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Title - ‘Gleb Kolyadin’
Artist - Gleb Kolyadin

Following the success of two highly-praised albums with Iamthemorning, Russian virtuoso pianist Gleb Kolyadin affirms his musical authority with his debut, self-titled album on Kscope.

The record features a staggering who’s-who of performers, including: Gavin Harrison (King Crimson / Porcupine Tree) on drums; Nick Beggs (Steven Wilson) on bass; Theo Travis (Robert Fripp / Porcupine Tree / Steven Wilson) on flute and saxophone; the unmistakable voice and lyrics of Steve Hogarth (Marillion) alongside Mick Moss (Antimatter); and Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) on additional keys.

1. “Insight”
2. “Astral Architecture” (featuring Mick Moss)
3. “White Dawn”
4. “Kaleidoscope”
5. “Eidolon”
6. “Into The Void”
7. “The Room”
8. “Confluence” (featuring Steve Hogarth)
9. “Constellation / The Bell”
10. “Echo / Sigh / Strand”
11. “Penrose Stairs”
12. “Storyteller” (featuring Jordan Rudess)
13. “The Best Of Days” (featuring Steve Hogarth)

The album is a collaborative piece with each musician recording their own parts separately, starting with Gleb recording himself on grand piano in Moscow Winter-Spring 2017 at the famed Mosfilm studio.

From the moment the keys of Gleb combine with the tempered drum work back bone of opening track ‘Insight,’ you know you’re listening to something special. Featuring Mick Moss (best known for his role in the band Antimatter), the lighter fare of ‘Astral Architecture’ is next, and is backed seamlessly by both ‘White Dawn’ and the more uptempo, playful fun of ‘Kaleidoscope.’

The mid-tempo, piano hipsway of ‘Eidolon’ is my own personal favorite of the new tracks, and that’s followed by the upbeat ‘Into the Void’ and then the musically full on ‘The Room,’ Featuring Steve Hogarth (Marillion), ‘Confluence’ is a massively engaging track. Combining the piano skills of Gleb entwined within the hushed vocal tones of Hogarth, the track is mesmerizing.

Next up is ‘Constellation / The Bell’, a strong track that resonates throughout , and that’s backed by the passionate ride of the trilogy within ‘Echo / Sigh / Strand’. Gleb’s playful key strokes are once again brought to the fore on the triumphant ‘Penrose Stairs’ (featuring Jordan Rudess), before the album rounds out with the preciseness of ‘Storyteller’, and then we get yet another magical musical outing from both Gleb and Hogarth on the first track to be revealed on this project, ‘The Best of Days.’

This self-titled work of musical genius was mixed and engineered by Vlad Avy, who also previously worked on the two Iamthemorning records.

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Title - ‘The Vintage Years: 1970-1991’
Artist - Wishbone Ash

Wishbone Ash, one of Britain's most enduring and best-loved rock acts, are to release a comprehensive deluxe 30 CD box set, The Vintage Years: 1970-1991 (strictly limited to 2,500 copies), through Madfish.

Loaded with rarities, memorabilia, a new interview and a lavish 156-page hardback book, a third of this new collection features previously unheard & unreleased material.

The contents of The Vintage Years box set include: Brand new cover artwork designed by Colin Elgie, the original designer behind the award-winning Live Dates sleeve artwork. All 16 studio albums, featuring bonus material including rare album outtakes, B-sides and 12 previously unreleased studio tracks, presented in mini-gatefold sleeves.

Three of the 16 albums are currently out of print on CD from I. R. S. : Nouveau Calls, Here to Hear and Strange Affair. 8 previously unreleased live albums from 1973-1980 on 11 discs. 3 original live albums: Live Dates, Live Dates Volume Two and Live in Tokyo.

All music has been remastered from the original multitrack and ¼" tapes, sourced from Martin Turner and Andy Powell's personal collections, and from the Universal Music and Atlantic archives.

A 156-page coffee table hardback book written by Classic Rock's Dave Ling, including personal photos, rare posters and flyers and collector's memorabilia.

A 36-page poster book, covering the early years through to Here to Hear. 4 reproductions of original posters for: Christmas at the Palace Dec 1973, Live Dates European tour - Hamburg Musikhalle 1974, Europe 1975 tour, and the Front Page News tour - Empire Pool Wembley 1977.

A facsimile MCA debut album promo pack and a 7" flexi disc for the single Blind Eye, the first of the 11 Japanese singles series, along with individually signed photos of each band member.

Disc: 1 - 1. Blind Eye (Wishbone Ash) 2. Lady Whiskey (Wishbone Ash) 3. Errors of My Way (Wishbone Ash) 4. Queen of Torture (Wishbone Ash) 5. Handy (Wishbone Ash) 6. Phoenix (Wishbone Ash) 7. Lady Whiskey (First Light Recording) 8. Roads of Day to Day (First Light Recording) 9. Blind Eye (First Light Recording) 10. Joshua (First Light Recording) 11. Queen of Torture (First Light Recording) 12. Handy (First Light Recording) 13. Errors of My Way (First Light Recording)

Disc: 2 - 1. Vas Dis (Pilgrimage) 2. The Pilgrim (Pilgrimage) 3. Jail Bait (Pilgrimage) 4. Alone (Pilgrimage) 5. Lullaby (Pilgrimage) 6. Valediction (Pilgrimage) 7. Where Were You Tomorrow (Pilgrimage) 8. Alone (Full Length Album Sessions Version with Vocals) 9. Alone (First Light Recording with Vocals) 10. Where Were You Tomorrow (Album Sessions Studio Version)

Disc: 3 - 1. Time Was (Argus) 2. Sometime World (Argus) 3. Blowin' Free (Argus) 4. The King Will Come (Argus) 5. Leaf and Stream (Argus) 6. Warrior (Argus) 7. Throw Down the Sword (Argus) 8. Jail Bait (Live from Memphis 1972) 9. The Pilgrim (Live from Memphis 1972) 10. Phoenix (Live from Memphis 1972)

Disc: 4 - 1. So Many Things to Say (Wishbone Four) 2. Ballad of the Beacon (Wishbone Four) 3. 3No Easy Road (Wishbone Four) 4. 4Everybody Needs a Friend (Wishbone Four) 5. Doctor (Wishbone Four) 6. Sorrel (Wishbone Four) 7. Sing Out the Song (Wishbone Four) 8. Rock 'N Roll Widow (Wishbone Four) 9. No Easy Road (1972 Single Version) 10. Blowin' Free (1972 Single Version)

Disc: 5 - 1. The King Will Come - June '73, Croydon, Fairfield Hall (Live Dates) 2. Throw Down the Sword - June '73, Newcastle, City Hall (Live Dates) 3. Rock 'N Roll Widow - June '73, Reading, University (Live Dates) 4. Ballad of the Beacon - June '73, Reading, University (Live Dates) 5. Baby What You Want Me to Do - June '73, Portsmouth, Guildhall (Live Dates) 6. The Pilgrim - June '73, Croydon, Fairfield Hall (Live Dates) 7. Blowin' Free - June '73, Newcastle, City Hall (Live Dates) 8. Jail Bait - June '73, Reading, University (Live Dates 9. Lady Whiskey - June '73, Reading, University (Live Dates) 10. Phoenix - June '73, Croydon, Fairfield Hall (Live Dates)

Disc: 6 - 1. Silver Shoes (There's the Rub) 2. Don't Come Back (There's the Rub) 3. Persephone (There's the Rub) 4. Hometown (There's the Rub) 5. Lady Jay (There's the Rub) 6. F*U*B*B (There's the Rub)

Disc: 7 - 1. Rest in Peace (Locked in) 2. No Water in the Well (Locked in) 3. Moonshine (Locked in) 4. She Was My Best Friend (Locked in) 5. It Started in Heaven (Locked in) 6. Half Past Lovin' (Locked in) 7. Trust in You (Locked in) 8. Say Goodbye (Locked in) 9. Bad Weather Blues 10. Chicago Tease

Disc: 8 - 1. Mother of Pearl (New England) 2. (In All of My Dreams) You Rescue Me (New England) 3. Runaway (New England) 4. Lorelei (New England) 5. Outward Bound (New England) 6. Prelude (New England) 7. When You Know Love (New England) 8. Lonely Island (New England) 9. Candlelight (New England)

Disc: 9 - 1. Front Page News (Front Page News) 2. Midnight Dancer (Front Page News) 3. Goodbye Baby Hello Friend (Front Page News) 4. Surface to Air (Front Page News) 5. 714 (Front Page News) 6. Come in from the Rain (Front Page News) 7. Right or Wrong (Front Page News) 8. Heart Beat (Front Page News) 9. The Day I Found Your Love (Front Page News) 10. Diamond Jack (Front Page News) 11. Come in from the Rain (Live)

Disc: 10 - 1. You See Red (No Smoke Without Fire) 2. Baby the Angels Are Here (No Smoke Without Fire) 3. Ships in the Sky (No Smoke Without Fire) 4. Stand and Deliver (No Smoke Without Fire) 5. Anger in Harmony (No Smoke Without Fire) 6. Like a Child (No Smoke Without Fire) 7. The Way of the World - Part 1 (No Smoke Without Fire) 8. The Way of the World - Part 2 (No Smoke Without Fire) 9. Time and Space (Album Session Outtake) 10. Firesign (Album Session Outtake) 11. Hard on You (Album Session Outtake) 12. John Sherry Jam (Album Session Outtake) 13. Sherriff of Sherwood (Album Session Outtake)

Disc: 11 - 1. F*U*B*B - Live at Tokyo Sun Plaza 1978 (Live in Tokyo) 2. The Way of the World -Live at Tokyo Sun Plaza 1978 (Live in Tokyo) 3. You See Red - Live at Tokyo Sun Plaza 1978 (Live in Tokyo) 4. Jail Bait - Live at Tokyo Sun Plaza 1978 (Live in Tokyo) 5. Blowin' Free - Live at Tokyo Sun Plaza 1978 (Live in Tokyo) 6. Bad Weather Blues (Live B-Side from 'You See Red' 12" Single) 7. Helpless (Live Single) 8. Blowin' Free (Live Single)

Disc: 12 - 1. Living Proof (Just Testing) 2. Haunting Me (Just Testing) 3. Insomnia (Just Testing) 4. Helpless (Just Testing) 5. Pay the Price (Just Testing) 6. New Rising Star (Just Testing) 7. Master of Disguise (Just Testing) 8. Lifeline (Just Testing) 9. Halfway House (Album Outtake - Claire Hamill Vocal) 10. Fast Johnny 11. Come on 12. Is Justice Done (Album Outtake) 13. The Bells Chime (Album Outtake) 14. Out on a Limb (Album Outtake) 15. Where You Been (Album Outtake) 16. Halfway House (Album Outtake - Martin Turner Vocal) 17. Football and Boxing (Album Outtake)

Disc: 13 - 1. Doctor - Hull City Hall, 1980 (Live Dates Volume Two) 2. Living Proof - Bristol Colton Hall, 1980 (Live Dates Volume Two) 3. Runaway - Wolverhampton Civic Hall, 1980 (Live Dates Volume Two) 4. Helpless - Wolverhampton Civic Hall, 1980 (Live Dates Volume Two) 5. F*U*B*B - London, Hammersmith Odeon, 1978 (Live Dates Volume Two) 6. The Way of the World (Live Dates Volume Two) 7. Lorelei (Live Dates Volume Two) 8. Persephone (Live Dates Volume Two) 9. (In All of My Dreams) You Rescue Me (Live Dates Volume Two) 10. Time Was (Live Dates Volume Two) 11. Goodbye Baby Hello Friend (Live Dates Volume Two) 12. No Easy Road (Live Dates Volume Two)

Disc: 14 - 1. Loaded (Number the Brave) 2. Where Is the Love (Number the Brave) 3. Underground (Number the Brave) 4. Kicks on the Street (Number the Brave) 5. Open Road (Number the Brave) 6. Get Ready (Number the Brave) 7. Rainstorm (Number the Brave) 8. That's That (Number the Brave) 9. Roller Coaster (Number the Brave) 10. Number the Brave (Number the Brave) 11. My Mind Is Made Up (B-Side) 12. Get Ready (Single Mix with Claire Hamill Backing Vocal) 13. Now or Never (Album Outtake - John Wetton) 14. Hard on You (Album Outtake)

Disc: 15 - 1. Engine Overheat (Twin Barrels Burning (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock)) 2. Can't Fight Love (Twin Barrels Burning (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 3. Genevieve (Twin Barrels Burning (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 4. Me and My Guitar (Twin Barrels Burning (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 5. Hold on (Twin Barrels Burning (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 6. Streets of Shame (Twin Barrels Burning (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 7. No More Lonely Nights (Twin Barrels Burning (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 8. Angels Have Mercy (Twin Barrels Burning (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 9. Wind Up (Twin Barrels Burning (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 10. Cat and Dog Fight (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 11. Go for the Gold (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 12. Night Hawker (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock)

Disc: 16 - 1. Cell of Fame (Raw to the Bone (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 2. People in Motion (Raw to the Bone (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 3. Don't Cry (Raw to the Bone (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 4. Love Is Blue (Raw to the Bone (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 5. Long Live the Night (Raw to the Bone (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 6. Rocket in My Pocket (Raw to the Bone (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 7. It's Only Love (Raw to the Bone (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 8. Don't You Mess (Raw to the Bone (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 9. Dreams (Searching for An Answer) (Raw to the Bone (No 10. MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 11. Perfect Timing (Raw to the Bone (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 12. She's Still Alive (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 13. Apocalypso (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 14. Valley of Tears (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 15. Nkomo (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock) 16. Talk to Me (No MCPS, Bought As Finished Stock)

Disc: 17 - 1. Tangible Evidence (Nouveau Calls) 2. Clousseau (Nouveau Calls) 3. Flags of Convenience (Nouveau Calls) 4. From Soho to Sunset (Nouveau Calls) 5. Arabesque (Nouveau Calls) 6. In the Skin (Nouveau Calls) 7. Something Happening in Room 602 (Nouveau Calls) 8. Johnny Left Home Without It (Nouveau Calls) 9. The Spirit Flies Free (Nouveau Calls) 10. A Rose Is a Rose (Nouveau Calls) 11. Real Guitars Have Wings (Nouveau Calls) 12. T-Bone Shuffle

Disc: 18 - 1. Cosmic Jazz (Here to Hear) 2. Keeper of the Light (Here to Hear) 3. Mental Radio (Here to Hear) 4. Walk on Water (Here to Hear) 5. Witness to Wonder (Here to Hear) 6. Lost Cause in Paradise (Here to Hear) 7. Why Don't We (Here to Hear) 8. In the Case (Here to Hear) 9. Hole in My Heart - Part One (Here to Hear) 10. Hole in My Heart - Part Two (Here to Hear) 11. Heaven Is (Album Outtake) 12. Bolan's Monument (B-Side) 13. Duffle Shuffle (Album Outtake)

Disc: 19 - 1. Strange Affair (Strange Affair) 2. Wings of Desire (Strange Affair) 3. Renegade (Strange Affair) 4. Dream Train (Strange Affair) 5. Some Conversation (Strange Affair) 6. Rollin' (Strange Affair) 7. You (Strange Affair) 8. Hard Times (Strange Affair) 9. Standing in the Rain (Strange Affair) 10. Chimes of Freedom (Album Outtake - Andy Powell Vocal) 11. Standing in the Rain (Album Outtake - Martin Turner Vocal) 12. Strange Affair (Album Outtake - Brass Mix) 13. Dream Train (Album Outtake - Brass Mix) 14. Rollin' (Album Outtake - Brass Mix) 15. Chimes of Freedom (Album Outtake - Andy Powell Vocal)

Disc: 20 - 1. The King Will Come (Portsmouth 1973 - Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour) 2. Warrior (Portsmouth 1973 - Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour) 3. Throw Down the Sword (Portsmouth 1973 - Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour) 4. Ballad of the Beacon (Portsmouth 1973 - Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour) 5. Rock 'N Roll Widow (Portsmouth 1973 - Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour) 6. Everybody Needs a Friend (Portsmouth 1973 - Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour) 7. Blowin' Free (Portsmouth 1973 - Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour) 8. Jail Bait (Portsmouth 1973 - Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour)

Disc: 21 - 1. Doctor (Portsmouth 1973 - Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour) 2. So Many Things to Say (Portsmouth 1973 - Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour) 3. Baby What You Want Me to Do (Portsmouth 1973 - Wishbone 4. Phoenix (Portsmouth 1973 - Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour) 5. It Ain't Easy (Portsmouth 1973 - Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour) 6. Where Were You Tomorrow (Portsmouth 1973 - Wishbone Four 7. Live Dates Recording Tour)

Disc: 22 - 1. The King Will Come (Southampton 1973 - Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour) 2. Warrior (Southampton 1973 - Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour) 3. Throw Down the Sword (Southampton 1973 - Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour) 4. Ballad of the Beacon (Southampton 1973 - Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour) 5. Rock 'N Roll Widow (Southampton 1973 - Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour) 6. Everybody Needs a Friend (Southampton 1973 - Wishbone Four 7. / Live Dates Recording Tour) 8. Blowin' Free (Southampton 1973 - Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour) 9. Jail Bait (Southampton 1973 - Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour) 10. Doctor (Southampton 1973 - Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour) 11. So Many Things to Say (Southampton 1973 - Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour) 12. Baby What You Want Me to Do (Southampton 1973 - 13. Wishbone Four / Live Dates Recording Tour)

Disc: 23 - 1. Runaway (Edinburgh 1976 - New England Tour) 2. The King Will Come (Edinburgh 1976 - New England Tour) 3. Warrior (Edinburgh 1976 - New England Tour) 4. Lorelei (Edinburgh 1976 - New England Tour) 5. Persephone (Edinburgh 1976 - New England Tour) 6. (In All of My Dreams) You Rescue Me (Edinburgh 1976 - New England Tour) 7. Outward Bound (Edinburgh 1976 - New England Tour) 8. Mother of Pearl (Edinburgh 1976 - New England Tour) 9. Rest in Peace (Edinburgh 1976 - New England Tour) 10. Time Was (Edinburgh 1976 - New England Tour) 11. Bad Weather Blues (Edinburgh 1976 - New England Tour) 12. Jail Bait (Edinburgh 1976 - New England Tour)

Disc: 24 - 1. Blind Eye (Marquee Club 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 2. Lady Whiskey (Marquee Club 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 3. The King Will Come (Marquee Club 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 4. Warrior (Marquee Club 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 5. Throw Down the Sword (Marquee Club 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 6. Front Page News (Marquee Club 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 7. Sometime World (Marquee Club 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 8. Goodbye Baby Hello Friend (Marquee Club 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 9. Runaway (Marquee Club 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 10. Phoenix (Marquee Club 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 11. Jail Bait (Marquee Club 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 12. Blowin' Free (Marquee Club 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 13. Bad Weather Blues (Marquee Club 1977 - Front Page News Tour)

Disc: 25 - 1. Blind Eye (Newcastle 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 2. Lady Whiskey (Newcastle 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 3. The King Will Come (Newcastle 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 4. Warrior (Newcastle 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 5. Throw Down the Sword (Newcastle 1977 - Front Page News Tour) Front Page News (Newcastle 1977 - Front Page News Tour 6. Sometime World (Newcastle 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 7. Goodbye Baby Hello Friend (Newcastle 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 8. Runaway (Newcastle 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 9. Come in from the Rain (Newcastle 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 10. Jail Bait (Newcastle 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 11. Blowin' Free (Newcastle 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 12. No Easy Road (Newcastle 1977 - Front Page News Tour) 13. Bad Weather Blues (Newcastle 1977 - Front Page News Tour)

Disc: 26 - 1. The King Will Come (Bournemouth 1978) 2. Warrior (Bournemouth 1978) 3. Errors of My Way (Bournemouth 1978) 4. You See Red (Bournemouth 1978) 5. F*U*B*B (Bournemouth 1978) 6. The Way of the World (Bournemouth 1978)

Disc: 27 - 1. Phoenix (Bournemouth 1978) 2. Anger in Harmony (Bournemouth 1978) 3. Time Was (Bournemouth 1978) 4. Runaway (Bournemouth 1978) 5. Lady Whiskey (Bournemouth 1978) 6. Jail Bait (Bournemouth 1978) 7. Queen of Torture (Bournemouth 1978) 8. Blowin' Free (Bournemouth 1978) 9. Bad Weather Blues (Bournemouth 1978)

Disc: 28 - 1. Doctor (Guildford 1980 - Just Testing Tour) 2. Blind Eye (Guildford 1980 - Just Testing Tour) 3. Way of the World (Guildford 1980 - Just Testing Tour) 4. Living Proof (Guildford 1980 - Just Testing Tour) 5. The King Will Come (Guildford 1980 - Just Testing Tour) 6. Lifeline (Guildford 1980 - Just Testing Tour) 7. Insomnia (Guildford 1980 - Just Testing Tour)

Disc: 29 - 1. Phoenix (Guildford 1980 - Just Testing Tour) 2. Blowin' Free (Guildford 1980 - Just Testing Tour) 3. Queen of Torture (Guildford 1980 - Just Testing Tour) 4. Helpless (Guildford 1980 - Just Testing Tour) 5. Jail Bait (Guildford 1980 - Just Testing Tour) 6. Bad Weather Blues (Guildford 1980 - Just Testing Tour) 7. Too Much Monkey Business (Guildford 1980 - Just Testing Tour)

Disc: 30 - 1. Doctor (Chelmsford 1980 - Blowin' Free Tour) 2. Lady Whiskey (Chelmsford 1980 - Blowin' Free Tour) 3. Helpless (Chelmsford 1980 - Blowin' Free Tour) 4. I Need People (Chelmsford 1980 - Blowin' Free Tour) 5. The Pilgrim (Chelmsford 1980 - Blowin' Free Tour) 6. Lookin' for a Reason (Chelmsford 1980 - Blowin' Free Tour) 7. Runaway (Chelmsford 1980 - Blowin' Free Tour) 8. The King Will Come (Chelmsford 1980 - Blowin' Free Tour) 9. Phoenix (Chelmsford 1980 - Blowin' Free Tour) 10. Blowin' Free (Chelmsford 1980 - Blowin' Free Tour) 11. Jail Bait (Chelmsford 1980 - Blowin' Free Tour) 12. Bad Weather Blues (Chelmsford 1980 - Blowin' Free Tour)

Talking about the release, founder member Martin Turner explains, “I looked after most of these tape recordings for decades, wondering when they would ever see the light of day and I am very glad that they will at last be available for everyone to hear.”

“I wanted to mix the live performances myself, but being a busy chap and not famous for my speediness, we decided to give it all to the wonderful Pete Reynolds whom I believe has done a brilliant job of mixing and remastering a massive collection of work. It’s almost like having one’s whole musical life in one box. It certainly represents the most comprehensive Wishbone collection that I know of and I hope you enjoy it.”

Andy Powell agrees, “It’s truly amazing to look back at the musically fertile 70s and 80s and wonder at the sheer amount of incredible creative output from our band. We had great roots and a really strong blue-print for success. I feel blessed to have played my part in it all and I’m truly thankful that it’s set the course for my entire life and all the music that’s followed, as the band continues to live on into the 21st century.”

Box-Set Purchase Link

Wishbone Ash Pledge Music Page

Title - ‘Karma Obscur’
Artist - Shob

Talented bass player with many collaborations (Roger (Biwandu-Zawinul syndicate), Patrick Rondat (G3), PapaGuyo (Sly & Family Stone), J Halliday, Charles X, Eths…), Shob releases his second album Karma Obscur after the successful debut, Pragmatism.

An intense progressive rock/funk played live by amazing musicians, Karma Obscur is Jazz-Rock Fusion at its finest. Twisting and turning delightfully, never steering a course too unknown, in my humble opinion, Shob's sophomore album is already his best work.

1. “Hors D'oeuvre” (2:02)
2. “Straight Ahead” (5:25)
3. “Except I'm 65” (4:47)
4. “Enclosures” (5:19)
5. “Karma Obscur” (4:18)
6. “Rusty Dog” (5:36)
7. “The Right Move” (4:53)
8. “Green Elephant” (5:15)
9. “The Professor” (4:23)
10. “Divergence” (5:29)
11. “Action Mutante” (3:55)
12. “Dissection” (5:25)
13. “Sulfur” (5:03)

We begin with the appropriately entitled “Hors D'oeuvre”, a slap bass funk delight, that blends seamlessly into both the harder, more pronounced Blues bass of “Straight Ahead” and then the lush, R&B vibe of “Except I’m 65.”

The frenetic soul/blues “Enclosures” is up next and that’s followed by the title track, the terrifically paced “Karma Obscur.” The tempo comes down somewhat next for the late night jazz club appeal of “Rusty Dog”, before it’s picked right up again for the playful jazz notes of “The Right Move”. Some ferocious slap bass is back again for the brilliant “Green Elephant”, which is followed by the deliberately stop-start pace of “The Professor.”

Next up is “Divergence”, which is backed by another stand out track on this sophomore album, “Action Mutante.” The album then comes to a close with the jazz lite “Dissection”, before rounding out with the Blues organ , and guitar-backed beauty “Sulfur.”

Line-up: Shob - Bass, Guitar (3, 6, 7, 9-13), Additional Percussions With Morgan Berthet - Drums; Denis Cornardeau - Guitar (2-4, 8); Gabriel Druot - Guitar (5); Jean Loup Siaut - Guitar (10); Pierre Danel - Guitar (11); Jorris Guilbaud - Keyboards (6, 7, 10, 11); Vincent Vilnet - Keyboards (4, 12, 13); Tony Lavaud - Keyboards (2, 5, 8); Robin Magord - Keyboards (3, 9); Laurène Pierre Magnani - Vocals (3); Monkey D Beasty - Vocals (1); Rémy Béesau - Trumpet PJ Ley - Trumpet (3); Olivier Miqueu - Trombone; FM Moreau - Sax; Ludovic Lesage - Jumbe, Congas

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Title - 'One More Crooked Dance’
Artist - Jules Shear

For those not in the know, Jules Shear is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist who wrote the Cyndi Lauper hit single "All Through the Night" and The Bangles' hit "If She Knew What She Wants". Oh, and he also charted a hit as a solo performer with "Steady" in 1985.

Today, Jules Shear isn’t being cagy when he insists he doesn’t know what the songs on his 13th studio album, One More Crooked Dance (Funzalo Records), and first since 2013’s Longer to Get to Yesterday are about!

He really doesn’t, at least without being able to consult a lyric sheet, which is nowhere in sight at the moment. With nary a guitar, bass or drum in earshot, Shear didn’t have to wander far from his longtime Woodstock, N.Y., home, corralling locals Pepe (piano), touring partner Molly Farley (vocals) and the legendary John Sebastian (harp) at his neighborhood health food store and somehow cajoling them to join him at his friend’s nearby home studio.

1. ‘Rules of the Game’
2. ‘Painkiller’
3. ‘Be With You’
4. ‘Don't Remember’
5. ‘Guessing’
6. ‘Looking For Me’
7. ‘The Hunter & the Hunted’
8. ‘A Color That Barely Exists’
9. ‘Oh Marlena’
10. ‘This Flame’
11. ‘Half Hearted Heart’
12. ‘When It's Right’
13. ‘Wrong Again’

On an album bass lined out by some dulcet piano playing, Shear opens with ‘Rules of the Game’ before gently (oh so gently) upping the tempo somewhat on the throaty ‘Painkiller’. The harmonica-opened ’Be With You’ is one of the best, for my money, on this album, and that’s back by both ‘Don’t Remember’ and the angelic, chorus like ‘Guessing.’

Next comes another great track on the thoughtful key work of ‘Looking For Me’ which Shear follows with the quietly beautiful ‘The Hunter and the Hunted’, the perky piano work of ‘A Color that Barely Exists’, and both ‘Oh Marlena’ and the playful ‘This Flame.’

‘Half-Hearted Head’ is a strong track, perhaps the strongest out of the 13, and that’s backed by the wonderful ‘When It’s Right’, before the new offering from Shear rounds out with the resounding ‘Wrong Again.’

Shear’s album might not be what you would want to play at a party, sure, I’ll give you that, but it’s definitely an album chock full of pure, unadulterated musical songwriter and lyrical genius. Which alone is worth it’s weight in gold in this busy, crowded business.

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Title - 'Under What Flag - A Tribute to Fad Gadget'
Artist - Various

For those not in the know, Francis John "Frank" Tovey, known also by his stage name Fad Gadget, was a British avant-garde electronic musician and vocalist.

He was a proponent of both new wave and early industrial music, fusing together a unique blend of pop structured songs mixed with mechanised experimentation.

As Fad Gadget, his music was characterized by the use of synthesizers in conjunction with sounds of found objects, including drills and electric razors.

His bleak, sarcastic and darkly humorous lyrics were filled with biting social commentary toward subjects such as machinery, industrialization, consumerism, human sexuality, mass media, religion, domestic violence and dehumanization while often being sung in a deadpan voice.

Now on Under What Flag (Cleopatra Records), a smattering of underground dark electronic artists pay tribute to the truly groundbreaking British avant-garde artists, Fad Gadget.

1. Bioassay – 'Collapsing New People'
2. Blakk Glass – 'Lady Shave'
3. Blicky – 'Ricky’s Hand'
4. Canter – 'The Box'
5. Charlatan – 'Fireside Favourite'
6. Cortex Defect – 'Back To Nature'
7. Cylab – 'Swallow It'
8. George Sarah – 'Arch Of The Aorta'
9. Labrynth – 'King Of The Flies'
10. Leæther Strip – 'Back To Nature'
11. Maleagant – 'Saturday Night Special (Threatened Brick In The Wall)'
12. Manufactura – 'Insecticide'
13. Microchip Junky – 'Insecticide'
14. Missing Witness – 'The Box'
15. NOIR – 'Back To Nature'
16. Pixelpussy – 'State Of The Nation'
17. Shrapnihil – 'Insecticide'

Blending electronics with found-object noise and deadpan vocals made Fad Gadget an influence on everyone from Depeche Mode, Liars, NIN and more. Inclusive here of performances by industrial icons Leæther Strip, LA-based composer George Sarah, NOIR feat. Athan Maroulis, et al, from the very start re: Bioassay's brilliant early '80s DM vibed 'Collapsing New People', on through to Shrapnihil's more goth industrialization on 'Insecticide', Under What Flag is a flashback to an era sadly gone by; but yet still warmly welcomed in most all our hearts.

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Title - 'Æppreciation II'
Artist - Leæther Strip

For those not in the know, Leæther Strip is a Danish musical project founded on January 13, 1988 by Claus Larsen whose influence has been most felt in the electronic body music and electro-industrial genres.

Leæther Strip was one of the earliest and most prominent acts on Germany's now defunct Zoth Ommog record label. After the demise of Zoth Ommog in 1999, Larsen signed to Bloodline Records, which only released a single before also going out of business.

In 2005 Leæther Strip signed with the Belgian-based label Alfa Matrix. On June 3, 2011, Larsen announced his split from Alfa Matrix in order to self-release future material.

In 2014, Leæther Strip brought us Æppreciation, a collection of songs performed in tribute to their favorite artists of all time. Now we have the follow up to that set, Æppreciation II (via Cleopatra Records).

1. 'Lady Shave' (Fad Gadget)
2. 'Beat My Guest' (Adam Ant)
3. 'Tainted Love' (Gloria Jones/Soft Cell)
4. 'Man in the Man' (Dave Ball)
5. 'You Spin Me Round' (Like a Record) (Dead Or Alive)
6. 'Holidays in the Sun' (Sex Pistols)
7. 'Heat' (Soft Cell)
8. 'View from a Bridge' (Kim Wilde)
9. 'Broken English' (Marianne Faithful)
10. 'Anal Staircase' (Coil)

An interesting collection of artists that wouldn't have sprung to my mind for such a collection of tributes by Leæther Strip to have chosen, but nonetheless, and for the most part, they work really rather well in these new formats.

Fad Gadget's 'Lady Shave' is a defining moment on the album and sets the tone perfectly for what's to come. Adam Ant's 'Beat My Guest' isn't as frenetic as the original, but nice enough, which is actually what could be said of most all the tracks, in truth.

Tracks like 'Tainted Love' (Soft Cell), 'You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)' (Dead Or Alive), Kim Wilde's 'View From A Bridge' and even the Sex Pistols' 'Holidays In The Sun' are all great renditions, but without any uproar behind them, tend to fall a wee bit flat mid way through.

That said, stand out cuts here are ones such as 'Man In The Man' (Dave Ball), 'Heat' (Soft Cell0< and the two tracks that round the album out: the wonderful, truly inspired 'Broken English' (Marianne Faithful), and the powerful 'Anal Staircase' from Coil.

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Title - 'Unbreakable'
Artist - Ali McManus

For those not in the know, Ali McManus, I'll allow Ali to introduce herself.

"My journey has been a series of twists and turns and I mean that literally. Life – and my body itself – have thrown me some serious curves. But music saved my life. One song means three minutes of no pain, and I can say things with song that I can’t speak in words alone."

"I don’t see myself as a person in a wheelchair. I see myself as a regular person who just happens to sit down all day. I don’t sweat the small stuff, and I believe positivity is the only way."

"I write songs that reflect my life, and I hope to connect with people through my lyrics and inspire with my message. Music has been my greatest healer. Through music, I have become UNBREAKABLE!"

Out now via Desert Dreams, Ali McManus’ debut album Unbreakable, produced by the legendary Jack Douglas, showcases a singer with a powerful voice; and not just a young girl suffering from a rare bone disorder.

1. 'Unbreakable'
2. 'Rhythm That Rhymes'
3. 'Breaking Free'
4. 'Wings'
5. 'Heart Shattered'
6. 'Home'

Beginning this delightful 6-track album with the title track, the piano balladry of 'Unbreakable', you know through each word sung, each lyric poured out, that Ali's heartfelt life story is coming forth.

Those most personal of feelings are indeed sewn throughout these new tracks, and come to the fore most noticeably within songs such as both 'Breaking Free,' and the simply stunning 'Home.'

A uniquely talented artist who has overcome more obstacles in her 20 young years than some people do in their entire lives, Ali McManus is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most talented songwriters and most beautiful-voiced of singers that I've personally heard in the past decade.

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Title - 'Velvet Groove'
Artist - Eric Valentine & Velvet Groove

This coming Valentine’s Day takes on greater significance for Eric Valentine who will drop his longtime-coming labor of love, Velvet Groove on his namesake day.

This collection of soul-soaked urban grooves and sophisticated contemporary jazz stylings is the first release from the drummer-multi-instrumentalist-songwriter-producer’s Velvet Groove, a creative community of musicians and recording artists spreading love and positivity through music and collaboration.

Drummer/Producer Eric Valentine's 1st single from his much anticipated project - one that features one of today's top charting artists, the sax of Keith McKelley - also brings to the fore the combined talents of: Adam Hawley (guitar); (piano); Benjamin Shepherd (bass); and Darrell Crooks on rhythm guitar.

1. 'Back to the Groove'
2. 'E. Love (Everlasting Love)'
3. 'Velvet Groove'
4. 'Back in the Day'
5. 'Mr. Z'
6. 'That Guy'
7. 'Velvet Groove Reprise'
8. 'Mi Sol'
9. 'Tis So Sweet' (for Wayman Tisdale)
10. 'Joy Inside My Tears'
11. 'Sixth Sense'
12. 'Joy Inside My Tears (Reprise)'
13. 'Reflections (Back in the Day Reprise)'

This delightful, atmospheric 13-track album brings us ten full songs and three reprises, all filled with beautiful, lush melodies and glorious R&B and soul vibes.

Inclusive of Valentine's wife on some tracks - 'E. Love' and 'Back in the Day,' each and every track is a showcase of one of the finest voices in the business today.

Featuring originals throughout, save for a stunningly delightful, and oh-so fresh take on Stevie Wonder’s brilliant 'Joy Inside My Tears,' it also comes complete with members of Wonder’s very own horn section in the mix.

Chock full of all those smooth jazz instrumental sounds mixing sweetly with Valentine's very own soulful vocals - everything that you've come to expect from the man, of course - Velvet Groove is just perfect as being the music you put on for that very special night you have planned, this upcoming February 14th.

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Title - 'Decadence'
Artist - Gong Expresso

For those not in the know, Pierre Moerlen's original Gong was an instrumental jazz fusion outfit led by French drummer and percussionist Pierre Moerlen, which developed as an offshoot of the psychedelic progressive rock band Gong, founded and led by Daevid Allen.

PM’s Gong was a major branch of the massive Gong tree. In the mid ’70’s drummer Pierre Moerlen separated from Daevid Allen marking an end to the Flying Teapot period and a powerful jazz/rock unit was formed and signed to Virgin Records. Pierre’s brother Benoit Moerlen, Hansford Rowe, Francois Causse, Allan Holdsworth were core members.

Many major guests joined them both on albums and touring. Mick Taylor, Mike Oldfield, and French violinist Didier Lockwood were key participants. Mike Oldfield occasionally used the PMG rhythm section for touring also calling on members for albums such as Ommadawn, Incantations, Exposed and Platinum.

Now Gong alumni Francois Causse and Benoit Moerlen and Hansford Rowe join HRIII guitarist Julien Sandiford for the recording of the new album by Gong Expresso titled Decadence.

Featuring: Hansford Rowe – bass; Benoit Moerlen – vibes, marimba; Julien Sandiford – guitar; and Francois Causse – drums, percussion, this new 8 track album (which was also launched using a Pledge Music campaign) is, for my money, already one of the best albums of 2018!

1. 'Decadence'
2. 'Zephyr'
3. 'Toumani'
4. 'Talisman'
5. 'The Importance of Common Things'
6. 'Eastern Platinum''
7. 'Frevo'
8. 'God Knows'

This delightful, atmospheric 8-track album brings us some very strong pieces, some great moments of what one can only assume to be improvisations, and all nurtured sweetly within the loving embrace of jazz fusion / jazz rock.

Says Hansford himself, “Decadence is the title tune on the new Gong Expresso album. Here the word means 'falling away.' I hope this tune and all the music on the album somehow addresses this in an unadorned, direct way."

"When I play with these 3 musicians I am convinced there is something special happening. Benoit Moerlen (vibes, marimba) and Francois Causse (drums, perc) and I began playing together in early 1977 in PM's Gong and our rapport is of the kind only long term relationships can provide."

"On the other hand Julien who is 25 has been alive less time than I have been playing with the others. Yet our musical relationship feels infinitely long. We are recording in two cities, Paris and Montreal."

"Francois' studio in Paris is a tuned percussion church and Piccolo Studios in Montreal is owned by Denis Savage who is co-producing with the band. He is known for his work with Celine Dion.”

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Title - 'Tiki Lounge Live'
Artist - MerrellFankhauser

For those not in the know, Merrell Fankhauser is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist, who was most active in the 1960s and 1970s with bands including the Impacts, Merrell & the Exiles, HMS Bounty, Fankhauser-Cassidy Band, and MU.

In addition, 12 songs recorded by Merrell & the Exiles were later released under the group name Fapardokly, even though that group never actually existed!

After moving to San Luis Obispo, California in his teens, he began playing guitar, and got his first break playing in movie theaters and talent shows.

In 1960, after one of these shows, he joined a local band The Impacts as lead guitarist. Their Ventures-influenced sound developed a strong following at the start of the surfing scene.

That surf vibe stayed with Fankhauser forever thereafter and now the legendary psychedelic surf guitarist returns with a live set inspired by his long running TV and radio show, Tiki Lounge!

1. Merrell – 'Fair Winds Blowin'
2. The Brymers – 'Love Of Rock N Roll'
3. Lindsey Ikeno – 'My Ipo'
4. Tim Fankhauser – 'Witch Doctor'
5. Merrell – 'Jungle Lo Lo Band'
6. Merrell – 'Sweet Janeita'
7. Merrell – 'Nawiliwili With You'
8. Merrell – 'Feelin Ok'
9. Merrell & Ed Cassidy – 'Out Of The Town'
10. Big John – 'Rockin Country'
11. Merrell – 'California Cosmic Jam'
12. Merrell – 'Tiki Lounge'

Opening with the upbeat 'Fair Winds Blowin' and backing that up with the Neil Youngesque 'Love Of Rock N Roll' from The Brymers, the album continues onward in various styles. Such as Lindsey Ikeno's island-styled 'My Ipo', which is followed by the husky vocal styling of Merrell's brothe Tim on the slow funk of 'Witch Doctor'.

Merrell takes the lead again on 'Jungle Lo Lo Band', the romantic hipsway of 'Sweet Janeita', the surf ride of 'Nawiliwili With You', and then the brilliant country-tinged 'Feelin Ok'.

Featuring a guest appearance by Ed Cassidy of Spirit, 'Out Of The Town' is a blues jam of the highest order and that's followed by the Johnny Cashesque 'Rockin Country' from Big John. The album then rounds out perfectly with the '60s flashback 'California Cosmic Jam', before the title track, 'Tiki Lounge'.

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Title - 'Ready For Me'
Artist - Madame Mayhem

My goodness! Madame Mayhem is a true rocker, that's for sure! With an eclectic style in every aspect of life, she wears her attitude to her music like a living goth couture mask, and thrusts it in your face whenever you dare peak into her musical world!

With her full force attitude, mayhem is also definitely the right word to describe this extreme artist. Following on from 2015's Now You Know, Madame Mayhem's new album Ready For Me is out in stores now.

3. 'HURT ME'
8. 'SAY GO'

As Mayhem herself explains, “All the songs on this album are super personal to me. About my frustrations, trying to get through the rough times, my anxieties and insecurities, some messed up stuff that has happened to me along the way, relationship devastation, you name it."

"I noticed it only afterwards that audiences are really getting 'the dirt' on me through this album. I was super honest, vulnerable, and didn't hold back during the writing process of these songs."

"Corey Lowery and I are a great team because he makes me feel comfortable to spill my guts during writing sessions, and during recordings, to re live these situations I am writing about so whoever is listening gets all of what we wanted to give."

The hard-hitting 'War You Started' kicks off this superb new album in perfect style and, in truth, the other tracks that make up this 13 long album, don't ever bow down either.

Another great track is 'All Around The World' where the feelings of it's always you against the whole damn world, always racing against time, and brought superbly to the fore.

'So Wrong (Lay You To Rest)' is another stand out here, and allows Mayhem to reveal some of her more dark, perhaps even messed up secrets, and then the album rounds out with the strong title track, 'Ready For Me’.

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Title - '24 Hours To Live'
Artist - Tyler Bates

Make no mistake, '24 Hours To Live' is yet another frenetic, fast-paced soundtrack from uber-composer, Tyler Bates, (Guardians of the Galaxy, John Wick).

Currently a member of Marilyn Manson's touring band, Tyler got 'The Dark Prince' to lend a new unreleased song, 'God's Going to Cut You Down,' as an album only bonus. Indeed, the traditional hymn was popularized by Johnny Cash and Odetta and Marilyn's interpretation is utterly stunning here.

1. Africa Driving (2:54)
2. Check Point Shoot Out (1:25)
3. Mission Explained (5:10)
4. Assassination (2:14)
5. You Have 24 Hours (5:48)
6. Escape (1:49)
7. Bodies Everywhere (3:33)
8. Car Chase (2:07)
9. Sniper (3:35)
10. Brigade Detour (4:57)
11. Protocol (1:33)
12. Red Mountain (1:31)
13. Flashback (2:43)
14. Mass Shooting (1:32)
15. Family (2:02)
16. Crashing and Killing (2:11)
17. Boy Vision (1:28)
18. He Killed Your Wife (5:41)
19. Dying Again (1:33)
20. God’s Gonna Cut You Down (Marilyn Manson) (2:42)

'24 Hours to Live' is the 2017 American-South African science fiction action thriller film directed by Brian Smrz that follows a career assassin (Ethan Hawke) who is brought back to life for 24 hours to seek revenge and redemption.

As you would expect from a film detailed as such and from a composer renowned for his upbeat soundtracks, '24 Hours To Live' is very heavy on the action sequences - running, fighting, car chases, etc.) and so the music is willing obliging at those junctures.

The uplifting, stirring even opener 'Africa Driving' is quickly followed by what is expected throughout, and that's a total all out adrenaline burst of activity ('Check Point Shoot Out'), but then comes the sedate, quite, passive, thoughtful 'Mission Explained'.

And that's how this soundtrack plays out, never really overloading with heavy, fast stuff, moreover serving us a well balanced musical meal of Tyler Bates at his very best; once again, and as usual.

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Title - 'The Long Road Home'
Artist - Jeff Beal

A Limited Edition 2CD set of just 500 copies, this quite brilliant 'The Long Road Home - National Geographic Original Series' soundtrack from sterling composer Jeff Beal is, most definitely, one for the musical ages.

Based on journalist Martha Raddatz's same-named best-seller, "The Long Road Home" dramatizes the heroism on the front lines of the Iraq War. On April 4, 2004 -- a day that came to be known in military annals as "Black Sunday" -- the 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Hood was brutally ambushed, an incident that changed the U.S. military's view of Iraq from a peacekeeping mission to a fight against domestic insurgents.

Across eight episodes, the series cuts between the battle in Iraq and the homefront in Texas, where wives and families anxiously await news for 48 agonizing hours. "The Long Road Home" is developed by Mikko Alanne and stars Michael Kelly, Jason Ritter, Kate Bosworth, Sarah Wayne Callies, Jeremy Sisto and Noel Fisher, Jon Beavers, E.J. Bonilla, Jorge Diaz, Darius Homayoun and Patrick Schwarzenegger.

Disc One:
1. The Mission (3:17) 2. The Long Road Home (1:32) 3. Israel & Lupita (:54) 4. The Ambush Begins (10:02) 5. Last Rites for Chen (4:05) 6. Riddell’s First Kill (2:00) 7. Leann & Gary Volesky (1:18) 8. Just a Boy (1:48) 9. Faith (4:39) 10. The Rescue Begins (4:30) 11. Narrow Streets (:52) 12. Start Making Calls (2:36) 13. It’s Too Late (1:43) 14. A Gathering Of Ravens (2:10) 15. Jassim (2:16) 16. Kids Moved Forward (:39) 17. Darkest Hour (6:11) 18. Young In Iraq (6:32)

Disc Two:
1. You Can Tell Them (2:41) 2. Rescue Misses (1:59) 3. Eric Enlists (4:25) 4. Miltenberger’s Ghost (2:21) 5. Crying Doesn’t Help (3:38) 6. Finding The Soldiers (5:09) 7. Here We Go (1:28) 8. Dreaming of Coming Home (5:58) 9. Hope (1:14) 10. A Thousand Steps (1:45) 11. Dream Of Me (2:03) 12. Another Mission (2:11) 13. Roll Call Of The Dead (2:18) 14. Taps — End Credits (:59) 15. Brothers In Arms (1:33)

As you would already fully expect from Jeff Beal, the album is extraordinary from start to finish. Both discs harbor some fine works of musical art, whereas both sides capture the density of the subject matter quite like nothing I've ever heard before.

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Title - 'Retrospective'
Artist - Hilary Hahn

Uber talented American violinist Hilary Hahn recently released the quite stunning Retrospective via Deutsche Grammophon, and rightfully so it's already grabbing the musical headlines for its candidness and emotional content.

The 2CD album showcases all of her recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, along with new, unedited live performance recordings, which provide the full immediacy of the concert experience.

1.-3. "Violin Sonata in G major K 379", Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)†
4. "Blue Curve of the Earth", Tina Davidson (1952)†
5. "Mercy", Max Richter (1966)†
6. "Double Concerto for 2 Violins, Strings and Continuo in D major BWV 1043", J. S. Bach (1685–1750) – ii Largo ma non tanto
7. "The Lark Ascending", Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)
8. "Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major K 526", Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) – iii Presto
9. "Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major op. 6", Niccolò Paganini (1782–1840) – iii Rondo

CD 2:
1. "Violin Concerto op. 36", Arnold Schoenberg (1874–1951) – i Poco Allegro
2. "St Matthew Passion", J. S. Bach (1685–1750) – ii Aria: Gebt mir meinen Jesum wieder
3. "Violin Concerto" (Dedicated to Hilary Hahn), Jennifer Higdon (1962) – i 1726
4. "Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1", Charles Ives (1874–1954) – i Andante – Allegro vivace
5. "Godot", Hahn & Hauschka
6. "When A Tiger Meets A Rosa Rugosa", Du Yun (1977)
7. "Two Voices", Nico Muhly (1981)
8. "Violin Concerto No. 4 in D minor op. 31", Henri Vieuxtemps (1820–1881) – ii Adagio religioso

LP 1:
1.-3. "Violin Sonata in G major K 379", Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)†
4. "Hilary’s Hoedown", Mark Anthony Turnage (1960)†
5. "Mercy", Max Richter (1966)†

LP 2:>br> 1. "The Lark Ascending", Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)
2. "Violin Concerto op. 36", Arnold Schoenberg (1874–1951) – i Poco Allegro
3. "St Matthew Passion", J. S. Bach (1685–1750) – ii Aria: Gebt mir meinen Jesum wieder
4. "Violin Concerto" (Dedicated to Hilary Hahn), Jennifer Higdon (1962) – iii Fly Forward
5. "Stillness", Hahn & Hauschka
6. "Speak, Memory", Lera Auerbach (1973)
7. "Memory Games", Avner Dorman (1975)
8. "Violin Concerto No. 4 in D minor op. 31", Henri Vieuxtemps (1820–1881) – ii Adagio religioso

† New Live Recordings

Note on LP 1: The Mozart sonata was recorded at a live performance and cut directly to the master disc.

This wondrous collection includes at least one track from each of her 12 Deutsche Grammophon albums and live recordings from Hahn's Meistersaal concert in Berlin, an event especially dedicated to her fans.

The recording includes the live performance of Mozart's Sonata KV 379, in addition to Max Richter's “Mercy” and Tina Davidson's “Blue Curve of the Earth,” with pianist Cory Smythe, from In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores.

The double-disc LP version, which has fewer tracks overall but incorporates some additional favorite tracks, replaces “Blue Curve of the Earth” with the live recording of Mark-Anthony Turnage's “Hilary’s Hoedown,” which is also from her Encores project.

So, and explaining this a little better, while one of the LPs contains the previously-recorded pieces, the other LP features a live 2016 performance of Hilary in recital with pianist Cory (Smythe), performing Mozart's Sonata For Piano And Violin In G Major, K.379 as well as two pieces from her Encores album, "Hilary’s Hoedown" by Mark-Anthony Turnage and "Mercy" by Max Richter.

In assembling this compilation, she listened to all of her DG recordings from beginning to end and realized that certain movements and pieces resonated particularly strongly with her musical trajectory.

In truth, having the first movement here on vinyl is a real treat, and, to me, a further step up in sound reproduction quality. I also enjoyed her SACD release of The Lark Ascending. I have several recording of that piece as I enjoy it a great deal and like hers best, so finally having it on vinyl is also a real treat, for the same reasons.

But, and I cannot assume that this is just my humble option, but "The Mozart Sonata" is just so beautiful. This track is almost worth the cost of the recording. Such technique and emotion showcases, even at Hahn's young age, that of a true master.

With the artwork for the album sourced from Hahn's very own fans, this makes this coming together of her best material something very, very special. Indeed, the 2LP version was recorded in the rare direct-to-disc technique which gives it that unique vinyl-only sound quality.

FYI: Until the 1940s most sound recordings were made by cutting directly to a master disc. With the direct-to-disc recording process used for LP 1 in the present release, Hilary Hahn has confronted the artistic and technical challenge involved in this particular recording technique.

Ergo, this is a technique that is nowadays used extremely rarely, not least because few artists have the requisite ability that such a direct-to-disc recording process necessarily presupposes. [JH]

2CD Purchase Link

2LP Purchase Link

Title - 'Disintegrate Me'
Artist - Professor and the Madman

Interestingly enough, 'The Professor and the Madman' is an upcoming American-Irish drama film, based on the book The Surgeon of Crowthorne by Simon Winchester.

That said, it has nothing to do with (one assumes) this brand new supergroup of musical talents and their debut album, Disintegrate Me.

Inspired by Universal horror movies, the literature of Edgar Allan Poe, and the chaos of the world around them, the four veteran musicians who comprise PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN are ready for the curtain to rise on their world debut.

The group comprises co-frontmen Alfie Agnew and Sean Elliott, alongside the legendary rhythm section of drummer Rat Scabies and bassist Paul Gray.

1. 'Nightmare'
2. 'Space Walrus'
3. 'Wishes'
4. 'Faces'
5. 'Mirror'
6. 'Machines'
7. 'Useless'
8. 'Demented Love Song'
9. 'Electroconvulsive Therapy'
10. 'Christmas Eve' (Bonus Track)

They open with the balls to the wall retro punk of 'Nightmare', before heading into the Beatlesesque 'Space Walrus', a track that is, for my money, the highlight of the album. That's backed by the guitar pop of both 'Wishes' and the brilliant 'Faces', before the unexpected piano ballad 'Mirror' comes to the fore.

The frenetic guitars of 'Machines' is yet another great track to fire up on a car journey and that's followed by both 'Useless' and the lo-fi countrified 'Demented Love Song'. The album then rounds out officially with the wirey Oasisesque beauty 'Electroconvulsive Therapy,' but there's still time for them to sneak the simply brilliant bonus track 'Christmas Eve' in!

Co-produced by the band and David M. Allen (The Cure, The Damned, The Sisters of Mercy), Disintegrate Me's nine tracks (not counting the Xmas bonus cut) obviously encompass elements of British Invasion rock, Britpop, psych, Prog, power pop, and even country, all underpinned by the melodic punk energy that these guys have always possessed and shown live.

But don't think for one minute that this is music still destined to be resigned in people's minds as flashback fodder, for every single one of these tracks is urgent, is required, and is more raw and alive as anything in today's current so-called Top 40 chart.

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Title - 'Jazz, Groove & Attitude'
Artist - Under The Lake

2018 marks Under The Lake's 25th Anniversary and so why wouldn't they want to bring forth one of their best albums to date.

But more of that in a moment, for over the past 25 years, UTL has garnered many notable accomplishments including: nominations for Best Pop-Jazz Album and Best Pop-Jazz Group in the 1994 San Diego Music Awards; and “Up For Air” was listed by WBJB (NY/NJ) as one of the top 10 releases for 1996.

Black Entertainment Television's BET on Jazz included the song “The Slider” on their Jazz Discoveries CD released and distributed by BMG Direct (1997); Radio and syndicated broadcast of songs from both CDs nationally and internationally; and their 1994 release “Dive In” was listed as Chartbound for 5 weeks on Gavin's NAC tracking.

Indeed, Under The Lake's last release, "People Together" (2007) was on the Smooth Jazz Indie Radio Chart for 11 weeks and received radio airplay throughout the country. And so, as Under The Lake recordings continue to be heard streaming on Spotify, GooglePlay, and iTunes, released February 23rd, 2018, their brand new album Jazz, Groove & Attitude is here to claim even more awards and accolades.

1. 'Breaking Through'
2. 'Good Things'
3. 'November 30th'
4. 'George is His Name'
5. 'Fathers Day'
6. 'Second Time Around'
7. 'LJT'
8. 'Full Of Life'
9. 'I Just Can't Wait'
10. 'Rise and Shine'
11. 'September Groove'

The new album from Portland, OR's UTL (Keyboardist Jayson Tipp, Bassist Kenny Franklin, Guitarists Trent Baarspul or Evan Mustard, Drummer Brian Foxworth, saxophonist Nat Caranto and trombonist John Moak), and which also features David Evans on tenor sax, with special guest Joe Powers on harmonica), kicks off with the upbeat and funky 'Breaking Through', and backs that up with both the trumpets of 'Good Things' and the slip 'n' slide vibe of 'November 30th.'

The laid back approach to 'George is His Name' is a winner from start to finish and is backed by the mid-tempo funk and slap bass of 'Fathers Day.' Next up is one of my own personal favorites in the late night, smokey jazz club appeal of 'Second Time Around' which itself is followed by the deep heartfelt raw soul of 'LGT' and then the trumpets and organ come back to the fore on the longest track on the CD at just over seven minutes, 'Full Of Life.'

Next up is the vibrantly soulful 'I Just Can't Wait' and that's backed by the low and breezy 'Rise and Shine', with this terrific album coming to a close with the six minute trumpet epic, 'September Groove.'

In closing, Under The Lake does an excellent job of featuring their own individual style and instruments in a collaborative fashion, from the funky bass and drums to the guitar grooves, melodic keyboards and sexy saxophone. See them live whenever they come to your town and buy this, and all their previous CDs today.

Digital Purchase Link

Title - 'Wuthering Nights: Live in Birmingham'
Artist - Steve Hackett

For those not in the know, Steve Hackett is an English musician, songwriter, singer and producer who gained prominence as the guitarist of the English progressive rock band Genesis from 1971 to 1977.

Hackett contributed to six Genesis studio albums, three live albums, seven singles and one EP before leaving to pursue a solo career. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010.

Hackett released his first solo album, Voyage of the Acolyte, while still a member of Genesis in 1975. After a series of further solo albums beginning in 1978, Hackett co-founded the supergroup GTR with another progressive guitarist, Steve Howe of Yes and Asia, in 1986.

The group released the self-titled album GTR, which peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 in the United States and spawned the Top 20 single "When the Heart Rules the Mind". When Hackett left GTR in 1987, the group disbanded.

Hackett then resumed his solo career. He has released albums and toured worldwide on a regular basis since.

On 26th January 2018, Inside Out Music released Wuthering Nights: Live in Birmingham, the new live release from the guitar legend.

Wuthering Nights was filmed at the Birmingham Symphony Hall during Hackett's recent, critically-acclaimed Genesis Revisited & Classic Hackett tour.

Available as Special Edition 2DVD + 2CD Digipak, Blu-Ray, Digital album and Blu-Ray in stereo and surround sound, this is a must-have for any prog fan.

Disc: 1
1. "Every Day"
2. "El Niño"
3. "The Steppes"
4. "In the Skeleton Gallery"
5. "Behind the Smoke"
6. "Serpentine Song"
7. "Rise Again"
8. "Shadow of the Hierophant"
9. "Eleventh Earl of Mar"

Disc: 2
1. "One for the Vine"
2. "Acoustic Improvisation"
3. "Blood on the Rooftops"
4. "In That Quiet Earth"
5. "Afterglow"
6. "Dance on a Volcano"
7. "Inside and Out"
8. "Firth of Fifth"
9. "The Musical Box"
10. "Los Endos"

DVD 1 - Concert Part 1:
1. "Every Day"
2. "El Nino"
3. "The Steppes"
4. "In the Skeleton Gallery"
5. "Behind the Smoke"
6. "Serpentine Song"
7. "Rise Again"
8. "Shadow of the Hierophant"

Wuthering Nights, Live in Birmingham - Behind the Scenes Documentary (32:32)

DVD 2 - Concert Part 2:
1. "Eleventh Earl of Mar" *
2. "One For the Vine" *
3. "Acoustic Improvisation"
4. "Blood on the Rooftops" *
5. "In That Quiet Earth" *
6. "Afterglow" *
7. "Dance on a Volcano" *
8. "Inside and Out" *
9. "Firth of Fifth" *
10. "The Musical Box" *
11. "Los Endos" *

(* Genesis track)

Official Videos:
Behind the Smoke"
Fifty Miles from the North Pole"
West to East"

Indeed, this tour marked the 40th anniversary of Wind & Wuthering, Hackett's last album with Genesis which reached number 7 in the UK album chart. To celebrate Steve and his band played 5 of the best-loved tracks from this iconic album: "Eleventh Earl Of Mar", "One For The Vine", "Blood On The Rooftops", "In That Quiet Earth" and "Afterglow".

The quietly melodic 'Every Day' begins the live experience and is backed by the raging 'El Niño', a very cutting edge, sax-backed 'The Steppes', and then both a mid-tempo 'In the Skeleton Gallery' and a delightful 'Behind the Smoke'. 'Serpentine Song' has always been one of my favorite tracks from Hackett's musical history and that's backed by the dulcet 'Rise Again,' the terrifically ambient 'Shadow of the Hierophant,' and the track that ends the first disc, the 'Eleventh Earl of Mar' is, as always, a frenetic organ-backed track.

Out the box first on the second disc is 'Out for the Vine' which is followed seamlessly by some terrific, and rather breathtaking, albeit short at just .34 seconds, 'Acoustic Improvisation.' 'Blood on the Rooftops' is a study in acoustic guitar, and is backed by 'In That Quiet Earth', 'Afterglow', and both 'Dance on a Volcano' and 'Inside and Out.'

The first disc then comes to a close with the simply fantastic, and ten minute long 'Firth of Fifth', before finally rounding out with both the eleven minute long gem 'The Musical Box', and then the guitar powerhouse rockathon on 'Los Endos.'

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Title - 'Blue Rain'
Artist - Cary Heuchert

For those not in the know, Vancouver based singer-songwriter Cary Heuchert is one of the best artists-you've-never-heard-of that I myself have finally heard of!

Coming complete with an extensive progressive rock history, like many musicologists, Cary is also a gifted recording artist in his own right.

On what has turned out to be an incredible debut (although he did release Nocturna And Other Stories beforehand), Blue Rain, Cary reaches into his assortment of musical past experiences and loves and brings forth an album that persons the best elements of both rock and pop. Not stopping there, he also lovingly includes elements of folk-rock, psych-pop, and even clearly improvisational moments too.

The self-produced debut sees Cary playing all I the instruments himself, with each song featuring different instrumentations, with multi-tracked songs aplenty, all played entirely in his very own studio. A long process, for sure, but one that provides us, the listener, the (new) fan with a musical experience that's as honest, as raw, as heartfelt as quite like anything I've heard in the past decade.

From start to finish, Blue Rain is a completist's album of music. For example, on the title track alone, Cary plays acoustic 12-string, something he's always obviously loved the sound of, and a Roland guitar synthesizer for harmony. Oh, and by the sound if it, a fretless bass.

“Every Morning Comes” is a quietly passive cut, whilst one of my favorite tracks, “The Girl Of Dreams” incorporates a delightful '60s vibe along with an ethnic backbeat. Quite clearly inspired by groups such as Pink Floyd, Spirit, Traffic, Family and others, next on Cary's debut album is “Rainfall,” which keeps to the overall theme of the album, and that's backed by both the keyboard-infused “Winterlude” and the acoustic/electric guitar work on “Not Just Another Day.”

