In early 1956, Bing Crosby ended the two long-term company affiliations that had defined his career for more than 20 years, leaving his exclusive associations with Paramount Pictures and Decca Records. Thereafter, he made movies and records on a freelance basis. The immediate results were more felicitous for his film work than his recording, as he went to MGM for the successful movie High Society…
The informal title says a great deal about the contents of The Mozart Sessions, which could have been called Concerti for Piano and Orchestra, Nos. 23 and 20, since that is, for the most part, what it is. But of course the conductors, vocalist Bobby McFerrin and jazz keyboard player Chick Corea, are not your average classical musicians. Nor is there any doubt about the non-traditional nature of the recording, when it starts with McFerrin's patented improvisational vocals followed by Corea's piano inventions under the title "Prelude."
Live tracks recorded on the "Then & Now" tour. For those who have ELP's "Then and now" album, "The show that never ends" will sound somewhat familiar. If you remove the "Then" tracks (recorded in 1974) from that album, what you are left with is this album. The fact that both are double CD packages gives an indication of the space which is therefore wasted here, indeed the omission of one short track would have allowed this to be a single disc.
With a musical career spanning more than three decades, Al Di Meola continues to be one of the most influential and pioneering guitarists in the jazz-world-fusion category, mirroring the rich influences of flamenco, tango, Brazilian, African, and Middle Eastern music in his work. Recorded in 1993 at the North Sea Jazz Festival, an event widely acknowledged as the biggest and most prestigious festival in the world. Over the past 30 years, Al Di Meola has been recognized as a prolific composer, with over two dozen recordings to his name. The profundity of Di Meola s writing, along with the soulfulness and natural lyricism of his playing, have won him a large number of admirers worldwide.
Kind of Blue isn't merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it's an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album, a universally acknowledged standard of excellence. Why does Kind of Blue posses such a mystique? Perhaps because this music never flaunts its genius. It lures listeners in with the slow, luxurious bassline and gentle piano chords of "So What." From that moment on, the record never really changes pace – each tune has a similar relaxed feel, as the music flows easily. Yet Kind of Blue is more than easy listening. It's the pinnacle of modal jazz – tonality and solos build from the overall key, not chord changes, giving the music a subtly shifting quality. All of this doesn't quite explain why seasoned jazz fans return to this record even after they've memorized every nuance.
Pilar Lorengar never achieved the fame and recognition of some of her Spanish peers, such as Victoria de los Angeles and Teresa Berganza; because of this, her singing is relatively unknown to contemporary listeners. Fortunately, anyone with interest can get to know this terrific soprano through The Art of Pilar Lorengar, Decca's two-disc retrospective featuring operatic excerpts and songs of Spanish composers. It is well worth the time; Lorengar had a gorgeous voice, and at its best her singing competes with anything on record. This is especially true of the purely lyrical excerpts on the album, such as "Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante" from Carmen and "Glück, das mir verbleib" from Korngold's Die tode Stadt, both of which would be tough to beat for sheer beauty of singing.