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”.
A Zurich, Switzerland, native, composer, flutist, and saxophonist Daniel Schnyder is as comfortable and gifted with classical chamber music as with avant-garde jazz, easily crossing between both significant genres of music. He originally studied flute in his homeland at the Conservatory of Winterthur. After moving to the United States, he switched to the Berklee College of Music in Boston and began to study jazz arranging, composition, and the saxophone. He has worked with Lew Soloff, Lee Konitz, Abdullah Ibrahim, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and many others over the years.
This double CD makes an excellent introduction to two great works even if other individual recordings might be preferable. This is particularly true of the Mozart in that although the ladies are peerless vocally, Barenboim's conducting is quite heavy and neither Gedda - typically somewhat pinched and throaty at times - nor Fischer-Dieskau - too light and woolly of tone for the bass-baritone required - is ideal.
He may have gotten his start with the hep swing of BEAT GIRL, then became a musical sensation for creating the cool jazz action of Agent 007. But for all of the lush stylings that John Barry used to define symphonic scoring as a contemporary “with it” sound, the composer proved he could make his approach sound just as contemporarily moving in the service of such historical dramas as MARY QUEEN OF SCOTTS, THE LION AND THE WINTER and THE LAST VALLEY. For if any music conveyed the feeling of untouched forests, royal intrigue and romantic mythmaking, then it was Barry’s theme-heavy scoring. Sure he’d latch onto a melody and beat you to death with it. But what a way to go, as Barry usually came up with a motif that you wouldn’t mind hearing ad infinitum, especially as his theme took on new life with each variation for strings, brass and winds. This was the kind of melody that helped make legendary figures into breathing, loving people, even when their movie got its kicks from turning such Technicolor heroes as Robin Hood and Maid Marian into characters just about ready for assisted living.