regina carter

New issue of today, and I have a one new review:

I was lucky to squeeze in this one review last weekend, seeing as how things are really ramping up at work/school and for my own concerts! My review this week of Regina Carter at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will likely be my last for the next month or so.

Virtuoso jazz violinist Regina Carter is currently on tour for her latest CD Southern Comfort, released this month. Southern Comfort is inspired by field songs, Americana folk tunes, and Louisiana jazz styles. I have long admired Carter and her playing—she’s incredible! I love seeing an artist who is equally comfortable and skilled in multiple genres. I jumped at the chance to hear her live in Kansas City. Carter brought four musicians with her to Helzberg Hall in the Kauffman Center—drums, bass, guitar, and accordion. The concert was incredible, pristine, refined… perhaps just a bit too refined but still, a wonderful experience of powerful, moving music.

Read my full review at Americana renewed and refined

nicola benedetti

KCMetropolis.orgNew issue of today, and I have a one new review:

Last weekend I saw another stellar violinist at the Folly Theater: Nicola Benedetti on the Harriman-Jewell Series. This was her second appearance on the series, first in her 2007 Kansas City debut on the Harriman-Jewell’s Discovery Series. I didn’t see that concert, but after listening to her recordings for a while now I was excited to not miss the chance to hear her live this month.

Benedetti picked very emotional, expressive Romantic repertoire, arguably just about perfect for the day after Valentine’s Day. I loved the Prokofiev sonata the best, though, b’duh! The only selection from the twentieth century, this one was the most compelling to me and I felt like each movement contributed to telling a larger story, and all together it had a depth that goes beyond your average sonata, I thought. Anyway if Benedetti’s in your town soon on this current tour, check her out! She’s a dynamic player. I’d love to see her do a concerto with full orchestra sometime.

Read my full review at Benedetti’s romance woos

gil shaham

KCMetropolis.orgNew issue of today, and I have a one review:

Last Wednesday I braved the snowstorm to go downtown for violinist Gil Shaham‘s solo recital at the Folly Theater, courtesy of the Harriman-Jewell Series. Shaham performed two Bach partitas and one sonata, and Bolcom’s Second Suite for solo violin, which was composed specifically for him.

Shaham is a fun, dynamic musician to watch. He smiles, turns so every audience member will see him from different angles, and he even swayed along to one movement in the Bolcom. I found myself forgetting about the cold weather outside and losing myself listening to his treatment of Bach’s perpetual-motion lines and multi-layered phrases. The Bolcom was lyrical and playful, and there was some hushed chortling from the audience in spots… now, I will conceded that Shaham hammed up some of his harmonics and pizzicatos for humorous effect, but I wish that people didn’t default to giggling when they hear a newer piece on an otherwise “classical” concert. Just a little pet peeve of mine, sigh. Not that all music has to be serious or anything, of course! I don’t know, for me I just didn’t get a really “funny” vibe from the Bolcom, worthy of laughter. Still, I enjoyed Shaham’s recital overall. It’s always a thrill to see one of the masters in an intimate setting.

Read my full review at Solo suites after the snow