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  • Monday, April 27, 2009

    Nonesuch Records will release the self-titled label debut from singer-songwriter Christina Courtin on June 23. The New York Times says Courtin’s voice “feels uniquely otherworldly, as if it couldn’t possibly be entirely human born.” The album is co-produced by Courtin, a graduate of The Juilliard School; jazz bassist Greg Cohen; and her frequent band mate singer/guitarist Ryan Scott. Cohen and Scott also contribute bass and guitar to the recording. Several  acclaimed musicians join them, including keyboardist Benmont Tench, drummer Jim Keltner, pedal-steel player Greg Leisz, Punch Brothers violinist Gabe Witcher, and multi-instrumentalist Jon Brion.

    Journal Topics: Album Release Artist News
  • Friday, April 24, 2009

    The Black Keys play Midwest fests after being "one of the most impressive sets of the weekend" (JamBase) at Coachella ... Alarm Will Sound, St. Lawrence String Quartet play Adams ... David Byrne plays the Iberian peninsula ... Toumani Diabaté's in Vermont ... Richard Goode plays Bach in Albuquerque ... Emmylou Harris, Carolina Chocolate Drops meet up at MerleFest ... Kronos leads Riley's In C at Carnegie ... k.d. lang's in Vermont too ... The Low Anthem plays a hometown set, and in Vermont ... Joshua Redman takes Trio to Tokyo ... eighth blackbird plays Reich's Pulitzer Prize-winning piece in LA ... Allen Toussaint heads home to play New Orleans ... Dawn Upshaw sings Golijov in St. Paul ... Sara Watkins plays Philly and DC ... Wilco jam at New Orleans JazzFest ... and more ...

    Journal Topics: On Tour Reviews Weekend Events
  • Friday, April 24, 2009

    Terry Riley's groundbreaking Minimalist masterwork In C turns a remarkable 45 years young this year. To celebrate, Kronos Quartet has gathered about 60 performers, many of whom participated in the piece's premiere in San Francisco in 1964, to join them and the composer to perform the work in Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium for the first time. Playbill calls the piece "the minimalist musical be-in that altered the course of music history." New York magazine says, "Carnegie Hall’s extravaganza should yield a rich, polychrome stew of sound."

    Journal Topics: On Tour Artist News
  • Friday, April 24, 2009

    The Low Anthem joins an all–Rhode Islander line-up for a hometown gig at Providence's Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel tonight, with touring partner Elvis Perkins in Dearland and Deer Tick. The Providence Journal writes that all three bands "have all spent significant time in the Ocean State, and they’re all riding a wave of critical and professional success. Of the three, The Low Anthem may have the most to brag about," after being "a hit at last month’s SXSW conference" and signing to Nonesuch. MOJO has booked the band for a special set in London and writes, "Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, with its meld of lush Americana and blues stompers, is already set to be one of the key new releases of 2009."

    Journal Topics: On Tour Reviews
  • Thursday, April 23, 2009

    The Times (UK) gives four stars to Allen Toussaint's recent Nonesuch solo debut, The Bright Mississippi, which the paper calls "a relaxed, confident homage" to New Orleans jazz, concluding that "albums such as this serve to remind us how much pop across the Western world owes to the hurricane-menaced old place." The New York Observer calls it "immaculate," with Toussaint and his band "calm, swampy, smoky, rakish and velveteen: Clarinetist Don Byron sounds like bourbon, and Marc Ribot’s guitar on 'West End Blues' will make anyone who loves his playing on Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs weep with happiness."

    Journal Topics: Reviews
  • Thursday, April 23, 2009

    Toumani, ever the griot, embraces its educational component with a number of pre- and post-performance demonstrations and Q&As at university concerts, like tonight's at UMass, Amherst. He and his Symmetric Orchestra performed in New York City last weekend, which the Village Voice describes as "a decidedly extroverted, celebratory affair," such that midway in, "the band and crowd were at a full lather, ebullient and ecstatic." Time Out New York says: "By the end of the main set, the stage was flooded with audience members, dancing feverishly, arms and legs flailing. The show built to a roar; the crowd jumped to its feet, passionately cheering."

