Wednesday Apr 25
 
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Pandora pays off with Mozart
Mozart: Three Quintets
Music music05
Sound sound05

I'm hearing this amazing piece over my Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart channel on Pandora. It's a small string group, kind of like a quartet, but not quite. The music is transporting, ethereal yet easy, relaxed yet gripping. I checked the screen and found that I was being transported by Mozart's String Quintet in g minor K. 516, a piece I don't recall ever having heard before. Since I didn't know when Pandora's rotation might bring it up again, I decided to find it on CD and make it my own permanently. I was smart enough to take note of the cover illustration showing a portrait of an 18th century lady.


Mozart Quintets


Unreleased Art
Vol. V: Live in Stuttgart
Music music05
Sound sound02

As I listened to the exceptional jazz on this CD set, I felt the frustration and irritation welling up.

Dr. Lonnie Smith: today's incredible jazz organist
Spiral
Music music05
Sound sound05

Dr. Lonnie Smith is the most inspiring, exciting, and informative organist working in the jazz idiom today.  That's not just my opinion.  It's shared by the general membership of the Jazz Journalists Association who have identified Dr. Smith as Jazz Organist of the Year five times in the past 10 years.

Claire Martin: Boyfriends and more
Old Boyfriends
Music music05
Sound sound05

Meet Claire Martin, the classiest, hippest, most exhilarating British import since the Morgan Plus 4.  Martin's swinging, idiomatically classic vocalizing earned her a Best Rising Star commendation in last year's British Jazz Awards.  In terms of public recognition, the award may be appropriate.  In terms of artistry, Martin's star is not ascendant but solidly positioned in the upper reaches of the jazz firmament.

That Latin Jazz Feeling from the Bronx
Catch the Feeling
Music music05
Sound sound04

Latin jazz places special demands on its creators.  A band must sound relaxed while dealing with complex rhythms that require precise, yet energetic, treatment.  And no matter how fiery the proceedings get, the musicians must communicate melodically, and honestly.  There's no room for untidy musicianship or ego trips.  Neither the music nor its audience will tolerate such abuse.  (Yes, I have a specific transgression in mind, but that recent CD shall remain nameless here.)

Booker Ervin's Finest 40 Minutes on CD
Exultation!
Music music05
Sound sound04

Exultation! was Booker Ervin's first and finest session for Prestige and, not coincidentally, offers some of the best  Frank Strozier on record. Ervin's bristling yet stylish hard bop abounds and there's even a rare exquisite ballad performance  ( of Fats Waller's  "Black and Blue").

Pharoah Sanders: Love for Coltrane
Crescent With Love
Music music05
Sound sound05

Crescent With Love is Pharoah Sanders's tribute to John Coltrane. Happily, Sanders chooses to focus his attention on tunes that Coltrane recorded in the years preceding Coltrane's direct association with Sanders. We get "Lonnie's Lament," "Crescent," and "After the Rain," rather than "Kulu Se Mama," "Ascension," and "Om." This is a remembrance of the sounds of classic rather than cosmic Coltrane. And what wonderfully evocative sounds they are!

 
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