Wolf Hoffmann is back with his second solo offering many years after his first solo record ‘Classical’. And much like the first, he tries to explore the idea of classical arrangements interpreted as metal…
Guitarist Wolf Hoffmann, formerly of the underrated German heavy metal band Accept, focused his love of classical music into a fascinating instrumental solo album, Classical. Yngwie Malmsteen is probably the only other metal guitarist who has tackled classical music in a serious way. A marriage of metal and classical, Classical includes interpretations of famous compositions by Georges Bizet, Edvard Grieg, Peter Tchaikovsky, Bedrich Smetana, Maurice Ravel, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Edward Elgar. Hoffmann plays all the guitars and he's joined by a handful of guests like Damn Yankees and Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Michael Cartellone, Giant and country music session bass guitarist Mike Brignardello, keyboardist Al Kooper, and bass guitarist Peter Baltes, a former Accept bandmate. In the liner notes, Hoffmann explains that he gives his versions a twist on the originals. Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" is transformed into flowing hard rock. Bizet's "Habanera" (from "Carmen") effectively weaves classical guitar and meaty electric guitar lines.
A daring and beautiful work, Bella Wolf is a cinematic experience evoking California meets Latin America in the 70s. Infusing elements of latin flavoured pop with sultry jazz and experimental rock, this is an exciting debut from what will be a new and important jazz ensemble.
Howlin' Wolf may be gone, but his spirit lives on, as this 13-track tribute album featuring members of the Wolf's own band attests. Sam Lay, Eddie Shaw, Hubert Sumlin, and the rest are as tight and smooth as they ever were playing behind Howlin' Wolf, and they've got an array of guest stars to do the Wolf proud. Taj Mahal (sounding a good bit like Wolf himself) is here, as are guitar-slinger Debbie Davies and multi-instrumentalist Kenny Neal. Lucinda Williams does a bluesy turn, and there are contributions from Lucky Peterson, James Cotton, and more. The CD features plenty of Wolf favorites, including "Saddle My Pony," "Howlin' for My Darling," "The Red Rooster," "Howlin' Wolf Boogie," and "Smokestack Lightnin'," among others. All in all, it's a fitting tribute to a man whose contribution to the blues is immeasurable.
This 6-CD set captures Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Daniel Barenboim in some of their most significant recordings together and features the astonishingly beautiful and highly regarded lieder of Hugo Wolf.