This is a reissue of a recording from 1993 (re-released a few years ago and deleted in 2003), recently remastered for SACD, and it really impresses with a renewed presence and impact, even on standard CD playback. As I said in my original review, Savall's reading "comes as close as these things can to placing us in the best seat in the house and treats us to a rare experience: the sensation of believing we're hearing a ruggedly familiar piece for the first time. Literally bursting with energy, scintillating strings, blazing horns, and incisive winds, and never boring even for one second, these performances give you Handel at his most exciting." If you have the earlier release, you probably don't need this one–unless you now own an SACD system–but it does deserve a place in every Handel collection, not only for the unsurpassed performances, but also for the effect of Savall's several decidedly "non-standard" tempos(!), and of course for the phenomenal sound, which now must have reached its ultimate realism in this format.
Helmed by T-Bone Burnett and Craig Street, the soundtrack to the music-intensive TV crime drama series gets ultra-hip artists to cover songs not necessarily associated with them—all with eerie musical backgrounds that match the program's tone. Unfortunately, the intriguing concept fares better on the small screen than on the big speaker, as artists like Richard Thompson, Lucinda Williams, and Joe Henry, among others, get lost in a uniformly listless production. Exceptions are Wendy Melvoin & Lisa Coleman's original instrumental "Crossing Jordan Themes," the Holmes Brothers' take on Blind Willie Johnson's "You're Gonna Need Somebody on Your Bond," and Alison Krauss' tackling of Blind Faith's "Can't Find My Way Home." Series star Jill Hennessy debuts with Tom Waits' "You're Innocent When You Dream" and Bob Dylan's "It's all Over Now, Baby Blue" and acquits herself well enough.
Jack DeJohnette has long been more than "just" a drummer; he is also a fine keyboardist and a very talented composer. This CD finds him exploring music ranging from American Indian melodies to rockish fusion and his tribute "Miles." His group includes powerhouse guitarists Vernon Reid and John Scofield along with a chanting vocal choir. The music is stimulating if not as essential as DeJohnette's earlier work with Special Edition.
On the first full album in seven years from the softly psychedelic British band, they’ve left something behind in the quest to recapture the essence of the Clientele.