Deftly mixing equal parts of folk and symphonic prog is what this Spanish band does best. The Strawbs did it with English folk whereas Ibio stress their Spanish roots; however, the comparison stops here as their musical styles have absolutely nothing in common. This quartet from Cantabria (land of the famous Caves of Altamira) released only one LP back in 1978 and then mysteriously disappeared. Despite some Italian symphonic overtones brought on by the lush keyboard work, the mostly instrumental album "Cuevas de Altamira" never lets you forget its Iberian origins: typical Spanish melodies with a generally upbeat tempo, strong presence of the acoustic guitar and a few but emphatic vocals (perhaps a little overwrought for some tastes). The abundance of moog, synths and mellotron, the complex drumming and the mildly distorted and phased electric guitar make it a 100% prog album.
Although not quite at the level of profundity of his teacher Gustav Leonhardt's recording, Kenneth Gilbert's 1983 recording of Book 1 of Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier does have a style and polish that Leonhardt's too often lacked. Thus, while Leonhardt goes further into some of the minor-key fugues to find intellectual and spiritual depths that Gilbert does not plumb, Gilbert's playing is so much more elegant and graceful than Leonhardt's that it is difficult to choose between them. For listeners who approach The Well-Tempered Clavier as a volume of virtuoso works whose success depends on the effortless refinement of the player, the Gilbert, with its superbly remastered sound, will be the one to get. For listeners who approach The Well-Tempered Clavier as a volume of prayers written as preludes and fugues, the Leonhardt will be preferable. Both are superb and both belong in any Bach collection.
This CD reissue of a Kenny Dorham session that was originally on the Time label features the talented trumpeter and an all-star quintet (with Jimmy Heath on tenor, pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Art Taylor) playing six famous themes from the Jerome Kern play Show Boat. All of the melodies ("Why Do I Love You?," "Nobody Else but Me," "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man," "Make Believe," "Ol' Man River" and "Bill") are heard in likable and swinging versions. This is one of Dorham's better sessions from the era and is easily recommended to his fans and collectors of hard bop.
Finger Poppin' was the first album Horace Silver recorded with the most celebrated version of his quintet, which featured trumpeter Blue Mitchell, tenor saxophonist Junior Cook, bassist Gene Taylor, and (this time around) drummer Louis Hayes. It's also one of Silver's all-time classics, perfectly blending the pianist's advanced, groundbreaking hard bop style with the winning, gregarious personality conveyed in his eight original tunes. Silver always kept his harmonically sophisticated music firmly grounded in the emotional directness and effortless swing of the blues, and Finger Poppin' is one of the greatest peaks of that approach…