Music News 11/10/2022



Myra Melford’s Fire and Water Quintet, FOR THE LOVE OF FIRE AND WATER (Rogue Art, $17.98) – For her newest project, pianist Myra Melford assembled an all-star quintet—all powerful women instrumentalists, composers and bandleaders: cellist Tomeka Reid (MacArthur Fellow, 2022); electric guitarist Mary Halvorson (MacArthur Fellow, 2019), tenor and soprano saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock; and drummer Susie Ibarra. There’s thrilling group interplay and soloing in this exciting album. 


NOTE: You can read a profile of Ms. Melford and the Quintet in the New York Times


You can watch a performance of the Fire and Water Quintet, live from Roulette, in Brooklyn, that took place this past Monday. Lesley Mok is in the drum chair for this performance. 


Bill Frisell, FOUR (Blue Note, $13.98) – The guitarist’s new quartet features Greg Tardy (sax/clarinet); Gerald Clayton (piano); and Johnathan Blake (drums). The group improvises on tunes and fragments that Mr. Frisell wrote during Covid lockdown.   

Mr. Frisell is also part of three other fine albums this year (and counting): Charles Lloyd’s Trios: Chapel; Julian Lage’s View With a Room; and Here It Is: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen





Bruce Springsteen, ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE (Columbia, $15.98) – Bruce digs into the “Great American Soul Songbook” for gems that came out on Motown, Stax, Philadelphia International, and other labels. As he states, “I’ve taken my inspiration from Levi Stubbs, David Ruffin, Jimmy Ruffin, the “Iceman” Jerry Butler, Diana Ross, Dobie Gray, and Scott Walker, among others.” Songs include “Turn Back the Hands of Time,” “Don’t Play That Song,” “I Wish It Would Rain,” and “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted.” Two songs feature Sam Moore (of Sam and Dave), and the big sound includes a string section, group vocals, and the E Street Horns. 





Song (formerly Solo Vocal) 


Asmik Grigorian, DISSONANCE: Songs by Rachmaninov (Alpha, $19.98) – The soprano’s recital with pianist Lukas Geniušas is “a superb partnership” delivering thrillingly magnificent Rachaninov.” 


Voice & Ensemble 


Michael Spyres, BARITENOR (Erato, $18.98) – A “superb” voice, “perfectly equalized over more than two and half octaves.”  




BACH: ST MATTHEW PASSION (Harmonia Mundi, 3 CDs, $29.98) – Raphäel Pichon and his ensemble, Pygmalion, bring the Matthäus-Passion “vividly to life” with soloists Julian Prégardien, Stéphane Dégout, Lucile Richardot, and Sabine Devieilhe. 


Early Music 


JOSQUIN: BAISIEZ MOY (Aparte, $21.98) – Ensemble Thélème, directed by Jean-Christophe Groffe, explored “Josquin’s popularity through a Jacques Brel-meets-Messiaen filter,” backing the songs with not only lutes, but ondes Martenot and Fender Rhodes. 





Last Saturday evening, Politics & Prose hosted a celebration of the life of Mark Laframboise, our long time Chief Book Buyer, and stalwart of our store for twenty five years. The event, featuring testimonies and readings, is on our YouTube page. 

I put together some songs featuring some of Mark’s favorite artists, which we played before and after the event.  

Here’s a link to that list of songs