This is a 2004 production of a Handel rarity performed at the beautiful setting of the Schlosstheater Potsdam under the direction of Axel Köhler. Handel's five act opera Teseo was premièred in 1713 at the Queen's Theatre in London. After flopping with his previous work Il pastor fido Handel reverted to the format of his big success Rinaldo and again created an opera with a heroic subject, sophisticated stagecraft and a big orchestra. Teseo has many qualities of the French tragédie lyrique style, such as the five-act structure, big arias in the middle of scenes (meaning that characters do not have to leave the stage after their arias), a secondary romantic couple, many short arias and recitatives and many accompanied recitatives. In 1947 the opera was rediscovered and staged for the first time after Handel's death at the Göttinger Händelfestpiele.
Ari Roland is one of many talented musicians overlooked by jazz labels until the mid-'90s debut of Smalls. The bassist's brand of bop is a demanding variation on hard bop with complex twists within his themes that keeps the pressure on his top-notch quartet, which includes tenor saxophonist Chris Byars, pianist Sacha Perry, and drummer Phil Stewart. It's impossible not to dig the groove of Roland's forceful "The Lion of Yerevan," in which he showcases his dark arco basslines as well as his driving rhythm. "Swamp Thing Goes to the Indy 500" is also a wild ride as the band negotiates its many sudden turns. The standard "Thou Swell" is a bit more mainstream, though Perry's choice of chords is decidedly different, while Byars' solo evokes the spirit of Don Byas.
An eclectic mix of American, African, and Caribbean music with strong rhythmic aspects. This CD has the ability to make the listener jump, dance, and listen, depending on what mood the individual is in while cruising the grooves. Leonard King was born in Detroit, Michigan where he has been able to absorb the multi-cultural musics of the entire metro area. He has performed with many artists such as Donald Byrd, Johnnie Taylor, Al Green, Herb Ellis, Barbara Dane, Eddie Kendricks, Pigmeat Markham, James Carter, and many others.