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Music News 07/02/2014

Rubén Blades

CD CoverRubén Blades, Tangos (Sunnyside, $16.98) – Great songs—and great singers—can work in many settings. Rubén Blades wrote and sang some classics in his salsa heyday. Now the songs take on added moods and colors done as tangos. Blades and the musicians tease out the slow, narrative drama in such favorites as “Pedro Navaja,” “Pablo Pueblo,” and “Ligia Elena.” The arrangements are by Carlos Franzetti, made especially for the Leopoldo Federico Orchestra (with many violins, cellos, piano, percussion, and the requisite bandoneón). They accompany Mr. Blades with style and flourish. Highly recommended


Saxophones & Vibes

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Melissa Aldana, Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio (Concord, $18.98) – Last September, tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana (originally from Chile) won the prestigious Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition. Her new album features her Crash Trio, with bassist Pablo Menares and drummer Francisco Mela. Originals from all three band members are featured, as well as Harry Warren’s “You’re My Everything” and Monk’s “Ask Me Now.”

Florencia Gonzalez, Between Loves (Zoho, $15.98) – Tenor saxophonist Florencia Gonzales is from Uruguay, and her composing and playing on this album are fresh and intriguing. Between Loves features a great sextet with a front line of tenor sax, trumpet, and trombone, with a rhythm section anchored by pianist Luis Perdomo. The sextet explores tangos, candombles, and Uruguayan folk rhythms.

Joshua Redman, Trios Live (Nonesuch, $16.98) – Recorded at DC’s Blues Alley and New York’s Jazz Standard, Gregory Hutchinson, drums with Reuben Rogers, bass (at Blues Alley), and Matt Penman, bass (at Jazz Standard)

Bobby Hutcherson, Enjoy the View (Blue Note, $12.98) – Vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, a mainstay with Blue Note  in the 1960s, returns to the label with an unusual lineup of vibes, alto saxophone (David Sanborn), organ (Joey DeFrancesco) and drums (Billy Hart). The sound is classic Blue Note: a funky organ-trio sound with Hutcherson as the added wild card.


Classical Gatherings

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Martha Argerich and Friends, Live from Lugano 2013 (Erato, 3 CDs, $27.98) – This is the 11th annual live set of highlights from Martha Argerich’s Lugano Festival. Ms Argerich assembles young players, and collaborates on both chamber and orchestral works. Works include Beethoven’s Concerto No. 1, Op. 15 and Sonata Op. 5, No. 2, Debussy’s Petite Suite, Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals, and sonatas from Respighi, Shostakovich, Ravel.

Red Hot + Bach (Sony Classical, $12.98) – A benefit album for the Red Hot AIDS relief organization, this album has a great cross-section of artists playing Bach (and arrangements and inspirations from Bach): Chris Thile, Kronos Quartet, Shara Worden, Gabriel Kahane, and Daniel Hope among them.