Bryan Lee could be called one of the last of the old-school blues guitarists. Born in 1943, Lee grew up to the sounds of the same seminal blues guitar idols (Albert King, Elmore James, etc.) that influenced scores of British and American blues and rock players. Based in New Orleans, Lee fortifies his approach to electric blues with aspects of Louisiana musical culture, both pop and blues. KATRINA is a tribute to that hard-hit metropolis, consisting of well-crafted originals (the emotion-laden title song) and choice covers (the oldie "Barefootin,'" the anthemic "Nobody's Business"). To put the icing on the cake, KATRINA is produced by contemporary blues ace Duke Robillard (no slouch himself on the guitar), who also contributes some fine acoustic six-string sounds.
Everybody will know by now that Elizabeth Wallfisch has a special interest, affection and regard for the 17th- and 18th-century Italian violin schools. She has already recorded much music by the likes of Tartini, Corelli, Locatelli and others with her group, The Locatelli Trio, and also with The Raglan Baroque Players under Nicholas Kraemer. Here is a varied and fascinating collection of pieces by some of the lesser-known composers from a generation or two earlier than those composers.
The violin concertos here are not the familiar pair in A minor and E. Bach composed a number of concertos for orchestral instruments and later transcribed them as keyboard concertos. Reversing Bach’s procedure, Wilfried Fischer has taken the harpsichord versions and from them has reconstructed the originals. BWV 1056 is a transposed transcription of the Keyboard Concerto in F minor (though New Grove identifies the outer movements as being from a lost oboe concerto). The D minor work is also usually heard in its keyboard adaptation. The concerto in C minor for two harpsichords appears in its original instrumentation for violin and oboe, the soloists here being perfectly balanced for clarity of line. It was Tovey who suggested that the A major concerto may have been intended for the oboe d’amore, an instrument pitched between the oboe proper and the cor anglais.