Most of Sara Sant'Ambrogio's recordings have been as cellist with the Eroica Trio, but she takes on the odd numbers of J.S. Bach's Six Suites for unaccompanied cello in this 2009 solo outing, and it's an ambitious undertaking. This album faces comparisons with several great recordings of the suites, and this young cellist likewise faces scrutiny for playing works associated with such names as Casals, Fournier, and Rostropovich, past masters of the instrument.
The Manfreds – which is to say, the reunited Manfred lineup sans Manfred Mann himself – have been performing to enthusiastic audiences in Europe since the 1990s, and 5-4-3-2-1 is a studio document of their sound, which is very close to their original sound, only a bit slicker. Paul Jones and Mike d'Abo split the vocal chores between them, each picking up his own repertory, and Mike Vickers, Mike Hugg, and Tom McGuinness from the original band are here, with Benny Gallagher (bass, guitar, vocals) and Rob Townsend (drums) filling out the line-up. D'Abo's "Handbags and Gladrags" is also represented, but, surprisingly, not Jones' "High Time." The sound is excellent and the group does try to add some modern inflections to some of the songs, but one suspects that they were more of an improvisatory group than this back in their prime years.
These recordings were made in wartorn Berlin by one of the past century's greatest conductors, Wilhelm Furtwangler, who was one of very few international caliber artists who remained in Germany during WWII. Combine Furtwangler's passionate conducting with the sad context of war and you've got an utmost interesting and pertinent package.
Born April 25, 1958, in Edinburgh, Scotland, Derek William Dick (aka Fish) was the dramatic lead vocalist for prog rock band Marillion until beginning a solo career in 1988. Marillion was initially formed as an instrumental band in 1979 by guitarist Steve Rothery (b. November 25, 1959; Brampton, England), drummer Mick Pointer, bassist Doug Irvine, and keyboard player Brian Jelliman. Irvine began singing in 1980 on the group's first demos, but a year later Marillion invited Fish to join as vocalist, and he assumed the frontman position beginning with their 1983 debut album, Script for a Jester's Tear. His strong Peter Gabriel-inspired vocals enforced critics' accusations that Marillion owed more than just a heavy debt to Genesis, but six more albums followed…
Dr. Wu' a.k.a. Jim Ashworth and Bryan Freeze have up until now, been deeply rooted in Texas Blues with the help of such players as the great Buddy Whittington, Mouse Mayes, Red Young, and other top musicians. Now with their 5th release they are broadening their horizons; branching out with new genres of compositions like "Buddy's Bolero" and "Baby I Love You" as well as new rockin' Texas Blues, and the return of the original vocalist Charlie Bassham …all of which make "Ridin' with Dr. Wu' Vol. 5 their best album to date!