Too often, CDs that are mostly originals offer more preening than melody. This isn't the case with The Soccerball, a delightful collection that is 76.9-percent original and 100-percent interesting. Bill Mays, Martin Wind, and Matt Wilson have recorded together before, notably on Out in PA, another fine showcase for the trio's compositional talents. Here Peter Weniger brings his soulful, funky, tenor voice to their explorations, which sometimes involve tinkering with familiar themes: the joyous title tune is loosely based on the chord progressions of Nat Adderley's "Work Song," while Weniger's "Garrigue" is an inversion on the changes of "What Is This Thing Called Love?"
The early music ensemble Anthonello is named after the 14th century composer Anthonello da Caserta, and was founded with the view to performing early music in the spirit of the period. Each of the members is a soloist in her or his own right, and also has wide experience of performing with leading musicians in various parts of the world. Since its inception in 1994, the ensemble has gained a worldwide reputation for the excellence of its playing and for its interpretative flair.
Originally released on Atlantic as Ella Loves Cole and then reissued on Pablo with two extra cuts from 1978, this set features the great Ella Fitzgerald (still in excellent form) backed by an orchestra arranged by Nelson Riddle performing an extensive set of Cole Porter songs. Fifteen years earlier Fitzgerald had had great success with her Cole Porter Songbook and this date, even with a few hokey arrangements, almost reaches the same level. Trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison and pianist Tommy Flanagan are among the supporting cast. Highlights include "I Get a Kick out of You," "I've Got You Under My Skin," "All of You," "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" and "Just One of Those Things."