The contemporary blues bannerman's recording debut (originally released as Who's Been Talkin' in 1980), while naturally not as strong as his later work (especially Bad Influence, released five years later), is the work of an extremely promising artist. The album is an appealing mix of standards (Willie Dixon's "Too Many Cooks," Howlin' Wolf's "Who's Been Talkin'," O.V. Wright's "I'm Gonna Forget About You," among others) and originals. Among the strongest of the latter are the slow blues "I'd Rather Be a Wino" and the closing number, "If You're Thinkin' What I'm Thinkin'," which contains the flavorful mix of tight rhythms, excellent guitar work, strong vocals, and bittersweet mood that would become Cray's hallmark.
This set from the long-defunct Interlude label brings back an outing by vibraphonist Vic Feldman. Feldman is showcased in a quartet with pianist Carl Perkins, bassist Leroy Vinnegar, and drummer Stan Levey on half of the selections, while the remaining tracks add trombonist Frank Rosolino and tenor saxophonist Harold Land. An obscurity ("Chart of My Heart"), two standards, and four Feldman originals comprise this enjoyable and relaxed bop date.
The Great Classics series from Naxos is the perfect introduction to myriad genres of classical music. Comprising both complete and compiled selections from the greatest works in the repertoire, the boxes are bursting with wonderful pieces of music, both recognizable and unfamiliar. The boxes take the listener on a thrilling tour of some of the worlds most dramatic musical media, encompassing music from six centuries and featuring sensational performers. All boxes come with a fascinating booklet with detailed information on the genre itself, chronological placement of each work, and a comprehensive study of the music. A fitting celebration of 25 years of superb music from Naxos, the worlds favourite classical label.
Although undoubtedly an expensive acquisition, this ten-CD set is perfectly done and contains dozens of gems. The remarkable but short-lived trumpeter Clifford Brown has the second half of his career fully documented (other than his final performance) and he is showcased in a wide variety of settings. The bulk of the numbers are of Brownie's quintet with co-leader and drummer Max Roach, either Harold Land or Sonny Rollins on tenor, pianist Richie Powell, and bassist George Morrow (including some previously unheard alternate takes), but there is also much more.
The essence of a concerto is the contrast and combination of a solo instrument with a larger instrumental ensemble. Having developed out of the Baroque concept of concerto grosso, the concerto genre was fully established in the eighteenth century, and many works dating from this period are still a key part of the repertoire today. The opportunity for virtuosic display from the soloist has resulted in the concerto becoming a vital musical force on the concert platform.
One of the most persistent questions that musicians ask themselves while practicing a piece is the inevitable query of how the composer himself might have performed his music. There are many written reports on how the old masters such as Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven may have played or improvised; and there are lines of teacher/pupil relationships which can trace their lineage back to the pianistic greats such as Liszt, but still we have to imagine the sound since we cannot actually hear it.
The Real… Ray Conniff is an exhaustive three-disc collection from Columbia Records celebrating the smooth and joyful sounds of the king of 1960s easy listening. Ray Conniff debuted as a trombonist for several prominent big bands before becoming a staff arranger at Columbia in the '50s.