Music News 11/08/2017


CD Cover CD Cover

Both drummer Brian Blade and cornetist Ron Miles are the most open of collaborators, as well as making their own albums.

Brian Blade is best known as the drummer in Wayne Shorter’s quartet, going strong after a decade together. But he also leads his own group, Brian Blade & the Fellowship Band—comprised of piano/keyboards; two reeds (alto/bass clarinet and tenor), guitar, bass, and drums. Their new work, BODY AND SHADOW (Blue Note, $14.98) is full of their beautiful, gospel-infused instrumentals.

Ron Miles has recorded two albums (Quiver [2012] and Circuit Rider [2014]) with a spare trio of Bill Frisell on guitar and Mr. Blade on drums. On the brand new I AM A MAN (Yellowbird/Enja, $14.99), he expands this powerhouse trio by adding Jason Moran on piano and Thomas Morgan on bass.

The cover art is by Glenn Ligon, based on the signs carried in the Memphis sanitation workers strike in 1968.



CD Cover Cellist Steven Isserlis’s new release is THE CELLO IN WARTIME (BIS, $19.99). On it, he plays repertoire by Debussy, Bridge, Fauré and Webern—all written around the time of WWI. He also plays four popular songs of the period on the historical “trench cello,” used in the war, all accompanied by pianist Connie Shih.

NOTE: Steven Isserlis also has a new book out, Robert Schumann’s Advice to Young Musicians (University of Chicago Press), which he translated, edited, and wittily annotated. Look for my review in the upcoming Holiday Newsletter.

Mr. Isserlis also released another fine album earlier this fall, Haydn & C.P.E. Bach: Cello Concertos (Hyperion), playing cello and conducting the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.



CD Cover CD Cover CD Cover

Marianne Crebassa, SECRETS: FRENCH SONGS (Erato, $17.98) – Mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa

Debussy’s Trois Chansons de Bilitis, Ravel’s Shéhérazade, Fauré’s Mirages, and Henri Duparc’s 4 Mélodies. She is accompanied by pianist (and composer) Fazil Say, whose work, Gezi Park 3, ends the album—from a series of works in response to the civil protests that took place in in Istanbul in June 2013)

Natalie Stutzmann, QUELLA FIAMMA: ARIE ANTICHE (Erato, $17.98) – Contralto Nathalie Stutzmann sings selections from Arie antiche, a 19th Century collection of songs edited by Alessandro Parisotti to be a vocal primer. Selections by, among others, Scarlatti, Caccini, Handel, Porpora, Caladara, and Parisotti himself. Ms. Stutzmann directs members of Orfeo 55, featuring oboe, cello, harp, and theorbo.

Philippe Jaroussky, THE HANDEL ALBUM (Erato, $17.98) – Mr. Jaroussky is one of the foremost countertenors in the world, known especially for his Handel performances on stage and studio.



CD Cover

Fats Domino passed away on October 24. One of the giants of rhythm and blues (and “rock ‘n’ roll”), Fats Domino created a signature sound from his New Orleans boogie-woogie piano playing combined with singing of great heart. He dominated the charts from 1949 to the early ‘’60s with such songs as Blueberry Hill,” “I’m Walkin’,” “Ain’t That a Shame,” “Blue Monday,” and “I’m Ready.”

Listen to 30 of his best songs on GREATEST HITS: WALKING TO NEW ORLEANS (Capitol, $14.98), displayed downstairs.



CD Cover

Arena is opening Nina Simone: Four Women this Friday, November 10; performances go through December 24. Nina and the characters she wrote about in her song “Four Women” are brought to life in this musical biography.

Listen to some of her greatest songs on DEFINITIVE COLLECTION (Universal, $9.98), displayed downstairs.