Keiko Matsui's last album, 2000s Whisper From the Mirror, was picked up and reissued by the Narada label in 2001, and Narada is also releasing her 12th album, Deep Blue. It's an appropriate match-up for the Japanese pianist, since Narada is known primarily as a new age label, and, though her records are being released on its Narada Jazz imprint, "new age" is actually the best category to place her in. From the start of her career, Matsui has been shelved under "jazz," but that has always been more a marketing ploy than anything else, and never more so than on Deep Blue. Her compositions are melodic tunes, many of which sound like songs without lyrics, while others seem like soundtrack excerpts from a film not yet made.
UK-only five CD box set containing a quintet of albums from this influential singer/songwriter housed in mini-LP sleeves. Includes the albums Tim Buckley (1966), Goodbye And Hello (1967), Blue Afternoon (1969), Happy Sad (1969) and Lorca (1970). Happy!!! NOT Sad! Prime Tim Buckley finally available. Today I just ran across this listing in Amazon and ordered it within seconds. So I cannot comment on the packaging or sound quality, but being issued by Warner Brothers UK, I am confident that both will be excellent. What I can comment on is: finally, to my ears, the single best Tim Buckley album "Blue Afternoon" is back in print after years of being unavailable. "Blue Afternoon," although comprised of so-called "leftovers" as far as Buckley was concerned, has always been my favorite Buckley album, which I purchased when it came out in 1969.
One of our favorite all-time records, and a real lost album on Blue Note! Eddie Gale leads this group of righteous singers and musicians through five fantastic tracks of soulful chanting and hard jazz playing that never goes too far out, but always threatens to break free of its own chains – soaring to the skies on wings of freedom and spirituality! Gale's trumpet rings hard and loud, and the vocal arrangements never verge on sentimentality, but manage to convey a ton of soul with an incredibly righteous approach that's never been duplicated again! Imagine Donald Byrd's vocal group albums recorded for Strata East – or a hipper version of Billy Harper's Capra Black – and you've only got part of the picture! Titles include "The Rain", "Fulton Street", "The Coming Of Gwilu", and "A Walk With Thee".
This will be quite a discovery for those who know the music of Bedrich Smetana only through his grand and nationalistic cycle of tone-poems, Ma Vlast, even if they are yet familiar with his more painfully intimate string quartets or his folkloristic operas. For Smetana, like most composers, needed to eat; and to do so he was happy to make his own contribution towards satisfying the seemingly insatiable appetite of the bourgeois 19th-century public for piano music that they could perform at home. Music of no great difficulty but boundless charm, these miniatures are now seldom heard and even less often recorded, and this is a shame, for works such as the Op.3 Characteristic Pieces show how the pianistic extroversion of Brahms and Liszt (who was a great admirer and supporter of the young Smetana, giving him valuable introductions to publishers) could be adapted to a domestic context, and with the particular inflection of Czech and Bohemian character, derived not only from simple and song-like melodies but also irregularly stressed dance-rhythms that the young Italian pianist Roberto Plano relishes to the full on this welcome new survey.