Acoustic Alchemy have spent over a quarter century making music and in that time they have not only received critical acclaim for their albums (including 3 Grammy nominations), but also have built a reputation for being one of the most exciting live bands in the business. For the last decade the band line up has been made up of Greg Carmichael on nylon guitar, Miles Gilderdale on steel string acoustic and electric guitars, Fred White on keyboards and the powerhouse rhythm section of Greg Grainger on drums and his brother Gary Grainger on bass.
Dire Straits perform their brand of British pub rock from the double-album Alchemy: Dire Straits Live. The live show features 11 songs from the group's four previous albums, Dire Straits, Communique, Making Movies, and Love Over Gold. The band that would eventually go on to become MTV darlings with their smash hit "Money for Nothing" showcase all of their early favorites, including "Sultans of Swing," "Tunnel of Love," "Once Upon a Time in the West," and many more. Mark Knopfler leads the band on the 11 songs featured in this concert performance, all of which are also included on the live album by the same name.
[…] This live CD documents a pair of concerts with guitarist Ulf Wakenius (who also worked with Peterson) and drummer Jonas Johansen, the first five tracks from 1999 and the last six from Pedersen's final recorded concert in March 2005, just a few weeks before his sudden death from a heart attack. […] Both concerts are intimately recorded and this is easily one of Niels Pedersen's best CDs as a leader. ~Ken Dryden, All Music Guide
Concerts with Maria Schneider are something special. They are stylistically not only out of the ordinary, they also manage to bring large orchestras to perform artistically at high voltage, with an energy and at a creative level which is otherwise known only in much smaller ensembles. It is not the music alone that drives the participants, but rather the serene seriousness of a band leader who demands a maximum of intensity from her compositions and passes this premise on to their interpretation. It is impossible to conceive of compositions for jazz orchestras more stringently. The instrumentalists know this too, and therefore feel called upon not only to reproduce the charts accurately but to work out all the contained hints, implications, and visions of sound down to the deepest levels. This original recording was made in May 2000 when Schneider appeared alongside the SWR Big Band. And for the SWR Big Band, those days in May 2000 are some of the highlights of their orchestral history.