Contrabass Conversations writes......Mark Helias is a renowned bassist, composer and producer who has performed throughout the world for more than four decades with some of the most important and innovative musicians in Jazz and Improvised Music including Don Cherry, Edward Blackwell, Anthony Davis, Dewey Redman, Anthony Braxton, Abbey Lincoln, Cecil Taylor, and Uri Caine. Mark recently released Some Kind of Tomorrow with saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom.
We talk about what life has been like during the pandemic, this latest remote album collaboration with Jane and about remote collaboration in general, and many lessons learned from Mark's years working as a jazz bassist.
The debut album of Joe Lovano's Trio Tapestry was one of 2019's most talked-about releases. This musical concept is taken to the next level on its second album, Garden of Expression, a recording distinguished by its intense focus.
Lovano, a saxophonist whose reach extends across the history of modern jazz and beyond, plays with exceptional sensitivity in Trio Tapestry. The music he writes for this group-tenderly melodic or declamatory, harmonically open, rhythmically free, and spiritually involving-encourages subtle and differentiated responses from his creative partners, creating interactions in which Lovano describes as "magical." Carmen Castaldi's space-conscious approach to drumming further refines an improvisational understanding that he and Lovano have shared since the early 1970s. The trio is also an inspired context for Marilyn Crispell's solos, counter melodies, and improvisational embellishments. Her feeling for sound-color helps the chamber music character of the group bloom.
Joe Lovano sat down with Ruth Fisher of JazzFM's Full Circle. Ruth commented that she was "Really thrilled to be in conversation with the incredible sax man. SEE THE POST
Hilary Hahn's new recording pays homage to the rich cultural heritage of a city that has been close to her heart throughout her career. Released by Deutsche Grammophon on 5 March 2021, Paris sees the American violinist resume her productive partnership with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and its Music Director, Mikko Franck. The three-time Grammy Award-winner's album presents the world premiere of Einojuhani Rautavaara's Deux Sérénades, commissioned by Mikko Franck. It also includes Ernest Chausson's Poème and Sergei Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No.1, which received its first performance in the French capital in 1923.
Montana Public Radio's John Floridis interviewed HH about the new recording. LISTEN TO THE SEGMENT
udiscovermusic.'s Sharon Kelly writes.....Oboist Albrecht Mayer has released his new album Mozart, a personal and affectionate tribute to one of the greatest composers who ever lived. Albrecht Mayer has lived with Mozart's music for almost half a century. He first discovered the composer while he was a boy soprano in the Bamberg Cathedral Choir, an early experience which is perhaps partly responsible for the warm, singing quality of his oboe playing. Albrecht Mayer's new album Mozart is inspired by his lifelong love for the composer's music and is his first all-Mozart album. Photo: Christoph Köstlin
READ THE FULL udiscovermusic. ARTICLE
In her first new recording in a decade, Joy Harjo – the first Native American named Poet Laureate of the United States – digs deep into the indigenous red earth and the shared languages of music to sing, speak and play a stunningly original musical meditation that seeks healing for a troubled world – I Pray for My Enemies, was released from Sunyata Records/Sony Orchard Distribution on March 5, 2021.
Collaborating with producer/engineer Barrett Martin on this unique new album, Harjo brings a fresh identity to the poetry and songs that have made her a renowned poet of the Muscogee Creek Nation and one of the most authentic and compelling voices of these times.
"The concept for I Pray for My Enemies began" says Harjo, "with an urgent need to deal with discord, opposition. It could have been on a tribal, national or a personal level. I no longer remember. The urgency had a heartbeat and in any gathering of two or more, perhaps the whole planet, our hearts lean to entrainment – that is, to beat together."
Join Spokane Public Radio's 'Soundspace' as Zan hosts a phone interview with the multi-instrumentalist musician, poet, performer, activist and 23rd U.S. Poet Laureate, as she speaks about what inspired her recent album. LISTEN
KDFC - KUSC's Brian Lauritzen and Jeffrey Freymann write.....Minari tells the story of a Korean family that moves to Arkansas in the 1980s, hoping to find their American dream by working a farm. For almost every film, the score is the last element to be added – after all the other editing has been done, and the actors have moved on to their next projects. But composer Emile Mosseri approached his score to Minari another way, writing many of the original themes when there was only a script, and the film hadn't yet been shot.
He says he sent director Lee Isaac Chung sketches for the score even before he was officially hired as the film's composer, and thinks that the music would have had a less important role if it had been written later.
