Crossover albums have been a boon for the classical recording industry, and in the anything-they-can-do-we-can-do-better category, The Three Sopranos (Oct. 29) finds divas Cynthia Lawrence, Kallen Esperian, and Kathleen Cassello eyeing the wildly successful Three Tenors blueprint. For his part, lucky Luciano Pavarotti hooks up with pop heavyweights for Pavarotti and Friends for War Child (Nov. 19) — the tenor is joined by Elton John, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, and Liza Minnelli. The voice of the moment mingles with the voices of antiquity as Cecilia Bartoli branches out with her first non-Italian recording, Chant d’Amour (Oct. 15), a collection of French love songs, while the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos’ Chant III (in stores now) continues the mania for things medieval. Genres cross when vocalist Bobby McFerrin and pianist Chick Corea join up for The Mozart Sessions (Oct. 1), and a soprano tackles the great American songbook on Dawn Upshaw Sings Rodgers & Hart (Oct. 5).
Today, young lions and lionesses often find themselves going head-to-head with legends in the ever-expanding jazz market. Betty Carter, the genre’s preeminent diva, releases I’m Yours, You’re Mine (Oct. 22), while vocal upstart Dianne Reeves peppers The Grand Encounter (Oct. 29) with topflight musicians including Phil Woods and James Moody. Atypical instrumental projects include tenor-saxophone titan Joe Henderson’s Big Band (Oct. 22), his first big band effort, and Blessed Quietness (Oct. 29), a solo recital of church music from acclaimed young piano virtuoso Cyrus Chestnut. The original young lions, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, go for sibling rivalry with the release of Wynton’s film score, Rosewood (Nov. 26), and Branford’s The Dark Keys (Oct. 29).
Soundtracks: Pop-heavy compilations are forthcoming from ER (Oct. 1); Party of Five (Nov. 5); Beavis and Butt-head Do America (Nov. 5); and the Michael Jordan flick, Space Jam (Oct. 29).
Hits Packages: The no-brainer holiday gifts include Simply Red’s Greatest Hits (Oct. 22); The Best of Huey Lewis & the News (Oct. 29); The Best of Iggy Pop (Oct. 29); Fine Young Cannibals: Greatest Hits (Nov. 5); Epiphany: The Best of Chaka Khan, Volume 1 (Nov. 12); Charlie Rich’s Feel Like Going Home (Nov. 12); Lefty Frizzell’s Look What Thoughts Will Do (Nov. 12); and compilations from the Outlaws (Oct. 1), Thompson Twins (Oct. 1), Sammy Davis Jr. (Oct. 8), Leo Sayer (Oct. 15), The Cult (Nov. 5), and Michelle Shocked (Nov. 5).
Boxed Sets: Also ready to wrap are The Doo Wop Box II: 101 More Vocal Gems From the Golden Age of Rock’N’Roll (Oct. 1); Emmylou Harris’ Portraits (Oct. 8); Charlie Daniels Band’s The Roots Remain (Oct. 29); Neil Diamond’s In My Lifetime (Oct. 29); and Bill Evans’ Turn Out the Stars (Nov. 5).
Fall Music Preview written by Matt Diehl, Mike Flaherty, Steve Futterman, Alanna Nash, Tom Sinclair, Ethan Smith, Russ Spencer, and Chris Willman