Soft Machine were one of first and one of the greatest jazz/rock bands of all time. Their importance and influence was especially great in Europe, where they influenced several generations of bands, and their influences can still be heard to this day in bands like Jaga Jazzist and beyond. Grides presents the most famous version of the band (Elton Dean, Hugh Hopper, Mike Ratledge, Robert Wyatt) recorded live at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam on October 25, 1970, in a high-quality, previously unreleased recording, just a few months after the release of Third and at the peak of their popularity.
2CELLOS new DVD, Live at Arena Zagreb, is an exhilarating live performance filmed in their Croatian homeland to a sold-out audience of over 25,000 fans. Accompanied by the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, the concert includes songs from their self titled debut album as well as their internationally acclaimed second release, IN2ITION. The DVD features 2CELLOS' massive YouTube hits, "Smooth Criminal" and "Welcome to the Jungle," along with a trio of their popular renditions of AC/DC songs "Back in Black," "You Shook Me All Night Long" and "Highway to Hell." Rounding out the set are their unique covers of songs from Jimi Hendrix, Coldplay, U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana and Sting plus classical repertoire that showcases their unsurpassed virtuosity. Also included is a bonus Behind-the- Scenes feature.
This may not be the ultimate Chick Corea collection, but fans aren't likely to find a better one on video anytime soon. A near-complete portrait of the legendary pianist's non-fusion career is captured on the 10-DVD Rendezvous In New York boxed set, featuring performances from his three-week run of reunion concerts at the New York's Blue Note in 2003 to celebrate his 60th birthday. Those craving more after hearing the Grammy-nominated double-CD released that year under the same name will find the extended material equally satisfying. It also stands commendably on its own as a showcase for some of the most talented musicians from the past 25 years including Bobby McFerrin, Roy Haynes, Gary Burton, Joshua Redman, Christian McBride, Michael Brecker, Steve Gadd and John Patitucci.
Before Sun Ra began navigating the cosmic flux and piloting passengers across the universe, the bandleader Herman "Sunny" (or "Sonny") Blount (b. Birmingham, Alabama, 1914) was developing his musical craft in Chicago. In the early and mid-1950s that meant collaborating with artists in the fields of doo-wop, rhythm & blues, late-period big band jazz, and urban soul. History reveals that before Sun Ra was an orchestra leader, he was a session leader.