Spider Sounds: Corinne Bailey Rae

Editor’s Note: “Spider Sounds” invites members of the University of Richmond community to share their thoughts about items in the Parsons Music Library’s collection. The links included will take you to the library catalog record for the item in question, or to additional relevant information.
Today’s installment of “Spider Sounds” comes courtesy of Music Library Student worker, Mary (class of 2018) and features the 2006 self-titled debut album of British soul songstress Corinne Bailey Rae. Thanks for contributing to Spider Sounds, Mary!

Corinne Bailey Rae
by
Corinne Bailey Rae

Corrine Bailey Rae

I picked this album because I am a big fan of Corinne Bailey Rae’s music.

"Like A Star" UK Single cover

2005 UK CD single cover for “Like A Star”

The first track called “Like A Star” is considered one of her biggest hits was first released as a single in 2005 and was so popular that it was re-released on her self-titled debut album. This song is generally considered a combination of soul, jazz and downtempo. The laid-back smooth tempo matched with Rae’s soulful voice and the sweet lyrics entirely written by her makes it one of my favorites to listen to on a summer night while driving.

"Put Your Records On" CD single

2006 CD single cover for “Put Your Records On”

The third track “Put Your Records On” is also another favorite of mine. It has a relatively faster tempo and a brighter feel compared to “Like A Star,” but still has the Rae’s soulful voice matched with precious lyrics that almost sound like she is talking directly to you as a close friend or a sister. As a young woman, I feel very encouraged and relieved by her sister-like tone of the lyrics in this song as she includes many phrases like “don’t need to worry” and “you’re gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow” along with positive and peaceful images of “three little birds” sitting on her window and summer coming like sweet cinnamon with her favorite music in the background. If you have had a long week and need some music to help you relax, put this song on and it will surely brighten up your day.

Spider Sounds: “Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism”

Editor’s Note: “Spider Sounds” invites members of the University of Richmond community to share their thoughts about items in the Parsons Music Library’s collection. The links included will take you to the library catalog record for the item in question, or to additional relevant information.
Today’s installment of “Spider Sounds” comes courtesy of UR Music Department faculty member Dr. Gene Anderson. Dr. Anderson is the author of a number of articles about early jazz and the analysis of wind music. He has been kind enough to share a review of a recent biography about Louis Armstrong’s early career entitled Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism. Thanks, Gene!

Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism
by Thomas David Brothers

Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism book cover

Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism. By Thomas Brothers. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Co., 2014.

It is difficult to imagine what more there is to know about Louis Armstrong. WorldCat lists over 9,000 works about the musician in over 17,000 publications scattered among libraries throughout the world. Besides two published autobiographies and dozens of unpublished autobiographical writings, Armstrong’s life has been recounted in a host of personal interviews, recollections by contemporaries and published biographies. Of the latter, Thomas Brothers’ Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism is the most recent, winning the 2014 Irving Lowens Book Award from the Society for American Music and becoming a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Biography. Master of Modernism is the third Armstrong-related book by Brothers, a Professor of Musicology at Duke University, preceded by an edited selection of Armstrong’s unpublished writings, Louis Armstrong, In His Own Words (1999), and Louis Armstrong’s New Orleans (2006), of which this volume serves as a sequel.

The main thesis of Master of Modernism, which focuses on the period between Armstrong’s departure from New Orleans to join King Oliver’s Creole Band in 1922 to his successful transition into the swing era in the early 1930s, is that the trumpeter’s success “depended on his ability to skillfully negotiate the musical and social legacies of slavery,” and whose career, “can be understood as a response to these interlocking trajectories.” The fulfillment of such a thesis demands nothing short of a cultural history of the period, which Brothers eloquently and compellingly provides. Although the author contributes few new revelations to Armstrong’s well-known life story, he furnishes the most coherent narrative of these years to date by adding details and filling in chronological gaps by means of little-known archival photographs, first-person recollections from contemporaries and primary sources like black newspapers and periodicals.