Stand out track “Maoershan” is up next and wow, what a cut it truly is. “Maoershan,” which is actually the Mandarin Chinese name for a mountain in Heilongjiang province, a place that Cary knows all too well, heavily leans into the mellotron, thusly giving it a sound that becomes unique to the overall recording. “Lost In Your Dream” has a defiant Moody Blues vibe to it, whereas the optimism of the folk-oriented "Someday” is beyond delightful.

Rounding out the album is, funnily enough, another optimistic track in “Ode To The Sun", where both the Mellotron brass and organ provide a stunning contrast to one another.

Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk

Digital Purchase Link

Title - 'Atoms'
Artist - Bonefish

For those not in the know, the bonefish (Albula vulpes) is the type species of the bonefish family (Albulidae) , the only family in order Albuliformes ... wait, hang on just one dang minute, this is a CD review, not the bloody fishing channel!

OK, so with that now said, this Bonefish is a rock band from Stockholm, Sweden and was formed in 2010 by singer/songwriter Bie Karlsson whom have a long career with chart selling Swedish’ bands T-Shirts and Docenterna.

On their second full length album, Atoms, Bonefish is taking their '70s and '80s influences well into the 21st century in Max Lorentz’ fine and innovative production.

Sure, some of their blues flavors have been toned down, but the foundation of these 11 brand new compositions are still pure Americana, that's for sure. Clearly more polished, sculptured with art rock and Brit rock influences within their cores, each track is vibrant and as warranted to the scene as the next, of that have no worries.

1. 'Atoms'
2. 'Another Day'
3, 'Fallen in Love'
4. 'Old Town Fisherman Blues'
5. 'Potential Loss of Faith'
6. 'Sister'
7. 'Kissing In The Rain'
8. 'I See Your Heart'
9. 'Hey Hi Ho'
10. 'Salt and Crome'
11. 'Crappy Eyes'

The mid-tempo, twisting and turning sounds of the title track open the album and that leads seamlessly to the more pop lock, late '80s fun of 'Another Day', with the '60s vibe of 'Fallen in Love' following along close behind. One of my own personal favorites is the storytelling of 'Old Town Fisherman Blues', which is backed by both the jangly guitars of 'Potential Loss of Faith' and the darkly upbeat 'Sister.'

The tempo reduces for the gentle hipsway of 'Kissing In The Rain' which is then backed by the mid-'90s feel of 'I See Your Hear' and then the inner turmoil of where we are in life within 'Hey Hi Ho.' This quite stunning new album then rounds out with the slow guitar blues ballad of 'Salt And Crome' and then a song they obviously had so much fun recording, 'Crappy Eyes.'

Bonefish are: Bie Karlsson, lead vocals and guitar, Matte Norberg, guitar and backing vocals, Rasmus Rasmusson, drums, percussion and backing vocals, Anders Nylle Thoor, Bass and lead vocals.

Digital Purchase Link

Title - 'Electric Eyes'
Artist - Thor

For those not in the know, Thor (stylized as THOR) is a heavy metal band from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Thor started out as a concept band in 1973. They used the names "Thor", "Centaur" and "Mikl Body Rock". These entities were the brainchild of Jon Mikl Thor, a vocalist, musician and body building champion who won titles such as Mr. USA and Mr. World Canada.

He decided to combine muscle with music. In every show Jon Mikl Thor would appear as "Thor The Rock Warrior". Mikl Body Rock aka "Thor" toured throughout North America seeking fame and to garnish enough attention to secure a record deal. The press dubbed them "Kings of Muscle Rock" or "Warriors of Gladiator Rock".

Now out as a wonderful archive release, Electric Eyes is a true gift from the metal Gods! The unreleased album from metal heroes Thor was recorded in 1979 as a follow-up to their blockbuster debut Keep The Dogs Away and features some never before heard recordings.

These very same tracks bridge the gap perfectly between Thor's glam rock beginnings and his later evolution into full heavy metal in the early '80s! With original cover art by comic book artist, Ken Landgraf, who has worked for both DC and Marvel, Electric Eyes is a pure delight for all fans of not only Thor, but this genre of music.

1. 'Special Flight'
2. 'She's a Fancy Lady'
3. 'Interception'
4. 'Wild Thing'
5. 'Electric Eyes'
6. 'Twitch (Let's Go)'
7. 'Storm'
8. 'Poison'
9. 'The Door (Face Behind My Mask)'
10. 'Gladiator Romp'

Recorded in 1979, then inexplicably shelved, this what-would-have-been sophomore album showcases the transitional changes they made to their music perfectly. Less glam, more heavy, guitar centric, Electric Eyes' 10 tracks are all solid and are all worthy of having actually been that sophomore album release.

Now nearly some 40 years on and the always brilliant Cleopatra Records ave secured the rights to the recording and have released it for everyone to enjoy. Chock full of a more conventional rock/metal than their debut, you can also hear the rumblings of a band trying to find that musical comfort zone within each track.

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Title - 'Damo Suzuki & Jelly Planet'
Artist - Damo Suzuki & Jelly Planet

For those not in the know, Kenji Suzuki, better known as Damo Suzuki, is a Japanese musician who has been living in Germany since the early 1970s and is best known as the former lead singer of the German krautrock group Can.

As a teenager, Suzuki spent the late 1960s wandering around Europe, often busking. When Malcolm Mooney left Can after recording their first album Monster Movie, Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit encountered Suzuki busking in Munich, Germany, whilst the two were sitting outside at a street café. They invited him to join the group, and he did, performing with them that evening.

Suzuki was with Can from 1970 to 1973, recording a number of well-regarded albums such as Tago Mago, Future Days and Ege Bamyasi. Suzuki's first vocal performance with Can was "Don't Turn the Light On, Leave Me Alone" from Soundtracks. His freeform, often improvised lyrics, were sung in no particular language.

He returned to music in 1983, and currently leads what is known as "Damo Suzuki's Network" – as he tours, he performs live improvisational music with various local musicians, so-called "Sound Carriers".

This brand new release, Damo Suzuki & Jelly Planet finds Damo performing a fully improvised set in studio with German experimentalists Jelly Planet. Incredible sonic quality and authentically mind-blowing explorations of the outer edges of space rock, each and every one of the tracks will have you mesmerized.

1. Wildschweinbraten (27:59)
2. Venushügel (34:51)

From the innovative vocalist of legendary Krautrock group, Can, comes this incredible album that combines all he is known for along with a stunning side step into the musical world of Jelly Planet. This CD/ digital / 2 LP set may well only have 2 tracks, but both are half-hour journeys into pure, unadulterated improvisational Krautrock territory.

For those unaccounted with Damo, what you get here is a variation of feedback drone combining perfectly with slow pulse movements, all lovingly wrapped within the confines of a motor beat and, at times, swooping modulators set to various distinctions.

As we head into the second of the tracks, this musical form is continued - for, if it ain't broke, don't fix it - but this time adds more deep bass patterns, synths, and even some legendary Damo vocal mumbles. Deep and low, at first, throughout the track they start to rise, to grown in front of our very ears, as the quirky guitars and dulcet grooves begin to take ahold.

Damo Suzuki @ Facebook!

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'This Burning Sun'
Artist - Peter Galperin

For those not in the know, the multi-talented Peter Galperin writes songs about the people, places and things he loves, with a healthy combination of humor, skepticism, and honesty.

Indeed, he fully admits to what he doesn't understand and questions what he already knows, in a unique musical style that fuses world rhythms with rock, country and folk melodies.

Recorded in 2017 in Nashville at the 515 Studio with Chip Hardy (production), Smith Curry (pedal, lap steel and electric guitar), David Dorn (piano, organ), Rodney Lewis (bass), Wes Little (drums and percussion), Britt Savage (bkgd vocals) and Robert Aaron (sax), his brand new album ThisBurning Sun is a musical testament to the songwriting skills that Galperin harbors.

1. 'Normal To You'
2. 'King of You and Me'
3, 'I Been Told'
4. 'On Higher Ground'
5. 'Don't Look Back'
6. 'Hey, What Can You Do'
7. 'Lost Our Way'
8. 'One More Smile'

Engineered by Trevor Golden and Bobby Holland, the 8 tracks are of the highest storytelling nature that you quickly find yourself not only humming or singing along, but agreeing to Galperin's lyrical observations. Whether they be on life or the planet, love or the complexities of relationships, This Burning Sun covers them all and more.

A gentle key organ opening brings us one of the best tracks on this new album, the upbeat, observantly revealing ballad 'Normal To You' and backs it with both the drum-backed, jaunty storytelling of 'King of You and Me' and the lo-fi 'I Been Told'.

'On Higher Ground' is a happy, whistling song and makes you smile every time you hear it and is followed by the guitar rock of 'Don't Look Back' and then the finger-snapping' ditty 'Hey, What Can You Do.'

The album then comes to a close with a beautiful act of musical climate storytelling on 'Lost Our Way' and then the lovelorn, initially low key, initially low vocal, harmonica-driven 'One More Smile.'

Digital Purchase Link

Title - 'Zürich / Lausanne'
Artist - Brainticket

For those not in the know, Brainticket is an experimental European krautrock band most active in the early 1970s, and known for its use of exotic instruments and jazz-inspired compositions.

Nowadays, the only constant member has been Belgian musician Joel Vandroogenbroeck. The band continues to perform concerts and release albums in the 2000s.

Out now via Cleopatra Records are two full-length, and previously unreleased live recordings spanning 2CDs and featuring the founder of pioneering electronic behemoth, Brainticket, Joel Vandroogenbroeck!

Zürich / Lausanne includes compositions not found on any other album and combine everything that you know and have loved over the years about the band now in one incredible live 2CD package.

DISC 1: Live in Zürich – February 4, 1983
1. Flight In The Rings Of Saturn
2. Seventh Dance To Relativities / For Papa
3. Dark Star

DISC 2: Live In Lausanne – October 20, 1984
1. Bali Loop
2. Matter Matters
3. Markus’ Interlude
4. DoubLinn
5. Black Sand

In 1980, Belgian-born multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Joel Vandroogenbroeck revived his early ‘70s avant-garde electronic act Brainticket alongside longtime member Willy Seefeldt, jazz musician Hans Deyssenroth, and Swiss jazz & electronic aficionado Bruno Spoerri.

Three years later the quartet would perform their very first show in a landmark performance at the “Computer und Musik” symposium in Zürich, Switzerland.

Though long a part of Brainticket lore, this concert has never before been released on a commercial format and now comes perfectly paired with an equally historic performance in 1984 at the Théatre de Beaulieu in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Inclusive also of Vandroogenbroek and Spoerri plus Peter Fürst, both of these full-length concert recordings contain improvisations and compositions not found anywhere else and, from start to finish and a pure musical joy to behold.

Brainticket @ Facebook!

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'The Lost Tapes'
Artist - Buddy Rich

For those not in the know, Bernard "Buddy" Rich (September 30, 1917 – April 2, 1987) was an American jazz drummer and bandleader.

Widely considered one of the most influential drummers of all time and known for his virtuoso technique, power, and speed, Rich was billed as "the world's greatest drummer" during his career.

Indeed, he performed with many bandleaders, most notably Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Count Basie, and even led his own big band.

Rich also played for Presidents Roosevelt, Kennedy and Reagan as well as the Queen of England. He was a featured soloist with Boston Pops and London Philharmonic and was the recipient of a Grammy Presidents Merit Award.

In April 1985 — two years before his untimely passing — Buddy Rich and his band recorded a concert at One Pass Productions’ King Street Studio in San Francisco.

Thought to be destroyed in a fire and lost, Buddy Rich: The Lost Tapes is a historic preservation and restoration project. The producers recovered the masters in 1990 and went about restoring the original surround sound track of the last concert Buddy Rich recorded before he passed away in 1987.

1. "Mexicali Nose"
2. "Willowcrest"
3. "‘Round Midnight"
4. "Cotton Tail"
5. "New Blues"
6. "Tee Bag"
7. "The Red Snapper"
8. "West Side Story (Medley)"

From start to finish this live performance is a true joy to behold. Inclusive of such musically demanding chart hits as "Mexicali Nose, "Willowcrest, "The Red Snapper" and Bill Reddie's superlative arrangement of the "West Side Story (Medley)" - that includes two of Buddy's breathtaking extended drum solos - just hearing these alone would have been Heaven enough for me.

But there's so much more, of course, for Rich rounds out with Monk's "'Round Midnight", Ellington's "Cotton Tail", Don Piestrup's "New Blues", and even Mike Manieri's "Tee Bag". This last track being the actual last one ever to be performed by Buddy, pianist Bill Cunliffe and bassist Dave Carpenter.

Buddy Rich @ Facebook!

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Earthbound: 40th Anniversary Edition' [CD/DVD]
Artist - King Crimson

For those not in the know, King Crimson are an English progressive rock band formed in London in 1968.

In fact, King Crimson have been influential both on the early 1970s progressive rock movement and numerous contemporary artists.

Indeed, the band has undergone numerous formations throughout its history of which 21 musicians have been members; since October 2017 it has consisted of Robert Fripp, Jakko Jakszyk, Tony Levin, Mel Collins, Pat Mastelotto, Gavin Harrison, Jeremy Stacey and Bill Rieflin.

Nowadays, Fripp is the only consistent member of the group and is considered the band's leader and driving force and with the band having earned a large cult following, they were ranked No. 87 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.

The just released Earthbound is the twelfth release in the acclaimed King Crimson 40th anniversary series. The CD features an expanded 12 track version of the original five track album with the DVD featuring the 12 track expanded album in 24/96 hi-res stereo audio plus the Summit Studios performance in a new stereo mix and in quadraphonic.

1. 21st Century Schizoid Man
2. Peoria
3. The Sailor’s Tale
4. Earthbound
5. Groon

Mastered by Robert Fripp and Simon Heyworth at Sanctuary Mastering, 2002

Bonus Tracks:
6. Pictures Of A City (8/3/72, Milwaukee)
7. Formentera Lady (8/3/72, Milwaukee)
8. Cirkus (26/2/72, Orlando)

Mastered by David Singleton at DGM, 2017

Original album sequence extended - 4 additional tracks for DVD - PCM Stereo 2.0 (24/48)

Summit Studios: New Stereo Mix
PCM Stereo 2.0 (24/48)

Schizoid Men
PCM Stereo 2.0 (24/48)

Original vinyl transfer
PCM Stereo 2.0 (24/48)

Summit Studios: New Quad mix
DTS 5.1 Digital Surround

As all their devoted fans will already know, this is the only surviving multi-track performance from the 1972 tour. Furthermore, the DVD features the album length "Schizoid Men" sequence of edits of 21st Century Schizoid Men taken from the Ladies of The Road live album.

As for the album itself, this live recording known as Earthbound was released in 1972 as a budget record shortly after the line-up that recorded it had broken up. As aforementioned, it contains the band's first official live release of their signature song "21st Century Schizoid Man", and an extended live version of their 1970 non-LP B-side "Groon". It also contains two improvised tracks with scat vocals from Boz Burrell.

So, just what did we think of Earthbound the first time of hearing it? Well, to me, it was King Crimson let loose, uncontrolled for want of a better word. A wall of sound is put up time after time here, allowing them to forsake their previous outings where a more finessed sound was their core.still an album for the ages, believe it or not.

Robert Fripp – electric guitar
Boz Burrell – bass guitar, vocals
Mel Collins – alto, tenor and baritone saxophone, mellotron
Ian Wallace – drums

A transfer of the original vinyl album completes the audio selections and this release is also presented as a digipak format in a slipcase with new sleeve notes by King Crimson biographer Sid Smith along with rare photos and archive material.

As aforementioned, Earthbound: 40th Anniversary Edition continues the highly collectable King Crimson series, and in some great style, as hearing these songs again, in such luxurious quality, is like Heaven on a stick for this prog fan.

King Crimson @ Facebook!

CD+DVD Purchase Link

Title - 'The Diary of Patrick Xavier'
Artist - Stu Hamm

For those not in the know, the story behind this new album from Stu Hamm is rather wonderful.

As noted on his Indiegogo fundraising page for it, he began looking to raise the money to record this album, a complete and new project, due to finding a diary in a hotel in Italy on day.

The author, Patrick Xavier, had been going through many things that were completely different at the time to Hamm's own life, but at exactly the same time as what Hamm himself had been going through on his latest journey.

Furthermore, what Hamm held in his hands back then was a diary of an American who, after life-changing events, had decided to travel for 18 months to find…???...and to keep a journal of his physical, emotional and spiritual journey.

Ergo, Hamm's deeply personal and rather intriguing, and appropriately entitled new album, The Diary of Patrick Xavier is a collection of solo bass work based on his own real life experiences - and one amazing coincidence, of course, one day in that aforementioned hotel room.

Stu Hamm has been the go-to bass player for the world's great musicians. Time spent playing with Steve Vai and Joe Satriani has cemented his place among the greats and gave him the platform to display his pioneering bass techniques to adoring crowds worldwide.

This new album is going to only further endorse just what a stunning and complete bass musician he truly is and once the live shows kick in, and he showcases to the public each night the quality of his work - both old and new - I wouldn't be surprised if a major label deal is put across his table to sign soon thereafter.

Indiegogo Pledge Page Link

Title - 'Creatures of Love'
Artist - Andy Wickett & World Service

For those not in the know, Andy Wickett (once known as Fane in the 1970s) is a singer-songwriter from the Birmingham area, who was a member of Duran Duran in 1979.

indeed, more than that, Wickett actually wrote most of 'Girls on Film' and 'Rio' before leaving Duran Duran; both of which he rerecorded with Ray Bronner the guitarist for Blues legends John Lee Hooker and Freddie Roulette.

Wickett's career started in 1976, singing and playing in the band TV Eye, followed by Duran Duran, The Xpertz and World Service. He has played concerts supporting The Clash, U2, Culture Club, Duran Duran, Burning Spear and Gregory Isaacs, also producing and writing albums with Asian artists Nusrat Ali Fateh Khan and DCS.

Now the original vocalist for the new wave icons Duran Duran, who has built a solid music career in his hometown of Birmingham recording and performing both as a solo artist and with his band World Service, has just released his debut solo CD, Creatures of Love.

1. 'Border Song'
2. 'Make It'
3. 'Kingdom'
4. 'The Good Die Young'
5. 'Darleen'
6. 'Evidently'
7. 'Ain't No One'
8. 'Children of the Night'
9. 'Creatures of Love'
10. 'Preacher Man'
11. 'Take Me to the City'

Chock full of lush, pop sounds built on classic-sounding lines, Wickett's solo debut is, quite easily, as good as they come. The hipsway of the opener, 'Border Song' is backed seamlessly by the lo-fi Gospel sounds of 'Make It' and then the euphoric 'Kingdom.'

'The Good Die Young', an ode to Billy May, is up next and is followed by the translucent vibe of 'Darleen', which in turn is backed by both the upbeat, perky pop of 'Evidently' and then 'Ain't No One.' One of my own personal favs is the fun pop rock flow of 'Children of the Night', which is followed by the title track.

The album then comes to a close with the finger-snapping' urgency of 'Preacher Man', with the album rounding out with the old-school swing vibe of 'Take Me to the City.' With all the tracks unsurprisingly wrapped lovingly within the heart and soul of the '80s, Creatures of Love is an album laid bare on synth strong and well-crafted pop songs - just as you would always hope to expect from the man who brought the world 'Rio'.

In closing, and hot on the heels of last year's monumental release (on RSD vinyl) of the original 1979 demos Duran Duran cut with Wickett prior to the entrance of Simon Le Bon, Wickett and World Service's new album is truly magnificent and a wondrous venture back into the musical genre that he obviously still enjoys so very much.

Andy Wickett @ Facebook!

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'No Mercy'
Artist - Karney

For those not in the know, Anna Karney has been making great music for many years, performing across the US and collaborating with many talented and notable artists.

She has put out several singles and EPs as a solo artist and together with her band, and now has just released the fifth full-length Karney album of original songs entitled No Mercy.

1. 'No Mercy'
2. 'Wild Green'
3. 'Restless Wind'
4. 'Same Song'
5. 'I Got Mine'
6. 'Speed of a Bullet'
7. 'Not Lost'
8. 'Hold On'
9. 'Beautiful Day'
10. 'I Got the Light'
11. 'Manifest Destiny'
12. '9 Lines - In the 21st Century'

Keeping her mind on social justice and positive messages, Anna Karney's lyrical content offers a sardonic and sometimes straightforward approach to many of the issues facing people today, with a message of hope resonating throughout every song she writes.

The title track opener is like listening to The Pretenders at the height of their fame, and that's backed by the Eastern-backed, balls out rocker 'Wild Green' and then the lo-fi countrified 'Restless Wind.' The mid-tempo 'Same Song' is next and is backed seamlessly by both 'I Got Mine' and the frenetic guitar fest 'Speed of a Bullet'.

'Not Lost' is another countrified cut and is followed by the upbeat 'Hold On', with another of my fav tracks, the storytelling of 'Beautiful Day' along next. The jangly guitar and pert horn combo on the uplifting 'I Got the Light' is then backed by the rocker 'Manifest Destiny', before the album comes to a close with the grunge-lite '9 Lines - In the 21st Century'.

Karney @ Facebook!

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Title - 'Live at Montreux, 1975'
Artist - Charles Mingus

For those not in the know, Charles Mingus was one of the all-time great jazz bass players, but he was also an innovative composer and a leader with a clear vision of where he wanted to go and, in truth, little sympathy for those who couldn’t keep up with him.

As a young jobbing bass man in the forties he played with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, and his idol Duke Ellington. In the fifties he pursued a solo career and launched his own record label.

After a brief withdrawal from music in the late sixties he returned, seemingly reinvigorated, in the early seventies playing in a quintet. Unfortunately in 1977 he was diagnosed with a crippling disease, which confined him to a wheelchair up until his death in 1979, but didn’t stop him composing.

This just-released new 2CD entitled Live at Montreux, 1975 concert, recorded (of course) at the Montreux Jazz Festival on July 20,1975, primarily features considerably extended versions of tracks from the pair of albums Changes One and Changes Two that were released in 1974 together; with workouts on a couple of old standards Goodbye Pork Pie Hat and Take The “A” Train.

CD: 1
1. Devil Blues
2. Free Cell Block F Tis Nazi U S
3. Sue's Changes

CD: 2
1. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
2. Take The "A" Train

The line-up that night featured Charles Mingus on bass with Don Pullen on piano, Dannie Richmond on drums, George Adams on tenor sax, and Jack Walrath on trumpet. For the track Goodbye Pork Pie Hat they are joined on stage by the great Gerry Mulligan on baritone sax and Benny Bailey on trumpet.

As you would fully expect from the Hall of Fame iconoclastic composer, arranger, pianist, and double bassist Charles Mingus, Live at Montreux, 1975 is an album that you can easily lose yourself deeply within the moment they start playing.

Having listened to these CDs twice through now, back to back, it's as if each of the rousing, heartfelt treatments created there that night slowly, but surely raise their own musical bar as the concert progresses.

Much like as with the propulsive saxophone riffing, at the same time Mingus is urging the musicians to go higher, faster and stronger. I mean, just their rendition of Good Bye Pork Pie Hat alone will grab your soul, believe me.

Charles Mingus @ Facebook!

2CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Hangman' (Soundtrack)
Artist - Frederik Wiedmann

'Hangman' is the story of a grizzled detective (Al Pacino) and a criminal profiler (Karl Urban) who pursue a serial killer whose crimes are inspired by a children's game called Hangman.

The soundtrack has been composed by the highly talented young German composer, Frederik Wiedmann. Out now via Varese Sarabande, 'Hangman' is as taut a set of compositions as the actual play out of the movie.

1. The Hangman (1:49)
2. The First Victim (3:55)
3. Only Blood Left Behind (2:44)
4. Joey (2:37)
5. Suicide Attempt (1:00)
6. Underneath the Cross (1:42)
7. An Old Case (3:07)
8. 11 PM Murder (2:40)
9. Slaughterhouse (3:05)
10. The Letter V (2:40)
11. The Replica (2:53)
12. No Rest (4:10)
13. Inches Away (2:20)
14. Seven More People (1:34)
15. My Own Reasons (2:42)
16. The Girl in the Alley (1:54)
17. The Apartment (3:31)
18. One Scar Is Not Enough (5:13)
19. I Failed You (4:51)
20. Archer (3:47)
21. The Letter (:35)

Each of the 21 tracks encapsulate their moments on screen perfectly and embrace the jobs given to them by Wiedmann perfectly. The opening track, for instance, 'The Hangman' is a brilliantly stirring, edgy work of musical art, much like the sombre, stirring 'An Old Case', the chilling 'Slaughterhouse', and the longest track at over five minutes, the simply pulsating 'One Scar Is Not Enough'.

Wiedmann composed the scores for the 2014 films Sniper: Legacy as well as Field of Lost Shoes. Wiedmann also composed the score for the 2007 film Return to House on Haunted Hill (building on Don Davis' score from the first film for some scenes).

As of 2012, he is responsible for composing the score to the television series Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Beware the Batman. Most recently, he composed the score for "Tremors 5: Bloodline" and Shut In.

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - 'The Commuter' (Soundtrack)
Artist - Roque Banos

From the director of The Shallows and Non-Stop comes his newest action thriller, 'The Commuter'.

Liam Neeson stars as a businessman who gets caught up in a criminal conspiracy to uncover the identity of a targeted passenger during his train commute home.

The movie also stars Vera Farmiga, Sam Neill, Patrick Wilson and Elizabeth McGovern.

The soundtrack has been composed by the highly acclaimed composer Roque Banos (Evil Dead, Don’t Breathe). Out now via Varese Sarabande, 'The Commuter' is a speeding train of a soundtrack that accompanies the journey of the actual commuter perfectly.

1. A Commuter’s Trip (5:02)
2. Back Home Down (4:33)
3. One Little Thing (3:17)
4. They Are Watching You (2:50)
5. Murdered For Help (4:10)
6. Zone 7 Tickets (4:21)
7. A Suspicious Man (2:02)
8. The Seek Starts (3:45)
9. A Beautiful Family (4:17)
10. Moving Vagons (4:34)
11. Do Not Stop The Train (4:02)
12. Finding The Witness (4:32)
13. The Train Wreck (4:36)
14. I Won’t Let Them Hurt You (9:02)
15. Who Is Prince? (5:42)
16. The End Of The Line (5:01)

Each of the 16 tracks, as hinted to above, fit this cinematic train ride just perfectly. Sometimes you can get just a so-so score to accompany such a high speed flick, but not here. For here, Banos has woven together one of the best scores in the past decade.

The opening track, for instance, 'A Commuter’s Trip' is a sheer jaunty delight to behold, whereas the vibrant 'Murdered For Help' and the pulsating, edgy duo of both 'Moving Vagons' and 'Do Not Stop The Train' enable the listener to stay close to the edge of their collective seats.

Roque Baños López (born 1968) is a Spanish music composer whose place of birth is Jumilla, a municipality in the Spanish region of Murcia. Baños graduated from Boston's Berklee College of Music in 1995 and has since scored both Spanish and English-language films.

He has received numerous awards for his compositional work, including the Spanish Goya Award for Best Original Score in both 2008 and 2009.

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - 'E.B. White's Charlotte's Web' (Soundtrack)
Artist - Richard M. Sherman & Robert B. Sherman

For the first time ever, the beloved animated classic 'E.B. White's Charlotte's Web' is available on CD, featuring music and lyrics written by the legendary duo of Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman aka The Sherman Brothers.

The stellar cast of 'Charlotte's Web' who sings on this record includes Debbie Reynolds, Agnes Moorhead, and Paul Lynde.

The Sherman Brothers won two Oscars in 1965 for Mary Poppins and wrote music for classics such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Magic Of Lassie and Tom Sawyer.

1. Main Title (Orchestra) (2:05)
2. There Must Be Something More (Fern)
3. I Can Talk (Wilbur & Goose) (2:16)
4. Chin Up (Charlotte & Wilbur) (2:10)
5. Mother Earth And Father Time (Charlotte) (2:28)
6. We've Got Lots In Common (Wilbur, Barnyard Animals & Charlotte)
7. A Veritable Smorgasbord (Templeton & Goose) (3:54)
8. Deep In The Dark (Charlotte/Charlotte's Web Male Choir) (3:18)
9. Chin Up March (The Marching Band)
10. Zuckerman's Famous Pig (Barbershop Quartet, Chorus & Band)
11. Charlotte's Farewell (Mother Earth And Father Time) (Charlotte)
12. End Title (Orchestra & Chorus) (2:15)

This quite stunning audio CD release by Varese Sarabande is the first of its kind for the soundtrack of 'Charlotte's Web', in my humble opinion. The actual recording quality is in glorious stereo, and sounds just so crystal clear, so vibrant that it's like I'm hearing it all for the very first time.

Funnily enough, and with that said, there are slight differences in the songs that i've noticed now. Such as an extra verse with a chorus that is not present in the film, and some of the tracks have dialogue at the beginning. That said, I'll take the additional elements every single day as it only enhances the overall listening experience.

I guess my only gripe is that the entire soundtrack runs for only 28 minutes long, but if this is all there ever was, and now it all sounds o much more lush, so much more bountiful, then I'll gladly take it.

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - '21 Jump Street' (Soundtrack)
Artist - Peter Bernstein

'21 Jump Street' focused on Officer Tom Hanson (Johnny Depp) and his band of agents in the special Jump Street division who would go undercover to infiltrate local schools and put a stop to crime to keep students safe from corrupt influences.

The 21 Jump Street team was a mixed group which included the wise cracking Officer HT Ioki (Dustin Nguyen), the brilliant Officer Judy Hoffs (Holly Robinson Peete), the streetwise Officer Doug Penhall (Peter DeLuise) and, in latter episodes, the renegade Officer Dennis Booker (Richard Grieco).

'21 Jump Street' was among the fledgling Fox TV network’s biggest breakout hits and made stars of the young cast, especially Johnny Depp and Richard Grieco.

Like everything else about the show, the score became something new in the history of television. “The cast, stories and music were all aimed at a new generation of viewers largely ignored by series television of the time and helped launch the careers of many young directors and actors including its top billed star Johnny Depp,” explained Peter Bernstein.

The music itself was also revolutionary in how it was recorded. Bernstein composed anywhere between 12 and 20 minutes of music per episode, as explained in the albums extensive liner notes by Jim Lochner, working from his home studio set up in his spare bedroom – a rarity at the time - using mostly samples, a bank of synthesizers, with an occasional acoustic overdub.

As the series evolved through the years, so did the music. “It got a little darker as time went on, more emotional,” Bernstein said. “In the beginning, I think it was enough to have some rhythm going on. As time went on, everybody was digging deeper and the series changed. The music reflected that.”

Disc One:
1. 21 Jump Street (Theme) (2:28) Performed by Holly Robinson (Liam Sternberg) Produced by Peter Bernstein IRS single 53468, 1988 2. Hansen (2:16) 3. Mean Streets (2:05) 4. Worst Night Of Your Life (:59) 5. The Teacher (1:05) 6. Bad Influence (1:03) 7. Holly (1:26) 8. Requiem (1:55) 9. Riffing (2:55) 10. Has To End (1:01) 11. Low And Away (1:52) 12. This Generation (1:24) 13. Goin’ To School (2:23) 14. On The Road (2:45) 15. Rainbow (2:07) 16. After School Special (2:56) 17. A Big Disease (2:04) 18. Higher (:34) 19. Besieged (2:19) 20. The Body (1:37) 21. Christmas Day (2:27) 22. I’m OK (2:07) 23. The Best Years (1:14) 24. Cory And Dean (1:57) 25. Animals (2:08)

Disc Two:
1. Date With An Angel (2:07) 2. Cruising With Angels (2:25) 3. Currency (1:42) 4. Our Choice (1:16) 5. The Dragon (1:09) 6. What About Love (1:21) 7. Nemesis (2:29) 8. Hell Week (2:39) 9. Loc’d Out, Part 1 (1:28) 10. Loc’d Out, Part 2 (2:12) 11. 1000 Points Of Light (1:42) 12. High (2:26) 13. Hope (1:07) 14. Eternal (1:52) 15. It Ain’t So (1:10) 16. A New Age (2:12) 17. Come From The Shadows (1:41) 18. Your Man (1:46) 19. Parental Guidance (1:13) 20. Heart (2:02) 21. Everyday (1:34) 22. One More Chance (1:37) 23. Poison (1:38) 24. Back To School (:56) 25. Crossfire (1:20)

A limited edition of just 1,200 copies. this incredible 2CD release of '21 Jump Street', the original TV show is as much a joy to listen to now as it was hearing the cuts interspersed within the scenes back then.

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - 'The Last Post' (Original TV Soundtrack)
Artist - Solomon Grey

Set in the mid-sixties in Aden (Yemen), 'The Last Post' centers on the lives of a Royal Military Police unit and their families, in the last days of the British Empire.

The show has been created by Peter Moffat (Criminal Justice, Silk, Undercover) and stars Jessica Raine, Jessie Buckley, Stephen Campbell Moore, Ben Miles and Jeremy Neumark-Jones.

The process of crafting the soundtrack for 'The Last Post' was unusual in that Solomon Grey (Joe Wilson and Tom Kingston) made frequent visits to the filming location in South Africa, writing and recording.

The resulting score features both electronic and classical orchestral instrumentation, creating a rich dystopian sonic landscape that befits the story.

Joe from the band also appears as an actor in 'The Last Post', playing a pivotal role in the series.

"Once filming began we were working closely with the sound recording team on set, using wild-tracks and anything that seemed to give us an interesting start-point for the music," Solomon Grey explains.

"We found these 'field recordings' so useful in creating a bespoke soundscape that was unique to this project and it was so much more fun working like that!"

1. 'Clouds - Theme'
2. 'Sky'
3. 'Redsky'
4. 'Thirst'
5. 'Hydrogen'
6. 'Leaves'
7. 'White'
8. 'Moths'
9. 'Steel - Nowhere'
10. 'Monkey'
11. 'Sapphire'
12. 'Fields'
13. 'Sand'
14. 'Nighttime'
15. 'Clouds (piano reprise)'
16. 'Water'

This quite stunning 'The Last Post' soundtrack blends Solomon Grey’s signature epic electro-orchestral sound with influences from Arabian music so seamlessly and is quite like nothing I've heard in the past few years within this genre.

It is always a pleasure when a film or TV drama manages to successfully combine the visuals with the soundtrack and 'The Last Post', and Solomon Grey especially, certainly manages that.

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Love Is Stronger Than Smoke and Fire' (Single)
Artist - Sydney Brown

'Love Is Stronger Than Smoke and Fire,' a recently released song written and recorded by San Francisco singer-songwriter Sydney Brown and Grammy-winning Bay Area producer Narada Michael Walden, is raising money to benefit victims of California’s fires from late last year.

Brown is the 16-year-old daughter of Willie Brown, former San Francisco mayor and California State Assembly speaker and Walden has been a successful and prominent musician, singer and songwriter for more than three decades.

Written because it’s her home, the teenager couldn’t help but feel the pain of those burned by wildfires that raged through the state in October 2017. So when Sydney was writing a song with the legendary Narada Michael Walden, whom she’d first met seven years earlier, at the very beginning of her musical career, she knew the right person to turn to.

As a result, the smoldering dance number turned into something larger, much more spiritual and passionate – compassionate even – on a completely different level.

'Love Is Stronger Than Smoke and Fire' Single - Apple Music Purchase

Sydney Brown @ Facebook!

Official Music Video Teaser

Title - 'Ballads of Captivity and Freedom'
Artist - George St. Clair

Part western balladeer, part borderland chronicler, songwriter George St. Clair is a master of conjuring feelings and images of lives past and present.

Growing up on the high plains of Texas put George in touch with the vastness of the American West, and his songs evoke the dry deserts, rolling grasslands, and high mountains of his West Texas homeland.

Living for the past several years in the UK has given him a renewed perspective on the land where he grew up, and these reflections take shape in Ballads of Captivity and Freedom.

1. 'Tularosa'
2. 'The Places Where They Prayed'
3. 'Autumn 1889'
4. 'Corridors'
5. 'Good Times'
6. 'Cynthia'
7. 'Up to Fail'
8. 'Cimarrones'
9. 'New Mexico'
10. 'Pedro Páramo'
11. 'Talking Mesquite'

This really lovely new album kicks off in fine style with the countrified bounce of 'Tularosa' ("I know all the right ways to get it wrong"), and backs that up with the evolutionary harken back within 'The Places Where They Prayed' and then the gentle guitar ballad, 'Autumn 1889'. The beat is picked up and becomes a finger-snapping', foot-tappin' affair for 'Corridors' which is followed by the piano-led 'Good Times.'

'Cynthia' is a stunning act of balladry storytelling, and is followed by the jangly guitar work of 'Up to Fail', and then one of my own personal favs, the mid-tempo country pop of 'Lie to Them'. 'Cimarrones' is another beautiful track and is backed by the train-a-rollin' feel of 'New Mexico', and then the album comes to a close with both the in-depth storytelling of 'Pedro Páramo', before rounding out with the live one take, 'Talking Mesquite.'

George St. Clair’s family background of ranching and wildcat oil prospecting spurred him to probe the controversial history of that part of the world in his songwriting.

He grew up in and around places where vicious battles were fought over the possession of land, and where large numbers of indigenous people were corralled into encampments.

George’s bilingual mother made sure to regularly take her children deep into Mexico, where they learned Spanish and acquired a broad view of what it means to be American.

George St. Clair @ Facebook!

'Ballads of Captivity and Freedom' CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Film Music Works: 2005 -2017'
Artist - Sergio Moure de Oteyza

Karonte Records has released a special collection celebrating the film music compositions of Sergio Moure de Oteyza (EXTINCTION, LOBOS SUCIOS aka DIRTY WOLVES).

Entitled Film Music Works, the double-album set features an extensive booklet containing an in-depth article about his career, written by David Rodríguez.

The release is a celebration of the first 12 years of a composer who is currently one of Europe’s brightest rising stars.

Fresh off Sergio’s moving works for both EXTINCTION and LOBOS SUCIOS, this collection is an examination of the many intricate facets of his style. Thus, Film Music Works: 2005-2017 is both a work of passion for Karonte Records and the composer himself.

CD 1:
1. 'Yew Forest' (De "Dirty Wolves")
2. 'Candela Death' (De "Dirty Wolves")
3. 'The Plot' (De "Dirty Wolves")
4. 'Manuela' (De "Dirty Wolves")
5. 'Welcome To Harmony' (De "Extinction")
6. 'The Farewell' (De "Extinction")
7. 'The Siege' (De "Extinction")
8. 'A New Home' (De "Extinction")
9. 'Somos Gente Honrada' (De "Somos Gente Honrada")
10. 'Perdóname' (De "Somos Gente Honrada")
11. 'Inicio' (De "Tesis Sobre un Homicidio")
12. 'Destrucción' (De "Tesis Sobre un Homicidio")
13. 'Laura' (De "Tesis Sobre un Homicidio")
14. 'El Cuerpo' (De "El Cuerpo")
15. 'Tienes Que Ayudarme' (De "El Cuerpo")
16. 'Todo Lo Malo' (De "El Cuerpo")
17. 'Final' (De "El Cuerpo")
18. 'Gaze Of The Stones' (De "El Cuerpo")
19. 'Todo Es Silencio' (De "Todo Es Silencio")
20. 'Ida y Regreso de Fins Malpica' (De "Todo Es Silencio")
21. 'En el Embarcadero' (De "Todo Es Silencio")
22. 'Títulos' (De "Retornos")
23. 'Accidente' (De "Retornos")
24. 'Velatorio' (De "Retornos")
25. 'Viaje' (De "Retornos")
26. 'Despedida' (De "Retornos")

CD 2:
1. 'Lobos de Arga' (De "Lobos de Arga")
2. 'La Maldición' (De "Lobos de Arga")
3. 'La Segunda Maldición' (De "Lobos de Arga")
4. 'La Madre' (De "Secuestrados")
5. 'La Huida' (De "Secuestrados")
6. 'Nuestra Casa' (De "Secuestrados")
7. 'Un Buen Hombre' (De "Un Buen Hombre")
8. 'No Te Lo Puedo Decir' (De "Un Buen Hombre")
9. 'Llueve' (De "Un Buen Hombre")
10. 'Introducción' (De "Inconscientes")
11. 'Vals de los Disfraces' (De "Inconscientes")
12. 'Nos Espera una Nueva Vida' (De "Inconscientes")
13. 'Tango Inconscientes' (De "Inconscientes")
14. 'Créditos' (De "Mayon Volcano")
15. 'Erupción' (De "Mayon Volcano")
16. 'Celebración' (De "Mayon Volcano")
17. 'Por la Mañana' (De "Mayon Volcano")
18. 'Time Rojak' (De "Time Rojak")
19. 'La Batalla Desconocida' (De "La Batalla Desconocida")
20. 'Railway To Heaven' (De "Railway To Heaven")
21. 'Tibet' (De "Railway To Heaven")
22. 'Iguana Hunter' (De "Iguana Hunter")
23. 'Absent' (De "Absent")

“It is a very carefully considered edition which we have been working on this diligently for almost a year,” said Sergio. “With a booklet of nearly 50 pages, there are extensive comments on all my soundtracks to help give the listener a better understanding of the works. This is also coupled with a very extensive text about my music written by the amazing David Rodríguez. I was incredibly honored to work on the this celebration”.

There was so much hear it even extended beyond the selection music fans would expect. “This recording includes a lot of music that had not been released before, including themes from the film HERE’S THE DEAL (2013), and music from some shorts and documentaries like RAILWAY TO HEAVEN. This compilation is nowhere near the end of the journey, but rather a brief stop, a looking back on all these years of music and a look forward towards what’s to come,” Sergio added.

Title - 'Lady Bird' (Soundtrack)
Artist - Jon Brion

For those not in the know, Jon Brion is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and composer.

He performed with The Excerpts, The Bats, and The Grays before becoming an established producer and film score composer and has since produced music for artists like Fiona Apple, Kanye West, Aimee Mann, Brad Mehldau, of Montreal, Rufus Wainwright, Robyn Hitchcock, and Sky Ferreira.

His film scores include Hard Eight (1996), Magnolia (1999), Punch-Drunk Love (2002), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and I Heart Huckabees (both 2004), ParaNorman (2012), and Lady Bird (2017). He released his debut solo album, Meaningless, in 2001.

And talking about 'Lady Bird', it is an American comedy-drama film written and directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Lois Smith.

Set in Sacramento, California in 2002, it is a coming-of-age story of a high-school senior (Ronan) and her turbulent relationship with her mother (Metcalf).

This quite stunning 'Lady Bird - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack' contains 23 freshly-composed tracks by Brion and although it runs only a short 27 minutes, is definitely already one of my fav's for 2018.

1. Title Credits
2. Sign Up
3. Drive Home
4. LB / Danny
5. Pick Up
6. Lady Bird Kiss
7. Rose Garden
8. LB Steals Math Grade Book
9. Thanksgiving in Sacramento
10. Coffee Shop
11. Hope
12. More Hope
13. Consolation
14. Hope Against Hope
15. Model Homes
16. Maybe
17. Looking Forward
18. Summer in Sacramento
19. Packing Up
20. Leaving
21. Hope?
22. Reconcile
23. Lady Bird

Opening with the breezy 'Title Credits', where and orchestral intro combines with a rather nice brass section and brings forth a lovely catchy rhythm, each track thereafter is as delicate, as poignant, as real and as raw as the next.

Personally, my favourite track of the 23 is toward the end, 'Leaving,' as is goes somewhat, well, deeper than the others. Sure it's a wee bit more melancholy than most the others, but it still remains buoyant and stays within the musical lines of the score overall.

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Celtic Thunder X' [Double Deluxe Edition]
Artist - Celtic Thunder

For those not in the know, Celtic Thunder is an Irish singing group and stage show known for its eclectic, theatrical style show.

The group is backed by the Celtic Thunder Band on their concert tours, and their live shows are known for the use of dramatic set pieces (often invoking symbols of ancient Celtic mythology), visual effects, and highly choreographed staging.

Since the original group's formation in 2007, Celtic Thunder has released fourteen albums as well as ten live performances on DVD, three of which were split into two releases.

And now we get Celtic Thunder X, a Deluxe Double CD and Deluxe Double DVD celebrating the multi-platinum Irish group's 10th Anniversary.

This brand new special was filmed in Dublin on October 30th, 2017 at the Helix Theatre and features new ensemble songs including "Sons of Light", "Toora, Loora, Lay", "The Wild Rover", "Right All Right", and "Castle on the Hill" followed in the second act by nostalgic fun songs like "Celebration", "I'm a Believer", "Seasons in the Sun" and "Rise Again" in addition to traditional Irish songs like "Ireland's Call" and more.

1. Sons of Light (5:12)
2. Only Time (2:52)
3. The Galway Girl (3:13)
4. Toora Loora Lay (2:55)
5. The Crow on the Cradle (3:02)
6. I Useta Lover (2:35)
7. The Wild Rover (2:59)
8. Phil the Fluter's Ball (2:40)
9. The Streets of London (3:16)
10. Right, All Right (2:36)
11. Lannigans Ball (3:08)
12. The Voice (3:20)
13. Castle on the Hill (3:19)
14. Celebration (2:43)
15. A Thousand Years (3:28)
16. Bye Bye Baby (2:46)
17. When I Was Your Man (3:32)
18. I'm a Believer (2:49)
19. On the Street Where You Live (3:14)
20. Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old) (2:54)
21. Season's in the Sun (3:02)
22. L-O-V-E (3:05)
23. The Devil Went Down to Georgia (3:35)
24. Without You (3:18)
25. Rise Again (3:37)
26. Ireland's Call )3:05)

Captured live at the Helix Theatre in Dublin, this is quite an incredible live recording of a group that has been taken to the Irish hearts as much as Guinness or the harp!

Out now via Sony Legacy Recordings, Celtic Thunder X showcases a group still chock full of maturity and loyalty to the musical cause. Listening to and seeing Emmet, Ryan and Kelly do their thing, even though they've all embarked on solo careers, is a joy to behold, truly.

Also, Michael O’Dwyer is a great fit with these lads and with Damian back, and all grown up, they use both to good advantage. Personally, I loved “Seasons of the Sun” - on the standards side and “Toora Loora Lay” on the Irish side.

Emmet’s “Crow on the Cradle” gave me chills while “Phil the Fluter’s Ball” made me smile, just as Neal’s “Finnegan’s Wake” did. Both do such a great job on character songs.

And who can stop from tapping their toes through “Lannigan’s Ball!” Michael’s “Without You” was excellent as well. I miss the Keegan’s though, it has to be said, sorry. Anyway, overall, it was also great to see Seamus Brett at the keyboards, violin and even an accordion - what a talented musician! And what a talented bunch of lads Celtic Thunder truly are.

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Title - '17th Avenue Revival'
Artist - The Oak Ridge Boys

For those not in the know, The Oak Ridge Boys are an American country and gospel vocal quartet and were founded in the 1940s as the Oak Ridge Quartet.

They became popular in southern gospel during the 1950s and their name was officially changed to The Oak Ridge Boys in the early 1960s. They remained a gospel group until the mid-1970s, when they changed their image and concentrated on country music.

The line up which produced their most world-famous and most well-known country and crossover hits (such as "Elvira", "Bobbie Sue", and "American Made") consists of Duane Allen (lead), Joe Bonsall (tenor), William Lee Golden (baritone), and Richard Sterban (bass).

Golden and Allen joined the group in the mid-1960s, and Sterban and Bonsall joined in the early 1970s. Aside from an eight-year gap (1987–95) when Golden left the group and was replaced, this line up has been together since 1973 and continues to tour and record.

Now The Oak Ridge Boys are back with a brand new Lightning Rods Records release entitled 17th Avenue Revival, produced by Dave Cobb, which will be released on March 16th, 2018.

This is the group’s second project with Cobb, who produced the Oaks’ The Boys Are Back album in 2009. Vince Gill, Ashley Monroe, Jamey Johnson, and Brandy Clark all penned tracks on the new album, recorded at Studio A on 17th Avenue in Nashville.

Cobb’s vision included no vocal stacking and very few overdubs during production. For two of the songs, the Boys gathered around one microphone and let the harmonies shine on the new collection.

In addition, and in typical Oak Ridge Boys fashion, the group set a unique precedent by presenting the Country Music Hall of Fame with a special Edison cylinder recording of 'Brand New Star,' the first track from their new album.

1. 'Brand New Star' (Aaron Raitiere & Mando Saenz)
2. 'There Will Be Light' (Jamey Johnson, Larry Shell & Buddy Cannon)
3. 'God’s Got It' (Charlie Jackson)
4. 'I’d Rather Have Jesus' (Rhea Miller & George Beverly Shea)
5. 'Walk In Jerusalem' (Traditional /Public Domain)
6. 'Where He Leads Me I Will Follow' (Ernest W. Blandy / Public Domain)
7. 'Pray To Jesus' (Brandy Clark & Shane McAnally)
8. 'If I Die' (Ashley Monroe & Vince Gill)
9. 'Let It Shine On Me' (Vince Gill & Ashley Monroe)

The Gospel finger-snappin' country blues of 'Brand New Star' is a pure joy to behold and is backed seamlessly by both the piano ballad 'There Will Be Light' and the upbeat, rowdy 'God's Got It.' The more sedate 'I'd Rather Have Jesus' is a stand out track and is followed by the gentle hipsway of 'Walk In Jerusalem.'

The timeless Gospel track 'Where He Leads Me I Will Follow' is beautifully orchestrated here by the Oaks, and is backed by the uplifting 'Pray to Jesus' ("We pray to Jesus and we play the lotto, 'cause there ain't but two ways we can change tomorrow"). The mournful storytelling of 'If I Die' is up next and then the album rounds out with the raw truth and belief of 'Let It Shine On Me.'

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Title - 'Six String Quartets'
Artist - Elena Ruehr

For Guggenheim Fellow composer Elena Ruehr the appeal of the string quartet lies in the ability of four instruments to express an infinite range of emotional possibilities, to communicate across time.

Her six string quartets attest to her enthusiasm for musical time-travel: echoes of Perotin, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Dvorak, Schoenberg and jazz are there, but the musical language is purely her own.

Elena's Six String Quartets are a magnum opus, three of them commissioned by the Cypress String Quartet, two by the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, and one an ASCAP Award winner.

Sumptuously scored and full of soaring melodies and piquant harmonies, released this past February 16th, 2018 via AVIE Records, Six String Quartets featuring Laura Harrington are as good, as clean, as vibrant as I've heard such works in the past decade.

CD 1:
String Quartet No. 5 (Bel Canto) (26:25)
Commissioned by the Cypress String Quartet
1. I. Rebels in the vents (1:18)
2. II. Three generals (1:05)
3. III. Esmeralda and Joachim (2:37)
4. IV. The accompanist dies (1:39)
5. V. Simon Thibault makes coq au vin (0:50)
6. VI. Gen translates for Roxanne (2:54)
7. VII. Carmen studies grammar (2:56)
8. VIII. Gen arranges a meeting (1:35)
9. IX. Cesar sings (1:15)
10. X. In the garden (10:19)

String Quartet No. 3 (23:32)
Commissioned by the Rockport Chamber Music Festival
11. I. Clay Flute (3:55)
12. II. The Abbey (8:55)
13. III. How She Danced (4:12)
14. IV. Bell Call (6:31)

String Quartet No. 1 (20:49)
Winner ASCAP Award
15. I. Patterns (7:39)
16. II. Interlude (3:35)
17. III. Let’s Sit Beneath the Stars (5:27)
18. IV. Estampie (4:09)

Total time CD 1: 70:57

CD 2:
1. Song of the Silkie (String Quartet No. 2) (15:21)
Commissioned by the Rockport Chamber Music Festival
String Quartet No. 6 (23:20)
Commissioned by the Cypress String Quartet
2. I. Restless (7:15)
3. II. For Todd (3:20)
4. III. Idée fixe (7:30)
5. IV. Finale (5:18)

String Quartet No. 4 (30:31)
Commissioned by the Cypress String Quartet
6. I. Sonata: Introduzione; Andante con moto (7:27)
7. II. Aria: Andante (7:04)
8. III. Minuet: Grazioso (7:57)
9. IV. Finale: Allegro molto (8:04)

Total time CD 2: 69:24

Listening intently to Ruehr's work here allows you to be transported to a whole other plane. One where her music, these string works are the only sustainable life source and where you would feel lost without it in your life.

Throughout these works, where each one develop's from relatively simple structures, such as a five-note motif, two perfect fifths a half-step apart, a ten-note phrase and such, your enjoyment levels escalate along with their individual evolution.

As you would expect, each track comprises gentle flowing melodies with tides, dynamics, and warm harmonies making these six string orchestral pieces wholly and continually attractive and satisfying.

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Title - 'Elgar Bruch Violin Concertos'
Artist - Rachel Barton Pine

For those not in the know, in both art and life, violinist Rachel Barton Pine has an extraordinary ability to connect with people.

Celebrated as a leading interpreter of great classical and contemporary works, her performances combine her innate gift for emotional communication and her scholarly fascination with historical research.

She plays with passion and conviction across an extensive repertoire, thrilling audiences with her dazzling technique, lustrous tone, and infectious joy in music-making.

Pine debuted with the Chicago Symphony at age 10, and was the first American and youngest ever gold medal winner of the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition. Indeed, The Washington Post wrote that she "displays a power and confidence that puts her in the top echelon."

Pine tours worldwide as a soloist with prestigious orchestras, has an active recording career, and has run The Rachel Barton Pine Foundation since 2001 which provides services and funding to promote classical music education and performances.

In conjunction with the release of her brand new classical work of art, Elgar Bruch Violin Concertos (her 36th album and fourth for AVIE Records), it should be known that Pine was just 11 when she first performed Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra!

She has performed it many times since then, and now, 32 years later, she's recording this work for the first time. It's paired with an unlikely partner, Edward Elgar's Violin Concerto, but don't allow that to sway you connoisseurs away from the fact that what Pine has brought forth here today on this new album is nothing short of stunning.

Edward Elgar (1857 – 1934)
Violin Concerto in B minor, Op. 61
1. I. Allegro (18.07)
2. II. Andante (13.00)
3. III. Allegro molto (20.01)

Max Bruch (1838 – 1920)
Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26
4. I. Vorspiel: Allegro moderato (8.28)
5. II. Adagio (8.57)
6. III. Finale: Allegro energico (7.48)

Total time: 76.23

It's also interesting to note that this recording is actually dedicated to the late Sir Neville Marriner, who died suddenly in 2016 at 92. "Yes, this was going to be Sir Neville Marriner's first recording of the Elgar", Pine herself explains. "He was going to do this album with me. We had previously recorded the complete Mozart concertos together a few years ago and were planning to reunite for these two concertos."

"When he was a young violinist, Sir Neville had studied the Elgar with his teacher, Billy Reed, the great London concertmaster who had been the very violinist that Elgar consulted while writing the piece."

"Sadly, he passed away right before the session, and so I was like, 'Oh, no, what are we going to do?' But thankfully Andrew Litton was able to step in, and I am so grateful that he did such a wonderful job, and it really worked out well."

Observationally, sure the pairing here of the Max Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Elgar Violin Concerto is not the most obvious coupling that could have first sprung to mind, but as Chicago-based Pine obviously approached both works with the same physical manner of playing, her unique styling has allowed them to blend rather seamlessly.

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Title - 'On The Race Track; Expanded Edition'
Artist - Precious Wilson

Following on from BBR’s re-issues of Eruption’s first two releases, Hot Shot Records are proud to present the expanded and re-mastered edition of On The Race Track by Precious Wilson.

Complete with extensive liner notes and several extended disco versions of the classic Eruption singles this is a must have for all R&B, Disco, Dance and Pop fans.

Precious Wilson started out as a backing singer for the all-male group Eruption. The group enjoyed their first minor success when they won a talent competition in 1975, and then went on to record the song "Let Me Take You Back in Time".

Shortly after, the lead singer left the group, and Precious Wilson stepped forward to front the band.

The group then relocated to Germany in 1976, and the following year in 1977, while on the road touring in Germany, Eruption was introduced to German producer Frank Farian who booked them to work with Boney M as their backing band, and as their support act on Boney M's first European tour.

Frank Farian then went on to sign them to Boney M.'s label, Hansa Records, Farian released the single "Party Party" but it was their disco cover version of Ann Peebles' "I Can't Stand the Rain" from their first album which broke big, giving them a UK #5 hit and a US #18 hit.

After a second album and another hit single with Neil Sedaka's "One Way Ticket" (UK #9), Precious Wilson left the group to pursue her solo career.

Wilson's debut single as a solo artist was a cover version of Sam & Dave's "Hold On I'm Coming", released in August 1979. Produced by Frank Farian and set to a funky disco-beat, the single reached #45 in the Dutch charts.

The song was also included in Boney M.'s No. 1 album Oceans of Fantasy which also yielded a guest performance by Wilson on the opening track "Let It All Be Music".

She co-wrote the title song of her debut album "We Are On the Race Track", also produced by Farian, was completed during 1980 on Hansa Records. It was released in October, heralded by the single "Cry to Me" which Wilson performed on TV, backed by the band that she created called Sky Train.

In October 1981, she released a cover version of "I Need You" which peaked at #6 in Switzerland where her popularity was strong. In Germany, it reached #39.

In the summer of 1982, the electro-pop track "I Don't Know" was released, followed by her second album "All Coloured in Love". The album was released with a different track selection in the UK, Italy and France under the name Red Light followed by several different single releases in the various territories.

Hot on the heels of the then Aerobic craze and Farian's success with its current album Aerobic Fitness Dancing, the theme song "Let's Move Aerobic (Move Your Body)" was rush-released with Wilson's vocals in March '83.

Her third album "Funky Fingers" (December 1983), consisting of two side-long medleys of soul standards, was released with minimal support. In 1985, she signed with Jive Records and teamed up with multiple producer teams for the album, including American songwriter, Monte Moir, a musician and song-writer, best known as a member of Prince Rogers Nelson's band, The Time.

The following year Precious Wilson released several singles; launching "I'll Be Your Friend" (a U.S. Top 40 R&B hit), the theme song from the Michael Douglas movie "The Jewel of the Nile",( which was the sequel to the movie "Romancing The Stone"), and "Nice Girls Don't Last" ("Love Can't Wait" in the U.S.).


11.HOLD ON, I’M COMING (Single Version)
12.I CAN’T STAND THE RAIN* (12” Long Version)
13.ONE WAY TICKET* (12” Disco Version)


Released in 1980 her debut album maintained the singer’s popularity, especially across mainland Europe. First single "Cry To Me", a disco-fied cover of the Solomon Burke R&B hit from ’62, ideal for Wilson’s rich voice, reached number 3 in Switzerland and the album's second single, "We Are on the Race Track", reached #11 there in early 1981.

Indeed, the title track and second single, co-written by Wilson, "We Are On The Race Track", is about negotiating the so called Rat Race. A mid-tempo dancer with a light, Caribbean feel and complete with race car engine effects just missed out on the Swiss top ten.

Listening to each track again today on this wonderful re-release, it's hard to fathom where the years have gone - and why music doesn't sound as good, as polished, as incredibly well sung as these tracks all do.

For me, the highlights amongst the gems would be "If I Loved You Less", "Stop Runnin'", "Stay By My Side" and a stunning rendition of the Roberta Flack classic, "Killing Me Softly" rounding out the original album.

The three expanded edition tracks are lovely to hear also, but more so the two 12" versions of both "I Can't Stand The Rain" and "One Way Ticket". Precious' stand alone vocals combined with the smooth, timeless even production values of this album make On The Race Track as delightful to hear today as I'm sure it was back when it first came out.

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Title - 'Sarah, Sarah: The Anthology'
Artist - Jonathan Butler

As part of its well-received and critically acclaimed anthology series, SoulMusic Records is truly proud to present Sarah Sarah – The Anthology, a highly satisfying retrospective of internationally-recognized recording artist, award-winning musician, songwriter and global performer Jonathan Butler’s work from 1985-1990 for Jive Records.

Soul R&B performer Jonathan Butler was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, and eventually signed to Jive Records in 1977. Later relocating to the UK, he enjoyed a high profile and several hit singles and albums across the 1980s.

The brand new 2CD release entitled Sarah Sarah: The Anthology contains all of Jonathan’s US and UK charted singles including the much-loved title track, 1987’s ‘Lies’ (a global pop/R&B hit, featured here in an extended version), 1988’s ‘Take Good Care Of Me’, an extended version of the Top 10 US R&B hit, ‘There’s One Born Every Minute (I’m A Sucker For You)’ and 1989’s ‘More Than Friends’.

The anthology (compiled by David Nathan with assistance from Amar Naik) also includes a number of key album cuts from Jonathan’s five Jive albums, notably ‘Love Hurts So Bad’, making its CD debut worldwide, quiet storm favourite ‘Love Songs, Candelight And You’, a stunning duet with gospel star Vanessa Bell Armstrong on ‘True Love Never Fails,’ and as a bonus, a 1999 cover of Jr. Walker’s classic ‘What Does It Take (To Win Your Love For Me)’ with acclaimed Dutch saxophonist Candy Dulfer.

CD 1:
1. Baby Please Don't Take It (I Need Your Love)
2. I'll Be Waiting for Your Love
3. Crossroads Revisited
4. Haunted By Your Love
5. 7th Avenue South
6. Love Hurts So Bad
7. Afrika
8. Gentle Love
9. Song for Jon
10. If You're Ready (Come Go With Me) - JONATHAN BUTLER with RUBY TURNER
11. Lies (Extended Version)
12. Take Good Care of Me
13. Holding on
14. I Miss Your Love Tonight
15. Going Home
16. Love Songs, Candlelight and You

CD 2:
1. One More Dance
2. Barenese
3. Say We'll Be Together
4. There's One Born Every Minute (I'm a Sucker for You) (Extended Version)
5. More Than Friends
6. Sarah Sarah
7. Take Me Home
9. Melodie
10. It's So Hard to Let You Go
11. All Grown Up
12. No Strings, No Ties
13. Sing Me Your Love Song
14. Heal Our Land
15. Welcome Home
16. What Does It Take (to Win Your Love for Me) - CANDY DULFER featuring JONATHAN BUTLER

In truth, Sarah, Sarah is a mixed bag of Butler's earlier '80s recordings, but that said, this beautifully packaged double album does also come chock full of some still incredible to listen to funky grooves and ballads.

Most all definitely locked into the whole '80's era of synth-pop, Butler's success was no mere fluke, as this incredible 32 track compilation clearly showcases.

