Joâo Carlos Martins: piano
The English Suites (1-3)
Chromatic Fantasy & Fugue
"Unconstrained by speculations about what Bach might have wanted, or by concerns about what performers in Bach's time might have made of this music, or what Bach's keyboard instruments might have sounded like, Martins gives us Bach through a modern filter, but a filter applied unconsciously and without artifice. This is 21st century Bach, but it's a natural product of Martins's feelings and experience, not a deliberately manufactured package."
– Tom Vernier, CD Review
Hanns Eisler / Berthold Brecht
„There´s Nothing Quite Like Money“
Sylvia Anders, soprano
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
"Albanian Lament" / New Music from Albania I
The first release of contemporary music from Albania, introducing the works of Aleksander Peçi, the country's most prominent composer. Recorded by Labor Records in Tirana, the capital, and featuring Albanian musicians exclusively, this release marks the first ever recording of new music in Albania by a foreign company. A landmark document in the history of this small Balkan nation and the music world at large.
"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.
Joâo Carlos Martins: piano
"For the Left Hand"
works by Ravel, Scriabin, Saint-Saens, Bach/Brahms
Although partially deprived of the use of his right hand, the great Brazilian pianist João Carlos Martins has continued his career with the first of a series of recordings of music for the piano, left hand. The featured composition is a masterpiece of Maurice Ravel, his Concerto for the Piano, Left Hand, performed with The Bulgarian National Symphony under the direction of Boris Spassov. Martins recently concluded his highly acclaimed 15-volume, 19-CD collection of the complete keyboard clavier works of J.S. Bach so it is logical that the new CD also includes a major composition of Bach, the famous D minor Chaconne, originally written for solo violin and arranged for left-hand solo by Johannes Brahms.
Angela Tosheva: piano
At 79, Lazar Nikolov is the doyen of Bulgarian musical modernism. Along with a small group of his contemporaries, Nikolov pioneered the use of avant-garde techniques in Bulgaria, giving them a distinctive Eastern European personality. His strong musical personality and the evolution of his innovative ideas are most forcefully expressed in his seven large-scale piano sonatas, three of which are performed by the gifted young Bulgarian virtuosa, Angela Tosheva. They range in date from the Fifties to the Nineties, from the most oppressive period of the old regime to the freedom and recognition of recent years.
"Canti dei Morti"
A new recording of poetic and spiritual works for soprano, female choir and orchestra by Bulgaria's leading composer. Spassov's work is characterized by a deep philosophical, meditative and even brooding strain that is very much connected to his Slavic sensibility and linked with the revival of the Orthodox traditions in Bulgaria and the world-wide reemergence of non-western and folk musics of many kinds.
"A beautifully written and performed program" – American Record Guide
Two Bulgarian Female Choirs a cappella
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 Piano Music" Vol. 1
Iskra Mantscheva: piano
Christoff, one of the most important composers of piano music to emerge in recent years, has created a series of highly original and distinctive pieces for the medium with a series of two-movement piano sonatas and stand-alone solos in classical forms that have been decribed as a contemporary cross between Scarlatti, Bartok and Liszt with a little Prokoviev, Chopin and Tchaikovsky thrown in.
"Christoff's music conveys a compacted and sincere emotional heft."
– Peter Burwasser, Fanfare Magazine
"The Piano Music" Vol. 2
Nadejda Vlaeva: piano
"Vlaeva plays in a crisp, tense manner that suits the spikier, darker music of Christoff's latest output well." – Peter Burwasser, Fanfare Magazine
Duo Caramuru & Baldanza
"Bossa in the Shadows"
How does a pair of contemporary Brazilian musicians manage to be traditionalists and innovators at the same time? How does the same pair manage to incorporate the strands of popular and classical Brazilian music and rhythm into a single unified style? The dynamic new Labor Records album, Bossa in the Shadows from Säo Paolo, Brazil, shows pianist and composer Fábio Caramuru and bassist/composer/arranger Pedro Baldanza working across a huge and vibrant musical spectrum that runs from Afro-Samba to updated Bossa Nova, to Duke Ellington, to Villa-Lobos to "dancing the Baiäo to the great Brazilian master Tom Jobim to their own original conceptions. The music has all the ingredients of great American jazz, traditional and advanced, but, at the same time, it is infused with ideas rooted somewhere else resulting in its originality and lack of cliches.
The Jack Walrath Quintet
Walrath, former trumpet player with jazz giant Charles Mingus, is teaming up here with Chuck Florence and other remarkably talented musicians from Montana.
"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
"Alchemy" is a transformation more than two decades in the process, comprising wide-ranging variations on two compositions which Heiner Stadler wrote in the 60's and 70, and recorded at sessions in 1974, '75, and '88. Classical pianist Joshua Pierce, the duo of Marilyn Crispell (piano) and Reggie Workman (bass), and the trio of trumpeter Charles McGhee (who at times plays two horns at once!), bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Brian Brake take Stadler's song structures beyond genre distinction by sublime acts of musical sorcery.
"...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 Derek Bronston Group
Derek Bronston: guitar; Lisa Parrot: saxes; Gary Wang: bass; Gerald Cleaver: drums
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
Between Two Worlds
In his latest Labor recording, the great Uruguayan guitarist Eduardo Fernández travels, with equal mastery, from the folk and classical worlds of South American music to the pop music of the Beatles and the "Fascinatin' Rhythm" of George Gershwin. Fernandez' 31 st recording includes duets with Carlos Barbosa-Lima as well as a dazzling array of guitar solos that blur the line between classical, folk and pop.
"The New Bulgarian Wedding Musicians" Vol. 1
feat. Ivo Papazov and others
The new Bulgarian wedding music, a modern descendant of traditional Balkan folk, gypsy music and klezmer, has taken Eastern Europe by storm in recent years. These young musicians, riding on fiery, driving rhythms of extraordinary richness and complexity, have developed a stunning virtuosity and ensemble excitement that is irresistible. This music, at once ancient and furiously contemporary, must be heard to be believed; it will take your breath away.
"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 New Bulgarian Wedding Musicians" Vol. 2
Thracian Rhapsody Vol. 2 is a poetic interpretation through improvisation of traditional Bulgarian wedding music that fuses elements from Macedonian, Greek, Turkish, Romanian, Arabic and even Indian sources and is also influenced by contemporary classical, pop and jazz musics.
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.
© 2016 Labor Records. All rights reserved.