NEW | Street Date April 29 2014
MEREDITH MONK AND ERIC SALZMAN JOIN FORCES WITH THE WESTERN WIND AND VALERIA VASILEVSKI TO PRODUCE TWO CONTEMPORARY MASTERPIECES ON LABOR RECORDS.
Monk’s BASKET WEAVE and the Salzman/Vasilevski madrigal comedy JUKEBOX IN THE TAVERN OF LOVE, both created for The Western Wind, are now paired in a new recording by the celebrated New York vocal ensemble.
BASKET WEAVE is a unique creative collaboration between composer and performers that is evocative of (to quote the composer) “a pre-industrial community of people … working together” and also “a natural kind of resonance” and “a sense of nature or space.”
JUKEBOX IN THE TAVERN OF LOVEis a modern version of a Renaissance art form in which six people – a bartender, a nun, a rabbi, a poet, a dancer and a Con Ed worker -- are stranded in a NY bar during a storm and blackout and pass the time by telling their own personal stories of love, earthly to spiritual.
These one-of-a-kind works show the ensemble’s talents in a manner that has been called “powerful…evocative” (Vivian Schweitzer, NY Times) as well as “fresh and entertaining…challenging andrefreshing” (Howard Kissel, NY Daily News).
THE NUDE PAPER SERMON
"The Nude Paper Sermon" is a ground-breaking multi-media music-theater work in sound and one of the first and finest works of contemporary music to be written specifically for multi-track recording. It was also one of the first new works to be written for Renaissance ensemble (Nonesuch Consort under Joshua Rifkin) in half a millennium in a dramatic and thrilling multi-style mix of singing voices and early instruments with chorus, electronics and the highly charged voice of an actor (Stacey Keach) who brilliantly declaims original texts by Steven Wade and John Ashbery.
“…a sustained power to comment on our convulsive time…a wide-ranging mind
at work, one that serves as a tonic function when the arts are becoming increasingly mindless.”
New York Times
Four original pieces, two recorded in performance and two created as recordings. Helix was created in performance by the voices and instrumentalists of Salzman’s Quog Music Theater at the popular Free Music Store, a performance venue established by Salzman at WBAI, the‘underground’ New York Pacifica radio station. “Wiretap” was made out of the recorded voice of dancer/choregrapher Daniel Nagrin and was originally intended for his monumental solo dance workThe Peloponnesian War for which Salzman created most of the score (it was never used in the dance work because Nagrin found he could not move to the anguished sound of his own voice!). Larynx Music, performed by singer Elise Ross and guitarist Stanley Silverman, is based on a text by John Ashbery which appears in fractured syllabic form before it coalesces into a song. Queens Collage is a sound portrait of the Queens College campus in New York City where the composer briefly taught; it was written as a kind of academic festival overture for a student festival.
"The simple but touching vocal parts borrow from madrigals and plainchant,
to which Tony Elitcher's beautiful clarinet adds a nice counterpoint" (Helix). Larynx Music is a wonderful piece...wonderful record.”
A new compilation of never-before-released masters
NEW | Street Date September 9 2014
A new compilation of previously unreleased tracks featuring the iconic Reverend Gary Davis,
whose enormous impact on American roots music influenced many of the most revered troubadours of our time including Bob Dylan, Dave Van Ronk, Townes Van Zandt, and many others. Joining the Reverend are the equally iconic Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, the best known blues duo to ever emerge, and the unforgettable Louisiana Red, the last of the giants from the classic age of blues noted for his abundant guitar skills and soulful singing. Also prominently featured are blues singer George Higgs, multiple Piedmont blues winner, and veteran folk singer Jemima James singing songs of “loves lost, looked for, and longed for” (AllMusic). with a sense of authenticity that is striking.
With Rev. Gary Davis at the helm, this collection is nothing short of magical. It rises to heights seldom heard in these days of electronic stratagems. This is the real stuff, as good as it gets.
