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Music News 04/23/2014

New Jazz

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Oran Etkin, Gathering Light (Motema, $15.98) – It’s rare when the bass clarinet, with its beautiful, low, woody sound—is the lead instrument in a group. Oran Etkin, originally from Israel, assembled a great band—Lionel  Loueke on guitars, Curtis Fowlkes on trombone, Ben Allison on bass, and Nasheet Waits on drums—and plays clarinet, tenor and the bass clarinet on tunes inspired by sojourns in Japan, China, and Indonesia. He also includes a Yiddish song, and the classic “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South” dedicated to his first inspiration, Louis Armstrong.

J D Allen, Bloom (Savant, $16.98) – Tenor sax player J D Allen has put out a string of great CDs in recent years. His quartet (Orrin Evans, piano, Alexander Claffy, bass, Jonathon Barber, drums) plays beautifully on the ballad “If You Could See Me Now” by Tadd Dameron, and the traditional “Pater Noster,” and Allen plays a solo rendition of “Stardust.” The bulk of the album features Allen originals—catchy and intriguing, some inspired by the harmonies of Messiaen.

Riverside, Riverside (Greenleaf Music, $16.98) – Riverside is a new collective that was created to play music written and inspired by clarinetist, saxophonist and composer Jimmy Giuffre (1921-2008). Dave Douglas on trumpet, Steve Swallow (who played with Giuffre) on electric bass, and brothers Chet Doxas on tenor sax and clarinet, and Jim Doxas on drums go to work on Giuffre’s “The Train and the River,” and originals by Douglas and Chet Doxas follow in the spirit of  Giuffre’s  blend of West Coast cool and free jazz.

Armen Donelian, Sayat-Nova: Songs of My Ancestors (Sunnyside, 2 CDs, $19.98) – Jazz can incorporate almost any material as its inspiration, and it’s exciting to hear pianist Armen Donelian turn to the compositions of the Armenian poet and composer Sayat-Nova (1712-1795). Over two CDs (one solo piano, the other a trio with bassist David Clark and drummer George Schuller), Donelian takes the ancient, folk-inspired songs of Sayat-Nova, and gives them a subtle jazz swing.


Daniel Müller-Schott and Simon Trpčeski at the Library of Congress

CD CoverCellist Daniel Müller-Schott and pianist Simon Trpčeski will play a recital featuring Beethoven, Brahms and Chopin this Thursday, April 24, at the Library of Congress. Each has a recent album:

Simon Trpčeski’s Schubert Bach Liszt (Wigmore Hall Live, $18.98) recorded live, features a full recital (with encores of Liszt’s transcription of Schubert’s “Ständchen” and Chopin’s Prelude in D minor.

Beethoven: Cello Sonatas Volume 2 (Hyperion, $18.98) featuring Daniel Müller-Schott and pianist Angela Hewitt, includes the Cello Sonata in C major, Op. 102 No. 1 (which he’ll be playing Thursday night), and Cello Sonata in D major, Op. 102 No. 2.

You can buy the CDs at the concert, or at the store starting Sunday.