Music News 10/25/2017


Book Cover

Since 2000, on album after album (plus one novel) and steady touring, Josh Ritter has built a strong body of work, and a very loyal following. Last month, he released his latest set of great new songs, GATHERING (Pytheas Recordings, $13.98).

Josh will playing at the Lincoln Theatre next Friday, November 3—and his label is offering Politics & Prose fans a chance to win tickets.

If you’d like to enter the raffle for two tickets to see Josh Ritter at the Lincoln on Nov. 3, write to, with JOSH in the message line.



Book Cover Book Cover

Gregory Porter, NAT KING COLE & ME (Blue Note, $14.98) – Gregory Porter has become a dynamic voice in jazz, with his supple baritone and original songs. For his first tribute album, Porter chose an artist who was dear to both mother and him. Vince Mendoza did the lush arrangements, played by the London Studio Orchestra, on songs such as “Smile,” “Nature Boy,” and “Pick Yourself Up (Dust Yourself Off).”

Anat Cohen Tentet, HAPPY SONG (Anzic, $15.98) – Clarinetist Anat Cohen returns to the big band jazz sound of her album from 2007, Noir. Ms. Cohen has already released two fine albums of Brazilian music this year—one a duet with guitarist Marcello Gonçalves., one with Trio Brasileiro. This time, her tentet mixes originals by Anat and arranger Oded Lev-Ari, tunes by Gordon Jenkins and Egberto Gismonti, and a beautiful medley of Yiddish doinas.


The John Zorn Universe, Continued

CD Cover CD Cover CD Cover

Starting in 2004, composer/saxophonist/Tzadik label founder John Zorn wrote 300 tunes in his Book of Angels. Over 13 years, and on 32 CDs, Zorn has asked different sets of musicians to interpret those tunes. Two of the last volumes appeared this year, with some prominent jazz artists leading the way.

FLAGA: The Book of Angels, Volume 27 (Tzadik, $16.99) – Pianist Craig Taborn, bassist Christian McBride, and drummer Tyshawn Sorey (recent MacArthur “genius grant” recipient) bring new changes to the classic piano trio.

PAIMON: The Book of Angels, Volume 32 (Tzadik, $16.99) – A fantastic dual electric-guitar workout with Mary Halvorson and Miles Okazaki on the frontlines, and Drew Gress on bass and Tomas Fujiwara on drums.


John Zorn, Midsummer Moons (Tzadik, $16.99) – Guitarists Julian Lage and Gyan Riley (on acoustic guitars) play John Zorn’s compositions inspired by Shakespeare’s lunar imagery.


& Dave Douglas

CD Cover CD Cover

Trumpeter Dave Douglas was a member of Zorn’s classic Masada Quartet (with Zorn on alto, Greg Cohen on bass, Joey Baron on drums) in the 1990s (and reunion shows). Douglas also went on to form his own label, Greenleaf Music, and form many creative collaborations. He has two new releases:

Dave Douglas, PATHWAYS (Greenleaf Music, $14.99) – Recorded at the Banff Music Camp, where Douglas taught for many years, it includes Greg Tardy, clarinet and tenor, Joshua Roseman, trombone, Uri Caine, piano, Linda Oh, bass, Clarence Penn, drums, with Aoife O’Donovan singing on “My Cares are Down Below.”

Dave Douglas & the Westerlies, LITTLE GIANT STILL LIFE (Greenleaf Music, $14.99) – Douglas teams up with the Westerlies, an exciting new brass quartet, plus drummer Anwar Marshall, in new compositions inspired by 12 paintings by Stuart Davis (who himself was very inspired by jazz).