Despite the Swedish label for which this disc was recorded, and despite the Swedish origins of the group's leader, the Dowland Consort is English. It has a lot of competition in the realm of instrumental music by John Dowland, but less so for the seven linked pieces that open the program, based on the material used in the famous lute song Seven Teares. (This disc was originally recorded in 1985.) These seven pieces (and the pair of sevens would have had deep significance for Dowland's audience) are unique in Renaissance instrumental music.
Swedish DJ Avicii is a strange case. In 2011, he broke through with "Levels," a bleepy and bright bit of EDM that could have been his signature hit, but then his 2013 album, True, was a country-pop and folk-inspired affair that thrilled his fans with its inventiveness, but left others as cold as a meandering Mumford & Sons remix effort. Two years later, his LP Stories is another genre-busting affair that fits in better with mainstream radio than it does the club, but everything iffy about True has been perfected here, as the producer revisits the song-oriented album and lets the outside genres freely come and go.
Clifford Brown: "Best Coast Jazz" is the Five Star bookend session to "Clifford Brown All Stars", both having been recorded at the same session in Los Angeles in 1954. On the vinyl LP, each song took up a side, allowing for plenty of blowing room. "BCJ" would be released in 1955. One year later, Clifford Brown (and pianist Richie Powell and wife) would be dead from a car wreck on the Penn Turnpike during a rainstorm. Thus altering the course of jazz trumpet history in one tragic act. "CBAS" would be hurriedly released following the accident and we would once again shake our heads at the tremendous loss of trumpet genius Clifford Brown.