Singer and keyboard player Gianni Leone tried a solo career with the new name of Leo Nero after the demise of his band Il Balletto di Bronzo, and the result was a very good album, Vero, released by Harvest in 1977 and recorded a year before in New York. The album is totally played and sung by Leo himself, and despite some commercial pop songs, it has some good moments reminding of his old band's sound, like in "La Discesa Nel Cervello", "Il Castello" and the intense closing track "Una Gabbia Per Me". Obviously the sound is mainly keyboard based, but Leone played drums, minimoog bass lines and even guitar on some tracks.
The Franco-Flemish composer, Johannes Ockeghem, sang at Antwerp at the Bourbon court before joining the French royal chapel in 1451. Ockeghem spent most of his professional life at the French chapel and his output was quite prolific. He composed 14 settings of the Mass, including one of the earliest polyphonic versions of the Requiem. Ockeghem also composed numerous motets and secular songs. He was one of the most original voices in early Renaissance polyphony and his music dazzles with its ingenuity and beauty.
Nicola Porpora, a contemporary of Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, and Haydn (and a very young Mozart) is best remembered today as a famous singing teacher and opera composer. During his long career (he lived to age 81) he suffered many employment-related difficulties and disappointments that caused him to move frequently. Naples (where he was born), Venice, Dresden, and Vienna (where he taught Haydn) all enjoyed Porpora's reputable presence, and he even spent a period in London at the behest of a group seeking to unseat Handel and his opera company from its preeminent position. In addition to his operas and vocal music, Porpora wrote instrumental works such as the six violin sonatas featured here, which are drawn from a set of 12. Although anyone familiar with Italian Baroque and early Classical-style solo violin music will discover nothing particularly original on this generally fine recording, if you enjoy that genre and period you'll find much here to indulge and satisfy your taste.