“Trained as a classical violinist, Rachel Barton Pine grew up listening to the blues,” writes Susan Lewis on Sunday (2/3) at radio station WRTI (Philadelphia). “Her recent album, Blues Dialogues … is just the latest contribution to a project started … after she released a 1997 album of violin concertos by Black composers of the 18th and 19th centuries…. [Barton Pine’s] Black Composers Project … has now collected over 900 works by more than 350 black composers. Q: The album materials describe these selections as ‘blues-influenced classical works.’ Pine: It’s all completely composed. It’s art music that you would hear on a violin recital, only there’s this influence of the blues. Q: How did you select the pieces for this album? Pine: Well, it was really a tribute to my musical roots.… Growing up in Chicago … sneaking into blues bars when I was a teenager…. Probably William Grant Still is the most famous composer on the album…. Billy Childs … wrote a piece for me for this album… I love Errollyn Wallen’s Woogie Boogie … a deconstruction of boogie woogie style…. [Daniel Bernard Roumain’s] piece blends electronic music on the violin with a Jimmy Hendrix kind of approach to the blues.”

Posted February 4, 2019