2008 release of this '60s recording by the American Jazz drummer Kenny Clarke and Belgian pianist Francy Boland, leading one of the finest Jazz ensembles ever assembled outside of the U.S. Had it not been for the post-war migration of many top American Jazz musicians to Europe, it is quite likely that the legendary Clarke-Boland Big Band might never have come into existence. As it happened, when Gigi Campi set up the first Big Band record date in Cologne in 1961, he was able to call upon such distinguished self-exiled Jazz stars as Benny Bailey (originally from Cleveland, Ohio), Sahib Shihab (Savannah, Georgia), Jimmy Woode (Boston, Massachusetts) and, of course, Kenny Clarke (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).
Reissue of the album recorded with Dusko Goykovich, et al. 24bit digitally remastered. Cardboard sleeve (mini LP). This is one of the rarest of all Blue Note albums, and one that is a must for record collectors. The Francy Boland/Kenny Clarke big band was one of the most exciting orchestras of the 1960s and ‘70s. Much less known but also brilliant was a unique octet co-led by Boland and Clarke just prior to the big band.
As his Strokes cohort Julian Casablancas prepares to drop his sophomore album with The Voidz, guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. is readying a new release of his own. Entitled Francis Trouble, Hammond Jr.’s fourth solo full-length is due out March 9th.
Understandably, Poulenc's Gloria and Stabat Mater have almost invariably been coupled together on LPs and CDs. Similarly scored for solo soprano, chorus, and orchestra, the two works are arguably the twin peaks of Poulenc's sacred music, that is, they are irresistibly melodic, energetically rhythmic, directly emotional, conservatively harmonic, and fervently religious. That said, however, the difference in tone between the two works is as striking as their similarities. Where the Gloria is light, bright, and at times even funny, the Stabat Mater, as befits its subject matter, is dark, heavy, and always deeply sorrowful. In this pair of performances with Georges Prêtre leading the Orchestre National de France and the French Radio Choir from the '80s, both works are given the deluxe French treatment. Prêtre is as skilled at balancing his forces as he is at keeping the music moving, and, as importantly, he is as capable of expressing the Gloria's joyous wit as he is of articulating the Stabat Mater's profound suffering. But the real star of these performances is American soprano Barbara Hendricks whose clear, warm voice and excellent diction breath vibrant life into all Poulenc's glorious melodies.