It might be more concise to list what musical genres Marc Ribot hasn't explored than the ones he has, but his approach to the guitar has often reflected the freedom, reinvention, and elastic boundaries of jazz, no matter what the specific context. On this date, recorded in mid-2012 during a handful of shows at one of New York's most iconic venues, Ribot gives himself the luxury of stretching out with a pair of gifted accompanists, bassist Henry Grimes (who worked with Albert Ayler, one of Ribot's key influences) and drummer Chad Taylor (a veteran of the Chicago Underground Duo and Trio), and the result is one of Ribot's most explicitly jazz-focused dates in some time.
The leader of this unique instrumental trio is the Swiss composer and pianist Thierry Lang, age 56. He has been playing piano since 5 and at 7 he decided to dedicate his life to music. When studying classic (up to 21) at 15 Thierry heard Bill Evans whose work became for Thierry a model of synthesis of jazz and classical music. He finally fell in love with jazz after he heard music of Erroll Garner and Oscar Peterson.
This year (2014) marks Yo La Tengo’s 30th anniversary, and they’re celebrating it by reissuing their sixth album, Painful, released nearly a decade into their career. The cardigan-cozy sound of the record effectively established Yo La Tengo as indie rock’s great romantics, and featured a couple of significant firsts for the trio.
Natalie Merchant is marketed as the successor to 2001's Motherland, suggesting it's Merchant's first album since, but that isn't strictly true. She independently released a collection of folk covers called The House Carpenter's Daughter in 2003 and, most notably, the ambitious double-disc neo-children's album Leave Your Sleep in 2010 – distinctive work both but she hasn't dedicated herself fully to original material in 13 years, so Natalie Merchant is indeed noteworthy. Feeling neither pent-up nor fussy, the eponymous album is handsome, deliberate, and familiar; she's not picking up where she left off, she's merely resuming her career, not acting like any time or fashion has passed in her absence.
The first new release for ten years from Martha Argerich and Claudio Abbado is their first ever album of concertos by Mozart. The legendary pianist and conductor add the sublime music of Mozart to their unrivaled, multi award-winning DG discography of concertos by Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Ravel, Prokofiev, Beethoven and Liszt. Both concertos were recorded with Claudio Abbado s Orchestra Mozart, at concert performances at the 2013 Lucerne Festival that had critics searching for new superlatives. The album contrasts two very different works. Written in D minor, the key of the Queen Of the Night and the opening of Mozart s Requiem, the darkly dramatic No.20, K.466 has a stormy, operatic temperament that looks forward eighteen months to the premiere of Don Giovanni. With its majestic and radiant opening and a march famously reminiscent of the Marseillaise, No.25 in C major, K.503 is the culmination of the twelve transcendent concertos Mozart wrote in Vienna between 1784 and 1786. This release is Martha Argerich s first recording of solo concertos by Mozart on Deutsche Grammophon.
The 2014 Smithsonian compilation, Classic African American Songsters from Smithsonian Folkways, brings together recordings culled from the museum's vast collection that showcase the stylistic diversity of artists who, though largely known for playing the blues, performed many other genres of music. These are songs that move through such wide-ranging styles as ragtime, country, Tin Pan Alley, and more. Included are songs by Big Bill Broonzy, Lead Belly, Mississippi John Hurt, Peg Leg Sam, and many others.