Music News 3/7/2019


Hozier, WASTELAND, BABY! (Columbia, $13.98) – Irish singer-songwriter Andrew Hozier-Byrne, known as Hozier, had an international hit in 2013 with the soulful “Take Me to Church.” His sophomore album continues his commitment to American soul with a political message. The first hit, “Nina Cried Power” (with Mavis Staples) pays tribute to activist artists in history; and he riffs on famous jazz lyrics on “Almost (Sweet Music).” Further connections to soul history are courtesy of the unmistakable sound of Booker T. Jones on keyboards.

Yola, WALK THROUGH FIRE (Nonesuch, $13.98) – Another young artist from across the sea who’s captured the country/soul sound of 1960s Muscle Shoals and Nashville is Yola Carter from Britain. Yola heard American country and soul growing up, and Walk Through Fire is a great showcase of her talents.

Eric Brace, Peter Cooper, Thomm Jutz, RIVERLAND (Red Beet, $15) – Eric Brace’s last album, Cartes Postales, was full of chansons in tribute to his French father. He now collaborates with Thomm Jutz and Peter Cooper (with whom he made C & O Canal, their tribute to DC-area musicians). Their songs about the Mississippi River covers its historical and cultural importance. The booklet is especially well designed and informative, with period photographs from the Library of Congress.

Robert Ellis, TEXAS PIANO MAN (New West, $14.99) – A great voice, some great songs, and a great band

Cardi B, INVASION OF PRIVACY (Atlantic, $18.98) – Cardi B released her debut album digitally last April to great success; it just now issued on CD. Come and hear the phenomenon that is Cardi B.


Tribute to Joni

JONI 75: A BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION (Decca, $14.98) – Last fall at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, artists assembled to pay tribute to Joni Mitchell. Ms. Mitchell’s songs were interpreted by her contemporaries and next-generation artists who were influenced by her work. Performing were Brandi Carlile (“Down to You”), Los Lobos (“Dreamland”), Chaka Khan (“Help Me”), Diana Krall (“Amelia”), Rufus Wainwright (“Blue” and “All I Want”), Seal (“Both Sides Now”), Norah Jones (“Court and Spark”), James Taylor (“Woodstock”), Emmylou Harris (“The Magdalene Laundries”), as well as Glen Hansard, Kris Kristofferson and Graham Nash.

The all-star backing band included Ambrose Akinmusire on trumpet, Marvin Sewell and Greg Leisz on guitars, and pianist Jon Cowherd and drummer Brian Blade, who were co-musical directors and arrangers.


Branford Marsalis Quartet, THE SECRET BETWEEN THE SHADOW AND THE SOUL (Okeh, $13.98) – Tenor and soprano saxophonist Branford Marsalis has a long-standing quartet with pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis drummer Justin Faulkner. There are originals by Marsalis, Calderazzo, Revis, plus two classic tunes, Andrew Hill’s “Snake Hips Waltz” and Keith Jarrett’s “The Windup.”

Andrew Hill’s “Snake Hips Waltz” and Keith Jarrett’s “The Windup.”

Greg Ward, STOMPING OFF FROM GREENWOOD (Greenleaf, $14.99) – Chicago has a storied history in jazz, and a new generation of musicians are keeping the spirit alive, with bandleaders including drummer Makaya McCraven, trumpeter Marquis Hill, and alto saxophonist Greg Ward. Mr. Ward assembled a great crew of musicians to pay tribute to his hometown, with a frontline of two electric guitarists, Matt Gold and Dave Miller, and Matt Ulery on bass, and Quin Kirchner on drums.


This Saturday afternoon, March 9, at the Library of Congress’s Coolidge Auditorium, harpsichordist Jean Rondeau will play a program of Scarlatti, Soler, Bach (and a Brahms arrangement of Bach).

I will be there selling two of Mr. Rondeau’s CDs: SCARLATTI SONATAS and BACH DYNASTIE: CONCERTOS, which features works Johann Sebastian, Wilhelm Friedemann, Carl Philip Emanuel, and Johann Christian Bach (both CDs, Erato, $18.86).

The concert is at 2 p.m., and there’s a conversation with Mr. Rondeau at 12:30.