• From a Tender Age

    From a Tender Age

    Shostakovich’s First Piano Trio—more romantic than you might expect—is light on dissonance and angst. He wrote it at 17, but only after his death was it rediscovered and the last 22 bars filled in. It ...
  • Sam Butler: Raise Your Hands!

    Sam Butler: Raise Your Hands!

    After 40 years as guitarist for the Blind Boys of Alabama, Sam Butler steps out with his solo debut, a stripped-down set of 12 songs by spiritually-bent secular artists. There are no vocal harmonies, horns, ...
  • Josh Berman Trio: A Dance and a Hop

    Josh Berman Trio: A Dance and a Hop

    In cornetist Josh Berman, a key figure in Chicago’s fertile free improv scene of the early 21st century, one hears the playful irreverence of a Lester Bowie (“Blues,” “Today’s Date”) and the divine hipness of ...
  • Tartini: Secondo natura

    Tartini: Secondo natura

    The Italian violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini absorbed the ideals of the Enlightenment, concluding that music was a manifestation of the natural order. Sigurd Imsen’s program of three Tartini chamber works—the Sonata in F Major, ...
  • Phish: Rift

    Phish: Rift

    Toward the end of last year Phish released limited and numbered LPs of some of their early records, including 1993’s Rift, a concept album tracking a man’s dreams about the rift in his relationship—not quite ...
  • George Duke: The Era WIll Prevail

    George Duke: The Era WIll Prevail

    In 1966 the owner of Saba Records, Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer, entered a nightclub where he expected to hear Les McCann, but taking the stage that evening was another pianist, George Duke. Because of his performance, ...
  • Donna Ulisse: Hard Cry Moon

    Donna Ulisse: Hard Cry Moon

    Though not touted as a concept album, bluegrass singer-songwriter Donna Ulisse’s latest gem, Hard Cry Moon, could pass for one. Start with the hard-charging album opener, “Black Train,” fiddle- and banjo-fired with a red-hot mandolin ...
  • Dave Douglas Quintet: Brazen Heart

    Dave Douglas Quintet: Brazen Heart

    Representing the comparatively conservative side of his many musical interests, trumpeter Dave Douglas delivers the third album by his quintet, which by this point is a unit employing confidence and restraint in their handling of ...
  • Neil Young: Bluenote Cafe

    Neil Young: Bluenote Cafe

    After a string of tepid themed albums for Geffen Records (Trans, Everybody’s Rockin’, Old Ways), Neil Young returned in 1988 to Reprise with This Note’s for You, an homage to the blues. The tour for ...
  • Dutilleux: Tout Un Monde Lointain

    Dutilleux: Tout Un Monde Lointain

    Henri Dutilleux (1916-2013) is France’s greatest composer since Debussy and Ravel. His oeuvre is not large; he was satisfied only with masterpieces. His magnificent 1970 cello concerto, Tout Un Monde Lointain (“A Whole Distant World”), ...
  • The Beatles: 1+

    The Beatles: 1+

    Expectations have run high among fans waiting for the Fab Four’s complete original catalog in surround sound. This ain’t that, but it’s a step in that direction. This super-deluxe edition of the 1+ compilation, packaged ...

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