Of the 1.5 million adopted children in the United States, international adoptees are the fastest growing segment - and most adopted are Asian girls. While many of their stories are heartwarming and play into our self-image of American compassion and generosity, the realities are much more complex. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, adoptees have significantly more behavioral problems than non-adopted children. 'Adopted' reveals the grit rather than the glamor of trans-racial adoption. First-time director, Barb Lee, goes deep into the intimate lives of two well-meaning families and shows us the subtle challenges they face. One family is just beginning the process of adopting a baby from China and is filled with hope and possibility. The other family's adopted Korean daughter is now 32 years old. Prompted by her adoptive mother's terminal illness, she tries to create the bond they never had. The results are riveting, unpredictable and telling. While the two.
Fresh from the sudden success of Jazz Samba and "Desafinado," Stan Getz asked the 28-year-old, strikingly gifted Gary McFarland to arrange a bossa nova album for big band as a follow-up. Getz is always his debonair, wistful, freely-floating self, completely at home in the Brazilian idiom that he'd adopted only a few months before. McFarland usually keeps things nice and spare (although "One Note Samba" is uncharacteristically cluttered and a bit too discordant for the material), letting his pungent voicings stab the air now and then, while allowing the soloists all the room they want within the confines of producer Creed Taylor's tight timings…
This is one of those great Rossinian singing competitions in which everyone–and, in particular, the listeners–wins. Composed as a piece of occasional entertainment for the coronation of Charles X in Paris, Rossini borrowed liberally from his recent comic success Le Comte Ory and fashioned a musical necklace chock filled with one shiny bauble after another. Each character has a showpiece aria, from the highs of soprano Cecilia Gasdia as a melodramatic poetess all the way down to the basso realms of Samuel Ramey and Ruggero Raimondi. The ensembles are as delicious as the solos, and Claudio Abbado, in a very theatrical mood (this was recorded live) keeps everything going wittily and with great elan. The plot is practically nonexistent, but with singing like this, it's hard to complain. A real dazzler–and great fun.–Robert Levine
Fazil Say first came to international attention as a pianist, but he used that career as a springboard for launching his own compositions, and he has become widely recognized in both fields. This release from Naïve includes a fascinating assortment of his works that draw on his background in the Western classical tradition, his Turkish heritage, and his interest in jazz. His 2008 Violin Concerto, subtitled "1001 Nights in the Harem," skillfully brings the harmonic language, modal melodies, and textures of traditional Turkish music to the format of the concerto.