Dee Dee Bridgewater's move to France awhile back has resulted in her having a relatively low profile in jazz. This excellent live set should help restore her reputation. Whether it be a three-song Horace Silver medley, the warhorse "All of Me," Jobim's "How Insensitive," "Night in Tunisia" or the rarely performed "Strange Fruit," Bridgewater (who is backed by a French rhythm section) is in top form, singing with swing and sensitivity.
Narciso Yepes was one of the finest virtuoso classical guitarists of the twentieth century, generally ranked second after Andrés Segovia.
The songs that Kathleen Battle chooses for her recital mostly eschew deep drama for sheer lyricism. If you want an album that explores the lyric impulse in Schubert songs, then, this is certainly for you. Battle sings these pieces with unfailingly beautiful vocal production, plus a winning charm and insouciance that border on the–well, girlish, one wants to say, if that isn't entirely politically incorrect. Her voice is a beautiful instrument, no doubt about it…By M. C. Passarella
By the time David Lindley made his move to a solo career, he was already a legend. Having toured and recorded with such names as Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, and Crosby & Nash, his reputation as a multi-instrumentalist (on almost any stringed instrument) was awesome. Lindley scored a contract with Elektra Records and put together an excellent band that was able to keep up with his eclectic vision. Combining blues, rock & roll, Cajun, Zydeco, Middle Eastern music, and other elements, his debut album is an absolute joy.
…The Threepenny Opera was first performed at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin in 1928. Despite an initially poor reception, it became a great success, playing 400 times in the next two years. The performance was a springboard for one of the best known interpreters of Brecht and Weill's work, Lotte Lenya, who was married to Weill…
"The founding of the Ensemble Modern (EM) in 1980 as an initiative of students of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie pursued the goal of supporting New Music and giving it appropriate performances. Since 1985 the EM, which is democratically organised, has been resident in Frankfurt am Main. It is among the world’s leading ensembles for Contemporary Music…"
Polydor wised up with this 1997 expanded version of their 1990 set, The Very Best of the Bee Gees, in that they took the collection and added nine tracks (from 12 to 21), intensifying the study of the impressive depth and breadth of the Bee Gees catalog. The collection runs chronologically from the group's late-'60s folk-pop period through their legendary disco contributions, thus tracing the arc of the Gibbs brothers' diverse career via their influence on pop culture and vice versa. The collection is then topped off by two late-'80s cuts that sit alongside the collection remarkably well and serve as a reminder that the Bee Gees were much more than the definition of disco, but continued to write some great songs regardless of production or arrangement.
While Kiri Te Kanawa was still preparing for that career-defining debut as the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, she made her first Mozart disc under Colin Davis: a collection of sacred music, including the Solemn Vespers, KV 339, with its serene setting of ‘Laudate Dominum’, and Exsultate, jubilate. The Countess became the singer’s calling-card, and she repeated the role immediately in San Francisco and at Glyndebourne. The thwarted Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni followed, again under Davis at Covent Garden, before Kiri took her Countess to the Met in New York in February 1976, and sang her first Fiordiligi in Paris, in a production by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. The Paris Opera was also the location of Kiri’s debut as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte in 1977. Her leap into superstardom came when she sang at the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana in July 1981…
Funk of Ages is the second solo album by former Parliament-Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell. The album was released in 1990 by Gramavision Records. The album includes contributions by numerous guest musicians including David Byrne, Herbie Hancock, Keith Richards, Vernon Reid and Phoebe Snow, as well fellow P-Funk band mates Bootsy Collins, Maceo Parker, Gary Cooper, Doug Duffey and Mike Hampton.
George Frideric Handel (1685 - 1759): Susanna. Oratorio. First performed 1749. Complete version including all the music that Handel later deleted. Performed by Lorraine Hunt and Jill Feldman, soprano, Drew Minter, countertenor, Jeffrey Thomas, tenor, David Thomas and William Parker, bass; the U.C. Berkely Chamber Choir; the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, San Francisco, conducted by Nicholas McGegan. Recorded live in September, 1989, at the Hertz Hall at the University of California.