Over the decades, many musicians from the African-American ethnic group have turned to Africa for musical inspiration. For some, it was to prove only a partial or brief flirtation, while others embraced the tonal and rhythmic elements the continent’s music had to offer on a more serious basis. We have collected the best of the latter here. The American musicians assembled on this compilation were certainly not the only ones to mine the inspirational qualities of African music in the Fifties and Sixties but these were the principal players who chose to add a little colour and ethnicity to their repertoire.
A compilation of great ballads – many from the American songbook - sung by 2xHD’s best female jazz singers. For a bonus zing, an interpretation of John Lennon’s Oh, My Love by multi-instrumentalist Robert Len was included. This album is the perfect introduction to 2xHDs female jazz catalog.
Passionate, dramatic, yet poetic and richly nuanced Mari Kodama brings all these qualities to her interpretation of Beethovens Complete Piano Concertos. This exceptional recording with the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin shines with extraordinary intensity and contrast, due in no small measure to the artistic bond between Mari Kodama and her husband, the conductor Kent Nagano. Beethovens Piano Concertos are undoubtedly amongst the most influential works in the history of music. Art demands of us that we shall not stand still, the composer once wrote, placing the idea of development at the heart of his music. His five piano concertos saw Beethoven take piano music out of the salon and into the concert hall, playing a crucial role in advancing the genre towards the symphony, whilst simultaneously creating a bridge from the First Viennese School to the Romantic period. Mari Kodama, whose virtuosic mastery of the piano made her a household name all over the world, has completed the Beethoven Piano Concerto Cycle with her husband Kent Nagano, the international star conductor.
This comprehensive 3 disc collection gathers together many of the key names of the 1960s folk revival, who in turn went on to influence those artists whose music still resonates today. It is an overused word, but many of the artists here really do deserve to be called “legendary”.
Raw blues gems trawled from the swamps of South Louisiana, plus a touch of zydeco. Ten tracks are previously unreleased or alternate takes, while the other 18 are extremely rare. Baton Rouge was arguably the blues centre of Louisiana and just about all of the artists featured in this compilation spent part of their lives there. Long-time favourites Lightnin’ Slim, Lazy Lester, Slim Harpo and Silas Hogan certainly honed their skills in its clubs and bars, although they travelled some 70 miles west to record at J.D. Miller’s studio in Crowley. Everything here emanated from Miller’s studio or from his close rival Eddie Shuler’s facility in Lake Charles, except series newcomer Chris Kenner’s track, which was cut in New Orleans. Other artists new to the series are Henry Gray, Juke Boy Bonner, Elton Anderson, Ramblin’ Hi Harris and Schoolboy Cleve.
"Gold: Greatest Hits" is a compilation album of recordings by Swedish pop group ABBA. Since 1992, Gold has been released several times, most notably in 2008 to coincide with the release of the film Mamma Mia! and most recently in 2014 to mark the group's 40th Anniversary of winning the Eurovision Song Contest. The 40th anniversary edition of ABBA Gold not only will have listeners singing along to the catchy tunes but will leave them sharing the admiration many fellow musicians have expressed for Björn and Benny’s songwriting skills and production talents. For fans of good pop music, this collection is indeed gold.
This incredible box sets collects 35 early Jazz albums released on the legendary French Jazz labels: Disques Vogue founded in 1947 and its subsidiary Swing, which was originally established in Paris in 1937 by Charles Delaunay and passed to Vogue in 1948. The music was recorded during the first post WWII decade (1947-1957) and features both American Jazz artists, who visited France or lived in France at the time as well as European Jazz artists. Paris was at the time the European Jazz center, which corresponded splendidly with its status as the European intellectual center, which produced dramatic and groundbreaking developments in European Philosophy, Plastic Arts, Cinema, Literature and of course music. Most of these albums were originally released on 10-inch LPs, which had a time limit under half an hour, and therefore they are arranged here to span over 20 CDs, each well over an hour long. The music was beautifully remastered and sounds remarkably fresh and vibrant.