Sam Amidon's Nonesuch Debut Out Now
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."
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."
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."
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."
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.
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.
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."