It would have been groundbreaking enough for the Israeli Ofra Haza to have performed an album of Yemeni Jewish songs. But when she and producer Bezalel Aloni added synthesizers, drum machines, and a generous helping of dance beats, they ended up creating one of the seminal records of world music–one of the very first ethno-techno releases whose reverberations extended into dance clubs around the globe, most especially with "Galbi." While its contemporary sound might make it seem shallow, there really is a lot of depth here, the lyrics coming from the poetry of 16th-century rabbi Shalom Shabazi. Along with fellow spirits like Dissidenten, Haza helped pave the way for Transglobal Underground, Natacha Atlas, and Banco de Gaia.
Three CD box set of Chick Corea’s piano music, reminding us that the distinguished solo piano tradition at ECM started in 1971 with Corea’s spontaneously-recorded volumes of improvisations and jazz tunes (all by Chick save for Monk’s “Trinkle, Tinkle” and Wayne Shorter’s “Masqualero”). The “Children’s Songs”, recorded in 1983, are finely-honed yet playful solo piano miniatures that can be related to the tradition of Bartók’s “Mikrokosmos” and Kurtág’s “Játékok”. Violinist Ida Kavafian and cellist Fred Sherry join Chick for an “Addendum”. Booklet includes liner notes by Chick Corea and Neil Tesser, plus archive photos.
This 2010 ECM collection Solo Piano Improvisations/Children's Songs brings together three of pianist Chick Corea's '70s solo piano recordings. Included are 1971's Piano Improvisations, Vol. 1, 1972's Piano Improvisations, Vol. 2, and 1984's Children's Songs. These reflective, atmospheric, but quite technically agile recordings found Corea exploring and discovering new ways of expressing himself alone at the piano. ~ AllMusic
For their third album, the Go-Go's abandoned all pretense of being punk, or even new wave, and went for an unabashed mainstream pop masterpiece. They nearly achieved their goal with Talk Show, an album filled with great pop songs but undermined by its own ambition. Talk Show has a sharper sound than its predecessors, with bigger guitars and drums, which helps drive home the accomplished pop hooks of "Turn to You," "I'm the Only One," and "Yes or No." However, the record is cluttered with half-realized songs and an overly detailed production which occasionally prevents the songs from reaching their full potential. But when the production and song are teamed well, the results are incredible, such as the surging "Head Over Heels," another classic single.
Level 42 was steadily perfecting and evolving their dance/pop, funk, and rock mix during the '80s, and when they hit the big time, the label began reissuing their earlier, less successful material. It's hard to understand why this didn't do as well as later albums like World Machine, Running in the Family, and Staring at the Sun, although the obvious reason would be that no singles ever broke that compared with the ones from those releases. But it was just as well produced, the songs were almost as cutely performed, and the arrangements are very similar.
Building off of the success of his previous long player Too Low For Zero (1983), Elton John (piano/vocals) retained his 'classic quartet' for the follow-up Breaking Hearts (1984). After an eight year ('75 – '83) hiatus Dee Murray (bass/backing vocals), Davey Johnstone (guitar/backing vocals) and Nigel Olsson (drums/backing vocals) briefly reunited with John and Bernie Taupin (lyrics) to attempt a musical resurrection of their early-to-mid '70s sound…