Brass Construction continued to avoid the scrap heap, turning out another better-than-expected album. There were two more good singles in "Walkin' the Line" and "We Can Work It Out," and the production, arrangements, instrumental support, and vocals were all more inspired than they had been in the past.
Love. Angel. Music. Baby. is the debut solo album by American singer Gwen Stefani. It was released on November 12, 2004, by Interscope Records. Stefani, who had previously released five albums as rock band No Doubt's lead singer, began recording solo material in early 2003. She began working on Love. Angel. Music. Baby. as a side project that would become a full album after No Doubt went on hiatus. Stefani co-wrote every song on the album, collaborating with various songwriters and producers including André 3000, Dallas Austin, Dr. Dre, the Neptunes and Linda Perry.
American Idiot - the seventh studio album by the American punk rock band Green Day - achieved success worldwide, charting in 27 countries and peaking at number one in nineteen of them, including the United States and the United Kingdom. Since its release, American Idiot has sold over 14 million copies worldwide. The album won a number of awards, including a Grammy for Best Rock Album, and received acclaim by critics. In 2009, Kerrang! named American Idiot the best album of the decade. Rolling Stone also listed "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and "American Idiot" among the 100 best songs of the 2000s…
7-Tease might be considered the opening of what one could call Donovan's years in the wilderness. His next to last album, Cosmic Wheels, had managed to generate sales but its successor, Essence to Essence, marked the tipping point beyond which, because of the seeming datedness of his image, or whatever reason, he was no longer regarded by the public as being terribly important or relevant, or his records programmed by radio stations or ordered by record retailers in quantities resembling his earlier work. All of this is a pity because a fair hearing of 7-Tease reveals an album steeped in disillusionment, yet built upon beautiful melodies and some of the most diverse and appealing sounds and arrangements of his career, and a harder rocking sound than he was usually known for (courtesy of Nashville-based producer Norbert Putnam, who'd done something similar for Joan Baez).
Chicago native and classically trained pianist Patricia Barber's sixth album is a collection of downtempo standards, perfect for a rainy day. Taking on classics like "Autumn Leaves," "I Fall in Love Too Easily," "Bye Bye Blackbird," or even "Alfie" is always a risk, but her confident vocals and interpretations eradicate any doubt that she is a master…
Bennie Green was no where near the technician Stitt was. In fact, his trombone vocabulary precedes J. J. Johnson's and the bebop revolution of Bird and Diz. Nevertheless, Sonny and Bennie sounded like soul mates on the two occasions I caught them together at McKee's Show Lounge 63rd and Cottage in Chicago. Their meetings didn't produce the sparks of Stitt and Jug (Gene Ammons) but a spirit of rare camaraderie (Stitt could be an ornery loner).
Tony Bennett's career has enjoyed three distinct phases, each of them very successful. In the early '50s, he scored a series of major hits that made him one of the most popular recording artists of the time. In the early '60s, he mounted a comeback as more of an adult-album seller. And from the mid-'80s on, he achieved renewed popularity with generations of listeners who hadn't been born when he first appeared. This, however, defines Bennett more in terms of marketing than music.
Brahms’s two sonatas for clarinet and piano, Op 120, composed in 1894, were followed only by the four Serious Songs and a set of organ chorale preludes (some of which may have been written at earlier times). His farewell to chamber music was also his farewell gift to the clarinet. The two works recorded here were preceded by the Clarinet Trio in A minor (Op 114) and the great Clarinet Quintet in B minor (Op 115), and all four masterpieces were inspired by the playing of Richard Mühlfeld, principal clarinettist of the Meiningen Orchestra.
Elgar’s Violin Concerto has a certain mystique about it independent of the knee-jerk obeisance it has received in the British press. It probably is the longest and most difficult of all Romantic violin concertos, requiring not just great technical facility but great concentration from the soloist and a real partnership of equals with the orchestra. And like all of Elgar’s large orchestral works, it is extremely episodic in construction and liable to fall apart if not handled with a compelling sense of the long line. In reviewing the score while listening to this excellent performance, I was struck by just how fussy Elgar’s indications often are: the constant accelerandos and ritards, and the minute (and impractical) dynamic indications that ask more questions than they sometimes answer. No version, least of all the composer’s own, even attempts to realize them all: it would be impossible without italicizing and sectionalizing the work to death.