The Windham Hill name might lead you to believe this is New Age crap. It isn't. Alex de Grassi plays great solo guitar, and this is another of his fine releases.
In this 1962 classic, a novelistic exploration of modern crime and punishment, Alex is the 15-year-old leader of his gang of 'droogs' thriving in the ultraviolent future as prophetically imagined by Burgess. Speaking a bizarre Russian-derived slang, Alex and his friends freely pillage and slash their way across a nightmarish urban landscape until Alex is captured by the judicial arm of the state. He then becomes their prized guinea pig in a scientific program to completely 'redeem' him for society. If we had the power of absolute criminal reform, what, the novel asks, would this mean for our ideals of freedom and society? This edition reinstates the final chapter missing from Kubrick's film and, in which Alex is on the verge of starting a family as he reflects on - and completely rejects - his adolescent nastiness. It also includes Burgess's introduction "A Clockwork Orange Resucked."
Harvey's merger with Tear Gas, a faltering rock band, was the smartest move of his career. With a heady mix of theatrics and driving rock, SAHB quickly made a name for themselves across England, releasing this album along the way. Harvey struts and yowls and gets raunchy (prefiguring the SAHB version of "Delilah") while Zal Cleminson rips up the territory with some astounding guitar work. A great debut and a hell of a rock album.
Alex Bugnon exhibits a high level of creativity and playfulness throughout this work, plenty of suggestive and smooth pieces, but signed with a very personal style. 107 in the shade, for instance, initiates with an exotic melody played in accordion. His French roots are shown in the first two tracks. Elegance and brightness would be the most appropriate terms to describe this notorious CD. Generally more substantial than most of the other albums that smooth jazz stations play, the uneven, erratic 107 in the Shade is far from a gem, but has its moments. Bugnon gets into a pleasant, Joe Sample-ish groove on "Paris and May" and "When I Think About Home," whereas the much too brief "Fly, Spirit, Fly" hints at Pat Metheny. It was obvious that Sample was a major influence on Bugnon, although there were also traces of Ahmad Jamal in his playing.
Pianist Victor Gould's debut utilizes a variety of large gears, pinions, and regulators to help fashion his own ideas. You just never know who'll be standing in for which of those parts. The high-octane combination of Gould, bassist Ben Williams, and drummer E.J. Strickland is at the center of each scene, but they're joined, at different times, by a variety of other musicians and instruments—saxophones, trumpet, flute, strings, and percussion—which help to create an intricate sonic mesh and add a variety of tonal colors to the mix. It's heady modernistic jazz language and high art rolled into one.