The Bridge at Andau is James A. Michener at his most gripping. His classic nonfiction account of a doomed uprising is as searing and unforgettable as any of his bestselling novels. For five brief, glorious days in the autumn of 1956, the Hungarian revolution gave its people a glimpse at a different kind of future—until, at four o’clock in the morning on a Sunday in November, the citizens of Budapest awoke to the shattering sound of Russian tanks ravaging their streets. The revolution was over. But freedom beckoned in the form of a small footbridge at Andau, on the Austrian border. By an accident of history it became, for a few harrowing weeks, one of the most important crossings in the world, as the soul of a nation fled across its unsteady planks
Simon & Garfunkel's first masterpiece, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme was also the first album on which the duo, in tandem with engineer Roy Halee, exerted total control from beginning to end, right down to the mixing, and it is an achievement akin to the Beatles' Revolver or the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album, and just as personal and pointed as either of those records at their respective bests…
On his second album for Impulse!, recorded August 18-September 24, 1998, Donald Harrison continues to proselytize for what he called "nouveau swing" on his first date for the label, even going so far as to sing/rap an explanation of his concept in "Nouveau Swing (Reprise)." Essentially, what he seems to mean by the term is that, within an acoustic quartet setting, he intends to introduce elements of a number of musical genres, for example covering the Meters' funk anthem "Cissy Strut" and having drummer John Lamkin use a reggae feel for "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise," the Sigmund Romberg standard he previously recorded on For Art's Sake.
While the early 2000s bore witness to a bevy of youthful standards singers with earnestly traditional vocals, New Yorker Jane Monheit preceded Norah Jones, Michael Buble, Katie Melua et al. She wowed the jazz world when she was barely out of her teens with her 2000 debut, NEVER NEVER LAND, and quickly ascended to stardom. Monheit's fourth record, 2004's TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE, expresses her love for movie musicals of the 1930s and '40s. From both Monheit's song choices and the fervor she pours into these selections, it's virtually impossible to challenge the sincerity of her affection. Monheit opens by finding a truly original, offbeat angle to the oft-visited Fats Waller classic "Honeysuckle Rose" and continues to connect throughout the 11 subsequent tracks. She teams up with the aforementioned Michael Buble on a charged version of the always-lively "I Won't Dance" and finds every ounce of sultriness in "Why Can't You Behave?" and "Dancing in the Dark." As with most of the acclaimed jazz stylists of her day, Monheit possesses incredible vocal shrewdness, but it is her almost spiritual connection to the tunes of a bygone era that clearly sets her apart.