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  • Friday, January 16, 2009

    Joshua Redman's latest Nonesuch release, Compass, out this past Tuesday, earns four stars from the Financial Times, which lauds Redman's "rigorous intellect and gritty edge ... while his saxophone entices with its mix of classical purity and multi-noted wails." The review cites the "extra excitement" that comes from the album's pioneering use of a double-trio format. The Evening Standard gives the album four stars as well, stating that Redman's "writing and playing is brilliantly lucid."

    Journal Topics: Reviews
  • Friday, January 16, 2009

    Kronos Quartet is in Paris to help launch the International Year of Astronomy, organized by UNESCO. The year marks the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first astronomical observations with a telescope. Opening ceremonies were held this morning, and conference events continue through Friday. In the closing ceremony, Kronos will give the French premiere of Terry Riley's Sun Rings, which features celestial sounds captured by plasma wave receivers and images from NASA's archives.

    Journal Topics: On Tour Artist News
  • Thursday, January 15, 2009

    Emmylou Harris and Punch Brothers will be among the performers at the 36th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival, to be held June 18-21, in Colorado. Punch Brothers, known for its boundary-breaking blend of musical styles, is slated to switch things up this year with a rare set of traditional bluegrass. Also among this year's participants are Elvis Costello, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, and Edgar Meyer, a longtime Telluride performer and Chris Thile's duo partner on a 2008 Nonesuch release. Thile first befriended fellow Punch Brother Noam Pikelny at the festival in 2005.

    Journal Topics: On Tour Artist News
  • Thursday, January 15, 2009

    Dawn Upshaw performs in the West Coast premiere of Kaija Saariaho's Passion de Simone—the Finnish composer's oratorio inspired by French philosopher Simone Weil—tonight at Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, with conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic in his last season as the orchestra's music director. Peter Sellars directs. An encore performance takes place this Saturday night. Upshaw gave the US premiere of the piece during last summer's Mostly Mozart festival at Lincoln Center.

    Journal Topics: On Tour
  • Wednesday, January 14, 2009

    Dartmouth College is hosting Philip Glass this week for a residency that culminates in a public event Thursday night titled An Evening of Films and Discussion with Philip Glass. The event will begin with the screening of two of Glass's film collaborations—Godfrey Reggio's Anima Mundi (1992) and the short film Evidence (1995)—followed by an onstage discussion between the composer and Margaret Lawrence, the director of the school's Hopkins Center for the Arts.

    Journal Topics: On Tour Artist News Film
  • Wednesday, January 14, 2009

    Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love, the documentary film that follows N'Dour as he records and tours with his Grammy-winning 2004 album, Egypt, begins its European theatrical release today in six cities across the Netherlands. After the film's world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last summer, the Toronto Star described it as "a stirring documentary" that "pulses with life and energy." The film is slated for US release on June 12.

    Journal Topics: Artist News Film
  • Monday, January 12, 2009

    Rokia Traoré's Tchamantché hits stores worldwide tomorrow after its European release late last year led to its inclusion in many critics' year-end best lists. The New York Times picks the album for this week's Critics' Choice, crediting Rokia for "creating her own radically delicate fusions" and calling the album her best, with music that "carries the plucked modal patterns of Malian tradition toward contemplation and intimacy." The Canadian Press calls it "a quiet, subdued album whose genius lies in each song's arrangement, the combination of modern and traditional elements and the intensity of Rokia Traoré's voice ... It's an album you'll want to maintain in a prominent place among your music collection." The Scripps Howard News Service gives it four stars and says the power of her music comes not from belting out but from "her persuasive use of subtlety ... the power of understatement."

    Journal Topics: Reviews
  • Monday, January 12, 2009

    The Scripps Howard News Service gives four stars to Joshua Redman's new album, Compass. "For most of us, jazz is someone else's music," asserts the reviewer. "Those who want to give jazz an opportunity to be more than that should start with something such as Compass." Noting the atypical, multiple trio formats featured on the album, the review suggests that "aficionados might marvel at Redman's innovative recording technique ... What's more significant is that Compass is a tempting invitation to potential new fans." The LA Times states: "Even outside of the new configuration, Compass finds Redman and his band stretching out with flashes of unpredictability and raw emotion."

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  • Monday, January 12, 2009

    New York Times music critic Jon Pareles visits some albums he missed in 2008 amidst the deluge of new releases and recommends Sam Phillips's Don't Do Anything as one that was "worth the wait." Through the songs' Beatles-esque sound and "casual, confiding side" of Sam's vocals, says Pareles, comes "the terse elegance of songs about love gone bad and the lessons and possibilities it leaves behind, songs that only become more telling because they stay so deliberately unadorned."

    Journal Topics: Reviews
  • Monday, January 12, 2009

    Mandy Patinkin began his ten-day residency at the Duke of Yorks Theatre in London's West End last Thursday. The Independent gives the production four stars, saying this "meaty solo show" features "a programme that reveals not only Patinkin's range of emotional colours but also his technical virtuosity. From the baritonal hinterland of his vocal engine to those trademark high notes, the skirmishes between registers simply dissolve and the sound is as pure as breathing. Numbers that demand leaping nimbleness and difficult tonal coloration ... are despatched with seamless liquidity and utter conviction."

    Journal Topics: On Tour Reviews
  • Friday, January 9, 2009

    The Black Keys close out their summer swing through the Southern Hemisphere with three more dates in Australia ... Bill Frisell's five-night residency at the Blue Note New York with Ron Carter and Paul Motian continues through the weekend ... the Pat Metheny Group plays a Blue Note on the other side of the world, rounding out its tour of Japan ... Mandy Patinkin's ten-night residency at the Duke of Yorks Theatre in London's West End is under way ...

    Journal Topics: Weekend Events
  • Friday, January 9, 2009

    Joshua Redman calls Compass, his forthcoming album, "an expansion on, and an extension of, Back East," his acclaimed 2007 trio session. "And he's not wrong," says the BBC, which calls the album "a dazzling album of considerable artistry ... Compass is the sort of serious-minded album that gives jazz in 2009 a very good name." The Guardian and The Scotsman both give it four stars, with the latter calling it "an exciting and inventive disc" and "the most spontaneous-sounding of Redman's recordings." All About Jazz exclaims that the saxophonist "has produced the most singular album of his career so far," calling it Redman's "first undeniably colossal album."

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