Music News 11/16/23




Dolly Parton, ROCKSTAR (Butterfly, 2 CDs, $23.98) – Ms. Parton wrote nine new songs and collaborated on 21 rock classics with a crew of classic rock and pop icons.  How about Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr with Peter Frampton and Mick Fleetwood on “Let it Be;” Brandi Carlile and Pink on “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction;” Elton on “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me,” and “Stairway to Heaven” with Lizzo.  

Other guests on the album include Sting, Steve Perry, John Fogerty, Miley Cyrus, Joan Jett, Debbie Harry, Simon Le Bon, Michael McDonald, Ronnie McDowell with The Jordanaires, and Chris Stapleton. 


NOTE: Ms. Parton also has a new book out, Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones (10 Speed Press, $50) with over 450 photos of her iconic outfits. 






DAVID LANG: THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL PASSION (Cantaloupe, $20.99) – This is a new recording of Lang’s work, which won the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2008. The Little Match Girl Passion, as Mr. Lang states, “sets Hans Christian Andersen’s story in the format of Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion, interspersing Andersen’s narrative with my versions of the crowd and character responses from Bach’s Passion…These are devotional guideposts, the markers for our own responses to the story, and they have the effect of making the audience more than spectators to the sorrowful events onstage.” 

The vocalists are Molly Netter, Kate Maroney, Gene Stenger and Dashon Burton. The album also includes Trio Mediaeval singing Lang’s just (after song of songs) (2014) and i want to live, (2005), and Sarah Brailey singing let me come in (2021). The vocalists are joined by viola, cello, and percussion on some of the works. 


BEETHOVEN: STRING QUARTETS OPP. 74 & 130 (BIS, SACD, $20.99) – The Chiaroscuro Quartet (with Alina Ibragimova) take on two masterpieces from Beethoven’s middle and late period string quartets. Chiaroscuro has also recorded award-winning albums of quartets by Haydn, Mozart, and Schubert. 





Sullivan Fortner, SOLO GAME (Artwork, 2 CDs, $20.98) – Pianist Sullivan Fortner is best known today as a fantastic accompanist to vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant. But on Solo Game, he unveils a double album of originals, a few standards, on an array of keyboards—Steinway piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond B3 organ, vibes, celeste, Moog—plus various percussion instruments. Ms. Salvant makes a vocal appearance on one song. 


HOT HOUSE: The Complete Jazz at Massey Hall Recordings (Craft, 2 CDs, $25.98) – On May 15, 1953, at Toronto’s Massey Hall, five of the greatest jazz masters performed. Charlie Parker (alto sax), Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet), Bud Powell (piano), Charles Mingus (bass), and Max Roach (drums). The six songs they played together was later released on The Quintet: Jazz at Massey Hall (with Mingus overdubbing some bass parts which were under-recorded). But there was more music that night: Max Roach doing his solo, “Drum Conversations,” and the trio of Powell, Mingus, and Roach playing six more standards.  

The new “70th Anniversary Edition” of these recordings include the complete concert (without bass overdubs) on Disc One, and the re-mastered version of The Quintet on Disc Two.