Music News 6/26/2019


Buddy & Julie Miller, BREAKDOWN ON 20TH AVE. SOUTH (New West, $16.99) – Their first album in ten years features all new songs written and sung by Julie Miller, with husband Buddy featured on guitars, on harmony vocals, and producing.

A long article and radio profile by Jewly Hight was featured on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Prince, ORIGINALS (Warner Brothers, $14.98) – Prince’s demos, released for the first time by his estate, of songs he gave to others to perform. Outstanding tracks include the originals of “Jungle Love” (for Morris Day and the Time), “The Glamorous Life” (Sheila E.), “Nothing Compares 2 U” (the Family, later Sinead O’Connor), and “Manic Monday” (the Bangles).


John Zorn, NOVE CANTICI PER FRANCESCO D'ASSISI (Tzadik, $16.99) – Three distinctive guitarists—Bill Frisell, Julian Lage and Gyan Riley—team up to play a new suite of songs written by John Zorn, and dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi. The songs are, to quote the album, “lovely, spiritual compositions for meditation and contemplation.”

Nove Cantici was composed for a residency at the Frick Collection, and was premiered there as a duet with Lage and Riley.

Abdullah Ibrahim, THE BALANCE (Gearbox, $15.99) – 84-year-old South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim (formerly known as Dollar Brand) just received the NEA Jazz Masters fellowship, and has released his first album in five years. He assembles a new version of his septet, Ekaya, and performs originals, classic Ibrahim songs such as “Jabula” and “Song for Sathima,” and a Monk tune, “Skippy.” The front line includes three saxophones (one doubling on flute), trombone, plus piano, bass and drums.

JD Allen, BARRACOON (Savant, $16.98) – Tenor saxophonist JD excels in the trio format, and on Barracoon, he unveils his new trio, with bassist Ian Kenselaar and drummer Nic Cacioppo. The album’s title track is inspired by the publication last year of Zora Neale Hurston’s oral history of Kossula (also known as Cudjo Lewis) recorded in the 1920s.


Sandrine Piau, SI J’AI AIMÉ (Alpha, $18.99) – The soprano’s recital of French songs by the well-known Saint-Saëns, Berlioz, Massenet, and by the lesser known Charles Bordes, Gabriel Pierné, Louis Vierne, Henri Duparc, Alexandre Guilmant, and others. Ms. Piau is accompanied by Le Concert de la Loge, directed by Julien Chauvin.

Paul McCreesh & Gabrieli Consort, AN ENGLISH CORONATION 1902 – 1953 (Gabrieli/Signum, 2 CDs, $25.99) – There were four English coronations in the twentieth century: for Edward VII (1902), George V (1911), George VI (1937), and Elizabeth II (1953). Paul McCreesh brings the forces of his Gabrielli Consort & Players, massed trumpets, and choir of 300 singers to play some of the music at those coronations. There are works by Tallis, Byrd, Gibbons, Purcell, Handel, Elgar, Parry, Stanford, Vaughan Williams, Howells and Walton.


The abbreviated, one-weekend-only Smithsonian Folklife Festival is this Saturday and Sunday on the Mall, near the Freer.

The theme this year echoes the recent box set, THE SOCIAL POWER OF MUSIC (Smithsonian Folkways, 4 CD and book, $59.98), with over 80 music tracks on four CDs and 124-page book.