French saxophonist Sophie Alour's Opus 3 is not only her third album as a leader, it is also her first in a trio setting. The recipient of the French Django D'or award, Alour departs from the electric intensity of her previous release, Uncaged (Nocturne, 2007), to explore her voice as an instrumentalist. The 11 originals are tone poems bearing heavy western classical influences, with occasional peppering of other styles that showcase the leader on both tenor and soprano saxophones.
This album is all about the evolution of interplay - from the Trio and its playing, to the recording itself. The music is smooth, free flowing, jazz played to the highest standards… This is a very pleasant album that should appeal to all those who have heard and love the great jazz issued by the Mapleshade label.
The name of violinist and conductor Evaristo Felice Dall'Abaco does not necessarily spring to one's lips when significant figures of the late Baroque period are under consideration. To summarize, he was a contemporary of Antonio Vivaldi and the Veronese-born master of music attached to the court of Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria. As such, Dall'Abaco spent the first 11 years of his tenure in exile with the Elector in the Netherlands, and later, in France.
These two discs contain Leclair's 12 sonatas for two unaccompanied violins en duo. He produced them in two sets of six, the earlier one, Op. 3, dating from 1730, the later one from 1747-9. Barely a handful have previously been recorded, so these new issues make an important addition to the baroque catalogue. Leclair more than any of his French contemporaries implemented the technical developments in violin playing which were taking place in Italy in the hands of the post-Corelli generation.