‘Duopoly’ chronicles pianist’s sessions with improvisers

davisCritically acclaimed pianist and composer Kris Davis has released her newest album, Duopoly, on Pyroclastic Records.  The album consists of 16 tracks with eight different highly regarded improvisers.  Each musician performs two pieces alongside Davis, one composed and the other completely improvised.  For Duopoly, Davis chose to work with musicians whom she had never worked with in a recording studio.  They are: guitarists Bill Frisell and Julian Lage, pianists Craig Taborn and Angelica Sanchez, drummers Billy Drummond and Marcus Gilmore, and reed players Tim Berne and Don Byron.

The CD comes with a DVD of live performances of each piece performed by Davis and collaborator.  Davis explains in a news release, “We also chose to make a visual record, which we hoped would be as live and uncompromising as the music.  Shot by Mimi Chakarova with one fixed camera and one handheld, the goal was for this film to have a kind of 1:1 or indexical relationship to the music itself.”

Davis continues her celebratory Duopoly tour tonight at Kennedy Center Millennium Stage in Washington DC, with pianist, and album collaborator, Craig Taborn.  The tour will continue through mid-October.

Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir to perform at Obama swearing-in ceremony

Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

Long before the recent presidential election was decided, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (Democrat-NY and chairman of the 2013 Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies) selected The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir to perform its new rendition of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” at the official swearing-in ceremony of the 57th Presidential Inauguration scheduled to take place on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 21, 2013, before an expected crowd of a half million people on the National Mall. Attendees will include former presidents, senators, representatives, and cabinet officials.  The event will be broadcast live around the world.

“I’m pleased to invite The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir to perform at the 57th Inauguration in January,” Schumer said in a news release this past June when he announced the choir’s addition to the program. “As a frequent visitor to their wonderful congregation, I know from first-ear experience how amazing this choir is, and I know they will wow the whole nation, too.”

The novel rendition of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” was arranged by the choir’s founder, Carol Cymbala, and its music director, Jason Michael Webb, with majestic orchestral accompaniment that’s punctuated with innovative new harmonies while maintaining the classic feel of one of America’s most beloved anthems. Alicia Olatuja, a mezzo-soprano who has performed at Carnegie Hall, leads the song.  It will be bundled with the rousing new anthem, “Let Your Kingdom Come,” as an iTunes (and other online music retailers) digital download and made available to the public on Jan. 15. Both tunes are featured on the choir’s forthcoming spring CD release, “Love Lead The Way” – it’s 28th recorded album. Preview: https://soundcloud.com/brooklyntabernaclechoir.

The 300-voice choir is a blend of ethnic and economic backgrounds, with members ranging from lawyers and doctors to former drug addicts.  Over the years, the choir has performed at major venues such as Radio City Music Hall and Madison Square Garden. Their amazing legacy includes six Grammy Awards, seven Dove Awards, two No. 1 Billboard charting CDs and over four million albums sold. For more information, call http://www.brooklyntabernacle.org.