Music News 7/21/22



Chucho Valdés & Paquito D’Rivera Reunion Sextet, I MISSED YOU TOO! (Sunnyside, $16.98) – Pianist Chucho Valdés and alto saxophonist and clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera first met in 1962, and were both members of Cuba’s premiere jazz group, Irakire. Separated when D’Rivera left Cuba in 1980, they now reunite with all-star compatriots: Diego Urcola, trumpet/valve trombone; José Gola, bass; Dafnis Prieto, drums; Roberto Junior Vizcaino, percussion 


Cyrus Chestnut, MY FATHER’S HANDS (High Note, $16.98) – A tribute to his father, McDonald Chestnut,  Pianist Cyrus Chestnut brings together a with Peter Washington, bass, and Lewis Nash, drums.

A solo rendition of “I Must Tell Jesus”  Some standards like “But Beautiful,” “There Will Never Be Another You,” and “Baubles, Bangles and Beads” 


She & Him, MELT AWAY: A Tribute to Brian Wilson (Fantasy, $15.98) – She & Him are Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, and for their seventh album, sing their favorite Brian Wilson songs, from the most famous to the more obscure. 





Nicholas Phan, STRANGER: Works for Tenor by Nico Muhly (Avie, $18.99) – Nicholas Phan, from Chinese and Greek heritage, commissioned Nico Muhly for a work that would resonate with Phan’s own feelings of identity as an American. 

Stranger explores (in Phan’s words) “the complexity of America’s self-identification as a ‘nation of immigrants’ through the lenses of Europeans who migrated to this country through Ellis Island, as my Greek grandfather did in the early 20th century, and Chinese-Americans who protested against the Chinese Exclusion policiesof the same period.” 

Two other song cycles round out this collection: Lorne Ys My Likinge sets sections from the 19th century Chester Mystery Play, and Impossible Things sets poems by C.P. Cavafy (translated by Daniel Mendelsohn) 

The string quartet, Brooklyn Rider; countertenor Reginald Mobley and pianist Lisa Kaplan; and violinist Colin Jacobsen, and the chamber ensemble, the Knights, are the accompanists, respectively. 


SAMUEL BARBER: The Complete Songs (Resonus, 2 CDs, $20.99) – Ten “strongly characterful” singers from the UK bring Samuel Barber’s works to life—19 never before recorded—including soprano Mary Bevan, mezzo Fleur Barron, contralto Jess Dandy, baritone Jess Dandy, and bass William Thomas. A piano reduction by Barber of his famous Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Op 24 is sung by tenor Nicky Spence. The Navarra String Quartet join to perform Dover Beach, Op 3. The set was put together by pianist Dylan Perez, who accompanies the singers.  





Elizabeth Newkirk, THE AMERICANIST: Interwar Works by Ravel, Gershwin and Still (Bright Shiny Things, $16.98) – Pianist Elizabeth Newkirk brings together Ravel’s La Valse (1920), Gershwin’s An American in Paris (1928), and William Grant Still’s three-part Africa: A Suite for Solo Piano (1930) – all orchestral pieces later arranged for piano. 



Carolin Widmann, L’AURORE (ECM, $18.98) – The German violinist’s solo recital includes works by Hildegaard von Bingen, George Benjamin, Eugène Ysaÿe, George Enescu, and ending with J.S. Bach’s Partita No. 2.