Miles Davis' concert of February 12, 1964, was originally divided into two LPs, with all of the ballads put on My Funny Valentine. These five lengthy tracks (which include "All of You," "Stella by Starlight," "All Blues," "I Thought About You," and the title cut) put the emphasis on the lyricism of Davis, along with some strong statements from tenor saxophonist George Coleman and freer moments from the young rhythm section of pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams.
Following the completion of the 4th’s subtle psychography, 11 years would pass before Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikowsky would return to the composition of a ‘purely’ symphonic work – the 5th Symphony (the composer considered his mighty Manfred Symphony dating from 1885 as his only explicitly programmatic symphony). Despite having just returned from a spectacularly received European concert tour, he commenced the project in a state of complete exhaustion, self-doubt & uncertainty. From his new country residence in Klin, he wrote in the spring of 1888: “I frequently have doubts about my own abilities & wonder if it is not time to stop, & if my creativity has not been stretched to the limit.” His comments in a letter to his benefactor, Nadeshda von Meck, in June, are similar; he fears that “the well may be dry.”
For 15 years, Jake Shimabukuro has been expanding the possibilities of the ukulele as an instrument, bringing it from its role as a cornerstone of Hawaiian music into the worlds of rock, jazz and classical music. This January, Shimabukuro assembled a trio and went into the studio with no music written beforehand, in hopes of coming up with some decent ideas and maybe recording a song or two. Six days later, they had recorded Nashville Sessions, a full album of original compositions, written on the spot and recorded live.
After one bad experience with a talentless hack here in the States I have been concerned about my due diligence when it comes to presenting you with the finest in jazz. When I saw the names David Binney, Scott Coley and Clarence Penn then I knew for sure Francesco Cataldo and his latest release Spaces would be as good as anything major labels are putting out here in the States. This most appropriately titled release has that three dimensional sonic depth of field where drummer Clarence Penn puts on a dazzling display of articulated authority and gives a master class in sonic fury on the tune "Siracusa". Pianist Salvatore Bonafede joins in the ensemble interplay with a rhythmic pulse that while slightly abstract adds a delightful layer of texture.
A native of Munich, Karl Amadeus Hartmann (1905-1963) was without a shadow of a doubt the greatest symphonist in the Central European tradition since Bruckner and Mahler. The sketches and early versions of six of his eight symphonies had their origins in one of the darkest periods in world history – from 1933 to 1945 – when the Nazis were in power and Hartmann gradually withdrew completely from public life. This period, which culminated in Hartmann’s own ‘Innere Emigration’ (inner emigration), represented a decisive turning point in his creative development…
Of the new releases issued under Art Pepper's name in 1980, So In Love was overall the finest. The altoist stretches out here on a program of standards and blues, backed by alternating rhythm sections from the East and West coasts. For this Analogue Productions DSD release, we didn't mess with perfection. Gus Skinas from the Super Audio Center produced New York Album and So In Love for DSD from flat transfers from the original analog master tapes that were remixed from the multi-track tapes and transferred to 2-track analog by Rik Pekkonen and John Koenig. For The Intimate Art Pepper Skinas authored the DSD tracks from the remaster by Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman created for the 2003 Analogue Productions SACD reissue…
Along with its sister recording, Pangaea, Agharta was recorded live in February of 1975 at the Osaka Festival Hall in Japan. Amazingly enough, given that these are arguably Davis' two greatest electric live records, they were recorded the same day. Agharta was performed in the afternoon and Pangaea in the evening. Of the two, Agharta is superior. The band with Davis – saxophonist Sonny Fortune, guitarists Pete Cosey (lead) and Reggie Lucas (rhythm), bassist Michael Henderson, drummer Al Foster, and percussionist James Mtume – was a group who had their roots in the radically streetwise music recorded on 1972's On the Corner, and they are brought to fruition here.