Al di Meola's first so-called Christmas album is a relaxed, flowing, intensely musical affair that jazzers, world music buffs, and new agers will feel equally comfortable with. Mostly, he steers away from the often-cracked chestnuts, composing several nice tunes of his own ("Zima," the leadoff cut, is especially inviting), playing acoustic guitar and a battery of percussion instruments and keyboards in a graceful one-man band, thanks to multi-track tape. Other tracks feature duets between di Meola (with overdubbed additional instruments) and Roman Hrynkiv, who plays a Ukrainian zither-like instrument called the bandura.
Jazz guitarist Al DiMeola gives new meaning to the phrase world music by working with Ukrainian bandura player Roman Hrynkiv. Here DiMeola explores a special collection of instrumental seasonal works, underscoring them with layered percussion. A number of captivating originals and intricately arranged standards surface here, including "Carol of the Bells, "Ave Maria," and "The First Noel." DiMeola certainly titled the album right: these seasonal songs readily capture the penetrating chill and peacefulness of a star-laden winter sky. Recommended.Martin Keller, Amazon.com
Jeff Parker is arguably the most exciting and thoughtful jazz guitarist of the past two decades, a masterful free improviser who's also fluent in everything from postbop to postrock. Considering his busy schedule, it’s no surprise Bright Light in Winter is only Parker’s third album as a leader. Bassist Chris Lopes and drummer Chad Taylor have almost as much input on this session as their leader, since they wrote two and three pieces, respectively, for the album. The equal participation can be felt throughout their performances, which feel engaging whether Parker is strumming warm jazz chords or bordering on harmolodics.
This album has everything a KISS album should have:hard rock anthems, fast-fingured guitar solos, explosive lyrics, heart-felt power balads and the fun spirit of KISS. If I were to recommend a KISS album to anyone it would be this one simply because its just a really fun album that has something for metal fans as well as ballad loving folks…
A spicy mix of rarities, alternates and previously unissued R&B goodies from South Louisiana and S.E. Texas, where you are never too far from a bayou and some good rockin’ music. This 15th compilation in the “By The Bayou” series takes us back to the R&B sounds you would have heard belting out of a Louisiana juke joint on a steamy night in the 1950s or early 1960s. All of the tracks included were recorded in that party state, although some of the artists were based in Texas, crossing the state line to make music in studios based in Crowley and Lake Charles.