”Division-Musick“ is a term used by Christopher Simpson during the 17th century to describe a typically English improvisatory style of diminution. Musicians generally used short bass melodies called grounds as the basis for intricate and virtuoso diminutions, beginning with simple and slow melodies over a bass melody, and ending with very fast and virtuosic diminutions after a varying number of repetitions of the melody. Both singers and instrumentalists practiced this art of diminution, but the preferred instrument for divisions was the so-called ”division viol“. This CD aims to give some audible insight into English virtuosity in the Baroque era.
La Guitarra Española is the second solo album from William Carter. This recording explores the fascinating music of Spanish guitar legend Santiago de Murcia who successfully fused the popular and art music of the early 1700s.
Cuban born pianist Alfredo Rodrguez literally lived his music while in his native land. Coming to the United States has given Rodriguez a new perspective and a second chance at creativity that few artists are smart enough to embrace on the first go-round. The Invasion Parade celebrates different styles of Cuban music seldom recorded in the United States along with a wonderful lineup of musicians including a nice cameo from Esperanza Spalding.
When he published his two Apothéoses in memory of two great masters of music in 1724-25, François Couperin was asserting his desire to promote a meeting of the French and Italian styles – from a very Gallic point of view, naturally. The idea was to convince the French Muses that henceforth one could say sonade and cantade in their language – a strategy already pursued in the much earlier La Sultane and La Superbe. But, far from blindly imitating his idols, Couperin takes inspiration from their styles and adapts them to his own brio. The result is a delight for all to share with the musicians of Gli Incogniti and Amandine Beyer, whose first harmonia mundi recording this is.
Old hand Peter Neumann recorded Mozart's Missa Solemnis KV 337 once before. Neumann is an authenticist that uses a period band. This recording is twice as good as the one he made previously, a rendition that included the organ sonata KV 336 between the Gloria and Credo sections, as he has done here.
The hauntingly beautiful voice of countertenor Carlos Mena is featured here on the Mirare début of the Disfonik Orchestra. The group’s music blends jazz and classical with other influences to produce a sound that is both unique and captivating. Under the Shadow includes a selection of some of the most beautiful works in the classical repertoire, delicately arranged for jazz band.
If the 12" single of Herb Alpert's "Rise" hadn't taken over the charts the way it did back in 1979, one wonders if anyone would have gotten around to checking out the Tijuana Brass, or if Alpert would have gone down in the books as the guy who had a number one with a Burt Bacharach tune ("This Guy's in Love with You"). Instead, the cut energized the entire dance club generation, with DJs looking for new grooves, and it even ended up being used by Sean "Puffy" Combs on the Notorious B.I.G.'s Hypnotise, albeit in a drastically re-morphed form.
Naturally, the wild success of "Rise" would lead anyone to the temptation of repeating oneself, and at first, this follow-up LP does plenty of that, grafting the same slow, hand-clapping beat onto several numbers. But Alpert won't sit still for long, and he comes through with some startling things that wake up the record midway through. The funky, percolating party beat of "Red Hot" starts the engine, which is pushed to an electrifying degree by the sequencer-driven, Echoplexed, hard-charging title track, where we hear Alpert's distinctive horn through a metallic electronic buffer. The most amazing track is the finale, "The Factory," a terrifying, relentlessly grinding depiction of a soulless foundry that must have shocked sedate former TJB fans who bought this album on a lark, expecting happy music from the past.