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Music News 08/18/2011


New: The Magic Flute; Jeff Bridges
Pi Recordings & Newport Jazz



Mozart: The Magic Flute (Sony Masterworks, DVD, $18.98) – Julie Taymor’s English-language production of The Magic Flute for the Metropolitan Opera is truly enchanting: sets, puppets, and costumes capture the mystery and humor of Mozart’s music (conducted by James Levine), and instill a state of wonder. Poet J.D. McClatchy’s translation is a marvel, and there are captivating performances by Nathan Gunn as Papageno, Ying Huang as Pamina, and Rene Pape as Sarastro.

This production of The Magic Flute, recorded live in performance, is perfect for family viewing, or as a youngster’s introduction to opera. Highly recommended.

Jeff Bridges, Jeff Bridges (Blue Note, $17.98) – If you enjoyed Jeff Bridges singing and acting up a storm as Bad Blake in Crazy Heart, you’ll enjoy Bridges’s reunion with producer T Bone Burnett, and many of the musical crew from the movie.



Pi Recordings & Newport Jazz

The New York Times had an article on Pi Recordings, one of my favorite jazz labels, this Wednesday.

The two newest CDs on Pi are The Mancy of Sound by Steve Coleman & Five Elements (which I wrote about a few weeks ago), and Synastry by vocalist Jen Shyu (who’s a member of Five Elements) and bassist Mark Dresser. Another recent release is Apex, a spirited alto saxophone “duel” between Rudresh Mahanthappa and Bunky Green, backed by Jason Moran and Jack DeJohnette. Some of the best CDs of the past few years have also been on Pi, including Marc Ribot’s Silent Movies, Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Kinsmen, and Steve Lehman’s Travail, Transformation and Flow (all Pi Recordings are $15.98).

You can hear the set from Steve Coleman and Jen Shyu at this year’s Newport Jazz Festival on NPR, as well as Rudresh Mahanthappa and Bunky Green.

There are other great concerts there from this year’s performers, including Charles Lloyd, Regina Carter, Randy Weston, Miguel Zenón, John Hollenbeck’s Large Ensemble, the Mingus Big Band.

Click here for more news and reviews.

Please call us at 202-364-1919 or email me at to order these CDs.

András Goldinger