…Now then: FIVE CDs of one male alto singing Baroque cantatas? If you suppose this would be too much of a good thing, you haven't yet grasped the expressive virtuosity of Gerard Lesne. The man sings every phrase with such engagement that you forget you're listening to a singer and imagine that you're hearing a passionate human 'speaking' musically just to you. There is also an immense range of compositional resources in baroque music - a bag of tricks, if you will - which only the finest performers like Lesne can fully exploit. And just in case you suffer from a short musical attention span, the generous producers oat Virgin Classics have built in a couple of instrumental sonatas to let your ears re-set…
Having weathered so much adversity in their short career (starting with the demise of their original label and indefinite shelving of their first EP), the members of Red Bank, NJ's the Parlor Mob must be breathing a collective sigh of relief over the release of their first album, And You Were a Crow, in early 2008. If not, then at the very least it seems that the weight of these worries actually benefited the precocious quintet's songwriting, by lending a little extra weight of resolve and authenticity to their rootsy, retro-fueled but nevertheless contemporary sounding hard rock. This stems from a veritable melting pot of '70s influences, which the Parlor Mob go to great lengths to break down into their various basic ingredients before building them back up into exciting groove rockers like "Dead Wrong" and "Real Hard Headed," as well as beguiling, paired-down acoustic numbers such as "Angry Young Girl" and "Can't Keep No Good Boy Down," so that only a few anal retentive music obsessives might recognize their origins.
A surprise from this good fellow "RH-" from Poland, known more as a designer and artwork artist. This music can be described as ambient/electro with a minimalist approach, simple yet very effective. Cold minimal ambiental music, sometimes calm and sleepy, other times more moving and buzzing, also some electro influences and trippy drums here and there with keys chilling like the ocean's cold waves at dawn.
Since they started in the early 1970’s, ECM has been giving the world one excellent jazz piano disc after another–significant names include Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, and Paul Bley, more recently Anat Fort, Bo Stenson, and now Julia Hulsmann. Leading a trio on her ECM debut, THE END OF SUMMER, Hulsman displays a graceful, muted, and melancholy air. In the manner of Stenson and Bley, Hulsmann expresses maximum emotion and mood using the fewest (but well-placed) notes. Unlike the aforementioned gentlemen however, Hulsmann favors almost folk-like, affable, and concise melodies. Her bassist and drummer seem subdued at times, but they’re constantly lending the tunes a sense of forward motion.