This release features a double bill of Massenet's Le Portrait de Manon and Berlioz's song cycle Les nuits d'ete, recorded from live staged performances at the Royal Opera House with artists from the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme and the Southbank Sinfonia led by Geoffrey Paterson and Volker Krafft. This is the first time the composers Massenet and Berlioz have appeared as part of the Opera Rara catalogue. The single-disc set comes with a lavishly illustrated book, including a complete libretto for Le Portrait de Manon and song translations for Les nuits d'ete, as well as detailed notes on both pieces written by the eminent musicologist Hugh Macdonald.
Charlie Parker was a legendary Grammy Award–winning jazz saxophonist who, with Dizzy Gillespie, invented the musical style called bop or bebop. Charlie Parker was born on August 29, 1920, in Kansas City, Kansas. From 1935 to 1939, he played the Missouri nightclub scene with local jazz and blues bands. In 1945 he led his own group while performing with Dizzy Gillespie on the side. Together they invented bebop. In 1949, Parker made his European debut, giving his last performance several years later. He died a week later on March 12, 1955, in New York City.
Having steered the mothership and worked as a triggerman for the Godfather of Soul, storied sax man Maceo Parker now brings his own tight rhythm and soul sound to vinyl (er, plastic) in undeniable proof that he's still "got it." Combining his smoking horn with the backing of fellow legends such as trombonist Fred Wesley and new bloods such as son Corey (whose intermittent raps colorfully enhance the album's youthful vibrance), Maceo works through the familiar funk and soul lines of his Parliament and JB days and adds new twists to such classics as Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" and "Inner City Blues," Stevie Wonder's "Tell Me Something Good," and Sly Stone's "Sing a Simple Song," while offering a number of his own well-orchestrated and well-seasoned compositions. "Youth of the World" features Maceo on a lead vocal reminiscent of Kool Moe Dee or Kurtis Blow, while "Do You Love Me" rises like Tower of Power before the sultry Chicago lines of closer "Going in Circles".