Sublime early work from Stan Getz — a lyrical genius even at this early point in his career ! There's a subtle brilliance here that's undeniable — a tenor sound that draws from Lester Young and Ben Webster, but which pushes into fresh new territory for the 50s — lean, but still very soulful at the core — a blend that none of Stan's contemporaries could ever match this well ! The album features a group that includes a very young Bob Brookmeyer on valve trombone, plus rhythm by Teddy Kotick, John Williams, and Frank Isola. Tracks are longish and easily swinging — and Getz's tone, as always, makes the whole thing come together like magic!
Naxos' triumphant march through Poulenc's complete chamber music continues with this latest release containing, among a host of smaller items, a smashing performance of the magnificent Sonata for Two Pianos, one of the composer's greatest large works in any medium. Alexandre Tharaud and Francis Chaplin play beautifully…hypnotically seductive in the slow introduction and third movement, while the faster music has the right rhythmic skittishness and crisp articulation. The other outstanding performance here is the Sonata for horn, trumpet, and trombone. This awkward but charming piece has seldom sounded better balanced and more natural (not to mention in tune), and it's very well recorded in a warm acoustic. The other pieces are trifles, but no less enjoyable for that. Another winner.
Ben Harper's history with the Blind Boys of Alabama has been an evolving one that has moved from being a guest on their Higher Ground offering and touring with them in Europe, to the Blind Boys joining Ben and the Innocent Criminals on-stage at the front and back of their show. This album began as a series of rehearsals for collaboration on a Blind Boys of Alabama record. Recorded in two sessions, the vibe in the room was loose and creative enough that the two acts ended up with an album of material for a joint release.
No single box set–however sumptuously packaged, however comprehensively compiled–could hope to contain the bewildering, diverse array of musical styles and opinions that was brought together under the loose description "punk" between 1976 and 1979.
Recorded at the Cité de la Musique during the complete cycle of Monteverdi madrigals mounted in partnership with the Philharmonie de Paris and the Théâtre de Caen, the last volume in our trilogy probably contains the best-loved gems of a composer who had become maestro di cappella at St Mark’s in Venice, and finally entered the priesthood. Alongside the great operas that have survived from this period, the final madrigals methodically explore the multiple possibilities offered by the rapidly developing practice of basso continuo and by an unprecedented exploitation of solo voices. And, in that respect, the celebrated 'Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda' forms a spectacular finale to our Monteverdian adventure!