Mosseri has only scored a handful of films, including the critically acclaimed The Last Black Man in San Francisco and Miranda July's Kajillionaire, yet won this nomination (one of six for the film) with a score about the intersection of two cultures that doesn't try to sound like either of them.
Listen to Brian Lauritzen and Emile Mosseri chat on KDFC: San Francisco & KUSC: Los Angeles
WFMT's Lisa Flynn writes.....The new album by Charles Richard-Hamelin presents two important works by Frédéric Chopin and consolidates the musician's place in the highest ranks of the pianistic world. Describing the 24 Preludes, Richard-Hamelin says: "One can hear the entire scope of Chopin's output inside the microcosm that are the Preludes. Across all the different major and minor keys, we get hints of his Études, Nocturnes, Impromptus, Mazurkas, and even fragments of larger works such as the Ballades. Yet, there is also a sense of an overarching story being told in 24 chapters of various lengths and weights. It is Chopin at his most beautiful, heart-wrenching, experimental, dissonant, sometimes even violent. It is a fascinating journey through the human psyche and my interpretation aims to show precisely that."
For April 13, 2021, Charles Richard-Hamelin: Chopin Preludes is the WFMT: Chicago 'Featured New Release'
Icelandic pianist and post-classical composer Eydís Evensen has confirmed details of her debut album, BYLUR, which will be released on 23rd April, 2021 by XXIM Records, Sony's new imprint for innovative, post-genre instrumental music.
On 26 March 2021 the ambitiously multifaceted musician/composer Clark presents his chillingly affecting ninth studio album Playground In A Lake, on which he broadens horizons and tries new things, with profound results.
Three-time GRAMMY Award-nominated pianist Joey Alexander follows his major-label debut album, WARNA (Verve Records), with three new singles "SALT" (March 19: LINK), "Under the Sun" (April 23), and "Summer Rising" (May 28) set for global release on Verve.
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor may not be a household name to some classical music fans, but in his lifetime he was highly regarded as a conductor and as the composer of Hiawatha's Wedding Feast, one of the most performed choral works of the late nineteenth century.
The first volume of Uncovered arrives with a bang in the first chords and confident opening theme of Coleridge-Taylor's Piano Quintet in G minor, op. 1, announcing that the works in the series demand to be heard. The first movement, Allegro con moto, is a sonata-form opening movement that introduces some of Coleridge-Taylor's signature sounds: a blend of seriousness and playfulness, immersion in Romantic harmony, and a fascination with alternating and layering duple and triple divisions of the beat. Throughout the quintet, Coleridge-Taylor pits the piano (helmed by the brilliant Stewart Goodyear) against the strings, alternating focus, while also creating a variety of textures and moods. The Larghetto is Chopinesque in its lyricism and chromaticism, with beautiful solo playing by Karla Donehew Perez on the violin and Karlos Rodriguez on the cello. The Scherzo is jolting with its rhythmic play. The closing movement opens in an uncertain meter and distant E-flat major, but quickly finds its way back to G minor and a race to the finish. This is the most exciting of the movements, with a miniature vivace fugue that shows off Coleridge-Taylor's counterpoint chops and ramps up tension to an exhilarating finish.
On Friday, February 5, 2021, GRAMMY Award-winning Catalyst Quartet releases UNCOVERED Volume 1 on Azica Records. The first of a multi-volume set, Volume 1 features the works of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor including his Quintet in G minor for Pianoand Strings with pianist Stewart Goodyear, Fantasiestück, and Quintet in F sharp minor with clarinetist Anthony McGill.
UNCOVERED Volume 2 will feature the works of Florence Price and Volume 3 and beyond will feature Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, William Grant Still, and George Walker among others.
Catalyst Quartet poses, "Over the course of time there have been many overlooked artists in classical music, especially because of their race or gender. It is important to acknowledge that we have not yet heard the whole story due to this sidelining of musical voices. Composers like Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Florence Price, and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson have contributed beautifully crafted work to the repertoire but are not widely celebrated because quality recordings and performances of their music are rare or non existent. With our next recording project we are helping to change this unfortunate reality."
Through a collaborative arranging process, the Catalyst Quartet has created the first fully realized 4-voiced version of the Goldberg Variations for string quartet. The album features this special contribution to the string quartet repertoire along with Glenn Gould's only published composition, his String Quartet Op. 1, completed just before recording his own debut album of the Goldberg Variations in 1955. Having been collectively inspired by Bach's genius and Glenn Gould, the artist responsible for bringing the Variations into our collective consciousness, we have decided to explore and highlight this three dimensional relationship amongst Bach, Glenn Gould, and the medium of the string quartet.
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