Twenty-five tracks round up an extremely haphazard but nevertheless intriguing "best of" Marc Bolan's last five years, drawing equally from the regular albums and familiar boogies, and the wealth of archival material excavated by the Unchained and Alternate series. Certainly not compiled with the hit hunter in mind (only "The Groover" and "Dreamy Lady" truly fall into that category), Very Best of, Vol. 2 is instead devoted to illustrating as many facets of Bolan's career as it could, from the pensive introspection of "Spaceball Ricochet," to the grinding self-aggrandizement of "The Groover," and onto the sharp autobiography of "Over the Flats" and "Funky London Childhood." As such, and especially when viewed in tandem with Very Best of, Vol. 1, it serves up a delightful portrait of Bolan's '70s, at a price that is difficult to squabble with.
Bassist Avishai Cohen, best known at this point for his work with Chick Corea, on his own projects mixes together adventurous jazz with influences from world music, original folk melodies, and his own creativity. He composed 12 selections on his second CD, including tributes to Horace Silver and Chick Corea (which do not really sound that close to either of those pianist/composer's styles). The music is consistently unpredictable, with Cohen being joined by pianist Jason Lindner, drummer Jeff Ballard, Jimmy Greene on reeds, trombonist Steve Davis, guitarist Amos Hoffman, a string quartet, and up to five singers (who are mostly used in the background). An intriguing set by an up-and-coming composer who is also a very fluent bassist.
This collection of the complete chamber music of Poulenc shows the varying styles that he employed. From the jazzy, bitonal passages of the Sonata for Clarinet and Bassoon and the Sonata for Horn, Trumpet and Trombone which has been described as 'Pergolesi with his wig awry' (Roger Nichols, Grove) to the profound beauty of his last three sonatas for wind. All are extremely accessible. The Nash Ensemble gave a series of concerts of Poulenc's music at the Wigmore Hall earlier this year to great critical acclaim and Hyperion are delighted to be able to present this wonderful collection on this, Poulenc's centenary year.
A “blood moon” is a natural phenomenon that evokes a sense of foreboding yet captivating wonderment. However, the moon eventually returns to its natural state, shedding its reddish hues back to normalcy. Clarinetist Dave Bennett has not returned to normalcy and neither has his music. Blood Moon, Bennett's sophomore release for Mack Avenue Records, is a dark and reflective collection that deals with loss, heartbreak, and ultimately a return to faith and hope.