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Nu Yorica!: Culture Clash in New York City: Experiments in Latin Music 1970 - 1977 (Soul Jazz Records, 2 CDs, $23.99) – In 1970s New York, the dynamic and ground-breaking salsa bands started to include soul, jazz, funk and folkloric Latin influences. Eddie Palmieri, Joe Bataan, Grupo Folklorico, Charlie Palmieri, Cachao, Stone Alliance, and Tempo 70 were some of the bandleaders and groups taking the lead. Nu Yorica! collects some of the best from this era; the 2-CD set is the 20th anniversary, expanded edition with a 36-page booklet.

Amy Helm, Didn’t It Rain (EOne, $17.98) – Amy Helm was a member of the folk-roots band Ollabelle, and then sang with her father, Levon Helm, during his last resurgent years as he staged his Rambles and toured. Her first solo album features her soulful voice in her originals as well as Sam Cooke’s “Good News.” These were also the final recording sessions that Levon played drums on.

 

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Alan Feinberg, Fugue State (Steinway & Co, $17.99) – A fugue is a contrapuntal compositional technique in two or more voices (in Bach’s case, sometimes as many as six voices). The “exposition, development, recapitulation” form was used in many ways in the Baroque and pianist Alan Feinberg, playing on a modern Steinway, builds a wonderful program which juxtaposes works by two generations of composers: Johann Jacob Froberger, Dietrich Buxtehude,  Alessandro and Domenico, Scarlatti, and above all,  J.S. Bach and G. F. Handel.

 

SUNG AND DANCED

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One of Mark Morris’s greatest choreographed works is his 1988 L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (BelAir Classiques, DVD, $24.99), set to the music of Handel and the words of Milton. There is finally a DVD recording of it, recorded at the Teatro Real in Madrid in 2014, with the Mark Morris Dance Group, the Teatro Real Orchestra and Chorus, conductor Jane Glover, and some great singers including soprano Elizabeth Watts and tenor James Gilchrist.

Handel: L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il  Moderato (Signum Classics, 2 CDs. $25.99) – Conductor Paul McCreesh and his Gabrieli Consort and Players have recreated as closely as possible the very first performance  of L’Allegro, at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, on February 27, 1740. On that date, the band also performed Handel’s Concerti Grossi Op 6, and “a new concerto on the Organ,” the Op 7, No 1. For L’Allegr, McCreesh uses the boy-treble voice (15-year old Laurence Kilsby) along with soprano, tenor, baritone and bass.

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