Clint Mansell’s score to visionary filmmaker Darren Aronofsky’s film Noah is performed by Kronos Quartet, joined by Patti Smith for her song "Mercy Is." An orchestra and choir are led by Matt Dunkley, who was also the principal orchestrator and arranger. The album was produced by Mansell and Geoff Foster. The music "is appropriately stirring, threatening, terrifying and majestic," says the Wall Street Journal. Russell Crowe stars as Noah in the film inspired by the epic story of courage, sacrifice, and hope.
Composer Jacob Cooper’s label debut, Silver Threads comprises a six-song cycle performed by soprano Mellissa Hughes. Cooper wrote the title track for Hughes in 2011, setting a haiku attributed to Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō for voice and electronic track. To expand it into a full cycle (for voice and track), he enlisted five other poets to write text that was inspired by the haiku: Greg Alan Brownderville, Tarfia Faizullah, Kristin Kelly, Dora Malech, and Zach Savich. Nonesuch Store pre-orders include an instant download of the title track.
Natalie Merchant's self-titled album is her sixth solo work and her first collection of entirely original songs in 13 years. Merchant describes the self-produced release as informed "by decades of experience and keen observation," dealing with issues of "damage, love gained and lost, regret, denial, surrender, greed, destructiveness, defeat, and occasional triumph." fRoots gives it a perfect five stars. Pre-orders include a download of the track "Ladybird."
Toumani Diabaté, widely recognized as the greatest living kora player, and his eldest son Sidiki, release the recording Toumani & Sidiki on World Circuit. The Guardian has called it "the finest Toumani collaboration since his classic work with Ali Farka Touré." The album is a set of unaccompanied kora duets, featuring both obscure, almost forgotten kora pieces and a new look at some Mandé classics from Mali. With this album, Toumani aims "to show the positive side of Mali," to reassert the legacy of a country with access to untold musical riches. Pre-orders include an instant download of the track "Rachid Ouiguini."
The Black Keys’ new album, Turn Blue, is due May 13. Produced by Danger Mouse, Dan Auerbach, and Patrick Carney, Turn Blue features 11 new tracks. The first single, "Fever," is included as a free instant download with album preorders, as is the title track, "Turn Blue," along with early access to tickets for the upcoming North American tour. Of the new album, the band says Turn Blue could refer to A: Suffocation; B: Sadness; C: Numbness from extreme cold; D: A Cleveland late night TV host from the 1960s named Ghoulardi; E: All of the above.
Kronos Quartet and its artistic director/founding violinist David Harrington have long been known as interpreters of music from around the world, expanding the string quartet repertoire with works from across genres. Released in honor of the group's 40th anniversary year, Kronos Explorer Series comprises five classic albums from five different parts of the world—Pieces of Africa, Night Prayers, Caravan, Nuevo, and Floodplain—with new liner notes that include an in-depth interview of Harrington by renowned author Jonathan Cott.
On Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, Vol. 1, mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile performs three Bach works written for solo violin: Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001; Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002; and Sonata No. 2 in A minor, BWV 1003. "His timing is meticulous," says The New Yorker, "but his version also has the liveliness that improvising musicians sometimes can bring to written material." Gramophone exclaims: "This is extraordinary playing from an extraordinary musician who is willing to stretch stylistic and technical boundaries to further his art while paying homage to one of the greatest composers of all time." The album was produced by Edgar Meyer.
Go Back Home, Audra McDonald's first album in seven years, features songs by composers with whom she has long been associated (Guettel, LaChiusa, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Sondheim) and some, like the Kander & Ebb title track, relatively new to her repertoire; in addition, McDonald continues to champion works by an emerging generation of composers. "As usual," says the Los Angeles Times, "she stuns upon entrance, exit and everything else." New York raves: "It’s entirely possible that Audra McDonald is the greatest singer alive." USA Today says: "McDonald has one of the warmest, most glorious singing voices on the planet."
Abraçaço is the final installment of Caetano Veloso's trilogy with the youthful trio heard on Cê and zii e zie known as the Banda Cê: Pedro Sá on electric guitar, Ricardo Dias Gomes on bass and Rhodes piano, and Marcelo Callado on drums. The album won a Latin Grammy for Best Singer-Songwriter Album and earned the #1 spot on Rolling Stone Brazil’s Best National Albums list. A fusion of the traditional Tropicália style and the indie pop of contemporary Rio, Abraçaço includes 11 original songs written by Veloso. KCRW calls it Veloso "at his best."
From Nickel Creek—Chris Thile, Sara Watkins, Sean Watkins—A Dotted Line was produced by Eric Valentine and includes six new co-written songs, one tune by Thile, one by Sean Watkins, and two covers. "The most striking feature about A Dotted Line is the sheer strength of the singing, and the frequency with which it takes flight in three-part harmony," writes the New York Times. "The signature Nickel Creek blend comes across loud and clear." "It's tight, it's masterful; it's totally grown-up," says NPR. "But it's also a blast." The vinyl is due April 29.
