"Double-tracked with a ghostly haze of background fuzz, Hedvig’s lightning-rod guitar blazes a trail that comes in the wake of the heaviest guitar giants – there’s Hendrix, Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi and Led Zep’s Jimmy Page swirling around the cauldron, but also the exploratory, disciplined freeplay of Pete Cosey, John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana buzzing out of her fingertips. Born in the Norwegian town of Ålesund in the early 80s, Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen has been steeped in the guitar since fooling around with her mother’s nylon-strung acoustic at the age of ten."
Multi-reedist John Surman returns to his chorister roots and lays bare his compositional prowess with this oratorio commissioned by the Salisbury Festival and premiered in June of 1996. The Salisbury Festival Chorus, founded in 1987 by Howard Moody (of whose compositions the Hilliard Ensemble and Trio Mediaeval have been strong proponents) approaches its Old Testament sources as the composer sets them: that is, with panache, a flair for syncopation, and raw intensity. Add to this pianist John Taylor in an unexpected turn on cathedral organ, and you’ve got a recipe for one of Surman’s most intriguing catalogue entries to date.
John Eliot Gardiner is one of the leading conductors in the active authentic performances movement in England, performing Baroque music but also extending his range into later repertoire. He first conducted at the age of 15, and after finishing school he studied at King's College, Cambridge. While still an undergraduate, he conducted the combined Oxford and Cambridge Singers on a 1964 tour of the Middle East and founded the Monteverdi Choir, which has consistently performed on his recordings since.
'Live in Europe' crowns what was a momentous year for pianist Fred Hersch. Capturing his trio - with longtime associates, bassist John Hébert and drummer Eric McPherson - in peak form, the new album signals a high level mark for an ensemble that has been garnering critical and popular praise for nearly a decade.