Most listeners will never have heard the name Ivan Khandoshkin (1747-1804), but violinist Anastasia Khitruk has admirably undertaken to bring this little-known solo-violin repertoire to wider attention. Published in the early years of the 19th century, Khandoshkin’s Op. 3 sonatas show the influences we might expect, given the composer’s exposure to a court musical environment that included musicians from Italy, Germany, and France.
This release by Russian-Finnish pianist Anastasia Injushina and the Hamburger Camerata under Ralf Gothóni doesn't fit into any of the usual pigeonholes, and it thus has a fresh, bracing quality. Injushina plays a modern piano, but she neither gives it a consistent, harpsichord-like sound nor plays the music with the full capabilities of the modern piano in mind. Gothóni likewise his small group of Hamburgers in accompaniments that are neither Baroque nor modern. What this enables the musicians to do is depict with uncommon accuracy the musical commonalities and differences among J.S. Bach and his sons.
This obscure folk-rock artist from the late '60s left a track record of a few albums and a handful of obscure single releases, including the languid "Lyanna" and the demanding "Don't Leave Me Now." Campbell first came to prominence as a singer/songwriter on the folk club scene. He signed a contract with the interesting Fontana label, which released much cutting edge folk-rock and psychedelic music. He recorded one album and three singles for them before switching dizzily to the Vertigo label. The resulting album took a proud place in this label's catalog, right between the largely forgotten Dr. Strangely Strange and the grandly remembered Paranoid by Black Sabbath. It was definitely Campbell's most famous album, entitled Half Baked with just a note of derision. The album's title track is in turn the most well-known cut by this artist.
If you were wondering why Slash, one of the greatest guitarists of his generation, chose to throw in his lot with Myles Kennedy, one of the greatly undistinguished hard rock vocalists of his generation, consider this: if you spent your life battling temperaments like Axl Rose and Scott Weiland, you'd choose somebody who's easy to get along with too. Touring and playing with Kennedy clearly is easier on Slash's soul, and the music on Apocalyptic Love, his second solo album and first to feature Myles on vocals throughout, reflects this ease. It may be hard and heavy but it sounds relaxed, Slash and company doing the music they do best: namely, L.A. sleaze rock basics, thickly layered with guitars. There are absolutely no surprises here – it opens with a cascade of wah-wahs and quickly settles into grinding boogie derived from Aerosmith – but unlike either Slash's Snakepit or the 2010 Slash, Apocalyptic Love never tries too hard, so it winds up satisfying on its own limited scale.