• Abdullah Ibrahim: The Song Is My Story

    Abdullah Ibrahim: The Song Is My Story

    This beautiful solo piano concert performance touched my 60-year-old soul as profoundly as Keith Jarrett’s Köln Concert affected me as a 20-year-old. The CD includes songs Ibrahim composed in 1954, 1960, and 1970 interspersed with ...
  • Junior Wells: Southside Blues Jam

    Junior Wells: Southside Blues Jam

    It was Junior Wells’ return to the Delmark fold; it was the titan Otis Spann’s last recording session. Junior’s regular band—Buddy Guy, guitarist Louis Myers, drummer Fred Below, bassist Earnest Johnson—filled the studio with blues ...
  • Vijay Iyer Trio: Break Stuff

    Vijay Iyer Trio: Break Stuff

    Following on the heels of 2014’s acclaimed Mutations, the pianist-composer’s ECM debut that found him writing for piano, string quartet, and electronics, Iyer continues the momentum he established with bassist Stephan Crump and drummer Marcus ...
  • The Art of Bach. Anderson & Roe Piano Duo

    The Art of Bach. Anderson & Roe Piano Duo

    This contemplative, refreshing album from Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe, partners since 2002, has—unusually—several transcriptions of sacred pieces. “God’s Time is the Best Time” makes for a tender prelude to the bright and cheerful ...
  • Duke Ellington: Masterpieces

    Duke Ellington: Masterpieces

    On December 19, 1950, the Duke Ellington Orchestra recorded four songs in an abandoned church Columbia Records had recently converted into a studio. By that point recording sessions were old hat to Duke, and three ...
  • Sean Costello: In the Magic Shop

    Sean Costello: In the Magic Shop

    A couple pertinent details about the astonishing “new” Sean Costello album: recorded in 2005 at The Magic Shop in New York City, its dozen mostly original tracks were only recently dusted off and polished to ...
  • Rudresh Mahanthappa: Bird Calls

    Rudresh Mahanthappa: Bird Calls

    The concept here is so inspired, the playing so incendiary that five stars might not be enough. Combining the influences of his own South Indian heritage and the profound influence of alto sax legend Charlie ...
  • Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen

    Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen

    Music lovers who don’t have much to do with opera—and plenty that do—can be mystified by the continuing popularity of Richard Wagner’s epic Ring cycle. It’s very long, with the four dramas that comprise it—Das ...
  • Ron Miles: Circuit Rider

    Ron Miles: Circuit Rider

    For 20 years inventive trumpeter-cornetist Ron Miles has had a special musical relationship with guitarist Bill Frisell, and this trio outing unites them with drummer Brian Blade. The buoyant “Comma” features Miles’ golden tones supported ...

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