This cycle of Nielsen symphonies is a partial crossover from the Bis label, not a remake. The connection with Bis assures that the sonics given to the Gothenburg Sym. will be excellent, and the clarity of the wind playing, the inner detail and clean dynamics are a big plus. Jarvi isn't especially tuned in to the mystery and tragedy of Nielsen's later works. He zips too quickly through the first movement of the Fifth, missing its combination of anguish and chaos. He isn't expansive or joyous enough in Sym. #3, even though the subtitle is 'Espansiva.'
Dominic Frasca is kind of like a cross between Andrés Segovia and Elliott Sharp. Although classically trained and still deeply influenced by classical guitar tradition, Frasca doesn't create music that sounds classical in any meaningful way, and his instrument (a customized ten-string guitar) is a bizarre Frankenstein's monster of acoustic and electronic parts that he uses simultaneously as a melodic and percussive instrument.
After 17 albums, Australia's premier purveyors of neo-psychedelic dream pop have finally come unplugged. The Liberation Blue Acoustic Series finds the veteran four-piece laying down 14 cuts – including five new tracks – over the span of a weekend. Beginning with "The Unguarded Moment" from 1981's Of Skins and Heart, they gently burn through classics like "Metropolis" and "Under the Milky Way" with an intimacy and intensity that feel more natural than any studio album that they've released in the last ten years.
If the court of Elizabeth I could be compared to a bee-hive, John Dowland was one of its workers, tirelessly bringing in news from the Continent which he constantly visited, and as tirelessly producing the spiritual sustenance vital for the court's existence. It is this honey that Emma Kirkby and Anthony Rooley have gathered in an imaginative recital that focuses on Dowland's relationship to his various patrons – among them Elizabeth I and the Earl of Essex.
Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Tom Principato has long been a regional star in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. He has toured nationally around the U.S., Canada, and Europe, but often the venues are clubs. His particular blend of blues-rock is highly specific; jazz guitar master Pat Metheny said of Principato, "he has an enormous talent at telling stories in his solos; he doesn't play 'standard' licks." Raised in suburban Washington, D.C. his early guitar playing heroes included Roy Buchanan and Danny Gatton. He listened to his parents' recordings by the likes of Chet Atkins and the Benny Goodman Sextet with Charlie Christian, and like a lot of kids, discovered the power of Chicago blues in his high school years. Earlier in his professional career, Principato divided his time between two still-great cities for blues, Washington, D.C. and Boston. Principato was the leader of a band, Powerhouse, whose only album but lively shows made them a major club attraction in the late '70s…
After the burnished, mellow Moments, Boz Scaggs put some grit back into his music with this third album, Boz Scaggs & Band. Not that he got down and dirty – his blue-eyed soul and funk is still sleek and stylish, music for uptown parties, not downtown juke joints. But Scaggs gave his band equal billing on the title here because they carry equal weight on Boz Scaggs & Band. It's a true band album, showcasing the group's tight interplay as much as it does Scaggs' vocals. Sometimes, the band almost dominates the proceedings too much, as they do on "Runnin' Blue," where they're as splashy as a Vegas big band. Such excesses are balanced by the nimble "Up to You," this album's irresistible foray into country – something that was a regular Boz feature at this point – and the brief, breezy "Here to Stay," which helps keep things light and casual. But the best thing about Boz & Band is hearing that band play, particularly on "Flames of Love" and "Why Why," where they get down low, playing funky rock and soul that holds its own with Little Feat's Meters-inspired grooves.
Popa Chubby, born Ted Horowitz, has been hard rocking the blues in his fierce and soulful way for more than 25 years. Over the course of a career that dates back to 1994, he has been a force of to be reckoned with on the guitar, and his tempestuous, soulful playing has never been more powerful. An imposing figure with a shaven head, tattooed arms, a goatee and a performance style he describes as “the Stooges meets Buddy Guy, Motörhead meets Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix meets Robert Johnson," Popa Chubby is an endearing character who is one of the genre’s most popular figures.