This absorbing project finds Australian composer Brett Dean and Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür drawing inspiration in very different ways from the music, life and times of Carlo Gesualdo and juxtaposes these reflections with Gesualdo’s own music. The music of Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa (1566-1613) has exerted a powerful influence on composers down the ages. His highly-charged, mannerist, idiosyncratic vocal music constitutes “a gallery of dramatically-lit portraits of human emotions with a heavy emphasis on the extremes of joy and despair” (to quote former Hilliard Ensemble singer Gordon Jones).
Atlantis is the sixteenth album by Wayne Shorter. It was released on the Columbia label in 1985 and was Shorter's first solo album since 1974. The recording is notable in Shorter's body of work both for its relative lack of improvisation and for the high level of its compositions and group arrangements. Brazilian and Funk rhythms are featured on several tracks, as is a mixture of electric and acoustic instrumentation.
Listening to Sketches of Life is something like finding a diamond midway through a box of Cracker Jack. It starts off with some typically easygoing midtempo quiet storm action that offers more cinders than real fire, but then it suddenly explodes with soul, jazz, and fusion – and some of the leader's finest performances this side of the old Crusaders. Henderson's trombone turbulence finds willing support from friends old (saxman Wilton Felder) and new (Rob Mullins, Dwight Sills), and these all-stars stretch the limits of the pop side of jazz. Especially impressive is Lee Oskar's bluesy, Toots Thielemans-styled harmonica playing. Henderson could do just fine without the rap and chant, but otherwise, he leads a fun-filled cruise through adventureland.
Trombonist Wayne Henderson has had a surprisingly sporadic solo career. During his years with the Jazz Crusaders, he only led two record dates of his own, and it was not until a decade after he left the group that he led his third session. Henderson does take some fine solos on this generally rewarding disc, which also features tenor saxophonist Wilton Felder (his old section mate in the Crusaders), keyboardist Rob Mullins, and guitarist Dwight Sills. The release, which is subtitled "The Next Crusade," is an extension of Henderson's old band, and the selections range from straight-ahead (including "Joshua") to soul-jazz and some funkier sounds. Worth picking up, although this CD will probably be difficult to find.
Dean Martin was an Italian-American singer, actor, comedian, and film producer. One of the most popular and enduring American entertainers of the mid-20th century, Martin was nicknamed the "King of Cool" for his seemingly effortless charisma and self-assurance. He and Jerry Lewis were partners in the immensely popular comedy team Martin and Lewis. He was a member of the "Rat Pack" and a star in concert stages, nightclubs, recordings, motion pictures, and television. He was the host of the television variety program The Dean Martin Show (1965–1974) and The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast (1974–1985). Martin's relaxed, warbling crooning voice earned him dozens of hit singles including his signature songs "Memories Are Made of This", "That's Amore", "Everybody Loves Somebody", "You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You", "Sway", "Volare", and "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?".