Lara Downes, REFLECTIONS: SCOTT JOPLIN RECONSIDERED (Rising Sun, $15.98) – Pianist Lara Downes offers a new look at composer Scott Joplin (1868 – 1917), the “King of Ragtime,” who merged and blurred genres at the turn of the last century. Ms. Downes bookends the album with music from the opera, Treemonisha, as well as including arrangements of rags, waltzes, and drags. Her collaborators include mandolinist Joe Brent, the Brooklyn Youth Choir, and baritone Will Liverman, in the world premiere of the ballad, “A Picture of Her Face.”
Ms. Downes talked about Scott Joplin’s life and music for a piece on NPR.
Ethan Iverson, EVERY NOTE IS TRUE (Blue Note, $13.98) – The pianist’s new trio with Larry Grenadier, bass, and Jack DeJohnette, drums, in a program of originals.
Mr. Iverson also has a resource-rich blog, full of wonderful interviews with musicians, articles and analyses of music. In fact, in his latest blogpost, he has great things to say about Lara Downes’s new Scott Joplin release (above), and wrote about George Walker: Five Piano Sonatas (for which he wrote liner notes for), which I mentioned in last week’s Music News.
Jakob Lindberg, BACH ON THE RAUWOLF LUTE (BIS, $19.99) – Jakob Lindberg plays on the lute, made in Augsburg in 1590, and “modernized” during Bach’s lifetime in 1715. Bach was fascinated by the sound of the lute; he wrote music specifically for it, and Lindberg also arranges other Bach solo works (originally for violin and cello) for the instrument.
C.P.E. BACH: SONATAS & RONDOS (Hyperion, 2 CDs,$21.99) – Pianist Marc-André Hamelin explores the “category defining” music of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, from early works to his late “improvisatory fantasies.”
NOTE: Mr. Hamelin talked about the project for the New York Times.
And, coincidentally, BBC Radio 3 has a 5-part “Composer of the Week” feature on C.P.E. Bach.
Alicia Keys, KEYS (RCA, 2 CDs, $17.98) – Ms. Keys divides her new album into a disc of “originals” and a disc of “unlocked” versions featuring guests.
MORE COVER SONGS
BROKEN HEARTS & DIRTY WINDOWS: Songs of John Prine Vol. 2 (Oh Boy, $16.98) – The first volume of Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine came out over ten years ago, and focused on mostly Mr. Prine’s lesser-known songs. Now, the many friends of Mr. Prine (whod died in April, 2020) come together to sing some of his most famous numbers, plus a few recent gems written in the last decade. Sturgill Simpson (“Paradise”), Amanda Shires (“Saddle in the Rain”), Jason Isbell (“Souvenirs”), Nathaniel Rateliff (“Pretty Good”), Margo Price (“Sweet Revenge”), John Paul White (“Sam Stone”), Brandi Carlile (“I Remember Everything”), and Emmylou Harris (“Hello in There”) are all here, as well as Tyler Childers, Valerie June, Bonnie Raitt, and Iris DeMent.
Bill Callahan and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, BLIND DATE PARTY (Drag City, 2 CDs, $21.99) – A lockdown project, where Bill Callahan and Will Oldham (aka, Bonnie “Prince” Billie) covered country, gospel, pop and rock songs, with a different guest on each.
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