Happily, it is not the responsibility of this review to address in detail the train wreck that was the 1979 film adaptation of the stage musical Hair. A complete misfire conceived by a screenwriter, Michael Weller, and a director, Czech expatriate Milos Forman, who did not seem to have the slightest familiarity with hippies, the '60s, America, or even Broadway, the movie was miscast with supposedly bankable young film stars of the day (Treat Williams, John Savage, Beverly d'Angelo), and the essentially plotless libretto of the stage version was replaced by a contrived Hollywood script in a textbook example of how not to do an adaptation. But never mind the movie itself…
Classical music for children has been an underserved genre, even though nothing could be more beneficial to the cause of bringing the music to future generations. Any such release is worthy of note, but one like this, charming and original, is cause for celebration. Pianist Jenny Lin organizes for children some favorite compositions and a few delightful rarities along a timeline "from breakfast to bedtime." There are 26 short pieces, enough to give a feel for the variety and importance of this tradition in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Along the way you get Chopsticks, which you may not have known was an actual composition with an actual composer (female, at that), former chestnuts like Grieg's Grandmother's Minuet, the utterly charming I Danced with a Mosquito by Anatoly Liadov, ragtime and jazz works, and, to end, starlight familiar (Mozart) and more rare (Selim Palmgren), plus the famed cradle songs of Brahms and Chopin. Lin and the engineers from the Steinway label create a magical atmosphere, amplified by excellent children's illustrations in the booklet by Mikela Prevost. An ideal holiday, or anytime, gift item.
This second volume of the Guide to Musical Instruments explores the history of musical instruments in the period from 1800 to 1950. Its purpose is both to discuss improvements and transformations of instruments dating from before 1800 and to investigate all the novelties thought up by instrument makers during this era. All these developments took place in a context in which the process of instrument making moved from artisans’ workshops to commercial firms which became veritable factories, typical of the ‘age of industrialisation’. The majority of the musical examples are recordings of individual instruments that allow us to hear timbres often lost under the weight of the orchestral mass.This second volume of the Guide follows the same principles as the first.
The great avant-jazz drummer Andrew Cyrille – whose associations have ranged from a long collaboration with Cecil Taylor to co-leading the collective Trio 3 with Oliver Lake and Reggie Workman – makes his ECM leader debut with The Declaration of Musical Independence. Featuring a quartet with guitarist Bill Frisell, keyboardist Richard Teitelbaum and bassist Ben Street, the album kicks off with an artfully oblique interpretation of John Coltrane’s “Coltrane Time,” led by Cyrille’s solo drum intro.
The cast list is a dream come true. The diversity of the players and pieces is what makes this album special to me. The album structure could be labelled Prog before there was Prog. Split this into the written piece "Hair in a G-String" (about 46 minutes) & "Songs not in G" (About 36 minutes) and you'd have a prog album and a melodic rock album I guess. We didn't do that. We mixed it up. See it as musical interludes between the main action.
Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds is the debut studio album by Jeff Wayne, retelling the story of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, released September 6, 1978. A concept album, its main format is progressive rock and string orchestra, using narration and leitmotifs to carry the story via rhyming melodic lyrics that express the feelings of the various characters. The two-disc album remains a bestseller, having sold millions of records around the world, and by 2009 it was the 40th best selling album of all time in the UK with sales of 2,561,286. It has since spawned multiple versions of the album, video games, DVDs, and live tours.
As one of the leading lights of New Orleans music, Dr. John deserves a splashy, star-studded celebration – which is precisely what producer Don Was assembled on May 3, 2014 at New Orleans' Saenger Theatre. Was led a house band featuring drummer Kenny Aronoff, trombonist Sarah Morrow, keyboardist Chuck Leavell, guitarist Brian Stoltz, and pianist John Gros, then invited a host of rockers, blues musicians, and Big Easy legends to the party…