Massive waves of Funk and infectious grooves and slathered with scrumptious slide guitar
The Stranger is the fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on September 29, 1977, by Columbia Records. While his four previous albums had been moderately successful, The Stranger became Joel's true critical and commercial breakthrough, spending six weeks at #2 on the U.S. album charts. Considered his magnum opus, it remains his best-selling non-compilation album to date, and was ranked number 70 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
This release sees Murray Perahia returning to Brahms after a significant series of excellent Bach recordings for Sony Classical. His 1991 Sony recording of the Sonata No.3 has an assortment of Intermezzos and Rhapsodies as a filler, but this new disc sees Perahia taking the later opus numbers head-on, working up to them chronologically via the Handel Variations and Rhapsodies Op.79 which, as Katrin Eich says in her booklet notes, each represent an ‘end point’ at certain stages in Brahms’ compositional output.
The longest track on “Perfection,” the debut album by a jazz trio with David Murray on tenor saxophone and bass clarinet, Geri Allen on piano and Terri Lyne Carrington on drums, clocks in at just over eight minutes, covering so much ground that it feels almost like an epic. Composed by Mr. Murray, it’s a swinging tune with a pensive yet intrepid melody, and a midsection of bristling abstraction. The title is playfully apt: “The David, Geri & Terri Show.” Dynamic combustion is the core characteristic of this all-star trio, which first convened at the 2015 NYC Winter Jazzfest. Mr. Murray, 61, is an improviser of great, garrulous bluster, while Ms. Allen and Ms. Carrington, both in their 50s, have forged prominent careers more in line with the postbop mainstream.