Reviews: New York Voices stay true to jazz
‘Live With the WDR Big Band Cologne'
New York Voices (Palmetto)
From the introduction of “Baby Driver,” when the New York Voices pretend they are the Woody Herman sax section, “Live With the WDR Big Band Cologne” shows this is the best vocal group in jazz. Unlike Manhattan Transfer, which has turned sadly to self-parody, the four singers of the Voices have found a way to stay true to group singing. The group is fine by itself, as seen in its a cappella “Almost Like Being in Love.” But the WDR Big Band, it is teamed with a group that works in an instrumental ensemble as good as their vocal one. On “Stolen Moments,” for instance, the singers riff gently behind Ludwig Muss' trombone solo, broadening the jazz range of the piece. The not-played-enough Oliver Nelson song is sung to Mark Murphy's lyrics and given a vocal arrangement by the Voices' Damon Meander. The live album also features fine versions of Paul Simon's “I Do It for Your Love” and “Darn That Dream,” often linked to the classic of Mel Torme. It is available March 5.
— Bob Karlovits
The music of pianist Hiromi defies easy categorization. Her breadth of play makes “Move” an album that requires some concentration, but if you give it that effort you will be satisfied at the results. Playing with drummer Simon Phillips and bassist Anthony Jackson, Hiromi would seem to be in a typical jazz trio. But the music that emerges in an eight-minute title track is more like a bit of serious concert music than a jazz trio offering. Her three-movement suite “Escapism” also has a recital style. Even though Jackson and Phillips create a driving rhythm, the melodic lines are not in an easy-going song form. A blend of force and delicacy give each movement a dramatic sound. Two of the album's pieces — “Endeavor” and “Margarita!” — clearly aim to be easier-going, and both abjectly fail. The work of the suite and “11:49,” a poem to the end of a day, shows she does not need to back off those kind of challenges. It is available March 5.
— Bob Karlovits
‘Old Yellow Moon'
Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell (Nonesuch)
Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell have collaborated for nearly 40 years, since Harris recorded Crowell's “Bluebird Wine” for her debut, but their gorgeous new duets album, “Old Yellow Moon,” is somehow their first together. They should have started earlier, considering how their voices blend so beautifully, whether they're tackling something up-tempo like Kris Kristofferson's “Chase the Feeling” or a wrenching ballad like Matraca Berg's aching “Back When We Were Beautiful.” The harmonies on “Open Season on My Heart” ensure that “Old Yellow Moon” will be one of country's most talked-about albums of the year.
— Los Angeles Times
‘Son of Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys'
Various artists (Anti-)
It goes without saying that the double disc “Son of Rogues Gallery,” a 36-song compendium featuring Keith Richards and Tom Waits, Patti Smith, Michael Stipe and Courtney Love, Johnny Depp, Macy Gray, Dr. John and many others, is a rambling, shambling affair. The sequel to 2006's “Rogues Galley,” the current seafaring collection once again has longtime “Saturday Night Live” musical director and professional eclecticist Hal Willner acting as the musical captain of the ship. And while the results are all over the place, they're also remarkably consistent and inspired, a collection of ghostly, doomy, yet full-of-life sing-alongs. Unexpected highlights include such only-in-Willnerworld oddities as Anjelica Huston and the Weisberg Strings' “Missus McGraw” and an Antony, Joseph Arthur and Foetus version of “Barnacle Bill the Sailor.” There also are standout tracks from Shane MacGowan, Iggy Pop and Marianne Faithfull with Kate and Anna McGarrigle.
— The Philadelphia Inquirer
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- With good cause, Rusted Root happy to return to Hartwood Acres
- Sax great Phil Woods takes on Charlie Parker’s ‘Strings’ at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild
- Hyde Park singer Mia Z ready to keep chasing her music dream
- Collective Soul to play Carnegie Music Hall in Munhall on Oct. 11
- Plum native to be inducted into polka hall of fame
- Neighborhood Week sends Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra out into community
- Actor Duchovny to sing at Pittsburgh’s Altar Bar
- Pittsburgh Symphony names trustee McGranahan to chair its board
- Kanye, Cyrus and Minaj provide memorable moments at VMAs