Ballads In Otherness, the sixth record in a series of original guitar music from the pen and fingers of Richard Bennett; record producer, studio musician and long-time guitarist with Mark Knopfler and Neil Diamond. It is an unusual title for an album especially as all the songs are not exactly ballads in the modern sense but in the traditional one of a song or melody that tells a story at any tempo. These are ballads with a beat and all 13 of them tell a story of otherness. Along the way you will here some Southern r&b, a gumshoe serenade delivered on a console steel guitar, something vaguely Asian, a slice of dream-pop, duet for English Horn and Stratocaster, a nod to Hamburg, Germany's recording history, a hillbilly waltz and something for solo electric guitar. Dive into the otherness, the water's fine.
This 1996 set features tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp with pianist John Hicks, bassist George Mraz, and drummer Idris Muhammad playing an inspired set of ballads. And while it's true that this is what Shepp seems to have done since 1990, giving plenty of credence to the critical notion that the fire has gone out of his playing, it's more a question of perspective than lack. As evidenced here on the opening number alone, a smoky, steamy rendition of "The Thrill Is Gone" that could have ended up in anybody's film noir, Shepp's fire may not burn angrily, but it burns low, deep, and hot just the same. The tenor player once said that you could hear every minute of every hour a musician put into practice when he played a ballad. That's certainly true here, and the answer is more than you could ever imagine.
There's a lot more Broadway and a lot more ballads than blues on this, which ranks as one of Simone's weaker mid-'60s albums. Almost half the record features Broadway tunes on the order of Cole Porter and Rodgers & Hammerstein; most of the rest was composed by Bennie Benjamin, author of her first-rate "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," which the Animals covered for a hit shortly afterwards (and which leads off this record). The other Benjamin tunes are modified uptown soul with string arrangements and backup vocals in the vein of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," but aren't in the same league, although "How Can I?" is an engaging cha-cha. Besides "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," the album is most notable for the great "SeeLine Woman," a percolating call-and-response number that ranks as one of her best tracks.
UK compilation for the Scottish hard rock quartet. 19 tracks including the classic rock staple, 'Love Hurts', 'Ruby Tuesday', 'Star', 'Where Are You Now', 'Place In Your Heart', 'Holy Roller', 'Love Leads To Madness', 'Veteran's Song', 'Fallen Angel', 'Country Girl', 'Guilty', 'Moonlight Eyes', 'Dream On', 'Heart's Grown Cold', 'I Don't Want To Go On Without You', 'Sunshine', 'Games', 'Take A Little Piece Of My Heart' & 'Child In The Sun'. Nazareth are a Scottish hard rock band formed in 1968, that had several hits in the United Kingdom, as well as in several other West European countries in the early 1970s, and established an international audience with their 1975 album Hair of the Dog, which featured their hits "Hair of the Dog" and a cover of the ballad "Love Hurts". The band continues to record and tour.
Oscar Peterson's spotless, fiery technique can fool you. He's also a jazz pianist with a sensitive side. And on this disc, Telarc gathers some of his best ballad cuts and reveals just how versatile Peterson can be. In his hands, these original tunes are infused with grace, warmth, and just a hint of swing, and they're all worth hearing. "Harcourt Nights" gets a lush orchestral backing thanks to the Michel Legrand Strings. "If You Only Knew" features Peterson and Benny Green together, weaving long, lyrical piano lines, and "Nighttime" features the pianist at his most soft-hued. As usual, Peterson's lightening-fast fingers are astounding, as is his accompaniment (especially tracks featuring Roy Hargrove and Herb Ellis). All of these recordings have been previously released, but it's nice to have so many soulful and gorgeous ballads on one CD. A rare glimpse at Peterson's lesser-heard playing style.