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> Classical

Schumann, Piano Quartet, Piano Quintet, the Jerusalem Quartet with Alexander Melnikov, piano(Harmonia Mundi). The Jerusalem Quartet appeared recently on the Buffalo Chamber Music Society concert series last year and, as series mastermind Clementina Fleshler told The News, they "knocked everyone over." They're a grand group, still young, and tackle this glorious music with vigor and love. The tone is crisp and lively. The finales of both pieces rock. You feel the music's beat, its texture. It is an extroverted approach to a composer whose music is generally introverted. But if you are going to approach Schumann that way, this is the right music to choose. These pieces are matchless in their melody and optimism and show Schumann at the top of his game (which, considering his health and mental condition, could be unpredictable). The sacred-sounding Andante cantabile of the Quartet is a special delight. Review: 3 1/2 stars (Out of 4) ? (Mary Kunz Goldman)

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1612 Italian Vespers performed by I Fagiolini, Robert Hollingworth, conductor(Decca Universal). Here is a time capsule: music that would have been heard 400 years ago in honor of the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, whose intercession was credited in 1571 with helping Christian forces defeat the Muslims who were invading Western Europe. (The feast was originally called Our Lady of Victory; it was renamed in 1573.) This music is in most cases written by composers who in most cases would have remembered the victory. It is surprisingly variegated. There are bells and trumpets. Beautiful and powerful plainchant – apparently the researchers went through great trouble to procure the chants authentic to the occasion. And the cool calm of Palestrina, like looking at a blue sky. The disc culminates in a seven-choir Magnificat by Gabrieli, designed for extravagant outdoor festivals. It's funny, this week I had the chance to talk with UB's David Felder for an upcoming story about new work he is doing involving surround-sound. He mentioned how Gabrieli was doing something similar, centuries ago. This elaborately researched and reconstructed music shows what he meant. The old is new again! I Fagiolini, described as "a maverick group," produces a rich, full and enthusiastic sound. Bravo to the group for taking on this massive, not to mention politically incorrect, project. Review: 4 stars (M.K.G.)

> Jazz

Cynthia Felton,"Freedom Jazz Dance" (Felton Entertainment). In the grand Army of lovely female jazz singers, no one is going to single Cynthia Felton out as the most sensitive, but in her semi-gospel and blues wails, she has the kind of authenticity no one can simulate (and which Duke Ellington, among others, might have loved.) Beyond that, she has exquisite taste in jazz repertoire to sing to show her at her best as well as the musicians to accompany her. Her version of Paul Desmond's "Take Five," for instance, has some scat by her and then a solo by the great tenor player Ernie Watts, whose performances on discs are about one-hundredth as frequent as they ought to be. Granted, she sometimes strains after high notes that aren't exactly coming easily to her but here's a young jazz cooker who wants to sing "Cherokee" as well as "Lost in the Stars" – "Nature Boy" as well as Mingus' "Duke Ellington's Sound of Love." The title tune, of course, is the great Eddie Harris classic. Among the other musicians enlisted in her impressive and worthy cause are Cyrus Chestnut, Robert Hurst, Terri Lynne Carrington, Wallace Roney, John Beasley and Donald Brown. Musically, the ranks of current jazz singers don't really have anyone hipper than this, it seems to me. She not only indulges herself sometimes but her musicians sometimes too (bassist Robert Hurst's bowed solo on "My Funny Valentine" is not one of his best). You'll forgive every bit of it I think because she isn't playing it safe in any way. That's just not what jazz singers do. Review: 3 stars ?(Jeff Simon)

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Mads Tolling Quartet,"Celebrating Jean-Luc Ponty: Live at Yoshi's" (Madsman/City Hall Records). The criminally obvious thing to say here is that jazz violinist Mads Tolling is no Jean-Luc Ponty, but he's good enough and so is his guitarist Mike Abraham to remind everyone in live performance at Yoshi's why a string jazz group might want to celebrate him in style. ?Review: 2 1/2 stars (J.S.)

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Duke Ellington Legacy,Single Petal of a Rose with special guest Houston Person (Renma). It's Duke's grandson, guitarist Edward Kennedy Ellington II, who founded the group Duke Ellington Legacy. No one's going to pretend they're the equal of the stalwarts who spent all those celestial decades being the inspiration for compositions by Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. But amid the second-level playing of great Ducal repertoire, there are some undeniably good and even some lovely moments – some by guest tenor saxophonist Houston Person and a few by the arrangements and, especially, the piano playing of Norman Simmons (whose opening version of the title Ellington tune is dedicated to Duke's mother and is, in some ways, the disc's high point.) It would be nice to give a more ringing vote of confidence for a member of a truly royal family in jazz but alas, it's not to be. Review: 2 stars (J.S.)

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Brian Bromberg,"Compared to What" (Mack Avenue); Mike Stern,"All Over the Place" (Heads Up, available June 19). Bassist Brian Bromberg is definitely in season this summer. There are, no less, two more discs by him in the wings ready to come out. "Compared to What" assembles a high-level fusion band to do some work which is really, a whole lot better than that rather often. Chicago's "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" begins with a shuffle beat and, as do many other tunes, has solo statements by Bromberg playing piccolo bass that sound like a very hip guitarist imitating Wes Montgomery. Bromberg's friends make it, if not an all-star band, one that comes awfully close: Randy Brecker, Bela Fleck, Larry Goldings, Mitch Forman, George Duke and Vinnie Colaiuta. For what it is, close to irresistible. (With Bromberg might as well being a guitarist more than half the time on "Compared to What.") For anyone who thinks that Bromberg has the fusion market cornered on eclecticism or impressive friends, along comes the once-reviled and now venerable Mike Stern to give us "All Over The Place" in which honored guests include Randy Brecker, Kenny Garrett, Esperanza Spalding, Victor Wooten, Letterman's bass man Will Lee and, yes, the legendary Dave Holland. This is as likable as fusion gets this side of Pat Metheny and David Sanborn. Ratings: Review: 3 stars for both. (J.S.)

> Classical crossover

Hilary Hahn and Hauschka,"Silfra" (Deutsche Grammophon). Good for Hilary Hahn. Instead of hanging out with the usual suspects one might find on the recordings of much-promoted and brilliant young violinists, she's made common cause with the prepared pianist Volker Bertelman who calls himself Hauschka. The disc, we're told, is "a tribute to the Silfra Rift in Iceland" but what it amounts to is a kind of mesmerizing classical fusion music, evocative both of the inspiring landscape and what Gerard Manley Hopkins once immortally termed the "inscape." It's music that preserves and haunts, rather than freezes and it gives Hahn all manner of opportunity to explore violin sonorities that her most accustomed repertoire doesn't begin to. Terrific. Review: 3 1/2 stars (J.S.)