    Journal Topics: On Tour Reviews
  • Wednesday, April 22, 2009

    The Bright Mississippi, Allen Toussaint's Nonesuch solo debut, hit stores yesterday. Time Out New York says that Toussaint's "natural balance between silken refinement and syncopated pizzazz is matched by the sass and subtlety of his sidemen," exemplified on the closing duet with guitarist Marc Ribot, "swoonworthy enough in its boudoir charms to spark a new baby boom." Jazzwise gives the album four stars, describing the pianist as "soused in that full, sumptuous verve and affection that is New Orleans at its good times rolling best." Pop Dose calls it "a gorgeous record to listen to ... We get why Allen Toussaint is a cultural treasure and a purely American phenomenon."

    Journal Topics: Reviews
  • Wednesday, April 22, 2009

    Sara Watkins returns to New York City, the site of her recent appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, this time to play the Mercury Lounge on the Lower East Side. Time Out New York's "The Volume" blog says you "know you’re in good hands" right from the start of Sara's recently released Nonesuch debut, to its closer: "its simplicity hurts, in a good way." Sara and all the musicians who make guest turns on the album, including its producer John Paul Jones, are to be credited as well: "Their mellow, sweet sound shimmers like the sun on dust motes."

    Journal Topics: On Tour Reviews
  • Wednesday, April 22, 2009

    Amadou & Mariam, who recently released their second Nonesuch album, Welcome to Mali, are scheduled to appear on today's episode of NPR's World Café at 2 PM ET. The new album was featured on PRI's The World Friday as its "Global Hit." Planet magazine says, "Since we first wrote about Amadou and Miriam in 2005, we've remained enchanted by both their music and their affecting story," and cites Welcome to Mali's Damon Albarn–produced opening track, "Sabali," as "a mesmerizing blend of Gorillaz-style electronica and traditional Malian music."

    Journal Topics: Reviews Radio
  • Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    Allen Toussaint Nonesuch solo debut, The Bright Mississippi, is out today. The Washington Post calls it an "exquisite new set of Crescent City-associated jazz" that reveals Toussaint's "great flair and imagination as an interpreter and performer." The Philadelphia Daily News rates it an A-, and Audiophile Audition gives four stars to "one of the finest releases of Toussaint's extensive, storied discography ... Highlights are many." Creative Loafing gives it a perfect five stars, describing it as "nothing short of a revelation, an album ... that both honors and reinvents a number of songs associated with early New Orleans blues and jazz."

    Journal Topics: Album Release Reviews
  • Monday, April 20, 2009

    Nonesuch Records congratulates Steve Reich, who has been awarded the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his piece Double Sextet. The piece received its world premiere on March 26, 2008, at the University of Richmond, in Richmond, Virginia, in a performance by the ensemble eighth blackbird, which commissioned it. The Pulitzer citation calls Double Sextet "a major work that displays an ability to channel an initial burst of energy into a large-scale musical event, built with masterful control and consistently intriguing to the ear." Reich has also been nominated for the 2009 Classical BRIT Awards Composer of the Year Award, for Daniel Variations.

    Journal Topics: Artist News
  • Monday, April 20, 2009

    Allen Toussaint's Nonesuch solo debut album, The Bright Mississippi is set for release tomorrow. "Mr. Toussaint brings to these songs his own elegant, reserved sensibility," says the New York Times. "He doesn’t rip them apart or interrogate them on the harmonic or rhythmic terms with which they’ve usually been met; he shines them up and levels them out into slow-rolling and grandiloquent New Orleans songs, full of tremolo chords and serenity no matter whether they were written by Duke Ellington or Thelonious Monk or Django Reinhardt." The Chicago Tribune gives four stars to the "top-notch" new album; The Independent gives it four stars too and describes Toussaint as "the jewel in New Orleans's crown," citing one track as "a bravura performance that bears out Van Dyke Parks's estimation of Toussaint as 'the greatest piano player alive.'"

    Journal Topics: Album Release On Tour Reviews Radio

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