All the stars were out for this concert celebrating Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 50th birthday at the Royal Albert Hall in London. In addition to being a retrospective of Lloyd Webber's hits to date, it also featured many of the stars that premiered the songs or who helped to make them famous, including Elaine Paige, Michael Ball, Glenn Close, Boyzone, Donny Osmond, Julian Lloyd Webber, and Antonio Banderas (who had recently starred in the film of Evita). Sarah performed four songs during the two hour concert, which included "Pie Jesu" with Ben De'Ath, "The Phantom of the Opera" with Antonio Banderas, "All I Ask of You" with Michael Ball, and "The Music of the Night."
Drawing on over 30 years of experience playing the country-blues, complete with tutorials from some of the undisputed masters, it comes as no surprise that Stefan Grossman can so consistently conjure up the authentic spirit of the music with each successive release. His original compositions show Grossman to be the most confident of guitarists in his genre, effortlessly borrowing from the stylings of Mississippi John Hurt, Reverend Gary Davis, and Blind Willie McTell among various others. While his playing isn't overly flashy, it need not be. The precision and craftsmanship injected into the fluid, rolling original "Yazoo Strut," the harder blues groove of "Spider Web Blues," and a powerful rendition of Reverend Gary Davis' "Candy Man" are country blues at its very best.
Nicholas McGegan has done more for the early music movement in America than nearly anyone else, and his tireless explorations of the byways of Baroque opera have put many fascinating works into the concert hall and onto recordings. He studied piano at London's Trinity College of Music and learned to play the flute while he was there, but entertained no special desire to study historical performance.
Ederlezi spans 10 years of Goran Bregovic's film music career, covering much of his work for Balkan director Emir Kusturica as well as to the movies Toxic Affair and La Reine Margot. It shouldn't be a shock to discover that Bregovic's music is steeped in the culture of his homeland. His compositions for Kusturica's Underground are a goulash of foot-stomping gypsy festivities, like the Balkan take on Carnaval in "Cajesukarije Cocek" and the thunderous trumpet on "Kalasnjikov". For the film Le temps des gitans he wrote "Talijanska", which begins with a pleasant jaunt on the accordion, makes a daring turn into a cul-de-sac of brooding drones, and then returns to the welcome safety of the starting point with a larger ensemble. There are also many unexpected encounters on this collection, the most surprising being Iggy Pop's vocals on the EZ-listening pop of "TV Screen". Others include the juxtaposition of tender acoustic guitar and chimes with narration by Johnny Depp on "American Dreamers" and the crooning of dark angel Scott Walker on "Man From Reno".
This reissue is unrelated to another V.S.O.P. set simply titled A Jazz Band Ball. Terry Gibbs on vibes and marimba matches wits and creativity with Victor Feldman and Larry Bunker, both of whom double on vibes and xylophone. Assisted by pianist Lou Levy, bassist Max Bennett and drummer Mel Lewis, the intriguing frontline essentially plays bop, but with a great deal of color. The interaction between the vibraphonists, who are all featured and occasionally trade off, is the main reason to acquire this very interesting set.
John Carpenter is a legend. As the director and composer behind dozens of classic movies, Carpenter has established a reputation as one of the greatest filmmakers in the history of modern cinema, as well as one of its most influential musicians. The minimal, synthesizer-driven themes to films like Halloween, Escape From New York, and Assault on Precinct 13 are as indelible as their images, and their timelessness was evident as Carpenter performed them live in a string of internationally sold-out concert dates in 2016. Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998 collects 13 classic themes from Carpenter’s illustrious career together on one volume for the first time. Each theme has been newly recorded with the same collaborators that Carpenter worked with on his hit Lost Themes studio albums: his son, Cody Carpenter, and godson, Daniel Davies.