In a note accompanying this new Winterreise with Jan Van Elsacker, the fortepianist and musicologist Tom Beghin asks what yet another new recording of Schubert’s great song-cycle might offer. The answer, in the first instance, is the instrument Beghin plays, a newly restored Gottlieb Hafner from Vienna c1830, whose five pedals – and attendant effects – Beghin is unafraid to employ.
A high-art concept album about an overwhelming passion between two writers is a bold foundational choice on which to craft one’s debut, but Winnipeg-based duo Heavy Bell is composed of a seasoned indie rock veteran (Royal Canoe’s Matt Peters) and an actor/singer-songwriter (Tom Keenan), both of whom dream a little bigger than some of us.
What a surprise to have stumbled upon this CD by percussionist David Earle Johnson, who doesn't seem to have many albums in print, let alone much of a solo discography. Granted, the co-billing of Jan Hammer (a mover and shaker during the heyday of jazz-rock fusion) on the CD cover may have convinced me that there was some worth to buying "Hip Address", but the music itself turned out to be rather good for the most part.
Orignally released in 1980, "Hip Address" builds on the jazz-rock fusion Hammer created with both the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Jeff Beck, adding a more percussive feel to it courtesy of Johnson. Hammer and Johnson play all instruments, with Hammer playing drums in addition to his multiple keyboards.
Singer Anita Ward is most well-known for her 1979 disco single "Ring My Bell," a number one pop hit in the U.S. and the U.K. Born on December 20, 1957 in Memphis, Tennessee, Ward developed an interest in music – particularly gospel – at an early age. She went on to sing with the Rust College A Cappella Choir (which included recording alongside renowned Metropolitan Opera vocalist Leontyne Price), and recorded an obscure album with her own gospel quartet. After graduation, however, Ward didn't set out to pursue a career in music and instead became a substitute teacher in the Memphis elementary school system…
Essential: a masterpiece of Progressive Rock music
What can a man do with a guitar?
Being referred to as one of the best guitarist on the globe this moment had to come: the ultimate guitar solo record. To be more specific: the ultimate guitar side of a record.
Jan’s latest album will feature Double Concertos by Brahms, Rihm, and Harbison, performed with violinist Mira Wang. Double Concertos, recorded with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Peter Oundjian, will be available on Sony Classical.