Containing a nice mix of soul, smooth jazz, and funky guitar when called for, each and every song here is as good as what went before it. If you listen closely enough, some of the pop tracks are infused with that South African guitar sound he is now so proud to prominently display in his music.

Excellent notes by renowned US writer Justin Kantor include extensive quotes from Jonathan; and first class remastering (Nick Robins) and artwork (Roger Williams).

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Title - 'Ricochet Heart'
Artist - Alannah McCready

Growing up, University of Wisconsin alum Alannah McCready allowed her Saint Paul roots to lead her to hockey, which eventually earned her a scholarship to play on the UW women’s team that won the 2009 NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Championship.

But regardless of that and where such an accolade could have taken her on the ice, and with her mother having roots in Oklahoma, country music had always nestled deeply within her heart.

McCready, now living in Atlanta, GA has put together her brand new sophomore album, Ricochet Heart, due for release on April 27th, 2018.

Chock full of countrified guitar riffs aplenty, along with dashes of raw soul and pop blues, the rhythms may well be primal, but they sure elicit that well earned knee-jerk appreciative response from the listener, that's for sure.

With her lyrical content distinctly, shall we say, erring on the side of girl power, her views and standpoints from and about life most definitely embedded into the heart on her sleeve, McCready knows the kind of sound she wants to bring forth and, for the most part, isn't afraid to bring us all into the mix.

The opening track on the album, 'Enemies With Benefits,' is also, for my money, one of her best and with lyrics such as “I don’t like you, I never will, but you’ve got a body like a Coupe de Ville” free flowing gracefully, well, who amongst us hasn't encountered that particular relationship conundrum.

Other stand out cuts are the soulful title track 'Ricochet Heart', which twists and turns down all the most delightful country lanes, the summer radio jam 'Steal a Ladder', and the age old heel down hard, twist, turn, spin, dancefloor vibe of 'Last Girl Standing'.

Alannah McCready @ Twitter

Official ‘Last Girl Standing’ Video

Title - 'Dance Scandal At The Gymnasium!'
Artist - The Claudettes

Piano, snarling bass and sultry vocals have a blues-punk brawl at the studio of Black Keys producer Mark Neill.

On their head-spinning new album Dance Scandal At The Gymnasium!, The Claudettes summon early blues, '60s pop-soul and Cramps-like psychobilly as they introduce the line up that's been touring for two years: piano, drums, ''Bass VI'' guitar and three singers.

Revved-up raves 'Influential Farmers' and 'Taco Night Material' and garage-soul stompers 'Don't Stay with Me' and 'Give It All Up for Good' sit alongside transfixing ballads 'Pull Closer to Me' and 'Death and Traffic.'

Look behind the eclectic tracks, though, and you'll find a common thread: a search for humanity behind the vitriol and cracked communication of the Internet Age. And need anything more be said about the timely prescience of 'Naked on the Internet'.

1. 'Don't Stay with Me'
2. 'November'
3. 'Give It All Up for Good'
4. 'Naked on the Internet'
5. 'Pull Closer to Me'
6. 'Dance Scandal at the Gymnasium'
7. 'Bill Played Saxophone'
8. 'Influential Farmers'
9. 'Death and Traffic'
10. 'Total Misfit'
11. 'Taco Night Material'
12. 'Utterly Absurd'

The band recorded at Soil of the South for 10 days, tapping Neill's vast knowledge and collection of vintage equipment. Neill, who shuns building tracks in Pro Tools, had the band play again and again until the take arrived. Marxophones, mellotrons, fuzz pedals and percussion helped finalize Neill's sonic visions.

Opening track 'Don't Stay with Me' is, as mentioned, is a swarmy soul stomper to its core, and is backed by both the swirling 'November' and the upbeat, perky 'Give It All Up for Good'. The rapid fire 'Naked on the Internet' is easily one of my personal favorites and is followed by the subtle ballad 'Pull Closer to Me' and then along comes another dynamite track in the form of the title track.

'Bill Played Saxophone' is then backed by the speeding train vibe of both 'Influential Farmers' and 'Death and Traffic' along next. The album then comes to an all-to-soon close with 'Total Misfit', the fun 'Taco Night Material', and then rounds out with 'Utterly Absurd'.

This is The Claudettes' first album with seductive singer Berit Ulseth. "She went to the New School in NY for jazz vocals, but she's got a tone you can't learn," says Claudettes pianist/songwriter Johnny Iguana (who toured with Junior Wells, Otis Rush and punk-organ band oh my god). "Sometimes she reminds me of 'I Feel the Earth Move' Carole King, and she's got this Patsy Cline lushness to her voice."

The Claudettes @ Facebook

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Title - 'Little Dark Age'
Artist - MGMT

For those not in the know, MGMT is an American rock band formed in 2002 in Middletown, Connecticut. It currently consists of Andrew VanWyngarden (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass guitar, drums, percussion) and Ben Goldwasser (vocals, keyboards, guitar, percussion).

In the live line-up it consists of VanWyngarden, Goldwasser, Will Berman (drums, percussion, harmonica, backing vocals), Simon O'Connor (bass guitar, backing vocals), and James Richardson (lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals).

Originally signed to Cantora Records by the nascent label's co-founder, NYU undergrad Will Griggs, MGMT later signed with Columbia and RED Ink in 2006 and released their debut album Oracular Spectacular the next year.

After the release of Oracular Spectacular Asti, Richardson and Berman joined the core band in the studio for Congratulations, which was released on April 13, 2010.

In January 2011 they began work on their eponymous third studio album which was released on September 17, 2013, and was released as an early exclusive on Rdio on September 9, 2013.

Little Dark Age is the long awaited new album from MGMT. The album is produced by MGMT, Patrick Wimberly (Chairlift, Kelela, Blood Orange), and long-time collaborator Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Spoon, Tame Impala) and was recorded at Tarbox Road Studios in Cassadaga, NY.

1. "She Works Out Too Much"
2. "Little Dark Age"
3. "When You Die"
4. "Me and Michael"
5. "Tslamp"
6. "James"
7. "Days That Got Away"
8. "One Thing Left to Try"
9. "When You're Small"
10. "Hand It Over"

This highly anticipated and well worth the wait, brilliant new album includes the previously released title song "Little Dark Age," and the tracks "When You Die" and "Hand It Over."

Sure all the tracks are as great as each other, but with each of these new cuts also being accompanied by stunning video clips online, well, how damn cool is that!

Kicking off in simply stunning PSB-style with "She Works Out Too Much", that's backed seamlessly by both the synth-heavy beauty of a title track and then the hyper, soaring, vibrant "When You Die."

"Me and Michael" (which centers around the unexpected closure of a close friendship), is one of the few mid-tempo synth pop ballads of the album and that's followed by the upbeat pop-lock fun of "Tslamp." The languid "James" is up next and although not one of my favorites amongst this new bunch, it still manages to fit in (just).

The freeflowing synth-happy orchestrations of "Days That Got Away" is along next and that's backed by the excellent '80s pop flow of "One Thing Left to Try". This simply terrific album then rounds out with the one true ballad of the selection, "When You're Small", and then comes the delightfully lush musical ride, "Hand It Over."

MGMT @ Facebook

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Title - 'Complete Phase 4 Recordings'
Artist - Leopold Stokowski

For those not in the know, Leopold Anthony Stokowski (18 April 1882 – 13 September 1977) was an English conductor of Polish and Irish descent.

One of the leading conductors of the early and mid-20th Century, he is best known for his long association with the Philadelphia Orchestra and for appearing in the film Fantasia.

He was especially noted for his free-hand conducting style that spurned the traditional baton and for obtaining a characteristically sumptuous sound from the orchestras he directed.

Stokowski was music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony of the Air and many others.

He was also the founder of the All-American Youth Orchestra, the New York City Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra and the American Symphony Orchestra.

Stokowski conducted the music for and appeared in several Hollywood films, including Disney's Fantasia, and was a lifelong champion of contemporary composers, giving many premieres of new music during his 60-year conducting career.

Stokowski, who made his official conducting debut in 1909, appeared in public for the last time in 1975 but continued making recordings until June 1977, a few months before his death at the age of 95.

Leopold Stokowski recorded 23 LPs for Decca’s “Phase Four” label between 1964 and 1973. All this material has been released on CD before (by Decca and Cala), but this is the very first time everything has been released in a single box (21 CDs + 2 bonus CDs).

1. Inspiration: Great Music for Chorus and Orchestra
2. Norman Luboff Choir and New Symphony Orchestra of London

1. RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Scheherazade
2. London Symphony Orchestra ∙ Erich Gruenberg (violin)

1. MUSSORGSKY: Pictures at an Exhibition
2. New Philharmonia Orchestra

1. TCHAIKOVSKY: Swan Lake & Sleeping Beauty Selections
2. New Philharmonia Orchestra

1. VIVALDI: The Four Seasons
2. New Philharmonia Orchestra ∙ Hugh Bean (violin)

1. WAGNER: Orchestral Music from "The Ring"
2. London Symphony Orchestra

1. TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No.5
2. New Philharmonia Orchestra

1. HANDEL: Messiah Excerpts
2. London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus

1. MUSSORGSKY: Night on the Bare Mountain ∙ STRAVINSKY: The Firebird Suite
2. London Symphony Orchestra

1. BEETHOVEN: Symphony No.9 - "Choral"
2. London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus

1. BERLIOZ: Symphonie Fantastique
2. New Philharmonia Orchestra

1. TCHAIKOVSKY: Romeo & Juliet ∙ MUSSORGSKY: Boris Godunov Symphonic Syntheses
2. L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

1. TCHAIKOVSKY: 1812 Overture ∙ BORODIN: Polovtsian Dances ∙ STRAVINSKY: Pastorale
2. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
1. BEETHOVEN: Symphony No.5 ∙ SCHUBERT: Symphony No.8 - "Unfinished"
2. London Philharmonic Orchestra>

1. DEBUSSY: La Mer ∙ RAVEL: Daphnis & Chloe ∙ IVES: Orchestral Set No.2 ∙ MESSIAEN: L'Ascension
2. London Symphony Orchestra

1. FRANCK: Symphony in D Minor
2. Hilversum Radio Philharmonia Orchestra

1. Sixtieth Anniversary Concert
2. Wagner ∙ Debussy ∙ Glazunov ∙ Brahms ∙ Tchaikovsky ∙ Chopin ∙ Schubert ∙ Byrd ∙ Clarke ∙ Duparc ∙ Rachmaninov (bonus)
3. London Symphony Orchestra

1. ELGAR: Enigma Variations
2. Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

1. J.S. BACH: Orchestral Transcriptions
2. Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

1. SCRIABIN: Le Poeme de L'Extase ∙ RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Capriccio Espagnol
2. Czech Philharmonic Orchestra ∙ New Philharmonia Orchestra

1. BEETHOVEN: Symphony No.7
2. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

1. Bonus Disc: Leopold Stokowski – A Memoir

Listening to all this incredible, simply divine music, and it should come as no surprise to learn that Leopold Stokowski was a relentless innovator. Always experimenting with orchestral seating, he once famously lined up the string basses across the rear of the stage and, in an early instance, massed all the violins on the left side of the orchestra, the cellos on the right.

Spread across these 23 discs is some of the finest music of its time and, perhaps even, ours here today. Imagination and creativity run rife throughout each album captured together here in this wondrous, and Limited Edition box-set collection for the very first time.

Indeed, Stokowski was also one of the very first modern conductors to give up the use of the baton. Replacing it was rather easy for him too as Stokowski simply employed a graceful, almost hypnotic set of his own hand gestures to work his magic.

'Complete Phase 4 Recordings' 23 CD Box-Set Purchase Link

Title - 'The Unreleased Mozart Radio Broadcasts'
Artist - Ferenc Fricsay

For those not in the know, Ferenc Fricsay (9 August 1914 – 20 February 1963) was a Hungarian conductor who from 1960 until his death, was an Austrian citizen.

Fricsay was born in Budapest in 1914 and studied music under Béla Bartók, Zoltán Kodály, Ernst von Dohnányi, and Leo Weiner. With these and other faculty at the Budapest Academy of Music he studied piano, violin, clarinet, trombone, percussion, composition and conducting.

Fricsay made his first appearance as a conductor at age 15, substituting for his father at the podium of the Young Musicians Orchestra of Budapest. In 1930, at the age of 16, he succeeded his father as conductor of the Young Musicians Orchestra.

On graduating in 1933, Fricsay became repetiteur for the chorus of the Budapest Opera, then, from 1933 to 1943, he was music director of the Szeged Philharmonic Orchestra in the third largest city in Hungary; he also served as director of its military band from 1933.

In 1942, he was court-martialed by the government of Miklós Horthy for wanting to employ Jewish musicians, and for having "Jewish blood" himself (according to reliable reports, his mother was Jewish).

When the Nazis occupied Hungary in 1944, the chief editor of the Szeged daily newspaper warned Fricsay that the Gestapo planned to arrest him; he and his wife, Marta (nee Telbisz) and three children Marta, Ferenc and Andras, avoided this fate by going underground in Budapest.

Fricsay was known for his interpretations of the music of Mozart and Beethoven, as well as that of his teachers Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály. His 1958 recording of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 is featured in the movie A Clockwork Orange.

He conducted without a baton, according to the entry in New Grove, but "confounded the adverse critics of this technique by the extreme clarity and precision of his performances," to which it also ascribes "a dynamic spirit" and "vividness of character in familiar classics."

Symphony no 1 in E flat major, K 16 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Orchestra/Ensemble: RIAS Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1764; London, England

Symphony no 4 in D major, K 19 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Orchestra/Ensemble: RIAS Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1765; London, England

Symphony no 5 in B flat major, K 22 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Orchestra/Ensemble: RIAS Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1765; Netherlands

Symphony no 6 in F major, K 43 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Orchestra/Ensemble: RIAS Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1767; Vienna, Austria

Symphony no 7 in D major, K 45 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Orchestra/Ensemble: RIAS Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1768; Vienna, Austria

Symphony no 8 in D major, K 48 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Orchestra/Ensemble: RIAS Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1768; Vienna, Austria

Symphony no 9 in C major, K 73 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Orchestra/Ensemble: RIAS Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1772; Salzburg, Austria

Symphony no 23 in D major, K 181 (162b) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Orchestra/Ensemble: RIAS Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1773; Salzburg, Austria

Symphony no 27 in G major, K 199 (161b) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Orchestra/Ensemble: RIAS Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1773; Salzburg, Austria

Concerto for Bassoon in B flat major, K 191 (186e) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Orchestra/Ensemble: RIAS Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1774; Salzburg, Austria

Sinfonia concertante for Winds in E flat major, K 297b (K Anh 9) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Orchestra/Ensemble: RIAS Symphony Orchestra
Written: 1778

Cassation in G major, K 63 "Final-Musik" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Orchestra/Ensemble: RIAS Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1769; Salzburg, Austria

Serenade for Winds no 11 in E flat major, K 375 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Orchestra/Ensemble: RIAS Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1781; Vienna, Austria

Eine musikalischer Spass, K 522 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Orchestra/Ensemble: RIAS Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1787; Vienna, Austria

Serenade no 6 in D major, K 239 "Serenata notturna" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Orchestra/Ensemble: RIAS Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1776; Salzburg, Austria

Divertimento for 2 Horns and Strings no 10 in F major, K 247 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Orchestra/Ensemble: RIAS Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1776; Salzburg, Austria

Divertimento for 2 Horns and Strings no 17 in D major, K 334 (320b) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Orchestra/Ensemble: RIAS Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1779-1780; Salzburg, Austria

Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Sull' aria...Che soave zeffiretto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: Suzanne Danco (Soprano), Rita Streich (Soprano)
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Orchestra/Ensemble: RIAS Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria

by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: Suzanne Danco (Soprano)
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Orchestra/Ensemble: RIAS Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1787; Prague, Czech Republic

Fricsay considered Mozart to be ”the greatest musical thinker ever to have lived”, and used his radio broadcasts to lay the foundations for a better understanding of his music. Hence this incredible, truly incredible work of musical art to the great man himself, The Unreleased Mozart Radio Broadcasts.

Spread lovingly over 4 CDs, and inclusive of two bonus arias with Suzanne Danco and Rita Streich, this previously unreleased collection is a gem to behold, of that have no doubt.

The discs feature radio broadcasts (1951-1954) uncovered in the archives of Deutschlandfunk Kultur now newly remastered and made available for the first time since the '50s, and features the RIAS (Radio in the American Sector) Symphony Orchestra Berlin; the first orchestra to be founded in post-war Berlin.

Overall, given that all these recordings were not only made back in the early to mid-'50s, but that they were recorded over the air, so to speak, I have to honestly say my expectations for sound quality were not too high.

But boy, was I genuinely surprised and proved wrong as right from the off, the sound is polished, crisp even and as I progressed they never once faltered. Yes, color me genuinely and thoroughly impressed by these previously-unreleased recordings, that's for darn tootin' sure!

For me personally, I kind of enjoyed the early Mozart symphonies more than the latter ones. Again, that's just my own humble opinion, but maybe you think differently. Regardless, there's a lot of Mozart via Fricsay to go around on these 4 discs, believe me.

• 4-CD hardback presentation (notes in E/G/F) including:
1. A short text by Fricsay himself, providing insight into his connection to Mozart and his music.
2. A new note from Wolfgang Stähr “Difficult But Wonderful Years: Fricsay In Berlin” about the founding of the RIAS Symphony Orchestra and Fricsay’s special relationship with them.

'The Unreleased Mozart Radio Broadcasts' 4 CD Box-Set Purchase Link

Title - 'Journey To Mozart'
Artist - Daniel Hope & Zrcher Kammerorchester

For those not in the know, Daniel Hope (born 17 August 1973, Durban, South Africa) is a British-Irish classical violinist.

That said, Hope is actually of German descent, as his grandparents, formerly from Berlin, escaped Nazism. His father is the novelist Christopher Hope, FRSL, and his mother Eleanor Hope worked as an assistant to Yehudi Menuhin.

At age six months, his family moved from South Africa to London, because of his father's anti-apartheid views. In the UK Hope was educated at Highgate School and studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School in Stoke d'Abernon.

In 2011 he was appointed Visiting Professor in Violin by the Royal Academy of Music, where he had studied under Zakhar Bron and gained a diploma (DipRAM) and a fellowship (FRAM).

Hope became the violinist of the Beaux Arts Trio in 2002. His burgeoning career led to his decision to leave the Beaux Arts Trio, which in turn led to the decision to disband the ensemble. The Beaux Arts Trio, with Hope as the final violinist in the history of the ensemble, gave its final concerts in August 2008.

Hope has served as an associate artistic director of the Savannah Music Festival. In April 2015 he was named the new music director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, effective in 2016.

On March 16, 2018, at the conclusion of a joint performance by the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and New Century Chamber Orchestra at which he served as concertmaster, Hope was announced as the latter ensemble's new music and artistic director.

Hope plays the 1737 Guarneri "ex-Lipinski" violin. He presented the 2013 documentary film The Secrets of the Violin, which explored the history of violin making from Amati, Stradivari and Guarneri to modern makers like Samuel Zygmuntowicz.

On his brand new album, Journey to Mozart, Daniel Hope turns to core classical repertoire again, exploring the world of Mozart, as well as composers that inspired him and vice versa.

GLUCK Orfeo ed Euridice, Wq. 30
[01] Dance of the Furies
[02] Dance of the Blessed Spirits

HAYDN Violin Concerto in G major Hob. VIIa:4
[03] 1. Allegro moderato
[04] 2. Adagio
[05] 3. Allegro
[06] MYSLIVECEK Violin Concerto in D major - 2. Larghetto

MOZART Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major K 216
[07] 1. Allegro
[08] 2. Adagio
[09] 3. Rondeau. Allegro
[10] MOZART Adagio for Violin and Orchestra in E major K 261
[11] SALOMON Romance for Violin and Strings in D major
[12] MOZART Piano Sonata in A major K 331 ? 3. Alla turca

Journey to Mozart is a very personal exploration of the composer’s world, that includes not only favourite works by the master, but also music by contemporaries, including Haydn, Myslivecek and Gluck.

The album consists of two popular Violin Concertos by Haydn and Mozart, as well as the famous Mozart Adagio in E-Major. Indeed, with this album Daniel Hope continues his fruitful relationship as musical director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra.

It has to be said that this brand new album is, without a shadow of a doubt, some of the best work that Hope has brought forth in his career. An honest, humble opinion of mind, granted, but I dare to think differently once you enter into Haydn.

Here backed splendidly by the infamous Zrcher Kammerorchester (Zurich Chamber Orchestra), Hope's solo work blends seamlessly amongst the gentle, yet flourishing hipsway of what the Orchestra bring forth to back him up with at all times.

Indeed, the album ends with a magnificent arrangement of the famous Alla turca, newly arranged for Violin and Orchestra. A true, stunning stand out cut off this wondrous album, to be sure, it only goes to shine a more deserved spotlight on the entire work of music art overall.

'Journey To Mozart' CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Claude Debussy'
Artist - Daniel Barenboim

For those not in the know, Daniel Barenboim (born 15 November 1942) is an Argentine-Israeli pianist and conductor who is a citizen of Argentina, Israel, Palestine, and Spain.

He is the general music director of the Berlin State Opera, and the Staatskapelle Berlin; he previously served as Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris and La Scala in Milan.

Barenboim is known for his work with the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra, a Seville-based orchestra of young Arab and Israeli musicians, and as a resolute critic of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

Just release, now Daniel Barenboim performs the music of Claude Debussy on his latest release with Deutsche Grammophon.

Achille-Claude Debussy (22 August 1862 – 25 March 1918), known since the 1890s as Claude-Achille Debussy or Claude Debussy, was a French composer. He and Maurice Ravel were the most prominent figures associated with Impressionist music, although Debussy disliked the term when applied to his compositions.

He was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1903. He was among the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and his use of non-traditional scales and chromaticism influenced many composers who followed.

1. Estampes (3) for Piano by Claude Debussy
Performer: Daniel Barenboim (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1903; France

2. Suite bergamasque: 3rd movement, Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy
Performer: Daniel Barenboim (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1890/1905; France

3. La plus que lente by Claude Debussy
Performer: Daniel Barenboim (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1910; France

4. Elégie by Claude Debussy
Performer: Daniel Barenboim (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1915; France

5. Préludes, Book 1 by Claude Debussy
Performer: Daniel Barenboim (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1909-1910; France

One of the most important artists of our time, Daniel Barenboim's ode to his beloved composer is a stunning collection of Debussy pieces in time for the French composer’s centenary.

Inclusive of such works as Estampes, Suite bergamasque and Preludes, Claude Debussy is a classical work of art from start to finish. Indeed, if you ever get the chance, perhaps beforehand or after having listened to this recording, check out 'Daniel Barenboim plays & explains Debussy' on DVD (March 9th, 201, EuroArts Music International).

Just yet another wonderful, this time visual piece that will be seen in 2018 as a range of releases, starting off with this personal collection of the maestro to celebrate the Debussy 100th anniversary year.

'Claude Debussy' CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Beethoven: The Piano Concertos'
Artist - Vladimir Ashkenazy

For those not in the know, Vladimir Davidovich Ashkenazy (born 6 July 1937) is an internationally recognized solo pianist, chamber music performer, and conductor.

He is originally from Russia and has held Icelandic citizenship since 1972, and has lived in Switzerland since 1978. Ashkenazy has collaborated with well-known orchestras and soloists.

In addition, he has recorded a large storehouse of classical and romantic works. His recordings have earned him five Grammy awards plus Iceland's Order of the Falcon.

Just released via Decca Classics is Beethoven: The Piano Concertos, a wondrous 3CD+Blu-ray compilation of the complete Ashkenazy/Solti set of Beethoven concertos.

Showcasing the range of Ashkenazy’s tone, whilst allowing us to bathe in the lush spotlight of Sir Georg Solti’s accompaniment is like Heaven on a stick.

CD 1 (65:24)
PIANO CONCERTO No.1 in C Major, Op.15
1 1. Allegro con brio
2 2. Largo
3 3. Rondo (Allegro scherzando)
PIANO CONCERTO No.2 in B Flat Major, Op.19
4 1. Allegro con brio
5 2. Adagio
6 3. Rondo (Molto allegro)

CD 2 (70:34)
PIANO CONCERTO No.3 in C Minor, Op.37
1 1. Allegro con brio
2 2. Largo
3 3. Rondo (Allegro)
PIANO CONCERTO No.4 in G Major, Op.58
4 1. Allegro moderato
5 2. Andante con moto
6 3. Rondo (Vivace)

CD 3 (40:05)
PIANO CONCERTO No.5 in E Flat Major Op.73 – "EMPEROR"
1 1. Allegro
2 2. Adagio un poco mosso
3 3. Rondo (Allegro)

The complete cycle is presented on a single Blu-ray Audio disc for 24-bit Hi-Resolution playback + 3 CDs.

+ Hardback book with texts in English + French + German

This breath taking 3CD + 1 Blu-ray set is a digital re-mastering at 96kHz/24-bit of the original "Stereophonic" London recordings from 1973. The sound is crisp and clear, and enhances the masterful technique of Vladimir Ashkenazy and Sir Georg Solti's well-paced leadership.

You would never know you were listening to an ADD rather than a direct digital recording. The dynamic range of this digital re-mastering is far superior to the original LPs, the pianissimos are very soft and vibrant, and the fortes take your breath away.

To be blunt, these recordings of the Beethoven piano concertos were some of the finest and now that they are on CD, and digitally remastered, well, the sound is simply superb.

The Chicago Symphony under the baton of Sir George Solti provide a wonderful backdrop to the meticulous pianism of Vladimir Ashkenazy. The pianist recorded these concertos three times, but this compilation is the most profound, in my humble opinion, of course.

In closing, I especially like the piano as Beethoven wears well on any instrument; but especially the piano. Indeed, I never tire of hearing Beethoven - whether Sonatas or Partitas, Piano Concerti or symphonies.

'Beethoven: The Piano Concertos' CD Purchase Link

Title - Bruckner: Symphony no4 / Wagner: Lohengrin Prelude
Artist - Andris Nelsons & Gewandhausorchester

For those not in the know, Andris Nelsons is a Latvian conductor who is currently also the music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.

Nelsons was born in Riga. His mother founded the first early music ensemble in Latvia, and his father was a choral conductor, cellist, and teacher.

At age five, his mother and stepfather took him to a performance of Wagner's Tannhäuser, which Nelsons refers to as a profoundly formative experience: " had a hypnotic effect on me. I was overwhelmed by the music. I cried when Tannhäuser died. I still think this was the biggest thing that happened in my childhood."

As for his subject matter, Josef Anton Bruckner, he was an Austrian composer and organist best known for his symphonies, masses, Te Deum and motets.

The first are considered emblematic of the final stage of Austro-German Romanticism because of their rich harmonic language, strongly polyphonic character, and considerable length.

Bruckner's compositions helped to define contemporary musical radicalism, owing to their dissonances, unprepared modulations, and roving harmonies.

Released on February 16th, 2018 via Deutsche Grammophon, Andris Nelsons’ latest release with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, is Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 / Wagner: Lohengrin Prelude.

[1] Wagner: Prelude to Act I from Lohengrin, WWV 75
Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 in E-Flat Major, WAB 104 “Romantic“ (Version 1878/80)
[2] 1. Bewegt, nicht zu schnell
[3] 2. Andante, quasi allegretto
[4] 3. Scherzo (Bewegt) – Trio (Nicht zu schnell. Keinesfalls schleppend)
[5] 4. Finale (Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell)

Featuring Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 and the Prelude to Act 1 from Wagner’s Lohengrin, it was recorded live in concert and is the second instalment in a multi-album Bruckner series on the Deutsche Grammophon label.

Indeed, Deutsche Grammophon will release the next two Bruckner Symphonies with Andris and his new orchestra. Andris has already successfully embarked on a journey exploring the sound world of Anton Bruckner’s iconic symphony cycle with the already much acclaimed recording of Symphony No. 3 – released in May 2017.

Here on one of the most wonderful works of classical that I've truly heard in many a year, Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony is known as his “Romantic” Symphony.

Ergo, Bruckner himself chose this term after starting work on it in January 1874. “The music gives us an insight into Bruckner’s psyche and allows us to sense what he was feeling and thinking at the time of the work’s composition,” says Nelsons, "and there is no denying that the symphony’s musical language is unusually personal and intimate.”

Here on Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 / Wagner: Lohengrin Prelude, Andris Nelsons' enthusiasm for the composer is boundless. Bringing a wondrous youthful energy, fluidity and rhythmic impulse to each movement, he manages to still stay on course and never once allows Bruckner’s monumental sound to be drowned out or, heaven forbid, lost.

Indeed, by including selected instrumental works by Wagner in the Bruckner Symphony Cycle, his idea is to demonstrate the influences but more importantly their differences, for clearly the two men could not have been more disparate in character.

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Má Vlast'
Artist - Smetana,Jiří Bělohlávek & Czech Philharm

For those not in the know, Bedřich Smetana was a Czech composer who pioneered the development of a musical style which became closely identified with his country's aspirations to independent statehood.

He has been regarded in his homeland as the father of Czech music. Internationally he is best known for his opera The Bartered Bride and for the symphonic cycle Má vlast, which portrays the history, legends and landscape of the composer's native land.

Jiří Bělohlávek CBE was a Czech conductor. He was a leading interpreter of Czech classical music, and became chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in 1990, a role he would serve on two different occasions during a combined span of seven years.

He also served a six-year tenure as the chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 2006 to 2012.

He gained international renown and repute for his performances of the works of Czech composers such as Antonín Dvořák and Bohuslav Martinů, and was credited as "the most profound proponent of Czech orchestral music" by Czech music specialist Professor Michael Beckerman.

Released via Decca Classics this past February 23rd, 2018, Má Vlast has been brought out again, this time as rather stunning Japanese SHM-CD pressing.

Mà Vlast (My Homeland)
No. 1, Vyšehrad (The High Castle)
No. 2, Vltava (The Moldau)
No. 3, Šarka
No. 4, Z ceských luhu a háju (From Bohemia's Meadows and Forests”
No. 5, Tábor
No. 6, Blaník

Re-released in memoriam to the great, Jiří Bělohlávek, we once again get to hear the wondrous Czech conductor and his beloved orchestra perform a definitive 'Má Vlast'.

In one of his last recording with the Czech Philharmonic, Jiří Bělohlávek conducts a heartfelt account of Smetana's great set of symphonic poems. Indeed, this is an authoritative recording of 'Má Vlast' performed by musicians with an innate understanding of the music of their homeland.

Listening to it all unfold, the always-beautiful Czech Philharmonic play with emotion, somewhere between very romantic and dramatic, but somewhere glorious at the very same time.

Smetana's symphonic poem cycle is based on six movements which, the second is ever-famous as "The Moldau". This cycle (as in name), tells about Czechoslovakia's historic lands and legends. Known as a very famous river there, it is also my own personal favourite of the pieces.

"Blanik" is yet another incredible movement and tells the story of a mountain which becomes the army's shelter while they're awaiting the "war alarm". But this movement ends with a triumphant finale, which includes the main "Vysherad" and "God's Warriors" chorale also. Stunning, simply stunning, even today.

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Stravinsky: Chant Funèbre, Le Sacre du Printemps'
Artist - Riccardo Chailly & Lucerne Festival Orchestra

For those not in the know, Riccardo Chailly Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI is an Italian conductor. He started his career as an opera conductor and gradually extended his repertoire to encompass symphonic music.

His undertaking here now on this just-released Stravinsky: Chant Funèbre, Le Sacre du Printemps via Decca Classics is the great Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky.

A Russian-born composer, pianist, and conductor his is widely considered one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century.

On this quite stunning new album, Ricardo Chailly and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra bring brilliance, detail and precision to Stravinsky works that include the rediscovered 'Chant Funèbre' (Funeral Song).

[1] Chant funèbre, op. 5 (Funeral Song)
[2] Feu d'artifice, op. 4 (Fireworks)
[3] Scherzo fantastique, op. 3
[4]-[6] Le Faune et la Bergére, op. 2 (The Faun and the Shepherdess)
I. La Bergére (The Shepherdess)
II. Le Faune (The Faun)
III. Le Torrent (The River)
[7]-[20] Le sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring)

The story goes that in 2015, an early piece by Stravinsky, lost for over a century, made headlines when it was rediscovered among a pile of manuscripts in the St Petersburg Conservatory.

'Chant Funèbre' was composed in 1908, after the death of Stravinsky’s teacher Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and it received a single performance at a concert in the conservatory the following January.

But then the score and parts disappeared, and though Stravinsky himself remembered it as one of the best of his early works, the assumption was that it had been destroyed during the turmoil of the Russian Revolution.

For me, listening to this piece (which only lasts 10 and a half minutes) for the first time ever just before this review, and whilst typing it out, once again, 'Chant Funèbre' is a wondrous, twirling work of musical art that showcases Stravinsky’s journey towards the three ballet scores for Diaghilev that would make his name.

Backed seamlessly by three other early pieces – Fireworks and the Scherzo Fantastique, and the tiny Pushkin settings of Le Faune et la Bergère (in which the mezzo Sophie Koch is the subtly nuanced soloist) – there truly isn't a musical note out of step here (as one would fully expect though, of course).

'Chant Funèbre' is followed by an equally wondrous piece entitled 'Le Sacre du Printemps' (The Rite of Spring), but for my money, it takes a wee bit too long to get going. Measured, perhaps a little too much, its detail is phenomenal, don't get me wrong, but not as convincing a work of art as 'Chant Funèbre'.

CD Purchase Link

Riccardo Chailly Biography

Title - 'Home'
Artist - Kian Soltani & Aaron Pilsan

For those not in the know, Kian Soltani made his international breakthrough at the age of nineteen with acclaimed debuts in the Vienna Musikverein’s Goldener Saal and at the Hohenems Schubertiade.

He attracted further worldwide attention in April 2013 as winner of the International Paulo Cello Competition in Helsinki where he was hailed by Ostinato magazine as “a soloist of the highest level among the new generation of cellists”.

In December 2017, Soltani was awarded the prestigious Credit Suisse Young Artist Award and as part of the Lucerne Festival 2018 will perform in concert with the Vienna Philharmonic.

On his debut Deutsche Grammophon album, Home, cellist Soltani traces his musical roots in works by Schubert, Schumann and Iranian composer Reza Vali.

In truth, and as we are all fully aware, there are plenty of young cellists out there, but, and in my humble opinion (although it's been said many times now before me also), very few as versatile as Kian Soltani.

Sonata In A Minor, D.821 „Arpeggione“
[1] 1. Allegro moderato
[2] 2. Adagio
[3] 3. Allegretto

[4] Nacht und Träume, D 827 (Version for Cello and Piano)

Fantasiestücke, Op.73
[5] 1. Zart und mit Ausdruck
[6] 2. Lebhaft, leicht
[7] 3. Rasch und mit Feuer

Adagio und Allegro in A flat major, Op. 70
[8] 1. Langsam, mit innigem Ausdruck
[9] 2. Rasch und feurig

Myrthen, Op.25 (Version For Cello And Piano)
[10] 24. Du bist wie eine Blume

Persian Folk Songs (dedicated to Kian – world premiere recording)
[11] 1. Longing
[12] 2. In Memory Of A Lost Beloved
[13] 3. The Girl From Shiraz
[14] 4. Love Drunk ("Mastom Mastom")
[15] 5. In The Style Of An Armenian Folk Song
[16] 6. Imaginary Folk Songn
[17] 7. Folk Song From Khorasan

A quite remarkable cellist, with a piercingly beautiful tone and utterly pure intonation, his debut Home is one of the most aptly titled collections of music that I've come across for the longest time.

For Soltani truly does feel at home with these compositions, his want, his will, his belief that he can make them the best they can ever be as apparent as anything else throughout.

Together with his accompanist Aaron Pilsan, Soltani has produced a debut album that has a clear central theme and yet treats each piece as an independent work of art.

For on Home, he travels from Romanticism, with its desire to emulate European folk music, to a living composer’s take on Persian folk traditions. Beginning with works by Schumann and Schubert he rounds off the album with music by Reza Vali; a friend of the family who, like the Soltani's, emigrated from Iran.

Indeed, for Soltani’s pianist Pilsan too, the subject of home and ancestry has personal resonances: his father is Romanian, but like Soltani, Pilsan grew up in Vorarlberg.

Home has an earthly tone of much warmth, so much depth of beauty, of yearning, of things lost, but ultimately stand alone moments of both nobility and virtuosity. All things very unique for such a young cellist to own, let alone begin to discover on his debut album - and yet, here he is.

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Title - 'Germanico In Germania'
Artist - Nicola Porpora

For those not in the know, 'Germanico in Germania' is an opera in three acts composed by Nicola Porpora to an Italian-language libretto by Nicola Coluzzi.

It premiered in February 1732 at the Teatro Capranica in Rome with an all-male cast. The leading male roles were taken by two of the most prominent castrato singers of the 18th century—Domenico Annibali as Germanico and Caffarelli as his nemesis Arminio.

The female roles were portrayed by castrati en travesti. The opera's story is a fictionalised account of the Roman general Germanicus and is set in Germania Inferior during 14 AD. Germanico in Germania was very popular in its day but fell into obscurity until it was revived in 2015 at the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music.

In this world premiere recording, Germanico In Germania, just released via Decca Classics as a 3CD set, Max Emanuel Cencic unearths Porpora’s opera.

Supported by a world-class cast, including star soprano Julia Lezhneva, and Capella Cracoviensis under the baton of Jan Tomasz Adamus, the entire performance was performed on period instruments.

Led here by the aforementioned countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic, his combination of beautiful, pure tone and passionate delivery has made him one of today’s most sought after singers.

Born in 1976 in Zagreb, Cencic’s extensive CD catalogue has won many awards, including eleven prizes for his Faramondo, four for a recital of Handel arias, and Germany’s prestigious Echo Klassik prize for his Duetti album.

He also sang the role of Valentiniano in the recording of Gluck’s opera Ezio, which also won an Echo Klassik prize, as did Leonardo Vinci’s Artaserse (all Virgin Classics).

But it's what they have chosen to do here with the opera as a whole that has astounded everyone concerned with the recording. Originally created for performance by a virtuosic all-male cast of castrati in Rome, the two male characters that support Max are now performed by female singers (Nesi, astringently androgynous, and Bennani prettily boyish).

Sure, and spread over three CDs, the music is challenging and some arias definitely shine brighter than others, but what his rival Handel was BEWST known for in London in the 1730s most assuredly still transcends here today.

All in all, Germanico In Germania is superbly sung and conducted by Jan Tomasz Adamus. Indeed, Baroque opera lovers need not hesitate for this is going to take immediate pride of place in your classical music library, of that have no doubt.

Notes, plot summary, and pictures of four of the six performers in the recording sessions can be found in the beautiful color booklet that accompanies this 3CD set, with the libretto and English translation in a separate booklet.

Disc: 1
1. Sinfonia - Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 2. Adagio - Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 3. Menuetto - Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 4. "Miseri oh Dio! noi siam perduti" - Mary-Ellen Nesi, Dilyara Idrisova, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 5. "Serba costante il core" - Mary-Ellen Nesi, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 6. "Ecco s'appressa il vincitor superbo" - Dilyara Idrisova, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 7. Sinfonia Scene 2 - Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 8. "O Germanico invitto" - Max Emanuel Cencic, Dilyara Idrisova, Juan Sancho, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 9. "Rivolgi a me le ciglia" - Dilyara Idrisova, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 10. "Per vincere, signor, la sua fierezza usa del tuo potere" - Max Emanuel Cencic, Hasnaa Bennani, Juan Sancho, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 11. "Questo è il valor guerriero d'un'anima romana?" - Max Emanuel Cencic, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 12. "Germanico fu troppo facile in condannarmi" - Hasnaa Bennani, Julia Lezhneva, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 13. "Al sole i lumi pria mancheranno" - Julia Lezhneva, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 14. "Chi più di me felice?" - Hasnaa Bennani, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 15. "Splende per mille amanti un bel sereno volto" - Hasnaa Bennani, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 16. "Venga di Roma il messaggier" - Mary-Ellen Nesi, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 17. "A lei, che il mondo adora" - Mary-Ellen Nesi, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 18. "Perché a danno di Roma" - Juan Sancho, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 19. "Nocchier, che mai non vide l'orror della tempesta" - Juan Sancho, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 20. "Lascia Rosmonda" - Dilyara Idrisova, Julia Lezhneva, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 21. "Se sposa d'un Romano" - Julia Lezhneva, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 22. "Ecco la donna altera" - Dilyara Idrisova, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 23. "Qual turbine" - Max Emanuel Cencic, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 24. "Dunque sarà pur vero che lasciar tu non voglia sì barbaro pensiero?" - Dilyara Idrisova, Juan Sancho, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 25. "Sposa infelice, sventurata figlia" - Dilyara Idrisova, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 26. "Son qual misero naviglio" - Dilyara Idrisova, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus

Disc: 2
1. "Romani invitti" - Max Emanuel Cencic, Mary-Ellen Nesi, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 2. "Ingiustissime stelle, avete vinto!" - Mary-Ellen Nesi, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 3. "Empi, se mai disciolgo" - Mary-Ellen Nesi, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 4. "Dopo la gran battaglia a te ritorno" - Hasnaa Bennani, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 5. "Se dopo ria procella" - Hasnaa Bennani, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 6. "Or ch'arde l'aspra e sanguinosa pugna" - Dilyara Idrisova, Julia Lezhneva, Juan Sancho, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 7. "Il padre mi sgrida" - Dilyara Idrisova, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 8. "Si sdegna il padre" - Julia Lezhneva, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 9. "Veder vicino il suo contento" - Julia Lezhneva, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 10. Marcia - Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 11. "Questo è il felice giorno" - Max Emanuel Cencic, Hasnaa Bennani, Juan Sancho, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 12. "Nasce da valle impura vapor che in alto ascende" - Max Emanuel Cencic, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 13. "Cieli! Il mio sposo è questo" - Mary-Ellen Nesi, Dilyara Idrisova, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 14. "Parto, ti lascio, o cara" - Mary-Ellen Nesi, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 15. "Dovunque volgo, o misera, le ciglia" - Dilyara Idrisova, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 16. "Priva del caro sposo" - Dilyara Idrisova, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 17. "Pur ti riveggo alfin, diletto amante" - Hasnaa Bennani, Julia Lezhneva, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 18. "Serbami la tua fede" - Hasnaa Bennani, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 19. "O del mio caro ben voci gradite" - Julia Lezhneva, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 20. "Sorge dall'onde" - Julia Lezhneva, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 21. "Segeste, e come soffre la tua Germania la vittoria nostra?" - Max Emanuel Cencic, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 22. "Scoglio alpestre in mezzo all'onde" - Juan Sancho, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus

Disc: 3
1. "Giungi a tempo, Rosmonda...Eccomi un'altra volta a te davante" - Max Emanuel Cencic, Mary-Ellen Nesi, Dilyara Idrisova, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 2. "Temi lo sdegno mio, perfido traditore" - Max Emanuel Cencic, Mary-Ellen Nesi, Dilyara Idrisova, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 3. "Fido Segeste" - Max Emanuel Cencic, Julia Lezhneva, Juan Sancho, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 4. "Dite, che far degg'io?" - Dilyara Idrisova, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 5. "Già l'affetto di sposa" - Max Emanuel Cencic, Julia Lezhneva, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 6. "Per un momento ancora" - Max Emanuel Cencic, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 7. "Qual tristo evento mai" - Hasnaa Bennani, Julia Lezhneva, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 8. "Se possono i tuoi rai vedermi ognor penar" - Julia Lezhneva, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 9. "Quanto esser cauto deve un infelice amante" - Hasnaa Bennani, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 10. "Serbare amore e fede" - Hasnaa Bennani, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 11. "Nemica del valor barbara sorte!" - Mary-Ellen Nesi, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 12. "All'aura fosca e grave" - Dilyara Idrisova, Juan Sancho, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 13. "Empi" - Juan Sancho, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 14. "Ecco ch'è giunto al fine il momento fatal della tua morte" - Dilyara Idrisova, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 15. "Se viver non poss'io" - Mary-Ellen Nesi, Dilyara Idrisova, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 16. "Ecco il bosco funesto" - Julia Lezhneva, Juan Sancho, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 17. "Saggio è il cultor" - Juan Sancho, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 18. "Vieni superbo e mira la gran pompa terribile e funesta" - Max Emanuel Cencic, Mary-Ellen Nesi, Dilyara Idrisova, Hasnaa Bennani, Julia Lezhneva, Juan Sancho, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 19. "Vindice Dea" - Mary-Ellen Nesi, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 20. "E ancor l'ultime voci" - Max Emanuel Cencic, Mary-Ellen Nesi, Dilyara Idrisova, Hasnaa Bennani, Julia Lezhneva, Juan Sancho, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus 21. "Sì verrà l'amico giorno" - Max Emanuel Cencic, Mary-Ellen Nesi, Dilyara Idrisova, Hasnaa Bennani, Julia Lezhneva, Juan Sancho, Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus

Max Emanuel Cencic (Germanico)
Julia Lezhneva (Ersinda)
Dilyara Idrisova (Rosmonda)
Mary-Ellen Nesi (Arminio)
Juan Sancho (Segeste)
Hasnaa Bennani (Cecina)
Capella Cracoviensis (orchestra)
Jan Tomasz Adamus (conductor)

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Title - 'Verdi'
Artist - Joseph Calleja

For those not in the know, Joseph Calleja, (born 22 January 1978) is a Maltese tenor. He began singing at the age of 16, having been discovered by tenor Brian Cefai and continued his studies with Paul Asciak.

At 19, he made his operatic debut as Macduff in Verdi's Macbeth at the Astra Theatre in Gozo and went on to become a prize winner at the Belvedere Hans Gabor Competition the same year.

In 1998, he won the Caruso Competition in Milan and was a prize winner in Plácido Domingo's Operalia International Opera Competition in 1999.

Calleja's first solo recital disc, Tenor Arias, was released in 2004 and he followed that up in 2005 with The Golden Voice. In 2011, his third solo album Joseph Calleja – The Maltese Tenor reached second overall position on the German charts and debuted at number one in the US Billboard Classical Traditional chart.

His 2011 DVD of La traviata from the Royal Opera House and co-starring Renée Fleming was nominated for a Grammy award.

His muse here for his latest album release, Verdi, just released via Decca Classics, is Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi. An Italian opera composer, Verdi was born near Busseto to a provincial family of moderate means, and developed a musical education with the help of a local patron.

Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Gioachino Rossini, whose works significantly influenced him. By his 30s, he had become one of the pre-eminent opera composers in history.

1. Aida - Se quel guerrier io fossi!..Celeste Aida
2. Il Trovatore - Ah sì ben moi
3. Di quella pira
4. La forza del destino - La vita è inferno...Oh, tu che in seno agl'angeli
5. Invano Alvaro
6. Don Carlo - È lui! desso! L'infante!... Dio, che nell'alma infondere
7. Otello - Già nella notte densa
8. Oh! Mostruosa colpa!... Sì, per ciel marmoreo, giuro!
9. Dio! mi potevi scagliar tutti i mali
10. Niun mi tema

For this all-Verdi collection, Calleja collaborates with the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, conducted by Ramón Tebar, to explore the light and dark in Verdi’s heroic tenor roles from Otello, La Forza del Destino, Don Carlo, Il Trovatore, Aida. He is also joined by guests soprano Angela Gheorghiu and baritone Vittorio Vitelli.

Now two decades into a stellar international career, for my money Verdi (which has a run time of 63 minutes) is a quite brilliant new album, and one that clearly demonstrates Calleja's increasing versatility as a singer.

The shimmering vibrato, reminiscent of the great Giacomo Lauri-Volpi, is still there, but it is less pronounced than in Calleja's earlier works. His fine lyric tenor voice can also be compared favourably with such giants as John McCormack, Tito Schipa and Jussi Bjoerling, if I may be as humble to suggest.

In closing, Joseph Calleja's voice here on Verdi (or on anything he puts his musical mind to, in truth) is just wonderful. Full of clear diction, beautiful tone and deep feeling, it is always a pleasure to have Calleja alongside me - whether it be at home or in the car.

Joseph Calleja (tenor), Vittorio Vitelli (baritone), Angela Gheorghiu (soprano), Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, Ramón Tebar.

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Title - 'Visions Of Prokofiev'
Artist - Lisa Batiashvili

For those not in the know, Lisa Batiashvili is a Georgian violinist who has resided in Germany and France since she was 12 years old and who has performed across Europe and the United States.

Born in Tbilisi where her father was a violinist and her mother was a pianist, she began learning violin with her father from age four. The family left Georgia in 1991 when she was 11 years old, and settled in Germany.

She later studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg. Mark Lubotsky, her teacher in Hamburg, had been a student of David Oistrakh, for whom Shostakovich wrote his violin concertos.

Already with 11 albums to her name, now Lisa Batiashvili brings forth the impressive, and highly challenging work, Visions Of Prokofiev.

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) was a Soviet composer, pianist and conductor. As the creator of acknowledged masterpieces across numerous musical genres, he is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century.

His works include such widely heard works as the March from The Love for Three Oranges, the suite Lieutenant Kijé, the ballet Romeo and Juliet – from which "Dance of the Knights" is taken – and Peter and the Wolf.

A Dance of the Knights from Romeo and Juliet, op. 64
1. Allegro pesante
Arr. for solo violin and orchestra by Tamás Batiashvili

Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major op. 19
2. Andantino
3. Scherzo. Vivacissimo
4. Moderato

Grand Waltz from Cinderella, op. 87
5. Allegro
Arr. for solo violin and orchestra by Tamás Batiashvili

Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor op. 63
6. Allegro moderato
7. Andante assai – Allegretto
8. Allegro, ben marcato

Grand March from The Love for Three Oranges, op. 33
9. Tempo di Marcia
Arr. for solo violin and orchestra by Tamás Batiashvili

Just released via Deutsche Grammophon, and featuring the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin, after the outstanding critical acclaim of her previous album, Tchaikovsky & Sibelius Violin Concertos with Staatskapelle Berlin and Daniel Barenboim, Batiashvili's rather masterful version (it simply has to be said) of Prokofiev's two violin concertos (in another first class musical partnership) is a joy to behold, from start to finish.

Inclusive of her rather unique talent to turn standard repertoire into something new, fresh, elegant and special, Visions Of Prokofiev immediately allows the listener to rediscover Prokofiev through her very own eyes, so to speak.

A superb and energetic rendition of Prokofiev's violin concertos is what you would hope for and is definitely what you get, as well as arrangements of other pieces, of course.

As for the overall sound, well, it's crystal clear and the enthusiasm and passion, combined with Batiashvili's obvious devotion to the work as a whole, is abounding here, truly.

The album itself features the core classic Prokofiev (violin concertos), as well as selected movements of his famous ballets with their very recognizable tunes (Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, The Love for Three Oranges), newly arranged for Solo Violin and Orchestra by Tamás Batiashvili, Lisa’s father.

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Title - 'Handel Arias'
Artist - Franco Fagioli

For those not in the know, Franco Fagioli is an Argentinian operatic countertenor. Born in Argentina, Fagioli initially studied piano and then singing at the Superior Art Institute of the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.

He began his international career in 2003, when he won the Bertelsmann singing competition ‘Neue Stimmen’ in Gütersloh, Germany.

Franco Fagioli has since made regular appearances at opera houses in Buenos Aires, Karlsruhe, Bonn, Zurich, Essen and Genoa, at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. He has also been invited to perform at a number of festivals, including those in Halle, Ludwigsburg, Innsbruck and Froville.

He has worked with conductors like Rinaldo Alessandrini, Alan Curtis, Gabriel Garrido, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, René Jacobs, José Manuel Quintana, Marc Minkowski, Riccardo Muti and Christophe Rousset.

His sixth solo works album (and his second album as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist) is entitled Handel Arias and has just been released via Deutsche Grammophon.

1. Agitato (04:24)
2. Frondi Tenere (00:47)
3. Ombra mai fu (03:24)
4. Crude Furie (03:55)
5. Cara Sposa (08:48)
6. Venti, Turbini (04:06)
7. Se Potessero (06:47)
8. Sento Brillar (06:45)
9. Pompe Vane (02:53)
10. Dove sei (06:19)
11. Se in fiorito (08:40)
12. Scherza Infida (11:13)
13. Dopo Notte (07:28)
14. Ch'io Parta (04:14)

Accompanied by the baroque ensemble Il Pomo d'Oro, this is the album Handel lovers have been waiting for: A handpicked selection of Handel opera arias that Franco Fagioli, one of the most outstanding countertenors in our days has chosen himself.

As for his muse here today, George Frideric Handel was a German, later British, Baroque composer who spent the bulk of his career in London, becoming well-known for his operas, oratorios, anthems, and organ concertos.

Handel received important training in Halle-upon-Saale and worked as a composer in Hamburg and Italy before settling in London in 1712; he became a naturalised British subject in 1727. He was strongly influenced both by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and by the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition.

As one can instantly tell from just the opening compositions found here on this exquisite new Handel Arias release, Handel is unavoidably linked to Franco’s career and he defiantly brings a unique approach to the composer in this studio recording.

Indeed on Handel Arias, Fagioli performs twelve arias that explore the wide range of affetti musicali that are typical of Baroque operas in general and of Handel’s vocal music in particular.

“Handel is quite simply a must for every countertenor,” Franco himself has been quoted as saying. “Although I’d already sung many of his operas onstage, I hadn’t previously recorded the arias for an entire album.”

A rather stunning tribute to Handel from Fagioloi, Handel Arias is one of those albums that once in your player and coming through your speakers, you just never want to end. Luckily not a short recording either, the album is, for my money, one of Fagioli's best to date.

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Franco Fagioli Official Website

Title - Karl Böhm - The Operas: Complete DG Recordings
Artist - Karl Böhm

For those not in the know, Karl Böhm was an Austrian conductor.

Considered particularly gifted in his interpretations of Wagner and Mozart, he has been described by one critic as one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century.

Karl Böhm - The Complete Opera & Vocal Recordings is an uber impressive, and long overdue 70 CD box-set (in a lift-off box featuring new liner notes by Richard Osborne), presenting Karl Böhm’s complete vocal recordings on Deutsche Grammophon.

Including studio productions as well as timeless live recordings from Vienna, Salzburg and Bayreuth, it also comes complete with additional spoken word recordings (in German) with Böhm detailing his relationships with Richard Strauss, Mozart and the Vienna Philharmonic.

This indepth, and fully resounding box-set also contain one full disc of recordings new to CD (English synopsis for CD 70, "A Life Retold" available online), along with the 1944 Ariadne auf Naxos (CDs 45-46) available digitally for the first time ever also.

Taking a look at this incredibly impressive 70 CD Box-Set (complete track listing below), we instantly discover that seven (7) CDs are devoted to non-operatic works. Agreed that most were already included in DG's two previous Big Böhm Boxes, but they still make up the full package very nicely here.

However, and with that said, the opera recordings that Böhm made for Decca and Philips are omitted (both companies + DG are owned by Universal). Decca had 1950's Mozart and Richard Strauss, plus a 1972 'Die Fledermaus' with the Vienna Philharmonic.

More importantly, Philips had the 1966-67 Wagner Ring from Bayreuth. It was actually recorded by Deutsche Grammophon, but not released (supposedly due to pressure from Herr von Karajan). Instead, it was eventually licensed to Philips.

At any rate, it’s good to see these recordings back into circulation again, especially since the majority of them have gone out of print. A glance at the track listing at the back of the box confirms Böhm as an Austro-Germanic repertoire specialist: the overwhelming majority of the pieces are from composers of that heritage, while the remaining non-Germanic pieces are by Dvorak and Tchaikovsky, whose symphonies were heavily influenced by the Austro-Germanic symphonic tradition.

Certainly these works were Böhm’s forte: Böhm’s gravely serious approach to music-making, often striving for directness and emphasizing musical structure and integrity at the expense of surface beauty and thrills, suited the music he chose to conduct to the hilt.

And of course he had some of the greatest orchestras in the Austro-Germanic repertoire at his disposal: most of these pieces were recorded with the Vienna Philharmonic, with the Tchaikovsky delegated to the London Symphony Orchestra and the Schubert 9th and some Beethoven overtures to the Staatskapelle Dresden.

A final word on the presentation: these 70 discs are housed in a sturdy, glossy box with a lift-off lid. Sadly no sign of DG’s old-school yellow banner swathing its way around and across it, but that's ok. Also, the cardboard sleeves of the 70 discs are unique to each of the operas whereas the booklet is simply awash of photos of Böhm; mostly unsmiling, but that's just how he was.

