As one-third of the composer-collective Bang on a Can, David Lang is something of a genial father figure of the indie-classical scene. Talk to any of the world's main players and you're likely to hear them tell you about their life-changing stint in Bang on a Can's summer festival, which has acted as a sort of feeder school and incubator for the group's try-anything mentality. Lang's music has undergone many stylistic shifts over the years: In the 80s, he wrote bristlier stuff, but in the last decade or so, he's shifted quietly into a more pensive register. The Little Match Girl Passion, his 2008 work that won him a Pulitzer, was written for only four voices and some hand bells. This Was Written By Hand, his most recent recording, is a collection of short solo piano works played by the British pianist Andrew Zolinsky. The album holds the same, sustained melancholy mood: thoughtful, searching, elegiac, minimalist. Lang's way with repetitive phrasing doesn't feel like that of minimalists like Glass or Reich's, though.
For this excellent album, trumpeter Donald Byrd teams up with tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, baritonist Pepper Adams, pianist Walter Davis, Jr., bassist Sam Jones and drummer Art Taylor. Together the sextet performs three Byrd originals, two Davis songs and the standard "Witchcraft." Although none of the new tunes caught on, the group (which includes two distinctive saxophonists and the rapidly maturing trumpet of Donald Byrd) plays consistently creative and spirited solos in the hard bop idiom.
Welcome to another selection of modern progressive music for you to enjoy, with the latest Prog cover CD. Beatrix Players, Donna Zed, Circuline, Soul Enema and more.
Recorded in Nashville and produced by Ellis and keyboardist Kevin McKendree, the ten brilliantly performed, fervently sung tracks on Winning Hand include nine originals, ranging from blistering blues to heart-pounding rock to soulful ballads. “Guitar, guitar, guitar is what this album is all about,” says Ellis, who recorded primarily with his 1959 Fender Stratocaster, his 1967 Gibson ES 345 and his 1973 Les Paul Deluxe. Guitar World says, “Ellis’ playing sparkles with depth and subtlety. Whether playing deep, slow blues or uptempo rockers, Ellis rides a gorgeously fat, pure tone.” Since his Alligator debut 30 years ago, Tinsley Ellis has become a bona fide worldwide guitar hero. The Chicago Sun-Times says, “It’s hard to overstate the raw power of his music.” Armed with his signature molten licks, melodic riffs and rousing, intense solos, Ellis, as his legions of fans will attest, is among the blues world’s best loved, hardest working and most well-travelled statesmen.
This quintessential collector’s edition includes two of Lightnin’ Hopkins’ finest albums from the early Sixties in their entireties: Mojo Hand, and the equally splendid Blues in My Bottle. The former was originally released in 1962 by Fire Records, while the latter was issued on the Prestige label in 1961, and contained a combination of autobiographical originals and blues standards. These two LPs are widely regarded as landmarks of the early-’60s blues revival. Both solidblues masterpieces have been remastered and packaged together in this very special release, which also includes 2 bonus tracks from the same period.
As the subtitle suggests, Space Hymn: The Complete Capitol Recordings (2003) contains all the material that Lothar & the Hand People cut during their three-year association with the label. The long-players Presenting… Lothar and the Hand People (1968) as well as Space Hymn (1969) are featured on this two-disc compendium, as well as the singles issued prior to their debut LP. Although Paul Conley (synthesizer/keyboards/Moog synthesizer), John Emelin (vocals/voices), Tom Flye (drums/percussion), Rusty Ford (bass), and Kim King (guitar/Moog synthesizer/amplifiers) were products of the fertile New York City rock & roll scene of the mid-'60s, the combo made their way via Denver, Colorado circa 1965…