John Adams's City Noir (2009) and the debut recording of his 2012 Saxophone Concerto are performed here by the St. Louis Symphony led by David Robertson, featuring saxophonist Timothy McAllister. City Noir, inspired by Los Angeles "noir" films of the 1940s and '50s, "is riveting," says the New York Times. Adams composed his Saxophone Concerto for McAllister, whom he calls "a fearless musician and risk taker," after McAllister's performance of the sax solo part in City Noir.
This three-disc reissue of Emmylou Harris’s groundbreaking, Grammy Award–winning album Wrecking Ball, produced by Daniel Lanois, features the remastered original album, a bonus CD of previously unreleased material, and a DVD of the documentary Building the Wrecking Ball, which includes interviews and studio footage of Harris and Lanois as well as special guests Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Neil Young, Steve Earle, Brian Blade, and others. The reissue earns five stars from Mojo and Uncut, which calls it "ambitious and audacious ... a masterpiece."
Jeremy Denk's recording of J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations includes a companion DVD with video "liner notes" of Denk demonstrating passages on the piano as he explains certain details of the iconic piece. The New York Times has remarked on Denk's "profound affinity with Bach," and the Philadelphia Inquirer has called his performance of the Goldberg Variations "mesmerizing." Says NPR: "Once you've entered the Denkian dimension, you won't want to leave."
Conor Oberst's Upside Down Mountain features many of his friends, including producer Jonathan Wilson, engineer Andy LeMaster, bassist Macey Taylor, multi-instrumentalist Blake Mills, and the Swedish folk-rock vocal duo First Aid Kit. "This is a return to an earlier way I wrote," Oberst says of the songs on the album. "It’s more intimate or personal, if you will. For me, language is a huge part of why I make music." Pre-orders on CD and LP include an exclusive print and an instant download of the tracks "Hundreds of Ways" and "Governor's Ball."
On 2012's Grammy-winning album Unity Band, Pat Metheny recorded with a band that highlighted tenor saxophone for the first time since 1980, featuring Chris Potter on sax and bass clarinet, Antonio Sanchez on drums, and Ben Williams on bass. With Kin (←→), Metheny has added multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi and christened the ensemble Pat Metheny Unity Group. The album "takes guitar-led improvisation to new aesthetic levels," says Mojo, Metheny's "eloquent guitar etching a kaleidoscope of sonic hues." The vinyl includes two 140-gram LPs pressed at Pallas MFG in Diepholz, Germany, and a CD of the album.
The debut album from the electric duo of Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana, Mehliana: Taming the Dragon, features Mehldau on Fender Rhodes and synthesizers and Guiliana on drums and effects. Mehliana comprises 12 original tunes—six written by the duo and six written by Mehldau—and was engineered and mixed by Greg Koller (Jon Brion, Kanye West). Jazzwise calls it "astonishing ... one of the best albums of 2014." The vinyl includes two 140-gram LPs pressed at Pallas MFG in Diepholz, Germany, and a CD of the album.
Written and directed by Academy Award winners Joel and Ethan Coen and produced by Scott Rudin and Joel and Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, and Justin Timberlake. The film's soundtrack, produced by T Bone Burnett, Joel Coen, and Ethan Coen, with Marcus Mumford as its associate producer, features 12 new recordings created especially for the film and soundtrack. Also included is a never-before-released recording of Bob Dylan performing his song "Farewell," which was originally recorded during the sessions for his album The Times They Are A-Changin' and is available exclusively on this soundtrack.
Released in Kronos Quartet's 40th anniversary year, A Thousand Thoughts is a look at the group's geographically wide-ranging sources, featuring music from 14 different countries, including China, India, Sweden, and Vietnam. The album includes the four cellists who have been in Kronos Quartet over the last 36 years. Ten of the album’s 15 pieces are previously unreleased.
The Here Lies Love cast recording features music by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim as performed by the original 2013 Public Theater cast of the Obie Award-winning Here Lies Love musical, starring Ruthie Ann Miles and Jose Llana as Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos. The cast recording features seven new songs written specifically for the musical. CDs include a 80-page full color book with lyrics, an introduction by Public Theater director Oskar Eustis, and two essays by Byrne. Nonesuch Store pre-orders include an instant download of the new track "Child of the Philippines."
Nickel Creek—Chris Thile, Sara Watkins, and Sean Watkins—officially reunited for the first time since its 2007 self-described "indefinite hiatus" for the release of its new album, A Dotted Line, on Nonesuch Records earlier this month and for a spring and summer tour that kicks off at the Alabama Theatre in Birmingham tonight. The tour's special guests include The Secret Sisters through May, Josh Ritter, and Sarah Jarosz.
Nonesuch Records is set to release Natalie Merchant’s new self-titled album on May 6. In support of the new album, the multi-platinum singer will embark on a 16-date US summer tour, making stops along the East Coast and into the Midwest. A fan pre-sale begins on Wednesday, followed by general on sale. Nonesuch Store pre-orders of the new album, Merchant's first recording of entirely original songs in 13 years, include an instant download of the track "Ladybird."
Listen to your favorite Nonesuch artists on Nonesuch Radio. Just select a genre you would like to listen to.