Saturday, September 13, 2008
CDs to look forward to this September and October
Of the thousands of CDs being released in the U.S. this month and next, there are quite a few I am hoping will be available in the Philippines. Chances are, many of them will. But oh, my fingers are crossed. Here are some to look forward to. I'll be adding to the list soon, so do come back for more....
The five-time Grammy winner is set to launch this month an album featuring his renditions of songs that have influenced and inspired him in the past decades. James Taylor gathered his band early this year for a 10-day live recording session (a refreshing idea in today's world of overdub), and the result includes such beloved songs as Wichita Lineman, On Broadway, Hound Dog, I'm a Road Runner, Why Baby Why, Sadie, and many others. I can't wait for this one.
I just watched Dreamgirls last week (I know I am so delayed), and I thought Jennifer Hudson did pretty well in her singing role. Ok, her debut album is ready for release, and it promises collaborations with OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder; producer, composer, rapper, and singer Timbaland; and pop sensation Ne-Yo, who wrote the album's first single. I'm supposing of course that the tracks won't carry the histrionics Hudson displayed in Dreamgirls--oh, though And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going is part of the CD.
Jazz artists Dave Grusin and Lee Ritenour partner once again, this time for a romantic and rhythmic mix of timeless melodies from Classical and South American music. Working on this project with Joshua Bell, Chris Botti, Renee Fleming, and James Taylor, the two push further the concept of their previous album, Two Worlds, where they borrow influences from two musical styles that are poles apart, and marry these in a seamless and unexpected body of work. Ooohhh....
Perhaps most remembered for his middle-of-the-road hit, We're All Alone, Boz Scaggs, whose career peaked in the 70s and 80s, is set to unveil his 17th studio album. Titled Speak Low, the project is Scagg's latest collection of standards (his first, Be Beautiful debuted at #1 in the Billboard Jazz charts in September 2003), this time featuring the work of Ellington, Mercer, Rodgers & Hart, and other classic writers and composers. The album was recorded in George Lucas's Skywalker Ranch complex.
After 2 multi-platinum CDs and 5 Grammys, John Legend is prepping to release his latest project, Evolver, a seemingly politically-colored album that is expected to hit the airwaves before the U.S. elections this year. A staunch Obama supporter, Legend's track, If You're Out There, "reflects the themes of hope and change, responsibility and leadership, and commitment to a better tomorrow expressed in the principles of Barack Obama and the hearts of the American people," the artist told MTV.
Consider the songs: Can We Still Be Friends, Hello It's Me, Love Is The Answer, I Saw The Light--and know that they all came from this man, Todd Rundgren. After having just turned 60, Rundgren is launching his 21st solo album, Arena, with songs expected to bear big, singalong choruses and melodic guitar solos. Rundgren explains, "I called it Arena because I figure it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy: if I make successful arena rock record, I'll wind up playing arenas!" The project is all Rundgren, playing all the instruments, doing all the vocals, and handling the production.