No composer looms over modern jazz quite like Johann Sebastian Bach, whose harmonic rigour seems to have provided the basis for bebop and all that followed. Listen to the endlessly mutating semiquavers tumbling from Charlie Parker’s saxophone and it could be the top line of a Bach fantasia; the jolting cycle of chords in John Coltrane’s Giant Steps could come straight from a Bach fugue and Bach’s contrapuntal techniques crop up in countless jazz pianists, from Bill Evans to Nina Simone. Bach certainly casts a long shadow over US pianist Brad Mehldau: even when he’s gently mutilating pieces by Radiohead, Nick Drake or the Beatles, he sounds like Glenn Gould ripping into the Goldberg Variations. Which is why it comes as no surprise to see Mehldau recording an entire album inspired by Bach. However, this is not a jazz album. Instead of riffing on Bach themes, as the likes of Jacques Loussier or the Modern Jazz Quartet have done in the past, After Bach sees Mehldau using Bach’s methodology. Mehldau plays five of Bach’s canonic 48 Preludes and Fugues, each followed by his own modern 21st-century response.
After leaving Detroit and arriving in Los Angeles, Gerald Wilson formed his first big band in 1944. By 1946 he was firmly established as a fine trumpet player, arranger, and composer, and was developing a style fit not only for modern jazz, but also eventually film scores. The dramatics apropos for both formats is evident on this second installment of Wilson's chronological recordings for the Classics reissue label, culled from recordings originally on the Black & White, United Artists, Excelsior, Federal, King, and Audio Lab labels. There are five different mid-sized orchestras with musicians from L.A., all quite literate and displaying different areas of expertise, and Wilson writes with each player's individual sound in mind…
This CD combines together two unrelated solo piano sets. The nine performances by Thelonious Monk are a bit familiar since these renditions (which are highlighted by "'Round Midnight," "Well You Needn't," "We See" and "Hackensack") had been previously reissued by GNP/Crescendo and Mosaic. However the 13 selections (including three alternate takes) by Joe Turner (no relation to singer Big Joe Turner) are much rarer. Turner, a talented American stride pianist who spent most of his life living in France, had only recorded ten songs as a leader prior to this 1952 session and is in top form for such numbers as "Hallelujah," "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea," "Wedding Boogie" and three versions of "Tea for Two." This CD is easily recommended to jazz piano collectors who do not already have the Monk selections.
Masaaki Suzuki was better known as a keyboard player in the first decade or so of his career, but since about 1990 has established himself as one of the leading conductors of Baroque choral music. Suzuki was born in Kobe, Japan, on April 29, 1954. As a child he exhibited musical talent early on and by age 12 was a church organist. He later enrolled at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where he studied composition and organ.
Gustav Maria Leonhardt was one of the best-known leaders of the Early Music movement. A harpsichordist and organist and later a conductor, he was credited with being one of the most important figures in establishing the Netherlands as one of the main centers of period music performances. He had a classical education, then entered the Schola Cantorum in Basle. There he studied organ and harpsichord with Eduard Müller.
15 complete original Sinatra albums and 43 bonus tracks on a limited edition 9CD box set. Legendary records from Frank Sinatra's golden age as a popular sophisticated vocalist released on Capitol with three on the singer's own label Reprise - with accompaniment from orchestras conducted by Nelson Riddle, Billy May and Johnny Mandel. Digitally remastered. Includes detailed booklet.