After five straight solo recordings with producer Mark Hallman at the helm – going back to 1988 – Iain Matthews decided to handle the production duties, along with guitarist Bradley Kopp, for 1999's Excerpts from Swine Lake. Whereas his last couple of recordings lived and died with his writing or vocals, here Matthews and Kopp inject the material with a vibrance that has been somewhat scarce in his work since 1990's Pure & Crooked. It also doesn't hurt that this is as consistent a collection of original music that he's put to record.
A collaboration stemming from longtime mutual admiration, Iain Matthews and Elliott Murphy find more than a little common ground on La Terre Commune. With each contributing four songs to covers of Bob Dylan's "Blind Willie McTell," Bruce Springsteen's "Sad Eyes," and Jesse Colin Young's "Darkness, Darkness," the two succeed in creating a seamlessly cohesive song cycle…
When PolyGram refused to release his 1983 record Shook in either the U.S. or England, Iain Matthews became disillusioned and decided to put his career on hold indefinitely. Following a stint as an A&R man for both Island and Windham Hill Records, he returned in 1988 with an album dedicated solely to the songs of Jules Shear. Issued by Windham Hill, Walking a Changing Line was the label's first vocal release, though it still retained touches of the label's trademark new age sound throughout.
After a two-month tour in 1999, Dave and Tim closed their acoustic run on the evening of March 13 at the Berkeley Community Theater in Berkeley, CA. The duo’s time on the road leading up to this night shows as the performance is exceptional. From the first note of the “Granny” opener, to the encore of "Digging A Ditch”, "Lover Lay Down", and "Ants Marching,” there is not an ill note throughout. And yet, it’s not only DMB favorites that shine; but also Tim’s skilled playing of his complex original compositions, as well as fantastic covers of Daniel Lanois’ "For The Beauty of Wynona" and Lyle Lovett’s "If I Had A Boat", make this show a true listening pleasure. This intimate performance has been mixed from the original multitrack tapes.
Young soprano Rosa Feola captured international attention as a treble prize-winner at the Plácido Domingo World Opera Competition (2010). Attributed ‘blazing star potential’ for her sensitive phrasing and imaginative colouring of words (Telegraph), she brings her feel for text to this celebration of music and Italian poetry, in which master orchestrator Respighi paints Tuscan folk scenes and woodland deities and the virtuoso Liszt is inspired by Petrarch. Presenting the major singers of today and the stars of tomorrow, the Rosenblatt Recitals are London's only world-class season of opera recitals.
Here is yet another live album by the Dave Matthews Band. This one is from his Central Park Concert in 2003. This one is three CDs, loaded with hits and near-misses, from one of the most successful stage bands in the business. The Matthews Band is tight, full of enough funk and sass to keep it interesting, and yet is able to convey real emotion to tens of thousands of people, as evidenced by their many live recordings. What sets this one apart is its presentation of one concert in its entirety, and its willingness to leave rough edges in. While the sound is pristine, and the performance reflects the band's well-rehearsed acumen, there are those spontaneous moments on this set that get left off of most band's live recordings – including Matthews' previous ones.
There have been countless attempts to counteract the inherently boring nature of the CD as an artefact and the approach adopted by Feral shapes up better than some on the strength of this first release, which takes some excellent music by saxophonist Iain Ballamy (in the company of three young Norwegian musicians) and packages it with a set of intriguing print artworks by Dave McKean in an elegant library case. On the other hand, we may now be so accustomed to the blandness of the format that any attempt to escape it seems like a distraction. While debating this, it's important not to forget to play the disc, which is quite remarkable and a far cry from Ballamy's formative years in the sprawling bloke-jazz outfit Loose Tubes. Recorded live at the Molde Jazz Festival in 1998, it's astounding that this music seems to date from the very beginning of Ballamy's association with these musicians, given their obvious level of empathy.
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