- Thursday,December 6,2007
With the Sweeney Todd soundtrack out in just over a week, it's no wonder the Chicago Tribune is saying that "the highly anticipated holiday movie season brings with it not just some of the best movies of the year but some of the most distinctive score soundtracks as well." Writes Richard Knight Jr.: "This is a great finale to what has been a signature year for soundtrack lovers," not least "an intimate, seductive Sweeney Todd."Thursday,December 6,2007
"In many ways, a collaboration between [David] Byrne and [Robert] Wilson was perfect," says Pitchfork's review of The Knee Plays. Bringing the material to CD for the first time, with previously unreleased bonus tracks, the Nonesuch reissue includes "a dense recollection of the pair's mind-meld by Byrne himself." And yet, even "extracted from its theatrical roots, Byrne's score holds up remarkably well."Thursday,December 6,2007
Among the many roles Youssou N'Dour has come to play, he has come to be known "as one of the planet's true superstars and a beacon of African pride," says the Chicago Tribune. At Wednesday's Chicago House of Blues show, N'Dour's singing was "as strong and rich as it's ever been," and his band, Super Étoile de Dakar proved itself "the rare band entirely deserving of the 'super,' perfectly composed to push ahead but constantly poised for stop-on-a-dime shifts."Wednesday,December 5,2007
Jonny Greenwood is featured among the "pitch perfect" film composers showcased in the Los Angeles Times. In the paper, Dennis Lim writes that Greenwood's score for Paul Thomas Anderson's new film, There Will Be Blood, marks an even greater role for the already major part music plays in Anderson's films. "In Paul Thomas Anderson's films, music is not just significant," writes Lim, "it's often front and center, impossible to ignore ... and his use of music reaches new heights of inspiration in There Will Be Blood."Wednesday,December 5,2007
Alarm Will Sound gave the world premiere performance of John Adams's Son of Chamber Symphony last weekend at Stanford University, and the reviews continue to roll in. The San Francisco Chronicle, calls the new piece “vivacious,” writing that it “bursts with the technical prowess and cogent wit of the composer's finest efforts.” The Financial Times points to the group's prowess in pulling off the "dangerously exhilarating" piece with aplomb. The San Jose Mercury News praises "the crackerjack new-music ensemble."Tuesday,December 4,2007
When Sérgio and Odair Assad joined the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for two concerts at the Adelaide Guitar Festival in Australia this past weekend, the performance was "one of the most exhilarating on record" for the ASO, according to the Adelaide Advertiser. The program featured Ravel's Rhapsodie Espagnole, which showcased the syncopated rhythms "the Brazilian brothers have in their blood, along with a sense of lyricism rare among their kind." Also on the program were selections from Sérgio's arrangement of Piazzolla's Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, which, complementing the orchestra's strings and winds, was "drawn even further into the Argentinian ambiance by the warmth and clarity of the two guitars."Tuesday,December 4,2007
This holiday season, the Times-Picayune's Chris Waddington is happy to do without yet another mall-music listen to "Jingle Bell Rock." He's listening instead to Sérgio and Odair Assad's new album, Jardim Abandonado, and has added it to his list of gifts to give.Monday,December 3,2007
The managing editor of the Onion's A.V. Club, Josh Modell, recently caught a sneak preview of Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood, and while it's not the official A.V. Club review (look for that closer to the film's December 26 release), he had a few fine words on the movie: "[N]ot only did I see the best film of the year—in a walk—but maybe one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. This isn’t the official A.V. Club take ..., but I’d be surprised if any of our crack film reviewers will find it anything less than a masterpiece."Friday,November 30,2007
"You know that a movie wows an audience when nobody stirs during the closing credits. That's what happened at the end of Sweeney Todd tonight at the first critics' screening in Manhattan." So reports Tom O'Neil in his LATimes.com blog, Gold Derby. While he's not yet able to give a full review of the movie this far in advance of its December 21 release, he does have a few words to say about Sweeney, which he calls "the most important movie of 2007."Wednesday,November 28,2007
Wired magazine's pop-culture blog, Underwire, reports on, well, The Wire. For those not yet wired in, writer Erik Malinowski previews the soon-to-be-released official series soundtrack from Nonesuch Records that "fans have been clamoring for years for." He recognizes the praise the series has gotten, saying that "few people will argue that The Wire is the best show on television. By far."Tuesday,November 27,2007
Last night, Pat Metheny played the last in a string of dates in South Africa with the trio from his upcoming Nonesuch release, Day Trip—bassist Christian McBride and drummer Antonio Sanchez. The Independent (South Africa)'s entertainment guide, Tonight, reports that the Sunday show in Durban was "the gig we were all itching for." After hearing the trio perform songs from Day Trip and others, the site declares: "'Gig of the year' was the general pronouncement."Monday,November 26,2007
The London Jazz Festival has come to a close, but not before Joshua Redman brought his virtuoso sax playing to Queen Elizabeth Hall. He and his trio—bassist Reuben Rogers, drummer Greg Hutchinson—performed a set that included songs from his latest album, Back East. "Possessing an endless fund of ideas, effortless fluency, muscular tone and an immaculate technique," says the Observer, "he must be the most perfect tenor saxophonist alive today, and on Thursday he demonstrated flawlessly sculpted phrases and total control of the instrument, to the very extremities of its range." The Financial Times says it was "a masterclass in controlled collective improvisation."
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