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CD Reviews


Keith Jarrett - Handel: Suites for Keyboard (ECM New Series): Handel's keyboard music has been overshadowed by the popularity of his oratorios and other large-scale works, and also by Bach's preeminence in this area. The best of his keyboard pieces are supple, elegant, and expressive, however, and while Keith Jarrett is no Glenn Gould when it comes to the balance and precision that characterize the finest baroque interpretations, he brings warmth and clarity to his performances. Included are seven suites, played on piano in more-or-less reverse chronology.

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-- David Sterritt


Patti Rothberg - Between the 1 and the 9 (EMI): Discovered at the 1 and 9 subway stop in New York, Patti Rothberg makes her debut with gritty-sounding songs about friendships and unhealthy relationships. It's a strong album that's heavy on guitar with honest lyrics and straightforward melodies. The subjects she focuses on - life's harsh experiences - fit in well with what other angry women musicians are singing about today. But this music is more even-tempered.

-- Lisa Leigh Parney

Grant Lee Buffalo - Copperopolis (Slash Records/- Warner Bros.): So many groups have "Buffalo" in their name these days, it's hard to keep track. There's Buffalo Tom, Buffalo Springfield, and yes, Grant Lee Buffalo. But what separates these buffaloes from the pack is their folk-rock, acoustic-based mood music. The album's title refers to a copper-mining town that's fallen on hard times. The group uses metaphors for life and relationships in songs such as "The Bridge" and "Arousing Thunder," which take listeners on a barefoot walk across a wooden bridge and a walk in a summer rainstorm, respectively. The journey is both calming and refreshing.

-- Lisa Leigh Parney

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