The irrepressible Dave Douglas delivers another installment in the life of the Tiny Bell Trio, which features his own inimitable trumpet style, but the rhythmic invention of Jim Black on drums, and Brad Shepik's emotionally vulnerable yet volatile guitar playing. Where previous Tiny Bell outings have focused on the possibilities for texture, dynamic, and atmospheric possibilities within a given compositional structure, Songs for Wandering Souls places its eye firmly on group execution this set of compositions – all but two of which are by Douglas, the others arranged by him especially for this of his many groups. The disc opens with "Sam Hill," a beautiful "song," where the lead "call" voice is carried by Douglas, but its "response" is in the lyrical flow of Shepik's string interplay.
Stanley Kubrick made his own musical choices for his films, many of them existing pieces that were forever redefined by their use. (Remember "Thus Spake Zarathustra" in 2001: A Space Odyssey?) For his final work, Eyes Wide Shut, he employed composer Jocelyn Pook to compose some evocative string-filled music (including one track, "Masked Ball," eerily featuring backwards vocals), but his score also included works by Liszt and Shostakovich, syrupy versions of "When I Fall in Love," "If I Had You," and "Strangers in the Night," a jazzy rendition of "Blame It on My Youth" by Brad Mehldau, Chris Isaak's cross between John Lee Hooker and Roy Orbison on his 1995 song "Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing," and, opening and closing the disc, a simple but intense solo piano piece by Gyogy Ligeti, whose work also had been used in 2001 and another Kubrick film, The Shining. The result was an eclectic soundtrack album that primarily was of interest to fans of the film who were in need of an aural souvenir.
Chopin's two piano concertos have long been admired more as pianistic vehicles than as integrated works for piano and orchestra. But in his revelatory new recording, Krystian Zimerman suggests otherwise: The opening orchestral tuttis have so much more light, shade, orchestral color, and detail, you wonder if they've been rewritten. Every gesture, every instrumental solo is so specifically characterized that by the time the piano makes a dramatic entrance, the pieces have become operas without words.
Mud on the Tires is the third studio album by American country music artist Brad Paisley. Released in 2003 on Arista Nashville, it produced four hit singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts: the Top Five hits "Celebrity", "Little Moments" and "Whiskey Lullaby", as well as the Number One title track. The album itself has been certified 2× Platinum, while "Whiskey Lullaby" and the title-track have been certified as gold singles.
In the latter half of the '90s, Phil Collins' career hit a bit of a sales slump, and instead of shamelessly chasing after another number one single, he decided to change pace and try something different. Returning to the drums, he assembled the Phil Collins Big Band, reviving the sound of such idols as Buddy Rich and Sonny Payne, but largely sticking with his original material. After a brief European tour in 1996 (which happened to feature Quincy Jones as conductor and Tony Bennett as vocalist), he created a new version of the band featuring several accomplished jazz and studio musicians in support – notably alto saxophonist Gerald Albright, but also guitarist Daryl Stuermer, tenor saxophonist James Carter, and pianists George Duke and Brad Cole, among many others, in varying roles.
Brad Mehldau's first solo piano album is not only his best record to date, it is one of the most searching, most inventive solo piano albums since Keith Jarrett's best solo concerts of the 1970s, and it throws virtually the whole Maybeck series into a cocked hat, too. For one thing, it is a truly unified cycle of mostly improvised reminiscences, starting from a Chopin prelude-like base on "Bard," peaking dynamically with "Trailer Park Ghost," and cycling right back to the "Bard" theme seamlessly, inevitably, at the close.