"Arrau's Chopin – now available in a six-CD box (Philips 432 303-2) as part of Philips's Arrau Edition – is as far from moonstruck "sentimentality" as any Chopin ever was. But no performance of the Preludes is more sentimental, in Schiller's sense, than the version Arrau recorded for Philips in 1973. Its premise – that the cycle is a grand tragedy, the darkest thing Chopin wrote – is unmistakable. Even the prefatory C-major Prelude heaves with orgasmic rubatos – more weight, it seems, than the music can possibly bear. And yet, as Arrau packs each small berth with a world of feeling, the weight grips and holds. At times, the sheer density of emotion can seem suffocatingly intense. The Prelude No. 22, a Stygian descent, is surely Hades; the plunging scales of No. 24 rip the thread of life."
The Dead Daisies will be back in business for 2018. After spending a good portion of 2017 promoting a live album, the band filled with veteran rockers have announced that a new studio album titled Burn It Down will arrive on April 6.
Primarily known as sidemen, pianist Pinetop Perkins and guitarist Hubert Sumlin, if not as widely recognized as the artists they've supported, do have something of a legendary status in the blues world. Thus, this CD where the two of them take the lead (providing vocals as well) is aptly titled. The material consists mainly of longtime standards such as "Got My Mojo Working," "Rock Me Baby," "Hoochie Coochie Man," and "The Sky Is Crying," all performed with the considerable skill attained through years of experience. If Perkins and Sumlin's approach to these tunes isn't exactly innovative, it is rock solid and energetic, with plenty of excellent lead work from them both. Also notable is Annie Raines's harmonica, which provides solid counterpoint to the two leads, and occasionally takes the lead on its own.