The Fugees translated an intriguing blend of jazz-rap, R&B, and reggae into huge success during the mid-'90s, when the trio's sophomore album The Score hit number one on the pop charts and sold over five million copies. The trio formed in the late '80s in the New Jersey area, where Lauryn Hill and Prakazrel Michel ("Pras") attended a local high school and began working together. Michel's cousin Wyclef Jean ("Clef") joined the group (then called the Tranzlator Crew), and the trio signed to Ruffhouse/Columbia in 1993. After renaming themselves the Fugees (a term of derision, short for refugees, which was usually used to describe Haitian immigrants). Though the group's debut album, Blunted on Reality, was quite solid, it reflected a prevailing gangsta stance that may have been forced by the record label. Presents the Carnival No matter how pigeonholed the Fugees may have sounded on their debut, the group had obviously asserted their control by the time of their second album, The Score. With just as much intelligence as their jazz-rap forebears, the trio also worked with surprisingly straight-ahead R&B on the soulful "Killing Me Softly With His Song," sung by Lauryn Hill. Elsewhere, Clef and Pras sampled doo wop and covered Bob Marley's "No Woman No Cry," giving the record familiarity for the commercial mainstream, but keeping it real with insightful commentary on their urban surroundings. The Score became one of the surprise hits of 1996, reaching number one on the pop charts and making the Fugees one of the most visible rap groups around the world.
Concerts with Maria Schneider are something special. They are stylistically not only out of the ordinary, they also manage to bring large orchestras to perform artistically at high voltage, with an energy and at a creative level which is otherwise known only in much smaller ensembles. It is not the music alone that drives the participants, but rather the serene seriousness of a band leader who demands a maximum of intensity from her compositions and passes this premise on to their interpretation. It is impossible to conceive of compositions for jazz orchestras more stringently. The instrumentalists know this too, and therefore feel called upon not only to reproduce the charts accurately but to work out all the contained hints, implications, and visions of sound down to the deepest levels. This original recording was made in May 2000 when Schneider appeared alongside the SWR Big Band. And for the SWR Big Band, those days in May 2000 are some of the highlights of their orchestral history.
In his timeless solo concerts, Jarrett displays the uncanny ability to drop himself into a piece of improvised music as if it has been playing invisibly in the ether all along, requiring him only to pick up from whichever measure he encounters and leave the music to continue on after he has left the stage. This album predates Jarrett’s Köln concert by just two years and was the one that really put him on the map before that legendary successor. Yet we cannot simply say that Jarrett is channeling the cosmos and leave it at that, for he inhabits a melodic space that is tangible, his own. Though filed under jazz, this music is something far more than any generic summary could express. Still, I persist in trying.
This special edition of the 1976 album will contain new Steven Wilson stereo remixes on CD 1, although this is of the version of the album re-recorded for a TV Special. Only five multi-track master tapes for the actual album could be located and new stereo remixes of those tracks are also appended on the first disc. The second CD consists of a complete flat transfer of the original stereo mix, and eight bonus tracks (seven of which are 2015 remixes). This bonus material includes two unheard songs: Salamander’s Ragtime (not related to album track Salamander), and Commercial Traveller. A third outtake Advertising Man was planned to be included but was not sufficiently complete to merit inclusion.
This exquisite 1978 studio recording of Madame Butterfly stars Renata Scotto, Placido Domingo, Gillian Knight and Ingvar Vixell, singing their respective roles with breathtaking realism and melodic richness. Quite possibly the best Butterfly on record, and a must have for devotees of Renata Scotto
In 1972, one of Jamaica's most popular and successful singers, John Holt, teamed up with British-born record producer, Tony Ashfield to create a style of reggae aimed at appealing to music listeners of all ages and colours throughout the world. By combining Jamaican rhythms with sophisticated western arrangements, the pair succeeded in their aim, producing an album that exceeded all expectations. ‘The Further You Look’ set the standard for what later became widely known as ‘pop reggae’ and quickly became a must-have album for a broad spectrum of record buyers, selling in vast numbers amongst both black and white communities.
n the summer of 2016, guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck celebrated fifty years of his musical career with an extraordinary concert at the famous Hollywood Bowl. Beck set the stage ablaze with incredible live versions of "For Your Love", "Beck's Bolero", "'Cause We've Ended As Lovers", "Big Block", "Over Under Sideways Down", "A Day In The Life", "Blue Wind", and more. The night also featured guest appearances by a legendary list of special guests, including Steven Tyler (AEROSMITH), Billy F. Gibbons (ZZ TOP), Jan Hammer, Beth Hart, Jimmy Hall and the great Buddy Guy.
Brother Ape is a very fine act consisting of four very talented as well as skilled musicians. Stefan Damicolas (vocals, guitars), who is writing most of the material with all tracks arranged together with the rest of the band, Peter Dahlstrom (vocals, bass, keyboards), Gunnar Maxén (bass, keyboards, vocals) and Max Bergman (drums, percussion). Musically their sound is a unique blend of progressive rock and fusion. At times chord changes are somewhat in the vein of 70's fusion bands such as Weather Report or Brand X, but performed with quite heavy, but also kind of sophisticated guitars rather than 70's keyboard sounds. They've also got one foot in the more traditional progressive rock style with Saga, Yes, Rush and maybe also some A.C.T influences with the end result creating an original yet accessible sound of their own. Dashes of Zappa's rockier style can also be found in their music.
Those of us who bought this set were utterly charmed by Mesplé's intelligent, thoughtful, alternately vulnerable and independent Lakmé and Burles's sensitively shaded, quintessentially French-sounding Gerald. From the very first entry of Lakme in `Blanche Dourga, pale Siva', Mesple sends goose-bumps to listeners with her ethereal coloratura .