Director Jonas Mekas travels through New York nights, through apartments, studios, backstage rooms, galleries, bars, and clubs. Encountering old acquaintances like Ken and Flo Jacobs, Yoko Ono, friends, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. Mr. Mekas begins the film with the words 'I can't sleep.' Who hasn't been in this situation? Sleepy and yet wide awake at the same time, you find yourself in the world of those exhausted from the day's exertions, the drunk, the relaxed, the dancing, the brooding, the mourning, and the pensive.
Barcelona Nights: The Best of Ottmar Liebert, Vol. 1 gathers the nouveau flamenco guitarist's early career highlights, including the title track and "Heart Still/Beating," both from his 1990 debut Nouveau Flamenco, as well as Borrasca's title track and "Dancing Under the Moon."
Described by producer Shu-Fang Wang as "an imaginary soundtrack originally composed for a film story set in Taipei," Before the Light gives the music of ECM recording artist Ketil Bjørnstad a cinematic twist. For this album, the pianist has written a handful of romantic melodies and atmospheric moods. The former are presented in different arrangements scattered throughout the album; the latter often include guitar soundscapes and programmed rhythm tracks. Bjørnstad is accompanied by guitarist Eivind Aarset, viola player Nora Taksdal, and keyboardist Kjetil Bjerkestrand. Each one of these short pieces (none over six minutes) makes a melodic statement that could be qualified as being quintessential ECM. .
Shuichi "Ponta" Murakami is a Japanese jazz drummer and session musician. Murakami first learned to play French horn, but switched to classical percussion as a teenager before settling on the drum kit. He worked extensively as a sideman on jazz sessions in the 1970s and 1980s, with, among others, Sadao Watanabe, Yosuke Yamashita, Kazumi Watanabe, Akira Sakata, and Takashi Kako. He founded the group Ponta Box (featuring sidemen Masahiro Sayama and Masatoshi Mizuno) which recorded three albums for JVC Victor and appeared at the 1995 Montreux Jazz Festival, and has recorded several albums under his own name. He also worked as a session musician for J-pop stars for several decades.
The Harmonia Mundi label doesn't pay a lot of lip service to music outside of its core, Baroque and back-centered repertoire, although it has achieved some marvelous things in contemporary music and, very occasionally, the off-the-beaten-path romantic repertoire. Emmanuelle Bertrand Plays Alkan and Liszt belongs to this last category, featuring cellist Emmanuelle Bertrand and pianist Pascal Amoyel in cello and piano works of two composers not at all generally associated with chamber music, Charles-Valentin Alkan and Franz Liszt.