But Beautiful

A pair of albums designed to spur reflection share ALBUM OF THE WEEK honors: NEARNESS, a classy batch of standards by TINA BRUHN and JOHNNY O'NEAL, and BEATLERIANAS by Carlos Barbosa-Lima & The Havant String Quartet
by David McGee
 

 
 

‘Daddy G,’ In Full

GENE 'DADDY G' BARGE, saxophonist and vocalist par excellence, made his first record in 1955 and went on to accompany some of the greatest names in blues and soul. His new solo album, OLIO, demonstrates all his gifts in full.
by David McGee
 

 

 

Indomitable

A Civil Rights Movement leader and powerful gospel singer, FANNIE LOU HAMER'S authenticity comes through most clearly on SONGS MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME.
by David McGee
 

 
 

Songs From The Heart and The Headlines

In laying out challenges and rewards for even a casual singer-songwriter fan, SARAH BEATTY'S 'BANDIT QUEEN' says much about her confidence in herself and in her audience.
by David McGee
 

 

 

An ’Old Church’ Remembrance, Righteous and Rousing

BOB MAROVICH uncovers a five-star gospel gem in the new CD, A TRIBUTE TO SUNDAY MORNING GOSPEL, VOLUME 1, PART 1 featuring BISHOP J.D. MEANS SR.
by David McGee
 

 
 

Musical Echoes of Days Long Past

Musical echoes of days long past abound in THE BEAUTIFUL OLD and MIKE SCOTT & FRIENDS' HOME SWEET HOME: CIVIL WAR ERA SONGS. Plus: a James Cagney VIDEO MOMENT OF THE WEEK.
by David McGee
 

 

 
 

An Empress On the Forgotten Paths of Russian Song

Venturing down forgotten paths of Russian song on her new album, ST PETERSBURG, Empress of Song CECILIA BARTOLI offers a virtuoso performance of the long-hidden body of music composed for the Romanov court.
by David McGee
 

 
 

Otherworldly Sensations of Time and Space

A COSMIC RHYTHM WITH EACH STROKE, by VIJAY IYER and WADADA LEO SMITH, is grounded in human feeling and promises to stand the test of time.
by David McGee
 

 

 

Love in The Medici Court

From fragments of the earliest known operas as performed at the Medici court in Florence, Italy, RAPHAEL PICHON has assembled a fresh, passionate whole--a celebration of love--in the two-CD set, STRAVAGANZA D'AMORE.
by David McGee
 

 
 

Kind Of, Sort Of…No, Really Good. Exceptional, Even.

Joanne Shaw Taylor’s artistic growth continues unabated since her dramatic debut in 2008 with White Sugar. Her third solo long player, Almost Always Never, is another triumph,. one of the best blues albums of 2012.
by David McGee
 

 

 

Tchaikovsky, Straight & Ellingtonized (Or, ‘Let’s Play Two!’)

TCHAIKOVSKY wrote THE NUTCRACKER SUITE, DUKE ELLINGTON and BILLY STRAYHORN reimagined it, and HARMONIE ENSEMBLE NEW YORK offers both versions on a must-have holiday album.
by David McGee
 

 
 

Love Remembered, In the Heart and On the Front Lines

In a selection of songs by British composers of the first 50 years of the 20th Century,mezzo-soprano KATHRYN RUDGE, with pianist JAMES BAILLIEU, uncover some lost gems and revitalize familiar ones.
by David McGee