Out of the cross-currents of Central and Eastern European post-modernism, minimalism and mysticism comes this collection of new works for virtuoso piano, solo recorders and string quartet featuring music by the Greek Yannis Xenakis, the Estonian Arvo Pärt, the German Walter Steffens, the Pole Pawel Szymański and two Bulgarian composers, Gheorghi Arnaoudov and Georgi Minchev.
Civilization & Its Discontents
“…a brilliant amalgam of jazz, pop, blues and classical forms, cleverly developed and timed to make the satiric points stand out in the most vivid musical and theatrical terms.”
–Peter G. Davis, New York Times
“…a work that builds up its own undulating momentum and sustains it so thoroughly that the audience boogies long after the music stops. A skillful, rhythmic integration of words, music and movement is responsible for the compelling power of this stunning show.”
“…jazz and pop elements in an understandable idiom, in addition to avantgarde traits originating in the NY experimental scene…swinging melodies that seem to stem from Gershwin, combined with strong, somewhat abrupt but exciting harmonies and surprising rhythmical accents that are reminiscent of Thelonious Monk…Kurt Weill for our time.”
–Doron Nagan, Algemeen Dagblad (The Netherlands).
“…a delightful, tuneful satire…not everything is funny (as) the underlying subject is something very real…This is a wonderful work.”
–Rita H. Mead, Newsletter of the Institute for Studies in American Music.
This is the seventh in the Music of Tribute series from Labor; music by and in homage to Heitor Villa-Lobos, Claude Debussy, Gabriel Fauré, Domenico Scarlatti, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Alban Berg were the earlier releases in this much-lauded ongoing series.
of cross-over folk music
Spanish, French and Native American folk music collected by Federica Garcia Lorca, Jules Tiersot and Charles Wakefield Cadman all go to make up a rich and passionate album by Darynn Zimmer and her distinguished collaborators: guitarist Eliot Fisk, percussionist Rex Benincasa and pianist Jed Distler. Among the featured cuts are the flamenco songs “En El Café de Chinitas” and “Anda Jaleo” (“Let’s Make a Racket”) which became an anti-Franco anthem in the Spanish civil war as well as part of a couple of famous flamenco ballets; also included are a couple of racy medieval French lyrics and Cadman’s American Indian-inspired “From the Land of the Sky-blue Water”, one of the most popular songs in American history.
Music of Tribute is a Labor Records historic series that pays homage to great composers by linking their works with music--often unknown, rediscovered or previously unrecorded--that pays tribute to them through dedication, homage, or thematic reference.
A new recording by the young Lithuanian pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute pays homage to a veritable mountain of early 20th-century Modernism—Alban Berg. Weaving an intricate tapestry of scintillating performances of Berg’s piano sonata and Opus 2 songs and of works written in tribute to him by Giacinto Scelsi, Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Ross Lee Finney, Jacob Gilboa, and Hans Erich Apostel, Volume 6 of the series explores the wide-ranging, global connections between Berg’s monumental musical world and the creative music that it has influenced.
16 never before released tracks of Louisiana Red at his peak–the true Louisiana Red, with all of his intensity and raw talent exposed. Also featured, guitar wizard Lefty Dizz and harmonica legend Peg Leg Sam.
"With a guitar that sings, twangs and whines–now angry, now unspeakably lonesome and gentle–and a satin-edged growl that is comfortable in several octaves, Louisiana Red exemplifies the perfect balance of technique and soul that is the blues."
Picasso, Munch, Bosch, Chagall explores German composer Walter Steffens’ labyrinthine worlds of sound and image and his extraordinary project that stretches and deepens a tradition that began with musical paraphrases of pictures. Steffens’ interest in “transposing” visual impressions into music arises from his life-long occupation as a composer for theatre, operas, and ballets. His compositions are not simply “paraphrases of pictures,” rather Steffens draws upon his extensive musical vocabulary and his uncommonly strong emotional response to art to produce a musical statement on this recording ranging from the orchestral grandeur inspired by Picasso’s “Guernica” to the large scale symphony for organ after Mark Chagall.
