Although one may think of the blues harp beginning with Little Walter, the first Sonny Boy Williamson, or Sonny Terry, a variety of harmonica players did record in the '20s. Some of their recordings were technical displays that featured them imitating everything from animals to trains, while other players were more blues-oriented. This valuable CD has two selections from the guitar-harmonica team of William Francis and Richard Sowell; Ollis Martin's "Police and High Sheriff Come Ridin' Down"; six pieces by Eli Watson (including "El Watson's Fox Chase"); two cuts apiece by Palmer McAbee, Ellis Williams, Alfred Lewis, and the team of Smith & Harper (which is the only music on this CD recorded after 1930); plus four songs/displays from Blues Birdhead (including "Get up off That Jazzophone") and George "Bullet" Williams (highlighted by "Frisco Leaving Birmingham" and "The Escaped Convict"). Fascinating music.
With a pattern of recording solo albums which has been positively frugal over the last 20 years, Mara Galassi marks her return on Glossa with a new and striking programme, entitled Portrait of a Lady with Harp. The ambiance into which the noted modernday harpist from Milan plunges the listener is that of the court of Queen Christina of Sweden who, on renouncing her throne, converting to Catholicism and moving to Rome in the mid 1650s embarked upon a spectacular cultural life, becoming a patron for writers, scientists and especially musicians. Among those composers active in Rome at the time were Alessandro Stradella, Bernardo Pasquini, Arcangelo Corelli and Alessandro Scarlatti, all of whom benefitted from Christina’s constant hunger for music of high quality, whether official employees at her court or not.
The works on this collection are drawn from two of the very first stereo LPs released by the L’Oiseau-Lyre sub-label of Decca. ‘Music of Handel’ was a 1958 album containing arias (recently reissued by Eloquence 482 4759) and this instrumental suite from Rodrigo, one of the composer’s early pre-London Italian operas, performed in Florence in 1707.
Embrace the moment when two harp traditions meet! Widely recognized for their individual harp talents, Olov is a nyckelharpa master who drives the Swedish harp boldly forward while Catriona, a Celtic harper like no other, is known for playing her Scottish harp to 'sound like an orchestra'. Catriona's creative arrangements and innovative rhythmic use of her harp together with Olov's striking nyckelharpa tunes creates a remarkable musical whole . It's the meeting of two harps but most significantly, two fine musicians who give life to this unique world of music known as 'The Auld Harp'.