One of the major voices in the highly political Asian improvisation movement of the 1980s and '90s, baritonist Fred Ho on this memorable CD performs everything from modernized swing and Charles Mingus-influenced ensembles to short solo baritone pieces and selections that mix together Western and Eastern instruments. He utilizes two ensembles: the 11-piece Journey Beyond the West Orchestra (which includes such instruments as the sona, erbu, and san shuen along with more conventional jazz horns and rhythm, plus occasionally the somewhat jarring Chinese soprano vocals of Cindy Zuoxin Wang) and the five-piece Afro-Asian Music Ensemble.
A brief glance at the list of contents is enough to reveal who the singer is – only Anne Sofie von Otter could have come up with a programme as varied and wide-ranging. And only von Otter could hold it together seamlessly by finding the resonances between these very different pieces, and bringing them out with a rare ability of embracing different singing styles and expressive registers: to paraphrase Bernstein in his A Simple Song, Anne Sofie von Otter never fails to ‘sing like she likes to sing’.
Sir Rod Stewart (knighted in 2016) celebrates 50 years as a solo artist this year. The legendary singer-songwriter is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with more than 250 million records sold worldwide during a stellar career that includes nine #1 albums and 26 Top 10 singles in the U.K. Plus, 17 Top 10 albums and 16 Top 10 singles in the US. Rhino will honor the legendary singer-songwriter with a new album that lets fans hear Stewart’s biggest hits in a newly imagined way.
Tenor saxophonist Houston Person teams up with pianist Bill Charlap on this ten-track collection of standards, You Taught My Heart to Sing. Both musicians have released individual albums paying homage to the great songwriters of the '30s and '40s – George Gershwin, Hoagy Carmichael, Irving Berlin – but this is the first time they teamed up in the studio together. Along with such tried and true chestnuts as "S'Wonderful," "Sweet Lorraine," and "Namely You," the duo brings a few originals into the musical fold as well as contemporary romantic standards such as "Where Is the Love." Recorded in the cozy confines of Rudy Van Gelder's studio in Englewood, NJ, the mood is relaxed yet not moribund, nor does the duo succumb to adding weepy strings or sappy horn arrangements. Person and Charlap don't break any new ground with this recording; rather they continue to showcase their combined enduring passion for ballads.
Concord Music Group will release five new titles in its Original Jazz Classics Remasters series. Enhanced by 24-bit remastering by Joe Tarantino, several bonus tracks on nearly each disc (some previously unreleased) and new liner notes providing historical context to the original material, the series celebrates the 60th anniversary of Riverside Records, the prolific New York-based label that showcased some of the most influential jazz artists and recordings of the 1950s and '60s.