"Bossa in the Shadows"
Holiday of Love
The reissue of the first ever Certain General recording. Acclaimed in the American press. It was produced by college radio legend Peter Holsapple of the db’s and released in 1982 on Labor Records, one of the first cross-over or multi-cultural record companies that also hosted Circus Mort and Swans.
Featuring the original band line-up: Parker Dulany, vocals; Phil Gammage, guitar, backing vocals; Russell Berke, bass; Marcy Saddy, drums, backing vocals. Contains the original versions of Leader Out, Hello My God, Bb C2, Downtown and Holiday of Love.Progressive Media’s New Music Report
Look out! Like R.E.M. Certain General layers various sounds to create something bigger than the sum of its parts – exciting, urgent rock’n roll. The music owes much to the psychedelic era of the 60s, but is contemporary nonetheless. An exciting debut.
– JACKPOT / Editors’ choices for best new releases
… Circus Mort’s first EP (on Labor) attacks from a more brutal and intensely personal point of view. Propelled by explosively busy drumming, the band fuses Wire’s burning intensity with a light overlay of early Pink Floyd psychodelicisms. Nakedly painful and bristling with jagged edges, Circus Mort leaps into emotionally savaging their audience with total commitment – a true rarity.
– Lou Stathis, Heavy Metal
The Broken Promise
(Blood Feud in Albania)
A Radio Documentary
Vol. 5 – JS Bach
Music of Tribute turns to Bach: Music of Bach and Homages to Bach played by German pianist
Vol. 4 Scarlatti
Viktoria Lakissova: piano
works by Scarlatti, Alkan, de Manziarly, Francaix,
Godowsky, Hamelin, Kurtág, Lewenthal, Nikolovski and Steffens
LABOR RECORDS REISSUES A PIONEERING CLASSIC
Heiner Stadler's Tribute to Bird and Monk, featuring a sextet of cornetist Thad Jones, tenor saxophonist George Adams, trombonist George Lewis, pianist Stanley Cowell, bassist Reggie Workman, and drummer Lenny White, takes six compositions by Charlie Parker and Thelonius Monk as reimagined by Stadler with out-of-the-box improvisations by some of New York's greatest instrumentalists of the 1970s and remixes them to modern standards by the brilliant engineer Malcom Addey. The result is a critically acclaimed tribute that sounds as fresh and daring today as when it was originally released.
“Tribute is a brilliant mixture of arranged and free jazz, with the strength of the compositions providing a firm foundation.”
DOWN BEAT ***** Five-Stars (top rating)
“The result is a giant step bridging the avant-garde of the ‘forties, bebop, with the avant-garde of today.”
Il Flauto Dolce
With Two Discs Of Exciting Jazz Composition.
HEINER STADLER'S MASTERWORK FEATURES PERFORMANCES BY SOME OF THE GREATEST PLAYERS FROM AMERICA AND EUROPE, INCLUDING DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER, REGGIE WORKMAN, JIMMY OWENS, TYRONE WASHINGTON, JOE FARRELL, LENNY WHITE, MANFRED SCHOOF, WOLFGANG DAUNER AND ALBERT MANGELSDORFF
Brains On Fire presents, for the very first time on two compact discs, some of the innovative early works of pianist/composer Heiner Stadler. These works, written and conceived over 40 years ago, are examples of what are arguably some of the most creatively and unjustly neglected amalgamations of the jazz and contemporary classical traditions. The follow-up release to the critically acclaimed Tribute To Bird And Monk (LAB 7074), Brains On Fire features groundbreaking compositions recorded between 1966 and 1974 that still sound as fresh and stimulating today as when they were first performed. The eight original compositions comprising this remarkable set reveal the mindset of the highly innovative Stadler in his utilization of the instrumental and improvisatory skills of some of the day’s most accomplished players from both the United States and Europe. In bringing together artists of distinctly varied backgrounds and reputations, Stadler defied the separatist system of the time that divided performers into virtually warring camps: classical versus jazz, mainstream versus avant-garde. Composition and improvisation come together, in a confluence that realizes some truly amazing music
Noted author Howard Mandel contributes the illuminating liner notes.
