Jazz breaking news: Anne Sofie von Otter and Brad Mehldau To Release 2-CD Album Love Songs
By Stephen Graham
Ten New Songs is Leonard Cohen's tenth studio album, released in 2001. It was co-written and produced by Sharon Robinson. She played all the instruments except Bob Metzger's guitar on 'In My Secret Life'. The album peaked at #143 on the Billboard list, #4 in Canada (where it went platinum), #1 in Poland (where it went platinum  and #1 in Norway. Ten New Songs was the first Cohen album to be recorded and produced digitally, although not in a professional studio, but in Cohen's and Robinson's own home studios in Los Angeles. more..
Recent Songs was the sixth studio album by Leonard Cohen, released in 1979. Produced by Henry Lewy and the artist himself, the album was a return to Cohen's acoustic folk music after the Phil Spector experimentation of Death of a Ladies' Man, but now with many jazz and Oriental influences. The album included Gypsy violin player Raffi Hakopian, Armenian oud player (located in Los Angeles) John Bilezikjian, and even a Mexican Mariachi band. Long-time Cohen collaborator Jennifer Warnes prominently appeared in vocal tracks. Members of the band Passenger, whom Cohen met through Joni Mitchell, played on four of the songs. They also served as his tour band later that year and in 1980. Mitchell had also introduced Cohen to her regular sound engineer Henry Lewy, who produced Recent Songs. Garth Hudson of The Band also appeared on the album.
Verities & Balderdash is a very strange and wonderful album. “Cat’s in the Cradle” was the driving force behind the album’s sales, but there’s a lot more to appeal to listeners, along with enough personal, topical material to make it seem a bit didactic at the time, but Chapin was cultivating a politically committed audience. Verities & Balderdash walked several fine lines, between topical songwriting and an almost (but not quite) pretentious sense of its own importance, humor and seriousness, and balladry and punditry, all intermingled with catchy, highly commercial ballads such as “I Wanna Learn a Love Song” (which is about as pretty a song as he ever wrote).
With the subtitle "Songs from the Vault," you'd be forgiven if you thought 24 Karat Gold was an archival collection of unreleased material and, in a way, you'd be right. 24 Karat Gold does indeed unearth songs Nicks wrote during her heyday – the earliest dates from 1969, the latest from 1995, with most coming from her late-'70s/early-'80s peak; the ringer is a cover of Vanessa Carlton's 2011 tune "Carousel," which could easily be mistaken for Stevie – but these aren't the original demos, they're new versions recorded with producer Dave Stewart. Running away from his ornate track record – his production for Stevie's 2011 record In Your Dreams was typically florid – Stewart pays respect to Nicks' original songs…