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From the Keyboard: Scarlatti, Glass, & Aho

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The keyboard repertoire will never grow stale or cliche. These three composers and their interpreters will see to that. Duanduan Hao Domenico Scarlatti: Complete Keyboard Sonatas Vol.16 Naxos 2015 Naxos began their Scarlatti Sonata Cycle with the release of Volume 1 in 1999 with pianist Eteri Andjaparidze at the helm. Fifteen years later, the series reaches Volume 16 (with pianist Duanduan Hao) of a projected 34 volumes. All ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Philip Glass: Low Symphony

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Back in 1977 singer David Bowie released two groundbreaking records, Low (EMI, 1977) and Heroes, (EMI, 1977) which together with Lodger constitute (EMI, 1979) a famous triptych of records or the iconic Berlin Trilogy. It was during this period that he created some of the critically most acclaimed and forward looking music (but commercially less successful) of his entire career. Inspired and excited by the new electronic music coming from Germany (like Neu, Kraftwerk, CAN, Cluster to name but a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Hollywood Tuba 12: 'Tis the Season TUBA Jolly!

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As would be anticipated, there's a lot of huffin' and puffin'--as well as a surprisingly wide range of color and modulation--on 'Tis the Season TUBA Jolly!, a delightful holiday album by tuba maestro Jim Self and the Hollywood Tuba 12. Its name notwithstanding, there aren't a dozen tubas present on any given track but a mere half- dozen, complemented by six of their close kinsmen, the euphonium, with percussionist Brian Kilgore and drummer Bernie Dresel raising the group's total size ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alice Babs: Vi minns Alice Babs

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This six-CD box set pays homage to Alice Babs, the Swedish jazz singer who died at the age of 90 in February, 2014. A soprano with a three octave range, she sang with Duke Ellington, most notably in his so-called sacred concerts. At the start of her career, in 1940, at the tender age of 16, Babs (real name Nilsson) was vilified in the Swedish press as a slyna, the politest translation of which is “hussy."

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

George Gershwin: Gershwin Performs Gershwin: Of Rhythm and Constipation

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Insert your favorite toilet joke here.I tried. I considered dozens of poop puns, then finally decided nothing could top reality. So here it is:In the 1930s, George Gershwin--already a huge star--hosted a radio show on which he played piano between laxative commercials.It's funny, really, when you hear it. And yet it doesn't detract from the music, which is sensational. Actually, the Feen-A-Mint ads are kind of charming.You can hear it yourself on ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dorothy Donegan: Strength, Energy, Imagination

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With this double album, Storyville Records--surely the greatest Danish invention since pastry--tells the story of a legend that never was. Dorothy Donegan, born in Chicago in 1924, trained as a classical pianist before switching to jazz and being hailed as “the female Art Tatum." She made her recording debut when she was 18 and three years later appeared in the movie “Sensations of 1945," sitting in with Cab Calloway's orchestra (see attached video). The ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Philip Glass: The Photographer

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Apart from the recognizable repetitive patterns and melodies that adorn composer Philip Glass' music, there is also one recurring theme that reappears throughout his rich and illustrious career regardless if it is opera, symphony, theatre piece or soundtrack. That is the lives of luminaries, revolutionaries, discoverers, erudite scholars whose lives, words and actions have made a difference in the world and have inspired his music. In a range that includes Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Pharaoh Ankhnaten, Walt Disney, Galileo Galilei, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Philip Glass: Visitors

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One of the most important, interesting and intriguing relationships in the world of film is the one shared by a director and composer. As is known, music is an important component of cinematic identity where many film makers that are considered to be “authors" would have lost their recognizability and allure if they didn't work with the same composers time and again. One of the most celebrated working relationships between a director and a film composer is that of director ...



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