Music News 5/16/24



Kaia Kater, STRANGE MEDICINE (Free Dirt, $16.98) – Kaia Kater is a fantastic singer and songwriter, and her last album, Grenades (2018), explored her Grenadian heritage. Her new album features all new topical songs with her expansive arrangements.


NOTE: Ms Kater will play the Peart Street Warehouse at the Wharf on Sunday, June 16.





HERE WE ARE: Original Cast Recording (Concord Theatricals, $18.98) – Inspired by two films of Luis Buñuel, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Exterminating Angel, Mr. Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics; the musical also had contributions from David Ives, who wrote the book, and director Joe Mantello.

The cast features Francois Battiste, Tracie Bennett, Bobby Cannavale, Micaela Diamond, Amber Gray, Jin Ha, Rachel Bay Jones, Denis O’Hare, Steven Pasquale, David Hyde Pierce, and Jeremy Shamos. The orchestrations are by Jonathan Tunick, with music supervision and additional arrangements by Alexander Gemignani, conducting a 14-piece orchestra.





Pianist Brad Mehldau released After Bach in 2018, featuring selections from the Well-Tempered Clavier, along with Bach-inspired originals. Now there are two follow-ups, mixing classical and classically-inspired works.


AFTER BACH II (Nonesuch, $16.98) features four Preludes and one Fugue from Well-Tempered Clavier, the Allemande from Partita for Keyboard No. 4, and Mehldau’s Variations on Bach’s Goldberg Theme.


APRÈS FAURÉ (Nonesuch, $16.98) features four of Gabriel Fauré’s Nocturnes, and a reduction from the Adagio from the Piano Quartet in G minor, which bookend four Mehldau works.





Luke Stewart Silt Trio, UNKNOWN RIVERS (Pi Recordings, $16.98) – Luke Stewart, DC bassist, bandleader and co-founder of Capital Bop, is a member of multiple groups including Irreversible Entanglements, Remembrane Quintet, and Ensemble Volcanic Ash. He also leads his Silt Trio, with DC tenor saxophonist Brian Settles. Unknown Rivers features two incarnations of the trio, with two different drummers: Warren “Trae” Crudup (who’s on four studio tracks) and Chad Taylor (on three live tracks).






Aaron Diehl Trio, and the U.S. Air Force Band, bring Mary Lou Williams’s Zodiac Suite, to the Lincoln Theatre this Sunday, May 19. This is a FREE concert, and there will also be works by Ellington, Gershwin and Willam Grant Still. Recommended.


The album of ZODIAC SUITE (Mack Avenue, $20.99) came out last September.

Mary Lou Williams wrote her Zodiac Suite in 1945—tunes for each sign in a suite inspired by her artist and musician friends. She recorded a trio version for Folkways (still available), but the chamber orchestra version was never officially recorded nor revived. Now pianist Aaron Diehl and his trio (David Wong, bass, and Aaron Kimmel, drums), and the chamber orchestra, the Knights, led by Eric Jacobsen, have brought the full orchestral version to life.






Lodestar Trio, BACH TO FOLK (Naxos World, $22.98) – A wonderful mix of Baroque works (by Bach, Lully, Couperin), Scandinavian folk tunes, with a few originals played a unique trio of string players. Max Baillie on violin, Olav Luksengard Mjelva on Norwegian Hardanger fiddle and Erik Rydvall on Swedish nyckelharpa (“keyed fiddle”) bring new colors and make sonic connections between Baroque dances and folk music.


Daniil Trifonov & Sergei Babayan, RACHMANINOFF FOR TWO (Deutsche Grammophon, 2 CDs, $21.98) – Two friends and colleagues collaborate on Suites Nos. 1 and 2 for two pianos; Rachmaninov’s own arrangement of his Symphonic Dances, and Trifonov’s own transcription of the Adagio from Symphony No. 2.