Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony offer the world-premiere recording of John Adams’ Absolute Jest, commissioned by the orchestra, alongside the composer’s Grand Pianola Music, another SFS commission from 30 years earlier, conducted here by the composer. Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony join forces with America’s most-performed living composer, John Adams, in a colossal album featuring Adams’s Absolute Jest and Grand Pianola Music. Hear Adams’s inspired and witty take on Beethoven’s spirited scherzos in this first-ever recording of his SFS- commissioned Absolute Jest. Also featured is Grand Pianola Music, with its tongue-in-cheek allusions to Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto, written for and premiered by the SFS. Both works speak to the deeply personal and vital relationship of some of the top musicians of our time: John Adams, MTT, and the SFS.
This is primarily a score album, though there are a couple of non-orchestral songs represented, most notably Bryan Adams' "Everything I Do," which became a huge hit single around the same time. Most of the works are essentially what you'd expect from a Robin Hood movie – horns, strings, and flutes, all played in a vaguely Old English manner. The rest is mood music. Given that it's a score, the music of course is meant to work well within the confines of the movie's background. Released on its own, it loses some of its power. Still, it sold well due to the Bryan Adams single, which probably needs little or no review of its own. To help capitalize on this single, one notices that the score occasionally returns to themes from the big song. Michael Kamen, known for his forays into mainstream (non-classical) music, while sticking with his full symphony, does some very good work here in evoking the moods of the movie.
This is an album by the American vocalist, pianist and songwriter Oleta Adams and was released in 1995. Moving On saw Adams move to a more straightforward R&B sound. Working with established R&B producers Vassal Benford (Rebbie Jackson, Jade, Toni Braxton) or Michael J. Powell (Randy Crawford, Anita Baker, Regina Belle) helped mix her trademark soul, pop, adult contemporary and gospel with R&B. Adams wrote or co-wrote six of the twelve songs on the album, and for the first time produced two of the songs..