27-year-old Benjamin Grosvenor is considered to be one of the greatest pianists of his generation, or any other generation, for that matter. Ever since emerging in his teens as a prodigy mature beyond his years, Grosvenor continues to evolve artistically, as he builds a legacy of recordings that often achieve reference status, such as his Chopin Scherzos and Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit, and a new release encompassing both Chopin Concertos.
This week, Grosvenor will be the featured guest on Episode 243 of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Virgil Thomson Award winning program Between the Keys, hosted by The Classical Network's Artist-in-Residence, composer/pianist Jed Distler. "Benjamin was an absolute delight to interview," says Distler. "He's warm, affable, unassuming, yet completely comfortable with his high place in the pianistic firmament, and passionate about a wide range of music. Long after our official conversation ended, we kept on talking shop and sharing repertoire ideas. No wonder all of my pianist friends adore Benjamin, personally and artistically."
Grosvenor's new recording of two concerto favorites: Chopin's Piano Concertos Nos.1 and 2, released on Decca Classics, was recorded with Elim Chan and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO). The album marks Benjamin's fifth on Decca Classics, following the hugely successful Homages in 2016, and is his first orchestral album since 2012.
Tune in to Between the Keys this Tuesday February 18th at 10:00 PM with special guest Benjamin Grosvenor, including musical selections by Ravel, Mendelssohn, Bach, Chopin and Brett Dean, only here on The Classical Network and WWFM.org New Jersey.
Ted Poor, who the NY Times wrote; "a trustworthy engine in countless modern-jazz settings," isn't your typical jazz drummer, and either is his New Deal/Impulse! debut recording 'You Already Know.' If you're at all familiar with the Seattle-based Poor's explorative career-or the wide-ranging work of his principal collaborators here, the deeply influential guitarist-producer Blake Mills and the saxophonist Andrew D'Angelo-this should come as no surprise.
Poor's album release show is set for the Columbia City Theatre on March 7,8
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Alterations is jazz vocalist/composer Robin McKelle's follow-up to her 2018 Melodic Canvas which we covered on these pages. While that was mostly an album of originals, McKelle chooses here to, as she says, "fuse jazz, soul, r&b, blues and rock while keeping continuity in the music." These are mostly familiar songs from some of the most celebrated women in song interpreted through a jazz lens. They include Dolly Parton, Sade, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Janis Joplin, Carole king, Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell, and Land Del Ray. For good measure, McKelle adds just one of her own, in tribute to female artistry.
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Flamenco guitarist, composer and multi-instrumentalist Dave Soldier has been exploring cultural boundaries throughout his life. He founded a string quartet that fused punk, classical and R&B, but also played punk Delta Blues and started the Thai Elephant Orchestra. Now he explores the roots of pop songs, and found them about a thousand years ago at the crossroads of Muslim, Jewish and Christian cultures in southern Spain, more specifically in Andalusia at the time of the Moors. The song titles of these compositions are therefore in English, Arabic and Hebrew. The lyrics were always sung, are based on muwashshaha & zajal, and were taken over by singers in Provence. And that is what our Western pop music would be based on, from Schubert, The Beatles, Hank Williams, to opera. These old texts have now been given a flamenco, jazz and world music twist and are usually sung by Ana Nimouz. They sometimes sound cheerful, sometimes mysterious, and sometimes as fusion. A special release for those who are interested in the origin of our music, and who are not averse to world music. - Patrick Van de Wiele
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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.
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Nominated for instrumental album of the year, Upfront is the third release from pianist Ron Davis's SymphRONica project, an outlet for the jazz crossover that springs from his fertile imagination. Abetted by a string quartet, Davis covers a wide range of styles, from the genteel neo-baroque of "Drew Bourrée" to the intoxicating tango-meets-klezmer sounds of "Chance." Of the album's 12 tracks, his take on Miles Davis's iconic "So What" stays closest to the jazz idiom, and benefits from some nicely detailed drumming and expressive guitar and electric piano solos. Stay until the end and hear how the pizzicato strings ingeniously escort the song out of the room.
