The first solo David Gates's album.
Götz Friedrich’s 1981 Elektra film sets Richard Strauss’ opera in a dark and dingy abandoned 20th-century factory populated by grungy denizens in psuedo-Greek garb. Elektra herself appears like some deranged homeless woman reeking with sweat and slime (in the rain). And the depravity doesn’t stop there. Friedrich plays up the work’s sado-masochistic elements, with bloody whippings and an orgy sequence involving nude lesbians bathing themselves in the blood of a sacrificial ram. Now you might think that all of this detracts from the score, but on the contrary, the production matches image to music so brilliantly that anyone seeing this opera for the first time would think they were created for each other (which allows you to ignore the occasional useless, almost silly gesture, such as the frequent and prolonged shots of Agamemnon’s bloodied visage during Elektra’s opening monologue).
Long before "New Age" and "World Music" became part of the musical-term language, Oregon was making music that would influence (directly or indirectly) those genres. During the early 1970s, the much-maligned fusion movement in jazz was building up steam, and Oregon, in their quiet, understated way, contributed greatly. The band played acoustically–all the players had jazz backgrounds as well as a strong interest in ethnic musics from around the globe.
Judy Collins found herself in the Top 40 with her adaptation of "Amazing Grace."
This album features trio performances by pianist Bud Powell, bassist Charles Mingus and drummer Roy Haynes that were recorded live at a Washington D.C. club; they were released for the first time in 1982. Powell is in consistently exciting form (this was one of his good nights) and the musicians sound inspired and creative during the set of bop-oriented standards. This recording concludes with a couple of excerpts from Bud Powell interviews held in 1963, giving listeners a rare chance to hear his voice.