Steven Osborne continues his enthralling performances of Messiaen's piano works, with Martin Roscoe joining him for the two-piano Visions de l'Amen. The two of them are flawlessly matched in their strength, control, and range of expression, even though for much of the work the two piano parts are largely independent. They move together from twinkling, distant starlight passages to powerful, brilliant solar flare-like passages. Osborne and Roscoe, although painting large pictures in the seven movements, demand that attention be paid to the details in the music.
On Jonathan Butler's N2K Encoded Music debut, Do You Love Me, he continues his jack-of-two-trades approach, balancing R&B-based vocal tunes with easy, acoustic guitar-based instrumentals. While it's a friendly enough listen, Butler here doesn't display a powerful enough mastery of either format. His guttural, heartfelt vocal style – reminiscent of Jon Secada – can make even the most Lionel Richie-esque lyric seem deeper than it is (even a new song with a title like "The Way You Look Tonight"), but few of the adult-oriented vocal tunes here are as memorable or hooky as his best-known hit, "Sarah Sarah." "Do You Love Me?," for instance, should be a deep, emotional moment, but comes off as a pleasant, easily dismissed conversation. Fortunately, "You Don't Belong to Me" has more lyrical bite, nicely underscored with a percussive guitar line underneath his angry tone. Butler should put more of that pointed energy into his play-it-safe instrumentals, which generally gallop along smoothly without building much steam. The best one can do with this sort of album is like Butler a lot.
Sammi Cheng Sau-Man is a Hong Kong Cantopop singer and actress. Having enjoyed much success in the Hong Kong music industry, Sammi has been known as a diva.
Recorded on August 26, 1965 (and not released until after his death), Sun Ship was the final recording by John Coltrane's quartet with drummer Elvin Jones, pianist McCoy Tyner, and bassist Jimmy Garrison. Pharoah Sanders would join the group the following month, and Tyner and Jones would depart in January of 1966 to be replaced by Alice Coltrane and Rashied Ali. It is also one of the saxophonist's most intense taped performances. After nearly four years together, this band had achieved a vital collective identity. When Coltrane moved toward metrically free styles of rhythm and melody (with tunes often based on one chord or a short series of notes as themes), the quartet's rhythmic pulse and collective interplay evolved accordingly.