1999's "Animation" was the second album from MVP (Mike Vescera Project). Vescera, of course, is best known as the singer from Obsession, and his stints with Loudness and Yngwie Malmsteen. He’s joined here by guitarists Roland Grapow (Masterplan, ex-Helloween), Roy Z (Halford, Bruce Dickinson) and Joe Stump (Reign of Terror).
Twice Grammy-nominated Animation (Bob Belden, Pete Clagett, Roberto Verastegui, Matt Young, here with Bill Laswell and Kurt Elling as narrator) delve deep into current borderline science-fiction themes about the relationship between Human Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence. Machine Language is a suite of connected pieces that evoke the thrilling moods Miles Davis conjured from his early 1970s bands and records. There are long solos for trumpet and leader Bob Belden’s soprano sax, linear, spacey grooves, and layered textures for keyboards, notably the distinctive Rhodes electric piano of Roberto Verastegui. Bill Laswell plays bass guitar as if the Miles Davis gig was the one he always wanted – he even quotes ‘Ife’ (from Davis’s Big Fun) at one moment. The album scores high on atmosphere, and it sounds as if the five players who made up Animation, completed by drummer Matt Young and trumpeter Pete Clagett, had a lot of fun devising the twelve tracks. Sadly the project has acquired an extra gravitas, for it is the last album Bob Belden completed before his untimely death in May 2015 at the age of 58.
Superb pianist and vocalist Dr. Ethel Caffie-Austin teaches gospel piano to novices and intermediate players, starting with the melody and progressing to the mighty bass lines and transcendent chords. Caffie-Austin demonstrates her techniques with such thrilling standards as "Show Me the Way," "Jesus Is On the Mainline," "Study War No More," "Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus," "Standing in the Need of Prayer," "What A Friend We Have in Jesus," and "Angels Keep Watching Over Me."
2012 marks the 150th anniversary of Claude Debussy's birth. On this occasion, Universal Classics is proud to re-release, on the Decca label, the complete piano works recorded by Philippe Cassard between 1989 and 1993. The four volumes of which this cycle consists are now being brought together for the first time as an attractive box set at an equally attractive price, with the addition of two pieces unpublished at the time of the initial recording and recorded in June 2011: 'Les soirs illuminés par l'ardeur du charbon' and 'Pour le Vêtement du blessé'.
Finally available in DVD format, Seymour Fink’s renowned Mastering Piano Technique sets pianists of every skill level free to express their most musical ideas with a holistic approach to the keyboard based on a sound understanding of the relationship between physical function and movement and musical purpose. In this invaluable resource for pianists and teachers, Professor Fink explains his groundbreaking ideas and demonstrates his innovative developmental exercises.