Music of Week

M,W,F 5:50 PM T, Thur 8:21 AM

Emmet Cohen is emerging as a shining star of jazz piano. He plays with a subtle sensitivity not often heard among young virtuosos. He also has a deep reverence for the history of jazz and developed the Jazz Masters Legacy Series, a collection of live recordings with living legends, such as Ron Carter, who is the most recorded bassist in jazz history. Ron Carter joins Cohen on Masters Legacy Series Volume 2. The subtext of the album is the passing of the torch across the generations, but listening to the music its clear there are two masters here.

Akokan is a Yoruba word used by Cubans to mean from the soul. The sixteen piece big band Orquesta Akokan brings original songs with an old school mambo sound to New York’s Daptone Records. They couldn’t afford to record the album in New York so they came together in the legendary Areito studio in Havana. The band brings some of Cuba’s most ferocious musicians together with stars of New York's latin music scene, as well as veteran vocalist Jose Pepito Gomez. Orquesta Akokan’s album reminds us that the roots of Cuban music are stronger than ever and continuing to spread.

Leonard Bernstein is a treasure of American music.  The son of Ukranian immigrants he was a prolific composer, pianist, educator, and conductor associated with New York Philharmonic for forty-seven years. The conservative culture of classical music wouldn't let a gay man hold a prestigious conducting position so he lived his whole life in the closet. Leonard Bernstein was born in 1918.  in honor of his 100th birthday pianist Lara Downes has released a tribute to Lenny, twenty-eight tracks which beautifully encapsulate the spirit of the man and his music.

Stephen Ruppenthal is a versatile trumpeter known for his work with experimental contemporary music and sound art. His latest album, Flamethrower, evolved over eight years and contains world premiers of five pieces for trumpet with interactive electroacoustics. Ruppenthal extends his instrument from its traditional sound using digital audio processing, demonstrating the limitless possibilities of the genre of classical electronic music. Stephen Ruppenthal’s album is called Flamethrower, the track we’re hearing is Misty Magic Land.

Take a trio of the finest griot musicians from Mali and put them in a studio with western music’s most revolutionary string quartet and the resulting album is of the most rewarding musical collaborations you’re likely to hear. The musicians are Trio Da Kali, and the Kronos Quartet. Both groups have acknowledged this collaboration as among the best of their respective careers. The music speaks for itself. The album is Ladilikan the track we’re hearing is Garaba Mama.