Emma Kirkby, doyenne of the Early Music scene, here shows that she's just as comfortable in music of a more recent vintage. Amy Beach was a woman ahead of her time, performing as solo pianist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra by the age of 18. The same year (1885), she married Henry Beach and, no longer able to perform publicly (it would have gone against her social status), she instead settled down to composing. And delightful stuff it is, too, as Kirkby and friends demonstrate in this charming recital. A number of the songs add violin, cello, or both to the piano and voice combination. "Ecstasy," for instance, has a most effective violin part that is an ideal foil to the purity of Kirkby's voice. Other highlights include the Schumannesque Browning Songs and the amiable Shakespeare Songs (the last of which, "Fairy Lullaby," is irresistible). The final item here, "Elle et moi," is an upbeat little number that suits Kirkby's lithe soprano to perfection. Occasionally, in some of the more lushly textured songs, such as "A Mirage" and "Stella Viatoris," perhaps a fuller voice would have been preferable, but then sample "Chanson d'amour" (written when Beach was only 21 and with a wonderful cello part in addition to the piano) and try to imagine it being better sung. The purely instrumental items are played with unfailing sensitivity and elegance. The Romance is straight out of the salon, while the much later Piano Trio (though actually based on early material) packs plenty of emotion and variety into its 14 minutes. The recording is exemplary, as are the concise notes and texts and translations.
The Martin Hayes Quartet expands on many of the musical ideas pursued by Martin in his longstanding partnership with Dennis Cahill. The melody still remains central but now with an added range of sonic possibilities provided by the bass clarinet and viola d'amore. The addition of these instruments creates an added aural texture and amplifies the rhythmic possibilities while also allowing a larger role for improvisation. Both Doug and Liz bring a wealth of musical experience that contributes to the spacious, rich arrangements of the Quartet.
"Black Moses" is the fifth studio album by American soul musician Isaac Hayes. It is a double album released on Stax Records' Enterprise label in 1971. The follow-up to Hayes' successful soundtrack for Shaft (also a double album), Black Moses features Hayes' version of The Jackson 5's hit single "Never Can Say Goodbye". Hayes' version became a hit in its own right, peaking at #22 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. A real gem from Woody Shaw's greatest period – a very hip sextet session, recorded with Hayes, Cook, Shaw, and a rhythm section that includes Ronnie Matthews on piano, Stafford James on bass, and Guilhermo Franco on percussion. Tracks are long, and stretch out in that searching, modal style that Shaw was using a lot at the time – and although the Hayes/Cook team are listed as the leaders on the set, the record clearly owes a lot to Shaw's influence and style. A wonderful record that we just don't turn up often enough! Titles include "Ichi Ban", "Book's Bossa", "Pannonica", "Brothers & Sisters", and a great take on "Moontrane".