Jackie McLean was a hard-bop alto saxophonist with a fiery tight tone, who recorded extensively in the ‘50s and ‘60s mainly with Blue Note Records. Although his forays with an organ was confined to two albums with Jimmy Smith Open House and Plain Talk, Cory Weeds’ decision to use an organ on this session does not stray off the mark. Condition Blue accomplishes the band’s intention, to acknowledge a saxophonist who had an exploratory vision. In a set list of either McLean originals, or compositions associated with him, this tight-knit band delivers the goods in firm, yet flexible style. The key players in this session in addition, to the cooly effective altoist Weeds, are Mike LeDonne, a B-3 player of energetic disposition, and creative guitarist Peter Bernstein. Also along is drummer Joe Farnsworth who is a propulsive player.
“Three years ago, Boris Blacher’s piano music was a new discovery for me,” says Swiss pianist and composer Manuela Keller. “Its lean style, its unconventional rhythm and barren beauty appealed to me immediately and inspired me to dedicate the second Idee manu [album] to him. He left a large oeuvre comprising almost all musical genres and also had an interest in jazz all his life. He developed a ‘system of variable metres’ to berak musical form and rhythmic symmetry with numerous, arithmetically structured metre changes. Krebs, Sberk, Dugong and Prelude 16 are typical examples of this technique.” Those are four out of 16 compositions that Manuela Keller got her teeth into, both as a soloist and in a quartet. Three are written by Keller, the other ten are adaptations, some more subtle, others more extensive, of models from Blachers late 24 Preludes for piano, his piano cycle Ornamente, and his Second Sonatina. Thus, Idee manu’s second album fits perfectly into the programmatic line of Between the Lines, focusing on sound projects crossing styles and genres between improvisation and composition.
From the 19th century African music gatherings in Congo Square to the birth of jazz and its offshoots, New Orleans is one of America's most important music cities, and with the Rough Guide to the Music of New Orleans collection, listeners get a well-rounded taste of the Crescent City's musical gumbo. The collection touches on traditional jazz torchbearers (Dr. Michael White), classic R&B (Jessie Hill, Earl King), down-home funk (the Meters), Mardi Gras-ready brass players (Kermit Ruffins, Hot 8 Brass Band), global-influenced groovers (Los Hombres Calientes), and artists on the rise (Papa Grows Funk). While it's impossible to capture the full spectrum of New Orleans music on a single disc – women artists are underrepresented, and the NOLA hip-hop scene that's emerged since the 1990s is skipped entirely – this Rough Guide is a spirited introduction, and as a bonus is accompanied by a second disc featuring emerging heavy funk purveyors Dumpstaphunk.
Silva Screen Records presents the most comprehensive collection of Music to mark the 80th birthday of John Williams, the 5 time Oscar and 18 time Grammy award-winning world's No.1 Film Composer. This unique collection includes: 6 Compact Disc box set - 88 tracks and 7 hours of music. In the history of film music over the last six decades one name stands supreme as the most prolific and celebrated composer working in cinema today - John Williams His astounding collection of awards remains unrivalled including 47 Oscar nominations (five wins) surpassed only by Walt Disney. Add to that four Golden Globes, seven BAFTAS and twenty-one Grammys. His themes have become part of the fabric of the history of cinema, part of a cavalcade of blockbusters that include the Star Wars saga, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Jaws, Superman and many, many, more that are all included on this superb collection. The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra pay tribute over this six CD set that defines his monumental career. With 88 tracks and over seven hours of music this release is the ultimate collection of this outstanding composer who celebrated his 80th birthday on February 8th this year and has now observed a 40 year screen partnership with Steven Spielberg. (amazon).
Concerts with Maria Schneider are something special. They are stylistically not only out of the ordinary, they also manage to bring large orchestras to perform artistically at high voltage, with an energy and at a creative level which is otherwise known only in much smaller ensembles. It is not the music alone that drives the participants, but rather the serene seriousness of a band leader who demands a maximum of intensity from her compositions and passes this premise on to their interpretation. It is impossible to conceive of compositions for jazz orchestras more stringently. The instrumentalists know this too, and therefore feel called upon not only to reproduce the charts accurately but to work out all the contained hints, implications, and visions of sound down to the deepest levels. This original recording was made in May 2000 when Schneider appeared alongside the SWR Big Band. And for the SWR Big Band, those days in May 2000 are some of the highlights of their orchestral history.