In the mid-'50s, guitarist Tal Farlow led one of his finest groups, a drumless trio with pianist Eddie Costa and bassist Vinnie Burke. The same band would record the album Tal a week or two later. With Burke contributing a constant walking bass, the interplay between Farlow and Costa is always exciting, whether they are playing unisons or trading off. This 1999 CD reissue not only has the original seven selections but "Gone With the Wind" (which was left off of the original LP due to lack of space) plus three full-length alternate takes that are basically on the same level as the masters. Among the highpoints are "Taking a Chance on Love," "Yardbird Suite," "Like Someone in Love," and Farlow's lone original, "Meteor," which utilizes the chord changes of "Confirmation." Hot bebop that is easily recommended.
For some reason, the second Elf record, 1974's Carolina County Ball, was released under the title L.A./59 in the United States and Japan, while the more widely accepted title was used in the U.K. and Europe. The Ronnie James Dio-led outfit was becoming increasingly entwined with Deep Purple – Roger Glover was producing the band, they appeared on the Deep Purple-owned Purple record label in the U.K., and the group was working frequently with Ritchie Blackmore – and their music began taking on a more powerful, more complex, more Deep Purple-like sound because of it. The more or less straight-up boogie rock of the Elf debut was not entirely abandoned for this follow-up, but tracks like "Annie New Orleans" and "Carolina County Ball" have a depth that goes beyond the accomplishments of the group's previous, self-titled offering. Difficult to obtain, this long out-of-print release is a true find for fans of Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and Ronnie James Dio's best solo efforts of the '80s.
This recording has never received the respect it has deserved. The sound has been cleaned up and it is a Culshaw production with the VPO. It is fairly early in Karajan's career so the mannerisms that people fault him for are not so much in evidence. Del Monico is in great voice. This role needs an Italianate voice which is why I have never warmed to Domingo performances of the role. A great deal.
-By Grant C. Creeger-
William Tell is Rossini's last opera, and this Romantic heroic interpretation of Schiller's epic of Wilhelm Tell among his best works. Rossini composed this opera in Paris. The original libretto was written in French, for a French audience, chorus. Parisians by reputation had more refined musical technique and tastes than their Italian counterparts and Rossini applied the best of Italian opera technique, which he had mastered and more refined and complex French musical staging which he studied and adapted during his years in Paris.