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Ulysses Owens Jr.: Songs of Freedom (Resilience Music Alliance)

One sign of a successful concept album is that it doesn’t wear out its welcome. Drummer, producer, and savvy musical ringleader Ulysses Owens Jr. showcases four very different vocalists on Songs of Freedom, an album that could have easily expanded to twice its nine songs—all of them associated with or written by Nina Simone, Abbey Lincoln, … Read More “Ulysses Owens Jr.: Songs of Freedom (Resilience Music Alliance)”

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Julia Hulsmann Quartet with Theo Bleckmann: A Clear Midnight: Kurt Weill and America

Whether Bobby Darin, Ella Fitzgerald or Louis Armstrong, one of those names leaps immediately to mind at the mention of “Mack the Knife.” All of their versions are distinctly great, yet none is even remotely sinister, which is odd for a song about a remorseless thief and murderer. But Theo Bleckmann gets “Mack” just right, … Read More “Julia Hulsmann Quartet with Theo Bleckmann: A Clear Midnight: Kurt Weill and America”

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Fumio Yasuda & Theo Bleckmann: Mother Goose’s Melodies

Twenty-five years have passed since composer and vocalist Theo Bleckmann, otherworldly pied piper of the musical avant-garde, arrived in New York from his native Germany. Throughout that quarter-century, Bleckmann hasn’t merely redefined the art of eclecticism but turned it upside-down, inside-out and taken it to distant galaxies. His partnerships-Ben Monder, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Kirk … Read More “Fumio Yasuda & Theo Bleckmann: Mother Goose’s Melodies”

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Theo Bleckmann: Hello Earth! The Music of Kate Bush

Great jazz singers are inveterate boundary-pushers, but even the boldest among them stop far short of the distances Theo Bleckmann travels. Over the past two decades, Bleckmann has created a singular pastiche that extends from Weimar cabaret and Italy’s Arte Povera movement to the songs of Charles Ives and dynamic partnerships with guitarist Ben Monder, … Read More “Theo Bleckmann: Hello Earth! The Music of Kate Bush”

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