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Vocalist Robin McKelle delves into the catalogue of some of the most celebrated women of song, interpreting these masterworks through the lens of the jazz idiom on her new album Alterations. McKelle follows in a long tradition of female song interpreters, lending her sultry vocal stylings to classics by a diverse list of female innovators including Dolly Parton, Sade, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Janis Joplin, Carol King, Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell, and Lana Del Ray. McKelle is joined on this release by a group of consummate musicians including co-producer, pianist and arranger Shedrick Mitchell, acoustic and electric bassist Richie Goods, drummer Charles Haynes, guitarist Nir Felder. In addition, esteemed saxophonist Keith Loftis is featured on McKelle's sole original composition on this release, "Head High"; and renowned trumpeter Marquis Hill is featured on Lana Del Rey's "Born to Die".
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Milan Records today releases THE NEW POPE (ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK FROM THE SKY – HBO – CANAL+ SERIES produced by FREMANTLE'S THE APARTMENT and WILDSIDE, co-produced with HAUT ET COURT TV and THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO) with music by LELE MARCHITELLI.
Referred to as "the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele," Jake Shimabukuro is a true virtuoso, and exhibits his talents once again with the release of ‘Trio', available February 14th through Music Theories Recordings.
You Already Know, the New Deal/Impulse! debut from the acclaimed drummer Ted Poor-"a trustworthy engine in countless modern-jazz settings," per the New York Times-isn't your typical jazz drummer's recording, almost defiantly so.
What we lose with WNYC's cancellation of John Schaefer's 'New Sounds' / I CARE IF YOU LISTEN
Posted: October 18, 2019 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Late last week, the news broke that WNYC, New York City's flagship NPR station, was cancelling all of music journalist John Schaefer's programming, including "New Sounds" and "Soundcheck." In the ongoing shift to become an all-news format, WNYC also announced its intent to discontinue the majority of its music programming by the end of this year. As the memo to the staff put it, "This is a continuation of the momentum that began when we replaced daytime music on WNYC-FM with news/talk format programs in 2002."
On the airwaves since 1982, "New Sounds" bills itself as "New York Public Radio's home for the musically curious," telling us to "free your listening from the limits of genre and algorithm." Avant garde giant Laurie Anderson was the show's very first guest. Here was a space on the radio where tuning in could take you to Olafur Arnalds' otherworldly field recordings of his native Iceland that he transformed into glistening electro-acoustic singles on the album Island Songs. It was a place for Pulitzer Prize winner and Bang On a Can co-founder Julia Wolfe's Fire In My Mouth, a multimedia orchestral work that compiles archival information collected about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911. Premiered by New York Philharmonic earlier this year, Fire in My Mouth is a musical exploration of this tragedy for full orchestra, women's choir and unusual instrumentation that includes 100 pairs of scissors.
Through "New Sounds," bold and idiosyncratic music was accessible to anyone with a car stereo or a $10 radio via "America's most listened-to public radio station."
The New York Philharmonic and Music Director Jaap van Zweden's World Premiere performances of Julia Wolfe's Fire in my mouth will be released in digital format on August 30, 2019, and in physical formats on October 4, 2019, on Decca Gold, Universal Music Group's newly established US classical music label. It is now available for preorder at https://DeccaGold.lnk.to/Fireinmymouth. The release will mark Decca Gold's fifth New York Philharmonic album.
The New York Philharmonic premiered Julia Wolfe's Fire in my mouth, which the Orchestra also co-commissioned, in January 2019, conducted by Jaap van Zweden and featuring The Crossing, conducted by Donald Nally, and the Young People's Chorus of New York City, directed by Francisco J. Núñez. The New York Times called the work "ambitious, heartfelt, often compelling. … There is both heady optimism and a sense of dread in Ms. Wolfe's music. … Mr. van Zweden led a commanding account of a score that … ends with an elegiac final chorus in which the names of all 146 victims are tenderly sung to create a fabric of music and memory." The performance earned the coveted spot in the highbrow / brilliant quadrant of New York
The New York Philharmonic's third album with Decca Gold will be released physically and digitally on February 22, 2019. The album features performances by the New York Philharmonic of Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps and Debussy's La Mer from Jaap van Zweden's opening weeks (September-October 2018) as Music Director. It is now available for pre-order on nyphil.org and through this link.
Of the Opening Gala performance of Le Sacre du printempts, The New York Times wrote "Mr. van Zweden drew incisive, blazingly powerful and vehement playing from the Philharmonic." Two weeks later, The Times described the performance of La Mer as "bold, almost cinematic."
The New York Philharmonic will launch its partnership with Decca Gold, Universal Music Group's newly established U.S. classical music label, on February 23, 2018, with the release of Jaap van Zweden and the Philharmonic's performances of Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7.