On her first outing in three years and her freshman offering for Verve's Forecast label, Susan Tedeschi digs deep into the soul and R&B fakebook for inspiration and comes out a winner. With an all-star band that includes guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, pianist David Palmer, organist Jebin Bruni, bassist Paul Bryan, drummer Jay Bellerose, and guests including husband Derek Trucks and the Blind Boys of Alabama, Tedeschi goes down into her own heart's well for inspiration. Wonderfully produced by Joe Henry, Hope and Desire is truly a singer's showcase of passion and class; she has signature phrasing and is an excellent interpreter.
Alan Curtis has done more than most to prove that many of Handel's 42 operas are first-rate music dramas – his Admeto, from 1979 (see page 465), was one of the first complete recordings of a Handel opera to feature period instruments and all voices at correct pitch without transpositions – but it is surprising to note that this is his first recording of an undisputed popular masterpiece. Rodelinda, first performed in February 1725, is a stunning work dominated by a title-heroine who remains devoted to her supposedly dead husband Bertarido and scorns the advances of his usurper Grimoaldo. The potency of Handel's score was enhanced by the complexity of the villain, whose lust-driven cruelty gradually crumbles into a desire to abdicate in order to find spiritual peace. The scene in which the penitent tyrant's life is saved from assassination by the fugitive Bertarido is among Handel's greatest dramatic moments. (Gramophone Classical Music Guide)
Naughty but Nice is the fourth studio album by German soul/R&B singer Sarah Connor, released by Epic on March 21, 2005 (see 2005 in music). It was primarily produced by Rob Tyger and Kay Denar, with additional tracks written and produced by Booya, Johnny Douglas and Emily Friendship . The album debuted at number one on the German albums chart and was eventually certified Gold for more than 100,000 copies sold within the first two days of its release. Naughty but Nice was the 16th Best-selling album in 2005.