Acclaimed guitarist Todd Mosby joins me for the latest episode of Harmonious World. We all need perspective right now, and there's a lot of that in Todd's latest album - Aerial Views . Todd's comment about creating music that musicians will love to perform on is very apt and I finish with Aether, one of my favourite tracks of 2021. Harmonious World Podcast gives many thanks to Todd for allowing me to feature clips from Aerial Views alongside our conversation.
Over the last half decade, Shabaka Hutchings has established himself as a central figure in the London jazz scene, which is enjoying its greatest creative renaissance since the breakthroughs of Joe Harriott and Evan Parker in the 1960s. Hutchings has a restlessly creative and refreshingly open-minded spirit, playing in a variety of groups-most notably, Sons of Kemet, The Comet Is Coming, and Shabaka & the Ancestors-and embracing influences from the sounds of London's diverse club culture, including house, grime, jungle, and dub. "The common theme in my career as a jazz musician has been wondering if what I'm doing is the thing that I should be doing," says Hutchings, who studied classical clarinet at college at London's prestigious Guildhall School of Music & Drama. "Me learning about jazz, how to play and interpret, was always a case of just trial and error. I think where I've come to recently is I've stopped trying to think ‘Is what I'm doing valid? or ‘Is what I'm doing part of the jazz tradition?' and just see myself as a musician."
Hutchings is featured on the cover of the May issue of Downbeat. SEE COVER IMAGE
Skope's Sasha Lauryn writes....."A world in which people seek the uncertainties, and possibilities, of art" is the vision of one of the most innovative ensembles to be gracing the popular music landscape right now. With the recent release of their latest album, it's undeniable that Art Of Time Ensemble is bringing that vision to life. Led by the artistic direction and vision of Andrew Burashko together with arrangements by Jonathan Goldsmith who reinterpreted a wide array of songs that qualify as standards. Goldsmith stays faithful to the original melodies and form and then pushes the boundaries as far as possible in every conceivable way. After immersing myself in the deeply sensory sonic landscapes, mesmerizing motifs and hypnotic storytelling that their recent album ‘Ain't Got Long' boasts, I can say with certainty they do just that. The Canada based collective have been breaking archaic genre boundaries since 1998, as their eclectic mix of musicians has attracted captivated crowds on multiple tours. Honestly, I'm just waiting for them to announce their next road trip. This album features the phenomenal pipes of Madeleine Peyroux, Gregory Hoskins, Jessica Mitchell and Sarah Slean. Perhaps it's Andrew's perfect pairings of soundscape with singer or the astounding arrangements of the songs themselves that sets this album apart from anything I've experienced.
Whatever it is, I can't get enough.
READ THE FULL Skope Magazine REVIEW
WRTI's SUSAN LEWIS writes......The Catalyst Quartet uncovers music and the stories of the people who wrote it in its new recording series UNCOVERED. The first volume focuses on music by late 19th-century English composer, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.
The Catalyst Quartet, founded in 2010 by the Sphinx Organization, aims to "reimagine" the classical music experience. "Sometimes classical music is presented like a museum piece," says violist Paul Laraia. "We want to make sure everything we do has relevance to today," and so the ensemble's programs reach out to a diverse audience, with diverse repertoire.
This new project, Uncovered, featuring music of composers who have been overlooked because of race or gender, begins with an album of music by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, a Black English composer born in the late 19th century, the child of an English mother and an African father from Sierra Leone.
Ironically, Coleridge-Taylor, who was born in 1875 and died suddenly at the age of 37, was acclaimed during his short lifetime. Raised in England, he started violin at 5, joined the Royal College of Music at 15, and at 23, had a triumphant premiere of his cantata, Hiawatha's Wedding Feast, set to the poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He toured the U.S., where he visited The White House at the invitation of President Teddy Roosevelt. He was so successful, the story goes, that New York musicians in the early 1900s began referring to him as "The Black Mahler;" others are said to have called him "The Black Dvorak."
And while Hiawatha's Wedding Feast remains familiar to many choral ensembles and you may recognize his melodies such as Deep River, much of his over 80 compositions, including operas, ballet music, songs, a symphony, violin concerto and chamber music are unknown today.
Volume 1: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor includes one quartet, and two quintets, one featuring pianist Stewart Goodyear, and one with clarinetist Anthony McGill.
LISTEN & WATCH THE 90.1WRTI: Philadelphia INTERVIEW
'SOMETHING came from Baltimore's' Thom Gouker......Yeah! This was a big thrill for me. I was nervous interviewing one of my favorite artists of all time, Joe Lovano, so I decided to ask him 20 goofy questions to see how he handled them. He easily accepted the challenge and spun junk questions into gold. It's very impressive and that it why I suggest that you check out the Youtube interview, we chatted for 1 1/2 and must of it make it to tape.
"Garden of Expression" is the sent album with the trio Lovano/Crispell/Castaldi, the first was the 2018 release "Seeds of Change"
Do we have to explain who Joe Lovano is????? This is copied from Wiki. Joseph Salvatore Lovano (born December 29, 1952) is an American jazz saxophonist, alto clarinetist, flautist, and drummer. He has earned a Grammy Award and several mentions on Down Beat magazine's critics' and readers' polls. He is married to jazz singer Judi Silvano with whom he records and performs. Lovano was a longtime member of a trio led by drummer Paul Motian.
LIMELIGHT Magazine's Clive Paget writes......Superlative soloists and compelling chamber music from a quartet on a mission.
One of the revolutions set in progress by last year's Black Lives Matter protests has been the refocusing of the classical music industry's attention of composers of colour, many of them historical figures formerly the preserve of the curious collector and rarely programmed live.
