After Terry Riley's revolutionary In C, it certainly never seemed that the compositionally brash cofounder of the minimalist movement would take on a lyrical bent. But that's what he's done on this collection of pieces for violin, guitar, and percussion. Violinist Tracy Silverman and guitarist David Tanenbaum play warmly and sublimely on Cantos Desiertos, finding pristine melodies and high, arching curves around which to spread their finesse. Tanenbaum gets unbelievably rich tones from his guitar, and his range is the one consistent ingredient throughout these pieces. He duets with Riley's son Gyan, himself an accomplished guitarist, on "Zamorra" and with percussionist William Winant on Dias de los Muertos. Winant's marimba and gongs are especially appropriate for Tanenbaum's resonant string work, fluctuating from an absolute crispness to a milky froth. Where Riley's chamber works, such as Salome Dances for Peace, are intensely rhythmic, these works veer much more stealthily toward a kind of glorious flowering, even if the blooms are in dusky colors and muted, curvy patterns.
Returning to the Motown and Northern soul that provided the basis of their debut album, ABC turned to the pop songcraft on their fifth album, Alphabet City. The increased songcraft is certainly engaging, particularly on the hit "When Smokey Sings," but the songs are usually indistinguishable from each other, resulting in a sleek, stylish, and thoroughly entertaining album that leaves no lasting memory.
At the age of 71, Johnny Frigo finally had his debut as a leader on record, with the exception of an obscure effort in 1957. Although he had spent much of his career as a studio bassist, Frigo successfully switched full-time to his first love, the violin, and was immediately considered one of the top swing-based violinists. Joined by both Bucky and John Pizzarelli on guitars, either Ron Carter or Michael Moore on bass, and drummer Butch Miles, Frigo is in wonderful form on 14 standards, including "Pick Yourself Up," "Detour Ahead" (which he had co-written while with the Soft Winds in the late '40s), "Stompin' at the Savoy" and "The Song Is You." This recommended CD launched the Chesky label.
City Music is an airplane descending over frozen lakes into Chicago. City Music is riding the Q Train out to Coney Island to smell the ocean and a morning in Philadelphia where greats cranes reconfigure the buildings like an endless puzzle. City Music is a quiet afternoon moment on a bench in Baltimore, a highway in Seattle at night where the distant houses look like tiny flames and a bottle of red wine being drained on a bridge in Paris. City Music is a bus pulling into St. Louis at dawn where the arch looks like a metal rainbow reflecting the days early sunlight…. City Music is also the new album by Kevin Morby. Full of listless wanderlust, it’s a collection inspired by and devoted to the metropolitan experience across America and beyond by a songwriter cast from his own mould. As he puts it: “It is a mix-tape, a fever dream, a love letter dedicated to those cities that I cannot get rid of, to those cities that are all inside of me.”
An alternative country band from Nashville, Tennessee. The band is known for its resistance to easy genre classification and its ever changing line up, which revolves around front man - Kurt Wagner, who's distinctive song writing evokes the characteristic moods of the bands style.