Like See No Evil and At the Center of the Storm, this is a vivid and gripping account of the Central Intelligence Agency, a life of secrets, and a war in the shadows.
Al Green severed his ties with longtime producer Willie Mitchell in 1977, establishing his own backup band and seizing the production reins. But he hadn't yet made the final break with soul; this was the last secular work he would make for many years, and it was brilliant, even though it didn't come close to equaling his previous commercial heights. In retrospect, many just didn't understand where he was going, while others were turned off by the blurred lyrical focus of songs like "Belle." But "I Feel Good" had as much danceable energy and soulful fire as any Green up-tempo tune, and "Lovin' You" and "Dream" were sorely underrated compositions.
The first album linking the soul-singing greatness of Al Green with the production brilliance and expertise of Willie Mitchell. The results were mutually beneficial; Green got the great production, arrangements, and backing from the Hi Rhythm section that often turned good songs into classics, and he sang with the conviction and talent that provided the final component in an artistically and commercially satisfying union.
This difficult to find recording is worth the search; it contains some of the finest recorded work of Al Haig's enigmatic career. Haig was an important figure in the early development of bebop piano and can be heard as a sideman on many seminal recordings from the 1940s, including Salt Peanuts and Hot House. His refined classical technique was relatively unique at the time, and he was admired as a superb accompanist. Between the mid-'50s and the early 1970s there is a curiously large gap in his recorded output evidently due to personal problems. In fact, Al Haig Today! appears to be his only release as a leader during the '60s.
The Misteri d'Elx (Mystery Play of Elche) is a religious drama performed annually in the southeastern Spanish city of Elche (or Elx in the local dialect) since medieval times. The play reenacts the Assumption of Mary in a two-act musical production, entirely sung, that takes place over two successive days in August. The Mystery Play is a major European tourist attraction, and UNESCO in 2001 named it a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. With typical boldness, Jordi Savall and La Capella Reial de Catalunya plunge into a slice of the musical past that is rewarding yet raises complex issues in performance. Here, however, the group is not resurrecting a half-buried tradition but rather dealing with one that is living.