New York-based Catalyst Quartet was founded in 2010 by the Sphinx Organization, an outstanding Detroit-based social justice organisation dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. The ensemble (Karla Donehew Perez, violin; Abi Fayette, violin; Paul Laraia, viola; and Karlos Rodriguez, cello) build programs and projects accordingly and this excellent release of music by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor is the first in a projected series of "Uncovered" CDs focussing on composers overlooked because of race and/or gender (others releases will include music by Joseph Boulogne Chevalier de Saint-Georges, William Grant Still, Florence B. Price, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, and George Walker).
CLICK HERE FOR THE LIMELIGHT PAGE
Spellbinding Music's GUILLAUME writes....Born in Chicago and based in Palo Alto, California, William Susman is an American composer and pianist whose work encompasses orchestral, chamber, vocal and soundtrack music informed by western classical, jazz, African and Latin American traditions as well as contemporary minimalism. Constantly toying with instrumental permutations – from solo performance to his scaled-down big-band formation Octet – the music of William Susman is a continuous exploration of harmonic and rhythmic patterns. Released in October 2019 and January 2021 respectively on his own Belarca label, Collision Point and A Quiet Madness introduce works spanning over 25 years.
This is "music for moving pictures" – to paraphrase the title of his documentary soundtrack released in 2009 – an astute and contemporary sonic expression of the "quiet madness" playing out on 24-hour news TV channels or as an infinite scroll on our smartphone screens.
READ THE FULL Spellbinding Music REVIEW
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.
Jeni Slotchiver delivers a well chosen and intriguing program on 'American Heritage' / SHARPS & FLATIRONS
Posted: February 24, 2021 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
SHARPS & FLATIRONS - Peter Alexander writes......One of the perks of job that I do is that people send me recordings.
They want me to review or write about them. Sometimes they come in the U.S. mail, actual CDs. Sometimes they come in the form of links to Mp3 files, although I prefer not to review those because the sound quality of CDs is better. Sometimes I write and ask for a CD instead, and sometimes they send me one.
These recent CDs that showed up in my mailbox all provide opportunities to hear music outside of standard concert fare. This is all the more welcome as the past year has shown even more clearly than usual how much of the music on offer is the same from concert to concert, place to place, year to year. These discs contain music that is definitely not standard concert fare, and they are recommended to help widen your horizons.
The disc includes works by virtually all of the most important Black composers from the 19th and early 20thcenturies, starting with the American Jewish/Creole virtuoso pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829–69); Harry T. Burleigh (1866–1949), who sang spirituals for Dvořák; The English Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875–1912), who toured the U.S. three times; R. Nathaniel Dett (1882–1943); the remarkable African-American women composers Florence Price (1887–1953) and Margaret Bonds (1913–1972); and William Grant Still (1895–1978).
Many of these composers have undergone a rediscovery during the past year, as political winds and the time to explore new repertoire have liberated performers from the tyranny of expected repertoire. (Note recent CU faculty Tuesday recitals by David Korevaar and Andrew Cooperstock.) The advantage of Slotchiver's disc is that it brings so many disparate voices together in one place, giving both listeners and performers an entrée into an important and underrepresented part of our musical history.
The pieces that stood out for me were Burleigh's suite of six small pieces From the Southland and Price's three Dances in the Canebrakes, two sets of Romantic character pieces transported to the American south. They are marked with gentle syncopations, just enough to be a little "raggy" but not too much for the genteel listeners of their era.
Gottschalk contributes two showpieces to the collection: "Union," a collection of Civil-War-era patriotic songs, including "The Star Spangled Banner" (not yet the National Anthem): and "Banjo," a captivating pianistic evocation of the ultimate southern folk instrument. Dett's "Juba," his most frequently performed piece, sparkles along energetically, and Still's "Blues from Lenox Avenue" enters a different expressive realm altogether.
One piece stands apart, as it is by a living composer and therefore stylistically removed from the others. Although it is by white composer, Frederic Rzewski's "Down by the Riverside" is based on an African-American spiritual and thus dips into similar source material as other works on the disc.
One of the most interesting composers writing today, Rzewski is well worth knowing. If you have not heard his great set of variations "The People United will never be Defeated," listen to it now. At just under seven minutes, "Down by the Riverside" cannot rival "The People United" for impact, but it is a good example of Rzewski's virtuosic and dazzlingly modern style.
Slotchiver's performances are precise and detailed throughout, with individual lines and syncopations carefully delineated. Her performances reflect the salon more than the concert stage. The syncopations are all gentle, the style refined, when a little more raw energy would bring the music more vividly to life and cast the profile of each piece into greater relief.
This is a worthwhile collection, perfect for our times. Here you can venture off the beaten path with music that sounds reassuringly familiar in its American-ness. It is an important part of our musical heritage that is way overdue for discovery.
Following the success of the Busoni The Visionary series, Jeni is humbled to introduce something so intimately close to home. With Southern roots of her own, Ms. Slotchiver's debut ZOHO CD release American Heritage is her homage to the legendary composers preserving American folk music and creating anew. What was once familiar, is reborn.
Spanning 125 years, from Louis Moreau Gottschalk's The Banjo (ca. 1854-5) to Frederic Rzewski's Down by the riverside (1979), American Heritage presents piano compositions by composers of concert music, inspired by the melodies, dance rhythms, harmonic inventions and various stylistic elements evocative of the American experience. Of the eight composers represented, six are of African descent and two of these are women. There are quotes from spirituals, use of the African American pentatonic scale, the African call and response structure popularized in southern church tradition, polyphonic rhythms of jazz, and the rich, sultry harmonies of blues. With the exception of the rich musical heritage of Indigenous people, the largest and most important American folkloric body of work arrived on American shores with the first enslaved African people.