The English violinist transcribed with this first album the spirit of gypsy nights he runs every Wednesday evening "Aux Petits Players", the Parisian venue has become a benchmark in the gypsy jazz. At the first notes of "Urban Gypsy" the spirit of Stephane Grappelli and Django flat, but never stifle creativity of the musician. From the second title (sung), it is clear that we are not there in "imitation." Flirting with bossa nova, blues and folk, original compositions on the album (and "Minor Swing," the only cover) offer a personal vision of gypsy jazz, a nomadic jazz chooses to drink to multiple sources. A disc that refreshes the genre and artist to discover.
The new box contains no fewer than three different Williams recordings of that most popular of all guitar works, Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez – from 1964 with the Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, from 1974 with Barenboim and the English Chamber Orchestra, and from 1983 with Frémaux and the Philharmonia Orchestra – plus a performance of its much-loved Adagio in Williams’s celebrated 1993 “Seville Concert”.
Hearing an album of Bach arias sung by a countertenor may not be essential for every listener. Many of the high arias from Bach's cantatas weren't the kind of operatic pieces that called for a muscular male voice comparable to those that have tackled Handel's arias in similar collections, and Bach, at least much of the time, wrote for female vocalists. If you enjoy countertenor singing, however, this release by Canadian singer Daniel Taylor may be the Bach album of choice.
John Harle's epic CV includes soundtracks, classical works and drama, all of which feed into the saxophonist's ambitious song cycle about "dark London". Its tales of the Limehouse Ripper, Spring Heeled Jack and the Highgate Vampire are centred a few centuries back, with words from William Blake and John Dee, though most of the lyrics are by Marc Almond, along with Tom Pickard and Iain Sinclair. There are splashes of cabaret and jazz, but the echoing, crepuscular atmosphere is dominated by Almond's impressive neo-operatic singing (some distance from electro-pop!), with a thumping, galloping finale that uses an extract from Blake's "prophetic book" Jerusalem. Dark but dashing.
Greatest Hits 1970-2002 is a nearly flawless double-disc set commemorating Elton John's three-decade career. Disc one features what may arguably be John's most essential work: Seeing songs such as "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "Candle in the Wind," and "Bennie and the Jets" – not to mention "Your Song," "Rocket Man," and "Tiny Dancer" – lined up back to back reaffirms just how diverse, and yet universal, his songwriting talent is…