Music News 9/4/2019


THE HIGHWOMEN (Elektra, $13.98) – There’s a brand new super-group featuring singers and songwriters Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, Amanda Shires, and Natalie Hemby. The Highwomen just played their first gig at the Newport Folk Festival. Their name plays of the Highwaymen (Waylon, Willie, Johnny & Kris), and Rolling Stone mentioned some highlights from their set: “Shires sang a song for her father (“Cocktail and a Song”), Carlile paid tribute to the passing generation of Highwaymen like Kristofferson (“Heaven is a Honky Tonk”), Hemby offered up an ode to “all the suburban moms” (“My Only Child”), and Morris channeled Seventies Dolly Parton country stomp (“Loose Change”). But the apex of the Highwomen’s set came halfway through when Carlile debuted a tears-in-your-beers piano ballad “If She Ever Leaves Me,” which she described as the “first gay country song.”

Tinariwen, AMADJAR (Anti, $11.98) – Over more than two decades, the Tuareg band from the Sahara Desert has introduced the loping guitar sounds of the “desert blues” to a worldwide audience. “Amadjar” translates as “unknown visitor” in the language of the Tamashek, and the guest list on the album include Mauritanian griot, Noura Mint Seymali, and her guitarist husband, Jeiche Ould Chigaly.

NOTE: Tinariwen will play the Lincoln Theatre on Thursday, September 19.


Avishai Cohen & Yonathan Avishai, PLAYING THE ROOM (ECM, $18.98) – Trumpeter Avishai Cohen and pianist Yonathan Avishai, longtime friends and band-mates, collaborate in an intimate session. Songs written by John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Stevie Wonder (a wistful “Sir Duke”), Milt Jackson, Abdullah Ibrahim, and Ornette Coleman. The duo end the album with, “Shir Eres (Lullaby).”

Enrico Rava & Joe Lovano, ROMA (ECM, $18.98) – Recorded live in Rome during a short tour in November, 2018, trumpeter Enrico Rava and tenor saxophonist share the front line, ably supported by Giovanni Guidi on piano, Dezron Douglas on bass, and Gerald Cleaver on drums.

BLUE NOTE RECORDS: Beyond the Notes (Eagle Rock DVD, $15.98) – A new documentary film on the legendary jazz label, directed by Sophie Huber. Founded in New York in 1939 by refugees Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, Blue Note has been and continues to be an influential label with an identifiable style and sound—the home of a who’s who of jazz: Art Blakey, Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, Hank Mobley, Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Jimmy Smith, Dexter Gordon, and in recent years, Charles Lloyd, Norah Jones, and Gregory Porter.