Music News 09/27/2017


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Barbara Hannigan, CRAZY GIRL CRAZY (Alpha, $18.99) – In the last few years, Ms. Hannigan has had many triumphs, including in Hans Abrahamsen’s Let Me Tell You (Gramophone’s Best Contemporary Recording) and Satie’s Socrate, as well as performances on stage in Berg’s Lulu and George Benjamin’s Written on Skin.

Her new album is also her debut as a vocalist and conductor—with the Amsterdam-based Ludwig Orchestra. The CD includes Berio’s Sequenzia III, Berg’s Lulu Suite, and Gershwin’s Girl Crazy Suite, in a new arrangement by Bill Elliott and Ms. Hannigan, who threw in cheeky allusions to Berg and Ligeti.

Ms. Hannigan is on the cover of the September issue of Gramophone Magazine—the profile inside has lots of insights on the album, and her latest conducting, opera and recital projects.

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Cécile McLorin Salvant, DREAMS AND DAGGERS (Mack Avenue, 2 CDs, $19.98) – My favorite jazz singer has released her third album—most recorded live at the Village Vanguard with her terrific trio of pianist Aaron Diehl, bassist Paul Sikive, and drummer Lawrence Leathers. Interwoven are originals with a string quartet. Live recordings always capture the essence of jazz, and you’ll hear terrific examples of Ms. Salvant’s storytelling expertise in channeling the drama of a song; included are “Mad About the Boy,” “Never Will I Marry,” “You’re My Thrill,” “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was,” and “You’ve Got to Give Me Some.”

Lucinda Williams, THIS SWEET OLD WORLD (Highway 20 Records, $15.98) – Marking the 25th anniversary Sweet Old World (1992), Ms. Williams has done complete re-recording of her album with new arrangements and additional lyrics, plus four new bonus songs.

NOTE: Ms. Williams will play Sweet Old World as part of her concert at the Lincoln Theatre, on Monday, October 30.

Ibeyi, ASH (XL, $15.98) – Sisters Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz, with French and Cuban roots, unveil their second album

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Maria Callas, LIVE & ALIVE (Warner Classics, 2 CDs, $17.98) – A 2-CD compilation that is the best of a new box set of live recordings. Maria Callas Live: Remastered Live Recordings 1949 – 64 is comprised of 20 complete operas, 12 of which were recorded by her in the studio. The operas are available individually, or in the 42-CD box set.

SCARLATTI: SONATAS VOL 2 (Hyperion, $18.98) – Pianist Angela Hewitt returns to the works of Domenico Scarlatti



Mack Avenue CD pack Raffle

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Mack Avenue Records is a jazz label from Detroit with a strong lineup of artists. They continue to release strong titles, including Cécile McLorin Salvant’s brand new DREAMS AND DAGGERS (see above), and the two new big band albums below:

John Beasley, MONK’ESTRA VOL. 2 (Mack Avenue, $17.98) – This is Thelonious Monk’s centennial year, and a great way to celebrate is to listen to keyboardist John Beasley’s fresh and fun arrangements of Monk tunes for big band with some special guests. Tunes include “Played Twice,” “Crepuscule with Nellie” (with guest Regina Carter), “Evidence” (with Kamasi Washington and Conrad Herwig), “Dear Ruby” (with Dianne Reeves), and “Criss Cross” (with Pedrito Martinez).

Christian McBride Big Band, BRINGIN’ IT (Mack Avenue, $17.98) – Bassist and bandleader features two of his originals, plus tunes by Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Wes Montgomery, Mercer and Van Heusen, plus two vocal appearances by Melissa Walker (“Upside Down” and “Mr. Bojangles”)

Mack Avenue Records has generously donated some copies of these and other releases to Politics and Prose.

If you’d like to win gift bag of recent Mack Avenue releases, write to , with MACK AVENUE in the message line.