The second cello concerto, entitled: Y: la fiesta está en pleno apogeo – And: The feast is in full progress (1993), is based on a poem by the Chuvash poet Gennadi Aigi. The vision of a raging mass of people awaiting the last Judgment is transformed into music by the composer with gripping, immediate, expressive force, free of graphic patterns. A moment of glory not for Gubaidulina only, but for David Geringas on cello, too. And as a bonus on this CD: Diez Preludios –Ten Preludes for Cello, in Vladimir Tonkha’s equally inspired interpretation. Both cellists are the dedicatees of the works they perform.
Kenny Barron and Jimmy Owens' first recording was a solid debut. The exciting title cut, "You Had Better Listen," composed by Jimmy Owens, is good, basic, uptempo jazz, nothing fancy, no frills. The Jimmy Owens-Kenny Barron Quintet doesn't condescend like some jazz artists tend to do; casuals can groove, relate, nod their heads in approval and feel righteous about it. Owens plays some beautiful trumpet scales, while Barron keeps busy banging chord progressions. The other members of the quintet are Benny Maupin (tenor sax, flute), Chris White (bass), Freddie Waits (drums on tracks one, two and four), and Rudy Collins (drums on tracks three through five).
Stringsville challenges the essential rules and definitions of bebop like few records before or since – not only does Harry Lookofsky wield as his weapons violins and violas, but his music hinges as much on technological innovation as it does on technical prowess. Lookofsky transcends contemporaries like Stuff Smith and Stéphane Grappelli for sheer artistry, conjuring remarkably athletic solos rooted in the traditions of classical music but with the creative phrasing and rhythmic intensity of bop – his performances boast a dark, dramatic edge that pushes the violin into a bold new dimension.
Cristobal Colon (1984-1986) is the first of Spanish-American composer Leonardo Balada's two operas based on the life of the explorer. (The second, La Muerte de Colon [1992-1993], is also available on the Naxos label.) The recording of the first work comes from its premiere production in 1989 at Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, and boasts two international superstars, Jose Carreras and Montserrat Caballe, in the leading roles of Columbus and Queen Isabella.
Gilberto Gil spent much of the 1970s recording at home in Brazil and had one recording issued in America during that time. His first English-speaking record (which was simply self-titled) was issued by Phillips worldwide and briefly by Paramount in the United States. He signed to WEA International in 1977. This album is the first result of that pairing. Nightingale was recorded in Los Angeles with Sergio Mendes, Alex Acuna, Oscasr Castro Neves, and some crack American studio talent that included Don Gruisin and Michael Sembello.