Disc: 1
1. Overture 2. "Jetzt, Schätzchen, jetzt sind wir allein" 3. "Der arme Jaquino! Ich war ihm sonst recht gut" 4. "O wär ich schon mit dir vereint" 5. "Marzelline, ist Fidelio noch nicht zurück?" 6. "Mir ist so wunderbar" 7. "Höre, Fidelio" 8. "Hat man nicht auch Gold beineben" 9. "Ihr könnt das leicht sagen, Meister Rocco" 10. "Gut Söhnchen, gut" 11. Marsch 12. "Drei Schildwachen auf den Wall" 13. "Ha! Welch ein Augenblick!" 14. "Hauptmann! Besteigen Sie mit einem Trompeter..." 15. "Jetzt, Alter, jetzt hat es Eile!" 16. "Abscheulicher! Wo eilst du hin?" 17. Aber Marzelline! Früher, da war ich der gute 18. "O welche Lust, in freier Luft den Atem leicht zu heben!" 19. "Nun sprecht, wie .."-"Ach Vater, eilt"-"Verwegner .." 20. "Leb wohl, du warmes Sonnenlicht"

Disc: 2
1. "Gott! Welch Dunkel hier! - In des Lebens Frühlingstagen" 2. "Wie kalt ist es in diesem unterirdischen Gewölbe" 3. "Er erwacht" 4. "Euch werde Lohn in bessern Welten" 5. "Alles ist bereit" 6. "Er sterbe! Doch er soll erst wissen" - "Vater Rocco! Der Herr Minister ist angekommen" - "Es schlägt der Rache Stunde" 7. "Meine Leonore, was hast du für mich getan" 8. "O namenlose Freude" 9. Ouvertüre "Leonore III" op. 72a 10. "Heil sei dem Tag"

Disc: 3
1. Kyrie eleison 2. Christe eleison 3. Kyrie eleison 4. Gloria in excelsis Deo 5. Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis 6. Quoniam tu solus 7. In gloria Dei Patris, Amen 8. "Amen, Amen, in gloria Dei Patris" / "Quoniam tu solus..." 9. Credo in unum Deum 10. Et incarnatus est 11. Et ascendit in coelom 12. Et vitam venturi saeculi 13. Amen, et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen 14. Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dominus, Deus Sabaoth 15. Pleni sunt coeli et terra 16. Praeludium 17. Benedictus, qui venit in nomine Domini 18. Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi 19. Dona nobis pacem 20. Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi

Disc: 4
1. Kyrie 2. Gloria 3. Credo

Disc: 5
1. Sanctus: Praeludium 2. Agnus Dei

Disc: 6
1. "Langsam, Wozzeck, langsam!" 2. Verwandlung. Orchester-Nachspiel 3. "Du, der Platz ist verflucht!" 4. Verwandlung. Orchester-Nachspiel und beginnende Militärmusik 5. "Tschin Bum...! Hörst Bub? Da kommen sie!" 6. Verwandlung. Orchester-Überleitung 7. "Was erleb' ich, Wozzeck?" 8. Verwandlung. Orchester-Einleitung 9. "Geh einmal vor Dich hin..." 10. Orchester-Einleitung - "Was die Steine glänzen!" 11. Verwandlung 12. "Wohin so eilig, geehrtester Herr Sargnagel?" 13. Verwandlung - Überleitende Takte und Kammerorchester- Einleitung - "Guten Tag, Franz" / "Ich seh' nichts" 14. Verwandlung -Überleitende Takte und Orchester-Vorspiel 15. "Ich hab' ein Hemdlein an, das ist nicht mein..." 16. Verwandlung - Orchester-Nachspiel (Walzer) 17. "Oh! oh! Andres! Ich kann nicht schlafen" 18. Und ist kein Betrug in seinem Munde erfunden worden 19. Verwandlung - Orchester-Nachspiel 20. Dort links geht's in die Stadt

Disc: 7
1. Verwandlung - Orchester-Überleitung 2. Tanzt Alle; tanzt nur zu...! 3. Verwandlung - Orchester-Nachspiel 4. Verwandlung - Orchester-Epilog: Invention über eine Tonart (D minor) 5. Verwandlung - Orchester-Epilog: Invention über eine Tonart (D minor) 6. Hereinspaziert in die Menagerie 7. "Darf ich eintreten?" / "Mein Sohn!" 8. Introduktion "Gnädige Frau..." / Canon "Sie bekommen mich noch lange nicht" / Coda "Wie ist dir?" 9. Melodram "Machen Sie auf!"/Canzonetta "Auf einmal springt er auf" /Recit.:"Noch nicht wieder zur Besinnung gekommen?"/Duett: "Kannst du die Wahrheit.." 10. Arioso "Ich möchte tauschen mit dir, Toter!" /Inter- ludium und Trio: Canon "Wollen Sie mir zuhaken" 11. Verwandlungsmusik 12. "Eva?" / "Befehlen?" / Duettino "Ich finde, du siehst heute reizend aus" / 1. Kammermusik 13. "Den hab' ich mir auch ganz anders vorgestellt" 14. "Was tut denn Ihr Vater da?" Sonate "Wenn ich ihr Mann wäre" 15. Monoritmica "Nun?" / "Du hast eine halbe Million geheiratet" 16. Verwandlungsmusik 17. Verwandlungsmusik

Disc: 8
1. Sie glauben nicht 2. Gott sei Dank, dass wir endlich zuhause sind 3. "Die Matinée wird, wie ich mir denke" 4. Introduktion "Wo ist der denn hin?"/ "Du Kreatur, die mich durch den Straßenkot zum Martertode schleift!" 5. Lied der Lulu "Wenn sich die Menschen um meinetwillen umgebracht haben" 6. Nieder, Mörderin, in die Knie! 7. Arietta "Du kannst mich nicht dem Gericht ausliefern!" 8. Filmmusik 9. "Er lässt auf sich warten" 10. Sie wollten der verrückten Rakete noch Geld geben 11. Melodram "Hü, kleine Lulu" 12. "O Freiheit! Herrgott im Himmel!" / Hymne "Durch dieses Kleid empfinde ich deinen Wuchs" 13. Variationen (Lulu-Suite 14. Adagio (Lulu-Suite)

Disc: 9
1. Presto omai l'Egizia terra 2. "V'adoro, pupille" 3. "Tu la mia stella sei" 4. Va tacito e nascosto 5. "Che sento? Oh Dio!" 6. Se pietà di me non senti 7. Dall'ondoso periglio 8. Quel torrente, che cade dal monte 9. "Piangerò la sorte mia" 10. Non è si vago e bello il fior nel prato 11. Caro! Bella! Più amabile beltà

Disc: 10
1. No.1 Einleitung/Rez.: "Seht wie der strenge Winter..." 2. No.2 Chor: "Komm, holder Lenz!" 3. No.3 Rez.: "Vom Widder strahlet jetzt" 4. No.4 Arie: "Schon eilet..." 5. No.5 Rez.: "Der Landman hat sein Werk vollbracht" 6. No.6 Terzett und chor: "Sei nun gnädig..." 7. No.7 Rez.: "Erhört ist unser Flehn" 8. No.8a Freudenlied: "O wie lieblich ist..." 9. No.8b Chor: "Ewiger, mächtiger, gütiger Gott" 10. No.9 Einleitung/Rez.: "In grauen Schleier" 11. No.10 Arie/Rez.: "Der munt're Hirt" 12. No.11 Terzett und Chor: "Sie steigt herauf" 13. No.12a Rez.: "Nun regt und bewegt" 14. No.12b Rez.: "Die Mittagsonne" 15. No.13 Kavatine: "Dem Druck erlieget" 16. No.14 Rez.: "Willkommen jetzt" 17. No.15 Arie: "Welche Labung" 18. No.16 Rez.: "O seht!" 19. No.17 Chor: "Ach, das Ungewitter" 20. No.18 Terzett und chor: "Die düstren Wolken"

Disc: 11
1. No.19a Einleitung/Rez.: "Was durch seine Blüte" 2. No.19b Rez.: "Den reichen Vorrat" 3. No.20 Terzett mit Chor: "So lohnet die Natur" 4. No.21 Rez.: "Seht, wie zum Haselbusche" 5. No.22 Duett: "Ihr schönen aus der Stadt" 7. No.24 Arie: "Seht auf die breiten Wiesen hin!" 8. No.25 Rez.: "Hier treibt ein dichter Kreis" 9. No.26 Chor des Landvolks und der Jäger: "Hört, hört" 10. No.27 Rez.: "Am Rebenstocke" 11. No.28 Chor: "Juchhe! Juchhe!" 12. No.29a Einleitung 13. No.29b Rez.: "Nun senket sich" 14. No.30 Kavatine: "Licht und Leben sind geschwächet" 15. No.31 Rez.: "Gefesselt steht der breite See" 16. No.32 Arie: "Hier steht der Wand'rer nun" 17. No.33 Rez.: "So wie er naht" 18. No.34 Lied mit Chor: "Knurre, schnurre, knurre" 19. No.35 Rez.: "Abgesponnen ist der Flachs" 20. No.36 Lied mit Chor: "Ein Mädchen, das auf Ehre hielt" 21. No.37 Rez.: "Vom dürren Osten dringt" 22. No.38 Arie/Rez.: "Erblicke hier, betörter Mensch" 23. No.39 Terzett und Doppelchor: "Dann bricht der grosse Morgen an"

Disc: 12
1. Nun will die Sonn' so hell aufgeh'n 2. Nun seh' ich wohl, warum so dunkle Flammen 3. Wenn dein Mütterlein 4. Oft denk' ich, sie sind nur ausgegangen 5. In diesem Wetter 6. Um Mitternacht 7. Ich atmet' einen linden Duft 8. Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder 9. Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen 10. Rhapsody For Alto, Chorus, And Orchestra, Op.53

Disc: 13
1. Ouverture 2. "Quando avran fine omai" 3. "Padre, germani, addio!" 4. "Radunate i Troiani" 5. "Non ho colpa" 6. "Ecco il misero resto de' Troiani" 7. "Godiam la pace" 8. "Prence, signor, tutta la Grecia oltraggi" 9. "Estinto è Idomeneo?" 10. "Tutte nel cor vi sento" 11. "Pietà! Numi, pietà!" 12. "Eccoci salvi alfin" 13. "Vedrommi intorno" 14. "Cieli! che veggo?" 15. "Il padre adorato" 16. Intermezzo: Marcia 17. "Nettuno s'onori"

Disc: 14
1. Siam soli; odimi Arbace 2. Non più. Tutto acoltai 3. Non Temer, amato bene 4. "Se mai pomposo apparse" 5. "Se il padre perdei" 6. "Qual mi conturba i sensi" 7. "Fuor del mar" 8. "Chi mai del mio provò" 9. "Idol mio, se ritroso" 10. "Odo da lunge armonioso suono" 11. "Sidonie sponde!" 12. Placido è il mar...Vattene prence 13. "Pria di partir, oh Dio!" 14. "Qual nuovo terrore! 15. "Eccoti in me, barbaro Nume!" 16. "Corriamo, fuggiamo"

Disc: 15
1. "Solitudini amiche" 2. "Zeffiretti lusinghieri" 3. "Principessa, a' tuoi sguardi" 4. Spiegarti non poss'io 5. "Cieli! che vedo?" 6. "Deh resta, o cara" 7. "Sire, alla reggia tua" - 8. "Sventurata Sidon!" 9. "Se colà ne' fati è scritto" 10. "Volgi intorno lo sguardo" 11. "O voto tremendo" 12. Marcia 13. "Accogli, o rè del mar" 14. "Stupenda vittoria!" 15. Padre, mio caro padre!...Ferma, o Sire, che fai? 16. "Idomeneo cessi eser re" - "O ciel pietoso!" 17. "D'Oreste, d'Aiace" 18. "Popoli, a voi l'ultima legge" 19. "Scenda Amor, scenda Imeneo"

Disc: 16
1. Ouvertüre 2. "Hier soll ich dich denn sehen" 3. "Aber wie soll ich in den Palast kommen?" 4. "Wer ein Liebchen hat gefunden" 5. Fort ist er 6. "Solche hergelaufne Laffen" - "Was bist du nur für ein Mensch!" - "Erst geköpft, dann gehangen" 7. Geh nur, verwünschter Kerl 8. "Konstanze, dich wiederzusehen" 9. Schnell, treten Sie beiseite 10. "Singt dem großen Bassa Lieder" 11. Nun Konstanze, immer noch traurig? 12. "Ach ich liebte, war so glücklich" 13. Weißt du, was du wagst? 14. "Marsch! Trollt euch fort!" 15. Oh, das Zanken, Befehlen und Murren 16. "Durch Zärtlichkeit und Schmeicheln" 17. Zärtlichkeit! Schmeicheln! 18. "Ich gehe, doch rate ich dir" 19. "Welcher Kummer herrscht in meiner Seele" 20. Mein bestes Fräulein 21. "Martern aller Arten"

Disc: 17
1. Pst, Blondchen, pst! 2. "Welche Wonne, welche Lust" 3. Nun schnell, liebstes Blondchen 4. "Frisch zum Kampfe" 5. Holla, hier geht es ja lustig zu 6. "Vivat Bacchus! Bacchus lebe!" 7. Wahrhaftig, das muß ich gestehen 8. "Wenn der Freude Tränen fließen" 9. "Ach Belmonte! Ach, mein Leben!" 10. Kommen Sie, bester Herr 11. "Ich baue ganz auf deine Stärke" 12. "Alles liegt auf dem Ohr" 13. "In Mohrenland gefangen war" 14. Sehen sie nur, bester Herr 15. "Ha, wie will ich triumphieren" 16. Was gibt's Osmin? 17. "Welch ein Geschick.." "Ha, du solltest für mich sterben" 18. Herr, es ist aus 19. "Nie werd' ich deine Huld verkennen"

Disc: 18
1. Overture 2. "Cinque... dieci... venti..." 3. "Cosa stai misurando" 4. "Se a caso Madama la notte ti chiama" 5. "Or bene, ascolta, e taci" 6. Bravo, Signor padrone! (Figaro) 7. "Se vuol ballare, signor Contino" 8. "Ed aspettaste il giorno fissato a le sue nozze" 9. "La vendetta, oh, la vendetta" 10. "Tutto anchor no ho perso" 11. "Via resti servita, madama brillante" 12. Va'là, vecchia pedante (Susanna, Cherubino) 13. "Non so più cosa son, cosa faccio" 14. "Ah, son perduto!" 15. "Cosa sento! tosto andate" 16. "Basilio, in traccia tosto" 17. Giovani liete, fiori spargete (Coro) 18. Cos'è questa commedia? (Conte, Figaro, Susanna) 19. Giovani liete, fiori spargete (Coro) 20. "Evviva!" 21. "Non più andrai" 22. "Porgi amor" 23. Vieni, cara Susanna (Contessa, Susanna, Cherubino) 24. Quanto duolmi, Susanna (Contessa, Susanna, Cherubino) 25. "Voi che sapete" 26. "Bravo! che bella voce!" 27. "Venite... inginocchiatevi..."

Disc: 19
1. "Quante buffonerie!" - "Chi picchia alla mia porta?" (Contessa, Susanna, Cherubino / Contessa, Conte, Cherubino) 2. "Che novità!" 3. "Susanna, or via, sortite" 4. "Dunque, voi non aprite?" 5. "Aprite, presto, aprite" 6. Oh guarda il demonietto! (Susanna) 7. "Tutto è come io lasciai" 8. "Esci, ormai, garzon malnato" - "Susanna!... Signore!" 9. Signore, cos'è quel stupore? (Susanna, Conte, Contessa) 10. Susanna, son morta (Contessa, Susanna, Conte) 11. Signori di fuori son già i suonatori (Figaro, Conte, Susanna, Contessa) 12. Conoscete, signor Figaro (Conte, Figaro, Susanna, Contessa) 13. "Ah! signore" ... "Cosa è stato?" (Antonio, Conte, Susanna, Contessa, Figaro) 14. Vostre dunque saran queste carte (Antonio, Conte, Figaro, Susanna, Contessa) 15. "Voi signor, che giusto siete" 16. "Che imbarazzo è mai questo" - "Via, fatti core" 17. "Crudel! perchè finora" 18. "E perchè fosti meco" 19. "Hai già vinta la causa!" 20. "Vedro mentr'io sospiro" 21. "E decisa la lite" 22. "Riconosci in questo amplesso" 23. "Eccovi, o caro amico" 24. "Andiamo, andiam, bel paggio" 25. "E Susanna non vien!" 26. "Dove sono i bei momenti" 27. "Io vi dico, signor" - "Cosa mi narri!" 28. "Sull'aria ... Che soave zeffiretto" 29. "Piegato è il foglio..." 30. "Ricevete, o padroncina" 31. "Queste sono, Madama" 32. Ecco la marcia ... andiamo 33. Amanti costanti, seguaci d'onor (Due donne, Coro) 34. Eh già, solita usanza (Conte, Figaro) 35. Andate, amici (Conte, Coro)

Disc: 20
1. "L'ho perduta... me meschina!" 2. "Barbarina, cos'hai?" - "Madre... Figlio." 3. "Il capro e la capretta" 4. "Nel padiglione a manca" - "E Barbarina.. chi va là?"- "Ha i diavoli nel corpo" (Barbarina / Figaro,Basilio, Bartolo / Basilio, Bartolo) 5. "In quegli anni in cui val poco" 6. "Tutto è disposto" 7. "Aprite un po' quegli occhi" 8. "Signora, ella mi disse" - "Madama voi tremate" (Susanna, Marcellina / Susanna, Figaro, Contessa) 9. "Giunse alfin il momento" 10. "Deh vieni, non tardar" 11. "Perfida! e in quella forma meco mentia?" 12. "Pian pianin le andrò più presso" 13. Ecco qui la mia Susanna (Conte, Susanna, Figaro, Cherubino, Contessa) 14. Tutto è tranquillo e placido (Figaro, Susanna) 15. Pace, pace, mio dolce tesoro 16. "Gente, gente, all'armi"

Disc: 21
1. Overture 2. "Notte e giorno faticar" 3. "Leporello, ove sei?" 4. "Ah! del padre in periglio" 5. "Ma qual mai s'offre, oh Dei" 6. "Fuggi, crudele, fuggi!" 7. "Orsù, spicciati presto" 8. "Ah! chi mi dice mai" 9. "Chi è là?" 10. "Madamina, il catalogo è questo" 11. "In questa forma dunque" 12. "Giovinette, che fate all'amore" 13. "Manco male, è partita" 14. "Ho capito, signor sì!" 15. "Alfin siam liberati" 16. "Là ci darem la mano" 17. "Fermati, scellerato!" 18. "Ah, fuggi il traditor" 19. Mi par ch'oggi il demonio si diverta (Don Giovanni, Don Ottavio, Donna Anna / Donna Elvira) 20. "Non ti fidar, o misera" 21. "Povera sventurata!" 22. "Don Ottavio... son morta!" 23. "Or sai chi l'onore" 24. "Come mai creder deggio" 25. "Dalla sua pace"

Disc: 22
1. "Io deggio ad ogni patto" 2. "Fin ch'han dal vino" 3. "Masetto... senti un po'..." 4. "Batti, batti, o bel Masetto" 5. "Guarda un po' come seppe questa strega" 6. "Presto, presto... pria ch'ei venga" 7. "Tra quest'arbori celata" 8. "Bisogna aver corragio" 9. "Riposate, vezzose ragazze" 10. "Eh via, buffone, non mi seccar" 11. "Leporello!" 12. "Ah! taci, ingiusto core" 13. "Amico, che ti par?" 14. "Deh! vieni alla finestra" 15. "V'è gente alla finestra" 16. "Non ci stanchiamo" 17. "Metà di voi qua vadano" 18. "Zitto... Lascia ch'io senta... Ottimamente" 19. Ahi, ahi! La testa mia! 20. "Vedrai, carino" 21. "Di molte faci il lume" 22. "Sola, sola in buio loco"

Disc: 23
1. "Dunque quello sei tu" 2. "Ah! pietà, signori miei!" 3. "Ferma, perfido; ferma" 4. "Il mio tesoro intanto" 5. "In quali eccessi" (K. 540c, Recitative) 6. "Mi tradi quell'alma ingrata" (K. 540c, Aria) 7. "Ah! ah! ah! questa è buona!" 8. "O statua gentilissima" 9. "Calmatevi, idol mio" 10. "Crudele? Ah no! mio bene!" 11. "Non mi dir, bell'idol mio" 12. "Ah, si segua il suo passo" 13. "Già la mensa è preparata" 14. "L'ultima prova" 15. "Don Giovanni, a cenar teco m'invitasti" 16. "Ah! dov'è il perfido?"

Disc: 24
1. Overture 2. "Notte e giorno faticar" 3. "Leporello, ove sei?" 4. "Ah! del padre in periglio" 5. Ma qual mai s'offre, o Dei 6. "Fuggi, crudele, fuggi!" 7. "Orsù, spicciati presto" 8. "Ah! chi mi dice mai" - "Udisti? qualche bella" 9. "Chi è là?" 10. "Madamina, il catalogo è questo" 11. "Giovinette, che fate all'amore" 12. "Manco male, è partita" 13. "Ho capito, signor sì!" 14. "Alfin siam liberati" 15. "Là ci darem la mano" 16. "Fermati, scellerato!" 17. "Ah, fuggi il traditor" 18. "Mi par ch'oggi il demonio si diverta" 19. "Non ti fidar, o misera" 20. "Povera sventurata!" 21. "Don Ottavio... son morta!" 22. "Or sai chi l'onore" 23. "Dalla sua pace" 24. "Io deggio ad ogni patto" 25. "Fin ch'han dal vino"

Disc: 25
1. "Masetto... senti un po'..." 2. "Batti, batti, o bel Masetto" 3. "Guarda un po' come seppe questa strega" 4. "Presto, presto... pria ch'ei venga" 5. "Tra quest'arbori celata" 6. "Bisogna aver corragio" 7. "Riposate, vezzose ragazze" 8. "Eh via, buffone, non mi seccar" 9. "Leporello!" 10. "Ah! taci, ingiusto core" 11. "Amico, che ti par?" 12. "Deh! vieni alla finestra" 13. "V'è gente alla finestra" 14. "Metà di voi qua vadano" 15. "Zitto... Lascia ch'io senta... Ottimamente" - 16. Ahi, ahi! La testa mia! 17. "Vedrai, carino" 18. "Di molte faci il lume" 19. "Sola, sola in buio loco"

Disc: 26
1. "Dunque quello sei tu" 2. "Ah! pietà, signori miei!" 3. "Ferma, perfido; ferma" 4. "Il mio tesoro intanto" 5. "In quali eccessi, o numi" 6. "Mi tradì quell'alma ingrata" 7. "Ah! ah! ah! questa è buona!" 8. "O statua gentilissima" 9. "Calmatevi, idol mio" 10. "Crudele? Ah no! mio bene!" 11. "Non mi dir, bell'idol mio" 12. "Già la mensa è preparata" 13. "L'ultima prova" 14. "Don Giovanni, a cenar teco m'invitasti" 15. "Ah! dov'è il perfido?"

Disc: 27
1. Ouverture 2. "La mia Dorabella" 3. E la fede delle femminine 4. "Scioccherie di poeti" 5. "Ah, guarda, sorella" 6. "Vorrei dir, e cor non ho" - "Stelle! Per carità, signor Alfonso" 7. "Sento, o Dio, che questo piede"-"O cielo! Questo è il tamburo funesto" 8. "Bella vita militar!" 9. "Non v'è più tempo, amici"-"Di scrivermi ogni giorno"- "Dove son?"-"Son partiti" 10. "Soave sia il vento" 11. "Non son cattivo comico" 12. Che vita maledetta (Despina, Fiordiligi, Dorabella) 13. "Ah, scostati!" 14. "Smanie implacabili che m'agitate"-"Signora Dorabella" - 15. "In uomini, in soldati" 16. "Alla bella Despinetta" 17. "Che sussurro! Che strepito!" 18. "Come scoglio immoto resta" 19. "Non siate ritrosi" 20. "E voi ridete?" 21. "Un'aura amorosa" 22. "Ah, che tutta in un momento" 23. "Si mora, sì, si mora" 24. "Eccovi il medico"

Disc: 28
1. Come si muovono 2. "Andate là, che siete due bizzarre ragazze" 3. "Una donna a quindici anni" 4. "Prenderò quel brunettino" 5. Secondate, aurette amiche...Cos'è tal serenata 6. "La mano a me date" - "Oh che bella giornata!" 7. "Il core vi dono" 8. "Barbara! Perché fuggi?" 9. "Ei parte... senti... ah no!" 10. "Per pietà, ben mio, perdona" 11. "Amico, abbiamo vinto!" 12. "Donne mie, la fate a tanti" 13. "Ora vedo che siete" 14. "Come tutto congiura" 15. "Fra gli amplessi in pochi istanti"-"Ah, poveretto me, cosa ho veduto!"-"Vittoria, padroncini!" 16. "Tutti accusan le donne" 17. "Fate presto, o cari amici" 18. "Benedetti i doppi coniugi" 19. "Miei signori, tutto è fatto" 20. Richiamati da regio contordine

Disc: 29
1. Overture 2. "Zu Hilfe! Zu Hilfe!" - Dialog "Wo bin ich?" 3. Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja...He da! 4. Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön...Rüste dich mit Mut 5. O zittre nicht...Ist's auch denn Wirklichlkeit 6. Hm! hm! hm! hm! (Papageno, Tamino, Die drei Damen) 7. Du feines Täubchen, nur herein!...Bin ich nicht ein Narr 8. Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen (Pamina, Papageno) 9. "Zum Ziele führt dich diese Bahn" 10. "Wie stark ist nicht dein Zauberton" 11. Schnelle Füße, rascher Mut (Pamina, Papageno, Monostatos, Chor) 12. Es lebe Sarastro! Sarastro lebe! (Chor, Pamina, Sarastro, Papageno, Monostatos, Tamino)

Disc: 30
1. Marsch der Priester...Ihr eingeweihten Diener 2. "O Isis und Osiris" - Dialog:"Eine schreckliche Nacht" 3. "Bewahret euch vor Weibertücken" - Dialog "He, Lichter her!" 4. "Wie? Wie? Wie?..." - Dialog:"Tamino! Dein standhaft männliches Betragen hat gesiegt" 5. Alles fühlt der Liebe Freuden...Zurück! 6. Der Hölle Rache...Morden soll ich? 7. In diesen heil'gen Hallen...Tamino! - Pst! 8. Seid uns zum zweitenmal willkommen...Tamino, woollen 9. Ach, ich fühl's, es ist verschwunden (Pamina) 10. O Isis und Osiris...Prinz, dein Betragen 11. Soll ich dich, Teurer...Tamino! Willst du mich den 12. Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen...Da bin ich schon

Disc: 31
1. Bald prangt, den Morgen zu verkünden (Die drei Knaben, Pamina) 2. "Der, welcher wandelt diese Straße voll Beschwerden" 3. Tamino mein, o welch ein Glück (Tamino, Pamina, die Geharnischten) - 4. "Papagena! Papagena!" 5. Nur stille, stille, stille, stille! 6. Die Strahlen der Sonne vertreiben die Nacht (Sarastro,Chor) 7. Ouvertüre 8. "Da schlägt die Abschiedsstunde" 9. "Bester Jüngling" 10. "Ich bin die erste Sängerin" 11. "Jeder Künstler strebt nach Ehre"

Disc: 32
1. Overture 2. "Ma che? sempre l'istesso" 3. "Come ti piace imponi" 4. "Amico, il passo affretta" 5. "Deh se piacer mi vuoi" - "Amico, ecco il momento" 6. "Deh prendi un dolce amplesso" 7. Marcia 8. "Serbate, oh Dei custodi" 9. "Te della patria il Padre" - "Basta, basta, oh miei fidi" 10. Marcia 11. "Adesso, oh Sesto, parla per me" 12. "Del più sublime soglio" 13. "Non ci pentiam" 14. "Ah perdona al primo affetto" 15. Che mi rechi in quel foglio? 16. "Ah, se fosse intorno al trono" 17. "Felice me!" - "Ancora mi schernisce?" 18. "Parto, ma tu ben mio" 19. "Vedrai, Tito, vedrai" 20. "Vengo... aspettate... Sesto!..." 21. "Oh Dei, che smania è questa" 22. "Deh conservate, oh Dei" - "Sesto!"

Disc: 33
1. "Sesto, come tu credi" 2. "Torna di Tito a lato" 3. "Partir deggio, o restar?" 4. "Se al volto mai ti senti" 5. "Ah grazie si rendano" 6. + tutto colà d'intorno 7. "Tardi s'avvede" 8. Annio, che rechi? 9. "Tu fosti tradito" 10. "Che orror! che tradimento!" - "Ingrato!" 11. "Quello di Tito è il volto!" 12. E pur mi fa pietà 13. "Deh per questo istante solo" 14. "Dove s'intese mai più contumace infedeltà?" - "Publio. - Cesare." 15. "Se all'impero" 16. Publio, ascolta! 17. "S'altro che lagrime" 18. "Ecco il punto, oh Vitellia" 19. "Non più di fiori" 20. "Che del ciel, che degli Dei" 21. Pria che principio 22. "Ma che giorno è mai questo?" 23. "Tu, è ver, m'assolvi, Augusto"

Disc: 34
1. 1. Introitus: Requiem/2. Kyrie 2. 3. Sequentia: Dies irae 3. 3. Sequentia: Tuba mirum 4. 3. Sequentia: Rex tremendae 5. 3. Sequentia: Recordare 6. 3. Sequentia: Confutatis 7. 3. Sequentia: Lacrimosa 8. 4. Offertorium: Domine Jesu 9. 4. Offertorium: Hostias 10. 5. Sanctus 11. 6. Benedictus 12. Agnus Dei/Lux aeterna

Disc: 35
1. "Wie schön ist die Prinzessin Salome heute Nacht!" 2. "Nach mir wird Einer kommen" 3. "Ich will nicht bleiben" 4. "Siehe, der Herr ist gekommen" 5. "Jauchze nicht, du Land Palästina" 6. Laßt den Propheten herauskommen 7. "Wo ist er, dessen Sündenbecher jetzt voll ist?" 8. "Er ist schrecklich" 9. "Wer ist dies Weib, das mich ansieht?" 10. "Jochanaan! Ich bin verliebt in deinen Leib" 11. Dein Leib ist grauenvoll 12. "Zurück, Tochter Sodoms!" 13. Niemals, Tochter Babylons, Tochter Sodoms...Niemals! 14. "Wird dir nicht bange, Tochter der Herodias?" 15. "Lass mich deinen Mund küssen, Jochanaan!" 16. "Du bist verflucht" 17. "Wo ist Salome?" 18. "Salome, komm, trink Wein mit mir" 19. "Siehe, die Zeit ist gekommen" 20. "Wahrhaftig, Herr, es wäre besser, ihn in unsre Hände zu geben!" 21. "Siehe, der Tah ist nahe" 22. O über dies geile Weib, die Tochter Babylons

Disc: 36
1. "Tanz für Mich, Salome" 2. Salome's Dance Of The Seven Veils 3. "Ah! Herrlich! Wundervoll, wundervoll!" 4. "Salome, ich beschwöre dich" 5. "Salome, bedenk, was du tun willst" 6. Gib mir den Kopf des Jochanaan! 7. "Es ist kein Laut zu vernehmen" 8. "Ah! Du wolltest mich nicht deinen Mund" 9. "Sie ist ein Ungeheuer, deine Tochter" 10. "Ah! Ich habe deinen Mund geküsst, Jochanaan"

Disc: 37
1. "Wo bleibt Elektra?" 2. "Allein! Weh, ganz allein." 3. "Elektra!" / "Ah, das Gesicht!" 4. "Ich kann nicht sitzen und ins Dunkel starren" 5. "Es geht ein Lärm los." 6. "Was willst du? Seht doch dort!" 7. "Ich will nichts hören!" 8. "Ich habe keine guten Nächte." 9. "Wenn das rechte Blutopfer unterm Beile fällt" 10. "Was bluten muß? Dein eigenes Genick"

Disc: 38
1. "Orest! Orest ist tot!" 2. Platz da! Wer lungert so vor einer Tür? 3. "Nun muß es hier von uns geschehn." 4. "Du! Du! Denn du bist stark! Wie stark du bist" 5. "Nun denn, allein!" 6. "Was willst du, fremder Mensch?" 7. Wer bist denn du? 8. Orest! Orest! Es rührt sich niemand! 9. "Du wirst es tun? Allein? Du armes Kind?" 10. "Seid ihr von Sinnen" 11. "Ich habe ihm das Beil nicht geben können!" 12. "He! Lichter!" 13. Helft! Mörder! 14. "Elektra! Schwester!" 15. "Ob ich nicht höre?" 16. Elektras Tanz 17. "Elektra!" / "Schweig, und tanze."

Disc: 39
1. Introduction 2. "Wie du warst!" 3. Der Feldmarschall sitzt im krowatischen Wald 4. "Selbstverständlich empfängt mich Ihro Gnaden" 5. Macht das einen lahmen Esel aus mir? 6. "I komm' glei" 7. "Di rigori armato il seno" - 8. "Mein lieber Hippolyte" 9. "Da geht er hin" 10. "Ach! Du bist wieder da!" 11. "Die Zeit, die ist ein sonderbar Ding"

Disc: 40 1. Introduction 2. Ein ernster Tag, ein großer Tag! 3. "In dieser feierlichen Stunde" 4. "Mir ist die Ehre widerfahren" 5. "Ich kenn' Ihn schon recht wohl" 6. "Jetzt aber kommt mein Herr Zukünftiger" 7. Hab' nichts dawider 8. Mit Ihren Augen voll Tränen 9. "Herr Baron von Lerchenau!" 10. "Da lieg' ich!" 11. "Ohne mich, ohne mich, jeder Tag dir so bang"

Disc: 41
1. Introduction and Pantomime 2. "Hab'n Euer Gnaden noch weitre Befehle?" 3. "Nein, nein, nein, nein! I trink' kein Wein" 4. Wie die Stund' hingeht 5. "Halt! Keiner rührt sich!" 6. "Ihre hochfürstliche Gnaden, die Frau Fürstin Feldmarschall" 7. Ist halt vorbei 8. "Mein Gott, es war nicht mehr als eine Farce" 9. Heut oder morgen oder den übernächsten Tag 10. "Marie Theres'!" - "Hab mir's gelobt, Ihn lieb zu haben" 11. "Ist ein Traum, kann nicht wirklich sein"

Disc: 42
1. Introduction - "Wie du warst! Wie du bist!" 2. Er Katzenkopf, Er Unvorsichtiger! 3. "Selbstverständlich empfängt mich Ihro Gnaden" 4. "Hat Sie schon einmal mit einem Kavalier" 5. "I komm' glei..." - "Drei arme adelige Waisen" 6. "Di rigori armato il seno" 7. "Als Morgengabe" 8. "Da geht er hin" 9. "Ach! Du bist wieder da!" 10. "Die Zeit, die ist ein sonderbar Ding"

Disc: 43
1. Introduction 2. "Mir ist die Ehre widerfahren" 3. "Ich kenn' Ihn schon recht wohl" 4. "Jetzt aber kommt mein Herr Zukünftiger" 5. "Wird Sie das Mannsbild da heiraten" 6. "Herr Baron von Lerchenau!" 7. "Da lieg' ich!"

Disc: 44
1. Introduction And Pantomime 2. "Hab'n Euer Gnaden noch weitre Befehle?" 3. "Die schöne Musi!" 4. Er ist es! Es ist mein Mann! 5. Bin glücklich über Massen 6. "Leopold, wir gehn!" 7. "Mein Gott, es war nicht mehr als eine Farce" 8. "Marie Theres'!" - "Hab mir's gelobt, Ihn lieb zu haben" 9. "Ist ein Traum, kann nicht wirklich sein"

Disc: 45
1. Mein Herr Haushofmeister! 2. Hier finden Euer Gnaden die Mamsell Zerbinetta 3. Hast ein Stückerl Notenpapier? 4. Ihnen allen habe ich eine plötzliche 5. Nein, Herr, so kommt es nicht 6. An Ihre Plätze, meine Damen und Herrn! 7. Sein wir wieder gut - Musik ist eine heilige Kunst

Disc: 46
1. Overture 2. Schläft sie? 3. Wo war ich? Tot? 4. Ein Schönes war: hiess Theseus 5. Ach, so versuchet doch ein kleines Lied 6. Es gibt ein Reich 7. Die Dame gibt mit trüben Sinn 8. Großmächtige Prinzessin 9. Hübsch gepredigt! Aber tauben Ohren! 10. Ein schönes Wunder! 11. Circe, kannst du mich hören? 12. Theseus! Nein, nein! 13. Gibt es kein Hinüber?

Disc: 47
1. "Mein Herr Haushofmeister!" 2. Hier finden Euer Gnaden die Mamsell Zerbinetta 3. Hast ein Stückerl Notenpapier? 4. Ist schon geschehn. Wir sind bereit 5. Nein, Herr, so kommt es nicht 6. "An Ihre Plätze, meine Damen und Herrn!" 7. "Sein wir wieder gut" - "Musik ist eine heilige Kunst" 8. Overture 9. "Schläft sie?" 10. Wo war ich? Tot? 11. Ein Schönes war: hiess Theseus 12. Ach, so versuchet doch ein kleines Lied 13. "Es gibt ein Reich" 14. "Die Dame gibt mit trüben Sinn" - "Wie sie sich schwingen"

Disc: 48
1. "Großmächtige Prinzessin" 2. "Hübsch gepredigt! Aber tauben Ohren!" - "Eine Stör- rische zu trösten" 3. "Ein schönes Wunder!" 4. "Circe, kannst du mich hören?" 5. Theseus! Nein, nein! 6. "Gibt es kein Hinüber?"

Disc: 49
1. Orchestral Introduction 2. "Mein Herr Haushofmeister!" 3. "Du allmächtiger Gott!" 4. "'Die ungetreue Zerbinetta und ihre vier Liebhaber':"' 5. "Ein Augenblick ist wenig" 6. "Sein wir wieder gut" 7. Overture 8. "Schläft sie?" 9. Wo war ich? Tot? 10. "Lieben, Hassen, Hoffen, Zagen"

Disc: 50
1. "Es gibt ein Reich" 2. "Die Dame gibt mit trüben Sinn" - "Wie sie sich schwingen" 3. Großmächtige Prinzessin, wer verstünde nicht 4. Hübsch gepredigt aber tauben Ohren 5. Ein schönes Wunder! 6. Circe, Circe, kannst du mich hören? 7. Das waren Zauberworte!

Disc: 51
1. Licht über'm See 2. Amme, wachst du? 3. Ist mein Liebster dahin? 4. Wie soll ich denn nicht weinen? 5. Amme, um alles, wo find' ich dein Schatten 6. Erdenflug 7. Dieb! Da nimm!...Reiss ihn nach hinten...Zu hilfe" 8. Sie aus dem Hause 9. Dritthalb Jahr bin ich dein Weib 10. Was wollt' ich hier? 11. Ach, Herrin, süße Herrin! 12. Hat es dich blutige Tränen gekostet 13. Mutter, Mutter, laß uns nach Hause! 14. Trag' ich die Ware selber zum Markt...Ihr Gatten in

Disc: 52
1. Komm bald wieder nach Haus, mein Gebieter 2. Was ist nun deine Rede, du Prinzessin...O Tag des 3. Orchesterzwischenspiel 4. Falke, Falke, du Wiedergefundener 5. Es gibt derer, die haben immer Zeit 6. Schlange, was hab ich 7. Ein Handwerk verstehst du sicher nicht...Um Nahrung für mich gräme dich nicht! 8. Wer da? 9. Sieh - Amme - sieh 10. Wehe, mein Mann! 11. Es dunkelt, daß ich nicht sehe zur Arbeit 12. Es gibt derer 13. Das Weib ist ire

Disc: 53
1. Schweigt doch, ihr Stimmen! 2. Mir anvertraut 3. Auf, geh nach oben, Mann 4. Fort von hier! 5. Wehe, mein Kind 6. Sterben! Sterben 7. Vater, bist du's? 8. Weh mir! Erfüllt der Fluch! 9. Wenn das Herz aus Kristall 10. Trifft mich sein Lieben nicht 11. Nun will ich jubeln 12. Vater, dir drohet michts

Disc: 54
1. Die Karten fallen besser als das letzte Mal 2. Sie wollen alle Geld! 3. "Matteo!" - "Zdenko! Du! Bist du allein?" 4. Ich danke, Fräulein 5. Aber der Richtige, wenn's einen gibt für mich 6. Das ist der Schlitten vom Elemer 7. Was hast du denn? 8. Lasst uns allein, meine Töchter 9. Bin nicht in der Lage, länger zu warten! 10. Hab' ich geträumt? 11. Mein Elemer!

Disc: 55
1. Das ist ein Engel 2. Sie sehn nicht aus wie jemand 3. Sie wolln mich heiraten, sagt mein Vater 4. Und du wirst mein Gebieter sein 5. Der Ball begehrt nach seiner Königin 6. Sind Sie allein? 7. Und jetzt sag ich Adieu 8. Ein Feigling bin ich - 9. Einleitung

Disc: 56
1. Über seine Felder 2. Ich gratuliere Ihnen, Herr Leutnant 3. Pap! - Zdenka! Was für ein Aufzug! 4. Sie gibt mir keinen Blick, sie sagt nicht gute Nacht 5. Das war sehr gut, Mandryka

Disc: 57
1. Potpourri 2. Ei, die Ehre, die Ehre! 3. Da eine in deine Takelage 4. "Ah! Mein Stock!" - "Gnädiger Herr!" 5. O Gott, war das ein saurer Empfang! 6. Nicht an mich, Geliebter, denke 7. Sehr rechtschaffen gedacht, junger Herr 8. "Seid ihr bereit?" - Finale 9. Den Paraderock mit den versilberten Schnüren! 10. Euer Gnaden gehorsamster Diener! 11. Werte Damen, seid willkommen! 12. Sir Morosus wird Euch dankbar sein 13. So stumm, mein Kind

Disc: 58
1. Anhiero gestatte ich mir 2. Potz Deubel, so hat die alte Hur' 3. Nehmt's nicht so streng 4. Du bist so still 5. Was geht hier vor? 6. Du süssester Engel 7. Einleitung 8. Hier die Spiegel, die Konsolen 9. Sento un certo non so che 10. Seine illustre Lordschaft 11. Willst du wirklich mich nicht kennen? 12. Finale "Teurer Ohm! Nicht länger kann ich" 13. Alles Frohe, alles Schöne 14. Wie schön ist doch die Musik

Disc: 59
1. Orchestereinleitung - "Kleontes!" / "Adrast" 2. O bleib, geliebter Tag! 3. Leukippos, du? 4. "Daphne!" / "Mutter!" / "Wir warten dein" 5. Ei, so fliegt sie dahin 6. Seid ihr um mich, der Hirten alle? 7. Ich grüße dich, weiser, erfahrener Fischer 8. Was führt dich her im niedern Gewande?

Disc: 60
1. Dieser Kuß - dies Umarmen 2. Trinke, du Tochter! 3. Furchtbare Schmach dem Gotte! 4. Zu dir nun, Knabe! 5. Jeden heiligen Morgen 6. Unheilvolle Daphne! 7. Was erblicke ich? 8. Daphnes Verwandlung "Ich komme - ich komme" 9. Mondlichtmusik

Disc: 61
1. Introduction 2. Bezaubernd ist sie heute wieder 3. Bei sanfter Musik schläft sich's am besten 4. Der Strom der Tränen trug mich fort 5. Die Bühne ist fertig 6. Da ist sie! Ich eile, sie zu begrüssen 7. Ihr geht. Entließ schon die Macht 8. Ein schönes Gedicht! 9. Lassen Sie ihn bewähren 10. Meine Prosa verstummt 11. Hier ist er! 12. Wie schön sind die Worte, kaum mehr kenn' ich sie 13. Verraten hab' ich meine Gefühle 14. Diese Liebe, plötzlich geboren 15. Wir werden die Schokolade hier im Salon einnehmen 16. Welch' köstliche Begegnung 17. Wir kehren zurück in die Welt des Salons 18. 1. Tanz: Passepied - Was sagt ihr? 19. 2. Tanz: Gigue - Ich bin fest entschlossen 20. 3. Tanz: Gavotte 21. Fuge - Tanz und Musik stehn im Bann des Rhythmus 22. Eine Oper ist ein absurdes Ding

Disc: 62
1. "Bevor sein Leben erloschen" 2. Duett der italienischen Sänger 3. Das Hudigungsfestspiel, die grandiose 'azione teatrale' 4. Er ist heroisch und hochdramatisch 5. Hola! Ihr Streiter im Apoll! 6. La Roche, du bist groß! La Roche, du bist monumental! 7. Ihr hörtet die mahnende Stimme 8. Das ist mehr als eine Versöhnung 9. Wählt doch einen Vorwurf, der Konflikt schildert 10. Auf Wiedersehen, Flamand! 11. Das war ein schöner Lärm 12. Herr Direktor ... Wo kommen Sie her? 13. Mondschein-Musik 14. "Wo ist mein Bruder?" 15. "Kein andres, das mir so im Herzen loht" 16. "Ihre Liebe schlägt mir entgegen" 17. "Du Spiegelbild der verliebten Madeleine"

Disc: 63
1. Overture 2. 1. Introduktion. "Hojoje! Hojoje! Hallojo! Ho!" 3. "Kein Zweifel! Sieben Meilen fort!" 4. "Mit Gewitter und Sturm aus fernem Meer" 5. "Die Frist ist um" - "Ew'ge Vernichtung, nimm uns auf" (Holländer, Mannschaft des Holländers) 6. 3. Szene, Duett und Chor. "He! Holla! Steuermann" 7. "Durch Sturm und bösen Wind verschlagen" 8. "Südwind! Südwind!" 9. "Mit Gewitter und Sturm aus fernem Meer" 10. Introduction 11. 4. Szene, Lied und Ballade. "Summ und brumm, du gutes Rädchen" 12. "Johohoe! Traft ihr das Schiff im Meere an 13. Hilf, Himmel! Senta! Senta! (Mädchen, Mary, Erik, Senta) 14. 5. Duett. "Bleib, Senta! Bleib nur einen Augenblick!" 15. "Mein Herz, voll Treue bis zum Sterben"

Disc: 64
1. Fühlst du den Schmerz (Senta, Erik) 2. "Auf hohem Felsen lag ich träumend" 3. 6. Finale. "Mein Kind, du siehst mich auf der Schwelle" 4. "Mögst du, mein Kind, den fremden Mann willkommen heißen" 5. "Wie aus der Ferne längst vergang'ner Zeiten" 6. "Wirst du des Vaters Wahl nicht schelten?" 7. "Verzeiht! Mein Volk hält draußen sich nicht mehr" 8. Entr'acte 9. 7. Szene und Chor. "Steuermann, laß die Wacht!" 10. "Johohoe! Johohoe! Hoe! Hoe!" 11. 8. Finale. "Was mußt ich hören" 12. "Willst jenen Tag du nicht dich mehr entsinnen" (Kavatine) 13. Verloren! Ach, verloren! 14. Erfahre das Geschick, vor dem ich dich bewahr' (Der Holländer, Erik, Senta, Daland, Mary, Chor)

Disc: 65
1. Prelude. Langsam und schmachtend 2. "Westwärts schweift der Blick" 3. "Frisch weht der Wind der Heimat zu" 4. "Weh, ach wehe! Dies zu dulden" 5. "Auf! Auf! Ihr Frauen!" 6. "Herr Tristan trete nah!" 7. "Tristan! - Isolde! Treuloser Holder!"

Disc: 66
1. Prelude 2. "Hörst du Sie noch?" 3. "Isolde! Geliebte! - Tristan! Geliebter!" 4. "O sink hernieder, Nacht der Liebe" 5. "Einsam wachend in der Nacht" 6. "Lausch, Geliebter!" 7. "Doch unsre Liebe, heißt sie nicht Tristan und - Isolde?" 8. "So starben wir" 9. "Rette dich, Tristan!" 10. "Tatest du's wirklich?" 11. "O König, das kann ich dir nicht sagen"

Disc: 67
1. Prelude 2. "Man hört einen Hirtenreigen" 3. "Kurwenal! He!" 4. "Hei nun! Wie du kamst?" 5. "Noch losch das Licht nicht aus" 6. "Noch ist kein Schiff zu sehn!" 7. "Bist du nun tot?" 8. "O diese Sonne!" 9. "Ich bin's, ich bin's" 10. "Kurwenal! Hör!" 11. "Mild und leise wie er lächelt" (Isoldes Liebestod)

Disc: 68
1. Già nella notte densa (Love Duet) 2. "Ah! Du wolltest mich nicht deinen Mund" 3. 1. "Meine sehr verehrten Damen und Herren ..." 4. 2. "Ich möchte nun einzelne Äußerungen ..." 5. 3. "Den schöpferischen Akt rationell zu erfassen ..." 6. 4. "Ein spezielles Problem ..." 7. 5. "Um das Bild vom schöpferischen Geist ..." 8. 6. "Nach dem Komponisten Strauss ..." 9. 7. "Eine besonders wichtige Frage in der Musik ..." 10. 8. "Nun möchte ich Ihnen, meine Damen und Herren ..." 11. 9. "Drei Jahre nach der von mancherlei Unheil 12. 10. "Sodann erinnere ich mich mit besonderer Freude ..." - 13. 11. "Folgen Sie mir jetzt, meine Damen und Herren ..." 14. 12. "Straussens Memorandum ..."

Disc: 69
1. Ansprache des Dirigenten an die Presse anlässlich der Gesamtaufnahme von Mozarts "Don Giovanni" in Prag 2. Ouverture 3. 1. "Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart gilt meine große Liebe ..." 4. "Grazie di tanto onore" 5. 2. "Richard Strauss hasste als Dirigent jede überflüssige Bewegung ..." 6. "Ach Belmonte! Ach, mein Leben!" 7. 3. "Sicher ist hier und da der Einfluss Joseph Haydns zu spüren ..." 8. Die Strahlen der Sonne vertreiben die Nacht (Sarastro,Chor) 9. 4. "Über eines habe ich mir bei der Mozart-Interpretation noch nie Gedanken gemacht ..." 10. "Mora, mora" 11. 5. "Oder das Tempo der großen Susannen-Arie im letzten Akt ..." 12. "La mano a me date" 13. 6. "Das Bild von der Persönlichkeit Mozarts war von einer Generation ..." 14. "Don Giovanni, a cenar teco m'invitasti" 15. 7. "Nichts wäre abwegiger ..." 16. Karl Böhm spricht über seine Beziehung zu den Wiener Philharmonikern

Disc: 70
1. Early Years in Graz 2. First Conducting Experiences 3. Munich, Darmstadt and Alban Berg 4. Dresden, Richard Strauss and Mozart 5. Strauss as Conductor and Composer 6. Interlude in Vienna 7. Mozart's Genius 8. The Vienna State Opera Destroyed and Rebuilt

70 CD Box-Set Purchase Link

Title - Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 4, 5 & 6 Pathétique
Artist - Tchaikovsky

For those not in the know, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (25 April/7 May 1840 – 25 October/6 November 1893), often anglicized as Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky, was a Russian composer of the romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular music in the classical repertoire.

He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, bolstered by his appearances as a guest conductor in Europe and the United States. Tchaikovsky was honored in 1884 by Emperor Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension.

Released this past February 2nd, 2018 on luxurious 3 vinyl LP's, Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 4, 5 & 6 "Pathétique" is now, and quite easily, one of my favorite new vinyl releases in-house.

1. Symphony No.4 In F Minor, Op.36
2. Symphony No.5 In E Minor, Op.64
3. Symphony No.6 In B Minor, Op.74 -"PathÉTique"

To my mind, there has never been a more legendary set of Tchaikovsky's last three symphonies than these 1960 interpretations.

Performed so magnificently by the great Yevgeny Mravinsky and "his orchestra" the Leningrad Philharmonic, viewing these recordings as anything less than spectacular, thrilling, or simply deeply moving, let alone definitive, is pure madness!

Mravinsky pushes the music and the orchestra to the absolute limit in every way, and by all rights, both the music and the playing should fall apart, but they don't.

Instead, what emerges is so revelatory, so shocking in its beauty, intensity, passion, and even wildness. There is a *truth* to these performances that makes you feel like this is exactly what Tchaikovsky intended to say, and wanted us to hear, that makes it difficult to imagine there is any other valid approach.

Mravinsky's performances here of the 4th and 5th are revelatory and spectacular. Yet best of all to my ears (if that's even imaginable) is the recording of the 6th. Mravinsky's performance of the 6th is not simply as good as the others, but even more so, it sets off shockwaves.

There is such an intensity to this 6th that it's impossible for me to listen to it and not be moved to tears, every single time. The pain is real and visceral, as are all the other emotions that Tchaikovsky conveys, including joy, sorrow, momentary triumph, and ultimate tragedy.

Again, and not just to my mind folks, but this is one of the greatest recorded legacies in all of classical music, and essential listening.

Anyone who loves Tchaikovsky and does not hear these performances is cheating themselves out of one of the greatest musical experience imaginable.

3LP Purchase Link

Title - 'Mozart: Requiem' (Vinyl LP)
Artist - W. A. Mozart

For those not in the know, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the classical era.

Born in Salzburg, Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty.

At 17, Mozart was engaged as a musician at the Salzburg court, but grew restless and traveled in search of a better position. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position.

He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of his early death at the age of 35. The circumstances of his early death have been much mythologized.

He composed more than 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers, and his influence is profound on subsequent Western art music. Ludwig van Beethoven composed his own early works in the shadow of Mozart, and Joseph Haydn wrote: "posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years".

Released this past February 2nd, 2018 on a luxurious vinyl LP, Mozart: Requiem is now playing (again) as I type this review, and I have to say I am loving it (all over again).

Side A:
1. 1. Introitus: Requiem/2. Kyrie
2. 3. Sequentia: Dies irae
3. 3. Sequentia: Tuba mirum
4. 3. Sequentia: Rex tremendae
5. 3. Sequentia: Recordare
6. 3. Sequentia: Confutatis
7. 3. Sequentia: Lacrimosa

Side B:
1. 4. Offertorium: Domine Jesu
2. 4. Offertorium: Hostias
3. 5. Sanctus
4. 6. Benedictus
5. Agnus Dei/Lux aeterna

I note above that I'm loving it all over again on vinyl, as perhaps serendipity accompanies youth more than it does old age, for when I was young I wandered into my university record shop looking for a Mozart Requiem, my first.

I was familiar with Karl Böhm's Die Walküre from Bayreuth and liked it and saw this vinyl set with stickers of awards it had received in Europe and I bought it. Such trust!

Well, it paid off. 50 years later it is still at the top of my Mozart Requiem pile, albeit superseded lately by Christian Thielemans's splendid recording from Munich. What I have loved about Böhm's recording of this masterpiece is his serenity, yes, serenity... Karl Böhm!

He has an unjustified reputation of being quick, heartless and dry in his recordings, stemming by and large from his fleet-footed and invigorating traversal of The Ring cycle at Bayreuth, a famous recording, still one of the top two in my estimation, along with Solti's, and his Tristan und Isolde from the same source.

His Mozart Requiem is rather slower than most and of a deep devotion rarely encountered in this piece. It's the darkest, most solemn and perhaps most moving of them all. The opening is deeply mournful and touching, not simply poignant and lovely, though it is those things as well.

The balance of the performance travels along those lines, never approaching the glibness of Rossini's Stabat Mater, which it often has in other conductor's hands, or the simply pretty and shallow. Mozart was sad when he composed this piece. Somehow I think he sensed his end being near and his usual bonhomie and roistering ways had come to a screeching halt in the face of ... Eternity.

Böhm has the great advantage, as well, with a quartet of the finest soloists possible for that day. Edith Mathis, Julia Hamari, Wielsaw Ochman and Karl Ridderbusch. Other recordings boast fine soloists as well, notably Peter Schreier's on Philips, with Margaret Price, Trudeliese Schmidt, Francisco Araiza and Theo Adam, perhaps the best all round team.

But Böhm's deeply probing yet subtle approach to this work is unique. There is none of Karajan's grand-standing or Bernstein's melodramatics here, both fine recordings (all THREE of Karajan's actually).

The Requiem is one of those pieces that should be represented by multiple recordings in any serious library. This is one of them, now lovingly brought back on vinyl, along with Thielemann and one of Karajan's and probably several others depending upon individual taste. (PM)

LP Purchase Link

Title - The Beautiful Voice (20th Anniversary Vinyl 2LP)
Artist - Renée Fleming

For those not in the know, Renée Fleming (born February 14, 1959) is an American opera singer and soprano whose repertoire encompasses Richard Strauss, Mozart, Handel, bel canto, lieder, French opera and chansons, jazz and even indie rock.

Fleming has a full lyric soprano voice and she has performed coloratura, lyric, and lighter spinto soprano operatic roles in Italian, German, French, Czech, and Russian, aside from her native English.

She also speaks fluent German and French, along with limited Italian. Her signature roles include Countess Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, Desdemona in Verdi's Otello, Violetta in Verdi's La traviata, the title role in Dvořák's Rusalka, the title role in Massenet's Manon, the title role in Massenet's Thaïs, the title role in Richard Strauss's Arabella, the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, and the Countess in Capriccio.

Released this past February 16th, 2018 on luxurious vinyl LP, The Beautiful Voice (20th Anniversary Vinyl 2LP) is now filling the air around me from the record player and it has brightened up this wintery day to no end.

LP 1:
1. "Depuis le jour"
2. No.14b Air des bijoux: "Ah! Je ris de me voir"
3. Je marche sur les chemins...Obéissons quand leur voix appelle)
4. 4. Songs My Mother Taught Me
5. Last Rose of Summer
6. Chi il bel sogno di Doretta (Doretta's Dream Song)
7. Glück, das mir verblieb (Mariettalied)

LP 2:
1. "In trutina"
2. 4. Morgen
3. 14. Vocalise
4. Nr.10 Csárdás: "Klänge der Heimat"
5. Vilja-Lied
6. 9. Epilogo
7. 2. Bailero

Once again Renee Fleming presents glorious collaborations in a compelling performance. The overall conception is one of beauty and unequivocal direction of line.

Fleming begins with "Louise: Depuis le Jour." The spacious long phrases are profoundly evocative and the vocal timbre is crafted with glowing, long-breathed generosity.

My most cherished performance is "Songs My Mother Taught Me",(A favorite of Joan Sutherland's) from the Gypsy Melodies Op.55, No.4. It is delighting in sweet textural clarity and brimming over with an infectious sense of inner purpose.

Followed by "Martha: Last Rose of Summer," and "Doretta's Dream Song", Fleming sings with such a level of imagination which is rare enough, but once heard it never leaves you. "Carmina Burana: In Trutina", is absolutely angelic and sung with such radiant inwardness.

In "Morgen" Op. 27 No.4, Fleming sings with such a special resonance and is, as ever, superb in the quality of her tone, the clarity of diction and innate comprehension of lieder.

Fleming fills "The Merry Widow" with supple lyricism, elegance and singing at a pleasing lilt capturing its gentle energy. The overall performances culminate with "Chants D'Auvergene: Ballero".

Fleming's phrases are conveyed with both elegance and intensity. The pacing is eager but never hectic and the accompaniments are scrupulous in their sensitivity.

The nuanced dynamics are breathtaking and there is no denying the incandescence of the climaxes. In closing, and as I'm sure you fans of hers will already know, but whatever Renee Fleming sings, makes for a delightful encounter; and this wondrous, 20th Anniversary Vinyl 2LP release from Decca Classics is no exception.(RV)

2LP Purchase Link

Title - Paddington 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Artist - Dario Marianelli

For those not in the know, Dario Marianelli (born June 21, 1963) is an Italian film composer, known for his frequent collaborations with director Joe Wright.

Marianelli was born in Pisa, Italy. He composed the soundtracks for The Brothers Grimm (2005), Pride & Prejudice (2005), Atonement (2007), and Anna Karenina (2012); for the last three of these he received Oscar nominations for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score.

In 2008, Marianelli won both an Oscar and a Golden Globe for the score of Atonement.

Marianelli has collaborated with the director Joe Wright five times, on Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, The Soloist, Anna Karenina and Darkest Hour.

'Paddington 2' is a 2017 British-French-American live-action/CGI animated adventure comedy film directed by Paul King and starring Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant & Hugh Bonneville. Indeed, as one can guess, it is also a sequel to the 2014 film and it’s based on the Paddington Bear books created by Michael Bond.

With a delightful original motion soundtrack score having been created by Dario Marianelli, what's rather lovely about it is if you close your eyes whilst the tracks play, you can actually see cheeky Paddington at work / play / mischief.

1. Windsor Gardens
2. The Pop-Up Book
3. A Shave, Sir? A Light Pomade
4. Window Cleaning
5. Rub and Scrub
6. The Book Is Stolen
7. A Letter from Prison
8. It's Only One Red Sock
9. Madame Kozlova's Story
10. One Orange at a Time
11. An Unusually Attractive Nun
12. Marmalade Chefs
13. Love Thy Neighbour - Tobago and d'Lime
14. The Break-In
15. Jungle Jail
16. Escape Waltz
17. Lost and Found
18. Race to Paddington Station
19. The Steam Trains
20. Bullseye-Henry
21. Splash
22. Happy Birthday Aunt Lucy
23. Jumping the Line - Tobago and d'Lime

Paddington is happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes.

While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief.

The first film was composed by Nick Urata, this one by the aforementioned Dario Marianelli and what the latter has done here is lull you into Paddington's new world with a lovely cosy opening, before the music gets a tempo shift.

Chock full of a lot more light hearted moments and yeah, sure some drama pieces, all are still very quite upbeat and happy sounding, nonetheless. Inclusive of various genres and styles of key work, overall the score is very pleasing and should have Marianelli rightfully back for the third chapter, one assumes.

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Title - 'Human Music' (Vinyl)
Artist - Solomon Grey

For those not in the know, Solomon Grey is the band and incorporates composers Tom Kingston & Joe Wilson.

Joe Wilson and Tom Kingston don’t draw a line between the music they make as a band and the scores they compose for film and TV. Or if they do, it’s a faint one.

As Solomon Grey, the classically-trained long-time friends have a sensual, cinematic sound that is their calling card for both, a beguiling blend of synths and orchestration that can evoke any emotion, capture tiny moments in time and summon scenes both real and imagined.

Fresh from their latest big-budget, TV-screen success as composers of the soundtrack to BBC One’s 'The Last Post' - Peter Moffat’s lavish, six-part, 1960s-set drama - Solomon Grey are back being a band, but only their focus has shifted.

Human Music, their second album (and here for review as a glorious vinyl record), is as powerful and ambitious, as visual and visceral as their sought-after soundtrack work.

1. The Weight
2. Closed Door
3. Wonderful World
4. Gaslight
5. Elements
6. Inside Outside
7. Willow House
8. Clouds
10. The Game
11. In Love
12. Departed

Listening to Solomon Grey's music for the first time, you might think that given such tracks as both "The Weight" and "Elements" that Grey’s soundscapes are the noise an orchestra would make if it was led by the Slash!

But you would be wrong - kinda sorta. As we've since discovered, the album was actually made partly as a reaction to the passing of Wilson’s mother, and so the songs where singing is involved, incorporated, well, they are fittingly for the lyrical subject matter, both mournful and rather bleak at times also.

Captured through soundscapes of various degrees of raging electronica, the tracks on their sophomore album all speak for themselves. The layers to be found here in each and every song are amazing and it has to be said that there's not much else out there today that sounds quite like these guys and what they are doing.

Such a stand out track would be "Gaslight", which is a song that starts out with just a stoic moment or two of piano, before a thinly veiled vocal comes in. From there, and as it builds, it's musical backdrop coming to the fore more and more, just over halfway through and it's suddenly challenged for the spotlight by some pounding vocals - that then hanker on back to whispers.

With instrumental tracks their collective go to also, moments such as both "Clouds" and "Departed" are transcendent works of musical art, masterpieces even. Mined for as much worldly emptiness as possible, given the aforementioned subject matter, these electric soundwaves make Human Music one of my Top 10 albums of 2018 thus far.

Vinyl Purchase Link

Solomon Grey @ Facebook!

Title - For Ever More: Live at London Shepherd's Bush
Artist - The Mission

For those not in the know, The Mission (known as The Mission UK in the United States) are an English gothic rock band formed in 1986.

Initially known as The Sisterhood, the band was started by frontman Wayne Hussey and bassist Craig Adams (both from The Sisters of Mercy), soon adding drummer Mick Brown (Red Lorry Yellow Lorry) and guitarist Simon Hinkler (Artery and Pulp).

Aside from Hussey, the line-up has changed several times during the years and the band has been on hiatus twice.

Releasing on March 30th, 2018, via Cherry Red Records (UK), For Ever More: Live at London Shepherd's Bush is a historic musical account of The Mission spread over an incredible 5 CDs.

Between Wednesday 27th of February and Saturday 1st of March 2008, The Mission took to the stage on four consecutive nights to perform a memorable and momentous collection of gigs, performing live in their entirety – The First Chapter, God’s Own Medicine, Children and Carved In Sand, plus an unbelievable second show on their final night, performing The Mission’s hits and fan’s favorites.

The First Chapter, originally released in 1987 includes the singles ‘Serpents Kiss’ and ‘Garden of Delights’. Gods Own Medicine, originally released 1986 and reaching no.4 in the UK charts includes the singles ‘Stay With Me’, ‘Waste Land’ and ‘Severina’.

Children, originally released in 1988 and reaching no.2 in the UK charts includes the singles ‘Tower of Strength’ and ‘Beyond The Pale’. Carved In Sand, originally released in 1990 and reaching no.7 in the UK charts includes the singles ‘Butterfly On A Wheel’, ‘Deliverance’, ‘Into The Blue’ and ‘Amelia’.

For Ever More: Live at London Shepherd's Bush is fully endorsed by the band themselves, and containing full sleeve-notes from Metal Hammer and Classic Rock journalist, DJ and presenter Natasha Scharf.

Disc: 1 (The First Chapter - Wednesday 27th, February 2008)
1. Tomorrow Never Knows
2. Serpent's Kiss
3. Over the Hills and Far Away
4. Naked and Savage
5. Garden of Delight
6. Afterglow
7. Wishing Well
8. Wake (RSV)
9. The Crystal Ocean
10. Like a Hurricane
11. 1969
12. Dancing Barefoot
13. Beyond the Pale
14. Shelter from the Storm

Disc: 2 (God's Own Medicine - Thursday 28th, February 2008)
1. Wasteland
2. Bridges Burning
3. And the Dance Goes on
4. Grip of Disease
5. Dance on Glass
6. Stay with Me
7. Island in a Stream
8. Love Me to Death
9. Severina
10. Let Sleeping Dogs Die
11. Blood Brother
12. Deliverance
13. Garden of Delight
14. Evangeline
15. Sacrilege

Disc: 3 (Children - Friday 29th, February, 2008)
1. Beyond the Pale
2. A Wing and a Prayer
3. Fabienne
4. Divided We Fall
5. Heat
6. Heaven on Earth
7. Dream on
8. Like a Child Again
9. Child's Play
10. Hymn (For America)
11. Forevermore
12. Black Mountain Mist
13. Breathe
14. Kingdom Come
15. Tower of Strength

Disc: 4 (Carved In Sand - Saturday, 1st March, 2008)
1. Amelia
2. Hands Across the Ocean
3. Into the Blue
4. Paradise (Will Shine Like the Moon Tonight)
5. Butterfly on a Wheel
6. Sea of Love
7. Grapes of Wrath/Lovely
8. Bird of Passage
9. Belief
10. Hungry As the Hunter
11. Deliverance
12. Like a Child Again
13. Mr Pleasant
14. Serpent's Kiss
15. Wasteland

Disc: 5 (Bonus Disc - Saturday, 1st March, 2008)
1. Like a Hurricane
2. Over the Hills and Far Away
3. Bridges Burning
4. Dance on Glass
5. Stay with Me
6. Island in a Stream
7. Love Me to Death
8. Dream on
9. Fabienne
10. Severina
11. Wake (RSV)
12. Forevermore
13. 1969
14. Shelter from the Storm
15. Tower of Strength

The first live performance of The First Chapter is, at its heart, nothing short of a Goth rock opera of tracks. Gathering, as the album itself did, the material released on the first two EPs released through the Chapter 22 label, the highlights here for me are both "Over the Hills and Far Away" and the quite brilliant to hear live Neil Young belter, "Like a Hurricane".

