Our CDs 

Passion   |  Two Guitars Live!   |  Acoustic Blend  
Contemporary Works for Plucked Strings   |  Songs and Dances of Early America

WITH SPECIAL GUEST Ali Ryerson: alto flute & flute
Mark Levesque: guitar & mandolin
Judy Handler: guitar
Genevieve Rose: bass
Martha Kayser: violin
Leo Snow: flute
Jeff Thompson: drums & percussion

Price: $15 each plus $3 s&h
Order: Contact artists directly by phone or e-mail
Also Available at: CD Baby

Passion   (total time 54:30)
Click on a song title to hear an MP3 excerpt.

  1. Bossa Dorado     Dorado Schmitt      3:28
  2. Receita de Samba     Jacob do Bandolim      3:53
  3. Triangular Situations     Vasco Martins     3:34
  4. El Grillo     Traditional Peruvian     2:39
  5. One Note Samba     Antoñio Carlos Jobim      5:19
  6. Entre Dos Aguas     Paco de Lucia      4:41
  7. La Foule     Angel Cabral & Enrique Diezo     6:09
  8. Josef Josef     Traditional Eastern Europe      3:09
  9. Berimbau     Baden Powell & Vinicius de Moraes     5:33
  10. Como Llora Una Estrella     Antoñio Carillo     4:28
  11. Santa Morena     Jacob do Bandolim      3:09
  12. Dark Eyes     Traditional Russia     4:51
  13. Passion     Joseph Colombo & Tony Murena     3:34

Passion Media Reviews

"Guitar duo Handler & Levesque bring some familiar Brazilian and other South American tunes, as well as a few European-based ones tastefully supported by bass, drums and percussion in the back of the mix. Lovely, nostalgic, most of these could have originated in the cafés of 1930s Paris or Buenos Aires in the ‘40s. Don’t assume, though, that this is tame stuff; there is plenty of heat here, along with the light. “Entre dos Aguas”, a guitar-intensive number by the great Spanish guitarist, Paco de Lucia, heats things up considerably. This is rhythmically solid, in-thepocket guitar music with a big, romantic heart. The Brazilian bossa standard, “One Note Samba” begins slowly on multiple-octave soundings of the “one note”, and then picks up brightly, bringing in Ali Ryerson’s flute. Mark Levesque’s mandolin solo is fun, flexible and frolicsome. Any flute player interested in learning the bossa nova style ought to hear her collaboration here, and her alto flute soloing on “Berimbau”. Ryerson uses vibrato only very sparingly and has an unerring rhythmic sense that allows her soloing to swerve off the road, so to speak, without dropping the beat. This is soulful, melodic playing unconcerned with showing off the whole trick bag of improvisation tools.

There are so many things I liked about what they do on this recording: nimble and virtuosic guitar (and mandolin) playing; rhythmic, danceable grooves; a joyous blending of a variety of styles (“Brazilian, Latin American, gypsy, swing, classical and folk” as cited in the notes accompanying the CD). “Soul Eyes”, a classic Russian ballad, and the CD’s closing track, “Passion”, both feature sweet solos by violinist Martha Kayser. Always, the ensemble’s manipulation of tempo changes is skillful, fresh and fun. The duo is so seamless and solid in their approach that I found it impossible to mentally separate the two guitar parts. Who is playing “lead”? Does it matter? No, and this is the essence of great ensemble playing. However one tries to classify their music, well...better not to classify it at all. These folks swing hard, as jazz folk like to say. " -- Elizabeth Watson,GBFA

"Two Guitars Live!"
Judy Handler: guitar
Mark Levesque: guitar, mandolin, bandolim
Genevieve Rose: bass
Gregory Caputo: drums, percussion
Eric Galm: percussion (track 15)

Price: $15 each plus $3 s&h
Order: Contact artists directly by phone or e-mail
Also Available at: CD Baby

Two Guitars Live!   (total time 71:00)
Click on a song title to hear an MP3 excerpt.

