Chopin, Piano Concertos No. 1 and 2, performed by pianist Sa Chen and the Gulbenkian Orchestra Lisbon, Lawrence Foster, conductor (Pentatone Classics). Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra followers will remember Sa Chen from a year ago. In October 2007, she joined the orchestra for an unusual work, a piano concerto by Clara Schumann. Chen looks about 12 on her album cover here, but she's 29. She is a promising pianist.
On December the 1st at the legendary New Morning Club in Paris Albert Lee and Hogan's Heroes played to a an ecstatic full house. Fortunately cameras were there to record the event, and this DVD is a full record of that magical evening. Here you'll find the complete show, as played on the night by Albert and the guys, and featuring some of the most dazzling guitar work you'll ever here or see. So if you're ready for a two-hour-long feast of rip-roaring rock 'n roll and cutting edge country music, as served up by the acknowledged master of the art and his great band, dig in and bon appetit! Includes loads of extras such as photo galleries and biographies.
Fourteen years is a long time to spend with one label, especially for jazz and fusion groups. Azymuth celebrated 14 years with the United Kingdom's Far Out label in 2008. Butterfly is their eight record for the imprint and their first new studio album in four years. The original trio – Jose Roberto Bertami (keyboards/vocals), Alex Malheiros (bass/guitars/vocals), and Ivan Conti (drums/percussion/vocals) – is still together after 35 years. Here jazz, funk, fusion, and elegant samba are woven together seamlessly. The disc was produced by the trio with David Brinkworth (Harmonic 33). "Butterfly," the album opener, is a sultry, breezy cover of the classic Herbie Hancock track, originally on 1974's Thrust. The elegant sound of gorgeously arranged strings (by Arthur Verocai no less), warm rolling Rhodes piano, Conti's breaking drums that walk the line between lithe funk and samba, and a pronounced but languid bassline gradually and deliberately build the space, stopping at interludes to reinsert the sensuous mood in the melodic line. Certainly it's an auspicious way to begin, but it's only one of the many highlights on this set.