Air was an American jazz rock band. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1971 on Embryo Records. The four core band members were Tom Coppola (Hammond organ), John Siegler (bass), Mark Rosengarden (drums), and Googie Coppola (piano, vocals)…
The names of Johann Sebastian Bach, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Sergei Rachmaninoff do not necessarily conjure images and sounds of jazz in one's mind, that is until one has listened to recordings by the Classical Jazz Quartet. Although these musicians utilize the same instruments as the Modern Jazz Quartet, they are in no way clones or copycats of that groundbreaking group. They have very much their own sound and style. This is not surprising given the huge talent of the musicians involved; all four are virtuosos on their respective instruments. The themes, although composed in a different time and place, become excellent vehicles for complex, sometimes, bluesy, often swinging and always fresh improvisations in the hands of these musicians. And although one might think of any recording billed as "classical meets jazz" as background music, this music definitely is not. The double CD consists of the group's three previously released recordings, plus one bonus track featuring their interpretation of Handel's Hallelujah.
Following in their series of Gramophone Award and BBC Music Magazine Award winning recordings, Gabrieli’s first Handel recording in over a decade is particularly special – recreating in painstaking detail the very first performance of L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, given in 1740, with additional instrumental repertoire including a Handel organ concerto and two concerti grossi. With a reputation as peerless Handelians, Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort & players bring meticulous research to every performance and recording project, and are joined on this disc by a stunning selection of soloists.
Levon Eskenian and the musicians of The Gurdjieff Ensemble feature the music of Komitas Vardapet (1869-1935), composer, ethnomusicologist, arranger, singer and priest, and popularly held to be the founder of contemporary music in Armenia.
Air Supply is known worldwide for swooning the ladies off their feet. This time, Hitchcock and Russell are taking the festive route, recording some of the most beloved holiday classics of all time. The production standards and performances are polished and no less than what you'd expect from the duo, but of course this will not appeal to some. It's an easily accessible and enjoyable album for both casual listeners and die-hard fans of the group's output.