Harvey Mason's 2014 effort, Chameleon, is an expansive and funky album that finds the journeyman jazz drummer exploring the space between the '70s post-bop/fusion albums that marked his early career and the contemporary smooth jazz work that has defined the latter half of his career. Having started out playing with the masterful pianist Erroll Garner, Mason eventually join Herbie Hancock's legendary Headhunters ensemble, with whom he recorded the original version of this album's title track. And while he went on to a successful career working with a bevy of artists including Lee Ritenour, George Benson, and others, it is primarily his work with Hancock that is Mason's focus here.
Universal Music pay tribute to the short but prolific musical life of enigmatic Glasgow blues-rocker Alex Harvey with the biggest-ever, career-spanning, cross-label collection of his work. A total of 217 fully remastered tracks (with much of the material from the original master tapes) includes 21 that are previously unreleased, and a further 59 that are appearing officially on CD for the first time.
Although I Puritani was performed during the Metropolitan Opera's first season in 1883, it had not been seen there for decades until this production by Sandro Sequi was unveiled in 1976. It was one of the greatest triumphs for the partnership of Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti, and it is to the credit of all concerned in this recent revival that one soon forgets names from the past and enjoys what is a spirited attempt to evoke mid-19th-century style.
What begins like a fairy-tale turns into a whimsical fantasy halfway between magic farce and Masonic mysticism: The Magic Flute links a love story with the great questions of the Enlightenment, juxtaposes bird-catcher charm with queenly vengeance, and bewitches the listener with music that mixes cheerful melodies, lovers’ arias, show-stopping coloraturas and mysterious chorales.
Handel’s opera Serse is characterised by its ironic libretto, humorous situations, and high number of short arias.
The main character is the unpredictably obsessive and volatile King Xerxes, a historical character who ruled the Achemenid Empire from 486 BC to 465 BC. The plot concerning the rivalry between Xerxes and his brother, Arsamene, for Romilda, however, is entirely fictional, as is the King’s betrayal of his fiancé, Amastre.