Armstrong, armed with an exceptional ear, extraordinary memory and a nascent ability to read music, left his hometown with a thorough grounding in black vernacular music—its blues-infused aspects of collective improvisation, freak and obbligato playing (“playing second”) having been fostered variously by plantation music, the heterophonic singing of the Sanctified Church, King Oliver’s “monkeyshines” or “ragging the tune” to Manuel Perez’ leads, and the hawking of wares by street vendors, Lorenzo and Santiago. Most importantly, he was immersed in what Brothers calls the “fixed and variable model” of performance which “became the key ingredient in Armstrong’s mature style.”

Brothers concludes his investigation by summarizing the characteristics that made Armstrong a great melodist. The author’s stances on a few controversial issues have been addressed by others, but this exquisitely written and exhaustively researched work stands as an invaluable addition to the literature and will very likely come to be regarded, with its companion, Louis Armstrong in New Orleans, as the definitive study of Armstrong’s early career.

Spider Sounds: “The History of Rock ‘N’ Roll”

Editor’s Note: “Spider Sounds” invites members of the University of Richmond community to share their thoughts about CDs and other items in the Parsons Music Library’s collection. The links included will take you to the library catalog record for the item in question, or to additional relevant information.
Today’s installment of “Spider Sounds” comes courtesy of UR Music Department faculty member Joanna Love, Ph.D., who is on sabbatical currently but was kind enough to share her thoughts on a 5 disc set of DVDs entitled “The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” This multi-part documentary covers rock history from its beginnings in the 1950s to Lollapalooza in the 1990s and features interviews, classic footage and concert performances. Thanks, Joanna!

Time Life Video
The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll

The History of Rock 'n' Roll DVD set

I really like the Time Life History of Rock n Roll DVD collection.
It provides insightful (and entertaining) primary and secondary source interviews that situate American musical styles popular in the latter half of the 20th century within American culture, the music industry, and technological innovations.
It’s particularly interesting that you get to see the artists and producers themselves reflecting on their music.

New CDs added in June!

New CDs for June 2016

Classical

Yizhak Schotten – The Elegant Viola
George Szell & The Cleveland Orchestra – Szell Conducts Mozart
UMass Wind Ensemble – Fatastique: Premieres for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble

Fantastique: Premieres for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble

Band Music

The President’s Own U.S. Marine Band – Flourishes and Meditations
The President’s Own U.S. Marine Band – Be Glad Then, America

Be Glad Then, America - U.S. Marine Band

Jazz

Duke Ellington- The Nutcracker Suite

Duke Ellington - The Nutcracker Suite

Vocal Music

Teresa Stratas – The Unknown Kurt Weill

Teresa Stratas - The Unknown Kurt Weill

Spider Sounds: Diana Krall “Live In Paris”

Editor’s Note: “Spider Sounds” invites members of the University of Richmond community to share their thoughts about CDs (or other items in the Parsons Music Library’s collection). The links included will take you to the library catalog record for the item in question, or to additional relevant information. Today’s installment of “Spider Sounds” is by Julie (aka Xinyi), one of our student workers, and features a live album from Canadian jazz pianist & singer Diana Krall which was originally released in 2002 and won a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Thanks, Julie!

Diana Krall

Live In Paris

Diana Krall - Live In Paris

I picked the CD called “Live in Paris” by Diana Krall, because I personally prefer European-style music. This CD has many different pieces. The first one is called “I Love Being Here With You.” At the very beginning, the general rhythm sounds very lively and energetic. It provides me a happy feeling of living in Paris. Because of the quick rhythm and pace, I feel it encourages listeners to become more interested in living in Paris and assume living in Paris would be a colorful and interesting experience.

The second track is called “Let’s Fall In Love,” which has a very different mood from the first track and is much slower paced.
I think Paris is known as a romantic city, and the second track fits that “romantic” feeling quite well.

The other songs on this CD, in general, consists of alternating quick and slow tracks. I feel this is variety is good so listeners won’t feel bored when they listen to the whole album.

