• Alison Krauss: Paper Airplane

    Alison Krauss: Paper Airplane

    Owing to her Raising Sand collaboration with Robert Plant becoming something of a cultural phenomenon, that Alison Krauss and her superb Union Station band haven’t released a new album together in seven years seems, well, ...
  • Sierra Hull: Daybreak

    Sierra Hull: Daybreak

    Nineteen-year-old Sierra Hull has been turning heads in the bluegrass world since she joined Alison Krauss on the Opry stage as a sixth-grade mandolin prodigy. Mentored by Krauss and now championed by Chris Thile, Hull ...
  • R.E.M.: Collapse Into Now

    R.E.M.: Collapse Into Now

    Patti Smith came up with the title Collapse Into Now for R.E.M.’s 15th album, and that’s exactly what happened—the band merged choice instrumental elements from their past with lyrics about today. Everything die-hard fans love ...
  • Hiromi: Voice

    Hiromi: Voice

    In the 1960s, the term “energy music” was sometimes used as an alternative description of “free jazz.” In the following decade, it could be applied to the approach of the most intense jazz- rock groups. ...
  • Matthew Shipp: Art of the Improviser

    Matthew Shipp: Art of the Improviser

    During his long tenure in David Ware’s quartet, Matthew Shipp forged an oceanic, hurricane-force piano sound as personal and authoritative as that of McCoy Tyner, Cecil Taylor, or any other thunderous post-bop and free-jazz pianist ...
  • City Champs: The Set-Up

    City Champs: The Set-Up

    Combine the grease of a Hammond B-3 organ with some chanka-chank electric guitar and crisp backbeats and what do you have? Well, Booker T & The MGs or maybe the Meters, to be sure. But ...
  • Mompou: Silent Music

    Mompou: Silent Music

    Federico Mompou (1893-1987) is often referred to as a “minimalist.” But there are different stripes of minimalism. Mompou’s is not of the rarified La Monte Young or hyperactive Philip Glass varieties, but rather in the ...
  • David Chesky: Urbanicity

    David Chesky: Urbanicity

    David Chesky’s latest CD consists of a concerto for electric guitar and two ballet scores, all unified in celebrating the cultural and ethnic diversity of New York City, where Chesky lives. Stylistically an extension of ...
  • Shostakovitch: Piano Concerto No. 2

    Shostakovitch: Piano Concerto No. 2

    Composed in 1957 for his son Maxim’s graduation recital, the Second Piano Concerto is regarded by some as one of Shostakovich’s lesser works. Shostakovich himself said that it had “no redeeming artistic merits.” Nonetheless, he ...
  • Paul Simon: So Beautiful or So What

    Paul Simon: So Beautiful or So What

    Paul Simon has been criticized for sounding on his new album like, well, Paul Simon, most notably Graceland-era Paul Simon. But so what? Sure, Simon has prided himself since the release of that 1986 masterwork ...

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