Listening to this irresistibly joyful and magnificently musical set of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos and Orchestral Suites, one is immediately struck by two thoughts. First, Masaaki Suzuki and the Bach Collegium Japan have been wasting their time concentrating on Bach's dour cantatas, and second, Bach himself was wasting his time writing his melancholy church music when he could have been composing infinitely more cheerful secular music. While Suzuki and his crew have turned in superlatively performed, if spectacularly severe recording of the cantatas, they sound just as virtuosic and vastly more comfortable here.
By nature shy and retiring, Klaus Tennstedt was a reluctant celebrity, and his international career in the last quarter of the twentieth century must have seemed utterly incredible to him. Yet as introverted and introspective as Tennstedt was, it doesn't seem at all obvious in this 1983 concert recording of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 6 in A minor, "Tragic," for this is one of the conductor's most extroverted, aggressive, and potent performances.
Kyle Eastwood's fourth recording takes the bassist into a populist mode, playing music much more on the contemporary side of the jazz dichotomy. Far from a mainstream or swinging date, the acoustic and electric bassist seems as if he's determined to compose music for the screenplay in his head from his time spent in Paris, France, where this was recorded. The fine drummer Manu Katche, keyboardist Eric Legnini, and trumpeter Till Brцnner are focused into making this music less standardized and more rhythm & blues oriented. It's produced by longtime collaborator Michael Stevens with help from the son of Miles Davis, Erin Davis, and sports the quadruple attachment to Eastwood's Rendezvous production company and Chick Corea's manager, Ron Moss.
Described by some as "a female Bon Jovi," Vixen is an all-female band that has specialized in very slick, commercial, and glossy hard rock and pop-metal. Vixen was never a favorite among rock critics, whose barbs didn't prevent the band from selling millions of albums in the late '80s…