-area musicians offer online performances during 'stay-at-home order' / 94.9KUOW
Posted: April 17, 2020 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
We're into our second month of Governor Jay Inslee's stay-at-home order in Washington. We've baked bread, cleaned cupboards, and binged on endless television shows. KUOW's Arts and Culture reporter Marcie Sillman went online in search of some cultural respite. She found it in classical music; specifically short cello performances on social media.
Here are a few places to start your own online music tour:
Former Seattle Symphony Orchestra cellist Joshua Roman has played in the world's top concert halls. But now he may reach his widest audience through his regular social media mini-performances.
From the start of the pandemic, cello master Yo-Yo Ma has performed short pieces he calls Songs of Comfort. Many are dedicated to first responders and health care workers.
Cellist Nick Squires didn't create this video specifically for pandemic-era audiences, but hearing him perform Bach in the rain feels particularly comforting.
Seattle Symphony cellists Nathan Chan and Roberta Downey teamed up in one of the orchestra's daily Morning Notes social media performances.
Finally, Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" is always a balm; here's a beautiful version performed by 2Cellos.
The Croatian duo of Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, better known as 2CELLOS, today release their much-anticipated new album, Let There Be Cello, via Sony Music Masterworks – available everywhere now. A follow-up to the 2017 release of Score, Let There Be Cello finds the pair exploring a diverse catalogue with their signature boundary-breaking playing style. Known for their electric live performances, 2CELLOS now gear up to take their newest album on the road for their first-ever U.S. arena tour, which is set to kick off February 2019.
2CELLOS, music's most electric and dynamic instrumental duo, go to the movies for their new Portrait/Sony Music Masterworks album Score, available March 17, 2017. Bringing 2CELLOS' game-changing sound and style to the most popular melodies ever written for classic and contemporary movies and television, Score will be supported by a world tour, kicking off with its U.S. leg this summer. The new video for "Game of Thrones" is out now. "We love movie music! This album represents some of our favorite pieces of music by our favorite film composers. Having the opportunity to arrange them for cello whilst working with the world class London Symphony Orchestra has been a dream come true," says Stjepan.
10 NEW 111 TOTAL
SYND: C24, CBC, TRH Direct: SiriusXM, MOOD, AccuRadio Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, New Orleans, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Berkeley, Columbus OH, Santa fe, Hartford CT, Ft. Wayne IN, Madison WI, Hawaii, VT(Statewide), NE(Statewide)
INTER: Canada, UK, Spain Online: Musicas Imaginadas, Musicas Imaginadas, Journeyscapes, Lost Frontier, Retailing Insight
All Press Secured by Angi Barkan, Larissa Slezak, Sony Masterworks
2CELLOS, music's most thrilling and progressive instrumental duo, release a new music video for "Whole Lotta Love." The new track combines Led Zeppelin's classic song with Beethoven's 5th Symphony. In the new video, Luka and Stjepan show what 2CELLOS are all about – breaking musical boundaries! Check it out here. Of making the video, Luka says, "It was a lot of fun – we wanted to incorporate two different time periods to showcase that our music is timeless and for everyone! It was a dynamic filming situation since we had to clone ourselves from 2 cellists to 4 cellists – talk about being in two places at once!
2CELLOS, music's most electric and dynamic instrumental duo, return with their new album Celloverse (Portrait/Sony Music Masterworks). 2CELLOS latest music video is their take on Avicii's hit "Wake Me Up," Propelled into international fame in 2011 after their version of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" went viral with 20 million-plus YouTube views, Croatian cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser return to their rock roots on their third album, Celloverse.Self-produced by Sulic and Hauser, Celloverse showcases 2CELLOS' unique ability to reinvent current and classic rock/pop songs, starting with "The Trooper Overture," a metal-meets-classical mash up of Iron Maiden's hit and Rossini's "William Tell Overture." The album includes their take on AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" (the video has 31 million views), "I Will Wait" by Mumford & Sons, "Shape of My Heart" by Sting and Michael Jackson's "They Don't Care About Us." Rounding out Celloverse is the Paul McCartney classic "Live and Let Die," with special guest Lang Lang and the title track, an original song penned and arranged by 2CELLOS.
13 New 'ON' 110 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Classical 24, APM/Performance Today, Stingray Direct: Spafax Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Portland, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Berkeley CA, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Toronto Online: Multiple Outlets
Croatian cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, known as 2Cellos are back with a new album IN2ITION. Produced by the legendary Bob Ezrin, the album is released through Sony MASTERWORKS. The label released 2CELLOS' self-titled debut album last year, establishing Sulic and Hauser as an innovative classical-pop/rock duo who took their classical instrument to the contemporary repertoire. On IN2ITION, 2CELLOS take their original concept even further by including guest artists like Elton John, guitarist Steve Vai, Glee's Naya Rivera, classical superstar Lang Lang, legendary Italian vocalist Zucchero and pop artist Sky Ferreira. IN2ITION was recorded in Zagreb, Rome, Nashville, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
15 New 'ON' this week: 104 Total SYND: Dial-Global, Woodsongs, BETTERTV, 60 Second CD, Acoustic Cafe, UnderCurrents Direct: SiriusXM/The Loft & Boundaries, Galaxie Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Atlanta, Baltimore, Houston, Denver, Portland, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Austin, Berkeley CA, Albuquerque, El Paso, San Antonio, Santa Fe, Columbus OH, Madison WI, Wichita, Chattanooga TN Online: WGOE, Taintradio, BBS, Live 365
Living in a small town in Croatia, 24-year-old music students, Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, are living a dream come true and quickly! After posting a self-made music video of them performing Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" on their cellos, the longtime friends received more attention than they ever expected. Within days, the video became a viral sensation and received millions of views. It got the attention of Sony Masterworks who signed them to a record deal. Concurrently, they received a phone call from legend Elton John who invited them to join him on his European tour this Summer and Fall. They recently made their U.S. TV debut on The Ellen DeGeneres Show where they performed "Smooth Criminal."
8 New 'ON' this week: 222 Total
Synd: NPR/Morning Edition, Fresh Air, PRI/Echoes, Sixty Second CD, The Paul Leslie Hour, The Romantic Hour, Galaxy, UnderCurrents, Dial-Global, Woodsongs
Direct: SiriusXM Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, Cleveland, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Portland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Baltimore, Berkeley CA, Nashville, Indianapolis, Orlando, Albuquerque, Salt Lake, El Paso, San Antonio, Columbus OH, Honolulu, Canada
Online: Jazzweekly.com, Taintradio, Muruch, M3, Live 365, BBS Radio, New World Buzz, RadioIO, worlbeatcanada, soulandjazz.com, The Jazz Intersection