John Lennon's concert appearances during his solo years were rare and scattered about, so any live document is worth hearing. Yet this one, the fabled One to One concert at Madison Square Garden, doesn't live up to its legend, however noble the cause (a benefit for the Willowbrook School for Children). Much of the problem, one suspects, is that Lennon concerts tended to be quick, casual one-offs; this material might have really rocked if John had broken the tunes in on the road first. Also, the Plastic Ono Elephants Memory Band is a fairly crude bunch of bashers, with Stan Bronstein's flailing sax and surprisingly poor drumming, despite the support of Jim Keltner…
This may be the single most powerful piece of music that the Kronos Quartet has ever recorded, and perhaps that Terry Riley has ever written. This is because Requiem for Adam is so personal, so direct, and experiential. Requiem for Adam was written after the death of Kronos violinist David Harrignton's son. He died, in 1995, at the age of 16, from an aneurysm in his coronary artery. Riley, who is very close to the Harringtons and has a son the same age, has delved deep into the experience of death and resurrection, or, at the very least, transmutation. Requiem for Adam is written in three parts, or movements. The first, "Ascending the Heaven Ladder," is based on a four-note pattern that re-harmonizes itself as it moves up the scale. There are many variations and series based on each of these notes and their changing harmonics, and finally a 5/4 dance as it moves to the highest point on the strings. The drone-like effect is stunning when the listener realizes that the drone is changing shape too, ascending the scale, moving ever upward and taking part in the transmutation of harmony.
Who's Who? is a studio album by American jazz musician John Scofield. It features two different bands, one acoustic and one electric. The acoustic group, featuring Scofield's then-employer Dave Liebman on saxophones, Eddie Gómez on bass, and Billy Hart on drums, recorded "The Beatles" and "How the West Was Won". The electric group, featuring future Kenny Kirkland on keyboards, Anthony Jackson on electric bass, Steve Jordan on drums, and Sammy Figueroa on percussion, recorded the balance of the album.
Director Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams have forged a remarkable partnership over the past 20 years, one that's evolved in recent years into a very practical balance of art and commerce. The Spielberg/Williams team followed the blockbuster Jurassic Park with the risk-taking Schindler's List, the bloated Jurassic sequel The Lost World with the moralistic Amistad. Williams admirably rises to the challenge again, underplaying the volatile emotions involved and utilizing African rhythmic and modal influences with surprising subtlety. The choral touches of the title and wordless aria of "Cinque's Theme" bring to mind similar stylistic flourishes by Morricone–and that's high praise.