Then comes what is, in my humble opinion, the best Mission album by a long shot in God's Own Medicine. One made of pure rock to hear these songs live is a pure unadulterated joy. Sure Wayne's voice is probably the weakest part of the Mission live at this juncture - it breaks when he screams in Blood Brother, and wavers in Garden of Delight - but he still manages to carry the songs.

Next up is the live version of another of their more solid albums, Children. The album, much like the live show, flows beautifully from the opener Beyond The Pale, to the closing Tower Of Strength. There is certainly bombast in these live recordings, but the ridiculous Led Zep rip-off "Black Mountain Mist" could've easily been left off both this set and the actual album.

For their more commercial stab at music, Carved In Sand, Wayne's live vocals are actually on the up here tonight. Maybe having warmed up to this performance by tackling all the other nights beforehand, there's a new a fluidity, a vulnerability, even a femininity, that infuses so much of the Mission's work during this set.

Done live, wow, "Butterfly on a Wheel" demonstrates so clearly more than the album version, where love both breaks and heals the wings. The flower crushed under the snow will rise again in the Spring. However, the irony of "Amelia", the opening cut, is of a more direct nature. "Daddy can love you more than Mummy can," screams Wayne in the guise of an incestuous father.

And it's those impassioned vocals, full of evil, pain, desire and guilt, all at the same time, and the strong beat, relentlessly belt out the irony of lust masquerading as paternal love, that embrace the Bonus Disc of live tracks also culled from their last night.

Infused with a feeling of flesh - sensual and suffering - there's actually something of Jesus in Wayne and these live performances from back in 2008. And while that one's sinking in, there's a lot of poetic irony in the man, which relates back to the rich tradition of ballads, poems, and laments, all laid bare on a bed of melodic rock songs within breathtaking symphonic arrangements.

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Days of Future Passed Live' (2CD)
Artist - The Moody Blues

For those not in the know, although I would assume that figure isn't too high, The Moody Blues are an English rock band formed in Birmingham, England in 1964.

They first came to prominence playing rhythm and blues music, but their second album, Days of Future Passed, which was released in 1967, was a fusion of rock with classical music and established them as pioneers in the development of art rock and progressive rock.

The band became known internationally with singles including "Go Now", "Nights in White Satin", "Tuesday Afternoon", and "Question". They have been awarded 18 platinum and gold discs. The Moody Blues have sold 70 million albums worldwide.

Indeed, they will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.

The aforementioned Moody Blues classic 1967 album Days Of Future Passed is regarded as one of the foundation stones of the progressive rock genre. It has even been described as a "landmark" and "one of the first successful concept albums" ever.

In 2017, the band headed out on the album's 50th Anniversary Tour including the wonderful show captured at the Sony Centre For The Performing Arts in Toronto accompanied by a full orchestra. Released now via Eagle Rock Records, Day of Future Passed Live is not only on double CD, but also in both Blu-ray and DVD formats.

CD 1:
Part One The Moody Blues In Concert
1. I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)
2. The Voice
3. Steppin' In A Slide Zone
4. Say It With Love
5. Nervous
6. Your Wildest Dreams
7. Isn't Life Strange
8. I Know You're Out There Somewhere
9. The Story In Your Eyes

CD 2:
Part Two Days Of Future Passed Live
10. The Day Begins
11. Morning Glory
12. Dawn (Prelude)
13. Dawn Is A Feeling
14. The Morning (Prelude)
15. Another Morning
16. Lunch Break (Prelude)
17. Peak Hour
18. Tuesday Afternoon (Forever Afternoon)
19. Evening (Time To Get Away)
20. The Sun Set (Prelude)
21. The Sun Set
22. Twilight (Prelude)
23. Twilight Time
24. Late Lament
25. Nights In White Satin
26. The Night (Finale)
27. Question
28. Ride My See-Saw

The concert begins with the band by themselves performing a selection of classic Moody Blues tracks before they are joined by the orchestra to perform Days Of Future Passed in its entirety, plus a couple of fantastic encore tracks.

Featuring narration performed by Jeremy Irons and, on the Blu-ray and DVD versions of this wondrous release, atmospheric projections galore that, one and all, transport you back to the psychedelic era of their classic 1967 record, this new live show is as good as it gets now for all fans of The Moody Blues.

Including the iconic hits “Nights in White Satin” and “Tuesday Afternoon”, among others, the show pays homage to the band’s five decades of musical influence and showcases their groundbreaking foray into progressive rock.

And aside from their noted hits segment of the show, this retelling of the entire Days of Future Passed is truly magnificent. The entire album's music featured psychedelic rock ballads, all brought forth from the mind of the great singer-songwriter and guitarist Justin Hayward, sure, but for me it was always the Mellotron (played by keyboardist Mike Pinder) that had be hooked. An influential work of the counterculture period, and one of the defining documents of the blossoming psychedelic era, along with being one of the most enduringly popular albums of its era, Days of Future Passed Live (2CD) is, without a shadow of a doubt, the definitive live version of this much loved album.

The Moody Blues: Justin Hayward (guitar, vocals); John Lodge (bass, vocals); Graeme Edge (drums, percussion).

With: Norda Mullen (flute, guitar, percussion, vocals); Julie Ragins (keyboards, percussion, guitar, saxophone, vocals); Alan Hewitt (keyboards, vocals); Billy Ashbaugh (drums, percussion); and Elliot Davis (musical director, conductor and co-arranger).

2CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Sebastiana'
Artist - Richard Bacelar

For those not in the know, Brazilian composer and pianist Ricardo Bacelar first came to the music world's attention when he released his debut album In Natura in 2001.

An album with classical impression and manifestation, his sophomore effort, Concerto para Moviola (Concerto for Moviola), was a live album, recorded in 2015 during the Guaramiranga Jazz and Blues Festival at the Via Sul Theater, Fortalezea, Ceara, Brazil.

Just released this past March 30th, 2018 (via Bacelar Productions), Richard Bacelar now brings us his third album, and most ambitious yet, the beautiful, and stunningly creative Sebastiana.

1. 'A Volta da Asa Branca' (4:06)
2. 'Suco Verde' (4:13)
3. 'Nothing Will Be as It Was' (feat. Maye Osorio) (4:05)
4. 'River of Emotions' (0:45)
5. 'Menina Baiana' (4:21)
6. 'Somewhere in the Hills' (feat. Andrea Mangiamarchi) (3:57)
7. 'Partido Alto' (4:06)
8. 'Parts of Me' (0:41)
9. 'Sambadouro' (feat. Rose Max & Ramatis Moraes) (4:05)
10. 'Oh Mana Deixa Eu Ir (Caicó Cantiga)' (4:19)
11. 'Sebastiana' (4:57)
12. 'Depois dos Temporais' (5:01)
13. 'Vento de Maio' (4:01)
14. 'Sernambetiba, 1992' (feat. Cesar Lemos) (4:46)
15. 'The Best Years' (1:10)

We begin with the freeflowing 'A Volta da Asa Branca' (The White Wing Tour), and that's backed seamlessly by both the drum centric 'Suco Verde' (Green Juice), and then the truly beautiful 'Nothing Will Be as It Was'. Featuring the smooth, sultry, soulful vocalist Maye Osorzio and pedal steel guitarist Steve Hinson, they combine to bring us the most perfect, loving cover of a song by Brazilian artist Milton Nascimento.

The .45 second interlude entitled 'River of Emotions' has you begging for more the moment it comes to its short end, and is backed by the upbeat jazz styling of 'Menina Baiana'. A song originally by Gilberto Gil, the original samba rhythm has been tempered down here by Bacelar, to allow his piano to redefine those once more overly playful moments.

Up next is one of my favorites on this delightful and rather charming new album, the stunning jazz classic 'Somewhere in the Hills.' Performed in the past by Ella Fitzgerald, Natalie Cole, Sergio Mendez, et al, Bacelar's version is sung by vocalist Andrea Mangiamarchi. Allowing it to breathe nicely with a '40s vibe, Mangiamarchi's vocals are spot on and allow the song to ooze that still adored styling of a decade long since gone.

Next up is the trumpetlicious rendition of 'Partido Alto' (High Party). Featuring Jose Sibaja's trumpet, it's followed by another quick .41 second piano interlude ('Parts of Me'), before the hipsway of 'Sambadouro' is unleashed. Featuring Brazilian vocalists Rose Max and Ramatis Moraes, it is backed by the cool vocal approach of Bacelar on 'Oh Mana Deixa Eu Ir (Caicó Cantiga).' A song with an amazing musical history, and originally a simple classical piano moment, Bacelar now gives it a more contemporary jazz feel; which works tremendously well.

The fast-paced, yet lovingly contained title track 'Sebastiana' is up next. Written in 1953 by Rosil Cavalcanti in partnership with Jackson do Pandeiro, here Bacelar has seemingly done everything he can to alter the DNA of it, and yet still allows the track's originality to shine through. Ergo, this beautiful, well known, much adored track's new arrangement allows it to have, in my humble opinion, a new lease of life also.

The melodies incorporated within 'Depois dos Temporais' (After the Storms) are delightful also. A more methodical Brazilian song, this version features Gabriel Fernandez on Bandoneón and that's backed by 'Vento de Maio (Wind of May)', a track composed by Brazilian songwriter, singer and guitarist Lô Borges.

'Sernambetiba, 1992' brings together the creative forces of both Bacelar in conjunction with Cesar Lemos, and then the album rounds out with the summer garden sounds, birds tweeting, piano interlude. A mighty fine, and contemplative final epilogue of just over one minute, 'The Best Years' is the most perfect way to end this new musical project.

For his Brazilian reinterpretations and originals, Bacelar assembled an International crew of musicians from Cuba, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and the United States.

From Brazil Cesar Lemos (bass, guitar), Maria and Sara Queiroz Bacelar (percussion), vocalists Rose Max, and Ramatis Moraes, from USA vocalist Maye Osorio and guitarist Steve Hinson, from Venezuela Anderson Quintero (drums, percussion) and vocalist Andrea Mangiamarchi, from Cuba Yoel Del Sol (percussion), from Colombia Channo Tierra (accordion) and Jose Sibaja (trumpet, flugelhorn), from Peru Jesus Rodriguez (percussion and Charango), from Argentina Gabriel Fernandez (Bandoneón).

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Like A Radio'
Artist - Matthews Southern Comfort

For those not in the know, Iain Matthews is an English musician and songwriter. He was a singer with Fairport Convention before forming his own band, Matthews Southern Comfort, which had a UK number one in 1970 with a cover version of Joni Mitchell's song "Woodstock".

Born in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, England, Matthews was known in the 1960s as Ian McDonald, then as Ian Matthews. In 1989, he reverted to the original spelling of his first name.

Influenced by both rock and roll and folk music, he has performed mainly as a solo act, although he was a member of Fairport Convention during the early period when they were heavily influenced by American folk rock.

He later had a solo career and led the bands Plainsong, Hi-Fi, No Grey Faith, More Than A Song, and the aforementioned Matthews Southern Comfort.

Now, and some 50 years since that initial Matthews Southern Comfort album, Matthews has just released his quite brilliant new album, Like A Radio via MVD Audio, this past February 23rd, 2018.

1. 'The Thought Police'
2. 'Like A Radio'
3. 'The Age Of Isolation'
4. 'Bits And Pieces'
5. 'Darcy Farrow'
6. 'Crystals On The Glass'
7. 'Been Down So Long'
8. 'Jive Pajamas'
9. 'Phoenix Rising'
10. 'To Love'
11. 'Right As Rain'
12. 'Chasing Rainbows'
Bonus Tracks:
13. 'Something In The Way She Moves'
14. 'A Heartless Night'
15. 'Your Cake And Eat It'

An album that is a definitive bow down and worship testament to the timeless quality of Americana themes, both here today and in days gone by, Like A Radio's 12 tracks are as much required listening now as any of Matthews' work was back then.

Joined by multi-instrumentalist Bart Jan Baartmans, keyboardist Bart de Win and singer/songwriter Eric Devries, they all combine to evoke a folk-rooted, vocal harmony-laden musical era that still lives and breathes successfully today. Albeit one that might have lost is radio play popularity over the past few decades, Americana is most definitely still around and judging by this new album, ready for a new burst of life.

The slow melodic climb of 'The Thought Police' kicks everything off nicely and that's backed by the storytelling of the title track, and then the restlessness of 'The Age of Isolation.' The mid tempo 'Bits and Pieces' is a perky joy to behold and is followed by the dulcet piano workings of both 'Darcy Farrow' and Moody Bluesesque 'Crystals on the Glass.'

The ravished story of 'Been Down so Long' is backed by the finger-snappin' fun of 'Jive Pyjamas' and then comes the languished beauty of 'Phoenix Rising.' A '60s vibe is brought more to the fore on 'To Love', before the pace is tempered back down on the lovelorn ballad 'Right as Rain.' The album then comes to a close with the mid tempo bounce of 'Chasing Rainbows,' which, as it turns out, is the most perfect track to close on, tempo wise.

That said, there are also some delightful bonus tracks here to be enjoyed. Indeed, the three additional remakes are from earlier MSC releases (including James Taylor's 'Something in the Way She Moves'), and mean that the album's run time fantastically clocks out at just over an hour.

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Jazz: Outside The Box'
Artist - David Garfield

For those not in the know, David Garfield is a renowned American keyboardist, songwriter, and producer who performs in the Los Angeles music scene.

Furthermore, he has recorded with Smokey Robinson, Cher, Larry Carlton, Steve Lukather, Spinal Tap, George Benson, The Manhattan Transfer, Eros Ramazzotti, and The Rippingtons, and has performed with Freddie Hubbard, Boz Scaggs, Oleta Adams, Brenda Russell, Natalie Cole, and Michael Bolton. Released this past March 23rd, 2018 via Creatchy Records, his long awaited first full length album, Jazz: Outside The Box instantly showcases an extensive and diverse slant to the genre that has been so welcoming to Garfield all these years.

1. 'Fragile'
2. 'Harvest Time (Acoustic)'
3. 'In a Sentimental Mood'
4. 'Roxanne'
5. 'Song for My Father (Full-Length)'
6. 'Rainbow Seeker (Acoustic)'
7. 'Stolen Moments'
8. 'Voodoo Gumbo / Citizen Coryell'
9. 'East Lou Brew'
10. 'Sophisticated Lady'
11. 'Red Baron'
12. 'Country Preacher'
13. 'Prophecy'
14. 'My Favorite Things'
15. 'Song for My Father (Radio Version)'
16. 'Red Baron (Alternate Version)'
17. 'Harvest Time (Extended Version)'

Listening to the tracks contained on Jazz: Outside the Box, it's very evident that this whole project has been a true labor of love for the keyboardist. Word has it that Garfield actually recorded more than four discs worth of music for this on-going Outside the Box project, which means there are many more tracks to be discovered down the line; one can only hope.

“All my life, I’m just trying to make music that I really believe in and can get really excited about," Garfield explains. "It’s never fit into one particular category thus, in many ways, I’ve spent my whole music career outside the box."

"It’s never been intentional and it’s not like I’m trying to be different just to be different. I’m just trying to be creative while striving for the highest level of musical and artistic integrity. In the long run, my career has taken place outside the box,”, he adds.

The opening track, a cover of Sting's 'Fragile' is a haunting exposition of the original track. Stripping it down to its bare core essential, and with vocalist Michael McDonald providing one of his most naked of vocals, the song is a true highlight amongst many gems.

Inclusive of a perky little Latin jazz underbelly groove, 'In a Sentimental Mood' allows percussionist and bandleader Poncho Sanchez to gently introduce congas and shakers to the mix, whereas the astoundingly brilliant 'Roxanne' will have you sitting back, kicking back, and closing your eyes to enhance the whole melodic mood.

An unerring trumpet bass line kicks throughout the track, but it's not long before a band swings into the familiar tones of the song. Garfield is at his best here on this track, for my money, and when the backing vocals turn up to support it all, well, Robbie Wyckoff’s lead is only enhanced upon their lush voices. Including some of the final recordings from the late guitarist's Larry Coryell and Chuck Loeb, and combining new and fresh treatments of songs from Sting, Duke Ellington, Horace Silver, Joe Sample and Billy Cobha, trust me when I say you're gonna want to own this CD for your long car journeys.

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Title - 'Lovesick'
Artist - Romain Virgo

For those not in the know, Romain Virgo (born 24 January 1990) is a singer from Jamaica, specializing in the lovers rock style of reggae music and past competitor of local music competition called Rising Star competition in 2007, two months before his graduation from high school in St. Ann, Jamaica.

Having previously released both Romain Virgo RV (2010) and The System (2012), both on VP Records, Romain now releases his brand new, and long-awaited album, Lovesick (once again thru VP Records).

1. 'Face To Face'
2. 'Lovesick'
3. 'Cruise'
4. 'In This Together'
5. 'Day In Day Out'
6. 'Cannot Close My Eyes'
7. 'Sweet Liar'
8. 'Unbreakable'
9. 'Trouble'
10. 'Hold On'
11. 'Will You Be There'
12. 'Now'
13. 'Still'
14. 'Heartbeat'
15. 'Stay With Me'
16. 'Caress Me'

Listening to Lovesick, which I've now done twice through and back to back, it's hard not to want to snuggle up to this music and hope the feelings of goodwill and love last forever within you. In the many twists and turns of romance and relationships, Romain Virgo represents a young man who has experienced it all and now has a dynamic story to tell. So buy this new CD, put it on, sit back and allow his story infused with all the goodness the Caribbean can provide wash lovingly over you tonight.

CD Purchase Link

Romain Virgo @ Facebook

Romain Virgo @ Twitter

Title - 'Memories in Rock II' (2CD+DVD)
Artist - Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow

For those not in the know, Rainbow (also known as Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow or Blackmore's Rainbow) is a British rock band led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, active from 1975 to 1984, from 1993 to 1997, and from 2015 to the present.

They were originally established with Ronnie James Dio's American rock band Elf, but after their first album, Blackmore fired the backing members and continued with Dio until 1979.

Three British musicians joined in 1979 — singer Graham Bonnet, keyboardist Don Airey and then former Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover — and this line-up gave the band their commercial breakthrough with the single "Since You Been Gone".

Over the years Rainbow went through many line-up changes with no two studio albums featuring the same line-up. Other lead singers Joe Lynn Turner and Doogie White would follow, and the project consisted of numerous backing musicians.

A pioneer to power metal, the band's early work primarily featured mystical lyrics with a neoclassical metal style, but went in a more streamlined, commercial direction following Dio's departure from the group.

Following the successful 2016 shows in Germany (Monsters Of Rock) and the UK, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow played three British shows in June 2017, which were recorded for this set, the highly impressive, and musically sonic from start to finish, Memories in Rock II (2CD+DVD).

Together with Ronnie Romero (vocals), Jens Johansson (keys), Bob Nouveau (bass), David Keith (drums), Candice Night and Lady Lynn (backing vocals), the legendary guitarist performed a first-class mixture of classic Rainbow and Deep Purple tracks, which was exactly what the fans had requested.

CD 1:
1. 'Over the Rainbow'
2. 'Spotlight Kid'
3. 'I Surrender'
4. 'Mistreated'
5. 'Since You've Been Gone'
6. 'Man on the Silver Mountain / Woman from Tokyo'
7. '16th Century Greensleeves'
8. 'Soldier of Fortune'
9. 'Perfect Strangers'
10. 'Difficult to Cure'
11. 'All Night Long'
12. 'Child in Time'

CD 2:
1. 'Stargazer'
2. 'Long Live Rock'n'roll / Lazy'
3. 'Catch the Rainbow'
4. 'Black Night'
5. 'Carry on Jon'
6. 'Temple of the King'
7. 'Smoke on the Water'
8. 'Waiting for a Sign (Brand New Song)'

Releasing April 6th, 2018 via Minstrel Hall Music, Ritchie Blackmore's brilliant guitar work can never be duplicated and is clearly a highlight of every track, but there will also be many Dio, Bonnet or Turner fans who will be very pleasantly surprised - nay, convinced - by Ronnie Romero's incredibly powerful vocal performance.

Complete with all the profoundly loved and adored Deep Purple hits lovingly wrapped within the old school Rainbow cuts and the chart hits they had with Bonnett at the vocal helm, listening to new boy Ronnie Romero on vocals and wow, you can close your eyes and be listening to a man who sounds like he's been part of the Rainbow set up for 50 odd years!

A name put in front of ringleader supreme Ritchie Blackmore by his wife Candice one night whilst she was surfing YouTube, the trouble was at the time that Rainbow had dissolved as a musical entity for Blackmore. It was now all about Blackmore's Night with his beloved Candice.

But then it crossed Blackmore's mind that perhaps if he could resurrect a new version of Rainbow that Romero might well slot in rather perfectly. And listening to Romero sing all these classic hits and album cuts on this new CD, and watching his energy and passion for the project seep through his pores on the DVD, and you know that Blackmore made the right choice - for us all!

This quite brilliant new live collection, that blends audio recordings with live footage, also provides an hour of backstage interviews and behind-the-scenes moments, let alone that aforementioned brand new studio recording 'Waiting for a Sign.'

Ritchie Blackmore Interview
Ronnie Romero Interview
Jens Johansson Interview
Bob Nouveau Interview
David Keith Interview
Candice Night Interview
Lady Lynn Interview
Dave David Interview
Andreas Bock Interview
Michael Bockmühl Interview
Bonus Backstage Clip
'I Surrender' 2017 - Backstage Clip

2CD+DVD Purchase Link

Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow @ Facebook

Title - 'Botanical Gardens'
Artist - Don McLean

For those not in the know, Don McLean (72) is one of America’s most enduring singer-songwriters and forever associated with his classic hits “American Pie”, “Vincent (Starry Starry Night)”, “Castles in the Air”, “And I Love You So” and “Crying”.

Since first hitting the charts in 1971, Don has amassed over 40 gold and platinum records world-wide and, in 2004, was inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.

His songs have been recorded by artists from every musical genre, most notably Madonna‘s No. 1 recording of “American Pie” in 2000 and George Michael’s version of “The Grave” in 2003, sung in protest at the Iraq War.

Now, in 2018, a new chapter starts as Don McLean releases his new album Botanical Gardens on March 23rd, 2018.

1: 'Botanical Gardens'
2: 'The Lucky Guy'
3: 'A Total Eclipse of the Sun'
4: 'The Waving Man'
5: 'When July Comes'
6: 'You're All I Ever Had'
7: 'Rock and Roll Your Baby'
8: 'I've Cried All the Tears That I Have'
9: 'Ain't She a Honey'
10: 'The Kings of Fools'
11: 'Grief and Hope'
12: 'You've Got Such Beautiful Eyes'
13: 'Last Night When We Were Young'

His 19th studio album, and his first in 8 years, Botanical Gardens was recorded in Nashville, but inspired by the Sydney gardens of the same name.

As he puts it, “The inspiration for the project started years ago when I would walk in the beautiful gardens in Sydney Australia near the Opera House. I would dream young dreams and it was a comfort and an inspiration. I was always young inside, like we all are, and I felt it again there.”

The joyous, upbeat title track opens up this rather wonderful new album in perfect style, and is backed seamlessly by the guitar-heavy, rock and roll duo of both 'The Lucky One' and then 'A Total Eclipse of the Sun.' One of my favourite bouts of storytelling here, it's followed by the true tale (one assumes) of 'The Waving Man', with another gem, the stoic piano ballad 'When July Comes' along next.

Another piano ballad, albeit more dedicated to his past lyrical memories, more melodic, more cute, is 'You're All I Ever Had', which is followed by a quick change of pace on the guitar-led beauty 'Rock and Roll Your Baby.' The mid-tempo twang of 'I've Cried All the Tears That I Have' could well be a decades old embedded country riff, and is backed by the laid back, summer sunshine vibe of 'Ain't She a Honey' ("Ain't she a ripper, with a buckle and zipper").

The profound 'The Kings of Fools' is up next and sees McLean slip back into his old lyrically comfortable shoes, with 'Grief and Hope' following. Then comes the best ballad on the album by a long shot, the truly stunning 'You've Got Such Beautiful Eyes', before the album rounds out with another piano ballad, the contagiously sentimental 'Last Night When We Were Young.'

CD Purchase Link

Don McLean @ Facebook

Title - 'Strange Men, Changed Men: Complete Recordings'
Artist - Bram Tchaikovsky

For those not in the know, Bram Tchaikovsky (born Peter Bramall) is, and not just for my money, one highly underrated British vocalist and guitarist.

He first came to prominence as a member of UK punk/pub rock band The Motors, who he joined in 1977. After he left them, he led an eponymous power pop band, with Micky Broadbent (bass, keyboards) and Keith Boyce (drums).

The group scored a US Top 40 hit single on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979, with 'Girl of My Dreams' and in the Netherlands, 'Sarah Smiles' was a minor hit, reaching number 32 in April 1979.

Nick Garvey and Denis Forbes were also involved in later band line-up's, but after disappointing sales, the band split up in 1981 and Tchaikovsky left the music industry.

Releasing this coming April 27th, 2018, via Cherry Red Records (UK), Strange Men, Changed Men: Complete Recordings 1978-1981 is a lovingly assembled 3CD package, fully endorsed by Bram Tchaikovsky himself.

Containing all three Bram Tchaikovsky albums - Strange Man, Changed Man (1979), The Russians Are Coming (1980) and Funland (1981) - plus all of the band’s singles, b-sides and alternative versions from 1978-1981, this is, without a shadow of a doubt, the only significant musical account on the market today for the great Bram Tchaikovsky.

Including the singles ‘Sarah Smiles’, ‘Lullaby of Broadway’, ‘Girl of My Dreams’, ‘I’m The One That’s Leaving’, ‘Let’s Dance’, ‘Stand & Deliver’ and ‘Shall We Dance?’, it comes presented in a special clam shell box set, complete with individual disc wallets featuring the original albums’ artwork.

It also Includes a booklet with full sleeve notes focussing on the musical career of Bram Tchaikovsky and all material contained within has been remastered for the best sound possible.










The thing, and not just for my money, about Bram is that nobody can ever figure out why he wasn't a musical superstar! Straight out the cannon, his debut album Strange Man Changed Man (1979) really hits the mark for me in the vein of The Cars, The Vapors, Nick Lowe, and even early Cheap Trick.

Chock full of great melodies with a fair amount of crunch, sure most of the songs are strong0guitar led, but once you get to the second side (of the vinyl), you'll notice a more melodic groove take over.

Considered, by many, as his best album (and I can see why), the single 'Girl of my Dreams' is so flawless, so memorable, so hummable, that you just know you'll adore the rest of the tracks equally (and you do/will). 'Sarah Smiles', the Neil Diamond/Monkee's classic 'I'm A Believer' brings us power-popped up tunes, with the slashing guitars and thumping bass of 'Nobody Knows', and the hot fuss of 'Bloodline' along for the ride too.

Then in 1980 came the sophomore album The Russians Are Coming, which admittedly wasn't as punchy to the ears as his debut, but still managed to contain some memorable music moments. The kick off track alone, 'Let's Dance' is still a go-to for all Bram fans when talking about his career, and that's backed by cuts such as both 'Pressure' and the title track itself, of course.

Then, and from the man who would a decade later write 'Solid Ball Of Rock' for the heavy metal band Saxon in 1991, we get his third, and final solo albu,, and to my mind his most pop-tastic, 1981's tremendously under-rated and overlooked Funhouse.

Containing his brilliant single (man, I would have loved to have put hit in front of the word single!), 'Breaking Down The Walls of Heartache', sadly, by the time this third album came to be, and combined with constant personnel changes, the deceptively entitled Funland is definitely a toned down affair.

That said, if you don't incorporate a little hipsway of your own listening to 'Shall We Dance?' (George Gershwin / Ira Gershwin), then there's something wrong with you!

Regardless, Strange Men, Changed Men: Complete Recordings 1978-1981 out via Cherry Red Records (UK) is an incredible, and dare I say, complete collection from the great Bram Tchaikovsky. Inclusive of all of the band's singles, B-Sides and alternative versions from 1978-1981, if you ever liked/loved even just one of his singles/songs, you know you have to now own this 3cd box-set.

3CD Box-Set Purchase Link

Title - 'Together / Farewell Album'
Artist - The New Seekers

For those not in the know, The New Seekers are a British-based pop group, formed in 1969 by Keith Potger after the break-up of his group, the Seekers.

The idea was that the New Seekers would appeal to the same market as the original Seekers, but their music had rock as well as folk influences.

They achieved worldwide success in the early 1970s with hits including "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing", "You Won't Find Another Fool Like Me" and "Beg, Steal or Borrow".

Releasing on April 13th, 2018 via Cherry Red Records (UK), their pair of 1974 albums, Together / Farewell Album have both now been digitally remastered into a two CD set.

Containing a wonderful pair of albums from the '70s hitmakers, this is also the very first time on CD for both of them.

Disc: 1


Disc: 2
Farewell Album



Together hit #12 in the UK National Chart in March 1974 (and includes the #1 single 'You Won't Find Another Fool Like Me' (Ireland #1, Australia #5) and the #5 hit 'I Get A Little Sentimental Over You' (Ireland #9, Australia #12).

This latter song, featuring Paul on lead vocals, became a success by peaking at No.5 in the UK chart. Indeed, to coincide with their split, the group performed a farewell tour. The final show was performed in May 1974 and drew in a massive audience.

As noted, the album also contained their recent hit, but none of the other 1973 releases, which had not featured on any studio album. Although it did include an American single 'The Greatest Song I've Ever Heard', which had been released several months earlier while Doyle was still with the group.

Farewell Album was, as the title suggests, the final album from the original period of the band, released in September 1974. Having disbanded before it was released, they had managed to record a number of songs for Polydor before, which the label used here.

Indeed, two of the twelve tracks had been earlier recordings however, with one single being released from the album, called "Sing Hallelujah." The single stalled outside the official top 50 in the UK at No.65, and as the album received no promotion from the group, it similarly failed to chart.

Listening to it again today, and noticing that 10 of the 12 tracks feature female leads, the album is still rather beautiful, overall soothing in tone to listen too, as one would have expected. A while member Marty Kristian features on lead for just two of the songs, the lack of male vocal input - had the album been marketed correctly at the time - wouldn't have stopped it from being another chart hit for them; of that I'm sure.

A total of eight bonus tracks have been added across the two albums including ultra-rare tracks by the spin off Peter Paul & Marty incarnation as well as two from late vocalist Peter Doyle, all making their debut on CD here.

Rare 45's such as 'We've Got To Do It Now' and 'Song For You And Me' have also been included and the booklet contains detailed liner notes by the group's official webmaster Nic Culverwell, alongside pictures of all associated sleeves from around the globe.

2CD Purchase Link

Title - 'The Road Home'
Artist - Santa Fe Desert Chorale

For those not in the know, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale was founded in 1982 by artistic director Lawrence Bandfield. He chose Santa Fe with the belief that the city's artistic reputation would provide visibility to the group. Banfield led the Chorale until 1998.

From 1999 to 2004 the director was Dennis Shrock, who had previously been the choral director of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. Indeed, in 2002 they started a year-round program for children (ages 7 to 14), which also holds public performances.

The Santa Fe Desert Chorale did not have a director for their 2008 Summer season, using four prospective directors, as well as three guest conductors. Since 2009, their official director has been Joshua Habermann, who was one of the four finalists tried during the 2008 season. Habermann also directs the Dallas Symphony Chorus.

During the Winter, 2011 season, the Chorale debuted a second group, named Desert Chorale II composed of students from the University of New Mexico, in addition to singers from the main group. Desert Chorale II was formed by Habermann as a means of providing training to singers outside of a university setting.

Released this past March 16th, 2018 via Avie Records, and after 36 years of music, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale is finally putting their music on CD.

Taking its title from Stephen Paulus’ a cappella choral piece, The Road Home celebrates the diverse and ever-changing influences that make up American culture by featuring repertoire by immigrant and native-born Americans, ranging from mid-19th-century Shaker music to jazz, folk and classically inspired works by leading 21st-century choral composers.

Joseph P. Webster (1819 – 1875) arr. Aaron Humble
1. In The Sweet By and By (3.06)
Shaker Music
2. The Lark (0.52)
3. The Nightingale’s Song (0.42)
4. Deal Gently with Thy Servants (4.23)
5. Encouragement (2.33)
Heavenly Home: Three American Songs
arr. Shawn Kirchner (b. 1970)
6. Unclouded Day (2.20)
7. Angel Band (6.14)
8. Hallelujah (3.27)
Sydney Guillaume (b. 1982)
9. Dominus Vobiscum (7.08)
Jake Runestad (b. 1986)
10. Reflections (7.15)
Morten J. Lauridsen (b. 1943)
Excerpts from Mid-Winter Songs
11. Lament for Pasiphaë (4.34)
12. Mid-Winter Waking (1.44)
13. Intercession in Late October (6.02)
Stephen Paulus (1949-2014)
14. The Road Home (3.30)
15. I’ll Be On My Way (3.35)
Sammy Fain (1902 – 1989)
16. I’ll Be Seeing You (2.25)
arr. Phil Mattson

Total time: 59.58

The 24-voice, professional Santa Fe Desert Chorale, one of the most distinguished American vocal ensembles, makes its commercial recording debut with beautiful and assured performances, led by the aforementioned artistic director Joshua Habermann.

Recorded, October 23-24, 2017 at Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas, Texas, USA, produced by Elizabeth Ostrow, and with the Recording Engineer & Editor talents of Brad Michel at the helm, The Road Home is a stunning, simply magnificent work of orchestral art.

Simple Shaker songs from the mid-19th century are performed in both their original, pure forms along with moments of shining solo vocal brilliance. Add to that some extraordinary arrangements by Shawn Kirchner, and Morten Lauridsen’s “Mid-Winter Songs” representing the best of contemporary American choral music, well, what more could you want from just one recording.

“It’s really a monumental achievement,” Desert Chorale executive director Janice Mayer has since said. “It was largely based on a program we did in 2016 called ‘American Voices.’”

“These are more challenging works, and they’re more spare and very delicate and require excellent musicianship,” she continues.

“Our singers come from all over the country; from Boston to Oregon to Miami to Los Angeles. Last year, we had 26 states and two foreign countries. The recording will allow us to reach an international audience.”

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Brahms: String Quartet No. 2; Bartók: SQ No. 2'
Artist - Ariel Quartet

For those not in the know, the Ariel Quartet formed in Israel nearly twenty years ago when its members were middle-school students, the Quartet was recently awarded the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award.

The Ariel serves as the Faculty Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, where they direct the rigorous chamber music program and perform their own annual series of concerts in addition to their busy touring schedule.

Released this past March 16th, 2018 via Avie Records, the Ariel Quartet, distinguished by its virtuosic playing and impassioned interpretations, makes its debut recording, Brahms: String Quartet No. 2; Bartók: String Quartet No. 1, pairing two giants of the string-quartet world, Béla Bartók and Johannes Brahms.

Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897)
Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 51, No. 2
1. I . Allegro non troppo
2. II. Andante moderato
3. III. Quasi Minuetto, moderato; Allegretto vivace
4. IV. Finale: Allegro non assai

Béla Bartok (1881 – 1945)
Quartet No. 1, Sz, 40 (Op. 7)
5. I. Lento
6. II. Allegretto Introduzione; Allegro
7. III. Allegro vivace

Total time: 65:43

Both composers stand as significant pillars of the youthful Quartet’s two-decade-long journey. Johannes Brahms was a German composer and pianist of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria.

His reputation and status as a composer is such that he is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the "Three Bs" of music, a comment originally made by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bülow.

Béla Viktor János Bartók was a Hungarian composer, pianist and an ethnomusicologist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century; he and Liszt are regarded as Hungary's greatest composers (Gillies 2001).

Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of comparative musicology, which later became ethnomusicology.

This release is the first in a projected series pairing the quartets of Bartók and Brahms. Which, on paper, let alone real life, might seem an odd pairing. On one hand you have Brahms' warm-textured late Romanticism, whilst on the other hand you have Bartók's lean-textured Modernism.

But, that said, it does work and how, for the Ariel Quartet approach both pieces with some rather spot on perfect, and precise detailing, always careful of keeping both sets of works brimming with singularity of expression.

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Title - 'Roses - Remixes & Rarities'
Artist - Haywoode

For those not in the know, Haywoode (Sidney Haywoode, London) is an English female singer who is best known for the 1986 UK Top 20 hit single, "Roses".

Although she later also recorded under the name Sid Haywoode, Haywoode trained from an early age at London's Corona Stage Academy.

Her career started with modelling, dancing and acting roles in British television shows like The Gentle Touch and was a regular as a Hill's Angel on The Benny Hill Show. She also featured in movies including Ragtime and Superman.

Among singing, dancing and modelling roles in the West End theatre (Bubbling Brown Sugar), she joined Flick Colby's Zoo, as a professional dancer performing weekly on BBC One's Top of the Pops. She was approached a year later to record a demo by Sony CBS Records offering a deal.

Her debut single, "A Time Like This", reached the Top 5 in the US Hot Dance Club Play Chart, and established her distinctive brand of soulful funk/pop.

Via a succession of singles – including some tracks produced by Stock, Aitken & Waterman - tracks like "You'd Better Not Fool Around", "I Can't Let You Go" and "Getting Closer" (later covered by Kylie Minogue) immediately out her on the music map.

In July 1986, with the song "Roses," she hit the top 20 in the UK music charts and her debut album Arrival (released soon after "Roses") included Haywoode's cover version of Prince's "I Wanna Be Your Lover".

Due to popular demand from her '80s fans in 2011, Haywoode released an album named Bounce Back, collaborating with different producers in Australia, Netherlands, Italy and United States.

Following Cherry Pop’s well-received Special Edition reissue of Haywoode’s debut album Arrival, this new 2CD compilation brings together many sought-after mixes of her classic '80s singles, plus B-sides, rarities and unheard recordings from throughout her CBS tenure.

Remastered and compiled direct from the original CBS master tapes, Roses: Remixes & Rarities marks the first time that the majority of tracks have ever been made available on CD.

Additionally, this collection features four previously unreleased masters, including 1984’s ‘Divided Love’ and, from 1986, ‘Play With Boys’ and Bryan “Chuck” New’s full-length remix of ‘I’m Your Puppet’.

CD 1:
1. ROSES (Michael Barbiero 12” Mix) *
2. I CAN’T LET YOU GO (Detroit Extended Mix)
3. A TIME LIKE THIS (Nick Martinelli 12” Mix)
11.TEASE ME (Extended Version) *
12.A TIME LIKE THIS (Remix) *
13.I CAN’T LET YOU GO (The Thigh & Mighty Re-Mix) *
14. ROSES Extended (U.S. Remix)
15.I’M YOUR PUPPET (Extended Version) *

CD 2:
1. I CAN’T LET YOU GO (Original 7” Mix)
2. A TIME LIKE THIS (Nick Martinelli 7” Mix) *
3. ROSES (U.S. 7” Remix)
4. SLOW BURN (Extended Version) *
5. MY KIND OF HERO (Extended Version) *
6. TAKE ME UP TO HEAVEN (Extended Version) *
7. A TIME LIKE THIS (Extended Version Part 2) *
8. I’M YOUR PUPPET (12” Remix) +
9. I CAN’T LET YOU GO (Detroit Dub Mix) *
10. ROSES (Dub Version)
13. I CAN’T LET YOU GO (Instrumental)
14. THE HAYWOODE MEGA-MIX: Getting Closer / Roses / A Time Like This / I Can’t Let You Go / Single Handed *

* First time on CD
+ Previously unreleased

Growing up in the '80s, and being a fan of everything it musically brought forth, Haywoode was already in my head, as a name, but not as a songstress. So listening to this wondrous compilation CD of hers today has brought her hits all flooding lovingly back to me, I have to admit.

Via a succession of singles - including two forgotten gems by then-little-known underground dance producers Stock Aitken & Waterman - 'You'd Better Not Fool Around' and 'Getting Closer' - it wasn't long before full international chart success finally struck for Haywoode with 'Roses' in July 1986.

To put it simply, Haywoode's singing voice was just perfect for the music featured on this CD from that time. It proves, without a shadow of a doubt, that not only was she vocally talented, but in the videos, easy on the eye too.

Haywoode's music throughout this double CD collection will quickly transport you to much happier times, her sound one that will never be repeated. The music of the '80s had one thing that makes it unique from music from any other decade - it was all built on a rhythm of joyous, dancefloor energy.

Featuring four previously unreleased masters, including 1984's 'Divided Love' and, from 1986, 'Play With Boys' and Bryan "Chuck" New's full-length remix of 'I'm Your Puppet', fans of Gloria Estefan, Miami Sound Machine, Kylie Minogue and similar artists, will simple adore losing themselves in Haywoode's sounds, once more (I know I did).

With direct input from Sid Haywoode herself, this release boasts an extensive booklet containing her personal commentary, a fully illustrated discography, lyrics and previously unseen shots from the archive of esteemed photographer Johnny Rozsa.

Together with the Special Edition reissue of Arrival, this companion release makes all Haywoode’s CBS recordings available via Cherry Pop and is a must-have for all '80s pop, dance and boogie aficionados.

'Roses - Remixes & Rarities' 2CD Purchase Link

'Arrival: Expanded Edition' CD Purchase Link

Title - 'The Age of Remix' (3CD Edition)
Artist - Bronski Beat

For those not in the know, Bronski Beat is a British synth pop trio which achieved success in the mid-1980s, particularly with the 1984 chart hit "Smalltown Boy", from their debut album The Age of Consent, which was their only US Billboard Hot 100 single.

All members of the group were openly gay and their songs reflected this, often containing political commentary on gay-related issues.

The initial line-up, which recorded the majority of the band's hits, consisted of Jimmy Somerville (vocals), Steve Bronski (keyboards, percussion) and Larry Steinbachek (keyboards, percussion).

However, Somerville left Bronski Beat in 1985, and went on to have success as lead singer of The Communards and as a solo artist. He was replaced by new vocalist John Foster, with whom the band continued to have hits in the UK and Europe through 1986.

But then Foster left Bronski Beat after their second album, and the band used a series of vocalists before dissolving in 1996.

Steve Bronski, the only original member, now leads a revived touring version of the band, and alongside '90s member Ian Donaldson, has recorded new material for release.

Released March 30th, 2018, via Cherry Red Records (UK), The Age of Remix: 3CD Edition is a strictly limited edition 3-disc dance remix companion set to the recent Bronski Beat release The Age Of Reason.

CD 1:

CD 2:

CD 3:

This enormous (both tracklisting and actual run time) album features the much loved electronic act’s most recent singer; the powerful soul-pop, multi octave ranged Stephen Granville.

The Age Of Remix reorientates Bronski Beat’s recent The Age Of Reason album – itself a contemporary remake of Bronski Beat’s landmark debut album The Age Of Consent (are you keeping up with all this ... good, then I'll continue) – for the electronic dancefloor of today.

Featuring no less than 25 full throttle, all new and previously unreleased remixes from a plethora of current crack dance floor remixers, The Age Of Remix is a celebration of the continuing impact and relevance of one of the most venerated, era-defining and important albums of both synth-pop and LGBT history.

Personally, for me, I loved the original album, thought the follow-up was a decent, and inventive stab at some nice reworkings (and also allowed them to showcase their new singer), but I don't quite know why they needed to bring this 3CD set out of remixes; if I'm being brutally honest.

I genuinely get, and can appreciate, that on both the last album and this 3CD set that Bronski Beat are still paying homage to the origins of the original line-up, here through an inventive and inspired reworking of their landmark debut album, but the question still remains why?

Why not a new album and move on? Sure, and again, somewhat crucially, they also present a template for the future direction of this latest Bronski Beat line-up, but why harp back to this debut, when they had already nodded to it on Age of Reason?

Anyway, that all aside, listening to all these songs aplenty here, and it's evidently clear that new singer Stephen Granville's vocals, and even range is somewhat smoother than Sommerville's. Not that that is a bad thing, no, but it does mean we get a more relaxed, less chased set of tracks here on these first two CDs.

Back in its day, Age of Consent was a right royal pioneering gay rights album. Wearing its distained contempt for different age of consent laws for different sexes proudly on its sleeve, Bronski Beat revolutionized what could be called, in essence, "punk" for the era.

For me, the standout tracks here (no matter who sings them or what kind of a remix has been entwined around and within them) are "Smalltown Boy", which documents the isolation and coldness a gay teen feels when coming to terms with his sexuality; "Why?", which is sung with a kind of sneer, implicating the lazy-minded and the just plain ignorant in the persecution of simple love; and also "Junk", which highlights, with samples from commercials running at the time, the excesses of consumerism and the 'nouveau riche' mentality so prevalent and preferred in the '80s.

The third disc in this deluxe 3 1/2 hour set is a bonus continuous mix by Sordid Soundz, also known as Bronski Beat programmer Ian Donaldson, which itself contains some exclusive snippets of further previously unreleased mixes.

'The Age of Remix' 3CD Purchase Link

'The Age of Reason' CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Firepower'
Artist - Judas Priest

For those not in the know, Judas Priest are an English heavy metal band formed in West Bromwich in 1969 and, as a band, have sold over 50 million copies of their albums to date.

They are frequently ranked as one of the greatest metal bands of all time and despite an innovative and pioneering body of work in the latter half of the 1970s; where the band struggled with indifferent record production, repeated changes of drummer, and lack of major commercial success or attention until 1980, when they adopted a more simplified sound on the album British Steel, it actually helped shoot them to rock superstar status.

The band's membership has seen much turnover, including a revolving cast of drummers in the 1970s, and even the temporary departure of singer Rob Halford in the early 1990s.

The current line-up consists of Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Scott Travis.

The band's best-selling album is 1982's Screaming for Vengeance with their most commercially successful line-up, featuring Halford, Tipton, Hill, guitarist K. K. Downing, and drummer Dave Holland. Indeed, both Tipton and Hill are the only two members of the band to appear on every album.

Released March 9th, 2018 via Sony Music Distribution, Firepower is the 18th studio album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest. It is the first studio album since 1988's Ram It Down to be produced by Tom Allom, and the first one with Andy Sneap as co-producer.

The album sold around 49,000 copies in the United States within its first week of release, debuting at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart, making it the band's highest-charting album in the US.

A lot of people (metal heads) here in the office are saying this is the best Priest record since Painkiller. It's true. I'm a huge Priest fan, but even I'm very picky when it comes to Priest recordings.

With all my favorite bands, there are tracks on most albums that I don't carry over onto playlists. For example, as superb as both Priest's Screaming for Vengeance and Defenders of the Faith are (true classics), they have some tracks that just don't do it for me.

But all of Painkiller makes onto my playlists. Even Painkiller's weakest track, "Metal Meltdown," has some things that recommend it - breakneck speed, screaming vocals.

Well, so it is with this brand new release of theirs, the incredibly impressive Firepower. So far, I haven't ditched any of its tracks and there have also been some stand outs come quickly to the fore also re: "Firepower," "Lightning Strikes," "Guardians/Rising from the Ruins," and even "Traitor's Gate."

These tracks hang with the best of Priest's work. Even less intense songs like "Flamethrower" and "Lone Wolf" are super solid rockers. The performances are terrific (Halford sounds fantastic) and the production is excellent (put this team on a remix/remaster of Redeemer of Souls!), which can only lead me to end with this: Firepower is an album of outstanding performances and song writing.

CD Purchase Link

Judas Priest @ Twitter

Title - 'Visions: Coast to Coast Connection'
Artist - Bob Holz

For those not in the know, composer/drummer/producer Bob Holz is an alumni of Berklee School of Music, where he majored in performance and composition with teachers Gary Chaffee and Michael Gibbs.

He went on to study privately with Dave Weckl and Billy Cobham and also found a mentor in drummer Wilby Fletcher Jr.( McCoy Tyner).

Fletcher shared his wealth of knowledge and experience with Holz over a 15 year time span up until his untimely death in 2010.

Holz has composed and recorded numerous live and studio recordings, movie sound tracks and theatrical productions, but is perhaps is still best known for his work on the Show Your Love movie soundtrack (directed by Edward J. Bruno for VCA films).

Holz has also toured extensively as a band leader (The Bob Holz Band) and even played at the 1999 Woodstock Music Festival in New York. He also performed along with Dr. John at a coveted awards ceremony at the 2006 M&T Jazz Festival in Syracuse, NY, amongst other prestigious artists and events.

In 2017, Bob released his 5th album, entitled Visions and Friends (which featured Larry Coryell, Randy Brecker, Ralphe Armstrong, Alex Machacek and Billy Steinway) and now he quickly follows that up with his brand new album, the quite stunning Visions: Coast to Coast Connection.

Released on February 23rd, 2018 via MVD Audio, Visions: Coast to Coast Connection, complete with special guest Stanley Clarke, utilizes dreamy sonic landscapes to create a brilliant concept album.

1. 'Split Decision'
2. 'Espresso Addiction'
3. 'Next In Line'
4. 'Jammin' Man'
5. 'Richie's Trip'
6. 'Pink Fur'
7. 'West Coast Blues'
8. 'Light & Dark'
9. 'Spanish Plains'
10. 'Flat Out'

Beginning in typically soaring style, 'Split Decision's perky, upbeat energy is just perfect to kick this whole album of ambiance off with and is backed seamlessly with both the delightfully sung 'Espresso Addiction' (dedicated to Larry Coryell) and the soft trumpet sounds of 'Next In Line.'

Those trumpets get turned up a wee bit for the brilliant 'Jammin' Man', which in turn is backed by the flawless beauty of 'Richie's Trip'. My own personal favorite here is the lo-fi jazz funk wonderment of 'Pink Fur', which is followed perfectly by the guitar work on 'West Coast Blues'.

Leveraging the bass talents of Stanley Clarke, Holz has created a masterpiece carved out of beautiful and haunting melodies and incredible drumming.

"I really enjoyed playing Bob's music very much," Clarke has since said. "Great players along with great compositions is always a winning combination!”

The whole album mood is taken underground for some dusky late night jazz club sounds courtesy of the aptly titled 'Light & Dark,' before the delicate flamenco guitar work of 'Spanish Plains,' and album closer 'Flat Out,' round out the musical experience in style.

Offical CD Purchase Link

Bob Holz @ Twitter

Title - 'Evil Enough'
Artist - Tara Lynch

For those not in the know, female metal guitarist/vocalist Tara Lynch is set to release a stunning debit album, entitled Evil Enough, this upcoming April, Friday the 13th!

Featuring members of Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Vince Neil, Tony MacAlpine, Yngwie Malmsteen and Dokken!Los Angeles, Tara Lynch is a guitarist, composer, vocalist and songwriter who delivers heavy metal thunder with prominent melodic guitar riffs.

Shredding leads and giving us her powerhouse vocals at every turn, Evil Enough is a melodic metal album that grows on you pay after play, of that have no doubt.

With Lynch herself having written all the songs on this highly impressive debut album, her style of guitar slinging, along with those aforementioned vocals, means that even with an all-star backing band, it's still Lynch who steals the show here.

1. 'Evil Enough'
2. 'Antidote'
3. 'Exit the Warrior'
4. 'Banished From My Kingdom'
5. 'Kringeworthy'
6. 'Gui-Tara Rises'
7. 'Unbreakable'
8. 'Enigmatic'
9. 'Trustless'
10. 'Feckless Lock'

“The entire ‘Evil Enough’ album is a musical autobiography," Lynch herself has said. "Very often, the term ‘blood, sweat and tears’ is used as a metaphor to describe the work one puts into something that they are 110% invested in. This would be an accurate metaphor where I am concerned."

"It has been a tremendously emotional journey into my own soul in order to both write the lyrics that explain my experiences, as well as write the melodies to convey the feelings involved within each experience.”

“This album has been a labor of love and an important part of both my personal and musical growth process," she adds. "At the end of the day, it’s an album that I am extremely proud of and I really hope it touches people out there in the world who can relate to it and that it can help them know they’re not alone.”

Inclusive of a massively impressive line-up of all-star musicians aiding her along her musical journey - Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath/Dio), Tony MacAlpine (solo/PlanetX), Phil Soussan (Ozzy/Billy Idol), Mark Boals (Dokken/Yngwie Malmsteen), Brent Woods (Vince Neil/Sebastian Bach), Glen Sobel (Alice Cooper), and Björn Englen (Quiet Riot/Yngwie Malmsteen), Evil Enough (produced by Brent Woods) is one of those metal albums that you just can't get out of your head once heard (and nor should you).

Digital Album Purchase Link

Tara Lynch @ Twitter

Title - 'AmeriKKKant'
Artist - Ministry

For those not in the know, Ministry is an American industrial metal band, founded in 1981 by Al Jourgensen in Chicago, Illinois. Originally a synth-pop outfit, Ministry shifted its style to become one of the pioneers of industrial metal in the mid-to-late 1980s.

The band's line-up has gone through many changes throughout its history, with Jourgensen remaining the only constant as the band's main producer, singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist.

Notable musicians who have contributed to the band's studio or live activities include Paul Barker, Martin Atkins, Bill Rieflin, Chris Connelly, Nivek Ogre, Mike Scaccia, Rey Washam, Paul Raven, Tommy Victor, Jason Christopher, Tony Campos, Burton C. Bell and DJ Swamp.

Ministry found mainstream success in the late 1980s and early 1990s with three of their studio albums: The Land of Rape and Honey (1988), The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste (1989) and Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs (1992), with the former of the two certified gold and the latter certified platinum by the RIAA.

The 1996 follow-up album, Filth Pig, was also critically acclaimed but did not repeat the success of its predecessors; the album did, however, earn Ministry its highest chart position on the Billboard 200, peaking at number nineteen.

The band has been nominated for six Grammy Awards, and performed at several notable music festivals, including participating in the second annual Lollapalooza tour in 1992 and co-headlining Big Day Out in 1995.

Ministry was dissolved in 2008 after 27 years of recording and performing, and Jourgensen had since stated that they would never reunite. However, the band announced a reunion in August 2011, and has released three more studio albums since then: Relapse (2012), From Beer to Eternity (2013), and the just-released AmeriKKKant (2018).

Their first in 5 years, AmeriKKKAnt (which you could have pre-ordered through, ununlocking access to exclusive updates, content and merchandise), is without a shadow of a doubt, Al Jourgensen’s anti-love letter to Donald J Trump!

1. 'I Know Words'
2. 'Twilight Zone'
3. 'Victims of a Clown'
4. 'TV5/4Chan'
5. 'We’re Tired of It'
6. 'Wargasm'
7. 'Antifa'
8. 'Game Over'
9. 'AmeriKKKa'

Released via Nuclear Blast Records (worldwide) on March 9th, 2018, the 9 track album, overall, was a little disappointing to me. Noticeably containing some highly commendable, and pure Ministry tracks, mostly it is Jourgensen's endless rants against, well, anything and everyone here that weigh the lyrics down.

Containing a slew of repetitive segments interspersed with some rather uneven pacing, I can definitely say that Ministry's live energy does not come to the fore here at all.

Sure their signature roar, their massive guitar riffs, jackhammer beats, spoken-word samples and all that comes with that are here for the undertaking, but a sense of frsh air is most definitely not.

Unleashing, primarily or wholly, depending on how you view some of these tracks, a massive fist of revolutionary rock at the current President, Ministry's 14th studio album, by using as many Trump samples as he does throughout the album, you might be forgiven for thinking that our President was a co-writer of AmeriKKKant (he wasn't, just for the record!)

Inclusive of a rather lovely and very colourful 20-page lyric booklet, AmeriKKKant isn't for everyone, maybe not even all Ministry fans, but it is an album for those of us with reasonable expectations of a band once-Gods.

CD Purchase Link

Ministry @ Facebook

Title - 'Both Sides of the Sky' (180 gram Vinyl 2LP)
Artist - Jimi Hendrix

On March 9th, 2018, Experience Hendrix and Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, proudly release Both Sides of the Sky, a dynamic new Jimi Hendrix album featuring 13 studio recordings made between 1968 and 1970.

This album completes a trilogy of albums [with Valleys Of Neptune and People, Hell & Angels] presenting the best and most significant unissued studio recordings remaining in the Hendrix archive.

The loose theme for Both Sides of The Sky is most definitely collaboration and so, as one would hope / expect, there is a lot of that taking place.

1: 'Mannish Boy'
2: 'Lover Man'
3: 'Hear My Train a Comin'
4: 'Stepping Stone'
5: '$20 Fine'
6: 'Power of Soul'
7: 'Jungle'
8: 'Things I Used to Do'
9: 'Georgia Blues'
10: 'Sweet Angel'
11: 'Woodstock'
12: 'Send My Love to Linda'
13: 'Cherokee Mist'

The feverish guitar work of a wondrously re-imagined Muddy Waters 'Mannish Boy' kicks this brilliant 180 gram double vinyl album off perfectly and is backed seamlessly by both the frenetic guitar work of what would be a favorite concert staple, 'Lover Man,' and then one of the longest tracks on the album (and deservedly so) at just over seven minutes, the pulsating, yet noticeably stripped down 'Hear My Train a Comin'.

Next up is the trippy, yet fluidly loose guitar work of an alternative take on 'Stepping Stone' which is followed by the deep blues of the Stills penned, Buffalo Springfield cut '$20 Fine', the swirling guitar sounds of 'Power of Soul,' and then the laid back jaunt of 'Jungle'. The blues stomp of 'Things I Used To Do' is yet another stand out track here, as are both the longest track, 'Georgia Blues' (sung by Lonnie Youngblood) and the brilliant guitar-lite melodies of 'Sweet Angel.'

This fantastic, absolutely incredible double vinyl LP then continues on with the upbeat Hammond organ play of 'Woodstock' (which features Stephen Stills on organ and Hendrix on bass), before finally coming to a close (sadly) with the taut guitar ballad 'Send My Love to Linda' (although spliced together from different takes, it does have a feel of should-have-been-left-alone to it before the end), and then the jangly, electric sitar studio jam, 'Cherokee Mist'.

Both Sides Of The Sky was mixed by Eddie Kramer, the engineer for all of Hendrix's albums throughout the guitarist's lifetime, and produced by Janie Hendrix, Kramer and John McDermott.

The album will be released on multiple formats including CD, digital, and as a numbered 180 gram audiophile vinyl 2LP.

Vinyl 2LP Purchase Link

Jimi Hendrix @ Facebook

Title - ‘More Yesterdays Than Tomorrows'
Artist - Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers

For those not in the know, Joe Grushecky is a rock musician in the United States known for his work with the Iron City Houserockers in the late 1970s and early 1980s; and for his works since the late the 1980s with his act Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers; and for his solo career.

In 1976, Joe Grushecky a relative of Isabel, a high school special education teacher, started the Brick Alley Band. Grushecky's new band was a typical bar band. They signed to Cleveland International Records in 1977, who rechristened them the Iron City Houserockers.

The band's first album was Love's So Tough, released in 1979, and was a fair success. Their next album, Have a Good Time but Get out Alive! (released in 1980), was a bigger success.

Two more albums followed, Blood on the Bricks in 1981 and Cracking Under Pressure (1983 as The Houserockers). By 1984, the band wasn't selling many records anymore and they were dropped by MCA Records. They broke up shortly thereafter.

After the breakup of the Iron City Houserockers, Grushecky returned home to Pittsburgh where he retook his teaching job (which he still holds). He also began to sharpen his songwriting. He released a single entitled "Good Bye Steeltown". Finally, in 1989, he fully re-emerged with his new act, Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers.

Grushecky's first new album since the Iron City Houserockers days was Rock & Real, released in 1989. It would be followed by seven more albums, including 1995's American Babylon, which was produced by Bruce Springsteen.

Grushecky's more recent albums include Fingerprints (2002), A Good Life (2006), East Carson Street (2009), We're Not Dead Yet - Live at the New Hazlet Theater (2011), and Somewhere East of Eden (2013), but now he's back with the highly impressive More Yesterdays Than Tomorrows.

Listening to the album now and it's obvious that Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers have been hard at work for a while on constructing one of the most solid, multi-playable albums I've heard, and enjoyed, in the past decade.

Joining Grushecky on the album is guitarist Danny Gochnour, bassist Jeff Garrison, and drummer Joffo Simmons, as well as a certain person that Grushecky has known for years. “My son, Johnny, who was born a Houserocker, steps into a new role as producer along with our soundman, Brian Coleman, and long-time producer, Rick Witkowski," Grushecky reveals. "Together, they have fashioned a sound that is both fresh and familiar.”

Released on Schoolhouse Records this past March 30th, 2018, and with a year and a half of writing and recording having gone into this record, they finally settled on 11 new songs and a cover of the old gospel tune, 'Ain’t No Grave.'

1. 'More Yesterdays Than Tomorrows'
2. 'Got To Go To Work Today'
3. 'That's What Makes Us Great' (featuring Bruce Springsteen)
4. 'Burn Us Down'
5. 'One Beautiful Night'
6. 'Blood, Sweat And Beers'
7. 'The Voice'
8. 'Work In Progress'
9. 'Rev It Up'
10. 'Hell To Pay'
11. 'Ain't No Grave'
12. 'Don't Mourn For Me Like That'

Also, being the first studio Houserocker record since 2009, Joe and the guys decided to ask for the support of their loyal legion of fans in bringing this album to commercial life.

Recognising they needed help in bringing the attention to it that they thought it deserves, and rightly so, they created a Pledge Music campaign for it (see below).

This meant that for all their fans who have continued to support them for the last 40 years or so, by pre-ordering, they were all able to receive exclusive updates from the guys throughout the campaign via the AccessPass that comes with every purchase.

In addition to the new album, in their pledge store you can purchase live performances, items from their personal collections, and other exclusive merchandise.

As for the record that you'll get thereafter, well, as mentioned, More Yesterdays Than Tomorrows is a phenomenally tight album that will rock you from morning til' night, if you allow it to infect your brain!

Pledge Music Campaign Purchase Link

Joe Grushecky on Facebook!

Title - 'Lover Man / Foxy Lady' (Limited Vinyl Single)
Artist - Jimi Hendrix

On March 9th, 2018, Experience Hendrix and Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, proudly release Both Sides of the Sky, a dynamic new Jimi Hendrix album featuring 13 studio recordings made between 1968 and 1970.

Released ahead, and as a teaser to the incredible double 180 gram vinyl LP, this brilliant Limited Edition (500) 7" Single, 'Lover Man' is just perfect for all avid collectors of vinyl.

