Mosaic Select presents a limited edition containing all of the solo piano recordings made by Andrew Hill at the Fantasy studios in Berkeley, CA during August and October 1978. Only a fraction of this material – the first two titles on the third disc – had ever seen the light of day prior to this collection's release in the spring of 2007. Having operated throughout the '60s as an innovative composer, pianist and bandleader, Hill spent the first half of the following decade exercising his creativity by composing and instructing at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY, performing internationally, and making records for Freedom, East Wind and Steeplechase.
Shawn Colvin has landed a few tunes on the pop charts over the course of her career, and Steve Earle was briefly a legitimate country star. But in 2016, as the two team up for their first album as a duo, Colvin & Earle are folkies – hip folkies, to be sure, but at heart two singer/songwriters on the far side of 50 who like swapping harmonies and strumming their acoustic guitars. Colvin & Earle sound like good friends who enjoy singing together, and this album has a lively and spontaneous atmosphere, especially when the two are singing old covers.
Adderley's next-to-last recording (cut just four months before he died of a stroke at age 46) was ironically a retrospective of his career. While his then-current group (with cornetist Nat Adderley, keyboardist Mike Wolff, bassist Walter Booker, and drummer Roy McCurdy) was featured on half of this two-LP set (highlighted by "Stars Fell on Alabama," "74 Miles Away," and a medley of "Walk Tall" and "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy"), on the remainder of this two-fer the Adderleys welcome back several alumni (keyboardist George Duke, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Louis Hayes) for new versions of "High Fly," "Work Song," "Sack O'Woe," "Jive Samba," "This Here," and "The Sidewalks of New York." A recommended set with plenty of excellent music, it serves as a fine overview of Cannonball Adderley's career.
Perhaps Szymanowski’s music is too cool and sophisticated ever to become popular. Even the third of his Op. 4 Studies, which Paderewski made famous, is less full-bodied than Scriabin’s early C sharp minor Étude, and while Scriabin believed in the madness of his later music, Szymanowski’s apparent abandon in his voluptuous period around the First World War is crafted with detachment. Dennis Lee clarifies the cascades of notes – or rather sonorities – in the two major sets, Métopes and Masques, so that these complex pieces are understood more easily than usual. The recorded sound is a bit thin and small, but clean.