Russian pianist Denis Matsuev has established himself as one of the most dynamic and virtuosic performers of his generation, and his program on this RCA album with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic is ideally suited to his extraordinary abilities. The pairing of Sergey Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor and George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue is a natural one, particularly because of the works' shared post-romanticism (note Rachmaninov's influence on Gershwin's slow theme in the Rhapsody), as well as for the dazzling writing for the piano in both works. Of course, the challenge for Matsuev is to make his part appear effortless, and he succeeds so well in both performances that listeners may be a bit blasé about his playing, taking it in without really considering what knuckle-busters these pieces really are.
Gershwin’s instrumental masterpiece is the brief Rhapsody in Blue, written first for solo piano (not by Gershwin, who reportedly could neither read nor write music notation) then orchestrated in several versions by its commissioner, band leader Paul Whiteman. The work is a brief and effective encyclopaedic showcase for the rhythmic and instrumental trademarks of the "jazz" style. Fiedler’s performance of the arrangement for symphony orchestra is one of the most effective.(Paul Shoemaker - MusicWeb)
Box set in ECM’s acclaimed Old & New Masters series reintroduces Arild Andersen’s first three leader dates for the label – Clouds In My Head, Shimri, and Green Shading Into Blue. Recorded between 1975 and 1978, none of these albums has previously been issued on compact disc, and this edition is eagerly awaited. The music traces Andersen’s personal evolution from ‘free’-inclined bassist to bandleader-composer and introduces some players who would prove important for the future of the music – amongst them an 18-year-old Jon Balke on the “Clouds” session.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. The 1978 Jazz Messengers was one of Art Blakey's strongest groups in years, although it would soon be overshadowed by its successor (which introduced a young Wynton Marsalis). With trumpeter Valerie Ponomarev, altoist Bobby Watson and a tenor saxophonist forming a potent frontline and new material from each of the principals (plus pianist James Williams) in addition to a lengthy ballad medley, this is a fine all-around set, last available on LP.
"…A lot of bang for the buck."
In June of 1861, only a few weeks after the first shots at Fort Sumter ignited the Civil War, Union prisoners of war began to arrive in Southern prisons. One hundred and fifty years later, Civil War prisons and the way prisoners of war were treated remain contentious topics. Partisans of each side continue to vilify the other for POW maltreatment.
Composer George Gershwin is driven by his need to succeed. Unfortunately his drive destroys his romantic relationships with singer Julie Adams, who is desperately in love with him, and aloof socialite Christine Gilbert.
Even critics have a difficult time imagining a world without police. But just what is the role of police in a democracy: to serve the public or to protect the powerful? Tracing the evolution of the modern police force back to the slave patrols, this controversial study observes the police as the armed defender of a violent status quo.