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June 20, 2017

Discogs Blog Essential Wax with Ewan Currie

Essential Wax series is an intimate look into the record collections of some of the world’s most beloved artists. Hear from the creators of some of your favorite records about the records that had a big impact on them and in turn influenced their work. Ewan Currie’s history as an artist is as eclectic as his album choices […]

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Goldmine Magazine HEADING TO THE FREIHOFER’S SARATOGA JAZZ FESTIVAL…

Forget the fact that I will finally see the legendary French fusion violinist Jean Luc-Ponty for the first time since I’ve seen him in the bands of Frank Zappa and Chick Corea. The fact remains that this particular fest, Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, now in its 40th year, always kicks off the Saratoga summer concert season under those towering pine trees. And it all takes place this weekend June 24 and 25 on two stages. The sets are staggered so one can traverse the perimeter in a mellow mood and not miss a beat.

The post HEADING TO THE FREIHOFER’S SARATOGA JAZZ FESTIVAL… appeared first on Goldmine Magazine.

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Discogs Blog Essential Wax with Ewan Currie

Essential Wax series is an intimate look into the record collections of some of the world’s most beloved artists. Hear from the creators of some of your favorite records about the records that had a big impact on them and in turn influenced their work. Ewan Currie’s history as an artist is as eclectic as his album choices […]

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Classical-Music.com Free Download: Vasily Petrenko conducts Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2 in C minor

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This week's free download is the Scherzo from Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 2 in C minor. The recording, by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Vasily Petrenko, was named BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Year in April 2017.

'In these glorious Tchaikvosky performances the string sound is beautifully warm, the wind playing pungent, and the symphonies superbly shaped and paced,' said the BBC Music Magazine Awards jury. 'There's idiomatic Slavonic fire and passion here without an ounce of flab.'

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Classical-Music.com Morison enjoys Cardiff Singer glory

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Catriona Morison has won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, becoming the first British person ever to do so in the competition’s history. At the final at St David’s Hall, the Scottish mezzo won over the judges with her performance of ‘Dido’s Lament’ from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, winning her the Cardiff Trophy and £15,000.

Morison was also joint winner of the Song Prize, which she shared with the Mongolian baritone Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar, while the English soprano Louise Alder was voted winner of the Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize.

A week of competition saw 20 singers whittled down to just five for the final. Morison herself had, in fact, been given a wildcard for the final by the judges having not won any of the previous rounds. As well as Morison, Alder and Ganbaatar, the other two finalists were Australian tenor and American baritone Anthony Clark Evans.

In an evening dominated by Romantic repertoire, Morison’s Baroque aria offered something a little different for the judging panel of Welsh National Opera director David Pountney, mezzo-soprano Grace Bumbry, soprano Sumi Jo, baritone Wolfgang Holzmair and conductor Anu Tali to consider.

Morison is the 18th winner of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. The first, in 1983, was Finnish soprano Karrita Mattila, and others since then have included Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky (1989) and German soprano Anja Harteros (1999). Since the competition’s inception, sopranos have won it on nine occasions, mezzo-sopranos and baritones four times apiece, and tenors just the once.

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JazzWax Charles Mingus: Changes One

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One of my favorite Charles Mingus albums is Changes One, recorded for Atlantic Records at the tail end of December 1974. There something about the recording that exceeds even Mingus’s high composing standards and exotic vision. The album is moody, brooding and reminds me of New York in the mid-1970s more than any other. Yesterday, when I re-listened to the album and heard Remember Rockefeller at Attica, Sue’s Changes, Devil’s Blues and Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love, I was transported back to a financially challenged city that was crumbling, forgotten by the Gerald Ford White House, and adrift culturally. But it’s not Manhattan nostalgia that draws me to Changes One. It’s the album’s shifting moods, romanticism and quality of the playing.

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The musicians on the session were Jack Walrath (tp), George Adams (ts,vcl,arr), Don Pullen (p), Charles Mingus (b) and Dannie Richmond (d). In re-reading Nat Hentoff’s liner notes, I discovered that Changes One (and Changes Two, from the same session) were Mingus favorites as well. “They’re among the best records I’ve made,” Mingus told Nat. The reason, Mingus said, was “because this band has been together longer than most of the bands I’ve had.”

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The album opens with Remember Rockefeller at Attica, which had another title prior to its recording. Mingus’s changed the name to make a political statement about New York State Governor Nelson Rockefeller, who ordered the state police to retake the Attica Correctional Facility in September 1971 following the prison’s seizing by inmates to change conditions. The result of the storming by state posice resulted in the shooting deaths of 10 prison guards and 33 inmates and other prison workers. The event raised the stakes in the civil rights movement, ushering in decade of radicalism and violence. The song artfully captures the era’s thrashing political climate, impatience with corruption and growing militancy. 

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Sue’s Changes
was named for Sue Graham, Mingus’s wife and publisher of Changes, a provocative literary and music magazine. The composition is a actually a suite, shifting from ballad to a tempestuous, uptempo free-jazz section followed by a return to the ballad format.

Devil’s Blues is a raucous march-time blues credited to Mingus, Adams (who sings) and Gate Mouth Brown. The song is emotional and fiery, and may be the album’s only soft spot. A stronger producer may have pushed for another instrumental on the same sophisticated level as the others.

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Duke Ellington’s Sounds of Love
was written by Mingus soon after Ellington’s death in May 1974. This sighing, romantic ballad features traces of Billy Strayhorn’s Lush Life and A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing. Pullen’s piano solo is gorgeous, Adams’s solo is breathy and purposeful, and Mingus’s solo is clearly a eulogy to Ellington, his musical inspiration. The track, like much of the album, is a masterpiece.

Too often we forget how remarkable Mingus was as a composer, bassist and leader. This album serves as a gateway back into his music and a revisit with his discography.

Charles Mingus died in 1979.

JazzWax tracks: You’ll find Charles Mingus’s Changes One here. It’s also available at Spotify, along with the equally dynamic and provocative Changes Two.

JazzWax clip: Here’s Sue’s Changes

       

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This day in music On this Day June 20, 2004

Organisers at a
Paul McCartney gig hired three jets to spray dry ice into the clouds so it wouldn’t rain during the concert. The gig in Petersburg, Russia, was McCartney’s 3,000 concert appearance. He had performed 2,535 gigs with the Quarrymen and
The Beatles, 140 gigs with Wings and 325 solo shows.

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