Posts Tagged ‘music’

Somewhere in an interval between sets by The Harmans, Donna Ulisse & the Poor Mountain Boys, Balsam Range, the bodacious Monroe Crossing, and the Josh Wiliams Band, some errant soul ventured the observation that you can line up the same five instruments multiple times at an event like this one and the sound will be completely different every time.

Welcome to Bluegrass! (more…)


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The Austrian Joseph Haydn (1731-1798) and the Italian Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805) eased central and southern Europe through its transition from the Baroque to the Classical periods with considerable aplomb. Fortunately, both of these neatly overlapping composers leveraged the potential of the cello in order to do so.

Ludovit Kanta (cellist), the Capella Istropolitana, Peter Breiner (conductor), and a Naxos executive team that must have had its Wheaties here give us an enormously enjoyable version of Haydn’s concertos no. 1 and 2 and Boccherini’s Cello Concerto in B Flat. More controversially, they provided to their contracted artists—alternatively, the latter may have simply taken it—license to let the tradition grow under foot. (more…)

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The compilers of the mid-1980’s Sunday Times Music Collection had the good sense to corral representative works of jazz legends Erroll Garner, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, and Sonny Rollins on to this short-length CD.

All eight tracks shine, but the preternaturally talented Gillespie and the cool-plodding Monk take honors.

It is amazing to consider the down-and-out venues where music of this caliber was being made in this way at a time in American history when most of the artists recorded here were barred from the posh joints for reasons of color. Two days from the date of this short review, we inaugurate a Black president …


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Joaquín Sabina, his band, and his audience shine on this 2001 double-CD live performance. The first disk is labeled acústico, the second eléctrico. Both display Sabina’s captivating stage presence and his knack for telling the story of regular people caught up by irregular forces like that of love itself. This balladesque touch puts one in mind of Juan Luís Guerra, a very different musician but a close cousin when it comes to musical narrative touched with glimmers of Latin America’s signature realismo fantástico.

‘Yo me bajo en Atocha’ is a stunningly beautiful tribute to the enigma that is Madrid. ‘Princesa’ is as bitter and biting as ‘Atocha’ is fluid with exquisite nostalgia. (more…)

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If I did not hold Sting’s 2006 Deutsche Grammophon recording of the 16-17th centuries’ John Dowland’s lute-accompanied music in my hands, I would not believe that the British rock star had truly attempted to pull this one off.

But I do, and he has.

And not to bad effect, either. Unlike may Sting critics who seem to think the man should stay in his rut, I admire his constant rebellion against the artistic expectations to which we admirers of his art may want to hold him. I like his audacious impertinence.

I just didn’t expect this. (more…)

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One of the great 2008 musical stories is the resurrection tale involving a bunch of college dudes of yore (well, actually, not that many years ago) who reunited their Indiana University combo long enough to grab the attention of a record executive who offered them a multi-album deal that, fortunately, began with this Christmas sendoff.

Simply put, Straight No Chaser is sensational a cappella music which the boys clearly have fun making. (more…)

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This eclectic compilation is worth acquiring for Aretha Franklin’s opening track (‘Yield Not to Temptation’) alone. And that’s before you hit the aesthetic roller coaster of the remaining eleven titles.

Unfortunately, as one of the gems that emerged under the 1990s Sunday Times Music Collection rubric it is not widely available. The artists tagged in this post, however, are widely available under their own names.

1994 sounded good.

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The Sunday Times Music Collection of the mid-1990s produced some fabulous compilations, of which Sax Appeal must rate as one of the best.

Twelve pieces, recorded by front-list bands between 1929 and 1944, are splashed across 35 minutes of play time.

This is quintessentially American music played by orchestras who usually had the conductor’s name in their title. Sadly, this 1995 CD appears not to be readily available.

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John David Webster is a gifted and energetic musician with a passion for worshiping Jesus Christ.

The Live at Lakeview album places these virtues on appreciable display.

As is the case with most contemporary worship leaders, the experience would be enhanced if we felt less obligated to speak. He’s much better when he sings.

When he talks (as he does quite a lot), he sounds banal and overly nailed to a rock-star persona. When he sings, the music is glorious.

Sing, John David, sing!

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