Vincent Herring is complemented by rising young trumpeter Jeremy Pelt on this enjoyable studio date. "All God's Chillun Got Rhythm" is a standard from the swing era, though the quintet translates it into a hard bop vehicle very well, with the leader throwing in a quick reference to another song ("Kerry Dance") from long ago. Herring is a bit playful in his treatment of the ballad "You Leave Me Breathless," while he handles McCoy Tyner's explosive "Four by Five" with finesse. But most of the session is devoted to originals by the band. Bassist Richie Goods contributed the funky, infectious "Citizen of Zamunda," which showcases the leader on his dancing soprano sax. Pianist Danny Grissert, who evidently made his recording debut with this CD, not only proves himself as a capable soloist, but also penned the exciting "Hopscotch" (marked by its use of stop time) and the tense "Encounters."
Hervé Niquet – ici sans son ensemble Le Concert spirituel – réserve aux discophiles curieux une nouvelle découverte musicale, en la personne de François d'Agincourt. Mais qui était donc ce Monsieur d'Agincourt, dont on ne retrouve guère de notices biographiques dans la plupart des encyclopédies dédiées à la musique ? Né en 1684, mort en 1758, il fut la gloire artistique de la ville de Rouen où il tint les orgues de la cathédrale rien moins que cinquante ans, fonctions accaparantes qu'il cumula néanmoins avec celles d'organiste de l'abbaye royale de Saint-Ouen, puis de Saint-Jean de Rouen, tout en étant l'un des musiciens officiels du roi. Sur les grandes et belles orgues Tribuot, Hervé Niquet ressuscite un pan inconnu de notre patrimoine artistique, avec ces Dames de Saint-Jean, auxquelles il insuffle une vitalité et une profondeur de bon aloi.
The Prague Philharmonic choir join over a dozen others who have recorded Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil, a work once thought the special property of the Russian choirs who are, of course, prominent in the lists. The Czechs sing it without a cantor, and more as a concert work than some of the others do. Though they take the famous scale in the Nunc dimittis, descending to a profound B flat, in their stride, they are not as sonorous as some others, and their particular contribution is to sing the music lightly and flexibly, with a lively response to the words. They have excellent sopranos, safe in intonation when attacking the exposed high entries in thirds which are a feature of the music, and a good tenor for the three numbers that involve him as a soloist. The Magnificat, with all its tempo changes and shifts of register, is expressively done, as are the light rhythms of ‘Blessed art Thou, O Lord’.
Although the titles to several of the tracks may be the same as those at Broad Chalke, the performance in front of a large audience has a much grander and at times, darker feel, to the previous evening. The difference can be heard almost immediately in the opening track. Whereas, The Apparent Chaos of Stone was a more languorous affair at Broad Chalke, here at Bishop’s Cleeve, Fripp begins to throw some startling curve-balls of pensive guitar after only a few minutes. Given the slow silky tones that makes up much of the opening piece it can be easy to miss some of the detailed interplay that occurs between the two players.