  1. Brasilerinho     Waldyr Azevedo     3:07
  2. Bei Mir Bist Du Shein     Jacobs, Secunda, Cahn & Chaplin     3:19
  3. El Choclo     Angel Villoldo     5:42
  4. Besame Mucho     Consuelo Velazquez     6:54
  5. I Can't Give You Anything But Love     Fields & McHugh     5:18
  6. Malaguena     Traditional Spanish     4:50
  7. Pedacinhos do Ceu     Waldyr Azevedo     4:13
  8. Noites Carioca     Jacob Do Bandolim     4:51
  9. Two Guitars     Traditional Russian     5:19
  10. Summertime     G. Gershwin, I. Gershwin, D. Heyward     6:55
  11. Milonga     Jorge Cardoso     3:58
  12. For Sephora     Stochelo Rosenberg     4:11
  13. Honeysuckle Rose    Razaf & Waller     4:36
  14. Tico Tico     Zequinha Abreu     2:39
  15. The Girl From Ipanema     Antoñio Carlos Jobim     4:06

Two Guitars Live Media Reviews

"Every bit of music on this 71-minute CD is entertaining and infectious. Classical guitar master Judy Handler provides much of the harmonic and rhythmic grounding, while Mark Levesque concentrates on the top end of things, playing both nylon-string guitar and mandolin. An upright bassist and drummer accompany the duo. Latin influences are the group's strong suit. They particularly favor Brazilian choros, including Waldyr Azevedo's "Brasileirinho" and "Pedacinhos Do Ceu" and Jacob Do Bandolim's "Noites Cariocas." "Honeysuckle Rose," "Besame Mucho," "Summertime" and "The Girl From Ipanema" are among the more popular pieces on the CD. Arrangements are tight where necessary to state themes and hooks, yet each selection has a healthy dose of ad-libbing from Levesque, bassist Genevieve Rose and drummer Gregory Caputo. In addition to the group's ability to hold an audience in its collective palm, Handler and Levesque's presentation is consistently high-caliber from a musical standpoint. This CD will please musicians and more casual listeners alike."
-- Patrick Ragains, www.minor7th.com

"On Two Guitars Live! Mark and Judy play tasteful arrangements of songs ranging from traditional Brazilian songs to standards and swing tunes. The songs are uniquely arranged with nice harmonies between the two guitars (or mandolin and guitar). There is a lot of tasteful improvisation and interplay between all musicians (drums, bass and guitars). Chord and single note solos are sweet and plentiful for the guitarists who want to hear chops, but Mark and Judy have also put a lot of effort into the arrangements and it shows. This is a very musical CD with exceptional playing. It's clear that the entire band works well together."
-- Eric Elias, Just Jazz Guitar

"Acoustic Blend"
Judy Handler: guitar
Mark Levesque: guitar, mandolin, bandolim
Genevieve Rose: double bass
Anne Lemke: flute (tracks 3, 4, 11)
Dan Hocott: double bass (tracks 14, 15)
Gene Bozzi: percussion, drums

Price: $15 each plus $3 s&h
Order: Contact artists directly by phone or e-mail
Also Available at: CD Baby and Amazon.com

Acoustic Blend   (total time 51:37)
Click on a song title to hear an MP3 excerpt.

  1. Que Pasa?     Jimmy Rosenberg     3:44
  2. Stompin' at the Savoy     Goodman, Razaf, Webb, Sampson     3:17
  3. Chiquita     Waldyr Azevedo     3:31
  4. Muriel     Levesque,Handler     4:01
  5. Sweet Georgia Brown     Bernie, Pinkard, Casey     2:33
  6. Si Bheag Si Mhor     Turlough O'Carolan     2:30
  7. Boys of Bluehill     Traditional Irish Hornpipe     1:20
  8. Lonely Accordion     Russian Gypsy Waltz     3:13
  9. Sounds of Bells     João Pernambuco     2:46
  10. Tico Tico     Zequinha Abreu     3:20
  11. Pé de Moleque     Celso Machado     4:19
  12. La Partida     Traditional Venezuelan Vals     2:15
  13. Samba de Orfeu     Luiz Bonfá     4:36
  14. Le Fenêtre     Traditional French     3:12
  15. Lisandre     Traditional French Canadian     3:29
  16. Honeysuckle Rose     Razaf, Waller     2:49