(formerly with Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner and Horace Silver)
with Clarence Thomas, Renee McLean, Billy Nichols,
Hubert Eaves, James 'Fish' Benjamin, and Idris Muhammad
"The Broken Song " / New Music from Albania II
The second volume of contemporary music from Albania featuring the works of Albania’s renowned composer Aleksandër Peçi. Included on this wide-ranging album is music from Peçi’s many film scores and a number of chamber music works that synthesize traditional Albanian music with techniques adapted from European contemporary music, all of it worked up in the composer’s intensely personal style, technique and panache.“The result is a new voice in European music, truly fresh and emotional.”
– Eric Salzman
"The Piano Music" Vol. 2
Nadejda Vlaeva: piano
"The Piano Music" Vol. 1
Iskra Mantscheva: piano
"Christoff's music conveys a compacted and sincere emotional heft."
– Peter Burwasser, Fanfare Magazine
Between Two Worlds
The Essential Bach
monumental series of Bach recordings, a mammoth 15-volume/19-CD project, unanimously regarded as the most fiercely personal and emotional, albeit the most controversial, interpretations of Bach’s music ever recorded.
“His interpretations in this collection have a crisp, good-natured impatience that
infuses Bach’s incomparable counterpoint with a gushing relentlessness.”
-- Rick Mortensen, Deseret News
Fantasias, Preludes and Fughettas
Concertos for Piano and 2 Pianos and Orchestra
English Suite 6
Vol. 3 Fauré
Vladimir Valjarević: piano
works by Fauré, Ravel, Enesco, Koechlin, Schmitt, and others
homage to the great French composer, Gabriel Fauré. In 1922, seven of
Fauré’s pupils were commissioned to write music for an album in his honor.
Among those who contributed were Maurice Ravel, Georges Enesco, Charles
Koechlin and Florent Schmitt. These works of homage alternate with piano
music by Fauré himself including some of his most graceful and attractive
pieces which stand directly between the tradition of Couperin and Chopin
and the innovations of his students Ravel and Debussy."
Concertos for Piano and Orchestra 2&4
The two featured Bulgarian choirs, the Women's Folk Choir and the classically trained Women's Chamber Choir, find the common ground between folkloric and western classical expression in mesmerizing performances of chamber choral works by Bulgaria's most revered composer.
"In all respects–performance, arrangements, recording–this music is the equal of the famous Mystère sessions on Nonesuch. And what otherworldly music it is: droning, piercing yet ethereal, with unusual meters and beautiful (but not conventionally pretty) harmony. For this listener, no other music this side of Bach and Mozart has such power to transport."
– Tom McDermott, The Riverfront Times
The English Suites 4&5
The Empire of Light
Featured on this recording are Arnaoudov’s complete works for piano played by pianist Angela Tosheva, a major new talent from Sofia, Bulgaria.
“There is a definite sense of ‘from-the-heart-to-the-heart’ about this music, the sense of something larger going on is present here as much as it is in Bruckner. Urgently recommended.”
– Fanfare Magazine
Angela Tosheva: piano
Compositions recorded during a period of just over ten years from the early sixties to the mid-seventies. Stadler, a composer, record producer and impresario, moves across the borders of jazz, blues world and classical music with ease and skill. In Retrospection he emphasizes classical and modern techniques set inside large scale structures within which improvisation plays an integral role.
"...clicks as an absolute must for anyone who likes Dee Dee Bridgewater at all."
