An entry for the 2003 Christmas season was a natural move for Kenny Chesney after the blockbuster No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problems made 2002 his banner year. But in typical Chesney fashion, his holiday album tries to be a little more easygoing than the usual Music City rehash of tried 'n' true yuletide chestnuts. The sunny south of the border vibe that lit up the video for No Shirt's title cut is alive and well on All I Want for Christmas Is a Real Good Tan; the album's own title track is a nice, swaying number that approximates the Cascades' "Rhythm of the Rain" into its breezy Buffett feel. Like Chesney's best material, it's a contemporary country number crossed…
Grechaninov tends to be remembered rather tepidly as a conservative relic from Imperial Russia. Yet his progress as a child of the 1860s went as far as one might reasonably expect, from the healthy absorption of 19th-century Russian masters in the Op. 2 Quartet, his self-styled ‘first large independent work’, to the chromatic experimentation of the D minor Quartet, composed in 1913. They make a pretty pair. The warm, slightly laid-back approach of the likeable Utrecht Quartet fits the simple folksiness of the earlier piece like a delicately fashioned glove, making modest claims for a humble offshoot of Borodin’s glorious Second Quartet, with a discreet dash of Tchaikovskian melancholy. A more urgent, forward-moving approach would surely make a better case for the seemingly fragmented gestures of Op. 70’s opening movement; but first violinist Eeva Koskinen’s unaffected way with the Largo melody before fugal earnestness takes over is ideal, and an equally natural robustness highlights Grechaninov’s instinctive if hard-fought goodbye to chromaticism in much the more successful and meaningful of the two finales. Worth investigating, but there’s no doubt that Taneyev is a long way in front of Grechaninov as master of turn-of-the-century Russian chamber music.
Testimony is the third studio album, and the first concept album, by Neal Morse. Released in 2003, this double record is in five sections detailing the composer's life and conversion to Christianity. The album features performances from ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy and Kerry Livgren of Kansas, although the majority of instruments are played by Morse himself.
"This compact disc presents all the studio recordings that remain from a time when, as a twenty-five year old champion of the avant-garde, I had to seek for every possible occasion of playing the new works of our composers. In those days, they were hounded and ripped apart by ideological critics; now they are recognized as the masters of new music. Audiences today need to realize with how much excitement and trust people discovered and took over the new currents seeping in from Europe through the Iron Curtain. These works represent and symbolize a marvelous epoch of friendship, a time when we came to know new horizons and discovered ourselves in the Soviet Union's huge, heterogeneous spaces." (Alexei Lubimov. May 2003)
Funky female soul galore – a killer set of rare tunes that's one of the best sets of this type we've ever stocked! The SuperFunk crew at BGP have gone through the rich array of labels handled by the company – pulling out some massive tunes that really push our understanding of female soul – taking things way past the obvious hits and girl group numbers, into hard and heavy-stepping territory that we really love!
Swedish trombonist Eje Thelin and French tenor saxophonist Barney Wilen were two of the top European jazz musicians for several decades before their deaths in the 1990s. They first joined forces briefly in Thelin's quartet in 1963. Based in bop and earlier forms of jazz, Thelin and Wilen were open to freer improvising and music from other countries. In 1966 they joined forces, and two sessions are included on the 1966 With Barney Wilen CD. The first one features a quintet with pianist Lars Sjösten, bassist Erik Lundborg, and drummer Rune Carlsson that is joined by eight brass, bass clarinet, and flute for four inventive Thelin originals. While those performances are excellent, it is the other five numbers (which include second versions of a pair of Thelin's tunes plus "It Could Happen to You" and "Dear Old Stockholm") that are of greatest interest. The playing by the pianoless quartet (comprised of Thelin, Wilen, Carlsson, and bassist Palle Danielsson) is looser and freer with plenty of fireworks occurring in the often intuitive music. This set is easily recommended, particularly to listeners who are not aware that talented Europeans had been playing creative jazz for decades.
Live in Boston is a live album by British blues-rock band Fleetwood Mac. It was recorded over three nights at the Boston Tea Party venue in Boston, between February 5 and February 7, 1970. The recordings were made for a proposed live album, which was to have been released during 1970 but the project was shelved and the tapes remained unreleased until Shanghai Records issued seven songs from the performances as Live in Boston in February 1985. The album was reissued a few months later as "Jumping at Shadows" by Varrick Records and was re-released again in 1989 as "Boston Live" by Castle Communications…