This delightful set collects the earliest sides released by jazz guitarist Eddie Lang under his own name (or as Blind Willie Dunn, but more on that in a moment), which means it doesn't include any of his famous duets with fellow guitarist Lonnie Johnson, since all of those were officially released under Johnson's name. Lang does play with Johnson here on two tracks, though, under the name Blind Willie Dunn as part of the Gin Bottle Four (which also included pianist J.C. Johnson and horn man King Oliver), and his two striking duets with guitarist Carl Kress ("Pickin' My Way" and "Feeling My Way") are also here…
As one-third of the composer-collective Bang on a Can, David Lang is something of a genial father figure of the indie-classical scene. Talk to any of the world's main players and you're likely to hear them tell you about their life-changing stint in Bang on a Can's summer festival, which has acted as a sort of feeder school and incubator for the group's try-anything mentality. Lang's music has undergone many stylistic shifts over the years: In the 80s, he wrote bristlier stuff, but in the last decade or so, he's shifted quietly into a more pensive register. The Little Match Girl Passion, his 2008 work that won him a Pulitzer, was written for only four voices and some hand bells. This Was Written By Hand, his most recent recording, is a collection of short solo piano works played by the British pianist Andrew Zolinsky. The album holds the same, sustained melancholy mood: thoughtful, searching, elegiac, minimalist. Lang's way with repetitive phrasing doesn't feel like that of minimalists like Glass or Reich's, though.
The ineffable magic of New York City fires the imagination of superstar pianist Lang Lang on his new album New York Rhapsody. He is joined by a wide array of special guests including Andra Day, Herbie Hancock, Jason Isbell, Jeffrey Wright, Kandace Springs, Lindsey Stirling, Lisa Fischer, Madeleine Peyroux and Sean Jones. From the haunting reveries of Gershwin and Copland to the in-the-moment intensity of songs made famous by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, Lou Reed and Don Henley, New York Rhapsody rediscovers the dazzle and the soul of America’s most symbolic city.
The recordings followed an extensive international series of concerts and Lang Lang will continue to tour the programme worldwide this autumn and next spring.