The Goat Rodeo Sessions: Yo Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile (CD 9529)
Released in 2011, classical meets bluegrass with this incredibly talented group of musicians. The virtuoso playing of this dynamic quartet is stunning. I’m always a huge fan of classical musicians gone rogue, and this album is no disappointment. Goat Rodeo Sessions won the 2013 Grammy award for Best Folk Album as well as Best Engineered, Non Classical award. From start to finish, this album is a paradoxical combination of classical precision and bluegrass abandon.
Soul of the Tango: The Music of Astor Piazolla, Yo Yo Ma (CD 9741)
If you’ve never listened to Astor Piazolla’s tangos, this album is an excellent first taste. If you’re a tango aficionado, this album does the dramatic, romantic music justice, for sure. Yo Yo Ma continues to delve into fascinating sub-genres of folk and classical with this beautiful collection of Piazolla tangos.
Solo Piano, Philip Glass (CD 9685)
Kurt Munkacsi performs Solo Piano, by Philip Glass. The piano is minimalistic (of course), repetitive, and full of subtle harmonic intricacies. Five of the seven tracks make up the piece “Metamorphasis”. The title refers to Kafka’s piece of literature of the same name. This album was my first experience listening to Philip Glass, and continues to be one of my favorite albums of his work.
Roomful of Teeth [self titled] (CD 10205)
Roomful of Teeth is a vocal octet performing some really rad, 21st century a capella music. They have studied various throat singing techniques, various western and global vocal styles, and blend it together to create a compelling and accessible (though strange) collection of a capella music. This album features seven different composers, including Merril Garbus from the experimental band, tUnE-yArDs.
Django Reinhardt [chronological, Vol 1.] (CD 9531)
Who doesn’t love some swinging 30s-40s jazz? Featuring Stephen Grappelly on jazz violin, this is the complete early recordings of Django Reinhardt in chronological order. There’s not much to say about this classic collection of music by two of the greatest jazz musicians in history, other than that it’s something you should absolutely pick up if you’re looking to explore hot/gypsy jazz music.