Varèse Sarabande presents "Surviving Christmas", music from the film featuring Randy Edelman's score mixed with several songs from the past Holiday seasons…a list of some talented people Chet Atkins, Bing Crosby, Jose Feliciano, Judy Garland, Lou Rawls and Andy Williams.
"Purgatorio" is the second part of Tangerine Dream's three part interpretation of Dante's "La Divina Commedia". Unlike the other two parts of the trilogy which were recorded live, this double CD set, running to over 130 minutes, is a studio recording. Once again (as with "Inferno"), the piece is primarily in the form of an oratorio, with seven guest female vocalists. These singers are a mixture of altos and sopranos, all with beautiful, classically trained voices.
A leader of the avant-garde, most celebrated for his groundbreaking Sinfonia (1968), Luciano Berio is presented in a much different light on this album of his appealing orchestrations of Baroque and Classical works, vividly performed by Riccardo Chailly and the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi. These colorful transcriptions and reworkings of pieces and fragments by Purcell, Bach, Boccherini, Mozart, Schubert, and Brahms will, in most cases, attract listeners for their surprising accessibility and clarity.
Although I am a native American who grew up in Texas on Lightin' Hopkins and Ray Charles, with a diverse taste in music from Mozart to Bill Evans to Emmy Lou Harris, I now listen primarily to A.R. Rahman - and frankly have just about lost interst in any other music.
Rahman is the genius of melody and subtle percussion. His music has evolved out of India, but it also comes from what must be his personal enormous heart-felt love for all of life, humanity and God. His grasp of the eternal and the transcendental in melody will bring tears to your eyes and long lost feelings into your heart.
In this 2003 performance from the Austin City Limits series, New England's Susan Tedeschi demonstrates a range that extends well beyond her blues base. Following the blueprint employed by Bonnie Raitt a few decades earlier, she covers John Prine's "Angel from Montgomery" (a signature tune for Raitt), inserting a snippet from the Grateful Dead's "Sugaree." The piano balladry of her "Wrapped in the Arms of Another" could fit just fine on a Raitt album. The set also finds her sampling from the songbooks of Sly Stone ("You Can Make It If You Try"), Bob Dylan ("Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"), and Stevie Wonder ("Love's in Need of Love Today"), in addition to the more straightforward blues of Koko Taylor ("Voodoo Woman"). Though Tedeschi's stinging lead guitar provides the focus, she receives strong support from a band featuring the interplay of electric pianist Jason Crosby (who doubles on violin) and William Green on Hammond B-3 organ. Highlights include a tribute to jam-band inspiration Col. Bruce Hampton on "Hampmotized" and the simmering "Wait for Me," with its echoes of Aretha Franklin.