As his starting point for a brand new recording of the music from the polychoral Renaissance and the “monumental Baroque”, with Alessandro Striggio’s 40 and 60-part Missa sopra Ecco sì beato giorno leading the way, Hervé Niquet turns to the musical celebrations for a feast day occasion in the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence in honour of St John the Baptist, adding a trio of works by Orazio Benevoli, another specialist in multi-parted choral works, and Striggio’s motet Ecce beatem lucem, also scored for 40 voices.
Described by some as "a female Bon Jovi," Vixen is an all-female band that has specialized in very slick, commercial, and glossy hard rock and pop-metal. Vixen was never a favorite among rock critics, whose barbs didn't prevent the band from selling millions of albums in the late '80s…
Pop singer and actress Laura Branigan was born in 1957 in the upstate New York town of Brewster. It wasn't until her senior year in high school that Branigan thought of pursuing a musical career, after she landed a lead role in a school musical, which led to her acceptance at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City by the mid-'70s. Branigan then signed on as a backing vocalist for Leonard Cohen, as she toured the world with the renowned singer/songwriter throughout the late '70s; resulting in the singer landing a recording contract on her own with Atlantic Records…
You have to admire New York Voices' diversity – this is a jazz vocal group that has embraced everything from modal post-bop and Brazilian jazz to Stevie Wonder pearls. And how many artists have devoted an entire album to jazz interpretations of Paul Simon tunes? Not everything the Voices have recorded is great, but more often than not, their sense of adventure and open-mindedness have served them well. After paying tribute to pop-rocker Simon in 1997, the Voices make big band music the main focus of Sing, Sing, Sing. This time, they are backed by a big band and turn their attention to gems associated with swing icons like Benny Goodman ("Sing, Sing, Sing," "Don't Be That Way"), Duke Ellington ("In A Mellow Tone"), Woody Herman ("Early Autumn"), and Artie Shaw ("Stardust"). Although many of these classics came out of the Swing Era, Sing, Sing, Sing also has its share of post-World War II gems. Ralph Burns' lovely "Early Autumn" is a gem that Herman recorded in 1948, when he was exploring bop with his Second Herd and the Four Brothers. And "Orange Colored Sky," which was a major hit for Nat "King" Cole in 1950, is quite relevant to the CD's big band theme because Cole recorded it with the Stan Kenton Orchestra.
Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival is one of the most prestigious jazz festivals in the world. It was held for the fifth time in 2009 and was participated by more than 1,000 artists involved in 200 programs and attracted more than 80,000 visitors during its three-day stretch (March 6, 7, 8).
With ensemble vocal jazz, the danger is always that tight and complex harmony writing will come across as too smooth and too sweet – for some reason, chords that sound sharp and bracing when distributed among reed instruments can sound cloying and overly slick when sung by human voices. The vocal/instrumental quartet New York Voices don't avoid that trap entirely on their latest album (and their first as an ensemble in seven years), but they continue to demonstrate their mastery of the genre with a solid program of new and old songs and innovative arrangements. Their take on "Darn That Dream" is startlingly new (and features a fine bass clarinet solo by Bob Mintzer), and the lyrics that group members added to John Coltrane's "Moment's Notice" work very nicely. Not everyone will agree that the world needed a vocal jazz version of Laura Nyro's "Stoned Soul Picnic," but the New York Voices' version is really lots of fun and is sure to bring a nostalgic tear to more than one baby-boomer eye. Apart from a couple of saccharine moments on "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," A Day Like This is a pleasure from start to finish. Recommended.
Odean Pope has always been about collective voices. First there was the Music Revelation Ensemble playing with Blood Ulmer, then there was his saxophone choir, and the many bands he may have named but played in as a member, not a frontperson. And here, with bassist Tyrone Brown and drummer Craig McIver, Pope is doing it again. If one listens closely to the interplay of the rhythm section in relation to Pope, it becomes clear. He could not solo in quite this way without them, nor they him. But it is in the complexity of his compositions that his true idea of collectivity is revealed. In the two takes here of "You and Me," we can hear how he creates a line and metered statement to be followed and then inverted by the rhythm section.