Nina Simone Sings the Blues, issued in 1967, was her RCA label debut, and was a brave departure from the material she had been recording for Phillips. Indeed, her final album for that label, High Priestess of Soul, featured the singer, pianist, and songwriter fronting a virtual orchestra. Here, Simone is backed by a pair of guitarists (Eric Gale and Rudy Stevenson), bassist (Bob Bushnell), drummer (Bernard "Pretty" Purdie), organist (Ernie Hayes), and harmonica player who doubled on saxophone (Buddy Lucas). Simone handled the piano chores. The song selection is key here. Because for all intents and purposes this is perhaps the rawest record Simone ever cut. It opens with the sultry, nocturnal, slow-burning original "Do I Move You," which doesn't beg the question but demands an answer: "Do I move you?/Are you willin'?/Do I groove you?/Is it thrillin'?/Do I soothe you?/Tell the truth now?/Do I move you?/Are you loose now?/The answer better be yeah…It pleases me…." As the guitarists slip and slide around her husky vocal, a harmonica wails in the space between, and Simone's piano is the authority, hard and purposely slow.
Mirella Freni returns as a glamorous Russian princess involved with a dashing aristocratic spy (Plácido Domingo) in this production of Giordano’s Fedora from 1997 conducted by Roberto Abbado. The audience and critics were unanimous in their praise for her dramatic authority, power, warmth and brilliance of her voice and the partnership of Freni and Domingo was described as “operatic royalty.”
Disney in Space and Beyond. Walt Disney was a true visionary and his most far-reaching vision examined the future. During the 1950s his investigation into space exploration and the wondrous opportunities and challenges of space travel not only came alive in several Disneyland TV shows, but helped create strong public support for The United Stated space program. Go back in time to the beginning of the future and enjoy four episodes and a theatrical short that delve into the mysteries of the universe of space travel - Man In Space, Man And the Moon, Mars and Beyond, Eyes in Outer Space and Our Friend that Atom. You'll also get a rare look at Walt's last film Epcot, in which he reveals his concepts and plans for the Disney World and EPCOT projects. Other not-to-be-missed features include a special interview with noted futurist and author Ray Bradbury. Featuring exclusive introductions by film historian Leonard Maltin, this is a timeless collection from generations past for generations to come.
As noted in other reviews, this DVD, which features a live performance of the supergroup Chicago that aired on PBS, is recommended highly over their other live DVD, "Live by Request" which was shown on A&E. The less-than-excellent sound and visual editing on the A&E disc has been corrected on the Soundstage production and makes this DVD a worthy document of one of the great rock bands of all time. The vocals are tight and well mixed and the horns, those all-time great horns, sound fat and up front in the mix.