Funkmaster Flex keeps his Mix Tape: 60 Minute of Funk going with Volume 4, which features mainly freestyles. Performers include some of the industries top rappers - primarily New Yorkers like DMX and Ja Rule but also a few out-of-town surprises like Eminem and Ludacris - most of whom freestyle over Flex's own productions. The plethora of exclusive productions sets Volume 4 apart from its predecessors, which were more straightforward mix albums comprised of previously released hits. As such, Volume 4 offers a lot of performances that cannot be found elsewhere, so fans of the featured rappers should take note.
Black Sheep, a Rochester, New York-based 1970s United States rock music band, was one of vocalist Lou Gramm's early working bands (it followed Poor Heart, which broke up c. 1970). The group, which had released the single Stick Around in 1974, the album Black Sheep in 1975, and the album Encouraging Words in 1976, was no longer performing when Gramm was invited by Mick Jones to join the band Foreigner.
SCHUBERT: SONGS WITHOUT WORDS is an elegant recital by pianist Daria Hovora and cellist Mischa Maisky that allows us to hear Schubert songs, beautifully rich as they are with the texts as sung by many of our finest singers, here solely for the instrumental line. Somehow the interplay between melody and accompaniment (always an equal partnership in Schubert's hands) is heightened by this experience. Not that the entire album is appropriated by the cello standing in for a vocalist: the opening work is "Sonata for Arpeggione and Klavier" and is one of the highlights of the CD. But just listen to the performances of 'Standchen', 'An die Musik' and 'Du bist die Ruhe' and hear the extraordinary marriage between the piano and cello, singing as beautifully as any other version. This is one of those CDs that bears keeping out for multiple listenings in the late evening.