• Fred Hersch Trio: Whirl

    Fred Hersch Trio: Whirl

    The music should be enough when it comes to heralding Fred Hersch as one of the great jazz musicians of our time. But circumstances in the 54-year-old pianist’s personal life took his music—and consciousness—away for ...
  • Mortensen: Symphony

    Mortensen: Symphony

    One of the few Scandinavian symphonic rivals to Sibelius’ seven, Finn Mortensen’s monumental 1953 Symphony—four movements totaling 38 minutes of brawny turmoil and serene exultation, and a work of authentically Brucknerian heft and solemnity—here gets ...
  • Scott LaFaro: Pieces of Jade

    Scott LaFaro: Pieces of Jade

    LaFaro’s freewheeling, harmonically advanced bass style with the Bill Evans Trio (1959-1961) opened a door to a wholly new approach to the instrument that influenced a generation of players who followed in his wake—Eddie Gomez, ...
  • Beethoven: Piano Concerto 4

    Beethoven: Piano Concerto 4

    After Gould and Bernstein performed Beethoven’s Fourth piano concerto in January 1957, the conductor said, “Glenn, that was tremendous! We’ll have to record it.” “Glad you liked it,” Gould replied, but confided to a friend, ...
  • Ron Miles: Quiver

    Ron Miles: Quiver

    The adventurous Denver-based trumpeter established an intimate rapport with guitarist Bill Frisell on their stirring 2002 duet project, Heaven. Add drummer Brian Blade and you’ve got an intense, intuitive, risk-taking session. More relaxed than usual, ...
  • Tom Waits: Glitter & Doom Live

    Tom Waits: Glitter & Doom Live

    No album could truly hope to recreate the rarified experience of seeing Tom Waits live. Onstage, the 59-year-old makes magic from dime store props (pockets full of glitter, a giant magnifying glass), primal-yet-dramatic lighting, and ...
  • Levon Helm: Electric Dirt

    Levon Helm: Electric Dirt

    Editor's note: This review was written in 2009, before Helm's death in April 2012. At age 69, Levon Helm sings like a geezer from another era—say, the Great Depression. Which is another way of saying ...
  • Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

    Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

    Since its founding in 1986, CPO has issued hundreds of superlative first-ever CDs of little-known classical music— mostly late-Romantic and modern-era works—that have much enlarged the recorded repertoire and brought joy to adventurous music lovers ...
  • Aaron Neville: My True Story

    Aaron Neville: My True Story

    Grammy-winning vocalist Aaron Neville likens the doo-wop songs he heard while growing up to “medicine” that pulled him off the mean streets of New Orleans. His first national hit, 1967’s R&B classic “Tell It Like ...
  • Wayne Shorter: Without a Net

    Wayne Shorter: Without a Net

    After 43 years, the enigmatic saxophonist-composer returns to the label where he recorded a string of classic albums during the 1960s. Now 80, Shorter has led the same band (pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci, ...
  • Pearl Jam: Backspacer

    Pearl Jam: Backspacer

    If the recent deluxe edition of Pearl Jam’s Ten reminded audiences of the band’s prior glory, then Backspacer serves notice that—even two decades into its career— the Seattle quintet remains a vital, vibrant unit. The ...

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