Adam Guettel’s theater cult-classic MYTHS AND HYMNS is no stranger to genre-bending and reimagination, the original song cycle itself leaning heavily on the concepts. So it comes as no surprise that renowned guitarist Garrett Gleason, never shying away from the new or imaginative, would produce his own reworkings of the beloved songs for guitar, bass, and drums.
There’s no shortage of fresh takes in these often experimental arrangements sifting between the lines of rock and theater. Gleason’s re-workings add a vivacious flair to works like Pegasus and Sisyphus, the various guitar effects an inventive means of exciting the original content without failing to honor it entirely. Even the subdued slow-rock of How Can I Lose You finds itself ever so gradually slipping into admirable madness sure to please even the most experimental of music listeners.
Gleason’s new take on MYTHS AND HYMNS is a welcome revival and renewal. Not only is it sure to meet approval by fans of the original, but it’s been approved by Guettel himself, the two eventually coming together in person to completely reimagine the closing song, Saturn Returns (Reprise). Gleason hopes for his arrangements of MYTHS AND HYMNS to bring the worlds of theater and rock together, that perhaps, like myths and hymns, there is more in common between the two than one would think.
Composed by Phil Scarff and performed by world-jazz ensemble Natraj, RAGAMALA PAINTINGS ALIVE! shines a contemporary light on historic artwork from India. The members of Natraj individually and collectively bring a wealth of experience exploring the intersection of jazz and global musical traditions. Their stunning performance showcased in this release is wide ranging, deep, and accessible, while firmly rooted in the rich tapestry of Indian classical music. RAGAMALA PAINTINGS ALIVE! is part of a larger multimedia work created in collaboration with Indian classical dancer Jayshree Bala Rajamani, incorporating dance, music, spoken word, and projected images. It brings to life historic ragamala paintings, with each painting representing one Indian classical raga or melodic framework. Inspired by Modest Mussorgsky and his iconic work, Pictures at an Exhibition, Scarff threads the suite together with musical “promenades” that represent the viewer entering and moving about an art gallery, with each theme anticipating a painting or set of paintings to come. Whether heard on its own or experienced as a full multimedia performance, RAGAMALA PAINTINGS ALIVE! takes listeners on a compelling contemporary journey that celebrates classic ragamala paintings from India.
THE OXTET DOES HINDEMITH from Josh Oxford is a bold reimagining of classical music in a jazz fusion context. In this album, Oxford revisits some of Paul Hindemith’s greatest works. Hindemith, a late Romantic German composer, lived during the first half of the 20th century and was among the most significant composers of his time. The album contains sonatas for trumpet, tuba, trombone, and more, in which tonically complex horn lines weave above a jazz band. Recorded at Pyramid Sound in Ithaca and at Ithaca College, the timbres of the various horns along with marimba, Fender Rhodes, drums, electric guitar and bass, and more, are rendered in high fidelity. THE OXTET DOES HINDEMITH features the music of this legendary composer as you’ve never heard it before.
From genre-smashing composer and keyboardist Miguel Kertsman and drummer Ernie Adams comes IN THE MOMENT, a true-to-its-name album that leaps over musical boundaries and defies any label. The single-take, minimally microphoned recordings capture the raw emotional potential of music and the spontaneity of an intimate recording session. Kertsman’s vintage analog keyboards, bass pedals, and Adams’ drums work in tandem to duck and weave between musical forms, mingling with progressive rock, jazz fusion, Brazilian, Eastern, and more, all seamlessly fused together into one cohesive musical journey.
Papa Mojo’s features Louisiana dance hall music straight from the bayou. Mel Melton and the Wicked Mojos bring a blend of zydeco, blues, and New Orleans jazz and funk with a Cajun flair. Take a listen and have a great time with the Mojo Music of Papa Mojo’s.
CELEBRATE EARTH is an all-new collection of children's music with an environmental message. Each of the fourteen songs were hand-picked by Recess Music CEO Nancy Doan for their quality and commitment to making the Earth a better place. CELEBRATE EARTH is sure to entertain and educate kids of all ages.
