Music News 6/3/2020


Sarah Jarosz, WORLD ON THE GROUND (Rounder, $14.98) – Sarah Jarosz is a prodigious mandolin player, a distinctive vocalist, and also a wonderful songwriter. World on the Ground is her fifth album, she’s a member of the super-trio, I’m With Her (along with Aoife O’Donovan and Sara Watkins), and a regular on Chris Thile’s NPR songfest, Live from Here. World on the Ground is more stripped down—pretty much just Sarah and John Leventhal playing everything—on a “collection of stories from her hometown of Wimberley, Texas (population: 2,626), presenting a series of character sketches… novelistic in emotional scope”


Lucian Ban, John Surman, Mat Maneri, TRANSYLVANIAN FOLK SONGS: The Béla Bartók Field Records (Sunnyside, $16.98) – Pianist Lucian, saxophonist and bass clarinetist John Surman, and violist Mat Maneri arranged some of the Transylvanian folk songs collected by composer Béla Bartók on his field recording trips between 1909 and 1917. Powerful melodies abound: “The Dowry Song,” “Bitter Love Song,” and “Transylvanian Dance,” among them. The booklet includes some little known Bartók photographs of the village singers, instrumentalists, and families whom he met and recorded.


BEETHOVEN: PIANO SONATAS (Sony Classical, 9 CDs, $79.98) - Igor Levit 

HARMONIA MUNDI: The Fiftieth Anniversary Boxed Set (Harmonia Mundi, 30 CDs, $99.98) – On the occasion of their 50th anniversary, the French classical label Harmonia Mundi put 50 cornerstone works of Western music recorded by their artists on 30 CDs. Artists include the great specialists in Baroque music (William Christie, Philippe Herreweghe, René Jacob, Alfred Deller), and others including Paul Lewis, Anonymous 4, Isabelle Faust, Andreas Scholl, Ensemble Organum among many others.

Two from Smithsonian Folkways

PETE SEEGER: THE SMITHSONIAN FOLKWAYS COLLECTION (Smithsonian Folkways, 6 CDs, $120.98) – featuring twenty unreleased tracks

JAZZ FEST: THE NEW ORLEANS JAZZ & HERITAGE FESTIVAL (Smithsonian Folkways, 5 CDs & 136-page book, $98.98) – Folkways celebrates the 50th anniversary of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, known to all as Jazzfest. The festival brings in some big names, but it has always prioritized local acts from New Orleans and showcased the wide variety of musical traditions from all around Louisiana. Jazz, blues, Cajun and Zydeco, Mardi Gras Indians, brass bands, R&B, gospel, funk and bounce—the wealth of music is amazing, and it is the reason why the festival has so many devoted fans, and repeat visitors. Just some of the acts represented are: the Golden Eagles, Earl King, Professor Longhair, Dr. John, the Dixie Cups, Boozoo Chavis, Irma Thomas, the Zion Harmonizers, the Neville Brothers, Beausoleil, and Big Freedia. The set contains over 300 minutes of music over 5 CDs, and a big 136-page book with plenty of annotations and essays. Enjoy the Jazzfest!

I have one copy of each.

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