Bruno Martino’s “Estate” : Summer

Estate (Summer) is an Italian song written in 1960 by Bruno Martino (music) and Bruno Brighetti (lyrics).  It was a minor hit in Italy when released, but it eventually became a worldwide jazz standard, recorded by dozens of singers and jazz instrumentalists.  I first heard the song on the João Gilberto album Amoroso.  Amoroso, released in 1976, is an … Continue reading Bruno Martino’s “Estate” : Summer

Liaisons: Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano

“To hear composers take my work and take it seriously... it’s a thrill.” – Stephen Sondheim Liaisons is a landmark commissioning and concert project, conceived by acclaimed concert pianist Anthony de Mare, based on the songs of legendary musical theater composer Stephen Sondheim. Both an homage and a celebration, Liaisons makes the case for Sondheim … Continue reading Liaisons: Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano

Amandine Beyer & Christophe Rousset : Carrying the Baroque Torch

Amandine Beyer and Christophe Rousset are both accomplished French musicians who have devoted much of their careers to promoting music from the Baroque period, much of it not well known.  Each has formed a performing ensemble, Gli Incogniti by Beyer and Rousset’s Les Talens Lyriques for this purpose.  While the Baroque is the primary concern, … Continue reading Amandine Beyer & Christophe Rousset : Carrying the Baroque Torch

Allen Tousaint : from Gert Town to the White House

Allen Toussaint, the versatile producer, songwriter, pianist and singer who was a fixture of New Orleans R&B, died Monday after appearing in concert in Madrid. He was 77. His daughter, Alison Toussaint-LeBeaux, confirmed his death in an email, and said the cause appeared to be a heart attack. El Mundo reported in Spain that Mr. … Continue reading Allen Tousaint : from Gert Town to the White House

Ensemble Gilles Binchois

Since 1979 Dominique Vellard has been the inspirational driving force behind the Ensemble Gilles Binchois : more than 35 years of research and performance that have led to the creation of some of the essential recordings, especially of music from the medieval and Renaissance periods. An outstanding catalogue of recordings devoted to the music of … Continue reading Ensemble Gilles Binchois

Eberhard Weber at 75

This past January marked Eberhard Weber’s 75th birthday.  His recordings for ECM in the early 1970s were in large part responsible for defining the ECM sound and Euro-Jazz in general.  His style bridged jazz, classical, minimalism, chamber jazz and included some ambient elements.  He regularly recorded with other ECM artists such Gary Burton (Ring, 1974; Passengers, … Continue reading Eberhard Weber at 75

Gilles de Binchois : born 1400 – dies 20 September 1460

Binchois was a contemporary of Guilliame Dufay, and the leading composer at the court of Burgundy during the middle third of the fifteenth century. Binchois is remembered primarily for his secular chansons, for which composition he was known during his lifetime as at least the equal of Dufay.  ( In both his sacred and secular … Continue reading Gilles de Binchois : born 1400 – dies 20 September 1460

Nadia Boulanger : teacher of the century

Juliette Nadia Boulanger (16 September 1887 – 22 October 1979) was a French composer, conductor, and teacher.   She taught many of the leading composers and musicians of the 20th century including  Aaron Copland, Roy Harris, Quincy Jones, John Eliot Gardiner, Elliott Carter, Dinu Lipatti, Igor Markevitch, Virgil Thomson, David Diamond, Idil Biret, Daniel Barenboim, Philip … Continue reading Nadia Boulanger : teacher of the century

Happy Birthday, Arvo Pärt

Arvo Pärt (born 11 September 1935) is an Estonian composer of classical and sacred music. Since the late 1970s, Pärt has worked in a minimalist style that employs his self-invented compositional technique, tintinnabuli. His music is in part inspired by Gregorian chant. His earliest works, mostly for piano, are neo-classical in style. In 1962 his … Continue reading Happy Birthday, Arvo Pärt

Warren William Zevon ( January 24, 1947 – September 7, 2003)

Warren Zevon, who died on this date in 2003 at the far-too-premature age of 56, was a singer, a songwriter and one of the great under-appreciated talents in modern America. But he could also be, as his friends, family and lovers will quickly tell you, a pain in the ass.  He was at times intimidating, … Continue reading Warren William Zevon ( January 24, 1947 – September 7, 2003)