–Eugene Chadbourne, Cadence
"For the Left Hand"
works by Ravel, Scriabin, Saint-Saens, Godowsky/Chopin, Bach/Brahms
Vol. 2 Debussy
Pavlina Dokovska: piano
works by Debussy, Dukas, de Falla, and others
Vol. 1 Villa-Lobos
José Eduardo Martins: piano
works by Villa-Lobos, Ficarelli, Mendes, and others
"Albanian Lament" / New Music from Albania I
"Albanian Lament" is the first of two albums focussing on Peçi's wide ranging repertory of
chamber music coupled with the composer's hauntingly beautiful music for film.
The Derek Bronston Group
Through his work with a wide range of artists like Jerry Gonzalez, Tom Harrell, D.D. Jackson and Cecil Taylor, Derek Bronston has established himself as a highly distinctive and accomplished guitarist. But as his new release on Labor proves, Bronston is an equally unique and talented composer and leader. The nine Bronston originals that comprise this extraordinary album contain a delicate lyricism and elegance, along with a sense of passion that brings the best out of his three extremely sympathetic collaborators.
"Bronston's ideas brim with the simmering mist of early morning wisdom taken from that previous night of searching for new sounds."
– Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide
"The New Bulgarian Wedding Musicians" Vol. 2
Featuring: The Wedding Orchestra All-Stars:
Yildiz Ibrahimova, voice; Ivo Papasov, clarinet; Ensemble Bisery: Mladen Malakov, clarinet and leader; Ensemble Shumen: Rossen Tchirpanov, violin and leader; The Christo Yotsov Trio.
Bach for Christmas
- American Record Guide
"There´s Nothing Quite Like Money"
D. Justus Noll, piano
Classic German cabaret music from the 20's, 30's & 40's.
"Sylvia Anders is a consistently compelling, protean, sensuously and satirically powerful interpreter of both the words and the sinuous musical lines. She is a German actress but, singing in English, is doubly idiomatic. Because the songs are so skillfully theatrical, they transcend their grim topical origins - especially when sung, as here, with such voracious mockery. A remarkable album."
- Nat Hentoff, The Progressive
The English Suites
Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue
"...moments that could excite even the most staunch traditional jazzman."
– Billboard's Top Album Pick
"Musicianship, instrumentation, and the interweaving of European and jazz are the tools of Stadler's creativity. This reissue is proof that as a composer and visionary Stadler had few equals and that his music, made for deep listening and not a mere casual encounter, is compelling."
The French Suites
"The New Bulgarian Wedding Musicians" Vol. 1
feat. Ivo Papazov and others
"Ivo's album of wedding music played first thing in the morning, provides thorough and long lasting attitude adjustment for the busy executive." – Frank Zappa
The Four Seasons
for two pianos
The transcription by Almeida Prado Joâo Carlos Martins and Fernando Corvisier, pianos
“The most macho interpretation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons you are ever likely to hear…it will surely shine a bright light on an old favorite.”
– On The Air Magazine
Bach/Chopin - The Preludes (2-CD set)
The two most famous sets of preludes woven together in ‘live’ performances by
Arthur Moreira-Lima, 2nd prize winner of the Warsaw Chopin competition, and
João Carlos Martins, ‘enfant terrible’ among the great Bach interpreters;
refreshingly new juxtapositions of very familiar material.
“It’s a novel, exciting idea, and succeeds in breaking down mental categories of ‘Baroque’ and ‘Romantic’…Martins attacks the Bach with an almost Lisztian aggressiveness, and it works wonderfully. Moreira-Lima plays the Chopin with a physicality to match…It’s a fast ride on two giant music machines guaranteed to change the way you hear Bach and Chopin.”
– On The Air Magazine
Concertos for Piano and Orchestra 1,5,3
"Canti dei Morti"
"A beautifully written and performed program" – American Record Guide
João Carlos Martins / Bach
Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook
NEW | Street Date July 30 13
The Two and Three Part Inventions
The Goldberg Variations
The Six Partitas
The Jack Walrath Quintet
"Walrath half-valves, squirts, and sprays his way to the stars. His statement here alone qualifies him as a world-class player..." – Paul de Baros, down beat
The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 2
The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1
The Complete Keybord Works of Johann Sebastian Bach
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