Considering that Max Richter's soundtrack work far outpaces the rate at which he releases his own albums, this Deutsche Grammophon collection of four of his earliest works is a welcome reminder of their magic. Retrospective gathers his instant-classic, Franz Kafka-inspired 2004 album The Blue Notebooks, which features the Tilda Swinton collaboration "On the Nature of Daylight" and introduced Richter's expressive mix of classical and electronic music to many listeners; the like-minded Songs from Before, which featured Robert Wyatt reading Haruki Murakami texts over Richter's sensitive, piano-driven compositions; 24 Postcards in Full Colour, an eclectic and emotive collection of ringtone-inspired miniatures; and Infra, a piece composed for the Royal Ballet and inspired in equal measure by T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land and Franz Schubert's Winterreise. The collection also includes bonus tracks for each album, including a full orchestral version of "On the Nature of Daylight" and an essay by Paul Morley. Retrospective offers a wonderful way for fans to experience these albums to their fullest, and for newcomers to learn what all the fuss is about.
Features SHM-CD format and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. As Lee Morgan's career moved from hard and post-bop to soul-jazz, Delightfulee serves as a further bridge in a half-and-half fashion. Four of the seven cuts feature his potent quintet with a young and emerging tenor saxophonist, Joe Henderson, as his front line mate, McCoy Tyner ever brilliant on piano, and Billy Higgins firing up the rhythm as only the drummer could. The remainder of the date consists of tracks orchestrated by Oliver Nelson featuring an 11-piece ensemble. There are two selections that feature versions of compositions with both configurations.
This difficult to find recording is worth the search; it contains some of the finest recorded work of Al Haig's enigmatic career. Haig was an important figure in the early development of bebop piano and can be heard as a sideman on many seminal recordings from the 1940s, including Salt Peanuts and Hot House. His refined classical technique was relatively unique at the time, and he was admired as a superb accompanist. Between the mid-'50s and the early 1970s there is a curiously large gap in his recorded output evidently due to personal problems. In fact, Al Haig Today! appears to be his only release as a leader during the '60s.