András Schiff is one of the best Bach players among Gould, Rosalyn Tureck and Wanda Landowska. On Schiff's French Suites, every part from every suite has a different color and gives you different feeling. Every harmony is taken to its end with care, and dynamic balance is always delightful to listen. Articulation of the notes is excellent, full of humour, and in some places you surely start to smile and you feel very happy when you listen to Schiff. He also plays the slow parts very deeply and warmly, which is for some artists a big problem when playing Bach. There are also Italian Concerto and French Overture on the CD's, played brilliantly, so this set is really worth buying. Recommended for everyone.
Tango accordion has a clear icon in the late Astor Piazzolla, but these days Richard Galliano is making a strong case for being the premier jazz accordionist. He's as lyrical as one needs, swings like mad, or brings tempos down to a sensual jog with passion and soul. When called upon, he can play a gut-wrenching tango or two himself. For this effort he's joined by two different crack rhythm sections, the brilliant Jean-François Jenny-Clark and Daniel Humair (seven tracks), or the slightly cut below Remi Vignolo and Andre Ceccarelli (four tracks), bass and drums respectively. It's not hard to hear a distinctly French but improvisationally Americanized sound. The lone standard, "You Must Believe in Spring", is one of many waltzes, but this one jumps from second to fifth gear, Galliano rapidly flying through the changes. The title track is also quick, with "Augusta" more a sprightly 3/4, while "L'Envers du Décor" is an easier modal three beat. Nods to Brazilian Hermeto Pascoal are heard on his composition "Bébé" and the mallets on drums and heavy conga beat-based fanfare and theme of "Passarinho".
Great thriller soundtracks back to back on one CD – the soundtracks for both French Connection films, both handled by funky jazzman Don Ellis – plus the even rarer score for the later Popeye Doyle film, by Brad Fiedel – packaged here with other rare bonus tracks too! The music by Don Ellis is really incredible – a real cut above other 70s cop and action soundtracks, with a dark edge that shows that Ellis had been listening to some of the hipper European soundtrack composers of the time, but was still also cool enough to kick in with a badass kind of groove whenever he could! The instrumentation on the tunes is very odd – familiar, yet askew – as trumpet, guitar, and keyboard bits come off with some very weird effects. The sound of Popeye Doyle is a bit different – given that the film was an 80s TV addition to the French Connection narrative – with Ed O'Neil in the lead role that was previously handled by Gene Hackman. But Brad Fiedel's score is still pretty nice – definitely more 80s in its instrumentation, but handled with a mode that echoes the Ellis years, with the flavor of a decade later. This 2CD package has way more material than the previous issue – with a total of 48 tracks from the first two films – and 29 more from Popeye Doyle – a whopping 77 tracks in all, with some great notes too!