The songs of late Renaissance and early Baroque England have been sliced and diced in various ways in concert and recorded programming, but the configuration here seems to be unique. The tenor Nicholas Phan, from Ann Arbor, Michigan, devised the program himself: pointing out "how little human experience has changed over the centuries" and that Dowland's melancholia had much in common with the Romantics' veneration of the lovesick solitary hero (both debatable ideas, but both stimulating), he assembles what he calls a pastiche song cycle from compositions by Purcell, Dowland, John Blow, and other lesser-known lights.
This compilation has all of the music formerly on singer June Christy's two 1957 Capitol LPs, Fair and Warmer! and Gone for the Day, both of which have Pete Rugolo arrangements. The former set (which is actually programmed second) finds Christy joined by a 12-piece group of mostly West Coast all-stars. The backup players include trumpeter Don Fagerquist, trombonist Frank Rosolino, altoist Bud Shank, and Bob Cooper on tenor, but they are mostly restricted to short statements. Christy is in excellent form on such numbers as a definitive (but very brief) "I Want to Be Happy," "When Sunny Gets Blue," and "It's Always You." Three different groups are used on the Gone for the Day set, two of which have string sections, while the other uses five trombones.
With Heart only intermittently active in the early 21st century, Ann Wilson took the opportunity to release her first-ever solo album, something her sister Nancy Wilson, Heart's other half, took care of back in 1999. But where Nancy's solo debut was a live, acoustic effort comprised of both original material and covers, Ann has gone the nearly-all-covers route for the Ben Mink-produced Hope & Glory; only one song, the album-closing "Little Problems, Little Lies," comes from Wilson's own pen…
Appearing "Sweet Music Roll On"
This self-titled album, Christy Moore's first on Atlantic Records, seemed intended to introduce him to a wider audience, possibly including American listeners. The album cover includes quotes from Irish music celebrities like Elvis Costello, Shane McGowan and Bono, describing Moore as the "greatest living Irishman" and the Irish equivalent to Woody Guthrie. These endorsements are true enough, but the album they promote proceeds to water down Moore's greatness almost beyond recognition.
Essential: a masterpiece of celtic-folk music.
This album isn't from Planxty's discography, naturally. But we can't ignore that this album by Christy Moore is Planxty: The date 1972 (a year later published the legend, the Planxty "Black Album" ), the first song Raggle Taggle and … its members.