Music News 4/11/24



Beyoncé, COWBOY CARTER (Parkwood, $16.98) – Beyoncé’s act ii: Cowboy Carter has already sent shockwaves into our musical landscape, upending genres, radio formats, and re-starting conversations about the historical roots and configurations of American music.  





Leyla McCalla, SUN WITHOUT THE HEAT (Anti, $15.98) – I’ve been a big fan of singer, songwriter, cellist, and banjo player Leyla McCalla since her 2014 album, Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Lanston Hughes. Ms. McCalla has interwoven her Haitian-American roots into her music, as well as nods to Lousiana and other regional sounds. Sun Without the Heat is a fantastic addition to her body of work, full of memorable new songs.


NOTE: Leyla McCalla will be playing a free show TONIGHT, Thursday, April 11, at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.


Lizz Wright, SHADOW (Blues & Greens, $18.98) – Lizz Wright has a memorable voice and brings something special to any material she chooses. Her new album includes “Sparrow” (with Angelique Kidjo), “Your Love” (with bassist Meshell Ndegeocello and harpist Brandee Younger), songs by Toshi Reagon, Candi Staton, Sandy Denny, and Cole Porter, as well as more originals.



Shabaka, PERCEIVE ITS BEAUTY, ACKNOWLEDGE ITS GRACE (Impulse!, $14.98) – Saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings turns to the flute family, including the shakuhachi, on his new album. Leaving behind his work with the groups, Sons of Kemet and The Comet is Coming, Shabaka assembled an array of talented musicians to record at the legendary Rudy Van Gelder studios. His collaborators include including Brandee Younger, Moses Sumney, Floating Points, Lianne La Havas, Esperanza Spalding, André 3000, Laraaji, Nduduzo Makhathini, and Jason Moran.





Toumani Diabaté & Ballaké Sissoko, NEW ANCIENT STRINGS: 25th Anniversary Edition (Chrysalis, $18.98) – This kora duets album by two masters is a classic. It was originally released on Joe Boyd’s Hannibal label, in 1999, and is now remastered for its anniversary release, with a 16-page booklet with notes and photos.





DURUFLÉ: REQUIEM / Poulenc: Lenten Motets (Hyperion, $20.99) – The Choir of Trinity College Cambridge and organist Harrison Cole went to the St. Sulpice in Paris to record Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem. The Choir follows with Poulenc’s Quatre motets pour un temps de penitence (Lenten Motets). The conductor is Stephen Layton.



RAVEL: PIANO CONCERTOS (Erato, $18.98) – Alexandre Tharaud plays Ravel’s two piano concertos (Concerto in G major and the Concerto for the Left Hand, both premiered in 1932). He connects Ravel’s Basque and Spanish influences by juxtaposing the concertos to Manuel de Falla’s Noches en los Jardines de España, also for piano and orchestra.  Tharaud is joined by the Orchestre National de France, conducted by Louis Langrée.


Yo-Yo Ma / Emanuel Ax / Leonidas Kavakos, BEETHOVEN FOR THREE: Symphony No. 4 & “Archduke” Trio (Sony Classical, $18.98)

The third in a series of Beethoven for Three recordings, each highlighting new cello/piano/violin arrangements of Beethoven symphonies. Symphony No. 4 is in a new arrangement by pianist Shai Wosner.