This album also is available to UR students, faculty and staff via our streaming service — click on this link to access it: http://librarycat.richmond.edu/vwebv/holdingsInfo?searchId=4353&recCount=25&recPointer=0&bibId=1455539.

New CDs added in April!

New CDs for April 2016

Classical

Johannes Brahms – Sonatas for Clarinet and Piano
Karen Gottlieb – Music For Harp
Mitchell Lurie – Mitchell Lurie, Clarinet

Mitchell Lurie, Clarinet

Mozart/Beethoven – Quintets for Piano & Winds
Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach – Genius – Music of Johann Sebastian Bach & Antonio Vivaldi

Quintets for Piano & Winds

Pop/Rock/R&B

Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn – Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn
Big Sean – Dark Sky Paradise
Tamar Braxton – Calling All Lovers

Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn

Death Cab For Cutie – Kintsugi
Aretha Franklin – Aretha Sings The Blues
Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free

Aretha Sings The Blues

Jazz

Karrin Allyson – Many A New Day
Louis Armstrong – Blow Satchmo Blow
The Bad Plus – The Bad Plus Joshua Redman
The Bad Plus – The Rite Of Spring

The Bad Plus - The Rite of Spring

Terence Blanchard – Breathless
Michael Dease – Decisions
Chris Dingman – The Subliminal and the Sublime
Gil Evans Project – Lines Of Color

Michael Dease - Decisions

John Fedchock – Like It Is
Marshall Gilkes – Ko¨ln
Scott Hamilton & Jeff Hamilton Trio – Live In Bern
Lionel Hampton – 50th Anniversary Concert – Live at Carnegie Hall

Lionel Hampton - Live at Carnegie Hall

Tommy Igoe and the Birdland Big Band – Eleven
Joe Magnarelli – Three On Two
Matt Ulery’s Loom – Music Box Ballerina
Matt Ulery’s Loom – Wake An Echo

Matt Ulery's Loom - Music Box Ballerina

Marcus Miller – Afrodeezia
Sun Ra and his Arkestra – In The Orbit Of Ra
Matt Ulery – By A Little Light
Matt Ulery – In The Ivory
Matt Ulery – Themes And Scenes

Sun Ra - In the Orbit of Ra

World Music

Andy Lau – Love: Special Edition
Amira Medunjanin – Silk & Stone

Amira Medunjanin - Silk & Stone

Electronic Music

Qluster – Tasten
Jane Rigler – Rarefactions: Compositions via Improvisations
Madeleine Shapiro – Sounds Nature: Works for Cello and Electronics

Jane Rigler - Rarefactions

Spider Sounds: U2 “The Joshua Tree”

Editor’s Note: “Spider Sounds” invites members of the University of Richmond community to share their thoughts about CDs (or other items in the Parsons Music Library’s collection). The links included will take you to the library catalog record for the item in question, or to additional relevant information. Today’s installment of “Spider Sounds” is by Alexandra, one of our student workers, and features the critically acclaimed album The Joshua Tree by U2. This was U2‘s fifth studio album. It was released in the spring of 1987. Thanks, Alexandra!

U2

The Joshua TreeU2 - The Joshua Tree

U2 is the purest example of clean, meaningful, and everlasting music. It is almost impossible to choose one soundtrack to shine amongst the rest but if you only have time to listen to one album, then The Joshua Tree is the one to pick. Lyrics from “Bullet the Blue Sky,” “Mothers of the Disappeared,” and “With Or Without You” represent the political and social turmoil occurring during the time of production and the sense of hope lost during these troubling times. Just as the biblical overtones of The Joshua Tree signify a guide to lead disciples to the Promised Land, the album reminds us of the healing power of music.

Spider Sounds: Les Misérables

Editor’s Note: “Spider Sounds” invites members of the University of Richmond community to share their thoughts about CDs (or other items in the Parsons Music Library’s collection). The links included will take you to the library catalog record for the item in question, or to additional relevant information. Today’s installment of “Spider Sounds” is by Rebecca, one of our student workers, and features the original Broadway cast recording of the acclaimed musical Les Misérables. Thanks, Rebecca!

