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Jazz - To be released August 28, 2020 | Nonesuch

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Jazz - To be released July 10, 2020 | Nonesuch

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Jazz - Released May 28, 2020 | Nonesuch

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Classical - Released May 22, 2020 | Nonesuch

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 15, 2020 | Nonesuch

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Is there such a thing as being too prolific or having too much to say? Stephin Merritt, one of popular music's true eccentrics, is also one of its most copious songwriters. Over the years, in side projects like The 6ths, The Gothic Archies and Future Bible Heroes, as well as his main band, The Magnetic Fields, Merritt has spun his own wonderfully ornate and populous creative universe, one that has often expressed itself in massive multi-song, multi-volume epics. While he may never again equal the massive chunk of creativity of the exceptional 69 Love Songs (1999), Merritt did give it an equally compelling run for its money with his last outing, 50 Song Memoir (2017). While there is no doubting the craft and intelligence behind his artful melodies and silly, absurdist sense of humor, there is an argument to be made that Merritt might focus his vision more effectively by distilling even further his folk pop sprawl. That may be some of the inspiration behind Quickies, a 28-track collection of bite-sized snatches of love, wit and wisdom. Musically, the uber brief format—all songs are well under the two and a half minute mark, with the shortest at 13 seconds—compresses his synth folk melodies into hooky flashes, all orchestrated with his trademark blend of keyboards (Moog, ARP, Omnichord, Wurlitzer) and exotic acoustic instruments (cigar box guitar, banjolele, wine box cello). Along with Merritt's deep, resounding croon, the vocals are handled by longtime Magnetic Fields vocalists Claudia Gonson and Shirley Simms. Lyrically, random thoughts become tuneful snatches with typically droll titles like "Kraftwerk in a Blackout," Let's Get Drunk Again (and Get Divorced)," and "I Wish I Had Fangs and Tail." With highlights like the New Orleans swirl "Evil Rhythm," the abject frolic "I've Got a Date with Jesus" or topical single "The Day The Politicians Died," these deadpan bursts are not only essential for fans but a prime introduction to the austere methods and approachable humor of Merritt's musical cosmos. © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Classical - Released May 14, 2020 | Nonesuch

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 8, 2020 | Nonesuch

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Pop - Released May 7, 2020 | Nonesuch

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Jazz - Released May 6, 2020 | Nonesuch

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Classical - Released April 30, 2020 | Nonesuch

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Pop - Released April 17, 2020 | Nonesuch

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 16, 2020 | Nonesuch

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 1, 2020 | Nonesuch

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Classical - Released March 19, 2020 | Nonesuch

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Jazz - Released March 18, 2020 | Nonesuch

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Jazz - Released March 13, 2020 | Nonesuch

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Grounded in jazz's diverse history and powered by that unquenchable desire to improvise, explore, and discover that is the essence of the genre, the new world of brass-and-rhythm meets effects-and-plug-ins is one of today's most exciting musical vortices. Gifted with a fertile imagination and obvious affinity for the palettes of sound available in the digital world, Los Angeles-based "saxofonist," Sam Gendel crafted a tribute that uses compositions by Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Miles Davis and others as the basis for electronic adventures he's devised in league with electric bassist Gabe Noel and electronic percussionist Philippe Melanson. With a saxophone that only occasionally sounds like a horn, the experimental results are often startling—which in some ways is the point. While the chords of Miles' "Freddie Freeloader" are instantly recognizable via a synthy pulse, the percussion is random and refuses to fall into a steady rhythm. Opening with a descending smear of sound, the title track, famous for being Ellington's set closer, becomes a wide open canvas over which Gendel plays a long, languid solo. Even Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust," the most famous of the so-called jazz standards here, is stretched and made utterly new thanks to a haunting, almost human voice-like tone, and a snap-and-pop rhythm track. Although he admits that he'll probably never do another album like this, Gendel says in the liner notes that "It's not a joke, there's no irony. When we play "Stardust," that's me thinking about Lester Young, straight up." Recorded quickly like the bebop albums of old, these electronic jams, captured in dry, ringing sonics, have a psychedelic mindset, fluid sense of space, and respect for creating atmosphere and soundscapes that add appealing fresh energies to classic tunes. The surprising, diverse Satin Doll is one artist's vision of a future not defined by labels, but classified by the imagination of its creators. © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 10, 2020 | Nonesuch

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 25, 2020 | Nonesuch

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Jazz - Released February 21, 2020 | Nonesuch

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According to Pat Metheny, From This Place is not just another album to add to his already super-size discography. “I have been waiting my whole life to make this record,” the guitarist from Missouri says outright. “It’s a kind of musical culmination, reflecting a wide range of expressions that have interested me over the years, scaled across a large canvas, presented in a way that offers the kind of opportunities for communication that can only be earned with a group of musicians who have spent hundreds of nights together on the bandstand.” With his longtime collaborator, drummer Antonio Sanchez along with bassist Linda May Han Oh, pianist Gwilym Simcock and the Hollywood Studio Symphony conducted by Joel McNeely, Metheny begins his ambitious project with a composition of over thirteen minutes, America Undefined, centred around a beautiful arrangement by Gil Goldstein. The lyricism of the theme, the theatrical arches and the inspired but never over zealous interjections from the guitar come together to form this majestic landscape. Pat Metheny manages to avoid falling into the classic traps of symphonic jazz, instead proving to be quite the master of creating an amazing melodic line. This is not surprising, as already with the release of As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls with ECM in 1981, an album he made with keyboard player Lyle Mays (who passed away 15 days before the release of From This Place), he excelled in perfectly calibrated lyrical narration. This level of craftsmanship returns on Same River, a prime example of the kind of composition that could easily fall into the banal or the tear-jerking but manages to remain purely beautiful. With Meshell Ndegeocello on vocals, Grégoire Maret on the harmonica and Luis Conte on percussion for certain tracks, the American guitarist has carefully chosen his guests, whose contributions only serve to confirm the precision of Metheny’s vision, a concept much more easily understood after listening to the album in full. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released February 13, 2020 | Nonesuch

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