In the 21st century, it's easy to take technology for granted and forget that in the time of Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685, d. 1750), there were no cars, busses, airplanes, TVs, radios, movies, tape recorders, electric lights, or computers. People used candles to light their homes, and horses were the fastest way to get around. There were excellent plays and opinionated theater critics to review them, but no cameras to film the actors and actresses. Recording technology had yet to be invented, so the only way to hear classical musicians was to hear them performing live. Although the classical artists of Bach's time could not be recorded, they left behind their compositions, and today's classical musicians continue to keep them alive.
Uri Caine is a musician of astonishing virtuosity and versatility. Coming out of the legendary Philly Jazz scene, his playing is an encyclopedia of styles from Tatum to Evans and beyond. With Moloch he interprets tunes from Zorn’s Book of Angels in a breathtaking outing for solo piano. Virtuosic and soulful, this latest volume of material from Masada Book Two is an absolute tour-de-force. Fifteen musical miniatures by one of the world’s greatest piano virtuosos.
Series of screen biographies that chart the careers of Britain's best-loved film and television faces through their most significant roles and sometimes forgotten gems from the archives. This follows Sir Michael Caine's impressive career, featuring archive clips woven together with interviews from colleagues and critics. It covers his 50-year-long career with classic films like Zulu, The Ipcress File, The Man Who Would Be King and Get Carter, plus the more recent controversial British film, Harry Brown.
Very few, if any, attempts to merge classical music and jazz have succeeded. Somehow, jazz pianist Uri Caine's masterful and magnificent interpretations of selected works of the 19th century classical composer Gustav Mahler work remarkably well. Of course, it does not hurt to work with a stellar ensemble, including trumpeter Dave Douglas, violinist Mark Feldman, clarinetist Don Byron, and drummer Joey Barron, and turntable spinner DJ Olive, among others. However, it is Caine's clever arrangements that take the cake. He does not simply "jazz up" Mahler, which would mock the greatness of his works. Instead, he worms himself inside the songs and harmonies and uses them as a starting point to create a related, but new, synthesis of his music. Jewish folk melodies, cantorial renditions, free jazz, and classical violin are all merged in a whole that transcends the parts.~Steve Loewy