The day after what would have been George Harrison's 73rd birthday, February 26, 2016, Hot Records Ltd. and Vagrant Records are proud to present George Fest: A Night To Celebrate The Music Of George Harrison. Recorded and filmed on September 28th, 2014 at the The Fonda Theater in Los Angeles. This wonderful live tribute will be available in 4 configurations including 2xCD/DVD, 2xCD/Blu-Ray, 3xLP (180 gram) and digital download.
Understandably, Poulenc's Gloria and Stabat Mater have almost invariably been coupled together on LPs and CDs. Similarly scored for solo soprano, chorus, and orchestra, the two works are arguably the twin peaks of Poulenc's sacred music, that is, they are irresistibly melodic, energetically rhythmic, directly emotional, conservatively harmonic, and fervently religious. That said, however, the difference in tone between the two works is as striking as their similarities. Where the Gloria is light, bright, and at times even funny, the Stabat Mater, as befits its subject matter, is dark, heavy, and always deeply sorrowful. In this pair of performances with Georges Prêtre leading the Orchestre National de France and the French Radio Choir from the '80s, both works are given the deluxe French treatment. Prêtre is as skilled at balancing his forces as he is at keeping the music moving, and, as importantly, he is as capable of expressing the Gloria's joyous wit as he is of articulating the Stabat Mater's profound suffering. But the real star of these performances is American soprano Barbara Hendricks whose clear, warm voice and excellent diction breath vibrant life into all Poulenc's glorious melodies.
Arriving ten years after The Dark Horse Years: 1976-1992, The Apple Years: 1968-75 offers the first act of George Harrison's solo career presented in a handsomely produced, impeccably remastered box set. The outside packaging mirrors The Dark Horse Years but the discs housed inside the box show a greater attention to detail than the previous set: each of the albums is presented as a paper-sleeve mini-LP replicating the original album art (Extra Texture does indeed have extra texture on its sleeve), while the brief hardcover book contains perhaps the glossiest paper to ever grace a rock music box set…
Georges Brassens was a French singer-songwriter and poet. He wrote and sang, with his guitar, more than a hundred of his poems, as well as texts from many others such as Victor Hugo, Paul Verlaine, or Louis Aragon. In 1967, he received the Grand Prix de Poésie of the Académie française. Between 1952 and 1976, he recorded fourteen albums that include several popular French songs such as Les copains d'abord, Chanson pour l'Auvergnat, La mauvaise réputation, and Mourir pour des idées. Most of his texts are black humour-tinged and often anarchist-minded.
Donald Harrison plays quite well throughout this set, displaying a distinctive tone and a consistently creative style within the genre of straight-ahead jazz. All but the last two selections feature him accompanied by bassist Vicente Archer and drummer John Lamkin, both of whom stay very much in the background, often playing repetitive and somewhat dull figures. Pianist Glenn Patscha is on three numbers without making an impression, while the final two songs have Harrison joined by Ron Carter and Billy Cobham.