My parents loved the blues and early jazz, and I grew up to the sounds of Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Leadbelly and Fats Waller.
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Friday 26 April 2013
Wolfgang Rihm is intrigued by the way that artworks often occur as responses to other artworks – in the case of Nähe Fern, the four symphonies of Brahms, to which the constituent parts were conceived as allusive homages, or pendants to be performed alongside the individual symphonies.
Saturday 20 April 2013
Indian percussion wizard Gurtu honours his early work with Don Cherry in an album dedicated to the sound of the trumpet, alternating pieces by Miles, Dizzy and Cherry with original compositions.
Saturday 20 April 2013
I'm standing at the full-length mirror in my mother and step-father's bedroom practising scales when it happens. The little cup-shaped mouthpiece gripped in my left hand is still warm from my breath.
Saturday 06 April 2013
The second album from the experimental folk-minimalist trio is an all-location recording with 22 instrumentals played in places as various as a Dorset chapel, an allotment shed, a Welsh waterfall, under a flyover, and Regent's Park bandstand.
Friday 29 March 2013
It's rather apt that John Eliot Gardiner's marathon cycle of Bach cantatas should finally be completed with those written for Ascension Day, recorded at St Giles Cripplegate 12 years after the original “pilgrimage” recordings of 2000. The four cantatas feature mostly new soloists but sustain the series' high standards.
Sunday 24 February 2013
For more than 20 years, London's TGU have placed traditional "world music" sounds in a contemporary context in an unforced, unexploitational way that works because they collaborate rather than just appropriate.
Saturday 23 February 2013
Between 1954 and 2008, the trumpeter Pat Halcox played over 10,000 performances with Chris Barber's Jazz and Blues Band. His farewell tour ended the longest partnership in jazz; at nearly 80 years old, Halcox had finally tired of the travelling.
Saturday 05 January 2013
An instrumental unit associated with the Daptone organisation, the Menahan Street Band have proven a fertile sampling source for such as Jay-Z, Kid Cudi and 50 Cent, and it's not hard to tell why listening to the grooves on this latest album.
Saturday 29 December 2012
For once, the apparent hyperbole is simple statement of fact: the four albums compiled together here are all indeed masterpieces of baroque music, delivered with grace and majesty by outstanding performers.
Saturday 15 December 2012
In his later years, Stockhausen gave himself more and more to monumental works, such as the 29-hour operatic cycle Licht, a grand mythopoeic fable based around the days of the week, from whose Donnerstag (Thursday) opera derives Michaels Reise um die Erde (Michael's Journey Around The World).
Sunday 09 December 2012
Six decades into his remarkably consistent career, Fame has made one of his best albums: a bare-bones trio recorded in Slovenia with guitarist Primoz Grasic and bassist Mario Mavrin.
Sunday 02 December 2012
Mexican producer Camilo Lara has been making kitsch, cool, funky sonic collages from the old, new, borrowed and blue for six years now.
Saturday 10 November 2012
'Show us your balls, pal!' was Woody Herman's cry to any player who he felt was underperforming
Saturday 20 October 2012
In Da Lontano, trombonist Mike Svoboda explores the expressive range of his solo instrument in ways reflecting the diverse agendas of the composers involved.
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