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  • Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    John Adams's 1985 piece The Chairman Dances is this week's selection for The NPR Classical 50, a series naming 50 essential recordings for everyone from first-time listeners to fanatics. "The idea here is that a foxtrot is being danced, but there's more than just the dance-like quality of the music that we hear," says critic Ted Libbey. "I find it very rich that Adams can pull all of these elements all together, and that you can hear this wonderful, exuberant and lush melody come out of this texture. It shows his ability to bring disparate pieces together in a way that does say something."

    Journal Topics: Reviews Radio
  • Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    Philip Glass and the Philip Glass Ensemble gave a marathon performance of the composer's seminal piece Music in Twelve Parts at San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall Monday night. It was the West Coast premiere of the complete work, which had received its world premiere 35 years ago in New York. "I loved it," exclaims San Jose Mercury News critic Richard Scheinin. The piece, "with its youthful energy and imagination, is such a beguiling paradox. At first, it seems so narrow in sound, limited by its minimalist methods. But then, unfolding like time itself, it comes to contain so much. It opens up, grows vast."

    Journal Topics: On Tour Reviews
  • Tuesday, February 17, 2009

    Keep It Hid, Dan Auerbach's recently released solo debut, earns applause from the San Francicso Chronicle. The Black Keys' singer/guitarist "digs into some serious psychedelia and soulful blues on his solo debut," says the Chronicle. "Auerbach has made a deeply personal piece that goes into dusty corners never explored by the Keys in the band's fine five albums ... [He] is a master at creating surprising, shadowy textures with reverb and repeated riffs."

    Journal Topics: Reviews Television
  • Tuesday, February 17, 2009

    John Adams will be a featured composer of the Barbican Centre's 2009–10 season in a special John Adams Focus series next year. It will include six Adams works over six performances next February to July, featuring four UK premieres and two concerts with the composer leading the London Symphony Orchestra. The Times (UK) talks to Adams about his operas, with Doctor Atomic set to receive its UK premiere by the English National Opera next week.

    Journal Topics: On Tour Artist News
  • Friday, February 13, 2009

    There's no shortage of unforgettable musical memories for Valentine's: Brad Mehldau, Anne Sofie von Otter bring his Love Songs to Cambridge ... Adams works feature in dances by the Pennsylvania Ballet and by Savion Glover with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra ... Dan Auerbach plays Conan ... David Byrne ends his Southern Hemisphere tour ... Gipsy Kings play three nights ... Philip Glass, Patti Smith honor Allen Ginsberg; Glass plays marathon Music in 12 Parts ... Richard Goode performs Bach, Chopin in Budapest ... Punch Brothers play convivial California ... Alvin Ailey dances Reich ... Allen Toussaint continues Joe's Pub residency ... Rokia Traoré concludes US tour ... Dawn Upshaw's Australian tour closes ... and more ...

    Journal Topics: On Tour Weekend Events
  • Friday, February 13, 2009

    Rokia Traoré's two-week tour of the US comes to a close this weekend with a performance at the Somerville Theatre outside Boston tonight and a return to New York Saturday for show at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts. Rokia is the subject of a feature article in the Boston Globe, which examines her unique blend of traditional and modern sounds and instruments, contending that she has "found a potent muse in the sound of an old electric guitar," the Gretsch, featured prominently on her new album, Tchamantché.

    Journal Topics: On Tour
  • Friday, February 13, 2009

    Dan Auerbach will be the musical guest on tonight's Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Tune in to catch Dan perform a song off his solo debut album, Keep It Hid. The show airs on NBC starting at 12:35 AM ET. The Associated Press finds Keep It Hid "every bit as brainy, engaging and powerful as" Dan's work with The Black Keys and also sees him "stepping out, stretching a bit" on the new album. It's "full of tasty sounds," says the AP, and "shows an understanding of what really makes rock roll."

    Journal Topics: Reviews Television
  • Friday, February 13, 2009

    Youssou N'Dour is partnering with IntraHealth International, the non-profit working to promote sustainable, accessible health care around the world, on a charity album titled OPEN Remix. It will benefit a new IntraHealth OPEN Initiative, created to address critical health issues in Africa by putting the latest open-source software technologies directly in the hands of health workers. Nas, Duncan Sheik, Peter Buck, and other artists have joined Youssou in the effort, donating remixes of his song "Wake Up (It's Africa Calling)" to raise funds and visibility for the new initiative.

    Journal Topics: Artist News
  • Thursday, February 12, 2009

    Allen Toussaint, fresh off his celebratory weekend at the Grammys, during which he was awarded the Trustees Award and performed on the live CBS telecast, is in the New York City studios of WNYC to talk with Soundcheck this afternoon about his forthcoming Nonesuch debut, The Bright Mississippi, and perform songs from the album. It is Toussaint's first solo record in more than a decade. Fans in New York City this weekend can also catch Toussaint perform live at Joe's Pub on Sunday.

    Journal Topics: Radio
  • Thursday, February 12, 2009

    Joshua Redman's recently released double-trio album, Compass, finds the saxophonist "doing his best work yet," says the San Jose Mercury News. The album exhibits "a mood that ranges from ghostly to goosebump exuberant." Redman and "some of the best players of his generation" come together for interplay that is at once "intuitive, rambunctious, brilliant." The Vancouver Sun exclaims: "In or out of the groove, Redman and company perform magnificently."

    Journal Topics: Reviews
  • Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    Wilco is set to release a new concert DVD, Ashes of American Flags, on Nonesuch, Saturday, April 18, at independent retailers and nonesuch.com nationwide as part of national Record Store Day. The film, shot in high-def and produced and directed by Christoph Green and Fugazi’s Brendan Canty, presents Wilco live in concert during their 2008 tour. Culled from concerts in five quintessentially American venues—Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Tipitina’s in New Orleans, The Mobile Civic Center in Mobile, The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, and the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC—it captures the energy, poignancy, and musicality of a Wilco concert and tour.

    Journal Topics: Artist News Video
  • Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    Brad Mehldau will be joined by mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter at Carnegie Hall tonight for the world premiere of his new work Love Songs. The piece, written for von Otter, is Brad's third Carnegie Hall commission for voice and song; it is set to poems by Sara Teasdale, Philip Larkin, and e. e. cummings, each poet with a different perspective on love. Mehldau and von Otter will perform a number of American popular songs as well. On the first half of the program, pianist Bengt Forsberg will accompany von Otter on works by Sibelius, Hahn, and Schumann, and perform piano works by Ravel and Dukas.

    Journal Topics: On Tour Artist News

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