Recorded on December 15th, 1969, the B-Side is a live version of 'Foxy Lady,' recorded November 10th, 1967 in the Netherlands.

With regard the A-Side, 'Lover Man's story is that just two weeks before their triumphant New Year's concerts at the Fillmore East in NYC [yielding both 1970's Band Of Gypsys and 2016's sequel Machine Gun], Hendrix gathered with Cox and Miles to cut this dynamic rendition of what had become a favorite concert staple.

A killer, funky to the core, blues track with Billy Cox on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums, 'Lover Man' has one of the tightest, and yet tempestuous grooves that I've ever heard!

This exclusive 7" single vinyl release is backed elegantly with the previously unreleased live version of 'Foxy Lady'. Produced by Janie Hendrix, John McDermott and Eddie Kramer, this version (featuring Band Of Gypsys), was seen as the strongest recorded version.

'Lover Man' / 'Foxy Lady' (Limited Edition 7" Single) Purchase Link

'Both Sides of the Sky' Vinyl 2LP Purchase Link

Jimi Hendrix @ Facebook

Title - 'Sons And Lovers: Expanded Edition'
Artist - Hazel O'Connor

For those not in the know, Hazel O'Connor is a British singer-songwriter and actress who became famous in the early 1980s with hit singles 'Eighth Day', 'D-Days' and 'Will You', as well as starring in the film Breaking Glass.

Her film debut was in Girls Come First in 1975. She became prominent as an actress and singer five years later in 1980 when playing the role of Kate in the film Breaking Glass, and performing its accompanying soundtrack.

Her performance as Kate won her the Variety Club of Great Britain Award for Best Film Actor. She was also nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music.

The film's soundtrack album featured songs written and performed by O'Connor and reached number 5 in the UK Albums Chart. It had a 38-week chart run and was certified Gold by the British Phonographic Industry.

Several tracks from the album were released as singles, the most successful being the previously mentioned 'Eighth Day' and 'Will You' which both reached the UK Top 10.

Subsequent albums released by O'Connor included Sons and Lovers (which featured the UK Top 10 hit single 'D Days'), Cover Plus, Smile, Private Wars and Five in the Morning.

O'Connor also collaborated with other artists, and made appearances in the video for Mick Karn's "The Sound Of Waves" and a cameo appearance in the 1983 Eurythmics video, "Who's That Girl?".

The aforementioned Sons And Lovers is now being released as an incredible expanded package in a deluxe digi-pack with a richly illustrated lyric booklet containing an introduction from Hazel OfConnor herself.

This expanded edition of Hazelfs landmark post-punk album contains three versions of the lead UK top ten single eD- Daysf; the album version, the better known Tony Visconti remixed version and the lesser known alternate eNewf version dating from 1981.

eD-Daysf, also known as eDecadent Daysf had been inspired by Hazel visiting a fledgling New Romantic nightclub in Londonfs eWest Endf and viewing the poseurs and gpeople looking very bizarreh of that new musical movement.

In many ways, Sons & Lovers is very much a bridge between epunkf and the enew wavef and, without a shadow of a doubt, is one of Hazel's best to date.

1. 'D-DAYS'
4. 'ZOO'
11. 'BYE BYE'


We kick off brilliantly with the uber vibrant 'D-DAYS' which she backed with both the jaunty 'WAITING' and the trippy storytelling of 'WHO WILL CARE?'. The languishingly Bowie-esque 'ZOO' is then followed by the fervent sax-led 'GIGOLO', the passive new wave poetry of 'DO WHAT YOU DO', before the upbeat sax adorned title track is laid out before us.

The punchy 'GLASS HOUSES' is the followed by my all-time favorite HO song, the brilliant 'AINfT IT FUNNY', with her haunting rendition of 'DANNY BOY' along next. The original album then rounds out with the fun 'BYE BYE', and then finally the tell-it-like-it-is live breakdown of 'TIME (AINfT ON OUR SIDE).'

Amongst the five bonus track rarities included in this deluxe package are two live tracks from a celebrated 1980 live concert at the Dominion Theatre in London; a reworking of the album track eAinft It Funnyf and a spirited cover version of David Bowiefs eSuffragette Cityf which features Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran who, at that time, were Hazel OfConnorfs support act.

These tracks were originally featured as the B-sides of the 12h single of eTime (Ainft On Our Side)f, the second track to be taken as a single from the album. Another bonus track rarity is the very first version of eTime Is Freef that had been the B-side of Hazel OfConnorfs pre-eBreaking Glassf debut 1979 single.

Expanded Edition CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Gustav Holst: The Planets'
Artist - Richard Strauss & Sprach Zarathustra

For those not in the know, William Steinberg (Cologne, August 1, 1899 – New York City, May 16, 1978) was a German-American conductor.

Steinberg was born Hans Wilhelm Steinberg in Cologne, Germany. He displayed early talent as a violinist, pianist, and composer, conducting his own choral/ orchestral composition (based on texts from Ovid's Metamorphoses) at age 13.

In 1914, he began studies at the Cologne Conservatory, where his piano teacher was the Clara Schumann pupil Lazzaro Uzielli and his conducting mentor was Hermann Abendroth. He graduated with distinction, winning the Wüllner Prize for conducting, in 1919.

He immediately became a second violinist in the Cologne Opera orchestra, but was dismissed from the position by Otto Klemperer for using his own bowings. He was soon hired by Klemperer as an assistant, and in 1922 conducted Fromental Halévy's La Juive as a substitute. When Klemperer left in 1924, Steinberg served as Principal Conductor.

He left a year later, in 1925, for Prague, where he was conductor of the German Theater. He next took the position of music director of the Frankfurt Opera. In 1930, in Frankfurt, he conducted the world premiere of Arnold Schoenberg's Von heute auf morgen.

William Steinberg's famous readings of Strauss' (with Sprach Zarathustra) Holst's The Planets is now newly remastered at 24-bit/192kHz from the original 4-track tapes and presented on Blu-ray Audio in 4.0 Surround + CD in DigiPack format.

Gustav Holst (1874 - 1934)
The Planets, Op. 32

1. Mars, The Bringer Of War
2. Venus, The Bringer Of Peace
3. Mercury, The Winged Messenger
4. Jupiter, The Bringer Of Jollity
5. Saturn, The Bringer Of Old Age
6. Uranus, The Magician
7. Neptune, The Mystic
Richard Strauss (1864 - 1949)
Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30, TrV 176

8. Einleitung
9. Von den Hinterweltlern
10. Von der groben Sehnsucht
11. Von den Freuden und Leidenschaften
12. Das Grablied
13. Von der Wissenschaft
14. Der Genesende
15. Das Tanzlied - Das Nachtlied
16. Das Nachtwandlerlied

What does it mean to say that a certain recording is "definitive?" Surely not that it is the only way to play a certain piece, but rather, that the interpretation is so utterly convincing, while the playing is at the same time so utterly assured, that it becomes an totally absorbing and uplifting experience; a reference by which others can be judged.

Holst himself recorded The Planets (surely his must be considered "definitive" too in some sense, though that recording is rarely mentioned). Whether or not Steinberg heard that recording, he arrives at tempo choices often very close to the composer's own.

Tempo is so crucial, and getting it wrong in one movement can let down the entire performance. Boult's famous reading(s) is/are let down by too-slow tempos in Mars, which rob it of forward momentum and power. Likewise Dutoit's famous reading, and others, slow Saturn far too much, burying the melodic line underneath their massive plodding.

But Steinberg is simply perfect throughout. Mars is menacing, powerful, and swaggering. Venus is peaceful, tranquil, elegant and beautiful, without ever settling into the torpor that hurts so many versions, such as Yoel Levi's or Levine's. Mercury flits, scampers, and then blooms like a brief sunset.

Jupiter is all that it should be--not tense or rushed, as it almost sounds with Levin or some others, but jolly, merry, and full of boisterous energy. Saturn too, and the remaining movements, could not be better.

The orchestral playing of the Boston Symphony is amazing in its virtuosity, and the wonderful acoustics of their hall lend color to the winds, weight to the basses, and a beautiful sheen overall.

The recording dates from the '60s, but given the outstanding acoustics in which it was recorded, it shows its age only in a slight thickening in the treble, whereas if recorded today it might be a little more delicate and transparent. But the age of the recording is not and should not be an obstacle to anyone wanting to hear the best (alright, one of the best) Planets there is.

I wouldn't say that the Strauss Zarathustra here is "definitive," but it's an involving and exciting one. Instead of a luxurious wallow in lush orchestral tones, Steinberg provides a driving, sweeping performance that is often very dramatic and makes a great coupling for his Planets. (LTL)

These recordings remain mementos of Steinberg's brief tenure as the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Music Director. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first performance of 'The Planets' this new recording includes notes on Steinberg & the BSO and an essay on quadrophonic recording.

CD+Blu-ray Purchase Link

Title - 'Nostalgia' (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Artist - Laurent Eyquem

The film - starring Jon Hamm, Nick Offerman, Amber Tamblyn, Patton Oswalt, Catherine Keener, Ellen Burstyn, Bruce Dern, John Ortiz, and James LeGros - follows the lives of people connected through loss, examining the human process of finding love and solace in the artifacts and memories we share with each other.

Award winning French composer, Laurent Eyquem ('I'm That Man,' 'Riley's Peak,' 'Momentum,' 'USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage'), handles the score and boy, does he do it eloquently.

1. Opening Theme (3:01)
2. A Life In Pictures (1:28)
3. The Granddaughter (1:56)
4. Lives Lived (3:33)
5. The Decision (2:18)
6. Ready To Say Goodbye (3:12)
7. An Empty Life (2:24)
8. The Letters (1:47)
9. Emptiness (3:01)
10. The Absence (4:20)
11. Moving On (3:32)

Not a long score, but one that resonates from start to finish nonetheless, 'Nostalgia' is a movie, let alone a soundtrack that will stay with you long after the cinematography and music have finished playing.

The score, which contains lots of piano (ie: "Opening Theme") and cello solos, with side ventures from both strings, and even a rather breathtaking trumpet solo of the first aforementioned track returning occasionally, continues on with the hauntingly playful "A Life In Pictures" and backs that up with "The Granddaughter."

"Lives Lived" is another stoic, yet thoughtfully paced piano moment, and that's followed by the stirring "The Decision," the runaway piano of "Ready To Say Goodbye," the gently soaring "An Empty Life," and then both the quieter cello moments of "The Letters," and the solemn keys of "Emptiness."

The soundtrack then wraps up with a quite stunning "The Absence", the longest track on the album at just over four minutes, it will stay with you even when the music has finished, and then culminates with the hopefully stirrings of "Moving On."

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - I Kill Giants (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Artist - Laurent Perez Del Mar

Based on the award-winning comic by Joe Kelly and Ken Niimura, 'I Kill Giants' tells the story of a girl named Barbara who struggles with life by escaping into a fantasy life of magic and monsters. The film adaptation stars Zoe Saldana and Madison Wolfe.

The soundtrack features music from London Grammar and score by respected French composer Laurent Perez del Mar ('The Red Turtle').

1. Barbara (4:50)
2. Gift Of Gold (1:49)
3. I Kill Giants (1:42)
4. Under The Stars (Performed by London Grammar) (3:56)
5. Giants (2:25)
6. The Forest (2:13)
7. Karen (1:29)
8. Under The Water (5:14)
9. Fight The Forest Giant (4:48)
10. Everything Is Gonna Be Alright (3:41)
11. Another Giant Is Coming (4:50)
12. Searching For Her (2:18)
13. I Have To Go (5:39)
14. Thousand Times (1:39)
15. The Forest Giants (:56)
16. Mum (2:18)
17. Something So Strong (Performed by Rasmus Walter) (3:25)

The score opens with the theme for “Barbara”, which has to be said is a stirring, yet vibrantly haunting cut if ever there were. The orchestral beauty "Gift of Gold" is next and is backed seamlessly by the gently playful title track.

"Under The Stars" from London Grammar is an odd cut to throw into this orchestral-based soundtrack, but then the blustery "Giants" showcases not only how good Del Mar is, but gets the soundtrack back on track. The soaring, Disneyesque "The Forest" is one of the best cuts here and is backed by the paced piano beauty "Karen", with ethereal "Under The Water" along next.

The pacey "Fight The Forest Giant" is next, then comes the quietly uplifting "Everything Is Gonna Be Alright", "Another Giant Is Coming," another outstanding piano piece in "Searching For Her," and then both "I Have To Go" and the short, but sweet "Thousand Times."

The barely a minute long "The Forest Giants" is then backed by yet another brilliant composition, this time the haunting and yet melodic "Mum," before the entire soundtrack is brought to a close with the (in my humble opinion) out of place here "Something So Strong (performed by Rasmus Walter).

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Origins' [2CD]
Artist - Lisa LaRue

For those not in the know, Lisa LaRue began playing keyboards as a small child, her grandmother noticing she was playing "These Boots are Made for Walkin'" the Nancy Sinatra hit, on her toy Magnus Chord organ.

Later sought out by shopping malls and department stores as a young girl, she started writing her own songs and designing her own 'album covers.'

This led and inspired her for her future careers, which also include graphic design.

Before setting out for a record contract, she collaborated with Gilli Smyth of Gong on a self-released 'tape' titled "Dreamscapes." "Dreamscapes" was released by the U.S.-arm of Voiceprint, and soon after, she began label shopping for a longer-lasting deal.

A composer and keyboardist, LaRue became the first female artist signed to the Sound of America Records label (SOAR) Natural Visions sublabel.

Her debut release was titled "Beloved Tribal Women," produced by Will Alexander (keyboard tech to Keith Emerson, Herbie Hancock, and many other great keyboard players).

Since, she has released "Children's Songs in the Cherokee Language," "That Ol' Sofkee Spoon," "Ama," "Transformation 2012," "World Class" released as Lisa LaRue Project 2K9, "Fast and Blue" and “Sussuration” with 2KX, and “Sonic Landscapes” with Federico Fantacone.

She has also appeared on recordings by others, including Oliver Wakeman Band guitarist, David Mark Pearce ("Strange Ang3ls" album), Head Transfer Process (Stargazer), and Esquire with Nikki Squire ("Stay Low").

Recently signed to Melodic Revolution Records, keybordist & composer Lisa LaRue is set to release her new album Origins this very month. A 2CD set, it celebrates 25 years and 11 releases by LaRue.

Indeed, Origins features some of the best musicians in the business: John Payne (Asia, GPS), Michael Sadler (Saga), Mitch Perry (Talas, Aerosmith), Gilli Smyth (Gong), Don Schiff (Rocket Scientist, Kracked Earth), Federico Fantacone (Orchestre Celesti) John Baker (Forever Twelve, Mars Hollow) as well as Steve Adams, Brenda K, Michael Wheeler, Merrill Hale, Svetlan Raket (Par Lindh Project), John “Yafke” Timothy, and Michael Alvarez.

CD 1:
1. 'Kituwa'
2. 'Hurtful Words'
3. 'In Camera'
4. 'Beautiful Illusion'
5. '256 Leagues Above New Orleans'
6. 'Sea of Unity'
7. 'Lament of the Cherokee / Ruins of Home'
8. 'Golden Birds Wrapped Within'
9. 'Recurring Dream'

CD 2:
1. 'Jam Jehan Nima'
2. 'Prometheus'
3. 'Aspiration'
4. 'Sussuration'
5. 'Lemniscate'
6. 'Just Waiting For'

Listening to both CDs, back to back (as you should also do, of course, it's crystal clear that LaRue's musical perspective is unique, and delightfully rich in both tone and soul.

Her Prog rock style is highly influenced by her Native American roots, of that have no doubt, but as a listener new to her work (such as myself), or someone who has followed her career avidly, you just can't stop yourself from getting lovingly drawn into her mystical and avant-garde approach.

The rousing, guitar-led opener 'Kituwa' is also one of my favorites from this double set, and is backed by the dulcet piano of 'Hurtful Words,' the tranquil, soft prog of 'In Camera,' and then both the soaring 'Beautiful Illusion,' and then the softer '256 Leagues Above New Orleans.'

The lush 'Sea of Unity' is then backed seamlessly by the cello-led beauty 'Lament of the Cherokee / Ruins of Home,' before the stirring 'Golden Birds Wrapped Within' and then more soft prog in 'Recurring Dream bring the first disc to a close.

The mid-tempo, drumtastic 'Jam Jehan Nima' is first out the cannon and that's followed by the gently trippy 'Prometheus.' Complete with chimes and a very delicate Italian flavor, up next is 'Aspiration.' A very atmospheric, joyfully noisy at times composition, with a lovely tranquil finale, that's backed by the serene 'Sussuration.'

The second disc is then brought to a close with the uplifting, water's edge vibe of 'Lemniscate', with the playful spoken word track 'Just Waiting For' bringing the whole 2CD set to a close.

“This album brings together all of the messages of all of my albums," LaRue herself imparts. "Heritage and culture, bringing people together from around the world, giving each other creative outlets, and finding your spirit means you've made peace with the world and yourself.”

CD Baby Album Purchase Link lisalarue2kx

Title - 'The Circle of Confusion of Tongues'
Artist - Babal

For those not in the know, and according to their very own pitch, the circle of confusion of tongues is redolent of jazz/funk fusions ensouled with multi-pitched vocal layers and extreme guitars; unexpected arrangements encourage you to follow the radical folk-tales as they shift from spine roads to byways and ditches.

From brooding melancholic meadows to high-rise hell, describing bourgeois lifestyles, fear of death, Addiction and insanity, block-paving, voluntary work and the overwhelming need to re-invent ourselves to survive the pandemonium of the modern first world construct.

Phew, well then, that clears that all up, right! That said, it kinda sorta does, if you read not only their lines of explanation, but generously between them also. The Circle of Confusion of Tongues is the fourth album from the UK's highly impressive psych art rock band, Babal ... and perhaps their best yet.

They add that you then, following along with their original train of thought above, re-emerge on a spectacular flyover, to find you went through the car wash on the way ... through the pressured layers ... you've got the bends ...

Right ... well ... ok, now you've lost me, but at least the music speaks for itself here on this brilliant, inspired even new album.

1. 'Teeth of The Universe'
2. 'Amanda'
3. 'He's Got The Bends'
4. 'The Crooked Path'
5. 'Stolen Breath'
6. 'Monkey On My Back'
7. 'The Foot High Guy'
8. 'Partakers'
9. 'Volunteers'
10. 'The Great Overwhelm'
11. 'Skating on the Pond'
12. 'Block Pave Me Over'

Drums that lead seamlessly into some funky guitar are how we are introduced to what is the best track on the album for me, 'Teeth of The Universe.' Embracing a Living Colour vibe throughout, but especially here, Babal then follow that up with the drum-led 'Amanda,' the trippy jam session 'He's Got The Bends,' then both the all-out, yet still melodic psych rock of 'The Crooked Path' and 'Stolen Breath.'

The frenetic guitar of 'Monkey On My Back' is yet another stand out cut and is followed by the more down low, NIN thematically crawling approach of 'The Foot High Guy.' The album brings us another wonderful track in 'Partakers,' with the atmospheric 'Volunteers,' the drum-led and searing guitar of 'The Great Overwhelm.'

The album then comes to a close with the Church-like, choiresque 'Skating on the Pond' which is then backed by the revealing storytelling of 'Block Pave Me Over.'

Babal 'The Circle of Confusion of Tongues' Bandcamp CD Order Page

Babal @ Facebook!

Title - 'Thunderbird'
Artist - Thunderbird

For those not in the know, Canadian-Aussie rockers Thunderbird have, once again, rebooted the classic hard rock sound of the late '70s and early 80s here on their brand new self-titled third album, Thunderbird.

Thunderbird - Marc LaFrance, Vocals/Producer; Rob Becker, Bass; Kelly Stodola, Drums/Producer; and Brice Tabish, Guitars - is a collection of short stories, where LaFrance is singing the songs as different characters. Fundamentally telling their tales via a gallery of rogues from the dark side.

Recorded in Vancouver BC, produced by Marc LaFrance and Kelly Stodola and mixed by famed engineer Mike Fraser, Thunderbird is simply chock full of songs are inspired by classic hard rock. Combining heavy guitars, blistering solos, driving rhythms and cultured vocals, this third outing is, for my money, their best yet.

1. 'Liar (Fool's Gold)'
2. 'Little Jenny'
3. 'Star'
4. 'Rain'
5. 'Into The Sun'
6. 'Painted Lady'
7. 'Revolution'
8. 'Man Of Clay'
9. 'I'm With You'
10. 'On The Brink'
11. 'King Rat'
12. 'Vampire'

A choir-like opening to 'Liar (Fool's Gold)' (featuring the band's former guitarist Rod 'Doc' Coogan on it's incredible guitar solo) bleeds quickly into the drum and guitar-led real feel of the track. Sounding like an early version of Rainbow (one of my all-time favorite bands, I'll have you know), that is then backed by both the heavier 'Little Jenny,' and then the '80s rock band riffs of 'Star.'

That vibe continues seamlessly on into 'Rain', which is backed by the frenetic guitar and vocal combo of 'Into The Sun.' The systematic, and well devised rock heavy 'Painted Lady' is one of my favorite tracks here, and is followed by both 'Revolution' and then the only true ballad of the set, 'Man Of Clay.'

The thunder is brought back on 'I'm With You', which in turn is backed by the foot-tapper 'On The Brink.' Another brilliant cut is the mid-tempo gem 'King Rat,' with the album then being rounded out perfectly with the last track, the rocker 'Vampire.'

Thunderbird @ YouTube!

Thunderbird @ Facebook!

Title - 'Soyuz'
Artist - Gazpacho

For those not in the know, Gazpacho are an art rock band from Oslo, Norway. The original core band of Jan-Henrik Ohme (vocals), Jon-Arne Vilbo (guitars) and Thomas Andersen (keyboards, programming, producer) started making music together in 1996 and the band has since expanded with Mikael Krømer (violin, co-producer), Robert R Johansen (drums) and Kristian Torp (bass).

Gazpacho's music has been described by one critic as being "classical post ambient nocturnal atmospheric neo-progressive folk world rock". Indeed, their music has been compared to A-ha, Radiohead, Marillion and Porcupine Tree (and rightfully so, in truth).

Recorded at Krypton Planet & St. Croix Fredrikstad in Norway, engineered by Thomas Andersen, Kristian Torp and Mikael Kroemer, mixed by John Rausch and mastered by Sonovo Mastering’s Thor Legvold, Gazpacho's brand new album is entitled Soyuz. Releasing May 18th, 2018 via Kscope Records, the eye-catching artwork is designed by painter Antonio Seijas, and is actually inspired by Russian Cold War colors and fonts from the Soyuz One flight era.

The themes of Soyuz were born from the idea of how beautiful moments pass and cannot be “saved for later”, so within Soyuz are interconnected tales of people and lives “frozen in time”.

Taking inspiration from a multitude of eras and subject matters, including the doomed Russian space capsule Soyuz and its iconic captain Komarov; the Tibetan Buddhist funeral practice in 'Sky Burial'; the inclusion of the oldest recording of the human voice from 1860 and the Hans Christian Andersen inspired 'Emperor Bespoke'.

1. 'Soyuz One'
2. 'Hypomania'
3. 'Exit Suite'
4. 'Emperor Bespoke'
5. 'Sky Burial'
6. 'Fleeting Things'
7. 'Soyuz Out'
' 8. 'Rappaccini'

With what seems at first like a gentle, beating heartbeat, the album opens with the quite stunning 'Soyuz One,' a track that I could personally listen to over and over again. So beautiful. So delicate. That's followed seamlessly by the more upbeat melodies of 'Hypomania,' and the both the unadulterated ambiance of 'Exit Suite,' and the dulcet piano work of the art folk ballad 'Emperor Bespoke.'

The most interesting track on the new album for me is the gentle musical swirls of 'Sky Burial' which is backed with the simply beautiful 'Fleeting Things.' Sadly, the album then comes to a close with both the artful masterpiece 'Soyuz Out,' and then wraps with the thoroughly fascinating 'Rappaccini.'

Simply put, Soyuz is an album that grows and exposes more depth the more spins you give it. In fact, I couldn't rate it highly enough. It's a multi-layered piece of musical art and the musicianship is quite extraordinary.

CD Purchase Link

Gazpacho (the band) @ Facebook!

Title - 'Continuance'
Artist - Shawn Phillips

For those not in the know, Shawn Phillips, one of music’s most daring, influential and enigmatic figures, has announced the release of his new album, Continuance, via Tunecore Distribution.

The record – Phillips' 25th solo effort – sees the genre-bending singer-songwriter and virtuoso guitarist, who was once described by Bill Graham as “the best-kept secret in the music business,” mixing hard rock, blues, funk, jazz, classical and New Age into an enthralling, singular style of expression.

1. 'Life'
2. 'The Force that We Call Life'
3. 'Tribute To D'
4. 'Man With A Gun'
5. 'Furious Desperation'
6. 'C'mon Round'
7. 'Song for A Thief' 9. 'In Grace We Intend'
10. 'Dancing In Survival'
11. 'Mirror Of Light'
12. 'Some Thing's Will Never Change'

"I have always worked at producing the finest quality music that will appeal to everyone who hears it," Philips himself has expressed. "Because of the facilities I will be working in, I expect this project to have outstanding production and musicians. It will be a soundtrack to your life!"

Having launched it via a Kickstarter campaign page (see below), Phillips now is seeing the fruits of his musical labors. For not only are his peers lauding the 12 track gem, but each and every track has been put together so lovingly that it's hard to believe that we had to wait so long to hear them.

This American folk-rock musician, primarily influential in the 1960s and 1970s and now with 25 albums to his name, may have worked with such music notables as Donovan, Paul Buckmaster, J. Peter Robinson, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Bernie Taupin and more, but here on Continuance he is most assuredly making some of the best music in his career.

I mean, just listening to songs here such as the thunderous storytelling of a world gone wrong in 'Man With A Gun,' or the smooth, melodic sand shifting air of 'Mirror Of Light,' will have you putting this CD on repeat, believe me.

Indeed, this knack of storytelling with a melodic backing is truly brought to the fore on the stunning trio of 'The Force That We Call Life,' 'Dancing In Survival,' and 'In Grace We Intend,' with the stand out track here, for my money, the stunningly inventive, and quite brilliant combination of sounds captured within 'Bach To The Fusion.'

Kickstarter Campaign Page

CD Purchase Link

Shawn Phillips @ Facebook!

Title - 'One'
Artist - Colin Carter

For those not in the know, Colin Carter - best known as the lead vocalist for Prog icons Flash, featuring guitar legend Peter Banks - is now releasing his debut solo album, appropriately entitled One.

A diverse collection of light and dark electric rock, with a little funk, some nightclub swing, an angular Dylanesque shuffle, a 30's Berlin cabaret song, a grand dramatic rock ballad, a Lennon-like lullaby and some flat out driving rock and more, One is as good as it gets within this genre that Carter has embedded himself, trust me.

1. 'Wings'
2. 'Reachin' Out'
3. 'Highway To Oblivion'
4. 'Star Crossed'
5. 'Cafe Elektric'
6. 'Underground'
7. 'Munich Song'
8. 'Obsession'
9. 'Tortuga Tonight'
10. 'Sleeping With You'

Opener 'Wings' is a fluent old 1970's soft rocker if ever there was, and that's backed by both a Pink Pantheresque smooth groove in the form of 'Reachin' Out' and then the first prog rock outing, 'Highway To Oblivion.'

The upbeat ballad 'Star Crossed' is next and that's backed by the aforementioned 1930's Berlin cabaret song, 'Cafe Elektric.' The jangly guitars of 'Underground' make this one of my own personal favorites and that's backed seamlessly by the prog darkness of 'Munich Song.'

The mid-tempo psych trip of 'Obsession' is then backed by the Renaissance-flavored 'Tortuga Tonight,' with the album coming to a close with the sweet guitar work of 'Sleeping With You.'

CD Purchase Link

Colin Carter @ Facebook!

Title - 'Parachutes in Hurricanes'
Artist - David Fitzpatrick

For those not in the know, Guitarist/Songwriter David Fitzpatrick - who has led Milwaukee’s Dave Fitzpatrick Band for decades - will release his first major solo work entitled Parachutes in Hurricanes on Daystorm Music this coming April 27th, 2018.

Known for his production résumé, musician/engineer/producer Gary Tanin (Jack Spann, Sam Llanas, Roger Powell, Daryl Stuermer) was recruited to collaborate on Fitzpatrick’s solo opus; and trust me when I say, the man did an incredible job.

Nearly three years in the making, many musicians provided their artistry along with core members of David's band. Indeed, Fitzpatrick and Tanin spent countless session hours crafting the melodies and arrangements that resulted in the compositions on this brilliant album.

1. 'Lost on the Same Street'
2. 'Long Way Down'
3. 'Half A Mile'
4. 'How I Wish'
5. 'All In Tonight'
6. 'Your Ghost'
7. 'Money Isn't Everything'
8. 'So Happy With You'
9. 'Bed Of Roses'
10. 'If I Could'
11. 'Done To Me'

The storytelling of the opening track, 'Lost on the Same Street' is Fitzpatrick at his songwriting best (he wrote all the songs on the album, seven of which were co-written with Tanin), and with his gritty, soulful voice at the helm, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Little Steven had made an appearance on it!

'Long Way Down' slows the rock roll, before the mid-tempo 'Half a Mile,' and it's interplay of vocals, guitar and organ, ensure that the track will become an instant favorite of yours. The wistful vocal on 'How I Wish' will have you yearning for more tracks like this to be included, and that's backed by the harmonious 'All In Tonight.'

The mellow vibe continues onward with the brilliant, gentle guitar work of 'Your Ghost,' which in turn is followed by yet another (in my humble opinion) Little Steven nod on 'Money Isn’t Everything.' The fun and jazzy 'I’m So Happy' is another pure delight to behold here (man, I love me some horn line), and that is backed by the tremolo guitar and organ combo of 'Bed Of Roses.'

The album then rounds out with both the all-too-short pop bounce of 'If I Could,' and then the piano driven 'Done To Me' being the most perfect of book end to the magnificent Fitzpatrick storytelling hour.

Embodying the heart and soul, nay, the essence of the Milwaukee musician’s perspective and outlook, Parachutes in Hurricanes showcases a most talented musician clearly at his very best.

David Fitzpatrick @ Facebook!

Title - 'Guitar Masters Collection'
Artist - Various

For those not in the know, Grammy award-winning producer Brian Tarquin is an American multi-Emmy Award-winning guitarist/composer and producer of the Guitar Masters Series featuring Jeff Beck, Steve Vai, Jimmy Page, Santana, BB King and Joe Satriani.

He is also known for his work as a smooth jazz artist and a music composer receiving 3 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition for a Drama Series and also received Emmy nominations in 2001, 2002 and 2004.

Indeed, Tarquin has sold more than 150,000 albums through his career in the USA. He wrote the theme music for MTV's Road Rules, as well as producing music for many other TV shows such as "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation", "TMZ on TV", America's Next Top Model, ABC's Making The Band, Extra, Alias and the Keanu Reeves film The Watcher.

In 2014, Tarquin produced, engineered and composed Guitars for Wounded Warriors, which showcases Tarquin’s guitar prowess alongside other guitarists such as, Steve Morse, Billy Sheehan, Gary Hoey, Bumblefoot (Guns N' Roses), Reb Beach (Whitesnake), Hal Lindes (Dire Straits), Chris Poland (Megadeth) and Chuck Loeb (Fourplay). [The album features exclusively released tracks inspired by military soldiers who fought for the USA.]

Now Tarquin does it again with the just released Guitar Masters Collection, out now via Purple Pyramid Records. A wondrous collection that, once again, features some cream of the crop guitarists - such as Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Stonley Clarke, Zakk Wylde, and more - the 10 track CD is as good as it gets in this genre, of that have no doubt.

1. 'Skippy'
2. 'Tocar Modera'
3. 'Funk Me Tender'
4. 'I Wish'
5. 'Hair'
6. 'Tarquinius Maximus'
7. 'Mother Load'
8. 'Ricarda'
9. 'Antilla'
10. 'Blue Wind'

We kick off in a jazz funk style with 'Skippy' (Allan Holdsworth & David Hines) and that's backed by the heavier 'Tocar Modera' (Larry Coryell & Brian Tarquin, and then the brilliantly funky, and my own personal favorite track here, 'Funk Me Tender' from Steve Vai & Randy Coven.

The gentle funk of Stevie Wonder's 'I Wish' now has some growl and edge to it from Zakk Wylde & Randy Coven, and that's followed by Graham Central Station's '70s throwback vibe of 'Hair' (here by Stanley Clarke & Joe Satriani), and then the soaring guitar work of ''Tarquinius Maximus' by both Chris Poland & Brian Tarquin.

The stirring "ballad," if you wish to call it such, 'Mother Load' is yet another stand out cut here from both Leslie West & Randy Coven, and then the quite stunning 'Ricarda' by Hal Lindes comes to the fore. The American-English guitarist and film score composer, who in 1979 played guitar with the rock group Darling, really turns this collection on its head with his flamenco styling.

The album is then rounded out with the gentle 'Antilla' (Allan Holdsworth & David Hines), and then ends on a high flying note (no pun intended) with 'Blue Wind' by Billy Sheehan, Doug Doppler & Brian Tarquin.

With liner notes from editor in chief of Guitar Player magazine, the players here, both known and unknown, are staggeringly skilled, and the tunes are new or reworked with additional vibrancy.

CD Purchase Link

Title - '27 Faces of a Broken Heart'
Artist - Ramin Partovi

To better prepare you for your listening pleasure, Ramin Partovi's quite stunning new 2CD 27 Faces of a Broken Heart is a musical digestion of a heartbreak and the emotional phases and forms it took in the following months.

The message: no matter how hard it hits you, is give it some time, accept a little help from your friends, maybe even some inspiration from your heroes, and you will be fine.

As for the man himself, Ramin Partovi is a German guitar player and aviator. Born to a German mother and an Iranian father, he early on in his life gravitated towards his love for music, learning guitar and other instruments and founding/ playing in several original bands.

To meet means end be pursued a pilot career, collected over 10000 hours in the air on large jet aircraft, became a commercial Boeing 737 Captain and recently developed an interest and passion for aerobatic flying.

However, his heart and real passion was, and will always be, in music. He studied guitar and music business at Musicians Institute Hollywood and currently resides in Los Angeles.

This brand new double album from Partovi features 27 works of musical art alongside Simon Phillips, Jimmy Johnson and Carl Verheyen, and is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most ambitious, and personal albums that I've come across in the past decade.

CD 1:
1. '27' 2. '27' (Yussi Wenger's Version)
3. '27' (Brent Mason's Version)
4. '27' (Jinshi Ozaki's Version)
5. '27' (Tom Kolb's Version)
6. '27' (Jon Reshard's Version)
7. '27' (Scott Henderson's Version)
8. '27' (Andy Becht's Version)
9. '27' (Ervin Toucet's Version)
10. '27' (Ernesto Homeyer's Version)
11. '27' (Erick Walls Version)
12. '27' (Doug Rappoport's Version)
13. '27' (Masta Edwards Version)

CD 2:
1. '27' (Carl Verheyen's Version)
2. '27' (McCoy Mason's Version)
3. '27' (Jeffery Marshall's Version)
4. '27' (Robin Siedschlag's Version)
5. '27' (Brent Mason's 2nd Version)
6. '27' (Brad Bailey's Version)
7. '27' (Oz Noy's Version)
8. '27' (Jeff Richman's Version)
9. '27' (Mike Stern's Version)
10. '27' (Gabriel Forsman's Version)
11. '27' (Mark Lettieri's Version)
12. '27' (Dean Brown's Version)
13. '27' (Giuseppe Vasapolli's Version)
14. '27' (Initial Studio Version)

"In the song 27, I connect with, and reflect on a time in 2007 where I've been very heartbroken," Partovi explains. "After 9 months of a very turbulent relationship it felt as if she ripped my beating heart out alive, stepped on it with long high heels and I started twitching."

"I moved 1550 miles away and it took me 1.5 years to digest this emotionally. The song reflects on the moods, my pain and struggle at this time, the emotional wounds and the overcoming of this demon over the following years."

CD + Digital Purchase Link

Title - 'Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert' [2CD]
Artist - Various

For those not in the know, the conceptual and artistic triumph, NBC’s live telecast of 'Jesus Christ Superstar' this past Easter Sunday may have finally justified the recent live musical fad on network TV.

Sure there were some technical mishaps, and some up and down variations of lead performers and their collective, let alone individual shining moments, but the overall production was genuinely thrilling.

So too was the soundtrack that accompanied it live on stage for the Original Soundtrack of the NBC Television Event was released digitally on April 6th, and as a physical 2CD set on April 20th (via Sony Music Masterworks / Masterworks Broadway).

The album contains more than two dozen tracks from the musical, which was headlined by ten-time Grammy Award winner John Legend as Jesus Christ and Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene.

CD 1:
1. "Overture"
2. "Heaven On Their Minds"
3. "What's The Buzz/Strange Thing Mystifying"
4. "Everything's Alright"
5. "This Jesus Must Die"
6. "Hosanna"
7. "Simon Zealotes/Poor Jerusalem"
8. "Pilate's Dream"
9. "The Temple"
10. "Everything's Alright (Reprise)"
11. "I Don't Know How To Love Him"
12. "Damned For All Time/Blood Money"

CD 2:
1. "The Last Supper"
2. "Gethsemane (I Only Want To Say)"
3. "Transition'
4. "The Arrest"
5. "Peter's Denial"
6. "Pilate and Christ"
7. "King Herod's Song"
8. "Transition After Herod"
9. "Could We Start Again, Please?"
10. "Judas's Death"
11. "Trial Before Pilate (Including The 39 Lashes)"
12. "Superstar"
13. "The Crucifixion"
14. "John Nineteen: Forty One"
15. "Curtain Call"

Set during the final week of Jesus' life, the story is told from the perspective of infamous betrayer Judas Iscariot. As more and more followers flock to Jesus, Judas grows concerned that Jesus is becoming arrogant and losing sight of his principles.

So when Jesus attacks the money changers in a temple, Judas finally turns on his teacher, setting both on a path to tragedy.

With the R&B hitmaker John Legend playing Jesus Christ, Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene, Brandon Victor Dixon as Judas Iscariot, and the one, the only, Alice Cooper as King Herod, NBC’s 'Jesus Christ Superstar' didn’t lack for talent or star power.

Drawn, as it was, from the worlds of pop and theater, from the smooth soulfulness of Legend, to the pop quaintness of Bareilles, on through to Cooper’s magnificently scenery-chewing performance of “King Herod’s Song," there isn't a low or bad part to be heard on this superb soundtrack.

Sure Cooper has played King Herod before, singing the part during a performance captured on a 2000 recording with the cast of the 1996 revival, but here he stood high and mighty on the shoulders of his other leads, it has to be said.

It's as if both the character's being portrayed along with their singing voices, raised, articulated to be heard, were weighing a little heavier on the others. But that's completely understandable, and for the most part, nobody put a foot wrong vocally, nor fumbled a hand off on stage either.

Conceived as a concept album, the original 1970 recording of 'Jesus Christ Superstar' includes the hit songs "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "I Don t Know How to Love Him" and went to #1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart in 1971.

Indeed, it was nominated for three Grammy Awards®, including Album of the Year, and ranked number one in album sales on the year-end chart ahead of Carole King's massive hit Tapestry.

The first Broadway production, starring Ben Vereen, opened in 1971 and garnered five Tony® nominations in addition to winning a Drama Desk Award for Andrew Lloyd Webber.

It is also fondly remembered for the 1973 Golden Globe® and Academy Award® nominated film that featured a new song written for the Broadway production, "Could We Start Again, Please?" that was also included in the live broadcast and here on this soundtrack.

Title - 'Inter-Fusion'
Artist - Shuggie Otis

For those not in the know, Shuggie Otis (actually born Johnny Alexander Veliotes, Jr.) is an American singer-songwriter, recording artist, and multi-instrumentalist.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Otis is the son of rhythm and blues pioneer, musician, bandleader, and impresario Johnny Otis who was of Greek descent and his wife Phyllis Walker who was of African American and Filipino descent.

Otis's composition "Strawberry Letter 23" (as recorded by The Brothers Johnson) topped the Billboard R&B chart and reached #5 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1977.

He also achieved commercial success with his 1974 single "Inspiration Information" (from the album of the same name), reaching #56 on the R&B chart.

Here in 2018 and via Cleopatra Records we now get a wonderful brand new, and highly inventive fusion rock project album, entitled Inter-Fusion.

Joining Otis are commanding drummer Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge/Beck Bogert & Appice) and stellar bassist Tony Franklin (The Firm/Roy Harper), who when they all come together, have created some incredible new music in the shape, and sounds of these 8 tracks.

1. 'Aphelion'
2. 'Get A Grip'
3. 'Ice Cold Daydream'
4. 'Interlude'
5. 'Woman'
6. 'Sweet Surrender'
7. 'Clear Power'
8. 'V8'

Lead track 'Aphelion' is a simply wondrous creation and sets the tone perfectly for what's to follow. 'Get A Grip' steps the guitar pace up a notch, with the stunning 'Ice Cold Daydream' a real flashback gem of a raw sound if ever I heard one.

'Interlude' is a quite magnificent jam session, with the lush, well orchestrated, organ-backed 'Woman' yet another stand out cut. The frenetic, yet sculptured, drumtastic 'Sweet Surrender' is next, and then the album is brought to a close with the longest track on the album, 'Clear Power' (at just over 8 mins) being backed by the speedster guitar prowess of 'V8.'

Vinyl LP Purchase Link

Title - 'Open Your Heart' [EP]
Artist - Emily Johnson

The quite stunning Open Your Heart is the brand new EP from someone you should get to know sooner, rather than later, the multi-talented Emily Johnson.

Releasing on May 11th, 2018 via Tarpan Records, the renowned studios of Grammy Award-winning American producer Narada Michael Walden (Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin), the four tracks contained on this EP are, one and all, something very special for us to hear from Johnson.

1. 'The Light'
2. 'Open Your Heart'
3. 'I'm Blessed'
4. 'Baby Forever'

For they are not just four forms of new music she wants you to hear, but each and every track is heart on the sleeve time for the singer/songwriter. Indeed, even with such tracks as the one the EP is named after, 'Open Your Heart', to Johnson this statement is more than words; it is a way of life.

For on this release of original songs, Johnson creates her art with something beyond passion, giving herself to her audience with a great generosity, energy, and sincerity. Opening song, 'The Light' is a beautiful, stirring upbeat Gospel ballad, with the mid-tempo pop bounce of the title song as good as it gets within this genre.

Generously carved within each song, within each lyric, Johnson brings others together to ignore prejudices, erase borders, and overcome difficulties. Furthermore, she shares with them a simple pleasure, which is to sing. Sing loud. Sing proudly.

Which she for sure does on the sax funk and piano twirling fun of 'I'm Blessed,' and the final song of the foursome, the stunningly Motownesque 'Baby Forever.'

Johnson has been fortunate to work with some music industry greats, including the incredible guitarist John McLaughlin - who has consistently praised her as an artist he already considers "a star" - but here on her debut EP, Open Your Heart, it's already very evident that Emily Johnson has something very wondrous to offer the music world; right here, right now.

EP CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Songs of Orpheus'
Artist - Karim Sulayman & Apollo's Fire

Lebanese-American tenor Karim Sulayman's neat encapsulation of the Orpheus myth infuses his solo recording debut, Songs of Orpheus in quite stunning style.

A versatile and sophisticated artist with repertoire spanning from the Renaissance to contemporary music, Sulayman completed three seasons at the renowned Marlboro Music Festival.

He has performed at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, New York City Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Cité de la Musique, the Casals Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival.

Indeed, he has recorded the title role in Handel’s Acis and Galatea with Mercury Baroque, and can be heard on recordings of Philidor and Grétry on the Naxos label.

Orpheus, the greatest singer of all time, famously followed his deceased beloved Eurydice to the gates of Hades in an attempt to bring her back to life.

He was thwarted by the gods who forbade him to gaze at her during their journey back to earth. He could not resist, and the tale has been told in numerous musical interpretations including those of Monteverdi and his 17th-century compatriots who are represented on this imaginative album, performed with leading baroque interpreters Jeannette Sorrell and Apollos Fire.

With Songs of Orpheus from Karim Sulayman & Apollo's Fire out now via AVIE Records, it has to be said that once you've listened to this quite incredible recording, you'll simply hit repeat and allow it to waft over and through you all over again; you have my word that it's just that addictive a listen.

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
1. Si dolce è ‘l tormento [3:35]
from Quarto scherzo
delle ariose vaghezze, 1624 arr. J. Sorrell
2. Vi ricorda o bosch’ ombrosi [2:32]
from L’Orfeo, 1607
3. Rosa del ciel [2:31]
from L’Orfeo
Giulio Caccini (1551-1618)
4. Dolcissimo sospiro [2:55]
from Le nuove musiche, 1602

II. ... TO HELL ...
Dario Castello (1590-1658)
5. Sonata No. 2 in D Minor [5:28]
from Sonate concertate in stil moderno, Libro II, 1629 – Julie Andrijeski, violin
6. Tu se’ morta from L’Orfeo [4:04]
7. Funeste piaggie [4:39]
from L’Euridice, 1602, arr. J. Sorrell
Giovanni Paulo Cima (1570 – 1622)
8. Sonata no. 1 in G Minor [4:56]
for Violin & Continuo – Johanna Novom, violin
9. Qual honor di te sia degno from L’Orfeo [5:00]

10. Sonata concertata XV, a Quattro voci [5:04]
Sigismondo D’india (1582-1629)
11. Piangono al pianger mio [4:47]

from Le musiche da cantar solo, Milan 1609
Stefano Landi (1587-1639)
12. Canta la cicaletta [4:37]
from Quinto libro di arie da cantarsi ad una voce, 1637
 arr. J. Sorrell
13. T’amai gran tempo [6:22]
from Secondo libro di arie
da cantarsi ad una voce, 1627 arr. R. Schiffer
Antonio Brunelli (1577-1630)
14. Non havea Febo ancora [2:43]
from Arie, scherzi, canzonette e madrigali a cantare e suonare, 1613
Tarquinio Merula (1595-1665)
15. Folle è ben che si crede [3:58]
from Curtio precipitato et altri capricii,1638 arr. by J. Sorrell & R. Schiffer

Total Time: 63:21

Recorded between August 20th-23rd, 2017 at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, Cleveland Heights, Ohio and with the Recording producer and editor at the helm being Erica Brenner, Karim Sulayman & Apollo's Fire's breathtaking Songs of Orpheus is, simply put, one of the most breathtaking works of classical art I have ever beholden.

I mean, just the finest points of these compositions in the capable hands of both artists is enough to bring tears to your soul. Sulayman's creative details when approaching the beauty, the majesty, the heartfelt and passionate depth of such a program such as this one is amazing.

That combined with the eternally spiritual and vibrantly tracking Apollo's Fire - Cleveland's finest Baroque Orchestra from their very own Institute of Music - and even most tiniest of nuances are brought forth as if they, as well as the much broader moments, matter equally to the overall storytelling; which they obviously do, of course.

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Illuminations'
Artist - Nicholas Phan

For those not in the know, Nicholas Phan is a lyric tenor who has performed internationally with orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and others.

Born to a Chinese Indonesian father and Greek American mother, he grew up in Ann Arbor, MI where he attended Greenhills School, then he studied voice at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, then the Manhattan School of Music.

He is also an alumnus of the Houston Grand Opera Studio and the Marlboro Music School and has been called "one of the world's most remarkable singers" by the Boston Globe.

Following acclaimed albums devoted to Britten, baroque lute songs and German lieder, Grammy Award-nominated tenor Nicholas Phan continues to spread his wings with his just-released (via AVIE Records) Illuminations.

The album features compositions by Benjamin Britten, Claude Debussy and Gabriel Faure, who were each inspired by the poetry of two nineteenth century French literary titans, Paul Verlaine and his protégé and eventual lover Arthur Rimbaud.

The intertwined lives of the French poets and composers manifested themselves in Faures impassioned Verlaine-inspired La bonne chanson and Debussys Ariettes oubliees drawn from Verlaines Romances sans paroles.

Just decades later Britten was inspired by Rimbauds influential prose-poetry Les Illuminations.

Gabriel Fauré (1845 – 1924)
La bonne chanson, Op. 61
1. Une sainte en son aureole (2.18)
2. Puisque l’aube grandit (1.55)
3. La lune blanche luit dans les bois (2.31)
4. J’allais par des chemins perfides (1.59)
5. J’ai presque peur en vérité (2.17)
6. Avant que tu ne t’en ailles (2.48)
7. Donc, ce sera par un clair jour d’été (2.42)
8. N’est-ce pas? (2.33)
9. L’hiver a cessé (3.16)

Claude Debussy (1862 – 1918)
Ariettes oubliées, L. 60
10. C’est l’extase (3.07)
11. Il pleure dans mon coeur (2.35)
12. L’ombre des arbres (2.38)
13. Chevaux de bois (3.17)
14. Aquarelles I – Green (2.23)
15. Aquarelles II – Spleen (2.26)

Benjamin Britten (1913 – 1976)
Les Illuminations, Op. 18
16. I. Fanfare (2.28)
17. II. Villes (2.24)
18. IIIa. Phrase (1.11)
19. IIIb. Antique (2.20)
20. IV. Royauté (1.35)
21. V. Marine (0.59)
22. VI. Interlude (2.37)
23. VII. Being beauteous (4.11)
24. VIII. Parade (2.48)
25. IX. Départ (2.43)

For his fifth recording project, Phan lovingly turned to the incredibly rich French song repertoire, as well as making a return to recording the music of Benjamin Britten; whose music has long been a passion of his to perform.

Phan actually reunites with his longtime musical partner, pianist Myra Huang. Recital partners for the past 15 years, they have performed together all over the world, including Carnegie Hall, Atlanta's Spivey Hall, University of Chicago, Boston's Celebrity Series, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, and London's Wigmore Hall.

For the Fauré cycle, Phan is joined by the recent winners of the prestigious Naumberg and Fischoff competitions, the Telegraph Quartet. For the Britten, he joins The Knights, with whom he has collaborated many times at many music festivals, including Tanglewood, Ravinia, and the NY Phil Biennial.

And therein, if you've not picked up on it yet, this outstanding new classical recording's link is that it ties these three seemingly unrelated cycles together, due to the incredible story behind the two poets whose poems inspired these composers to compose these song cycles: Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud.

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Title - 'Chappaquiddick' [Motion Picture Soundtrack]
Artist - Garth Stevenson

If you have never heard of the title of this new film / music score, then you know nothing about your own American history, of that be very self-aware, my friend.

On July 18th, 1969, Sen. Ted Kennedy drove his car off of a bridge on Massachusetts' Chappaquiddick Island. The accident results in the death of passenger Mary Jo Kopechne, a 28-year-old campaign strategist who worked for Kennedy.

The ongoing investigation into the mysterious and scandalous events forever alters his political legacy -- and ultimately changes the course of presidential history.

Chappaquiddick is the new docu-drama based on Ted Kennedy's life and political career as it becomes derailed in the aftermath of this fatal car accident.

The film stars Jason Clarke, Kate Mara, Jim Gaffigan, Ed Helms and Bruce Dern and the16 tracks of music that accompany it have been created and composed by Brooklyn based composer and double bassist, Garth Stevenson.

1. 'In His Shadow' (2:30)
2. 'Chappaquiddick' (2:24)
3. 'Written Statement' (2:06)
4. 'Drown' (4:27)
5. 'Whitewash' (3:13)
6. 'Senator' (9:27)
7. 'Apollo' (4:10)
8. 'Alibi' (3:39)
9. 'Crash' (2:02)
10. 'You Will Never Be Great' (2:51)
11. 'She’s Already Dead'(2:54)
12. 'Media Storm' (:54)
13. 'Hearse' (2:16)
14. 'Hyannisport' (1:05)
15. 'Mary Jo' (1:56)
16. 'Bridge' (:57)

The soundtrack, which was released digitally and physically on April 6th via Varese Sarabande, showcases the kind of work Stevenson can do when he puts his mind to it.

Perhaps overly propelled here by the historical depth of the subject matter, I've not been able to relate too much to Stevenson's work before this, but here on Chappaquiddick I can honestly say that I'm on the same music page as him.

Stevenson, a virtuoso double bass player and key figure in New York's experimental and improvisational music scene, has specialized in a cinematic style that both represents and interacts with the natural world.

Which here is explored, showcased, and fed to us in small doses - save for the 9 minute long 'Senator' cut - and in which we can either choose to enjoy and herald them, or nod gracefully at them, but show no real emotion for his craft. Luckily, for us all, it is definitely a case of the former here with Stevenson. Bravo, my friend. Bravo.

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - Ghost Stories [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
Artist - Frank Ilfman

Professor Phillip Goodman (Andy Nyman), psychologist and skeptic, has his rationality tested to the hilt when he stumbles across a long-lost file containing details of three terrifying hauntings.

Shaken by what he reads, Goodman embarks on a mission to find rational explanations for these ghostly stories.

As Goodman investigates, he meets three tormented people (Martin Freeman, Paul Whitehouse, Alex Lawther), each with a tale more frightening and inexplicable than the last.

This well-crafted ode to old-school horror movies - adapted from directors Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson's successful London stage play - features a wondrous score (out now via Varese Sarabande records) by Frank Ilfman; who conducted the London Metropolitan Orchestra at Air Lyndhurst Studios.

1. 'We Have To Be So Very Careful' (Phillip Goodman) (:04)
2. 'The Allerton Suite' (2:09)
3. 'Tony's Case' (:13)
4. 'A Voice From Beyond' (Charles Cameron) (:17)
5. 'The Cassette' (2:31)
6. 'Three Cases' (2:08)
7. 'The Chase' (2:04)
8. 'That Place Has A History' (Tony Matthews) (:19)
9. 'The Meshuggeners' (2:41)
10. 'Why Performed' by Anthony Newley (2:27)
11. 'Dada' (1:34)
12. 'Mophead Max' (2:55) 13. 'Nobody's Home' (The Doctors) (:11)
14. 'The Yellow Dress' (2:03)
15. 'Tell Me Everything' (Phillip Goodman and Simon Rifkind) (:18)
16. 'Into The Woods' (1:37)
17. 'The Helion' (1:33)
18. 'Something Is Coming' (1:58)
19. 'Stay' (1:52)
20. 'Woolly' (1:36)
21. 'Simon's Story' (:11)
22. 'The Last Key' (Mike Priddle) (:04)
23. 'Priddle's Theme' (3:07)
24. 'Safe In Your Home' (Mike Priddle) (:23)
25. 'Snowbound' (2:22)
26. '3:45 AM' (1:53)
27. 'Maria?' (Mike Priddle) (:04)
28. 'Maria's Theme' (1:58)
29. 'The Uncanny' (1:46)
30. 'Back To No. 79' (:20)
31. 'Bubbelah' (Charles Cameron) (:06)
32. 'Things Are Not What They Seem' (1:11)
33. 'Running Away' (:28)
34. 'The Brain Sees What it Wants To See' (1:48)
35. 'Can We Cut?' (Phillip Goodman and Mike Priddle) (:15)
36. 'The Train Tracks' (1:42)
37. 'Daddy's Got Meow Meow: The Lullaby' (1:44)
38. 'Corridor Of Truth' (2:17)
39. 'Monster Mash' - Performed by Bobby (Boris) Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers (3:12) 40. 'Goodman's Theme: End Titles' (4:28)

Along with the 38 brand new compositions listed above, the Ghost Stories soundtrack also includes two featured pop songs from the film; 'Why' by Anthony Newley and 'Monster Mash' by Bobby 'Boris' Pickett.

OK, sure, I'll give you that ten of them are simply seconds worth of spoken character words/statements, and some others are simply snippets of moments of building terror and such, but what's left still makes for a wondrous delve into darkly horrorful compositions, trust me.

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - The Strangers: Prey At Night [Original Soundtrack]
Artist - Adrian Johnston

Mike and his wife Cindy take their son and daughter on a road trip that becomes their worst nightmare. The family members soon find themselves in a desperate fight for survival when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park that's mysteriously deserted -- until three masked psychopaths show up to satisfy their thirst for blood.

The movie - which is a reboot of Bryan Bertino's 2008 cult classic 'The Strangers' - stars Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson and Bailee Madison.

Featuring music by Adrian Johnston ('Becoming Jane', 'Shackleton' and 'Brideshead Revisited'), the 23 spine-tingling tracks found here on this brand new release via Varese Sarabande are quite, for the most part, perfectly disturbing, to say the least.

1. 'Kids in America' (Performed by Kim Wilde) (3:24)
2. 'The Strangers Prey At Night' (1:21)
3. 'Gatlin Lake Getaway Welcomes You!' (2:32)
4. 'Is Tamara Home?' (4:01)
5. 'Is Somebody There?' (2:27)
6. 'Live It Up' (Performed by Mental As Anything) (3:47)
7. 'Bathroom Assault' (4:43)
8. 'Under Siege' (4:47)
9. 'On The Run' (2:58)
10. 'But We’ve Just Started' (1:11)
11. 'Cambodia' (Performed by Kim Wilde) (3:55)
12. 'Hunted' (1:34)
13. 'Remember That Time?' (1:20)
14. 'Call 911' (3:30)
15. 'Total Eclipse of The Heart' (Performed by Bonnie Tyler) (6:56)
16. 'Pulled To Safety' (2:15)
17. 'The Sheriff' (3:01)
18. 'Inferno' (1:27)
19. 'Making Love Out Of Nothing At All' (Performed by Air Supply) (4:53)
20. 'The Bridge' (2:19)
21. 'Deliverance' (1:54)
22. 'End Titles' (6:24)
23. 'Bonus Track' (1:58)

Which, overall, is a mighty fine compliment to Johnston, whose previous work has been more associated with, shall we say, PBS costume era compositions.

Kicking things off with one of my all-time favs from the '80s, 'Kids in America' from Kim Wilde - although, if you've seen the film, and how it opens, and how this track is used, it does make you kinda rethink your whole original memory - before Johnston lights up his red hot match of creepy musical taunts.

'Live It Up' from Mental As Anything seems, if you're just listening along at home, a random cut; but then again, watch the movie and see for yourself its menacing placement, before a few more Johnston orchestrations give way to another Kim Wilde classic cut, her fabulously underrated 'Cambodia.'

Three more tracks from Johnston lead us straight into one of the biggest songs of that decade, 'Total Eclipse of The Heart' from Bonnie Tyler ("turn around, bright eyes" ... again, watch the movie and you'll get it), and then, after a handful more compositions, well, you want really random, yer got it: 'Making Love Out Of Nothing At All' by Air Supply!

The soundtrack rounds out with a quartet more from Johnston, but it has to be said, as much as his attempt to compose for this genre of movie is admirable, his work is definitely overshadowed by the brilliance of the '80s tracks chosen to populate the film and, subsequently, this score.

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - 'If - Expanded Edition'
Artist - Hollywood Beyond

For those not in the know, Hollywood Beyond was a British pop group from Birmingham, England.

Indeed, Hollywood Beyond was the brainchild of singer-songwriter Mark Rogers and their first single, "What's the Colour of Money", reached #7 on the UK Singles Chart in 1986.

The song also reached #8 in The Netherlands, #21 in Germany and #14 in Switzerland with their follow-up single, "No More Tears", peaking at #47 in the UK.

An album for Hollywood Beyond entitled If, followed on Warner Bros. Records in 1987, produced by Bernard Edwards, Mike Thorne and Stephen Hague. Former members include Andy Welch, Steve Elliott, Dean Loren, Mike Burns, Carol Maye and Maggie Smyth.

Now digitally remastered and expanded into a two CD edition, Cherry Red Records (UK) have just released the first ever reissue of this slice of 1980s pop by Mark Rogers aka Hollywood Beyond.

CD 1:
1. 'Opening Scenario'
2. 'Vision of Love'
3. 'After Midnight'
4. 'Save Me'
5. 'Crimes of Passion'
6. 'What's the Colour of Money?'
7. 'No More Tears'
8. 'Metal on Glass'
9. 'Shadows I Remember'
10. 'Hollywood Beyond'

CD 2:
1. 'What's the Colour of Money?' (12" Version)
2. 'What's the Colour of Money?' (The Go Ask Alice Remix)
3. 'No Time for Losers' (7" Version)
4. 'No More Tears' (7" Version)
5. 'No More Tears' (The Passion Play Dance Mix)
6. 'Save Me (Last Call)' (Extended Mix)
7. 'No More Tears' (Extended Mix)
8. 'Save Me' (7" Version)
9. 'After Midnight' (7" Version)
10. 'Gift to the Innocent (Paw Paw in Nassau)'
11. 'After Midnight (Quiet Moment)'

An incredible, overlooked, and highly underrated band, let alone album, If was followed neatly on the back of their huge Top 10 chart success with 'What's The Colour Of Money,' but it's the opening track here, appropriately entitled 'Opening Scenario' that truly opens the door to this album just perfectly. A .34 second, primarily softly spoken French word piece, it sets the scene for the synth drumtastic 'Vision Of Love.'

The mood is brought back down for the atmospheric 'After Midnight,' with the funky bass lines and key work of 'Save Me' along next. The thoughtful, pragmatic, Asian-flavored 'Crimes Of Passion' is one of the highlights on this album of many, and that's backed by the smash hit single (and one with one heck of a bouncy pop back beat) 'What's The Colour Of Money?'.

The cinematic pop landscape of 'No More Tears' is then followed by the captivating 'Metal On Glass,' with the original album rounding out with both the brilliant synth flow of 'Shadows I Remember', and then the original 7" B-side of 'What's The Colour Of Money?,' 'Hollywood Beyond.'

In truth, the album was always destined to be a smash as it had a stellar line-up of producers on board from the off. Including Bernard Edwards (Chic), Marcus Miller (Luther Vandross, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis), and Stephen Hague (Pet Shop Boys, OMD, Malcolm McLaren), it should have been that aforementioned smash, but unfortunately it didn't go on to achieve the chart success that it deserved.

This expanded version of the original album now features a second CD of 11 bonus tracks. Cuts that include extended mixes, B-sides and other intriguing mixes and such from Mark Rogers' days as Hollywood Beyond.

With most all these bonus tracks appearing on CD for the first time the beautiful deluxe booklet (which uses the fully restored original album artwork) contains sleeve-notes by Michael Silvester.

