For the Alice Cooper fans who feel his output was spotty before and after the 1989 classic Trash on Epic, Brutal Planet is a cause to rejoice. It is a solid hard rock offering. Cooper is in great voice, and he sounds mean and spirited. The title track would be a blessing on radio today. It has great bottom, sizzling guitars, and wonderful backing vocalists. The most impressive thing about this album is Cooper's lyrics. "Sanctuary" could be Lou Reed meets Deep Purple in their heyday. Back in 1987 Cooper performed with an unruly band all over the map. It was very uncomfortable and a far cry from his heyday of "I'm 18" and "Under My Wheels": guitars too loud, and an artist obviously struggling with his personal demons.
Joan Cabanilles worked for most of his life in Valencia, whose magnficent cathedral was a reminder of that trading city's glorious past. Organist Léon Berben plays an organ not in that cathedral, but an instrument in Basque country from the middle of the eighteenth century. It's a magnificent choice, and this collection of Cabanilles organ pieces would be worth the money for the graphic design alone. Check the booklet cover reproduction of the screaming faces painted on some of the organ pipes, for a start. Annotator Miguel Bernal Ripoll, whose words appear in English, French, Spanish, and German, writes that "Cabanilles appears like a Janus-headed deity with one face turned toward the past and the other definitely towards the future.
Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture "Donald" Byrd II (December 9, 1932 – February 4, 2013) was an American jazz and rhythm & blues trumpeter. A sideman for many other jazz musicians of his generation, Byrd was best known as one of the only bebop jazz musicians who successfully pioneered the funk and soul genres while simultaneously remaining a jazz artist.