Previously only available on compact disc in Japan, the 1967 recording of Bellini's Norma featuring 24-year old soprano Elena Souliotis now gets an international release thanks to the Eloquence label. Sporting the original cover photo shot by Francesco Scavullo, this recording can be counted among the most worthy of owning .
Pavaroti is in great voice, Caballe is brilliant, Sutherland is OK,It doesn't have the excitement of other "Norma's", but is a good addition to a "Norma" collection.
-By Thomas E. Lawson-
"Pretty Miss Norma Jean" may be best remembered as Porter Wagoner's stage partner before he was paired with Dolly Parton, but she was also well known for an often hard-edged group of songs that spoke of poverty, hard work, and the instability of romantic relationships. Although she didn't have the songwriting creativity of Loretta Lynn or Dolly Parton, she was comparable to those stars in her general outlook. Norma Jean Beasler was no stranger to poverty herself, born into a hard-working farm family near Wellston, OK. As a child, she wanted to be a country star like Kitty Wells, whom she tried to emulate. She made her professional debut singing "If Teardrops Were Pennies" at age 12 on the radio in Oklahoma City. In high school, she toured with a few Western swing bands, including those of Billy Gray and Merle Lindsay.
This 1979 Norma features Renata Scotto in one of her very best recordings. She is in gorgeous vocal estate, with much exquisite pianissimo singing above the stave. Surprisingly, Scotto is one of the few native Italians to essay this most difficult bel canto role, and she brings an innate understanding of the text and music .
I believe this is the only note-complete performance of this opera, and furthermore, the only one that is sung in all of the original keys (in almost every other recording "Casta diva" and the duets are transposed down). It is a spectacular example of bel canto. Recorded in 1964, Joan Sutherland was at her peak, exhibiting fearless, beautiful singing, thoroughly accurate in fiorature and breath control.
A grande dame of British jazz, Norma Winstone may be approaching her 70th birthday but the east London-born vocalist shows no signs of fading into well-earned retirement just yet. Indeed, the former Azimuth figurehead and veteran collaborator with everyone from pianists John Taylor and Mike Westbrook to Ian Carr and Kenny Wheeler, has made some of the best received albums of her lengthy career during the last decade; not least 2008’s Distances, which garnered a Grammy nomination and a clutch of European jazz awards.
Here's my third and final upload by this much underated tenor player. It's from 1966 and was reissued in Japan some years ago. Good Stuff! Saxophonist Dick Morrissey towered among the finest and most innovative British jazz musicians of his generation when he teamed with guitarist Jim Mullen to spearhead the UK fusion movement of the 1970s. Born May 9, 1940 in Horley, England, Morrissey taught himself the clarinet at age 16, later mastering all of the saxophones and the flute. In his late teens, while apprenticing as a jeweler, he played with the Original Climax Jazz Band, followed by a stint in trumpeter Gus Galbraith's septet, where alto saxophonist Pete King introduced Morrissey to his chief inspiration, Charlie Parker.