Music News 9/25/2019


John Coltrane, BLUE WORLD (Impulse, $14.98) – Another newly discovered gem featuring John Coltrane’s “Classic Quartet” with McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; and Elvin Jones, drums. Recorded for the soundtrack to a Québécois film, Le Chat dans le sac (The Cat in the Bag), by Gilles Groulx, the session took place on June 24, 1964, at the famous Rudy Van Gelder studios. The title track is a re-working of the Harold Arlen-Johnny Mercer tune, “Out of This World,” and there are also new versions of “Naima,” “Like Sonny,” “Traneing In,” and three takes on “Village Blues.”

John Coltrane would have turned 93 on September 23.


Dori Freeman, EVERY SINGLE STAR (Blue Hens, $14.98) – Dori Freeman’s first two albums—her debut, Dori Freeman (2016), and Letters Never Read (2017) were both among my favorite albums of the last few years. Ms. Freeman, hailing from Galax, Virginia), has a gorgeous voice, and once again collaborates with singer and producer Teddy Thompson.

Billy Strings, HOME (Rounder, $14.98) – Billy Strings (William Apostol) is a young flat-picking guitar phenon taking the bluegrass festival circuit by storm. His first album shows off his songrwriting, recorded with his hard-charging touring band.

Sturgill Simpson, SOUND & FURY (Elektra, $13.98) – Alt country star Sturgill Simposon switches his sound around, creating, in Jon Caramanica words, “high-viscosity Southern rock à la ZZ Top”…in songs, “resentful, agonized, seething.”

Guillermo Klein, LOS GUACHOS CRISTAL (Sunnyside, $16.98) – Argentinian Guillermo Klein is a master composer, pianist and arranger. He’s worked with a long-standing group of musicians, such as Miguel Zenón, Bill McHenry, Chris Cheek, Diego Urcola, and Ben Monder in his group, Los Guachos. His newest recording includes arrangements of three songs associated with the tango master Carlos Gardel.


Beatles, ABBEY ROAD: 50th Anniversary Remastered Edition (Capitol, 2 CDs, $24.98) – The last two years have seen anniversary re-mastered editions of classic Beatles albums by producer Giles Martin (son of George Martin, the Beatles’s long-time producer). First Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and last year’s White Album (both with bonus demos and studio alternative takes). Abbey Road also comes with an additional CD of alternate takes


Congratulations to electric guitarist, composer, and bandleader Mary Halvorson on her being one of the MacArthur Fellows, widely known as the “genius grant.”

Mary Halvorson has developed an instantly identifiable guitar sound, and beside her many bands (including Code Girl, Sextet, and Octet), she is a generous collaborator, appearing on many recent projects, with, among others, Bill Frisell, Nate Wooley, Ingrid Laubrock, Robbie Lee,  Joe Morris, Taylor Ho Bynum, Tom Rainey, Jason Moran and Ron Miles.

Next month, three albums featuring Ms. Halvosron will be released:

In early October, Old New, featuring cellist Tomeka Reid’s Quartet.

In late October, Even Better, featuring bassist Michael Formanek’s Very Practical Trio.

And A Tangle of Stars is a new guitar duet with Mary Halvorson and John Dieterich.