John Harle's epic CV includes soundtracks, classical works and drama, all of which feed into the saxophonist's ambitious song cycle about "dark London". Its tales of the Limehouse Ripper, Spring Heeled Jack and the Highgate Vampire are centred a few centuries back, with words from William Blake and John Dee, though most of the lyrics are by Marc Almond, along with Tom Pickard and Iain Sinclair. There are splashes of cabaret and jazz, but the echoing, crepuscular atmosphere is dominated by Almond's impressive neo-operatic singing (some distance from electro-pop!), with a thumping, galloping finale that uses an extract from Blake's "prophetic book" Jerusalem. Dark but dashing.
François Couturier leads his Tarkovsky Quartet on their third album dedicated to the great film director Andrej Tarkovsky. The two previous volumes, released in 2006 and 2011, were greeted with unanimous international praise; the musical and human experience during the recordings and subsequent tours and concerts revealing the huge potential of the highly original formation consisting of piano, cello, saxophone and accordion.
CeeLo Green has never made a bad album, and isn’t about to change his ways with Heart Blanche, which overflows with positive energy. The key track is “Est. 1980s”, a euphoric celebration of his musical influences, set to the kind of flanged guitar groove popular in an era when “Michael Jackson was king, Aaron Neville was God, and Run DMC looked just like me”. The period influence is confirmed by the sampled Taxi theme used for “Sign of the Times”, and by the departed comics (Belushi, Pryor, Williams) eulogised in “Robin Williams”, his tribute to the late comedian. Elsewhere, “Mother May I” suggests the teenage CeeLo straining at the parental leash, while “Music to My Soul” offers uplift to those “living in darkness”. The standard dips slightly in the later stages, but the grooves throughout are sleek and snappy, and CeeLo himself has rarely sounded better.
A Swiss sailor jumps ship in Lisbon, tired of the noisy engine room, the ship "a floating factory of crazy people." He rents a room and does little. He writes letters to his lover, describing the whiteness of the city, the solitude and the silence. He sends his love and emptiness; she replies with love and confusion. He sends movies from his 8mm camera. Then he becomes friendly with Rosa, a chambermaid, and soon it's a love affair. He continues to send letters and movies home. His Swiss lover is hurt and angry; she sends an ultimatum.
The first release in Deutsche Grammophon’s new partnership with the Verbier Festival that will see the release of exceptional concerts with great artists (2 sets per year from 2016) recorded by Verbier over the years. Something special was bound to happen when Martha Argerich was given carte blanche to invite whoever she wanted, to play whatever she and they chose at her Verbier Festival concert on 27 July 2007. She was the life and soul of the party, playing in seven works and making a rare solo appearance in Schumann’s Kinderszenen. Argerich’s artistic partners are Yuri Bashmet, Renaud Capuçon, Lang Lang, Mischa Maisky, Gabriela Montero, Julian Rachlin in a killer programme.