Seven different organs from the Swiss firm of Metzler carry the weight of the project, which is where Herrick's consistency begins. Other complete Bach collections use many and varied makes and locations in the hope of keeping our interest alive. Herrick's journey brings us a sound that has enough variety to show the Metzler's ability to bear a responsible approach to Bach despite their modern construction.
Longtime Pedro Almodóvar collaborator Alberto Iglesias composed the sad and gentle soundtrack to Talk to Her, the Spanish director's 2002 meditation on loss and loneliness. Aside from the violin and guitar-accented score, there are five vocal tracks sprinkled throughout, most notably "Cucurrucucú Paloma," which is performed by Tropicalia legend Caetano Veloso (who also sings it in the movie). Almodóvar has described this rendition, which he first heard live in Brazil while in support of 1995's The Flower of My Secret, as "stylized, heart-rending, and intimate." Another highlight is the lovely flamenco-style track "Raquel," from Cape Verdean string player Bau (Rufino Almeida), who leads the band that has backed Césaria Évora for the a number of years (and is featured prominently in the film's trailers). The prolific Iglesias, who has won several Goya Awards for his film work, has also composed for all of Basque director Julio Medem's films, from 1991's Vacas through 2001's Sex and Lucia.
Bartók's Duos are triple-threats: progressions of very brief practice works for violinists from students to skilled artists; transformations of folk dances and songs into art works; and pieces for concert performance, either piecemeal or complete. The Keller-Pilz duo makes its own sequence of the 44 primarily to heighten contrasts and sustain interest, a practice sanctioned by Bartók since the published order progressing from easiest to most difficult doesn't complement the pure listening experience. This revised order certainly works in these spirited performances.
Warhorse's self-titled debut was a progressive rock-heavy rock meld that was even less humorless than that of Deep Purple, let alone Black Sabbath, the band that they got compared to most frequently. There's a bit of art rock in the Hammond organ, and an operatic earnestness to Ashley Holt's lead vocals. Titles like "Vulture Blood," "Burning," "Ritual," "Solitude," and "Woman of the Devil" are indicative of the group's desire to set a menacing mood, although the songs don't really forcefully hit the mark for which they were probably targeted. A cover of an Easybeats song ("St. Louis"), of all things, is the only non-original. Angel Air's CD reissue adds bonus live versions of four of the album's songs, as well as a demo, "Miss Jane," of a tune that didn't appear on the original LP.
Timeless Donald Byrd combines most of the trumpeter's 1955 Savoy session Byrd's Word and two tracks from alto saxophonist John Jenkins' 1957 Savoy release Jazz Eyes. Both albums are solid examples of mid-'50s mainstream jazz and represent both artists well. Given that these albums go in and out of print, the Timeless compilations are welcome additions to the artists' catalogs, though diehards will still want to seek out the original albums.