2CD Purchase Link

Title - Private Waters In The Great ... / You Shoulda ...
Artist - Kid Creole and the Coconuts

For those not in the know, Kid Creole and the Coconuts is an American musical group created and led by August Darnell.

Its music incorporates a variety of styles and influences, in particular a mix of disco and Latin American, South American, Caribbean, Trinidadian, and Calloway styles and conceptually inspired by the big band era.

The Coconuts are a trio of female backing vocalists/dancers whose line-up has changed throughout the years, but one thing's for sure: August Darnell still knows how to sing all these songs pitch perfectly even today, at 67 years-old.

Kid Creole And The Coconuts enjoyed huge single and album success with their third album Tropical Gangsters in 1982 with three Top 10 singles, "I’m A Wonderful Thing, Baby" (#4), "Stool Pigeon" (#7), and "Annie, I’m Not Your Daddy" peaking at #2. Out now via Cherry Red Records (UK), we get a wonderful 2CD package of his 1990 and 1991 albums, Private Waters In The Great Divide / You Shoulda Told Me You Were ....

Indeed, this new double pack collection (taken from their Columbia Records days) has been re-mastered using the original master tapes and sounds even better today than it did back then, trust me.

The first CD is Private Waters in the Great Divide and was the seventh studio album released by Kid Creole and the Coconuts. Released in 1990, it includes the singles "The Sex of It" and "I Love Girls".

1. "I Love Girls"
2. "(No More) Casual Sex"
3. "The Sex of It"
4. "Cory's Song"
5. "Dr. Paradise"
6. "Takin' a Holiday"
7. "Lambada"
8. "Funky Audrey and the Coconut Rag"
9. "When Lucy Does the Boomerang"
10. "He's Takin' the Rap"
11. "Pardon My Appearance"
12. "Laughing with Our Backs Against the Wall"
13. "My Love"

Bonus Tracks:
14. "I Love Girls" (Single Edit)
15. "Ode to a Coloured Man"
16. "I Love Girls" (12" Mix)
17. "I Love Girls" (Femme Fatale Mix)
18. "The Sex of It" (Extended Remix Version)
19. "The Sex of It" (House Version)

This album has more bang for its buck here, as the CD features the 13 original album tracks of plus now adds an incredible six related bonus tracks. All sourced from 7” and 12” singles derived from the 1990 release, this is quite easily one of the best, and most expansive Kid Creole remasters that I've come across thus far.

Stand out tracks here for me are, obviously, the lead single from it, 'The Sex of It'. Written by Prince, and actually co-produced by August Darnell and David Z (from Paisley Park), the single has Prince's stamp all over it (even the way the vocals are sung).

In fact, it was a Top 30 hit in April 1990 and to this day I can still feel the pulsating synth beat and clicking fingers that made up its back beat.

Which can only mean that, for me, if nobody else, the two stand out bonus tracks are both "The Sex Of It" (House Version) remixed by Justin Strauss and "The Sex Of It" (Extended Remix Version). Oh, ok, go on then, and I'll add in the sensuous beauty "I Love Girls" (Femme Fatale Mix), remixed by Richie Jones.

It's back up partner here is You Shoulda Told Me You Were ... and was, of course, their eighth studio album. Released in 1991, it houses the only single released from it at that time, "(She's A) Party Girl".

1. "It's Automatic"
2. "Baby Doc"
3. "My Soul Intention"
4. "Oh Marie"
5. "Consequently"
6. "Your Move!"
7. "(She's a) Party Girl"
8. "Something Incomplete"
9. "Madison Avenue"
10. "How Can I Forget You? (The Benedektion)"

Sadly, this second CD only features the original ten tracks from the 1991 album, all remastered, but no previously-hidden gems. Oh well, you can't have everything, given that we were spoiled by what we discovered on the other disc in the set, I guess.

A great album, nonetheless, my personal stand outs are the upbeat and fun "My Soul Intention" and the tropical sway of "Consequently." In what was obviously a bad deal for Kid Creole over at Columbia Records for these two years/albums, he at least tried to bring some of his Tropical Gangsters '80s vibe to these songs.

Sure it didn't work out quite the way he had wanted it to (no chart success for the single and such), but he plugged on regardless, never one to let his fans down, always believing he was creating the best of himself at any given musical time.

The 20 page full color booklet features a split image of the two front covers and an expanded design of the original artwork for each album.

There are also some rather fascinating extensive personal sleeve notes written by August Darnell AKA Kid Creole and a UK discography featuring some of the Coconuts unique front cover images.

2CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Prokofiev For Two'
Artist - Martha Argerich & Sergei Babayan

Here on the magnificent Prokofiev For Two (from Deutsche Grammophon), pianists Martha Argerich and Sergei Babayan present two masterpieces of Prokofiev in magnificent two-piano transcriptions by Babayan.

For those not in the know, Martha Argerich is an Argentine classical pianist who is also widely regarded as one of the greatest pianists of all time.

Argerich performed her debut concert at the age of 8, playing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor and Beethoven's First Piano Concerto in C major.

Argerich rose to international prominence when she won the seventh International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1965, at age 24. In that same year, she debuted in the United States in Lincoln Center's Great Performers Series.

In 1960, she had made her first commercial recording, which included works by Chopin, Brahms, Ravel, Prokofiev, and Liszt; it received critical acclaim upon its release in 1961. In 1967, she recorded Chopin's Polonaise, Op. 53.

Argerich is the president of the International Piano Academy Lake Como and performs annually at the Lugano Festival.[21] She has also created and been a General Director of the Argerich Music Festival and Encounter in Beppu, Japan, since 1996.

Sergei Babayan is an Armenian-American concert pianist who began his musical studies at age six with Luisa Markaryan. He studied under Lev Naumov and at the Moscow Conservatory under Vera Gornostayeva and Mikhail Pletnev.

In 1989, he traveled to the United States. That same year he won first prize in the Robert Casadesus International Piano Competition. After he won first prize in the Palm Beach International Piano Competition and first prize in the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition, he became a Laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition in 1991.

Babayan won first prize in the Scottish International Piano Competition and third prize at the Busoni International Piano Competition. He was a prize winner at the Esther Honens International Piano Competition.

His programming often includes Romantic composers such as Rachmaninoff, and modern works by composers such as Witold Lutosławski, György Ligeti, Carl Vine and Arvo Pärt.

He is also recognized for his prominent interpretations of Johann Sebastian Bach. He frequently appears as a soloist with such orchestras as The National Orchestra of Belgium, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Italian Symphony Orchestra of Brescia & Bergamo, and the Czech State Philharmonic.

Sergei Prokofiev (1891 - 1953)
12 Movements From Romeo And Juliet, Op. 64
Transcription For 2 Pianos By Sergei Babayan
1. Juliet's Death (1:42)
2. Montagues And Capulets (3:39)
3. Morning Dance (1:40)
4. Quarrel (1:28)
5. Gavotte (3:38)
6. The Young Juliet (The Nurse And Romeo) (0:48)
7. Folk Dance (3:58)
8. Dance With Mandolines (2:12)
9. Aubade (2:18)
10. Dance Of Five Couples (1:45)
11. Romeo And Juliet Before Departure (8:06)
12. Death Of Tybalt (4:14)

Incidental Music To Hamlet, Op. 77
13. The Ghost Of Hamlet's Father (Transcription For 2 Pianos By Sergei Babayan) (5:37)

Incidental Music To Eugene Onegin, Op. 71
Transcription For 2 Pianos By Sergei Babayan
14. Mazurka (1:26)
15. Polka (1:33)

The Queen Of Spades, Op. 70
Transcription For 2 Pianos By Sergei Babayan
16. Polonaise (2:21)
Pushkin Waltzes, Op. 120
17. Waltz No.2 In C Sharp Minor (Transcription For 2 Pianos By Sergei Babayan) (2:57)

War And Peace, Op. 91
18. Natasha's And Andrei's Valse (Transcription For 2 Pianos By Sergei Babayan) (4:55)

The Queen Of Spades, Op. 70
Transcription For 2 Pianos By Sergei Babayan
19. Idée fixe (5:55)

Total Playing Time: One Hour and 12 Minutes

“This project happened because of my love for Prokofiev, my love for Martha and my love for the ballet Romeo and Juliet,” reflects Babayan, and as you listen to this wondrous album, all you can feel is that very same love, his very same sense of passion coursing throughout.

The transcriptions are a twelve-movement transcription of numbers from the aforementioned ballet Romeo and Juliet and a seven-movement suite transcribed from the Russian composer’s incidental music for ‘Hamlet’ and ‘Eugene Onegin’, film score for ‘The Queen of Spades’ and opera ‘War and Peace’.

Both Martha Argerich and Babayan perform such well-integrated presentations that the longstanding friendship and collaboration is obvious. They both offer up quality musicianship along with piano transcriptions that might as well have just been created wholly for this masterpiece.

Indeed, their joint performances here on Prokofiev For Two are as mesmerizing as anything I think I've ever heard them contribute on thus far and that's saying something.

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Bernstein: Mass'
Artist - Nézet-Séguin/Philadelphia Orchestra

Commissioned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis for the inauguration of the Kennedy Center in 1971, Bernstein’s Mass draws from religious and secular genres as well as the tumultuous ‘60s.

Requiring two orchestras, a rock band, a marching band, multiple choirs and musical singers, Mass is rarely performed and even more rarely recorded.

Recorded live by the Philadelphia Orchestra and several American ensembles under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, this quite stunning Berstein: mass (out now via Deutsche Grammophon) is actually, amazingly, DG’s first Mass in its vast catalog.

For those not in the know, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, CC is a Canadian conductor and pianist. He is currently music director of the Orchestre Métropolitain, Metropolitan Opera, and of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.

At 19, he met and was invited to follow Carlo Maria Giulini in rehearsals and concerts for more than a year. He became the musical director of the Chœur polyphonique de Montréal in 1994 and obtained the same post at Choeur de Laval in 1995.

In 1995, he founded his own professional orchestral and vocal ensemble, La Chapelle de Montréal, with whom he performed two to four concerts a year until 2002. He considers Charles Dutoit as his first inspiration as a child and Carlo Maria Giulini as his master.

From 1998 to 2002, Nézet-Séguin was chorus master, assistant conductor and music adviser of the Opéra de Montréal.

Although there have been, and are currently many Orchestra's that Nézet-Séguin has been, and is still associated with, in December 2008, he made his first appearance with the Philadelphia Orchestra, at the invitation of Charles Dutoit.

He returned for a second guest-conducting engagement in December 2009.[15] In June 2010, he was named the eighth Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, starting with the 2012–13 season. He served as Music Director Designate from 2010 to 2012.

His initial contract as music director is for 5 seasons, with 7 weeks of scheduled concerts in the 2012–13 season, 15 weeks in the next 2 seasons, and 16 weeks in the subsequent 2 seasons of his Philadelphia contract.

However, in January 2015, the orchestra announced a five-year extension of Nézet-Séguin's contract to the 2021–2022 season. In June 2016, the orchestra announced a further extension of his contract, through the 2025–26 season.

The Philadelphia Orchestra is an American symphony orchestra, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One of the "Big Five" American orchestras, the orchestra is based at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, where it performs its subscription concerts, numbering over 130 annually, in Verizon Hall.

From its founding until 2001, the Philadelphia Orchestra gave its concerts at the Academy of Music. The orchestra continues to own the Academy, and returns there one week per year for the Academy of Music's annual gala concert and concerts for school children.

The Philadelphia Orchestra's summer home is the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. It also has summer residencies at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and since July 2007 at the Bravo! Vail Valley Festival in Vail, Colorado.

The orchestra also performs an annual series of concerts at Carnegie Hall. Indeed, from its earliest days the orchestra has been active in the recording studio, making extensive numbers of recordings, primarily for RCA Victor and Columbia Records.

CD 1: Bernstein: Mass
Leonard Bernstein (1918 - 1990)
I. Devotions Before Mass
1. Antiphon: Kyrie Eleison (2:05) - Pre-Recorded Tape
2. Hymn And Psalm: "A Simple Song" (4:22) - Kevin Vortmann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin
3. Responsory: Alleluia (1:08) - Pre-Recorded Tape

II. First Introit (Rondo)
4. 1. Prefatory Prayers (5:08) - Meredith Lustig, Julia Burrows, Morgan James, Douglas Butler, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast, The American Boychoir, Temple University Diamond Marching Band, Student Musicians from the School District of Philadelphia
5. 2. Thrice - Triple Canon: Dominum Vobiscum (0:32) - Kevin Vortmann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast, The American Boychoir

III. Second Introit
6. 1. In Nomine Patris (2:04) - Kevin Vortmann, Pre-Recorded Tape
7. 2. Prayer For The Congregation (Chorale: "Almighty Father") (1:20) - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, The American Boychoir, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Temple University Concert Choir
8. 3. Epiphany (0:57) - Kevin Vortmann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin

IV. Confession
9. 1. Confiteor (2:10) - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Temple University Concert Choir
10. 2. Trope: "I Don't Know" (1:37) - E. Clayton Cornelious, Morgan James, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin
11. 3. Trope: "Easy" (5:03) - Kent Overshown, Benjamin Krumreig, Bryonha Marie Parham, Devin Ilaw, J.D. Webster, E. Clayton Cornelious, Morgan James, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Temple University Concert Choir
12. V. Meditation #1 (5:35) - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin

VI. Gloria
13. 1. Gloria Tibi (1:50) - Kevin Vortmann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, The American Boychoir
14. 2. Gloria In Excelsis (1:13) - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Temple University Concert Choir
15. 3. Trope: "Half Of The People" (0:59) - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast
16. 4. Trope: "Thank You" (2:51) - Sarah Uriarte Berry, Kevin Vortmann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast
17. VII. Meditation #2 (3:40) - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin
18. VIII. Epistle: "The Word Of The Lord" (6:30) - Kevin Vortmann, Lyn Philistine, Devin Ilaw, Kent Overshown, Sarah Uriarte Berry, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast
19. IX. Gospel-Sermon: "God Said" (4:17) - Timothy McDevitt, Zachary James, Julia Burrows, J.D. Webster, Lyn Philistine, Benjamin Krumreig, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast

Total Playing Time: 53:21

CD 2: Bernstein: Mass
Leonard Bernstein (1918 - 1990)
X. Credo
1. Credo In Unum Deum (1:09) - Kevin Vortmann, Pre-Recorded Tape
2. Trope: "Non Credo" (2:20) - Nathaniel Stampley, Street Chorus Cast, Pre-Recorded Tape
3. Trope: "Hurry" (1:17) - Hilary Ginther, Pre-Recorded Tape
4. Trope: "World Without End" (1:34) - Morgan James, Nathaniel Stampley, Hilary Ginther, Street Chorus Cast, Pre-Recorded Tape
5. Trope: "I Believe In God" (2:05) - Pearl Sun, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Temple University Concert Choir
6. XI. Meditation #3 (De Profundis, Part 1) (2:52) - Kevin Vortmann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Temple University Concert Choir
7. XII. Offertory (De Profundis, Part 2) (2:02) - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, The American Boychoir, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Temple University Concert Choir

XIII. The Lord's Prayer
8. 1. "Our Father..." (1:23)
9. 2. Trope: "I Go On" (2:53) - Kevin Vortmann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin
10. XIV. Sanctus (5:09) - Kevin Vortmann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, The American Boychoir, Street Chorus Cast

XV. Agnus Dei
11. a. "Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi" (3:36) - Kevin Vortmann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Temple University Concert Choir
12. b. Dona nobis, nobis pacem, pacem dona (2:44) - Kevin Vortmann, E. Clayton Cornelious, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast, Westminster Symphonic Choir

XVI. Fraction: "Things Get Broken"
13. a. "Things Get Broken" (4:28)
14. b. "Quiet" (2:36)
15. c. "Allegro Furioso" (1:39)
16. d. "God said" (2:09)
17. e. "Lento molto" (4:09) - Kevin Vortmann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin

XVII. Pax: Communion
18. a. Communion Prestissimo a piacere (1:26) - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin
19. b. "Sing God A Secret Song" (6:33) - Douglas Butler, Zachary James, Lyn Philistine, Devin Ilaw, Hilary Ginther, Benjamin Krumreig, Julia Burrows, E. Clayton Cornelious, Meredith Lustig, J.D. Webster, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Temple University Concert Choir, Kevin Vortmann
20. c. "Almighty Father" (2:14) - Douglas Butler, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Temple University Concert Choir, Kevin Vortmann

Total Playing Time: 54:18

In my humble opinion, Mass determined the end of the Broadway phase for Bernstein, incredible tune smith that he was. A man with emotions on his sleeve and giving us chills up our spines, his next piece, Dybbuk came three years later, and it was VERY different.

That said, this recording of Mass, drawn from Verizon Hall concerts between April 30th and May 3rd, 2015, has tremendous energy and is truly valid of all its admirers.

The fact that this recorded account is as coherent as it is attests to the conductor (and the orchestra's music director) multitasking strengths. The work is a powerful artifact, a musical and theatrical response to a deeply troubled time - the early 1970s - that has cycled back into even greater relevance in the three years the recording has been in the can.

That’s more benefit accruing to the common good than can be claimed for many a masterpiece. Furthermore, Nézet-Séguin himself calls it “the pinnacle” of the Orchestra’s requiem series.

Having stirred audiences with the requiems of Mozart, Brahms, Verdi, and Fauré, the Orchestra presents Leonard Bernstein’s Mass impeccably. In what was a knockout, stand out theatrical highlight of DG's season, featuring collaborations with community performers, if you weren't there live to witness it, you can now on this luxurious 2CD set.

Official 2CD Purchase Link

Title - Accardo Plays Paganini - The Complete Recordings
Artist - Salvatore Accardo

This exquisite new release from Deutsche Grammophon, Accardo Plays Paganini - The Complete Recordings has rightfully been expressed as "presenting crown jewel recordings", for at 24-bit resolution in a wondrous hardback book with slipcase, DG have outdone themselves here for sure.

Ergo, these legendary Paganini recordings - performed with seemingly-disarming ease by the legendary Salvatore Accardo - now come in a deluxe 6CD + Blu-ray Audio package, remastered from the original sources.

Better still, these incredible virtuoso solo violin works are heard in astounding detail in this new 96kHz/24-bit remastering.

For those not in the know, Salvatore Accardo is an Italian violinist and conductor, who is known for his interpretations of the works of Niccolò Paganini.

Accardo studied violin in the southern Italian city of Naples in the 1950s. He gave his first professional recital at the age of 13 performing Paganini's Capricci. In 1958 Accardo became the first prize winner of the Paganini Competition in Genoa.

He has recorded Paganini's 24 Caprices (re-recorded in 1999) for solo violin and was the first violinist to record all six of the violin concerti by Paganini.

Indeed, he has an extensive discography of almost 50 recordings on Philips, DG, EMI, Sony Classical, Foné, Dynamic, and Warner-Fonit. Notably, he has recorded an album of classical and contemporary works in 1995 on Paganini's Guarneri del Gesù 1742 violin, Il Cannone.

CD 1: Paganini: Violin Concerto No.1 In D Major, Op.6, MS.21; Violin Concerto No.2 In B Minor, Op.7, MS. 48
Niccolò Paganini (1782 - 1840)
Violin Concerto No.1 In D Major, Op.6, MS.21
1. 1. Allegro maestoso (22:03)
2. 2. Adagio (5:59)
3. 3. Rondo (Allegro spirituoso) (9:42)

Violin Concerto No.2 In B Minor, Op.7, MS.48
4. 1. Allegro maestoso - Cadenza: Salvatore Accardo (14:57)
5. 2. Adagio (7:06)
6. 3. Rondo à la clochette, 'La campanella' (8:55) - Salvatore Accardo, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Dutoit

Total Playing Time: 1:08:42

CD 2: Paganini: Violin Concerto No.3 In E Major, MS. 50; Violin Concerto No.4 In D Minor, MS. 60
Niccolò Paganini (1782 - 1840)
Violin Concerto No.3 In E Major, MS. 50
Cadenza: Salvatore Accardo
1. 1. Introduzione. Andantino - Allegro marziale (18:08)
2. 2. Adagio (Cantabile spianato) (7:07)
3. 3. Polacca (Andantino vivace) (11:33)

Violin Concerto No.4 In D Minor, MS. 60
Cadenza: Salvatore Accardo
4. 1. Allegro maestoso (17:07)
5. 2. Adagio flebile con sentimento (6:50)
6. 3. Rondo galante (Andantino gaio) (11:06) - Salvatore Accardo, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Dutoit
Total Playing Time: 1:11:51

CD 3: Paganini: Violin Concerto No.5 In A Minor, MS. 78; La Primavera - Sonata For Violin And Orchestra In A Major, MS. 73; Maestosa Sonata sentimentale, MS. 51
Niccolò Paganini (1782 - 1840)
Violin Concerto No. 5 In A Minor, MS. 78
1. 1. Allegro maestoso (19:32)

Violin Concerto No. 5 In A Minor, MS. 78
2. 2. Andante, un poco sostenuto (8:59)

Violin Concerto No. 5 In A Minor, MS. 78
3. 3. Finale - Rondo. Andantino quasi Allegretto (11:01)
4. La Primavera - Sonata for Violin and Orchestra in A (17:07)
5. Maestosa Sonata sentimentale (15:30) - Salvatore Accardo, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Dutoit

Total Playing Time: 1:12:09

CD 4: Paganini: Violin Concerto No.6 In E Minor, MS. 75; Sonata con Variazioni su un Tema di Joseph Weigl, MS. 47; Introduzione e Variazioni sul tema Non più mesta da "La Cenerentola" di Rossini For Violin And Orchestra, MS. 22; Le Streghe, Op.8, MS. 19
Niccolò Paganini (1782 - 1840)
Violin Concerto No.6 In E Minor, MS. 75
Orchestrated By Federico Mompellio
1. 1. Risoluto (21:22)
2. 2. Adagio (7:25)
3. 3. Rondò ossia Polonese (11:20)
4. Sonata con Variazioni su un Tema di Joseph Weigl (9:47)
5. Introduzione e Variazioni sul tema Non più mesta da "La Ceneren- tola" di Rossini for violin and orchestra (11:40)
6. Le Streghe, Op.8 (9:48) - Salvatore Accardo, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Dutoit

Total Playing Time: 1:11:22

CD 5: Paganini: 24 Caprices For Violin, Op.1, MS. 25
Niccolò Paganini (1782 - 1840)
24 Caprices For Violin, Op.1, MS. 25
1. No. 1 in E (1:47)
2. No. 2 in B minor (2:35)
3. No. 3 in E minor (2:47)br> 4. No. 4 in C minor (6:42)
5. No. 5 in a minor (2:14)
6. No. 6 in G minor (4:29)
7. No. 7 in A minor (3:40)
8. No. 8 in E flat (2:56)
9. No. 9 in E (3:20)
10. No. 10 in G minor (2:19)
11. No. 11 in C (4:38)
12. No. 12 in A flat (2:29)
13. No. 13 in B flat (1:58)
14. No. 14 in E flat (1:15)
15. No. 15 in E minor (2:42)
16. No. 16 in G minor (1:18)
17. No. 17 in E flat (3:32)
18. No. 18 in C (2:21)
19. No. 19 in E flat (2:56)
20. No. 20 in D (2:59)
21. No. 21 in A (3:26)
22. No. 22 in F (3:12)
23. No. 23 in E flat (3:36)
24. No. 24 in A minor (4:22) - Salvatore Accardo

Total Playing Time: 1:13:33

CD 6: Paganini: Sonata Napoleone, MS. 5; I Palpiti, Op.13, MS. 77; Moto Perpetuo, Op. 11, MS.72; Introduction And Variations On "Nel cor più non mi sento", MS 44; Duo Merveille, MS. 6;Variations On "God Save The King", Op. 9, MS. 56
Niccolò Paganini (1782 - 1840)
1. Sonata Napoleone (9:22)
2. I Palpiti, Op.13 (11:25)
3. Perpetuela - Allegro vivace (3:12) - Salvatore Accardo, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Dutoit
4. Introduction And Variations On "Nel cor più non mi sento", MS 44 (13:28)
5. Duo merveille Sonata per violino solo in C major (2:53)
6. Variations on "God Save The King", Op. 9, M.S.56 (6:46)- Salvatore Accardo

Total Playing Time: 47:06

BR 7: Accardo Plays Paganini - The Complete Recordings
Niccolò Paganini (1782 - 1840)
Violin Concerto No.1 In D Major, Op.6, MS.21

Total Playing Time: 6:44:18

Yes, you read that right, with an amazingly glorious near-seven hour long run time, this beautiful, just simply magnificent flawless even Accardo Plays Paganini - The Complete Recordings is as good as it will ever get for this combination of music and composer.

Noted for his exquisite, beautiful playing and a technical wizardry carried off with disarming nonchalance, Accardo is most readily associated with Paganini – though technical wizardry for its own sake holds little fascination for him: "Of course for young violinists it is always a challenge to be able to play the 24 Caprices, but as I got older I understood that what was important in his music was its almost operatic qualities."

As for the review of this work of art, well: Paganini, the first million dollar musician. Anyone who loves the violin as much as I do, should purchase this set without hesitation.

Accardo blows everyone away with these performances; his fingerboard is on fire. Accardo is one of the best today, if not the best. The range, tone, dynamics, and profoundness of his violin is only rivaled by a few of the greats.

These performances are as the master, Paganini, would have played them. They are some of the most dynamic displays of violin playing the world has ever experienced.

They are definitely in a class of their own. Also, the recording is excellent; it's crystal clear with Accardo's violin capturing an unbelievable sound quality; such range. Buy today without any hesitation. You won't be disappointed, trust me.

Lastly, the booklet includes the extensive liner notes from the original vinyl releases texts plus the original sleeve artwork.

Official 6CD+Blu-ray Audio Purchase Link

Title - 'Hopes & Dreams: The Lullaby Project'
Artist - Various

The Lullaby Project, a program of Carnegie Halls Weill Music Institute, pairs expectant and new mothers in hospitals, homeless shelters, schools, and correctional facilities; with professional artists to write personal lullabies for their babies.

Born of this program is Hopes & Dreams: The Lullaby Project, which features a selection of these original lullabies as recorded by a range of artists.

Produced by Glen Roven, Ira Yuspeh, and Mitch Yuspeh, this past April 20th, 2018, Decca Gold (Universal Music Group) released an album of these original lullabies written by Lullaby Project participants and performed by leading artists, including Fiona Apple, the Brentano String Quartet, Lawrence Brownlee, Rosanne Cash, Joyce DiDonato, Janice Freeman, Rhiannon Giddens, Angélique Kidjo, Patti LuPone, Natalie Merchant, Dianne Reeves, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Pretty Yende, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

1. "Wildest Dreams" - by Dariys Medina with Sarah Elizabeth Charles (Performed by Janice Freeman)
2. "Hey Baby Boy" - by Anonymous Lullaby Project Participant with Thomas Cabaniss (Performed by Natalie Merchant)
3. "My Baby Likes Bacon" - by Tammy Harvey with John Chin and Emily Eagen (Performed by Rhiannon Giddens)
4. "Noah" - by Anonymous Lullaby Project Participant with Glen Roven (Performed by Catherine Zeta-Jones)
5. "Winter in My Heart" - by Anonymous Lullaby Project Participant with Emily Eagen (Performed by Rosanne Cash)
6. "Peace" - by Tamilles Fernandes with Deidre Struck (Performed by Joyce DiDonato)
7. "Mi Niña Bella" - by Andrea Nina with Claudette Sierra (Performed by Gilberto Santa Rosa with Camelia Muñiz)
8. "Sweet Dreams (Close Your Eyes)" - by Jessica Marmolejos with Thomas Cabaniss (Performed by Patti LuPone)
9. "Mansell's Waltz" - by Virginia Rodriguez with Emily Eagen (Performed by Rhiannon Giddens)
10. "Mother's Day" - by Kesha Hyman with James Shipp (Performed by Pretty Yende)
11. "Esso, Esso" - by Odette N'Dah with Emily Eagen (Performed by Angélique Kidjo)
12. "I Can't Wait to Meet You" - by Solangie Jimenez with Thomas Cabaniss (Performed by Fiona Apple)
13. "The Moment You Were Born" - by Amado Zubidi with Frederic Las Fargeas (Performed by Dianne Reeves)
14. "Hopes and Dreams" - by Elsa Negron with Matt Aronoff and James Shipp (Performed by Joyce DiDonato and the Brentano String Quartet)
15. "Dream Big" - by Shaylor Johnson with Thomas Cabaniss (Performed by Lawrence Brownlee with Rhiannon Giddens, Patti LuPone, Angélique Kidjo, Joyce DiDonato, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Young People's Chorus of New York City, and the Dream Big Choir)

The fifteen lullabies includes tracks in Spanish and French as well as English, reflecting the multi-cultural identities of the mothers themselves.

The track "Esso, Esso," sung in French and Ditammari (a language from northwest Benin), features Grammy Award-winning Beninese singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo, and salsa and bolero vocalist Gilberto Santa Rosaperforms in Spanish on "Mi Niña Bella."

Indeed, all of the performers on the recording represent a wide variety of musical genres, including pop, folk, classical, country, salsa, and jazz.

Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato lends her renowned vocal talents to the project's title track, "Hopes and Dreams," recorded with the Brentano String Quartet.

Joyce has been involved with the Lullaby Project for over five years and met Elsa Negron, the mother who wrote "Hopes and Dreams," when she performed the song at a special concert hosted by Carnegie Hall.

Lullabies are intimate and tender expressions of our hopes and dreams for our families, for ourselves and for our world. Hence, Hopes & Dreams: The Lullaby Project is one of those albums of music that you dare not listen to alone. Buy it. Share It. Absorb it. Become one with it and its cause.

Title - 'Vivaldi: Gloria' [Decca Classics]
Artist - Lezhneva/Fagioli/Fasolis

Julia Lezhneva, Franco Fagioli and Diego Fasolis: three stars of the Baroque unite to record Vivaldi’s most popular choral work, here on Gloria. For those not in the know, Julia Lezhneva is a Russian soprano opera singer and recitalist, specialising in soprano and coloratura mezzo-soprano material of the 18th and early 19th century. She studied with Tamara Cherkasova, Irina Zhurina, Elena Obraztsova, Dennis O'Neill and Yvonne Kenny.

Franco Fagioli is an Argentinian operatic countertenor who has made regular appearances at opera houses in Buenos Aires, Karlsruhe, Bonn, Zurich, Essen and Genoa, at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. He has also been invited to perform at a number of festivals, including those in Halle, Ludwigsburg, Innsbruck and Froville.

Lastly, Diego Fasolis is a Swiss classical organist and conductor, the leader of the ensemble I Barrocchisti. He has conducted operas in historically informed performance at major European opera houses and festivals, and has made award-winning recordings.

1 – 12. Gloria in D Major, RV 589
13 - 21. Nisi Dominus, RV608
22 - 25. Nulla in mundo pax sincera, RV630

Julia Lezhneva has been described as possessing the voice of “angelic beauty” (The New York Times), “pure tone” (Opernwelt) and “flawless technique” (The Guardian), and although she hasn't achieved the fame of fellow Russian Anna Netrebko yet, I personally much prefer Julia's voice.

Here she adds the glorious solo motet Nulla in Mundo Pax Sincera and with her voice so ravishing, so pronounced, so perfect, she produces her tones so effortlessly that she surely shows no faults here.

Simply put, Franco Fagioli – “one of today's great vocal technicians” (The Guardian) – gives weight to the coloratura passages and make them even more pronounced. While it comes to the ending high notes and cadenzas, his approach is more conservative, but highly adequate to say the least. On this recording he records the Nisi Dominus with its haunting ‘Cum Dederit’ as if it were being performed for the very first time.

As for Diego Fasolis and I Barocchisti, well, as I'm sure you are all well aware, they are today’s Vivaldi interpreters par excellence. The scholarship is first rate and the performances - one of our most intelligent and exploratory artists - are mightily impressive also; as, again, one might well expect.

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Porpora: Opera Arias' [Decca Classics]
Artist - Max Cenčić & Armonia Atenea

Grammy-nominated artist Max Emanuel Cenčić presents Nicola Porpora: Opera Arias, to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Porpora’s death.

The album features 7 world premiere recordings including ‘Se rea ti vuole il cielo’ from Carlo il Calvo and Cenčić is joined by Armonia Atenea and conductor George Petrou.

For those not in the know, Nicola Porpora was an Italian composer and teacher of singing of the Baroque era, whose most famous singing student was the castrato Farinelli. Other students included composers Matteo Capranica and Joseph Haydn.

Led here by the aforementioned countertenor Max Emanuel Cenčić, his combination of beautiful, pure tone and passionate delivery has made him one of today’s most sought after singers.

Born in 1976 in Zagreb, Cenčić’s extensive CD catalogue has won many awards, including eleven prizes for his Faramondo, four for a recital of Handel arias, and Germany’s prestigious Echo Klassik prize for his Duetti album.

He also sang the role of Valentiniano in the recording of Gluck’s opera Ezio, which also won an Echo Klassik prize, as did Leonardo Vinci’s Artaserse (all Virgin Classics).

1. 'Se tu la reggi al volo' (from Ezio)
2. 'Torbido intorno al core' (from Meride e Selinunte)
3. 'Tu spietato non farai' (from Ifigenia in Aulide)
4. 'Ove l'erbetta tenera e molle' (from Filandro-Philander)*
5. 'Destrier che all'armi usato' (from Poro)
6. 'Chi vuol salva la patria e l'onore' (from Enea nel Lazio)*
7. 'Va per le vene il sangue' (from Il trionfo di Camilla)
8. 'Se rea ti vuole il cielo' (from Carlo il Calvo)*
9. 'Quando s'oscura il cielo' (from Carlo il Calvo)*
10. 'Lieto sarò di questa vita' (from Ezio)*
11. 'So che tiranno io sono' (from Carlo il Calvo)*
12. 'Torcere il corso all'onde' (from Il trionfo di Camilla)*
13. 'D'esser già parmi quell'arboscello' (from Filandro-Philander)
14. 'Nume che reggi il mare' (from Arianna in Naxo)

In truth, ever since I first heard Cenčić in the splendid recording of Handel's "Faramondo", I have been collecting his work. This artist seems to me the closest we can get to some of the famous castrati of the past.

The passion he is able to infuse into his singing is really exceptional, since that is not a quality usually associated with countertenors.

Here on Porpora: Opera Arias the man can, as I knew would be the fact, not put a musical foot wrong. Cenčić puts his all into this performance and I cannot imagine this being equaled, let alone surpassed.

The florid music in the first aria, and the others in a similar vein, is sung with panache. His rapid passages are clean. The trills are genuine, not an approximation. So brace yourself for a splendid survey of music that is not only new to Croatian born, Austria based Cenčić but also to us. Simply put, the voice of Cenčić, quite literally, brought me back up on the edge of my chair where I remained for the duration of the CD. Once purchased by you, I feel you will experience the same. In fact, I know you will.

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Wagner: Parsifal' [4CD+Blu-ray Audio]
Artist - Christa Ludwig/René Kollo/Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

Georg Solti's recordings of the Richard Wagner operas are celebrated as among the greatest performances ever put to disc.

Introducing Parsifal to a new generation of Wagnerian's, this performance with the Vienna Philharmonic and vocalists Christa Ludwig, Rene Kollo and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau is presented here on 4CD + High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray disc containing the complete opera in 24-bit audio, remastered in 96kHz/24-bit audio from original analogue sources and housed in deluxe hardback packaging with the original cover.

For those not in the know about the players here on this simply wondrous recording, well, Christa Ludwig is a retired German dramatic mezzo-soprano, distinguished for her performances of opera, Lieder, oratorio, and other major religious works like masses and passions, and solos contained in symphonic literature.

Her career spanned from the late 1940s until the early 1990s. She is widely recognized as one of the most significant and distinguished singers of the 20th century.

René Kollo is a German tenor, especially known for his Wagnerian parts. In addition to Heldentenor roles, he performed in a wide variety of operas and operettas during his career and has also made several operatic recordings.

The late Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau was a German lyric baritone and conductor of classical music, one of the most famous Lieder (art song) performers of the post-war period, best known as a singer of Franz Schubert's Lieder, particularly "Winterreise" of which his recordings with accompanist Gerald Moore and Jörg Demus are still critically acclaimed half a century after their release.

The late Gottlob Frick was a German bass who sang in opera. He was known for his wide repertory including Wagner and Mozart roles, as well as those of Nicolai and Lortzing.

The late Zoltán Kelemen was a Hungarian bass-baritone. He was born in Budapest and died in Zurich. He began studying music at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music before leaving Hungary in order to study in Rome. When he left Rome in 1959, he established himself in Germany, first in Augsburg and later in Cologne.

Lastly, the late Hans Hotter was a German operatic bass-baritone. He was extremely tall and his appearance was striking. His voice and diction were equally recognizable.

CD 1: Wagner: Parsifal
Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883)
Parsifal, WWV 111
1. Prelude (12:35)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
Act 1
2. "He! Ho! Waldhüter ihr" (5:18) - Gottlob Frick, Robert Tear, Herbert Lackner, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
3. "Seht dort, die wilde Reiterin" (2:49) - Marga Schiml, Rotraud Hansmann, Robert Tear, Herbert Lackner, Christa Ludwig, Gottlob Frick, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
4. "Recht so! Habt Dank! Ein wenig Rast!" - "Gawan! - Herr! Gawan weilte nicht!" (7:52) - Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Herbert Lackner, Gottlob Frick, Christa Ludwig, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
5. "He! Du da! Was liegst du dort wie ein wildes Tier?" (6:53) - Gottlob Frick, Heinz Zednik, Rotraud Hansmann, Marga Schiml, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
6. Das ist ein andres... O wunden-wundervollen heiliger (4:29) - Heinz Zednik, Christa Ludwig, Ewald Aichberger, Gottlob Frick, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
7. "Titurel, der fromme Held" (8:20) - Gottlob Frick, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
8. Vor allem nun: die Speer kehr' uns zurück (3:01) - Ewald Aichberger, Heinz Zednik, Gottlob Frick, Rotraud Hansmann, Marga Schiml, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
9. "Weh! - Hoho! - Auf! - Wer ist der Frevler?" (1:26) - Gottlob Frick, Marga Schiml, Heinz Zednik, Ewald Aichberger, Rotraud Hansmann, Robert Tear, Herbert Lackner, René Kollo, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
10. Du konntest morden, hier, im heil'gen Walde (3:42)
11. Wo bist du her? (3:18) - Gottlob Frick, René Kollo, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
12. Den Vaterlosen gebar die Mutter (2:58) - Christa Ludwig, René Kollo, Gottlob Frick, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
13. So recht! So nach des Grales Gnade (2:43) - Gottlob Frick, Christa Ludwig, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti

Total Playing Time: 1:05:24

CD 2: Wagner: Parsifal
Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883)
Parsifal, WWV 111
Act 1
1. "Vom Bade kehrt der König heim" (2:14) - Gottlob Frick, René Kollo, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
2. "Nun achte wohl und laß mich seh'n" - "Zum letzten Liebesmahle" (12:14) - Gottlob Frick, Wiener Sängerknaben, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
3. "Mein Sohn Amfortas, bist du am Amt?" (2:40) - Hans Hotter, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
4. Nein! Lasst ihn unenthüllt (9:42) - Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Hans Hotter, Wiener Sängerknaben, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
5. Nehmet hin meinen Leib (17:03) - Hans Hotter, Wiener Sängerknaben, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
6. Was stehest du noch da? (2:27) - Gottlob Frick, Birgit Finnilä, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti

Act 2
7. Vorspiel (Prelude) (2:18) - Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
8. "Die Zeit ist da" (2:26) - Zoltan Kelemen, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
9. "Erwachst du? Ha!" (8:50)
10. Jetzt schon erklimmt er die Burg (3:37) - Zoltan Kelemen, Christa Ludwig, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
11. "Hier war das Tosen!" (2:13) - Lucia Popp, Alison Hargan, Anne Howells, Kiri Te Kanawa, Gillian Knight, Margarita Lilowa, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
12. Ihr schönen Kinder (2:32) - René Kollo, Lucia Popp, Alison Hargan, Anne Howells, Kiri Te Kanawa, Gillian Knight, Margarita Lilowa, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti

Total Playing Time: 1:08:16

CD 3: Wagner: Parsifal
Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883)
Parsifal, WWV 111
Act 2
1. "Komm, holder Knabe!" (5:53) - René Kollo, Lucia Popp, Alison Hargan, Anne Howells, Kiri Te Kanawa, Gillian Knight, Margarita Lilowa, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
2. "Parsifal! Weile!" (7:03) - Christa Ludwig, René Kollo, Lucia Popp, Alison Hargan, Anne Howells, Kiri Te Kanawa, Gillian Knight, Margarita Lilowa, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
3. "Ich sah das Kind an seiner Mutter Brust" (5:16) - Christa Ludwig, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
4. "Wehe! Was tat ich? Wo war ich?" - "Bekenntnis wird Schuld in Reueenden" (4:50)
5. "Amfortas! Die Wunde!" (8:42) - René Kollo, Christa Ludwig, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
6. "Grausamer! Fühlst du im Herzen" - "Ich sah ihn" - "Nun such' ich ihn von Welt zu Welt" (6:50) - Christa Ludwig, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
7. Auf Ewigkeit wärst du verdammt (5:59)
8. "Vergeh, unseliges Weib!" (1:24) - René Kollo, Christa Ludwig, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
9. Halt da! Dich bann' ich mit der rechten Wehr! (2:36) - Zoltan Kelemen, René Kollo, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti

Act 3
10. Prelude (5:04) - Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
11. "Von dorther kam das Stöhnen" (4:18) - Gottlob Frick, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
12. Du tolles Weib! Hast du kein Wort für mich? (3:18) - Gottlob Frick, Christa Ludwig, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti

Total Playing Time: 1:01:13

CD 4: Wagner: Parsifal
Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883)
Parsifal, WWV 111
Act 3
1. In düstrem Waffenschmucke? (7:51) - Gottlob Frick, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
2. "Heil mir, daß ich dich wiederfinde!" (3:39) - René Kollo, Gottlob Frick, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
3. O Gnade! Höchstes Heil! (7:26)
4. "Nicht so! Die heil'ge Quelle selbst" (4:03) - Gottlob Frick, René Kollo, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
5. Du wuchsest mir die Füsse (6:25)
6. "Wie dünkt mich doch die Aue heut so schön" - Karfreitagszauber (9:48) - René Kollo, Gottlob Frick, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
7. "Mittag. Die Stund' ist da" - Verwandlungsmusik (5:00) - Gottlob Frick, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
8. "Geleiten wir im bergenden Schrein" (4:18) - Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
9. "Ja, Wehe! Wehe! Weh' über mich!" (7:45) - Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
10. "Nur eine Waffe taugt" (9:24) - René Kollo, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti

Total Playing Time: 1:05:39

Of all the celebrated recordings of Parsifal, this 1972 Solti version must boast the most distinguished cast – all delivering fine expressive and technically polished performances; the principals especially well controlled in their long paragraphs. The playing of the Vienna Philharmonic is glorious.

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau captures Amfortas’s anguished impotence, and his defiance exceedingly well. René Kollo as the innocent fool, the redeemer, Parsifal, once again proves himself to be the ideal noble Wagnerian hero. Christa Ludwig is a vibrant, and corruptly sensual Kundry in her attempts to seduce Parsifal, in Klingsor’s garden – first in motherly, then more voluptuous, tones.

Gottlob Frick as Gurnemanz, whose role is to relate so much of the historical narrative is steadily noble and dignified. Zoltan Kélémen is a sinister and malevolent Klingsor.

Indeed, it is interesting to note as Klingsor’s flower maidens so many up-and-coming voices who would later distinguish themselves including Anne Howells, Kiri Te Kanawa, Gillian Knight and Lucia Popp.

Aside from the 4 CDs, I also listened to the Blu-ray High Fidelity Pure Audio disc that comes in this package; and of which I hope you do also. Wow, does the crustal clarity of it jump out at you. What a pleasure it was to be able to hear the opera straight through, with only short gaps between the acts.

Remastered in 2017, the sound is incredible and I can hardly wait until TANNHAUSER gets this treatment; as is advertised in the back of the booklet. Highest recommendation!

On a final note, the original cover art of this recording tells you everything you need to know about what awaits inside. The cold silver chalice shimmering in the dark surroundings, that is the ultimate effect of Solti's Parsifal. Not very warm and loving, but towering and Medieval.

4CD+Blu-ray Purchase Link

Title - 'Angelic Upstarts: The Albums 1979-1982'
Artist - Angelic Upstarts

For those not in the know, Angelic Upstarts (a band name that I've always loved) are an English punk rock band formed in South Shields in 1977.

The band espoused an anti-fascist and socialist working class philosophy, and have been associated with the skinhead subculture.

They released eight studio albums in their first decade and after a brief split they reformed in 1988; and a number of times subsequently, with new albums appearing in 1992, 2002, 2011, and 2016.

More than two decades after its release, their debut single, "The Murder Of Liddle Towers", was included in Mojo magazine’s list of the best punk rock singles of all time.

Indeed, Allmusic calls them "one of the period's most politically charged and thought-provoking groups".

Released this month via Cherry Red Records (UK), Angelic Upstarts: The Albums 1979-1982 is an immense 79 track five CD box set rounding up the early and most successful years of the men themselves, Angelic Upstarts.



CD 3 - 2,000,000 VOICES



Disc One is the debut Teenage Warning (1979) album that hit No.29 in the UK National Charts. Including the hit singles ‘I’m An Upstart’ (No.31) and ‘Teenage Warning’ (No.29), as well as two bonus cuts featuring both sides of debut 45 ‘The Murder Of Liddle Towers’ this is the best of the bunch, for me.

This is classic punk rock played as it should be. Raw, angry and from the heart. Inspiring, angst ridden punk anthems played like a speeding train, the album cover art sleeve depicts a tattooed orange with a clockwork key. This symbolizes the Stanley Kubrick film A Clockwork Orange and is taken from the opening lyric of the title track, "Wind me up like a clockwork orange".

The second disc has the No.54 charting We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (1980) album that includes hit singles ‘Never ‘Ad Nothin’’ (No.52), ‘Out Of Control’ (No.58) and the title track (No.65).

Following Teenage Warning was always going to be tricky, but for the most part they did it here. Thomas Mensforth's vocals along with the guitar work of Ray Cowie make this album more than what it should have been though, that's for sure. But, as always, if you enjoy raucous, hard-hitting, punk with some great guitars, then this is a must have album!

The seminal Two Million Voices (1981) is to be found on Disc Three. The album reached No.32 in 1981 and includes the singles ‘Last Night Another Soldier’ (No.51), ‘England’ and ‘Kids On The Street’ (No. 57) plus five bonus tracks.

The album probably stands out in that the clear patriotism of the band in the song "England" proves that patriotism and racism are not one and the same, something the far right at the time (and to some extent still do) try hard to instill in the public mind. Kids on the street still sounds as raw and powerful now as it did then.

OK, sure, Mensi may not be the most melodic singer in the world, but for raw energy and courage of conviction, the Upstarts are second to none; which they prove here on third third album.

The No.27 charting Live (1981) album is on Disc Four complete with four bonus tracks culled from an original flexi disc given away with the album.

Showcasing the raw angst this group had for their chosen lyrical subject matter, their intensity for propelling every word, every lyric into the faces of their beloved fans is amazing. The energy here is still beyond a joke to listen to now, some 37 years later.

The fifth disc is the Still From The Heart (1982) album that features the singles ‘Never Say Die’ and ‘Different Strokes’.

In truth, and as most all die hard Angelic Upstarts fans will attest, Still From The Heart was not one of their better albums. It doesn't really even sound like the Angelic Upstarts in that there's no real punk angst attached to any of the songs.

A great, solid album, nonetheless, and with Mensi's voice trying to wrap itself around various new variations of a somewhat diluted punk coarseness, it's most definitely a step out of punk rock for the ages that were changing, me thinks.

Housed in a sturdy clam shell box, each disc is in a cardboard wallet depicting the original LP art whilst the 20 page booklet comes complete with liner notes and pictures of all the relevant sleeves.

Still led by vocalist Mensi to this day, the Upstarts are regulars at the major European Punk Festivals. Check them out and see what all the fuss was/is about!

Angelic Upstarts @ Facebook!

5CD Box-Set Purchase Link

Title - 'Less Off Patient'
Artist - Strat Andriotis

Influenced by the great jazz guitar legends from Django Reinhardt to John McLaughlin, Greece-born / Canadian-based guitarist Strat Andriotis is making waves in the music world with his recently-released CD entitled Less Off Patient.

The follow up to Strat's critically acclaimed 2015 CD, Liars Incorporated, this new album (out now via Dekatria Records) is, to my mind, his best work of musical art yet.

1. 'Less Off Patient'
2. 'There's Always Tomorrow'
3. 'Grey Song'
4. 'A Behaviour Pattern'
5. 'The Dimming Light'
6. '185 To Freedom'
7. 'Where It Goes'
8. 'Inner Change'
9. 'Duet'
10. 'Long Days'
11. 'Somewhere In Time My Love'

Featuring eleven original tracks of enchanting instrumental guitar music, blending Gypsy Jazz and Neoclassical music, Less Off Patient also finds Strat joined by his trio mates: Adrianna Lee (violin) and Jeff Vidov (piano).

The playful 'Less Off Patient' is first to present itself to us and is a great forerunner for what's to come. The meaningful, preciseness of 'There's Always Tomorrow' is my personal favorite and that's backed by both the stunning violin work from Lee within 'Grey Song' and then the rampant piano work from Vidov on 'A Behavior Pattern.'

The perky 'The Dimming Light' is next and that's is followed by the beautiful guitar work of Andriotis found with '185 To Freedom'. Next up is another stand out track, the old fashioned-sounding 'Where It Goes', with the hectic 'Inner Change' along next. 'Duet' allows Andriotis to pair of alongside Lee simpatico-style, and then the album rounds out with 'Long Days,' and then the flamenco-styling brilliance of 'Somewhere In Time My Love.'

And, just so you are aware, the eye-catching cover art is of a hospital patient, and a late friend of Andriotis', Freddy Brown. The music found on the CD is also a celebration of life, one in which Andriotis' guitar music honors the illustrious past.

CD Purchase Link

Strat Andriotis @ Facebook!

Title - 'Spitting On A Fish'
Artist - David Lawrence Atkins

Back in that brilliant and often fondly recalled early 1970’s era, singer-songwriter David Atkins used the stage name Dave Curtiss in the U.K. rock group known as Curtiss-Maldoon.

The one and only Curtiss-Maldoon Lp, released on the Deep Purple related Purple Records in early 1971, was considered pretty far-out for its time and it was also critically acclaimed in that the album also featured YES guitarist Steve Howe as guest artist.

It’s been light ages, yet David Atkins is back with his original name gracing the cover of his long awaited comeback album — albeit the oddly titled Spitting On A Fish.

1. 'Spitting On A Fish'
2. 'Sepheryn'
3. 'Too Many Bullets'
4. 'Afraid of Love'
5. 'And She Danced'
6. 'Blue Like You'
7. 'Oh Tonight'
8. 'Lazy Days'
9. 'Lighten Up Your Life'
10. 'Good Night'
11. 'Little Soldier'
12. 'Shine On Me'

With Atkins composing and recording some fabulous new songs, while also paying tribute to the timeless ’70s classic 'Sepheryn', the late, great Clive Maldoon (his real name was Clive Skinner) is no doubt smiling down from the heavens.

The album starts off with the big and broad lyrical brush strokes of the title song, before his '70s tribute, 'Sepheryn' is loving brought out for us all to enjoy. That cool, gently free flowing pop bounce is then backed by the jaunty 'Too Many Bullets', the smokey jazz and cigar bar haunting 'Afraid of Love,' and then the Jimmy Buffettesque 'And She Danced.'

The slow blues of 'Blue Like You' has a dynamite, old school, lazy trumpet vibe, and is backed by the foot-tappin' beauty 'Oh Tonight.' The laid back ballad 'Lazy Days' showcases the true vastness of Atkins' vocal workings, and that's followed by the '60s flashback of unabashed tambourine rock 'n' roll, 'Lighten Up Your Life.'

'Good Night' once again brings balladeer Atkins to the fore with just a guitar for company, before the album is rounded out with both the downbeat war storytelling of 'Little Soldier,' and then the joyous, upbeat 'Shine On Me.'

"The album started as a jazzy-cool kind of feel," Atkins reveals, "and then I found a ukulele in a flea market, and the whole thing went off on a tangent."

"In a way, it reflects the Curtiss-Maldoon album in as much as I ended up just putting what I thought were my best songs on the album, and to hell with any concept of style…as a consequence it seems to have worked!"

Commenting on the album title, Atkins states, "Spitting On A Fish was an idea that came from a Bulgarian friend mixing her words up, and it was a year before I wrote the song to the idea."

"As it explains behind the disc inside the sleeve, Spitting On A Fish is ‘An exercise in futility…a pointless action. Even if the album bombs, maybe the phrase can enter common usage…wouldn’t that be something?’"

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Pekka Tegelman & Quartegel'
Artist - Pekka Tegelman & Quartegel

For those not in the know, Pekka Tegelman is a Finnish guitarist, songwriter and record producer whose first band was Finnforest, which Tegelman founded in 1972 with his brother Juss.

In addition to Finnforest, he has also made three albums for other artists and has worked as a producer on dozens of other albums.

Tegelman's most long-standing partners include Petri Pettersson, Liisa Tavi and Sakari Kuosmanen, but here on his latest album, the self-titled Pekka Tegelman & Quartegel, he can be found alongside Markku Ounaskari, Manuel Dunkel and Tero Siitonen.

1. 'All Folks'
2, 'Do Ra Mi'
3. 'Tow Towns'
4. 'Big Tremolo'
5. 'When Yin Goes Yang'
6. 'Song 1: The Dawn'
7. 'Path'
8. 'Time To Time'
9. 'Song 2: The Twilight'

With Tegelman's long awaited return to the jazz-rock world coming back in 2010 with the CD Bound (recorded with the group Kulumo), it's now that, here in 2017, and after several vocal projects in between, the renowned guitarist is back on track again with the aforementioned Pekka Tegelman & Quartegel.

The nine track CD features Pekka on electric / acoustic guitars and keyboards with the aid of the previously noted Markku Ounaskari (drums), Manuel Dunkel (sax) and Tero Siitonen (double bass).

The legendary '70s jazz-rock guitarist is defiant here in that he wanted his work to reflect the changes that are happening within not only him but the world that he lives in. Thus, and compared to the structured, neoclassical rock music of his day, the music of Tegelman here on this brand new album is much more jazz-centric, shall we say.

With a keen emphasis on creative melody and improvisation, Pekka Tegelman & Quartegel is a mighty fine body of musical art and not one that will be forgotten too soon, trust me.

For once you have listened to it you will, much like I have done three times now, hit repeat and allow yourself to me submersed within its beauty all over again.

CD Purchase Link

Pekka Tegelmen @ Facebook!

Title - 'The Single Edits'
Artist - Ben Craven

For those not in the know, Ben Craven is an Australian musician and producer, best known for his 2011 progressive rock album, Great & Terrible Potions, which featured artwork by cover designer Roger Dean.

In 2007, Craven recorded the EP Under Deconstruction as a free download, protesting against the use of DRM in the music industry.

In 2012, Craven assembled three-piece band Ben Craven & The Section specifically for live performances of his album Great & Terrible Potions. The band was interviewed and performed for a live interactive video streaming event in May 2013, in what was billed as a world-first for progressive rock.

Last Chance To Hear was released in 2016, a concept album "loosely inspired by the end of the music industry as we knew it", featuring guest contributions from Billy Sherwood and William Shatner.

In October 2016, Craven was awarded the Australian Independent Music Award (AIMA) for Best Instrumental, for the track Critical Mass Part 2.

His brand new album, released via Desert Comb Music, is the masterpiece The Single Edits. Including a gatefold cardboard case and 6-page insert with stunning artwork by Freyja Dean, the album has to be, in my humble opinion, one of Craven's best.

1. 'Critical Mass Part 2 (Single Edit)' 03:27)
2. 'The Remarkable Man (Single Edit)' (03:53)
3. 'Ready To Lose (Single Edit)' (03:37)
4. 'Aquamarine (Single Edit)' (03:21)
5. 'Spy In The Sky Part 3' - Feat. William Shatner (Single Edit)' (03:17)
6. 'Great Divide (Single Edit)' (04:33)
7. 'Nobody Dies Forever (Single Edit)' (02:56)
8. 'No Specific Harm (Single Edit)' (03:30)
9. 'Captain Caper (Single Edit)' (04:17)
10. 'Golden Band (Single Edit)' (05:12)
11. 'Revenge Of Dr Komodo (Single Edit)' (02:35)

) Progressive rock fans who might have missed his last opus, the aforementioned Last Chance To Hear, will be pleasantly surprised by the concise nature of this brand new album.

The Single Edits showcases Ben’s finest moments from his solo output, both rock vocals and rock instrumentals, compiled and re-imagined as, well, single edits, of course.

With a run time of 41 minutes, the eleven track CD features a magical cross-section from Craven’s album releases and is brimming with fascinating musical ideas. It also includes several remixed, edited prog-pop tracks from his first solo album, Two False Idols.

Indeed, on the track 'Spy In The Sky Pt. 3,' Craven enlists the help of spoken work recording artist and Star Trek legend William Shatner and YES member Billy Sherwood.

With each and every track here superbly played, and all written by Craven himself, this is an essential recording for all his fans to now own. A most compelling musical statement from a prog-rock sensation, my only sorrow is that it hasn't yet been released on a 180g vinyl ... yet!

CD Purchase Link

Ben Craven @ Facebook!

Title - 'Talisman'
Artist - Gus McKay

Talisman is now Gus McKay's fifth album, and when comparing his previous albums with the latter, he has definitely taken a new road.

The base is still roots and blues mixed with a form of Americana, but he goes on this album towards alt-jazz and psychedelic by adding strings, tenor sax and trumpet and other instruments.

Indeed, he has created a very distinctive atmosphere with his music and sounds: psychedelic, a strange kind of dream, always surprising.

Recorded in an old 1950’s service (gas) station, converted to a recording studio (Aerial Studios) in the Darling Range Glen Forrest West Australia, this 10-track (39 minutes) new album oozes rock, blues, and also features a quite liberal serving of jazz, horns and strings.

1. 'Art Of Living'
2. 'Fallen Down'
3. 'Hundred Acres'
4. 'Piawaning Suit'
5. 'The Man'
6. 'Muse'
7. 'Bohemian Life'
8. 'Murchison Sequel'
9. 'Gin Gin Morning'
10. 'Last Dance'

The gentle guitar work of 'Art Of living' opens the album perfectly, and is backed seamlessly by the mid-tempo, New Orleans on a sweaty, oh so sweaty night, organ flow of 'Fallen Down.' The wistful 'Hundred Acres' is up next and is followed by the finger-pickin' fun of 'Piawaning Suit.'

'The Man' is a lovely, deep down South harmonica-driven piece and is backed by my own personal favorite on this stunning new album, the ballad 'Muse.' The rich storytelling of 'Bohemian Life' is next with the pulsating ebb and flow of 'Murchison Sequel' yet another musical gem.

The album then rounds out, all too soon, with 'Gin Gin Morning' (which highlights McKay's guitar work quite like no other track), and then the Bayou Country-inspired 'Last Dance.'

CD Purchase Link

Gus McKay @ Facebook!

Title - 'If All Goes Wrong'
Artist - The Aaron Clift Experiment

If you weren't already aware, The Aaron Clift Experiment is a dynamic progressive rock band based in Austin, Texas.

Indeed, the group's multi-faceted sound is an innovative blend of classic rock, modern rock, and classical all anchored by the band's dedication to high-quality songwriting and musicianship.

Formed in 2012 as the solo project of Aaron Clift, the band has since blossomed into a powerful live group enriched by the extensive musical background of its members.

The soaring vocals of classically-trained singer and keyboardist, Aaron Clift, are grounded by the powerhouse rhythm section of Devin North (bass) and Tim Smith (drums).

The Aaron Clift Experiment continues to move its dynamic sound forward in its new release, and their third album, If All Goes Wrong.

1. 'Faith'
2. 'Last Crash'
3. 'Absent Lovers'
4. 'Better Off Before'
5. 'Castle In The Sky'
6. 'Savage In A Fancy Suit'
7. 'Dream Within A Dream'
8. 'Wild Hunters'
9. 'If All Goes Wrong'
10. 'Back To The Water' (Bonus Track)

The album contains the band's most diverse and electrifying music to date - songs full of enthralling melodies, masterful epics, and addictive pop hooks.

Kicking things off in style with the drumtastic 'Faith,' before segueing into the dynamic prog appeal of 'Last Crash.' Next up is the delicate, yet pronounced beauty of 'Absent Lovers,' which has already become my favorite track of this year, and that's backed by the upbeat, jaunty prog-pop of 'Better Off Before.'

The drums get unleashed again on the triumphant 'Castle In The Sky', with the Black Sabbath-lite 'Savage In A Fancy Suit' following along close behind. A wondrous piano and guitar moment comes to the fore in 'Dream Within A Dream,' with the pace picked up somewhat for the foot-tappin' speeding train of 'Wild Hunters.'

The epic cinematic musical scope of the title track 'If All Goes Wrong' is simply divine to behold over and over and then the album comes to a close, albeit too soon for my liking, with the piano / solo vocal bonus track, 'Back To The Water.'

Pre-Order Bundles Campaign Link

The Aaron Clift Experiment @ Facebook!

Title - 'Quantum Gate' / 'Quantum Key' [2CD]
Artist - Tangerine Dream

If you weren't already aware, Tangerine Dream is a German electronic music band founded in 1967 by Edgar Froese.

The group has seen many personnel changes over the years, with Froese being the only continuous member until his death in January 2015.

Indeed, the best known line-up of the group was its mid-70s trio of Froese, Christopher Franke, and Peter Baumann. In the late 1970s, Johannes Schmoelling replaced Baumann.

Since Froese's death in 2015, the group has been under the leadership of Thorsten Quaeschning (Froese's chosen successor and the current longest-serving band member, having joined in 2005).

Tangerine Dream are considered a pioneering act in electronic music. Their work with the Ohr electronic music label produced albums that had a pivotal role in the development of the German musical scene known as Kosmische Musik.

Their "Virgin Years", so-called because of their association with Virgin Records, produced albums that further explored synthesizers and sequencers, including the UK top 20 albums Phaedra (1974) and Rubycon (1975).