Acoustic Blend Media Reviews

"This CD is a treat for the listener and serves as a welcome introduction to a Duo whose musical insight makes the world richer for us all." -- Marilynn Mair, Mandolin Quarterly

"Elegant string virtuosity that ranges from romantic to whimsical. It has become an essential part of my CD collection." -- Michael Nowak, WGN Radio, Chicago

"Acoustic Blend represents…an exploration into some very sophisticated tunes. The listener will readily come to recognize an intriguing blend of jazz/folk/swing/classical musical strategies being deployed in virtually every selection. I recommend this album for anyone who enjoys the beauty and cleanness of a nylon-string guitar." -- Bernard Richter, www.minor7th.com

New American Mandolin Ensemble -
"Contemporary Works for Plucked Strings"

Bob Asprinio: string bass
Beverly Davis: classical guitar
Mark Davis: mandolin
Judy Handler: classical guitar
Mark Levesque: mandolin
Robert Margo: mandola

Price: $15 each plus $3 s&h
Order: Contact artists directly by phone or e-mail
Also Available at: CD Baby

New American Mandolin Ensemble - Contemporary Works for Plucked Strings   
(total time 66:12)

  • Click to hear "The City Awakens" composed by Emiel Stopler     
    1. Dances For The Mandolin And The Moon     Richard Charlton     4:09
    2. Urban Sketches 1: Circuits     Owen Hartford     2:00
    3. Urban Sketches 2: Underground     Owen Hartford     1:31
    4. Urban Sketches 3: Walkabout     Owen Hartford     2:13
    5. Urban Sketches 4: Fast Lane     Owen Hartford     1:35
    6. Dreamtime     Annette Kruisbrink     6:33
    7. Homeward Bound     Eden Macadam-Somer     4:03
    8. The City Awakens     Emiel Stopler     7:09
    9. Song For My Father     Clarice Assad     3:22
    10. Philoxenia     James Kellaris     6:58
    11. The Song Of The Japanese Autumn     Yasuo Kuwahara     11:34
    12. Yutuma     Chris Acquavella     5:21
    13. Tema De Soto     Mark Davis     4:04

    New American Mandolin Ensemble - Contemporary Works for Plucked Strings Reviews

    “From the opening melodic lines of R. Charlton’s “Dances With The Mandolin And The Moon” I was immediately drawn to the intimacy of this group and its subtle textures and tones. Dynamically they have the sound of a much larger ensemble... The CD contains a number of pieces I had not heard before including “Urban Sketches” by O.Hartford....played here with energy and precision I have seldom heard from a mandolin ensemble. Other works include Homeward Bound – Macadam-Somer, Philoxenia – Kellaris, Song of Japanese Autumn – Kuwahara, & Yutuma – Acquavella all expertly played. However,... highlights go to “Dreamtime” by A.Kruisbrink, "The City Awakens" by E.Stöpler and "Song For My Father" by Clarice Assad. ) The final track is 'Tema De Soto'"written by Mark Davis (N.A.M.E’s musical director). I can highly recommend this CD to anyone interested in music...It is mandolin ensemble playing at its best and most enjoyable.”
    -- Werner Ruecker, Plucked Strings Newsletter, Germany

    "“NAME’s “Contemporary Works for Plucked Strings”: A Review ......I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the compositions themselves, the beauty of NAME’s interpretation and flawless execution, and the excellent quality of the sound engineering. ... the ensemble reveals a tonal palette that is incredibly rich and varied. The musicians create sound textures and color combinations rarely achieved by plucked string ensembles. This sonic richness is perhaps most evident in Owen Hartford’s four-part tone poem “Urban Sketches.” Across the four movements, a wide range of tonal colors evoke decidedly different moods. When you listen to a world class string quartet, it is clear – with every turn of a musical phrase – that all four musicians are completely in synch with each other. This same level of musical simpatico is in evidence throughout “Contemporary Works for Plucked Strings.”
    -- Mark Linkins, The Mandolin Journal, USA

    "...an extraordinary performance at the closing of the Festival in Sala Gonzalo de Berceo de Logroño (Spain)." -- Carlos Blanco Ruiz, ALZAPUA, Spain

