Sam Amidon's Nonesuch Debut Out Now
Sing Me the Songs: Celebrating the Works of Kate McGarrigle features highlights from three concerts in honor of the late singer-songwriter Kate McGarrigle, held in London, Toronto, and New York. The 2-CD set was produced by Joe Boyd, who curated the concerts, and features performances by Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Anna McGarrigle, Emmylou Harris, Antony, Norah Jones, Teddy Thompson, and others. Net proceeds go to the Kate McGarrigle Foundation for sarcoma research. Nonesuch Store pre-orders include instant downloads of the album tracks “Kiss and Say Goodbye” and “I Am a Diamond.”
Pat Metheny’s recording of John Zorn’s Tap: The Book of Angels, Vol. 20 from Zorn’s Masada Book Two is the first collaboration between the two artists, considered among their generation’s most innovative musicians. Besides his frequent collaborator, drummer Antonio Sanchez, Metheny plays all other instruments—guitars, sitar, tiples, bass, keyboards, orchestrionics, electronics, bandoneón, percussion, flugelhorn, and more—himself. Metheny has made "a suite of half a dozen cinematic pieces, some of truly epic proportions," raves All About Jazz; "the work of an artist who is doing anything but resting on his considerable laurels and accomplishments." The Independent concludes: "It's all dazzlingly virtuosic and evocative."
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. Nonesuch Store pre-orders include an instant download of the title track and a limited-edition autographed print.
Sam Amidon’s label debut, Bright Sunny South, was produced by Amidon with his childhood friend and longtime collaborator Thomas Bartlett (a.k.a. Doveman) and legendary English engineer Jerry Boys. Recorded in London, the album features a band comprising Bartlett and multi-instrumentalists Shahzad Ismaily and Chris Vatalaro. Jazz trumpeter Kenny Wheeler also makes a cameo. Amidon himself not only sings but also plays banjo, fiddle, acoustic guitar, and piano on the album. The Guardian, Mojo, and Q all give it four stars. Drowned in Sound calls it "his most emotionally and tonally complex LP to date."
Walking Shadows, Joshua Redman’s first recording to include an orchestral ensemble, was produced by his friend and frequent collaborator Brad Mehldau. The record's core ensemble is a quartet featuring Mehldau, Larry Grenadier, and Brian Blade. Walking Shadows includes original tunes from both Redman and Mehldau along with works by a wide range of composers, like John Mayer and Pino Palladino, Kern and Hammerstein, and Lennon and McCartney. Buffalo News calls it "an unmitigated triumph ... one of the jazz discs of the year."
For Record Store Day 2013, Iron and Wine, which made its Nonesuch Records debut with the release of the album Ghost on Ghost, releases a special 7" including two exclusive tracks unavailable anywhere else: "Next to Paradise" and "Dirty Dream." The 7" was cut by Bernie Grundman Studios and pressed at Pallas MFG in Diepholz, Germany.
Bombino, whose Nonesuch debut album, Nomad, was produced by The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, releases a 10" vinyl single of the album track "Azamane Tiliade" with an exclusive non-album B-side, “Si Chilan,” for Record Store Day 2013. Auerbach helmed the recording at his Nashville studio, Easy Eye Sound. The 10" was mastered at Bernie Grundman Studios and pressed by Pirates Press.
Iron and Wine makes its Nonesuch Records debut with Ghost on Ghost, the fifth release from singer-songwriter Sam Beam under that pen name. The album was recorded in Brooklyn and produced by Beam’s longtime associate Brian Deck. "Every song feels lived in, and radiates palpable warmth," says American Songwriter; they "sound absolutely sublime." Uncut too calls it "sublime ... a work of immense beauty and scale." The AP says: "Ghost on Ghost is a wonderfully produced and assembled record, propelled with joyous momentum even on tracks with darker lyrics ... With each successive album, Beam has been able to gradually expand and layer his sound with taste and dexterity."
Produced by English musician John Parish (PJ Harvey, Eels, Sparklehorse) and recorded at Toybox Studios in Bristol, UK, Rokia Traoré’s album Beautiful Africa features lyrics sung in the Malian–born Traoré’s native languages of French and Bambara, as well as some English. The album earns five stars from the Observer, Guardian, and Songlines, which raves: "It really doesn’t get better than this in today’s African music ... Rokia’s work is exciting, surprising, and always perfectly executed."
Nomad, Tuareg guitarist, singer, and songwriter Bombino's Nonesuch debut album, was produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach. NPR calls the pairing "inspired," noting that Bombino's "sound and style are alluring on a global scale." NPR's All Things Considered says it's "a landmark in African rock music." The Los Angeles Times says "anyone who has ever appreciated a master player make magic on a Fender ... will find comfort in Bombino’s music." Rolling Stone says: "A perfect match of sound and soul, the set introduces a new guitar hero, and confirms Auerbach’s arrival as a roots-music producer to be reckoned with." The BBC calls it "utterly, utterly fantastic."
