This 1988 studio date is one of the overlooked treasures in the considerable discography of Jim Hall, possibly due to the label's low-key promotion and less than eye-catching cover art. It is easy to understand why artists like Art Farmer and Paul Desmond omitted a pianist after hearing a release such as this one, because it would only clutter Hall's soft yet complete accompaniment. Joined by Tom Harrell (heard mostly on flügelhorn), bassist Steve LaSpina, and drummer Joey Baron, this CD is a delight from start to finish. The interaction of the musicians in the opener, a lively, waltzing "With a Song in My Heart," makes it sound like they have been a working unit for years.
On his third Denon release Berg ventures into a few jazz standards while maintaining a strong hold on his fusion roots. Jim Beard is featured on keyboards.
Kazumi Watanabe has for the past 20 years been one of the top guitarists in fusion, a rock-oriented player whose furious power does not mask a creative imagination. Watanabe studied guitar at Tokyo's Yamaha Music School and he was a recording artist while still a teenager. In 1979, he formed the group Kylyn and, in 1983, he put together the Mobo band. Several of his recordings have been made available by Gramavision and they show that he ranks up with Al DiMeola (when he is electrified) and Scott Henderson among the pacesetters in the idiom.
Sonny Stitt, doubling on alto and tenor, is in fine form on this quartet session (a Japanese import CD) with either Barry Harris or Walter Davis on piano, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Tony Williams. The repertoire (bop standards, blues and ballads) is fairly typical and nothing too unusual occurs, but fans of straightahead jazz in general and Sonny Stitt in particular will be satisfied with this above-average effort, highlighted by "It Might as Well Be Spring" and "Constellation."
…I Solisti Italiani continues, both spiritually and sonically, where the original Virtuosi di Roma left off, with creamy, expert, middle-of-the-road performances of Baroque and Classical period music, and occasional 20th-century pieces as well. The ensemble is small - only 12 players, without conductor - but the sound is full and caloric, the playing dapper and disciplined.
Dogatana is a 1981 album by Japanese jazz guitarist Kazumi Watanabe. As usual for Watanabe, it features many acclaimed musicians. The album, compared to other Watanabe works, has a very acoustic sound and is characterized by peculiar guitar "duets".
This is one of the most comprehensive of any of the test CD's. It can be used for anything from aligning tape head azimuth to speaker frequency range, testing noise levels of either your cd player or amplifier/receiver, etc…
"Described by the Boston Globe's Michael Manning as a musician who plays "beyond virtuosity," guitarist Sharon Isbin has been a consistent challenge for critics, who struggle to find the right superlative that would do justice to her exquisite playing. "In her hands," wrote Anne Midgette in The New York Times, "the guitar takes on the precision of a diamond, each note a clear, shining facet that catches, prism-like, a glimpse of the spectrum." In essence, a performance by Isbin is like a painting by Vermeer: a formally impeccable and inexhaustible work of art."