BIG BULLY is the first disc in the new Best Foot Forward series from Recess Music. This disc highlights the importance of education on bullying and its effect on children, as well as how children and their parents can deal with issues surrounding bullying. More importantly, the tracks on the disc teach kids that even if they are bullied, they are special to someone and that they can still make a difference.
Big Round Records is proud to present MIKA MARIMBA MADNESS: LIVE IN CONCERT 2009, featuring a breathtaking performance from Japan's virtuoso marimbist Mika (Yoshida) Stoltzman alongside drummer Steve Gadd, bassist Eddie Gomez, and pianist Peter Stoltzman.
WILD CHILD is the fourth disc in the Celebrate Earth series from Recess Music. This album of children's music highlights the importance of the earth's rainforests and wildlife, as well as how parents and kids can think about sustaining this vital ecosystem. Just like the other discs in the Celebrate Earth series, WILD CHILD features catchy, fun tunes enjoyable for kids and parents alike!
Recess Music is proud to present OCEAN MOTION, the third installment in the Celebrate Earth Music Series. The thirteen songs were hand-picked by Recess Music's Nancy Doan for their focus on educating kids about the wonders of our oceans and how it's up to all of us to keep them clean.
Recess Music is proud to present GROWING VEGGIE SOUP, the next installment in the Celebrate Earth Music Series. The thirteen songs were picked for their focus on educating kids about gardening and sustainable farming practices.
Big Round Records is proud to present MORNING MOON, the debut commercial release from the eclectic and varied Ecco La Musica. The group's seamless blending of jazz, world, chamber, and experimental music-all of which is composed by the group members themselves-highlights their ability to remain ahead of the curve of their competition, both independent and mainstream. As most artists struggle to blur the lines of genre, Ecco La Musica has them nearly erased.
Ecco La Musica seeks to connect to its audience not through an ability to be pegged into a single category, but through the spiritual and cultural aspects of their music. Firm believers in the unifying power of music and the coexistence promoted by its very craft, the group strives to expose listeners to the idea that originality and cross-cultural influences in music can lead to a global awareness of artistic integrity, the necessity for peace, and the unity of culture.
SOUND TAPESTRIES features performances of Jazz classics by Bunny Beck and the Bunny Beck Trio. Each song is unique with its appeal and mood, and Beck brings them together comfortably, both with the trio and on the solo piano. Join Beck as she weaves the sounds of each track to create tapestries of music.
UR SOME 1 is the second disc in the Best Foot Forward series from Recess Music. This disc highlights the importance of self-confidence, and helps kids realize that even though they might not feel like it at times, they are important to others. The wide variety of songs on this upbeat and informational album helps children understand that they are loved, and that they will always matter to somebody.
In February 2012, three of today's greatest jazz musicians and arguably the world's top classical clarinetist entered Avatar Studios in New York to record a twelve-minute epic by the legendary Chick Corea. The resulting track, Marika Groove with marimbist Mika (Yoshida) Stoltzman, drummer Steve Gadd, bassist Eddie Gomez, and clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, captures the brilliance of both the composer and performers in a sprawling cut with constant interplay between the instruments and melodic marimba lines, which (Yoshida) Stoltzman navigates with ease.
Big Round Records is proud to announce its reissue of Andy Jaffe's MANHATTAN PROJECTIONS, an album of the jazz composer/pianist's works for small band repertoire. This rerelease of the jazz classic includes the original seven works from the 1984 debut, the McDaniels session tracks from the 2001 Playscape reissue, plus three bonus tracks from the Tom McClung-Andy Jaffe piano trio exclusive to this release.
SOMEONE ELSE'S SHOES is the third release in the critically acclaimed Best Foot Forward series from Recess Music. This album of children's music features many contrasting styles and teaches our kids lessons of empathy, caring, and understanding, with songs chosen for their ability to engage, educate, entertain, and encourage children to think about both their own feelings and those of others. Just like the other discs in the Best Foot Forward series, SOMEONE ELSE'S SHOES features engaging, fun tunes enjoyable for kids and parents alike!