Mala, singer/songwriter Devendra Banhart's eighth studio album and his Nonesuch debut, took shape in LA, where he and longtime cohort Noah Georgeson produced the album together, playing most of the instruments themselves, using borrowed equipment and a recorder they’d found in a pawn shop. The Guardian calls it a "triumph," giving it four stars, as does Q which calls this "enthralling" album a "career best." The Mala LP is pressed on 140-gram vinyl and includes the album on CD, an additional 7” with two bonus tracks, and an exclusive poster.
Old Yellow Moon is the first official collaboration from Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell since Crowell joined Harris’ Hot Band in 1975. The 12-track duets album features songs written by Crowell as well as interpretations of songs by Hank DeVito, Roger Miller, Allen Reynolds, and others. Among the world-renowned musicians on the album are Stuart Duncan, Vince Gill, Bill Payne, and members of the original Hot Band. "It hearkens back to classic recordings like Harris' Elite Hotel and Crowell's Diamonds and Dirt," says NPR Music, "and brings the best out of the two veterans."
How I Knew Her, the Nonesuch debut from Nataly Dawn of Pomplamoose, comprises 12 autobiographical, introspective songs by Dawn, produced by her longtime partner Jack Conte and recorded with a group of accomplished musicians—Ryan Lerman, David Piltch, Louis Cole, and Matt Chamberlain—at Prairie Sun Studios, where many of her favorite Tom Waits albums had been made. Mojo gives it four stars, as does the Daily Telegraph, which calls it "delightful." The BBC calls it "the sound of a woman brimming with ideas as she seizes her moment."
Recorded at a church in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, The Orchestrion Project showcases the full evolution of the Orchestrion as documented at the tail end of a sprawling 2010 world tour. The two-disc set features all five tunes from Metheny's Orchestrion—“a soaring five-movement suite featuring some of the most intricate music he's ever created" (Boston Globe)—plus eight additional Metheny compositions, which he plays on his phalanx of remarkable, custom-made instruments via solenoid switches and pneumatics. Q gives the album four stars, as does the Observer which calls it "fresh, elegant and surprising." The album, says the Financial Times, "captures the guitarist in inspired form."
This eight-CD box set brings violinist Gidon Kremer’s six previously released recordings of Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla’s music together for the first time, along with a seventh album featuring a previously unreleased live recording from the CBC's Glenn Gould Studio. The Boston Globe has praised "both Piazzolla’s and Kremer’s ability to transcend genres and communicate a depth of emotion in which the best of classical, jazz and world music come together smoothly.”
The Metropolitan Opera’s performance of John Adams’ Nixon in China, with the composer conducting, is here on Blu-ray and DVD together in one package. The Met’s production, staged by Peter Sellars and first created by the English National Opera, stars James Maddalena as Richard Nixon, a role he originated. The performance seen here was broadcast live in movie theaters around the world as part of The Met: Live in HD on February 12, 2011, ten days after the opera received its Met premiere. "Here, on film, is the most influential American opera of the past quarter-century," says the Financial Times. "Future generations will see Nixon in China as the composer intended."
Natalie Merchant has teamed up with award-winning children's book illustrator Barbara McClintock for a new picture book based on Leave Your Sleep, Merchant's album of classic children's poetry adapted to music. This beautiful hard-cover, 48-page, full-color book includes a CD with 19 songs. Merchant's musical renderings, selected from her highly praised album, share the stage with McClintock's richly imagined art to create a memorable reading, looking, and listening experience.
Recorded during the Nashville sessions for Punch Brothers' critically acclaimed album Who’s Feeling Young Now?, the EP Ahoy!, also produced by Jacquire King, features songs by Josh Ritter, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, and Mclusky; a traditional tune arranged by Punch Brothers; and a new instrumental track by the band. Ahoy! is available on vinyl, CD, MP3, and FLAC.
Jonny Greenwood’s soundtrack to writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s film The Master comprises compositions by Greenwood—“rich and inventive” (The New Yorker)—along with recordings from the post–World War II era in which the film is set. Rolling Stone says the film's "visual poetry is matched by Jonny Greenwood's haunting, hypnotic score." Soundtrack performers include The London Contemporary Orchestra, AUKSO Chamber Orchestra, and Ella Fitzgerald, among others. The LP includes 12 tracks on 140-gram vinyl and the full album on CD.
Tour Rehearsal Tapes, a new digital EP from The Black Keys, features six songs recorded live in the studio during December 2011. The tracks "underscore the explosive musical energy between guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney," says the Independent in a four-star review. "Auerbach’s guitar riffs are stripped to the bone, while Carney is a massive engine driving sporty little riffs."