Molly Johnson has released her new album, Meaning To Tell Ya. The Juno-award winning Canadian icon has combined a collection of covers with original tracks for the new project.
For the second of his three Mainstream sessions (one that has been reissued on CD), the bebop altoist Charles McPherson pays tribute to Billie Holiday; in fact, "Siku Ya Bibi" means "Day of the Lady" in Swahili. The emphasis is mostly on ballads, with "Miss Brown to You" and "Lover Come Back to Me" being exceptions. Four of the eight selections find McPherson backed by ten strings arranged by Ernie Wilkins, while the remainder of the date has the altoist joined by a rhythm section that includes pianist Barry Harris. Although not quite up to the level of his upcoming, more freewheeling Xanadu sessions, this is a fine outing. Highlights include the two aforementioned cooking pieces, "Lover Man," "Good Morning Heartache," and "I'm a Fool to Want You."
Chano Dominguez, based in Cadiz, Spain, is a powerful pianist and gifted composer who brings jazz and flamenco together in this exciting, innovative CD. Dominguez weaves jazz lines and harmony with the varied rhythms of flamenco, from its lighter styles of tango and buleria to the darker, bluesy seguirilla and solea, and beautifully integrates the fiery percussion of clapping and dancing with bebop (it's a bit hard to imagine, but an absolute delight to hear). He does amazing things with two jazz classics: Bill Evans' "Turn out the Stars" becomes a stunning flamenco waltz with a great bass solo by Javier Colina, and Thelonious Monk's "Bemsha Swing" is a startling tour de force where the piano is accompanied only by dancing and clapping; Monk would've loved it.
2014 has been an exceptional year for Blank & Jones and their so8os brand: they not only released the critically acclaimed artist edition for Alphaville to celebrate their 30th anniversary, they were also asked to put their hands on the ZTT catalogue an reconstruct some of the finest 80s productions by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Propaganda and Art Of Noise. 2015 now starts with a Bang! It s been 1,5 years since so8os Volume 8, but in February, the long awaited Volume 9 will hit the streets as a triple CD Deluxe Box! All three CDs will be filled with tracks from Original Master Tapes, no vinyl rips. All unedited, unmixed pure Extended Versions!
François de Bedos de Celles (1709-1779), described as a "monk of notable erudition," was also a highly trained and supremely talented builder of organs in eighteenth century France. The greatest of his organs was Dom Bedos, built for the abbey of Saint-Croix in Bordeaux – a glorious instrument with rich blends and subtle colors, with nuanced balances and stark contrasts, with whispering pianissimos and roaring fortissimos. Leonhardt's chosen program opens with the organ extracts from François Couperin's Messe propre pour les couvents, deeply devout music that Leonhardt performs with absolute command and complete dedication. The remainder of the program is a collection of works by better- and lesser-known composers, ranging from three Voluntaries by John Blow and two Toccatas by Georg Muffat to a Fantasia by Abraham van den Kerchkoven and a Chaconne by Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer, but Leonhardt performs all of them with total commitment and rapturous ecstasy. Alpha's sound is once again the omega of recorded sound.
Master Series is the title of a line of greatest hits albums, released in European countries primarily by PolyGram International, as well as A&M Records, Deram Records, FFRR Records, Mercury Records, and Polydor Records. In addition, some albums were reissued by Universal Music Group under the Universal Masters Collection and Millennium Edition titles.
With his second album Ya Think I'd Know Better, Coco Montoya ditches the guest stars and opts for a menu of pure, unadulterated Montoya. The results are quite impressive, to say the least. For the moment, overlook his somewhat pedestrian vocals and just concentrate on his scintillating guitar work. It's no secret that Montoya cultivated a reputation as one of the finest guitarists of the '80s and '90s through his session work, but even those familiar with his gutsy, electrifying style will be taken aback by the stylistic variety and musical depth on Ya Think I'd Know Better. Montoya even pulls skunk-hot solos out of the most predictable blues-rockers, while his smoldering solos on slower numbers like "Dyin' Flu" are passionate and moving. Best of all, Coco puts down his electric for acoustic romps like the earthy "Hiding Place." In short, Ya Think I'd Know Better answers the question whether Coco Montoya is a vital bluesman for the '90s, and the answer is an emphatic "yes!"