I believe that this was Andrew Lawrence-King's first recording (1986) – a sterling effort which is ample proof of why he went on to become a well-established figure in his field. He has appeared on numerous recordings, including many with Jordi Savall's Hesperian XX, and is currently the director of the Harp Consort. The program is both musically interesting and eminently listenable; and given Lawrence-King's credentials (he won an Organ Scholarship to Selwyn College, Cambridge and completed his studies at the London Early Music Centre), his understanding of the material is unquestionably comprehensive. His technical execution is equally impressive.
Bremen-based Weser-Renaissance is one of the European historical-performance ensembles that has signed on to the American-spawned one-voice-per-part movement in the performance of German Baroque choral music. Its smooth, almost silky sound is attractive, and in smaller works of the seventeenth century, such as those of Schein, results in powerful, rather inward-looking performances. Here the group sets out, quoting annotator Franz Korndle, "to convey an impression of festive liturgical music such as it was performed in the Munich court chapel under Orlando di Lasso." The degree of musicological investigation involved is impressive.
…The mischievous “I’ll show you mine” Cover, perhaps best stored spine outwards, should not be allowed to detract from a musical treat.
An album entitled Renaissance is long overdue for the widely acclaimed Renaissance Man Marcus Miller. In among the most enviable careers in music, Miller is a two-time Grammy-winner and the composer/producer of ten critically acclaimed and genre-defying albums (seven studio and three live). Even the most devoted follower may be astonished to realise that Renaissance is only his eighth studio project since his 1983 debut, Suddenly, considering the abundance of occasions Miller's name has appeared within album credits and that he has dazzled with performances, compositions and productions in the company of some of the world s most respected and accomplished players and superstars - from the mid-'70s to the present.
The high point of Branford Marsalis' third Columbia release as a leader is a 15-minute version of Jimmy Rowles' "The Peacocks" played in a trio with pianist Herbie Hancock and bassist Buster Williams. The remainder of the program matches Marsalis with pianist Kenny Kirkland, bassist Bob Hurst, and drummer Tony Williams on a pair of standards ("Just One of Those Things" and a live version of "St. Thomas"), J.J. Johnson's "Lament," and originals by Marsalis and Williams. Although he did not have an immediately recognizable sound on tenor and soprano at this point, it was obvious from nearly the start that Branford Marsalis would have a very significant career. This is one of his better early efforts.
Here's a wonderful live set from the current incarnation of Renaissance, that lovely '70s prog band who so successfully merged classical with symphonic rock and medieval themes. Recorded at The Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pennsylvania on September 23rd, 2011, the band thrilled the audience with a performance of both their classic albums, Turn of the Cards and Sheherazade and Other Stories in their entirety. Joining the 'classic line-up' members Annie Haslam and Michael Dunford are keyboard players Rave Cesar & Jason Hart, bassist David Keyes, and drummer Frank Pagano. If you got a chance to see Renaissance on either the 2011 tour or previously in 2009, you know that this line-up is red hot and does their vintage material justice.