French pianist Sebastien Paindestre—last heard on the French/American quartet Atlantico's En Rouge (La Fabrica'son, 2016)—leads his own trio in a mostly-original program. The liner notes credit a Fender Rhodes technician, and the opener "Scottish Folk Song" (by Walt Weiskopf) shows why. After introducing the tune on acoustic piano with double bassist Jean-Claude Oleksiak and drummer Antoine Paganotti (with the pastoral sound promised by the title) the Rhodes makes a dramatic entry with a distorted, highly electronic sound. It's very distinctive, almost like a synthesizer rather than a piano, and it brings out an aggressive side to Paindestre's soloing. The instrument performs a similar function on the third track, "Gaza-Paris-Jerusalem (For Peace)." There it is used both as a solo voice and as the voice of conflict during a brief unsettled section. The Beatles tune "Mother Nature's Son" gets a memorable jazz treatment next. The Rhodes is used to play the head, this time with a more conventional celeste-like bell sound. Bassist Oleksiak also gets a nice solo showcase.
With the Beatles is a sequel of the highest order – one that betters the original by developing its own tone and adding depth. While it may share several similarities with its predecessor – there is an equal ratio of covers-to-originals, a familiar blend of girl group, Motown, R&B, pop, and rock, and a show tune that interrupts the flow of the album – With the Beatles is a better record that not only rocks harder, it's considerably more sophisticated…
Nominated for two Academy Awards, Richard Lester's "A Hard Day's Night" (1964) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion. The supplemental features on the disc include original rerelease trailers for the film; documentary film produced by Walter Shenson; Richard Lester's early short film "The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film" (1960); audio commentary featuring various members of the film's cast and crew; exclusive new video piece featuring story editor and screenwriter Bobbie O'Steen and music editor Suzana Peric; Martin Lewis' documentary "Things They Said Today" (2002); and a lot more. The release also arrives with an illustrated booklet featuring an essay by critic Howard Hampton. In English, with optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature.
A big fan of The Beatles growing up in the 60s, Seth Swirsky noticed that whenever he heard someone relating a story about themselves and The Beatles, he was "all ears". So, starting in 2005, he sought out and filmed those with never before heard, "Beatles Stories".