To say that this limited-edition six-LP Mosaic box is overflowing with classics is an understatement. Included are a variety of small-group sessions (with overlapping personnel) from the early days of Blue Note. The Edmond Hall Celeste Quartet has five songs that are the only existing examples of Charlie Christian playing acoustic guitar; clarinetist Hall, Meade Lux Lewis (on celeste), and bassist Israel Crosby complete the unique group. The king of stride piano, James P. Johnson, is heard on eight solos; other combos are led by Johnson, Hall (who heads four groups in all), trumpeter Sidney DeParis, and trombonist Vic Dickenson (heard in a 1952 quartet with organist Bill Doggett).
The story of the Cranberries is one of dogged survival. Debuting with a maiden release that everybody seemed to rate as a portent of great things, the band suffered not only a "difficult" second album but also an absolute stinker of a third one, as the bandmembers strove desperately – too desperately – to live up to their reputation for sensitivity and thoughtfulness, and completely lost sight of their true virtues in the process. Internecine squabbling, health problems, and general disaffection all took further toll, so much so that, as the band prepared to release its fourth album, 1999's Bury the Hatchet, many observers were shocked to learn that the band even existed any longer, let alone was capable of actually making a new record – especially one that was as good as Bury the Hatchet turned out to be. Filmed at the Paris Omnisport de Bercy on December 9, 1999, toward the end of that album's accompanying tour, Beneath the Skin captures the full 84-minute concert performance, with the band ranging and, occasionally, raging through a veritable greatest-hits collection. The 22 tracks date back to the shimmering beauty of the Everybody Else Is Doing It era, fast forward through the highlights (and there were a few) of the two albums that followed, and then climax with eight cuts from the new record, including an opening salvo of "Animal Instinct," "Loud and Clear," and "Promises" that restates Hatchet's own defiant kickoff.
Naxos has done music lovers yet another good turn by releasing these recordings (1932-36), vividly remasterd from 78s. Menuhin was in his later teens when he made them. The concertos in A minor and E are conducted by his teacher Enescu, who is the other soloist in the D minor Double concerto, which Monteux conducts. The performances are compelling, and the slow movements of the solo concertos are imprinted with that beauty of tone and phrase that makes the young Menuhin a permanent wonder. But the Double Concerto is the treasure. The soloists are indistinguishably linked yet each a consummate individual. Playing more heart-easing than in the distraught largo could not be imagined.(Paul Driver)
BLUES PILLS are what they call the band of the hour. Their latest album, »Lady In Gold«, not only rocketed them onto position #1 of the German album charts and brought them numerous other chart entries all around the globe but also led them through the vast majority of the European continent…