On their umpteenth release, the Five Blind Boys of Alabama mix some modern blues and R&B into their core gospel sound. The rhythm section, led by the organ of the legendary Booker T. Jones, keeps the accompaniment simple as the group soars through some traditional material ("Closer Walk with Thee," "Every Time I Feel the Spirit, "), a few originals by lead vocalist Clarence Fountain, and a transcendent version of Bob Dylan's "I Believe in You."
There's little argument that Slash is a great guitarist, capable of making rock and blues clichés sound fresh. On his solo project, Slash's Snakepit, he plays a lot and most of his playing is quite amazing. It's too bad that nobody in the band bothered to write any songs.
New Age composer and keyboardist Øystein Sevåg was born in Norway in 1957, beginning piano lessons at age five. As a teen he played bass in a rock band but returned to his classical roots in time to study piano, flute and composition at the Music Conservatory of Oslo; by the 1980s, however, Sevåg had become fascinated by the possibilities offered by the development of the synthesizer, and he plunged into electronic music with his self-released 1989 debut LP "Close Your Eyes and See". The product of five years in the studio, the album slowly crept into Billboard's New Age charts, and it landed Sevåg on the Windham Hill label to issue the follow-up, 1993's "Link"…
Dirty Looks emerged in 1984 like a high-energy, long-haired American equivalent of AC/DC, playing ferocious, hook-heavy songs. Dirty Looks had solid success with the albums Cool From the Wire (1988) and Five Easy Pieces (1992) which were the band's most popular. "Five Easy Pieces" was their first release on their new label, Sony/Columbia. The album's production is superb as Max Norman is once again hired to turn the knobs. Great rock album from beginning to end!
The music on this CD is part of the Ritual of Motion that we have been participating in for some time now. This music atttempts to answer the question ‘Why’. Maybe ‘answer’ is not the correct word, ‘investigate’ may be a better term. The entrance into various Rites of Passage and Initiation are also a part of this investigation of ‘Why’. The symbolism of Weaving and Circles refers both to style of the music, with its interlaced rhythmic, and sonance cyclic structures, and to the continuous creation of the Cycle of Life is represented by the constant interplay of the warp (yarn arranged lengthways on a loom) and weft (yarn woven across the warp yarn) repectively symbolic of the yang and yin, binding and unbinding, male and female forces. Much of the music is symbolic of this type of thinking.
Lawes's "sets" are actually suites for five or six viols with an organ playing "underneath" them. Each shortish set is broken into even shorter parts: Fantazy, Aire, Paven, etc.–and while the formula remains essentially the same, the textures and harmonies are constantly changing, with dissonances and conversations between and among the various strings giving the works great variety. On these two beautiful CDs (the first devoted to Five parts, the second to Six), Jordi Savall and Hesperion XXI play on a pair of violins, four viols, and organ, offering great contrast and flavor and making us aware of just how energetic and fascinating counterpoint can be. The colors the six (or seven) musicians get from their instruments and the interplay among them is fantastic; the playing is superb. Fans of any type of chamber music will want to hear what this underrecorded composer who died too young (43) added to the genre. It's as if he created a new language, one that seems to have been waiting to be heard. A lovely, thoughtful couple of hours of music-making.