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  • Monday, March 2, 2009

    Bill Frisell is gearing up for a tour of the South with Greg Leisz, starting March 15 in Austin. Leisz is featured on a number of tracks from Frisell's recently released Nonesuch retrospective, The Best of Bill Frisell, Volume 1: Folk Songs. All About Jazz asserts that for listeners new to Frisell's work, Folk Songs "is a perfect entry point," and even for Frisell aficionados, its "sequencing makes it stand on its own." What surfaces is that Frisell has maintained "an appreciation for the beauty of a simple melody"; his many influences are "re-contextualized into a nexus point of beauty and ethereality."

    Journal Topics: Reviews
  • Monday, March 2, 2009

    Joshua Redman, with bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Greg Hutchinson, featured players on Redman's recent Nonesuch release, Compass, play the Dakota Jazz club in Minneapolis tonight and tomorrow, before starting a European tour later this week. "Redman has made some fine albums in the past," says All About Jazz, "but he's never recorded one with such clarity of purpose as the self-produced Compass." And with its success, "there's the palpable sense that the Redman has opened himself up to all manner of possibilities for future musical endeavors, proceeding directly from the cathartic self-renewal that is Compass.

    Journal Topics: On Tour Reviews
  • Monday, March 2, 2009

    After giving John Adams's Doctor Atomic its UK premiere last Wednesday, English National Opera continues performances of the opera this week. "If a work forces you, simultaneously and uncomfortably, to clench your limbs and hold your breath," says The Observer, "you have to take notice." A highlight of "Adams's meditative, richly faceted score," the paper exclaims, is the aria set to John Donne's "Batter My Heart," for J. Robert Oppenheimer, "surely the finest aria written since Puccini."

    Journal Topics: Reviews
  • Monday, March 2, 2009

    Félicitations à Rokia Traoré. Tchamantché, her latest Tama/Nonesuch release, received the Victoires de la Musique, the French equivalent of the Grammy Award, for Best World Album. The ceremony was held this past Saturday night at the Zenith in Paris and was broadcast live on French national television.

    Journal Topics: Artist News
  • Friday, February 27, 2009

    One half of Joshua Redman’s Compass double trio performs in Chicago ... Adams's Doctor Atomic continues at ENO; New York City Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, Stadttheater Giessen Ballett perform works set to his music ... Afro-Cuban All Stars play outside LA ... Dan Auerbach kicks off US tour in DC, Boston ... David Byrne brings tour home to NYC's Radio City ... Shawn Colvin cruises the Caribbean ... Glass performs Leonard Cohen ... Richard Goode leads master class, performs in Manchester ... Glenn Kotche joins Bang on a Can All-Stars in Philly ... Mandy Patinkin plays Tampa ... Doug Varone and Dancers dance to Reich’s Daniel Variations ... Allen Toussaint concludes his Joe's Pub residency .. and more ...

    Journal Topics: On Tour Weekend Events
  • Friday, February 27, 2009

    John Adams's opera Doctor Atomic, which chronicles the hours leading to the detonation of the first atomic bomb, received its UK premiere this past Wednesday at English National Opera. The Independent gives it four stars, asserting that its central aria "might just be the single most beautiful thing Adams has ever written ... There is more, much more, where that came from." The Guardian and the Evening Standard also give the production four stars, as does The Times, which concludes: "Once again Adams has turned 20th-century history into absorbing, provocative music-theatre."

    Journal Topics: Reviews
  • Friday, February 27, 2009

    Dan Auerbach kicks off his two-week US tour with songs from his recently released solo debut, Keep It Hid, at Washington, DC's 9:30 Club Saturday night. The Washington Post says The Black Keys' "beyond-the-blues elements are explored much further on the terrific first solo album from the duo's singer-guitarist ... and the broader range reveals a major pop songwriter.” Metro UK gives the album four stars, stating: “Fans of his main concern will find plenty to enjoy; anyone else will simply hear an early contender for 2009's finest solo effort.”

    Journal Topics: On Tour Reviews
  • Friday, February 27, 2009

    Rokia Traoré's recent Nonesuch release, Tchamantché, receives an 8.4 from Pitchfork, asserting that her "sense of independence has imbued her music with a special quality that sets it apart from that of many of her erstwhile peers." The review cites the album's "gorgeous guitar tones and Traoré's quiet vocals. These twin strands of transnational DNA—guitar plus vocals—wend through all music, but here they're made more entrancing by Traoré's refusal to abandon her roots while at the same time working subtly but assiduously to build upon them."

    Journal Topics: Reviews
  • Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    John Adams's 2005 opera Doctor Atomic receives its UK premiere tonight in the English National Opera production at the London Coliseum. The production, based on the Metropolitan Opera's New York premiere last fall, is directed by Penny Woolcock and stars Gerald Finley as J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, and Sasha Cooke as his wife, Kitty Oppenheimer. Conductor Lawrence Renes leads the ENO Orchestra and Chorus in the performances, which run through March 20.

    Journal Topics: Artist News
  • Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    Wilco's live concert film Ashes of American Flags, set for DVD release on Record Store Day, April 18, had it's world premiere at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, Montana, last Friday night. Tonight, it will be screened at San Francisco's Roxie Theater as part of the Noise Pop Festival. The film receives its first screening in Wilco's hometown of Chicago on March 9 for the inaugural Chicago International Movies and Music Festival.

    Journal Topics: Film
  • Monday, February 23, 2009

    The Best of Bill Frisell, Volume 1: Folk Songs, the first collection of tunes culled from Frisell's extensive Nonesuch catalog, is out this week. You can listen to every track from the album streaming on the Nonesuch Radio channel First Listen now. "Two words will sum up anything the exemplary guitarist has turned his hand to: 'very good,'" says the BBC. "But when it comes to his explorations in Americana as on this collection, it's very very good. If you don't already own most of these tracks, beware. Because when you do hear them you'll have to go out and buy all the parent albums that they're culled from."

    Journal Topics: Album Release Reviews
  • Monday, February 23, 2009

    Dan Auerbach's newly released solo record, Keep It Hid, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart, a list of the week's best-performing albums from new artists. The Independent gives it four stars, citing the album's "broad sweep of blues styles" and Dan's vocals, channeling "the haunted quality of an authentic soul singer." The Cleveland Plain Dealer gives an A- to the new record, which sees Dan "cutting loose with a marvelous solo debut ... Crank it up."

    Journal Topics: Artist News Reviews

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