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Shirley Horn, DC’s own jazz treasure, Shirley Horn (1934 -2005) sang and played piano with “genius” (to quote singer Sheila Jordan), and was especially known for her inimitable ballads. A newly issued set, Live at the Four Queens (Resonance Records, $18.98), recorded in Las Vegas on May 2, 1988, is with her trusted trio of over 20 years, bassist Charles Ables and drummer Steve Williams. The set reveals what a great pianist Ms. Horn was: she starts off with a swinging workout on Randy Weston’s “Hi-Fly,” and also does a long version of “Isn’t It Romantic.” Beautiful ballads include “Lover Man” and “Just for a Thrill.” There are also two Jobim numbers: “Meditation” (Meditação) and “The Boy from Ipanema.” “Blues for Big Scotia” closes the set.
The package includes a 56-page booklet with essays and interviews with Resonance Records producer Zev Feldman, journalist and author James Gavin, Shirley Horn’s producers Jean-Philippe Allard and Richard Seidel, drummer Steve Williams (in conversation with Library of Congress jazz specialist, and WPFW radio host Larry Appelbaum), singer Sheila Jordan (in conversation with jazz journalist Ted Panken), WPFW (and former WAMU and WDCU) radio host Rusty Hassan, manager Sheila Mathis and finally, Shirley’s daughter, Rainy Smith.
Madeleine Peyroux, Secular Hymns (Verve, $13.98) – Ms. Peyroux returns with a new mix of perfectly chosen songs—written by, among others, Allen Toussaint, Stephen Foster, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Tom Waits, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Lil Green, and Townes Van Zandt.
Joey Alexander, Countdown (Motema Records, $17.98) – Joey Alexander turned 13 this June, but this piano prodigy has already played at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the Newport and Monterey Jazz Festivals, been profiled by Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes—and now has released his second album. On Countdown, Joey is accompanied by Larry Grenadier on bass and Ulysses Owens, Jr., and features special guest, saxophonist Chris Potter.
NOTE: Joey Alexander will perform at the Bethesda Blues Club on Saturday and Sunday, October 8 and 9, presented by Washington Performing Arts.
Joshua Redman & Brad Mehldau, Nearness (Nonesuch, $17.98) – The old band-mates reunite for some saxophone and piano duets, recorded in Europe in 2011. Tunes include “Ornithology,” “In Walked Bud,” and “The Nearness of You.”
Jack White, Acoustic Recordings 1998 – 2016 (Third Man Recordings, $17.98)
Arvo Pärt: The Deer’s Cry (ECM Records, $18.98) – Vox Clamantis, Jaan-Eik Tulve
Bach: The Art of Fugue (Channel Classics, SACD, $20.98) – After recent award-winning discs of Biber and Vivaldi, violinist Rachel Podger leads her group, Brecon Baroque, in Bach’s Art of Fugue.
Mozart: Piano Concertos K. 413, 414, 415 (Harmonia Mundi, $18.98) – Kristian Bezuidenhout has found new colors and timbres in his fortepiano renditions of Mozart—he’s completed nine volumes of Mozart keyboard works already. For these three piano concertos, he is joined by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra.
NOTE: Kristian Bezuidenhout will play Beethoven and Haydn at the Library of Congress on Wednesday, Oct. 26
Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 3, 6 & 7 (BIS, SACD, $21.99) – After the forced hiatus of a prolonged strike at the Minnesota Orchestra, conductor Osmo Vänskä continues his Sibelius cycle.
Alice Sara Ott, Wonderland (Deutsche Grammophon, $13.98) – Ms. Ott plays Grieg: ten of his Lyric Pieces, the Peer Gynt Suite, and the Piano Concerto in A minor, with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Benjamin Grosvenor, Homages (Decca, $13.98) – The British pianist plays Franck, Liszt, and Bach/Busoni
Pretty Yende, A Journey (Sony Masterworks, $12.98) – The South African soprano’s debut album. Ms. Yende will be featured in the Metropolitan Opera’s productions of Il Barbieri die Siviglia and Romeo et Juliette.
Couperin: Leçons de Ténèbres (Harmonia Mundi, $18.98) – Sopranos Lucy Crowe and Elizabeth Watts are the featured vocalists with La Nuova Musica, directed by David Bates.
Three Decades of Anonymous 4 (Harmonia Mundi, $13.98) – The four vocalists of Anonymous 4 have disbanded after three very productive decades. This CD is a wonderful budget-priced compilation of some of their favorite recordings. Displayed downstairs in the budget CD section.
Lang Lang, New York Rhapsody (Sony Masterworks, $12.98) – The pianist’s New York-themed album, with guests Herbie Hancock (a duet on Rhapsody in Blue), and Madeleine Peyroux, Andra Day, Lisa Fischerand Jason Isbell on tunes associated with the Big Apple.
Gramophone’s CD of the Month: September
Brahms: Violin Sonatas (Ondine, $16.99 ) – Christian Tetzlaff, violin and Lars Vogt, piano