'… brimful with alert character and beauty whilst the two piano pieces are delightful in their raucous melodies … briliantly done by Tanyel' (Classical Net Review). It was brave and useful and laudable of Seta Tanyel and the now-defunct label Collins Classics to have embarked, in the 1990s, in a thorough exploration of the music of Xaver Scharwenka (1850-1924), and one must be grateful to Hyperion to have reissued almost all of it. The 4-volume traversal of his solo piano music doesn't embrace I think Scharwenka's complete piano output, but it is still very substantial. Add to that the three first piano concertos (apparently Collins didn't live long enough to record the Fourth, and the first is the one disc that Hyperion did not reissue, Piano Concerto 1, obviously because they already had another one in their catalog, Rubinstein: Piano Concerto No. 4; Scharwenka: Piano Concerto No. 1) and what I think was the complete chamber music. However, I didn't always feel that the results lived up to the project's promises.
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).
Digitally remastered two-fer containing a pair of albums from the Jazz pianist on one CD: Animation (1978) and Soundscapes (1980). These albums feature a stellar line up including Miles Davis longtime drummer Al Foster, and future solo artists Bob Berg and Steve Turre alongside Freddie Hubbard and other great session players. Animation includes the subtle Jazz Funk of 'Jacob's Ladder' a memorable track with a really nice feel that really gets you hooked. 'Charmed Circle' shows Cedar's deeper Jazz roots. Soundscapes includes the fabulous 'Latin America' which is widely recognized as a Latin Jazz-Funk classic. 'Warm To The Touch' is an overlooked serene laid back track featuring the exquisite vocals of Leon Thomas. 'Early Generation' features some good solo's from Bob Berg and Freddie Hubbard…
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.
Lowell Liebermann was born in New York City in 1961 and has swiftly risen to become one of the most prolific and performed American composers of his generation. Many awards and prizes have accompanied him through the first thirty-six years of life and his first fifty-six completed works, and he has written for virtually every instrument and in most forms.