Music News 12/2/21

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Bola Sete, SAMBA IN SEATTLE: Live at the Penthouse (1966 – 1968) (Tompkins Square, 3 CDs, $33.98) – Bola Sete (1923 – 1987) was a pioneering guitarist playing bossa nova and jazz. After stints with Dizzy Gillespie and Vince Guaraldi, Sete formed his own trio with Sebastião Neto on bass, and Paulinho Magalhães on drums/percussion. These live performances have never been released before, and come with a 40-page booklet with rare photos; an essay by music critic Greg Casseus; new interviews and testimonials by Carlos Santana, composer/pianist Lalo Schifrin,  pianist George Winston,  Bola Sete's widow, Anne; plus a tribute by the late guitarist (and big Bola Sete fan) John Fahey.  

Harold Mabern, MABERN PLAYS COLTRANE (Smoke Sessions, $15.98) – Pianist Harold Mabern (1936 – 2019) was a master playing bop, hard bop, and its many roots and branches. Mr. Mabern pays tribute to one of his mentors during his early days in New York; Coltrane, in Mr. Mabern’s words, was “very humble; never satisfied…he was very inspiring to be around then.” Mr. Mabern is joined by some of his closest compatriots in the last decade of his life: Eric Alexander on tenor and Vincent Herring on alto, Steve Davis, trombone, John Webber, bass, and Joe Farnsworth, drums. 

Eva Cassidy, LIVE AT BLUES ALLEY: 25th Anniversary Edition (Blix Street, $16.98) – Live at Blues Alley is one of the most iconic DC albums. Eva Cassidy (1963 – 1996) and her band recorded it on the evening of January 3, 1996. Ms. Cassidy was born in DC, grew up in Oxon Hill and Bowie, and was a local treasure until this album (her second, after The Other Side, featuring duets with go-go legend, Chuck Brown). Live at Blues Alley was released in May, and, tragically, she died of melanoma in November. It became her breakthrough album, and her fame spread across the world, especially in the UK. 




Anthony McGill & Gloria Chien, HERE WITH YOU: Brahms / Weber / Montgomery (Cedille, $16.99) – Anthony McGill, principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic, teams up with pianist Gloria Chien in their recording debut. The duo feature the two Brahms Sonatas for Clarinet and Piano (Opus 120, Nos 1 and 2), along with Carl Maria von Weber’s Grand Duo Concertant, and the world premier recording of Peace by Jessie Montgomery, currently composer-in-residence at the Chicago Symphony.  

Inon Barnatan, TIME TRAVELER’S SUITE (Pentatone, $15.99) – Pianist Inon Barnatan takes a chronological journey from Bach, Handel, Rameau, and Couperin, past Ravel, and to our own world of Adès, Barber, and Ligeti. The program culminates in Brahms’s epic Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel.

FLORENCE PRICE: Symphony No 3 & Other Works (Naxos, $13.99) – The works of pioneering African American composer Florence Price (1887 – 1953) are finally getting their due. Conductor John Jeter follows up his recording of Symphony No 1 and Symphony No 4 (2019) with these performances (this time, with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra). The works include Symphony No 3 in C minor (1940); The Mississippi River (1934); and the world premiere recording of Ethiopia’s Shadow in America (1932).