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9 a.m. – 10 p.m.
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New & Recent
Barbra Streisand, Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway (Columbia, $12.98) – Barbra Streisand is still a virtuosic and dramatic singer. She’s going strong in her seventh decade, whether on the stage, screen or concert hall (she just finished a 9-city tour, and appearance in DC last Thursday). On her 35th studio album, she brings in movie actors to sing Broadway tunes, ranging from Hugh Jackman and Jamie Foxx to Anne Hathaway, Alec Baldwin and Antonio Banderas.
The Bad Plus, It’s Hard (Okeh Records, $12.98) – The Bad Plus (pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson, drummer Dave King) make their breakthrough a decade and a half ago with a few distinctive jazz covers of pop tunes. Since then, they have released many albums with their own distinct tunes, as well as done a trio version of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Last year they released a fantastic collaboration, The Bad Plus Joshua Redman. On It’s Hard, they return to cover songs, paying tribute to songs by Prince, Kraftwerk, Johnny Cash, Ornette Coleman, Barry Manilow, Peter Gabriel, and many more.
I also recommend Ethan Iverson’s blog, with his original articles and insightful interviews with fellow musicians.
Abbey Lincoln, Love Having You Around (High Note, $16.98) – Abbey Lincoln (1930 – 2010) was an original—a distinctive jazz singer and songwriter, actress, and civil rights activist. This is the second volume of live recordings from gigs at San Francisco’s Keystone Korner in March, 1980. Ms Lincoln and her trio focus on her original compositions such as “Talkin’ to the Sun,” “When Malindy Sings,” “Driva Man,” and “Throw It All Away.”
William Bell, This is Where I Live (Stax, $15.98) – Soul legend William Bell had a hit on the Stax label with his first release, “You Don’t Miss Your Water,” in 1961—memorable renditions were later sung by Otis Redding and the Byrds. Bell also co-wrote “Born Under a Bad Sign” (along with Booker T. Jones)—a hit for both Albert King and Cream. Mr. Bell is still singing strongly (he recently appeared at the White House’s R&B concert); check out his latest on the Stax, produced by John Leventhal.
Elvis Presley, Way Down in the Jungle Room (RCA, $14.98) – This is the most complete collection—newly remastered—from the last sessions that Elvis recorded in the studio he built at Graceland (called “the Jungle Room”). Recorded in February and October, 1976, Elvis was backed up by members of his great touring band, including James Burton (guitar), Ronnie Tutt (drums), David Briggs (keyboards), Glenn D. Hardin (keyboards), Jerry Scheff (bass), Norbert Putnam (bass) and J.D. Sumner & the Stamps (vocals).