Les Miserables - Original Broadway Cast

In the thirty years following its English-language debut, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s musical Les Misérables has rightly earned its status one of the world’s most beloved Broadway shows. Adapted from Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel of the same name, Les Misérables appeals to bookworms, history buffs, and music lovers alike. The musical tells the story of Jean Valjean, an ex-convict whose journey from Prisoner Number 24601 to upstanding citizen and finally fugitive on the run from a relentless police inspector tragically intersects with the unfolding of the fateful June Rebellion in Paris.

This original Broadway cast recording brings to life all of the stunning lyricism and vitality of the stage production. The heartbreakingly melodic vocal themes and nearly seamless musical accompaniment weave the listener into the gritty realities of life in Orléanist France, and are well worth revisiting for those already familiar with the show.

Catch the revolutionary spirit this spring by listening to the original Broadway cast recording of Boublil and Schönberg’s Les Misérables!

Spider Sounds: Sufjan Stevens “Come On Feel The Illinoise”

Editor’s Note: “Spider Sounds” invites members of the University of Richmond community to share their thoughts about CDs (or other items in the Parsons Music Library’s collection). The links included will take you to the library catalog record for the item in question, or to additional relevant information. Today’s installment of “Spider Sounds” is by Colette, one of our student workers, and features a 2005 album by critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens. Thanks, Colette!

Sufjan Stevens

Come On Feel The Illinoise

Sufjan Stevens - Illinoise

After his first state themed album, Greetings From Michigan (2003), Sufjan Stevens turned out yet another excellent state themed collection in 2005. Known for his use of varied instruments including trumpets, vibraphones, banjos, and others, Come On Feel The Illinoise is a classic Sufjan creation.

Some of my favorite tracks include:

“The predatory wasp of the Palisades is out to get us!”
The feeling of this song works directly against the wackiness of the title — it is sincere, with incredible and heartfelt lyrics.

and

“John Wayne Gacy, Jr.”
This song is about — you guessed it — the famous serial killer. Sufjan does a masterful job describing and humanizing Gacy, and ends with the line:
“And in my best behavior
I am really just like him
Look beneath the floorboards
For the secrets I have hid”

This line exemplifies Sufjan’s skills as a lyricist. The entire album has such a wonderful motion to it, and I highly recommend it for anyone who is a Sufjan Stevens fan, or anyone looking to listen to something new.

Come visit the Parsons Music Library and discover what we have available!

Spider Sounds: The Carpenters “Now and Then”

Editor’s Note: “Spider Sounds” invites members of the University of Richmond community to share their thoughts about CDs (or other items in the Parsons Music Library’s collection). The links included will take you to the library catalog record for the item in question, or to additional relevant information. Today’s installment of “Spider Sounds” is by Xixi, one of our student workers, and features the mellow 1970s pop stylings of The Carpenters. Thanks, Xixi!

The Carpenters

Now And Then

The Carpenters - Then And Now

In the Carpenters’ 1973 album Now and Then, we got to hear some of the world’s best known songs like “Jambalaya” and “Yesterday Once More.” With Karen Carpenter’s deep melodic voice and Richard Carpenter’s skilled and classical use of string instruments, we hear a smooth harmonious mixture of country, folk, and bluegrass music. The Carpenters were a big hit in the UK, US, and Japan during the 1970s. Many of their songs have been revisited and covered by other artists.

When you feel stressed, frustrated, or lost, listen to the Carpenters’ Now and Then. Every single song aims to tell a story of happiness and sorrow, memories of past and present. You are welcomed not just as an audience, but also a listener, a participant, and a close friend, thinking of “those were such happy times and not so long ago, how I wondered where they’d gone.”

To me, listening to Carpenters’ music is beyond the expression of words, and I always have different thoughts about it at different time periods. I guess that’s the charm of this album and
the Carpenters’ music, that no matter when or where you hear them, you can always be renewed and enriched by the lyrics and rhythm of their songs.

Come visit the Parsons Music Library and discover what we have available!