To buy any of these titles e-mail András Goldinger or call the store: (202) 364-1919

Sting; Pink Martini; the Swell Season; Jay Farrar & Benjamin Gibbard; Sufjan Stevens; Fela RIP Mercedes Sosa


Sting, IF ON A WINTER’S NIGHT… (DG, $16.98)—Sting’s holiday album is a very thoughtful set of songs on the themes of winter and the yuletide season in the British Isles. Little-known carols are mixed with music by Purcell, Praetorius, as well as adaptations of Schubert and Bach, and a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson. Sting recruits some of the best Celtic musicians around, as well as the chamber choir, Stile Antico. This is a subdued and beautifully-arranged collection, in the face of the prevailing onslaught of “jolly” Christmas CDs.

Pink Martini, SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS (Heinz Records, $15.99)—Pink Martini, wonderful “alt-jazz-world music” big-band is back for their fourth album, with everything from a Neapolitan lullaby to a Mexican ranchera, with a special appearance by NPR correspondent Ari Shapiro. Pianist-composer Thomas Lauderdale and vocalist China Forbes lead the way with other stops in France and Brazil. Their song-writing process was featured on NPR ( ).

The Swell Season (Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova), STRICT JOY (Anti, $16.98)—The Academy Award-winning duo of Hansard and Irglova (the stars of Once), follow up their world-wide hit with an album about the ups and downs of relationships. Their post-Once career was portrayed recently in the New York Times ( ).

Jay Farrar & Benjamin Gibbard, ONE FAST MOVE OR I’M GONE: KEROUAC’S BIG SUR (Atlantic, $17.98)—Jay Farrar of Son Volt wrote tunes with lyrics adapted from Jack Kerouac’s poem, “Sea,” and from the novel, Big Sur, and collaborated with singer Ben Gibbard (of Death Cab for Cutie) and a small band to record them for the documentary, One Fast Move or I’m Gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur. (There are other, more expensive versions of the album, with both the CD, plus the documentary on DVD, which can be ordered.)

Sufjan Stevens, THE BQE (Asthmatic Kitty, CD & DVD, $17.98)—Sufjan Stevens was commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music to write a multi-media symphony in sight and sound about the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The album contains both a CD of music, and  a DVD of the film directed and shot by Stevens himself.

Re-issue of the Week:
Fela, THE BEST OF THE BLACK PRESIDENT (Knitting Factory, 2 CDs, $19.98)—A great collection of the late Nigerian superstar and agitator’s best, compiled by his son, Femi.

Singer Mercedes Sosa was Argentina’s powerful “voice of the voiceless”—a pioneer of the “Nueva Canción,” revered throughout Latin America, with fans around the world. Listen to two of her best albums from the past, 30 AÑOS (Universal Latin, $14.98) and the live EN ARGENTINA (Universal Latin, $14.98), and her last project, CANTORA, VOL. 1(Discos 605, $13.98), comprising duets with some of Latin America’s greatest singers: Caetano Veloso, Joan Manuel Serrat, Jorge Drexler, Luis Alberto Spinetta, Shakira, Julieta Venegas, Gustavo Santaolalla, Nacha Roldán, and León Gieco.