Music News 11/01/2017


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Bob Dylan, TROUBLE NO MORE: The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979 – 1981 (Columbia, 2 CDs, $19.98) – The “Born Again” period of 1979 to 1981 was perhaps the most misunderstood and most reviled portion of Bob Dylan’s career. But it produced three albums of fine songs—Slow Train Coming, Saved, and Shot of Love—and concerts with some of Dylan’s most impassioned performances.

Trouble No More includes 30 live versions (never before issued) of songs from those album performed by a great band including organist Spooner Oldham, drummer Jim Keltner, bassist Tim Drummond, keyboardist Terry Young, guitarist Fred Tackett, and five female backup vocalists, driving the gospel sound home. There is also a super deluxe 8-CD, 1 DVD version, available by special order.

Orchestre Les Mangelepa, LAST BAND STANDING (Strut Records, $16.99) – Congolese soukous (or Congolese rumba) swept the sub-Saharan continent in the 1960s and 1970s, with its infectious, guitar-driven sound with its mix of Afro-Cuban and African rhythms, melodic tunes (sung in local languages), and its driving dance-floor climaxes. Orchestre Les Mangelepa was the best of the bands who migrated from eastern Congo (now Zaire) to settle eventually in Nairobi, Kenya. They are still playing, and Last Band Standing is a wonderful introduction to their sound, with the present band recording some of their best songs.

Sam Smith, THE THRILL OF IT ALL (Capitol, $14.98) – After a number of successful British singles, Sam Smith became an international star with his first album, In the Lonely Hour (2014). Listen to his follow-up album.



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20017 is the centennial year of Thelonious Monk (he was born October 10, in Rocky Mt., North Carolina). His piano playing was one-of-a-kind (in his own blend of stride, blues and swing) and his 60-plus original tunes are still an integral part of the jazz repertoire. Songs like “Round Midnight,” “Epistrophy,” “Rhythm-a-ning,” “Bye-Ya,” “Misterioso,” “In Walked Bud,”…I could go on and on.

We are featuring some of his great Columbia recordings from the 1960s downstairs (each is budget priced at $7.98).


SOLO MONK (Columbia, 1965)

UNDERGROUND (Columbia, 1968)

NOTE: Monk@100 was a just-concluded 10-day celebration of Monk at Duke Performances in Durham. Pianist Ethan Iverson was the co-curator and performer at many of the concerts, with guest tenor players (among them, JD Allen, Joshua Redman, Ravi Coltrane, Houston Person, Chris Potter, Melissa Aldana, and Ben Wendel), recreating Monk’s classic quartets. Pianists included Jason Moran, Kris Davis, and Orrin Evans.

Read Mr. Iverson’s day-by-day roundup of events here (scroll down a little to start).

Also read his extended survey of Monk’s albums (on Prestige, Blue Note, Riverside and Columbia) and commentary on each of his songs.



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TERRY RILEY: IN C (Northern Spy, $14.99) – Terry Riley’s minimalist classic In C can be played by any kind of group of instruments, and Brooklyn Raga Massive have unveiled a beautiful new recording with classical Indian and Middle Eastern instruments.

Carolyn Sampson & Iestyn Davies, LOST IS MY QUIET: DUETS AND SOLO SONGS (BIS, $19.99) – Soprano Carolyn Sampson and countertenor Iestyn Davies in a program of works by Purcell (piano arrangements by Benjamin Britten), Mendelssohn, Schumann, and the contemporary Roger Quilter.

Ms. Sampson has two other recent albums out: Verlaine Songbook (2016) and Bach: Cantatas for Soprano (2017). Both singers are part of Gramophone Award-winning albums (Mozart and Bach, respectively) which I wrote a few weeks ago, and which are still on display. Joseph Middleton accompanies the singers on piano.

BACH: MAGNIFICAT IN E-flat & MISSA IN F (SDG, $18.99) – John Eliot Gardiner directs the Monteverdi Choir and his English Baroque Soloists

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DEBUSSY: PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE (LSO Live, 3 CDs, 1 Blu-Ray DVD, $29.99) – Sir Simon Rattle  conducts the London Symphony Orchestra in Debussy’s only opera, with a stellar cast including Magdalena Kožená, Gerald Finley, and Christian Gerhaher.

Rachel Podger & Brecon Baroque, GRANDISSIMA GRAVITA (Channel Classics, $20.98) – Violinist Rachel Podger leads her period instrument group, Brecon Baroque, in pieces by Pisendel, Tartini, Veracini, and Vivaldi.

MOZART: REQUIEM (Harmonia Mundi, $18.98) – René Jacobs conducts the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and the RIAS Chamber Choir in a new revised completion by Pierre-Henri Dutron.