Chopin's two piano concertos have long been admired more as pianistic vehicles than as integrated works for piano and orchestra. But in his revelatory new recording, Krystian Zimerman suggests otherwise: The opening orchestral tuttis have so much more light, shade, orchestral color, and detail, you wonder if they've been rewritten. Every gesture, every instrumental solo is so specifically characterized that by the time the piano makes a dramatic entrance, the pieces have become operas without words.
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.
Instructional series in harmony with traditional instruction that specializes in teaching the aspiring pianist all of the important skills.
Gain rare insight into the musical thinking of one of the most influential popular songwriters and arrangers in America. Donald Fagen analyses three Steely Dan hits ("Chain Lightning," "Peg," "Josie") and two solo works from his Grammy-nominated album Kamakiriad ("On The Dunes," "Teahouse On The Tracks"). These songs use familiar blues and R&B structures, and Donald explains how, by altering the bass line and chordal qualities, he transformed them into sophisticated jazz-rock compositions. You'll trace the development of increasingly complex pieces as Donald and Warren Bernhardt reveal each tune's singular structure, harmonic and rhythmic characteristic, intro ideas and other devices.