For anyone seeking an introduction to Rollins the ten tracks provide substantial basis for why he is held in such high regard by jazz fans, fellow musicians, and some jazz critics.
Violinist Didier Lockwood tackled a formidable task by dedicating an entire CD to the legendary violinist Stephane Grappelli, who died just shy of his 90th birthday in December, 1997. Although Grappelli's influence on his playing is obvious at times, he is no carbon copy. He generally has a darker tone and doesn't use nearly as many up-tempo runs. With two brilliant partners, bassist Niels Pedersen (who worked with Grappelli on a few dates) and guitarist Birelli Lagrene, Lockwood does a credible job.
A series of duets with Ron Carter and French accordionist Richard Galliano. Not a common jazz instrument, the free-reed sound of the accordion on this recording is both subtle and lovely. Tempos range from ballads to medium, but tend to be on the slow side. Not breakthrough jazz, these duets (recorded live, in concert) are refreshing and what all good music should be, just good listening.
It's patently obvious for everyone that Martial SOLAL is virtuosity itself. Even with an unlimited technical skill he never lets himself be content with this utmost proficiency. Because music can never confine itself to such a necessary mastery, he set himself other goals. Throughout the constant clinch with the piano, forever trying to progress - even beyond what is possible - towards that horizon of the ideal where the improviser, free from any technical concern, can at least reach the unbelievable. With such a degree of perfection, even improvisation becomes obvious.
Breton harpist Alan Stivell brought the Breton harp out of the pages of history and into reality. He's also been a groundbreaker, with his innovative interpretations of traditional Celtic music. (…) Zoom is quintessential Stivell. A must-have album. The only drawback to the album is that the liner notes are in French.