Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 10:16 am
As a child in Azerbaijan, Amina Figarova loved the piano at first sight. She would arrange all her dolls around her and play for them. "Nobody could stop me," she told an interviewer at All About Jazz. "I would sit and play and play." Figarova studied classical music and heard jazz at home, especially Herbie Hancock.
My favorite new discovery of the year is actually an album that came out last fall by a band called The Dø (pronounced "dough"). After months of living beneath a massive pile of other CDs, it finally surfaced a couple of weeks ago and blew me away. It's called Both Ways Open Jaws and it's an epic listen: beautiful but gritty, unpredictable, unsettling and full of mystery.
Misha Dichter is a man of many talents, though you probably know him as the gifted pianist who won the silver medal at 1966 Tchaikovsky Competition, spurring an international career that has lasted more than 40 years.
Last month, we started a new feature called "Heavy Rotation" where we asked public radio DJs from around the country to tell us about the best new music on their playlist. The response was overwhelming, so we've decided to make it a monthly sampler.