Altoist Phil Woods took a rare vacation from playing with his regular group to collaborate with pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist George Mraz and drummer Kenny Washington on this fine straight-ahead quartet date. The 13 selections are fairly concise (clocking in between 3-7 minutes apiece) and most of the material (other than "Canadian Sunset," "Yours Is My Heart Alone," "Blue and Sentimental" and Bill Evans' classic "Waltz for Debby") consists of either obscurities or recent originals. A special bonus is that Woods plays his appealing clarinet on three numbers. Highlights include "Charles Christopher" (a tribute to Charlie Parker), "Butter" and Hal Galper's "Just Us."
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi invites you to listen to the album Vidi Speciosam - A Lady Mass from the 16th Century - containing pf works dedicated to Mary from Spanish composers performed at the end of the 16th century. The performers are: Capella de la Torre - winner of the ECHO 2016 award in the "band of the year" category, and the vocal group of Tiburtina - a female vocal ensemble founded in 2008 in Prague, specializing in the interpretation of Gregorian chant, medieval polyphony and contemporary music.
Juan García de Salazar was a Spanish Baroque composer from the Basque country who spent most of his career working at Zamora Cathedral; he is so obscure the entry for him in the New Grove doesn't even include a list of his works. Musicologist Manuel Sagastume Arregi has pulled together a number of Salazar's extant movements related to the Vespers service with additional material to create Juan García de Salazar: Complete Vespers of Our Lady in Naxos' Spanish Classics series. It is performed by the Basque ensemble Capilla Peñaflorida and features the period wind group Ministriles de Marsias and the fine baritone of Josep Cabré. There are no stars here, though – everything on Juan García de Salazar: Complete Vespers of Our Lady is done to the service of the music, which is outstanding. Sagastume Arregi's realization of García de Salazar's Vespers service incorporates appropriate plainchant sections taken from a Basque hymnal dated 1692, organ music by García de Salazar's contemporaries José Ximenez and Martín Garcia de Olagüe, instrumental arrangements of García de Salazar's motets, and an arrangement of Tomás Luis de Victoria's Vidi speciosam probably made by García de Salazar himself.