    Rosewood Chamber Ensemble-
    "Songs and Dances of Early America"

    performed on historical instruments
    Barbara Hopkins: flute
    Judy Handler: classical guitar

    Price: $15 each plus $3 s&h
    Order: Contact artists directly by phone or e-mail
    Also Available at: Barbara Hopkins website

    Rosewood Chamber Ensemble - Songs and Dances of Early America   
    (total time 71:12)

  • Click to hear "Cavatina from The Barber of Seville" composed by Gioacchino Rossini     
    1. Rainbow Schottisch     Henry Kleber (1816-1897)     
    2. PicNic Quadarilles: Pantalon     Philip Ernst (1792-1868)     
    3. PicNic Quadarilles: Etè          
    4. PicNic Quadarilles: Poule          
    5. PicNic Quadarilles: Trenis          
    6. PicNic Quadarilles: Finale          
    7. PicNic Quadarilles: Waltz          
    8. PicNic Quadarilles: Roosevelt Galop          
    9. Beautiful Dreamer     Stephen Foster (1826-1864) arr. Judy Handler     
    10. Riley’s Flute Melodies: March in 40 Thieves     Edward Riley (1769-1829) arr. Leo Welch     
    11. Riley’s Flute Melodies: Bonny Charle          
    12. Riley’s Flute Melodies: L’été        
    13. Quadrille Sett #10: Fig 1     Peter Beemer (c.1817-1888) arr. Judy Handler     
    14. Quadrille Sett #10: Fig 2          
    15. Quadrille Sett #10: Fig 3          
    16. Quadrille Sett #10: Fig 4 - Jig          
    17. Flow Gently Sweet Afton     Robert Burns (1759-1796) Jonathan Spilman (1812-1896) period arrangement by Francis Weiland     
    18. Oh Dolce Concento from The Magic Flute      Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) arr. Philip Ernst     
    19. Old Folks Quadrilles: Old Folks at Home     Stephen Foster (1826-1864) arr. Boland and Dowdall     
    20. Old Folks Quadrilles: Oh, boys carry me 'long          
    21. Old Folks Quadrilles: Nelly Bly          
    22. Old Folks Quadrilles: Farewell my Lilly dear          
    23. Old Folks Quadrilles: Plantation Jig          
    24. Rigoletto     Giuseppi Verdi (1813-1901) arr. Justin Holland (1819-1887)     
    25. Gems from Lucia No. 1     Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848) arr. Stephen Foster and Judy Handler     
    26. Gems from Lucia No. 3     Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848) arr. Stephen Foster and Judy Handler     
    27. Plain Gold Ring      Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826) period arrangement by Sarah Corcoran     
    28. Pieces from John Quincy Adams’ Tunebook: Swiss Guards March     arr. Judy Handler     
    29. Pieces from John Quincy Adams’ Tunebook: Ghost of Auld Robin Grey     arr. Judy Handler     
    30. Pieces from John Quincy Adams’ Tunebook: Duetto     arr. Judy Handler     
    31. Pieces from John Quincy Adams’ Tunebook: Handel's Clarinett     arr. Judy Handler     
    32. Funeral March (1848) in memory of John Quincy Adams     Charles Steinruck arr. Judy Handler     
    33. Say, My Heart, While Wildly Beating     Carl Maria von Weber period arrangement by Sarah Corcoran     
    34. Hail, Columbia     Philip Phile (c. 1734-1793) Joseph Hopkinson (1770-1842) arr. Judy Handler     
    35. Spinning Wheel     Anonymous     
    36. Cavatina from The Barber of Seville     Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) arr. Philip Ernst     

    Rosewood Chamber Ensemble- Songs and Dances of Early America Reviews

    “The delightful music on this CD was either written in Early America or was typical of what would have been played in homes at the time. Much of the music was used for dancing or church services or was included in one of the instruction tutors of the time. The CD opens with a charming work by Henry Kleber and is followed by the PicNic Quadrilles by Philip Ernst. Some of the works have been transcribed by Judy Handler. Also represented are Stephen Foster and Edward Riley besides works by Mozart, Donizetti and Rossini. The playing is charming and tasteful. This refreshing CD is one you will listen to over and over again.” -- Flute Talk Magazine

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