The group also had a successful career composing film soundtracks, creating over 60 scores, which include those for the films Sorcerer, Thief, Risky Business, The Keep, Firestarter, Legend, Three O'Clock High, Near Dark, Shy People, and Miracle Mile.

From the late 1990s into the 2000s, Tangerine Dream continued to explore other styles of instrumental music and electronica. Their recorded output has been prolific, including over one hundred albums.

Among other scoring projects, they helped create the soundtrack for the video game Grand Theft Auto V. Their mid-1970s work has been profoundly influential in the development of electronic music styles such as new age and electronic dance music.

Their brand new album is entitled Quantum Gate and was released on September 29th, 2017, coinciding with the 50-year anniversary of the founding of the band.

The album is based on ideas and musical sketches by founder Edgar Froese and was completed by the remaining members of the band. Furthermore, this brand new expanded 2CD edition of Quantum Gate now includes the excellent Quantum Key EP.

CD 1 - Quantum Gate
1. 'Sensing Elements'
2. 'Roll the Seven Twice'
3. 'Granular Blankets'
4. 'It Is Time to Leave When Everyone Is Dancing'
5. 'Identity Proven Matrix'
6. 'Non-Locality Destination'
7. 'Proton Bonfire'
8. 'Tear Down the Grey Skies'
9. 'Genesis of Precious Thoughts'

CD 2 - Quantum Key
1. 'Genesis of Precious Thoughts'
2. 'Electron Bonfire'
3. 'Drowning in Universes'
4. 'Mirage of Reality'

Just to give you a little history on these Quantum's, the Quantum Key EP preceded Quantum Gate, whilst both delivered an updated, contemporary development of their trademark sound: sequencer-driven electronica covering a wide range of moods and atmospheres from ambient soundscapes to energetic, upbeat moments.

The Quantum Years material began as a concept and series of musical sketches by Froese before he passed away in 2015. Remaining band members Thorsten Quaeschning, Ulrich Schnauss and Hoshiko Yamane worked together to realize Edgar's visions and expectations of a conceptual body of work that attempts to translate quantum physics and philosophy into music.

As for the sounds produced by Tangerine Dream for these two new CDs of music, well, it's no surprise to hear me say that they easily tie in with most all they've ever done in quality.

The style of this new music is, however, markedly different, from, say, my favorite TD album, 220 Volt Live. Now there was a definitive mix of acid-jazz and '80s synth, whereas these two new CDs feature a mix of late-1970's "computer music" and "space music", and early-2000's "deep trance", to my ear.

On what has to roughly be their one-hundred and fiftieth album overall (!), Tangerine Dream have decided not to play it safe, but to create yet more quality, and memorable work; whilst at the very same time keeping Edgar's vision alive for the future.

My two personal favorites on the albums are 'It Is Time to Leave When Everyone Is Dancing,' the only track composed solely by Thorsten Quaeschning and Ulrich Schnauss.

From the foot-tapping opening (from Thorsten) full of buzzy sequencers rippling over a 4/4 beat, lush descending chords and an '80s bass line to kill for to the closing minutes of euphoric melodies (from Ulrich), this is an utter treat.

And the other is 'Tear Down The Grey Skies,' where a bubbling and buzzing bass sequence takes hold after a brief intro of Mellotron-like chords (think Edgar’s solo album ‘Macula Transfer’). Ulrich supplying the main melody but the chord changes are pure Edgar and then the energy builds under Hoshiko’s violin comes to the fore. Again the main theme returns for a finale coda towards the end.

2CD Purchase Link

Tangerine Dream @ Facebook!

Title - 'Confessions' [Vinyl LP]
Artist - Lunden Reign

For those not in the know, Lunden Reign is an original Big Beat Alt Rock style based out of Hollywood, CA.

Indeed, Lunden Reign was openly inspired by artists ranging from Heart to Nirvana to Evanescence and their synergistic performances are matched by the relentless desire to unleash layers of haunting melodies through uplifting riffs blended with a harder edge and a big beat.

At the foundation of the band are Lora G and Nikki Lunden, the dynamic pair tethered by shared virtues and who also serve as activists in their community.

Lunden Reign released their debut album, American Stranger in 2015, and now they are back with their sophomore release, Confessions.

Keeping it old school, this quite stunning second album will only be released as a limited edition 12-inch color vinyl LP (although there is also a digital DL link available, of course).

Trust me when I say that this brand new record is complete with 10 power house songs that focus on political emotions and empowerment, whilst at the same time making room for a couple o' love songs; done as only Lunden Reign can.

1. 'Stardust Gaze'
2. 'Confessions'
3. 'Coming Home Tonight'
4. 'Red Wagon'
5. 'Little Lost Girl'
6. 'Fate of the World'
7. 'Never Ending Dream'
8. 'Dead Man Walking'
9. 'Thunder or the Rain'
10. 'Faded Memories'

Nikki Lunden's vocals immediately come to the fore on the sumptuously melodic mid-tempo 'Stardust Gaze,' before the tempo is upped for the starker, Eastern-flavored title track, 'Confessions.' The Heart-esque 'Coming Home Tonight' is next and that's backed by some frenetic guitar work from Lora G on 'Red Wagon.'

One of my own personal favorites is the lush '90s vibe of 'Little Lost Girl' which is itself followed seamlessly by another of that same musical ilk, 'Fate of the World.' The uptempo ballad 'Never Ending Dream' precedes another gem here in the ferocious 'Dead Man Walking,' before the album is brought to a close with the gentle(ish) 'Thunder or the Rain,' and then another harken back to the keys of the '90s with the brilliant 'Faded Memories.'

Official Vinyl LP and Digital Purchase Link

Lunden Reign @ Facebook!

Lunden Reign @ Twitter!

Title - 'Behind The Shade'
Artist - James Williamson and the Pink Hearts

For those not in the know, James Williamson, a 2010 inductee into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as a member of The Stooges, is now set to make his most stylistically diverse musical statement to date with his new group, James Williamson and the Pink Hearts.

Fronted by Los Angeles-based vocalists Frank Meyer (The Streetwalkin' Cheetahs) and Petra Haden (That Dog, The Haden Triplets), The Pink Hearts' repertoire encompasses everything from feral rockers to soul-searching balladry.

Collectively, James Williamson and the Pink Hearts will release Behind The Shade on LP+CD, standalone CD, and digitally (via Leopard Lady Records) on July 11th, 2018.

1. 'Riot On The Strip'
2. 'Judith Christ'
3. 'Pink Hearts Across The Sky'
4. 'You Send Me Down'
5. 'Destiny Now'
6. 'This Garden Lies'
7. 'Purple Moon'
8. 'Miss Misery'
9. 'The Revolution Stomp'
10. 'Behind The Shade'
11. 'Died A Little Today'

Recorded last year in Berkeley (instrumentation) and Los Angeles (vocals), Behind The Shade is a thoroughly modern rock album which also evokes the most stirring elements of '70s rock 'n' roll.

It kicks off in fine, roaring, fuzzy guitar style with the punk stomp of 'Riot On The Strip' and, for my money, showcases Williamson’s best guitar to (recent) date. That's backed seamlessly by both the slow rock angst of 'Judith Christ' and then the Haden-led beauty, 'Pink Hearts Across The Sky.'

The solid one-two punch of 'You Send Me Down' is yet another memorable flashback to Williamson's days gone by, as is the rhythmic hook of 'You Send Me Down,' but it's within the depths of 'This Garden Lies' where new ingenuity is found. Inclusive of blazing horns and one mighty fine trumpet solo, the track is quite easily a stand out musical gem here.

The interesting 'Purple Moon' is then backed by an acoustic 'Miss Misery,' which most definitely captures the folk side of both musical demeanor's on display here. Punk rock soon returns to the fore though on the rousing 'The Revolution Stamp', which is backed by the darkly creative title track, 'Behind The Shade.'

A cut that finally allows Meyer to, what sounds like, shred his throat to bits vocally, it's also the inclusion of Haden and some stirring violin playing that also make this track a stand out reason to buy this album.

In truth, Meyers vocals throughout are, and for all the right reasons, everything that sums up and encapsulated this era of bygone music. On that note, this highly avant-garde project then rounds out with the mid-tempo punk wallow of 'Died A Little Today.'

'Riot On The Strip' - Official Video

CD Purchase Link

James Williamson and the Pink Hearts @ Facebook!

Title - 'Sassafrass!'
Artist - Tami Neilson

With a soulful voice straight from the golden age of country and rockabilly music, Tami Neilson has sung her heart out along endless roads and stages, garnering well deserved worldwide adoration.

From her days as a young girl in Canada touring with the Neilson Family band, opening for the likes of Johnny Cash, to her full blossoming in New Zealand as a formidable talent in her own right, Tami Neilson has won the Tui Award for each of her past four albums.

Now, and after a wait of 3 years, her adoring fans are finally to be graced with the follow-up to her 2015 album, Don't Be Afraid. Entitled Sassafrass!, this prolific artist has done it once again, as trust me when I say that the powerhouse that is Tami Neilson is, once again, going to be a chart force to be reckoned with.

1. 'Stay Outta My Business'
2. 'Bananas'
3. 'Diamond Ring'
4. 'A Woman's Pain'
5. 'Devil In A Dress'
6. 'One Thought Of You'
7. 'Miss Jones'
8. 'Smoking Gun'
9. 'Kitty Cat'
10. 'Manitoba Sunrise at Motel 6'
11. 'Good Man'

Neilson's tremendous, crystal clear vocals come to the fore instantly with the horn vibrant 'Stay Outta My Business,' a song that showcases just how easily she can slide into a foot-tappin', hipsway of a note and take you willingly along for the joyous ride.

Coupling an amazing voice with some fun lyrics, Neilson's rockabilly sound makes songs such as both 'Bananas' and the creepin' 'Diamond Ring' perfect summer driving music.

The lo-fi country ballad, 'Woman's Pain' allows Neilson to story tell with serious inclinations, and that's backed by the mid-tempo, drum-backed 'Devil In A Dress,' before she's back in ballad territory with 'One Thought Of You.'

Having since discovered that Nielson's music has been playing throughout one of my favorite Australian crime shows, 'The Brokenwood Mysteries,' I rewatched a few of the scenes where such a thing has been noted, and lo and behold, there she is. So, it's safe to say that, and without knowing it, I've been a fan of Neilson's for rather a long time!

The vibrant 'Miss Jones' is next with the tone brought back down once again for the slow and sultry ballad 'Smoking Gun.' The upbeat, fun, hip-shakin', rockabilly beauty, 'Kitty Cat' is my own personal favorite here, with the road weary ballad 'Manitoba Sunrise at Motel 6,' and then her 'Good Man' ballad (where her range and vocal tone are stunningly reminiscent of Patsy Cline) blending seamlessly to bring (sadly) the new album to a close.

Digital Purchase Link

Tami Neilson @ Facebook!

Tami Neilson @ Twitter!

Title - 'The Self-Contained Trilogy' [3CD]
Artist - Peter Banks

For those not in the know, the late Peter Banks (actually born Peter William Brockbanks), was an English guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and producer.

Indeed, he was best known as the original guitarist in the rock bands the Syn, Yes, Flash, and Empire. Former Sniffin' Glue and NME journalist Danny Baker described Banks as "the architect of progressive music."

This brand new 3CD set, just released this past March 9th, 2018 via The Peter Banks Musical Estate (through Cherry Red Records UK) and entitled The Self-Contained Trilogy houses his albums: Instinct (1994), Self-Contained (1995), and Reduction (1997).

CD 1 - Instinct
1. 'No Place Home'
2. 'All Points South'
3. 'Fogbound'
4. 'Sticky Wicket'
5. 'Shortcomings'
6. 'Code Blue'
7. 'Angels'
8. 'Anima Mundi'
9. 'Swamp Report'
10. 'Instinctive Behavour'
11. 'Dominating Factor'
12. 'Never the Same'

CD 2 - Self-Contained
1. 'Radio Foreplay'
2. 'Endless Journey'
3. 'More Foreplay'
4. 'Massive Trouser Clearance'
5. 'Lost Days'
6. 'Away Days'
7. 'Two-Rides'
8. 'Self-Contained'
9. 'Clues'
10. 'The Three Realms'
11. 'Tell Me When'
12. 'Funkin' Profundity'
13. 'It's All Greek to Me - the Great Dionysia'
14. 'It's All Greek to Me - Erotokritos'
15. 'It's All Greek to Me - Less Talk'
16. 'It's All Greek to Me - Oriental Bent'
17. 'It's All Greek to Me - in An Idyll Moment'
18. 'It's All Greek to Me - Unnatural History'
19. 'It's All Greek to Me - Greekspeak'
20. 'It's All Greek to Me - the Great Stifado'
21. 'Thinking of You'

CD 3 - Reduction
1. 'Diminuendo in Bloom'
2. 'Tone Down'
3. 'The Age of Distortion'
4. 'Fade to Blue'
5. 'Fathat'
6. 'As Night Falls'
7. 'Consolation in Isolation'
8. 'Dirty Little Secret'
9. 'As Ever'
10. 'Pirate's Pleasure'
11. 'Rosa Nova'

One of the original members of Yes and an accomplished guitarist in his own right, Banks sadly passed away in 2013.

However, this incredible 3CD set, released in his memory by his estate during the fifth anniversary of his passing; let alone the 50th Anniversary of Yes (I know, right!), just so happens to also be one of the most complete collections of his solo work that's been put out thus far.

Taking them one at a time, in 1993, Banks released Instinct, a solo album of instrumental tracks with him playing all the parts. From the opening rippling guitar chords of opening cut 'No Place Home' to the final bell which closes the album, your ears are held in thrall by this maestro of the six string. For an instrumental album, it sure always held my attention, mostly due to its diversity and, most importantly, fretwork.

Only a keyboard player, Gerald Goff, joined him for his next album, Self Contained in 1995, and that was for just the one track. The album contains over 75 minutes of music, so you definitely get your money’s worth.

In fact, there is enough variety in style throughout to keep the listener from getting boring – switching between higher energy rockers (in the fusion style) and slower or more laid back melodic tunes. It should be mentioned though that the next to last song, ‘It’s All Greek To Me’ has 8 parts, which is the sole reason for the higher track count of 21. Albeit that some of the songs are relatively shorter snippets, it still remains one of his finest musical works.

After a bunch of collaborations had filled the gap in his own recording career, come 1999 and the album Reduction was issued. Another instrumental album, with voices for accents and personal touches only, from sparkling cool atmospheric jazz styling's, to razor sharp funk grooves, this album showcases much more of Banks' guitar mastery.

An amusing and unique little opening to get you in the mood before a blistering seven minutes of 'Tone Down,' where the guitarist shows off all his talents at one minute one hundred notes a second. The songs are more about composition than showboating, like most guitar albums, however there are plenty chops for those who are unaware of Banks' skills.

Including all three of Peter Banks's solo studio albums from the 1990's in one place, the booklet features the original album artwork, liner notes and credits.

3CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Vivaldi's Four Seasons In Rock'
Artist - Darryl Way

If you have never heard the name Darryl Way before, allow me to bring you up to date. Born in Taunton, Somerset (where they make the Cider!), Way is a British rock and classical musician who was a founding member of Curved Air. He actually co-wrote their only hit single, 'Back Street Luv' and is best known as a violinist - although he also plays keyboards.

He began his musical training at Dartington College of Arts, and later studied at the Royal College of Music. When he met Francis Monkman, they formed the band Sisyphus, which evolved into Curved Air.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of his classic rock anthem 'Vivaldi,' Darryl Way has arranged and recorded the whole of Vivaldi's masterpiece, 'The Four Seasons' and given it the same rock treatment.

Ergo, on May 4th, 2018, and released via Right Honourable Records (Cherry Red Records, UK), the quite astoundingly brilliant Vivaldi's Four Seasons In Rock was released to much heralded acclaim.

1. 'Spring Allegro'
2. 'Spring Largo E Pianissimo Sempre'
3. 'Spring Allegro Pastorale'
4. 'Summer Allegro Non Molto'
5. 'Summer Adagio E Piano - Presto E Forte'
6. 'Summer Presto'
7. 'Autumn Allegro'
8. 'Autumn Adagio'
9. 'Autumn Allegro (Last Movement)'
10. 'Winter Allegro Non Molto'
11. 'Winter Largo'
12. 'Winter Allegro'

Simply put, 'Vivaldi' was one of the most famous pieces comprising the Curved Air canon. Appearing on the band’s second album, 1970’s brilliantly entitled Air Conditioning, it had actually been composed by Darryl Way before the ensemble emerged on the scene, in 1968.

And now, as aforementioned, to mark its 50th anniversary, the veteran violinist has decided to expand that classical experience and progress from the Italian maestro’s influence to a full-on interpretation of his most popular opus.

The album’s structure is traditional, as per Vivaldi’s order, thus allowing Darryl's instrumental piece to now flourish, expand upon itself gloriously. Featuring the violin as a solo instrument with a thunderous accompaniment by the entire band, Vivaldi's Four Seasons In Rock is one for the ages, that's for sure.

“If you were a fan of my Curved Air track ‘Vivaldi’," explains Darryl himself, "there’s a good chance you’re going to like this as well." I couldn't agree more, maestro. I couldn't agree more.

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Be Well, Be Safe, Be Lucky: The Anthology' [2CD]
Artist - Peter Banks

For those not in the know, the late Peter Banks (actually born Peter William Brockbanks), was an English guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and producer.

Indeed, he was best known as the original guitarist in the rock bands the Syn, Yes, Flash, and Empire. Former Sniffin' Glue and NME journalist Danny Baker described Banks as "the architect of progressive music."

With the Peter Banks Musical Estate having just released a magnificent brand new 3CD set, entitled The Self-Contained Trilogy, this past March 9th, 2018, Purple Pyramid Records (Cherry Red Records UK) have now followed suit.

Released this past April 13th, 2018, Be Well, Be Safe, Be Lucky: The Anthology is a quite brilliant 2CD collection. The jam packed anthology of career highlights from one of the most inventive musicians of the early prog rock era, includes guest appearances: by Phil Collins, Steve Hackett, the last John Wetton, Billy Sherwood and Tony Kaye.

CD 1:
1. 'No Place Like Home'
2. 'All Points South'
3. 'Fogbound'
4. 'The Age of Distortion'
5. 'Knights'
6. 'Fade to Blue'
7. 'It's All Greek to Me - Oriental Bent'
8. 'It's All Greek to Me - In An Idyll Momentum'
9. 'Tone Down'
10. 'Dirty Little Secret'
11. 'As Ever'
12. 'Small Beginnings (Flashback Version)'
13. 'Knights (Reprise)'
14. 'Massive Trouser Clearance'
15. 'Lost Days'

CD 2:
1. 'Can I Play You Something?'
2. 'Bang/Crash'
3. 'Peter Gunn Theme (Live)'
4. 'Hippee Loop'
5. 'Warning: Rumble Strips'
6. 'Dancing Angel'
7. 'Lima Loop'
8. 'Astral Traveller'
9. 'Knights (Revisited)'
10. 'Yesterdays'
11. 'Endless Journey (Endless Version)'
12. 'Cinnamon Touch'
13. 'As Night Falls... And Continues'
14. 'Small Beginnings (Epic Flashback Version)'
15. 'No Time'

With all the tracks having been digitally remastered for the best sonic quality possible, what we have here is like the finest gems of Banks' career all together under the same musical roof.

One of the original members of Yes and an accomplished guitarist in his own right, Banks sadly passed away in 2013.

However, with the aforementioned 3CD set, released in his memory by his estate during the fifth anniversary of his passing; let alone the 50th Anniversary of Yes (I know, right!), together now with this wondrous Anthology 2CD collection, it seems we're getting rather spoiled in the Banks department, ladies and gentleman.

This set gathers the best of his solo material- most of it recorded during the '90s. Disc one is mostly Banks alone with various guitars, guitar synthesizers, rhythm machines and effects, though material from his 70's solo outings features other luminaries such as Steve Hackett, Phil Collins and John Wetton.

Disc two is kinda odds and sods collection, done up in collage form. Of note here is a '90s instrumental version of Yes' 'Astral Traveller,' an almost 20 minute 'Small Beginnings'' and a version of 'Knights' featuring Yes alumni Billy Sherwood, Tony Kaye and Jay Schellan.

Banks' unique guitar style was always inventive, and not too dissimilar to his successor, Steve Howe's own jazzy style. A master of the instrumental track, usually playing all the parts himself, from the opening rippling guitar chords of the opening cut 'No Place Home' to the interpretive dynamics of the second disc closer 'No Time,' it seems like everything Banks did oozed diversity and, most importantly, exquisite fretwork.

In fact, there is enough variety in style throughout to keep the listener from getting boring – switching between higher energy rockers (in the fusion style) and slower or more laid back melodic tunes. It should be mentioned though that 'It's All Greek to Me' only gets two of its 8 parts showcased here: 'Oriental Bent' and 'In An Idyll Momentum.'

A compilation that deservedly reminds us all of his great guitar contributions and his place among the guitar greats, Be Well, Be Safe, Be Lucky: The Anthology produces some sparkling cool atmospheric jazz styling's on through to some razor sharp funk prog grooves. It is a collection for the collector of all-things guitar mastery.

2CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Twin Barrels Burning' + 'Raw to the Bone'
Artist - Wishbone Ash

For those not in the know, Wishbone Ash are a British rock band who achieved success in the early and mid-1970s and their popular albums included Wishbone Ash (1970), Pilgrimage (1971), Argus (1972), There's the Rub (1974), and New England (1976).

Wishbone Ash are noted for their extensive use of the harmony twin lead guitar format which had been attracting electric blues bands since Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page had played together in the Yardbirds in 1966.

Their contributions helped Andy Powell and Ted Turner to be voted "Two of the Ten Most Important Guitarists in Rock History" (Traffic magazine 1989), and to appear in the "Top 20 Guitarists of All Time" (Rolling Stone).

Melody Maker (1972) described Powell and Turner as "the most interesting two guitar team since the days when Beck and Page graced The Yardbirds" and they have been cited as an influence by Iron Maiden founder and bassist Steve Harris, as well as Thin Lizzy and other dual guitar bands.

What we have here are two brand new and expanded 2CD editions of their 1982 and 1985 albums respectively. Released this past February 9th, 2018, via the Cherry Red Records (UK) label, their fans are treated to Twin Barrels Burning: Deluxe Edition and Raw To The Bone: Deluxe Edition.

Twin Barrels Burning was their 12th studio album. Recorded at Sol Studios and released in 1982 it was the highest charting Wishbone Ash album in years, reaching No. 22 in the UK.

In fact, it was the only Wishbone Ash album to feature Uriah Heep bassist Trevor Bolder, who was a member of the band for three years (1981–83).

Bolder, ex-David Bowie and Uriah Heep, actually replaced the late John Wetton, who then went on and formed supergroup Asia.

As for this album in question, again produced by the legendary Nigel Gray, I personally (as I'm sure a lot of us fans did at the time) bought it solely for the song 'Engine Overheat.' A knock out of a song, other strong tracks were both 'Geneviere' and 'Me And My Guitar.'

CD 1:
1. 'Engine Overheat'
2. 'Can't Fight Love'
3. 'Genevieve'
4. 'Me and My Guitar'
5. 'Hold On'
6. 'Streets of Shame'
7. 'No More Lonely Nights'
8. 'Angels Have Mercy'
9. 'Wind Up'
Bonus Tracks
10. 'Cat and Dog Fight'
11. 'Go for the Gold'
12. 'Night Hawker'

CE 2 - The American Remixes
1. 'Engine Overheat'
2. 'Can't Fight Love'
3. 'No More Lonely Nights'
4. 'Wind Up'
5. 'Streets of Shame'
6. 'My Guitar'
7. 'Hold On'
8. 'Genevieve'
9. 'Angels Have Mercy'

Also included are three bonus tracks from the Twin Barrels Burning session on the first disc and The American Remixes on the second disc. This Deluxe Edition also includes liner notes by rock journalist Dave Ling and has been digitally remastered.

Raw to the Bone was, of course, their 13th album and was the only Wishbone Ash album to feature Mervyn Spence on bass and vocals. It is also the last album with guitarist/vocalist Laurie Wisefield, who ended his eleven-year stint with Wishbone Ash after the release of this album.

As for the album itself, the guys pull out all the stops here. Instead of the elongated and dull workouts of early releases - like Argus - this set of tunes find the band getting straight to the point.

Indeed, all these songs have some heft, the guitar work is rather cool, and the band fill the sound spectrum more fully. Personal favs would include lead cut, 'Cell of Fame,' which touches on the pitfalls of success, with 'Rocket In My Pocket' being slightly funky, and 'Don't You Mess' having a really pleasant, unexpected groove to it.<> For my money, this is perhaps the most accessible Wishbone Ash studio album and that means it's perhaps a good place to start for the newcomer.

CD 1:
1. 'Cell of Fame'
2. 'People in Motion'
3. 'Don't Cry'
4. 'Love in Blue'
5. 'Long Live the Night'
6. 'Rocket in My Pocket'
7. 'It's Only Love'
8. 'Don't You Mess'
9. 'Dreams (Searching for An Answer)'
10. 'Perfect Timing'
Bonus Tracks
11. 'She's Still Alive'
12. 'Apocalypso' (The 1986 Sessions)
13. 'Valley of Tears' (The 1986 Sessions)
14. 'Nkomo' (The 1986 Sessions)
15. 'Talk to Me' (The 1986 Sessions)

CD 2 - Raw To The Bone at the BBC
1. 'Long Live the Night' (Friday Rock Show, 5th July 1985)
2. 'Cell of Fame' (Friday Rock Show, 5th July 1985)
3. 'Love in Blue' (Friday Rock Show, 5th July 1985)
4. 'People in Motion' (Friday Rock Show, 5th July 1985)
5. 'Living Proof' (Hammersmith, 9th December 1985)
6. 'Cell of Fame' (Hammersmith, 9th December 1985)
7. 'King Will Come' (Hammersmith, 9th December 1985)
8. 'Blowin' Free' (Hammersmith, 9th December 1985)

The bonus tracks on the first disc include a holy grail for Wishbone Ash fans - all four unreleased songs from the post-album 1986 sessions. Whereas the second disc houses various cuts recorded from their Raw To The Bone at the BBC sessions.

The album also includes liner notes by rock journalist Dave Ling and the music has been digitally remastered.

It should also be noted that both these reissue's have been fully approved by Steve Upton, Laurie Wisefield, Andy Powell, Merv Spence and the estate of Trevor Bolder.

'Twin Barrels Burning' 2CD Purchase Link

'Twin Barrels Burning' Limited Edition 12" Picture Disc Vinyl Purchase Link

'Raw To The Bone' 2CD Purchase Link

'Raw To The Bone' Limited Edition 12" Picture Disc Vinyl Purchase Link

Wishbone Ash @ Facebook!

Title - The Beauty of Chaos: Live At the Citadel (2CD+DVD)
Artist - Martin Turner Ex Wishbone Ash

As I'm sure most all of you already know, Martin Turner is a founding original member of Wishbone Ash and lead vocalist, bassist and key creative force on iconic albums such as the original version of Argus along with Pilgrimage, There's the Rub and New England.

And as for the aforementioned Wishbone Ash, they are a British rock band who achieved success in the early and mid-1970s; but did you also know that they are considered to be one of the major innovators of the harmony twin lead guitar format.

Indeed, their contributions helped Andy Powell and Ted Turner to be voted "Two of the Ten Most Important Guitarists in Rock History."

Released this past April 20th, 2018 via Dirty Dog Discs (Cherry Red Records UK), The Beauty of Chaos: Live at the Citadel, St Helens, 26th February 2016 (a brilliant 2CD+DVD set) includes Turner's award winning Written in the Stars album played live in its entirety along with a set of the best of Wishbone Ash.

CD 1
1. 'The Big Bang (Overture)'
2. 'The Beauty Of Chaos'
3. 'Written In The Stars'
4. 'Lovers'
5. 'Vapour Trail'
6. 'The Lonely Star'
7. 'For My Lady'
8. 'Falling Sands'
9. 'Pretty Little Girls'
10. 'Mystify Me'
11. 'Interstellar Rockstar'
12. 'The Pilgrim'
13. 'Blind Eye'

CD 2:
1. 'The King Will Come'
2. 'Warrior'
3. 'Throw Down The Sword'
4. 'Lady Jay'
5. 'Sometime World'
6. 'Fubb'
7. 'You See Red'
8. 'Living Proof'
9. 'Blowin' Free'
10. 'Doctor'
11. 'Jailbait'

1. 'The Big Bang (Overture)'
2. 'The Beauty Of Chaos'
3. 'Written In The Stars'
4. 'Lovers'
5. 'Vapour Trail'
6. 'The Lonely Star'
7. 'For My Lady'
8. 'Falling Sands'
9. 'Pretty Little Girls'
10. 'Mystify Me'
11. 'Interstellar Rockstar'
12. 'The Pilgrim'
13. 'Blind Eye'
14. 'The King Will Come'
15. 'Warrior'
16. 'Throw Down The Sword'
17. 'Lady Jay'
18. 'Sometime World'
19. 'Fubb'
20. 'You See Red'
21. 'Living Proof'
22. 'Blowin' Free'
23. 'Doctor'
24. 'Jailbait'

In 2015, Martin Turner produced a new album, Written In The Stars. With a sound highly reminiscent of the classic Wishbone Ash sound from the 1970's, it was received very well. in fact, the album won the "Album of the Year 2015" award in the What's On magazine 2015 awards.

Not only during the course of this exquisite Written In The Stars live album rendition, let alone the best of material that accompanies it, Turner is in fine form, hitting nice long notes on melodic flowing solos and throwing in catchy hooks with far above average lyrics.

Sure, maybe the voice is a just a tad bit weathered by now, but a seasoned veteran like Turner has so many good things going on in these songs that that would be the smallest of quibbles here.

Not an Argus quality album of music, but every bit as musical, solid and good as New England or Front Page News. Turner makes the Wishbone Ash sound come alive again yet with a more modern day presentation and then unleashes a set of the best of Wishbone Ash ... could you possibly ask for more?

Oh wait, what's that, you did! Well you're in luck as this whole magical night was captured live for a stunning, crystal clear, colorful and rockin' DVD that accompanies this 2CD set. Additional material on the DVD include Interviews with Martin Turner and his band.

FYI: Martin Turner will be touring extensively throughout the build up to the 50th Anniversary of Wishbone Ash.

2CD+DVD Purchase Link

Title - 'Another Day'
Artist - David Cross & David Jackson

For those not in the know, David Cross is an English electric violinist, best known for playing with progressive rock band King Crimson during the 1970's (particularly on Larks' Tongues in Aspic and Starless and Bible Black).

David Jackson), nicknamed Jaxon, is an English progressive rock saxophonist, flautist, and composer. He is best known for his work with the band Van der Graaf Generator and his work in Music and Disability.

This brand new studio album, Another Day, released March 9th, 2018 via their own Cross & Jackson Music label, also features Mick Paul on bass, Craig Blundell on drums and was produced by Jake Jackson.

1. 'Predator'
2. 'Bushido'
3. 'Last ride'
4. 'Going Nowhere'
5. 'Trane to Kiev'
6. 'Millennium Toll'
7. 'Arrival'
8. 'Come Again'
9. 'Breaking Bad'
10. Mr. Morose'
11. 'Anthem for Another Day'
12. 'Time Gentlemen, Please'

The jaunty, slip-slide appeal of 'Predator' - which you would swear was a Was (Not Was) strain - kicks things off in saxophone style and is backed seamlessly by both the playful, operatic at time 'Bushido,' and then the slow groove of 'Last Ride.' The late night sultry heat is turned up on 'Going Nowhere' which is followed by the imaginative violin ode to Coltrane, 'Trane to Kiev.'

The pop synth of 'Millennium Toll' is one of my favorites, as it is just so breezy, so free of spirit that it actually enables you to clear your own mind of any junk in there whilst listening along to it. 'Arrival' is another delicate violin backed sax piece and is backed by the more forthright (and sounding like the theme tune to a '70s TV cop show) 'Come Again.'

'Breaking Bad' find both Cross and Jackson sparring with one another, and that is followed by the perfectly titled work of musical art for what we get next, 'Mr. Morose.' 'Anthem for Another Day' is a delightful little ditty, and then the album is rounded out with the shortest cut on the album, the just-over-a-minute long hazy 2am kick out headspace.

In closing, the 12 new tracks on this stunning new album showcase the talents of Cross and Jackson to perfection and will appeal to the fan bases of both artists and the bands they have been in. It's an innovative meeting of minds, that's for sure.

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Title - 'Better Together'
Artist - Ted & Majella

The just released Better Together (April 6th, 2018, via Turneround Music) is the brand new studio album by one of the original founder members of Wishbone Ash, David "Ted" Turner and his wife Majella.

As I'm sure most all of you already know, Ted Turner is an English guitarist and vocalist best known for his work with the aforementioned 1970's rock band Wishbone Ash.

It was here that he became famous for his twin lead guitar instrumental arrangements with Andy Powell. Turner also contributed lap steel guitar to a variety of Wishbone Ash recordings.

And as for the aforementioned Wishbone Ash, they are a British rock band who achieved success in the early and mid-1970s. Indeed, their contributions helped Andy Powell and Ted Turner to be voted "Two of the Ten Most Important Guitarists in Rock History."

Here on their first artistic collaboration, the Better Together album has prompted their international fan base to welcome their creation as the birth of a new musical genre: "New Age Soul".

1. 'Better Together'
2. 'Dance with Me'
3. 'Instairs'
4. 'She'
5. 'Inside You'
6. 'Time to Fall Away'
7. 'Love Life'
8. 'Karmony'
9. 'This Is It'
10. 'Truer Word Said'
11. 'I Found a Place'
12. 'If You Believe'

With a playbook of 12 original songs inspired by their thirteen-year journey as first friends, then lovers, and, more recently, husband and wife collaborators, Better Together is a hauntingly lyrical, soul-touching testament to their journey.

A journey from getting to know one another to discovering their true selves through music, which, they say, "has been the glue that brought and has held them together throughout".

Indeed, the first song, the title track, 'Better Together' lyrically describes Turner's first meeting with his wife and musical partner. Whereas one of my own personal favorites on the album, 'Karmony', is a storytelling experience galvanized by the legacy of John Lennon; who was a strong influence in the couple's life.

"Each song is a celebration of our unique chemistry, our spiritual beliefs, our love for humanity and for nature, and most of all our life calling together," Majella herself says. "Every song on the album is to acknowledge and remind people of the unquestionable truth of who we are, why we are here, and that there is something bigger than all of us."

CD Purchase Link

Ted & Majella @ Facebook!

Title - 'SHIP'
Artist - Yuka & Chronoship

For those not in the know, rather like myself, in all truth, Yuka & Chronoship were founded in 2009 as a Japanese Neo-Prog quartet by a female keyboardist / vocalist / composer Yuka Funakoshi, already active as a solo artist for over a decade.

Supported with three session musicians - Shun Taguchi (bass), Takashi Miyazawa (guitar), and Ikko Tanaka (drums, percussion), her gracious ship got launched in the vein of late-70s progressive rock, releasing their debut voyage Water Reincarnation via Musea Records in 2011.

That was followed by the equally well-received sophomore album Dino Rocket Oxygen (2013), The 3rd Planetary Chronicles (2015), and now here in 2018 we are lucky enough to get a fourth offering.

Released May 11th, 2018, via Cherry Red Records (UK), SHIP is as stirring, thought-provoking and as vibrantly warranted as any previous recording from them.

1. 'Argo - Tears of the Figurehead'
2. 'Argo - the Ship Argos'
3. 'Argo - Landing'
4. 'Argo - Golden Fleece'
5. 'Argo - a Dragon That Never Sleeps'
6. 'Argo - Islands in the Stream'
7. 'Argo - Return'
8. 'The Air Ship of Jean Giraud'
9. 'Visible Light'
10. 'Old Ship on the Grass'
11. 'Did You Find a Star?'

Yuka Funakoshi is a lady keyboard virtuoso who can handle a wide variety of ivories with talent and aplomb, never overtly flashy but very expressive and unafraid to show it.

Her piano playing, especially here on The ARGO Suite opus in particular, is quietly exquisite, choosing elegant sequences and making the technical look easy in the process. With guest vocals from Curved Air's very own Sonja Kristina, the first chapter in the opus, 'Tears Of The Figurehead' is as mesmerizing to hear as I would imagine it was to record that day in the studio.

Chronoship, the three aforementioned seasoned musicians that keep her stoked, are, for my money, probably the finest trio in Japan. Led by sensational guitarist Takashi Miyazawa, who positively catches fire when asked to do so, he is aided and abetted by slick bassist Shun Taguchi and tectonic drummer Ikko Tanaka.

'The Ship Argos' steps up their musical pace, and allows the drums of Tanaka to take centerstage, whilst 'Landing' gives time to the guitar work of Miyazawa and some incredible organ work. 'Golden Fleece' is a mid-tempo, organ led work of art, whereas the free flowing giant 'A Dragon That Never Sleeps' is a frenetic masterpiece all of its own.

The soaring, climbing wonderment that is 'Islands In The Stream' (and which has nothing to do with the Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton song, trust me) is then backed seamlessly by the last of the opus, the psych trip of 'Return.' The bouncy, chirpy even 'The Airship Of jean Giraud is next and that's followed by the beautiful 'Visible Light.'

Sung by Yuka herself, she also takes vocal centerstage for the Celtic-inspired 'Old Ship In The Grass,' before this incredible new album is rounded out by the Hiroyuki Izuta-sung 'Did You Find A Star?'

CD Purchase Link

Yuka & Chronoship @ Facebook!

Title - 'Out to Sea'
Artist - Fernando Perdomo

For those not in the know, rather like myself, in all truth, Fernando Perdomo is an American singer-songwriter, musician, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer.

Originally from Miami Beach, Florida, he co-produced Linda Perhacs' second album The Soul Of All Natural Things which holds the record for longest span of time between first and second records at 44 years!

Released May 4th, 2018, via Forward Motion Records (Cherry Red Records UK), Out to Sea is the debut Instrumental Progressive Rock Album by Perdomo; who is also the guitarist and bassist of The Dave Kerzner Band.

1. 'The Architect' (Tribute to Peter Banks)
2. 'Out to Sea'
3. 'De Boerderij' (Tribute to Focus)
4. 'Roses Spread All Over the World'
5. 'The Future According to Roye' (Tribute to Roye Albrighton and Nektar)
6. 'The Dream'
7. 'Sonja' (Tribute to Sonja Kristina and Curved Air)
8. 'Dreaming in Stereo Suite'
9. 'Starless' (Tribute to John Wetton)

The album draws inspiration from classic '70s Art Rock albums by the likes of Steve Hackett, Peter Banks, Steve Howe, and Jan Akkerman, whilst at the same time, Perdomo has written some tracks especially in tribute of those he has admired over the years.

With all instruments on the album, save one drum track, having been played by Perdomo himself - including Guitars, Keyboards, Bass, and Drums - we begin in fine style with the quietly frenetic 'The Architect,' a tribute to the late Peter Banks. The driving title track is next before playful '60s-esque guitars come into play on the fun and poppy 'De Boerderij' (itself a tribute to Focus).

The Eastern-flavored 'Roses Spread All Over the World' is a real beauty of a track and that's backed by both a stunning wah-wah guitar effect on 'The Future According to Roye' (a tribute to Roye Albrighton and Nektar), and then the simply soaring 'The Dream.'

Next up is a beautiful tribute to Sonja Kristina from Curved Air, appropriately enough entitled 'Sonja,' and then the album wraps up, all too soon for my money, with Perdomo at his Instrumental prog finest on 'Dreaming in Stereo Suite.' An exquisite CD bonus track comes in the form of 'Starless,' a mesmerizing tribute to the late John Wetton.

Acclaimed artist Paul Whitehead painted the cover image for Out to Sea with other covers by Whitehead including: Trespass, Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot by Genesis.

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Fernando Perdomo @ Facebook!

Title - 'Big Bang'
Artist - Alan Simon

If you have never heard the name Alan Simon before, allow me to bring you up to date. Simon is a French folk-rock musician and composer, best known for his rock operas performed with noted rock musicians guesting.

Indeed, Simon is associated with Breton Celticism, and his most ambitious works are typically on themes linked to Celtic myth and history; although Simon has also now branched out into film-making.

Released this past March 23rd, 2018, via Babaika Productions, Big Bang is Simon's epic musical interpretation of the creation of the universe.

The orchestral rock album features 14 new studio tracks featuring special guests Alan Stivell, John Helliwell of Supertramp, Michael Sadler of Saga and Roberto Tiranti of Labyrinth.

1. 'Prologue of the First Day'
2. 'Chaos'
3. 'Alpha Centauri'
4. 'Seven Moons in the Sky'
5. 'Interstellar'
6. 'Solarius'
7. 'The Soul of the Stars'
8. 'Starlight'
9. 'Moon'
10. 'Andromeda'
11. 'Space Time'
12. 'The Journey'
13. 'Fools'
14. 'The Waltz of the Universe'

In collaboration with NASA and its amazing sound bank from the universe, and amazing 120 musicians participated in this musical odyssey that invites the listener back to the origins of the universe and to the destiny of planet Earth.

On average, 200 active tracks per title were required for its production by Alan Simon and Marco Canepa where folk, rock, jazz and world musicians contributed to this wondrous, and highly expansive effort.

Moreover, this stunning, and unparalleled new album is now the soundtrack of the city of space in Toulouse (in France), with an event concert already being planned for 2019 in this theme park of the universe.

The CD is embellished with a booklet including original photos supplied by NASA and quotes from the visionary explorers of the universe.

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Remedium'
Artist - Laura Meade

If you have never heard the name Laura Meade before now, please allow me to bring you up to date on someone you should know all about within the world of music.

The uber talented Laura Meade is a vocalist and songwriter whose background in musical theatre helps define her unique approach as a lyricist and musician.

In addition to being a vocalist for the American progressive rock band IZZ (a New York-based progressive rock band whose music is inspired by such classic progressive groups as Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and Renaissance), Laura's career includes performances around the world with many different artists and on a multitude of stages.

Indeed, she has toured with Jason Hart (Renaissance, Camel, I and Thou) and has been a part of the opening band for Rufus Wainwright, Keren Ann and at Marillion weekend (2007 and 2011).

Luckily for us, Laura has now brought out her brand new solo studio album, Remedium, which combines her love of art rock with the emotion of musical theatre.

Releasing May 18th, 2018 via Doone Records, Inc., Remedium (which seems to have several meanings, with the core one being something that "is used to slowly restore stamina, though panic gradually increases") contains 10 tracks that will, simply put, have you hopelessly falling in love with Laura; over and over again.

1. 'Sunflowers at Chernobyl'
2. 'Conquer the World'
3. 'What I See from Here'
4. 'Never Remember'
5. 'The Old Chapel at Dusk'
6. 'Dragons'
7. 'Home Movies'
8. 'Your Way'
9. 'Every Step'
10. 'Irradiation'

Listening to this truly excellent, understated and yet glowing with decadence album, the precise musicianship combined with stellar vocal and lyrical content may well be the first things noted, but like a fine wine, there is so much more to be absorbed within its body.

Each of the ten tracks have a great variety of moods to them, whilst at the same time showcasing exactly what we have already grown to know about Laura: That she is one of the finest voices and musicians of this ilk on the face of the Earth.

I could sit and listen to this album for days, and have actually now just finished my third spin of it. Not featuring anything as intensely, or technical-minded as her work has been with IZZ, the master musician here is able to relax her way into each track.

Embodying them all with a sense of flight, a body of subtle, charmed Celtic suave, her angelic vocals are stunningly suited to her chosen theme here. My personal favorite is the poppy, fun bounce of 'Conquer the World,' but trust me when I say that, and without a shadow of a doubt, Remedium is an album that any self-respecting collector of rare musical gems is going to want to own.

CD Purchase Link

Laura Meade @ Facebook!

Laura Meade @ Twitter!

Title - 'Deep Space: Retrospective'
Artist - Alan J. Bound

If you have never heard the name Alan J. Bound, allow me to enlighten you. Bound is a Cologne based guitarist specializing in space and psychedelic music.

His first album Blue Moon was released in 2004, Moonglider followed in 2006, and his last album, Cosmology, came out in 2010 and was subsequently rereleased in 2013.Mo< His latest album, Deep Space: Retrospective is, as one would take from the title, a stunning career retrospective consisting of nine tracks. Indeed, four of these new tracks are actually remixes of older tunes and four others have been taken from the aforementioned Cosmology album.

1. 'N365' (6:40)
2. 'Solaris' (2014 Remix) (5:09)
3. 'Elephant' (4:24)
4. 'Delightful Changes' (2014 Remix) (5:35)
5. 'Dune' (3:48)
6. 'Ikarus' (4:26)
7. 'Eta Carina Part II' (2014 Remix) (8:38)
8. 'Moonglider' (2014 Remix) (7:02)
9. 'Float' (2014 Remaster) (9:27)

As with his previous albums, Bound's music intuitive instrumental space rock. Incorporating adventures into electronic and psychedelic sounds as we progress, each track may well have similar groundings, but each also has its very own personality.

With drummer Jaki Liebezeit, formerly of the German band Can, also appearing on the album, Bound has managed to capture Space's sights and sounds rather perfectly.

We get the dense riffs and playful synth moments, such as can be found on 'Dune,' the trippy notes of 'Delightful Changes'(2014 Remix), and then the guitar work really comes to the fore on a couple of my own personal favorites, 'Elephant,' and the quite stunning 'Solaris' (2014 Remix).

CD Purchase Link

Alan J Bound @ Facebook!

Title - 'The Gift'
Artist - Stefan Nilsson

If you have never heard the name Stefan Nilsson, then please allow me to enlighten you. Nilsson is an uber talented keyboardist/Composer from Sweden.

He started playing music at 11 years old and would progress to college where he studied with Gunner Karl Hagen. At that same time he had a very successful jazz/rock fusion band named Kornet, which put out three albums.

This would lead to a very successful career as an award winning composer for films as well as a successful recording artist.

Recently, Stefan went back to his jazz/rock roots and released a brand new album, entitled The Gift via Danmusic. Indeed, furthermore, the album is dedicated to the late Magnus Persson, who actually performed on the The Gift.

1. 'Yttersti'
2. 'Menuet (Anna Magdalena Notebook)'
3. 'The Gift'
4. 'Martin Beck Theme'
5. 'Let's Go'
6. 'Keltsong'
7. 'Honeysuckle Rose'
8. 'Don't Get Around Much Anymore'
9. 'The Happy Gang'
10. 'Winter (Four Seasons)'
11. 'Sana Sananina'

With other contributors to The Gift including Johan Hasselquist, Patrick Boman, Erik Soderlind, Maz Schultz, Rafael Sida Huizar, and guest singer Aminah Al Fakir, it's no wonder that the album received instant, and critical acclaim from both the public and the press alike.

being this well respected and highly admired jazz rock band leader, Nilsson has, to my mind, my ear, sculptured The Gift as his first foray back into the the world of jazz rock instrumentals for many a year now.

Combining the dynamic class and workmanship of the musicianship here together with his own musical prowess, and Nilsson and his seven accompanists not only impress on stand out tracks such as the original music of both 'Martin Beck Theme' and 'Let's Go,' but simply excel.

In what is staggeringly impressive recording, featuring, at time, leisurely jazz notes along with vibrant, playful ones, the 11 tracks also include a selection of classical pieces. Vivaldi's 'Winter' and Bach's 'Menuet (Anna Magdalena Notebook)' and 'D-Minor Concerto' are played to utter perfection, with the latter actually reworked into the album's title track.

Also incorporating a delightful pair of cover versions in Duke Ellington's 'Don't Get Around Much Anymore' and Fats Wallers' beautifully dulcet 'Honeysuckle Rose,' The Gift is, well, just that to everyone that wishes to purchase it.

CD Purchase Link

Stefan Nilsson @ Facebook!

Title - 'Mandala'
Artist - Mark Barnwell

If you have never heard the name Mark Barnwell, then please allow me to enlighten you. Mark's affinity with the guitar began at the tender age of 6. His early classical training resulted in a number of junior solo and group performances.

By the age of 15, Mark was playing live with his first rock band and throughout the 80s and 90s, his experiences as lead guitarist expanded considerably with regular live performances in different styles (blues, country, funk, rock and disco).

This era contained many great experiences, including playing at some great venues such as the Cornwall Collesium, and supporting many well known acts including Sam Brown, Showaddywaddy, Bucks Fizz and Marmalade.

Released August 8th, 2016, Barnwell's brand new album, entitled Mandala (out via Axe Calibre Records) is exotic, passionate, emotive and fiery.

1. 'Tierra Del Fuego' (3:46)
2. 'Surco Latino' (3:47)
3. 'Incendio' (4:48)
4. 'Moonstone' (4:49)
5. 'Sundance' (1:56)
6. 'Moroccan Skies' (5:30)
7. 'Potchka' (2:36)
8. 'Endless Rain' (4:42)
9. 'Sahara' (7:37)
10. 'Mandala' (5:14)

Listening to this album, and you can instantly tell that Barnwell's repertoire has its roots in romantic, Spanish guitar and traditional Flamenco music, often spiced with Arabic and Latin sounds.

Indeed, Barnwell brings his own dynamic compositions to the mix via Spanish guitar-based World Fusion, by interspersing glorious Percussion, Bass, Violin, Flute, Piano and even Duduk throughout.

Here on Mandala, Barnwell is joined by a host of top world-class musicians, including some of the great Nuevo Flamenco guitarists of the day. This includes the entire Incendio band with Jim Stubblefield, Liza Carbe and Jean-Pierre Durand.

But lest we forget to mention that British guitarist Al Marconi is also playing Spanish guitar and yet another top guitarist named Yannaki, is on both Turkish saz and Spanish guitar.

“The whole is greater than the sum is its parts is certainly a phrase which applies to Mandala," Barnwell himself explains. "I guess you could call it a transatlantic collaboration with people I feel are on the same musical wavelength."

"We all have different styles ... take the track 'Incendio,' for example, dedicated to Incendio the band, of course. Jim, JP and I all have our own distinct and unique styles yet, at the time of recording when I hadn’t even met any of them in person, it sounds as if we’re three band mates on stage together.”

Featuring ten memorable, and all-original instrumental compositions, Mandala is a coy showboating work of musical art for the genre, that's for sure. The Spanish and Flamenco guitar work is second to none, each track similar in ways, but moreover still able to bring their own distinctive personalities to the fore.

Indeed, a definitive, and purposeful melodic approach has been brought to each of the compositions, inclusive of delightful, playful piano work by Chris Magrath and exquisite percussion by Bryan Brock and Ramon Yslas.

FYI: Manadala went on to win an award for "Best Album of 2016" in the Acoustic Guitar category, and in September and October 2016, Mark performed in California with LA World Fusion band, Incendio.

CD Purchase Link

Mark Barnwell @ Facebook!

Title - 'Englabörn & Variations' (Remastered & Reworked)
Artist - Jóhann Jóhannsson

If you have never heard the name Jóhann Jóhannsson, then please allow me to enlighten you. Jóhannsson, who sadly passed earlier this year, was an Icelandic composer who wrote music for a wide array of media including theatre, dance, television and films.

Indeed, his work is stylized by its blending of traditional orchestration with contemporary electronic elements.

Jóhannsson released solo albums from 2002 onward and in 2016, he signed with Deutsche Grammophon through which he released his last solo album, Orphée.

He was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score for both 'The Theory of Everything' and 'Sicario', and won a Golden Globe for Best Original Score for 'The Theory of Everything'.

He was a music and sound consultant on 'Mother!', directed by Darren Aronofsky in 2017 and his scores for both 'Mary Magdalene' and 'Mandy' were released posthumously.

During the weeks before his untimely passing on February 9th, the award-winning Icelandic composer was closely involved in preparations for the reissue of his debut album, Englabörn.

Originally released in 2002, the album has now been Remastered and a second disc containing re-workings of several tracks have also been assembled. Released this past April 27th, 2018 via Deutsche Grammophon, it is still one of the most magnificent compositions of work within this genre that I've heard in a long, long time.

CD 1 - Englabörn Remastered
1. 'Odi Et Amo'
2. 'Englabörn'
3. 'Jói & Karen'
4. 'Þetta Gerist Á Bestu Bæjum'
5. 'Sálfræðingur'
6. '"Ég Sleppi Þér Aldrei"'
7. 'Sálfræðingur Deyr'
8. 'Bað'
9. '"Ég Heyrði Allt Án Þess Að Hlusta"'
10. 'Karen Býr Til Engil'
11. 'Englabörn - Tilbrigði'
12. '"Ég Átti Gráa Æsku"'
13. 'Krókódíll'
14. '"Ef Ég Hefði Aldrei... "'
15. '… Eins Og Venjulegt Fólk'
16. 'Odi Et Amo - Bis'

CD 2 - Englabörn Variations
Reworks by: A Winged Victory for the Sullen
Jóhannsson & Donadello / Ryuichi Sakamoto
Viktor Orri Arnason / Alex Somers
Hildur Guðnadóttir / Paul Corley
Choir versions performed by Theatre of Voices
Piano version performed by Víkingur Ólafsson

Englabörn – the album – and not the original score to Hávar Sigurjónsson’s play, is a free-standing album with its sixteen sublime miniatures steeped in austere melodic elegance and profound melancholy.

Indeed, some of these tracks were reworked by Jóhannsson himself – including a piano version of the title track performed by fellow Deutsche Grammophon artist Víkingur Ólafsson.

Whilst others were created by artist such as the illustrious, and magnificent Ryuichi Sakamoto, A Winged Victory for the Sullen, and Hildur Guðnadóttir.

For me personally, it's Ólafsson's work on an arrangement of 'Odi et Amo' for unaccompanied choir interpreted by Theatre of Voices and conducted by Paul Hillier that stands out like an incredible spire in the sky of love and devotion for Jóhannsson's work here. Breathtaking to say the least.

Ryuichi Sakamoto is also on top form - that said, when is he ever not - and brings us an exquisite 'Jói & Karen.' Himself a master at creating hybrids of classical composition and electronic ambience, Sakamoto quickly gets to the emotional kernel of the piece while also adding his own personal flourishes.

In closing, the new Remastering has also brought with it a revitalization of the original sound. To my ear it is now some much crisper, the volume louder, the sculptured ambiance thicker. I would like to think that Jóhann Jóhannsson would most definitely approve.

Official 2CD Purchase Link

Official 2LP Vinyl Purchase Link

Jóhann Jóhannsson @ Facebook!

Title - 'Timeless: Music from the Original Series'
Artist - Robert Duncan

'Timeless' is NBC's time travel, action-adventure series and tells the story of when an experimental time machine is stolen, a history professor, a soldier and an engineer are tasked with capturing the culprit.

The trouble is they soon come to learn that he plans to rewrite American history and that each of them has a connection to his plan as well as the mysterious organization that funded the machine's development.

The show's thrilling score is composed by Emmy nominated composer Robert Duncan (Castle, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, et al).

Indeed, and furthermore, Duncan has been associated with writer/producer Shawn Ryan, composing some of his produced TV shows including The Unit, Lie to Me, and more recently S.W.A.T. Indeed, he has received fourteen ASCAP awards.

New Jersey 1937
1. 'Might Want To Hold On' (2:07)
2. 'The Lifeboat' (1:09)
3. 'Flynn Steals The Mothership' (:59)
Missouri 1882
4. 'The Original Lone Ranger' (1:35)
5. 'Flynn Meets Emma' (1:04)
Hollywood 1942
6. 'You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want To Do It)' - Performed by Abigail Spencer' (2:58)
7. 'Wyatt And Lucy' (2:34)
8. 'The Next Morning' (:54)
9. 'Flynn Walks' (1:49)
San Antonio 1836
10. 'Jumping To The Alamo' (1:26)
11. 'Travis’ Letter' (1:13)
12. 'Approaching The Alamo' (:44)
13. 'Lucy’s Letter' (1:01)
14. 'Wyatt Stays' (:59)
Salem 1692
15. 'Alice Parker' (1:05)
16. 'Witches Aren’t Real' (2:25)
17. 'The Scar Faced Pilgrim' (2:08)
18. 'Rittenhouse' (:39)
New York 1780
19. 'Arriving' (:48)
20. 'Clockmaker And The Peasants' (1:22)
21. 'Lucy Taken' (:34)
Louisiana 1934
22. 'Secret Of The Clock' (1:21)
23. 'Bonnie And Clyde' (1:21)
Germany 1944
24. 'Jumping To WWII' (:32)
25. 'Convoy Approaches' (:25)
26. 'Over The Hump' (2:06)
27. 'Trust' (1:23)
Florida 1969
28. 'Man On The Moon' (2:03)
29. 'Katherine Johnson' (:36)
30. 'Apollo Safe' (:35)
Washington 1865
31. 'Future Is Bright' (1:04)
32. 'Lincoln Assassination' (1:04)
33. 'Aftermath' (1:26)
Nevada 1962
34. 'Jumping Back' (1:17)
35. 'Vegas Chase' (:47)
Paris 1927
36. 'Spirit Of St. Louis' (1:22)
Pennsylvania 1754
37. 'Colonial Fight' (:33)
38. 'Damaged Lifeboat' (1:24)
39. 'Ironworks' (1:40)
40. 'Hand-In-Hand Liftoff' (1:37)
41. 'Made It Back' (:46)
St. Mihiel 1918
42. 'Rittenhouse Arrives' (:52)
43. 'The Secret Bunker' (:52)
44. 'Battlefield' (1:03)
45. 'Lucy Passes The Test' (2:24)
46. 'Right Side Of History' (1:28)
47. 'Almost Kiss' (1:18)
Washington 1954
48. 'Rufus And Jiya' (1:10)
49. 'Double Life' (2:11)
50. 'Flynn’s Reason' (1:07)
Los Angeles 2017
51. 'Timeless End Credits' (:33)

Containing an incredible 51 tracks, all be some of them are simply mere snippets to lead you into the next scene or action sequence, this 'Timeless' soundtrack from Duncan is truly of the highest quality.

A literal smorgasbord of musical tastes are thrown at us lovingly here, as the time travelers coast from 1937 New Jersey, back to Missouri 1882, and even thrown in Germany (1944), Paris (1927), and some witch trials in Salem come 1692.

There's also a rather delightful song here from Abigail Spencer, the beautiful James V. Monaco and Joseph McCarthy number, 'You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want To Do It).' And yes, it's the very same Abigail that features in this wonderful TV show 'Timeless.'

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Into the Badlands (Music From The AMC Series)'
Artist - David Shephard

'Into the Badlands,' the hit AMC television series from the producers of Smallville, mixes high caliber martial arts with a post-apocalyptic world approximately 500 years after a war left civilization in ruins.

Created by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar (Smallville) and stars Daniel Wu, Marton Csokas, Aramis Knight, Emily Beecham, Sarah Bolger and Orla Brady, the drama is loosely based on the classic Chinese tale Journey to the Westand; and tells the story of a ruthless, well-trained warrior and a young boy who embark on a journey across a dangerous land to find enlightenment.

The soundtrack features music by David Shephard and the main title theme by Warrior Blade. Word has it that Varèse Sarabande will be putting out the second season soundtrack later this year.

Shephard is an American composer working in Film and TV and along with this score for AMC's 'Into the Badlands', he has composed the score for the Netflix series, 'Longmire.' Additionally, Shephard has composed and orchestrated for more than 40 features and television series.

1. 'Into The Badlands Theme' (Warrior Blade) (:39)
2. 'The Greatest Clipper In The Badlands' (2:04)
3. 'Training On The Fort' (1:26)
4. 'Quinn Addresses The Boys' (2:12)
5. 'Sunny Searches His Soul' (1:02)
6. 'Arrival At The Fort' (1:40)
7. 'Sunny Makes A Promise To Veil' (1:01)
8. 'Abbot Fight' (6:56)
9. 'Ryder Won’t Be Baron' (1:30)
10. 'Ride To The River King' (1:02)
11. 'Prelude To A Fight' (:44)
12. 'Sunny Sets MK Free' (2:10)
13. 'Arrival At The Abbots' (2:12)
14. 'Attack At Widow’s House' (5:05)
15. 'Lydia Returns Home' (2:34)
16. 'Lydia Is Inducted' (1:07)
17. 'MK and Tilda' (:49)
18. 'Veil Treats Quinn' (1:03)
19. 'Quinn Clips Dr. And Hannah' (2:52)
20. 'Widow Ambushes Jeep' (1:06)
21. 'The Graveyard Fight' (4:21)
22. 'Sunny and MK Make A Deal' (1:12)
23. 'MK Runs' (1:10)
24. 'River King Deal' (1:25)
25. 'Cogs Are Dead' (1:37)
26. 'The Journey Has Just Begun' (1:47)

With the post-apocalyptic scene set here for some martial arts combined stylistic acts, the incredible cinematography and invigorating fight sequences have obviously given Shephard a lot to work with musically.

From scene to scene to scene, it's obvious that he discovered richly textured characters, costumes, landscapes and story lines that conjured within him an immense wealth of musical ideas with which to play; as he created a sound and musical narrative for the TV series.

“How much more inspiration can one ask for than a sweeping, futuristic epic set in a dystopian, feudal world of master sword-wielders and supernatural forces?” asks Shephard himself.

To true, my friend. To true.

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Just Get In'
Artist - Wonderland Park

For those not in the know, Wonderland Park is Allen Hinds on guitar, Peter Hastings on bass, and Chris Wabich on drums.

An instrumental trio playing rootsy avant funky modern jam and such like, the band was started by old friends Allen Hinds (guitar) and Peter Hastings (upright bass). Having co-written a batch of tunes with the idea of keeping it simple and stretching out, incorporating talented friend of theirs Chris Wabich on drums thereafter, was a no brainer.

Hinds has played a variety of jazz music for years and is a highly creative, expressive, soulful player; Hastings builds a foundation on upright bass wherever he goes; and Wabich brings his exceptional and eclectic skills to the drums, as if it had always been second nature to him.

Their collective debut album, Just Get In was released May 24th, 2016, but still resonates here today within the music industry and their fans alike.

1. 'All Due Respect'
2. 'Just Get In'
3. 'Bobby's Big Wheel'
4. 'Barron's Crossing'
5. 'Truth Be Told'
6. 'Spittin' Image'
7. 'A Far Cry'

Opener 'All Due Respect' is a winding, exploring, jam session-sounding cut that showcases the guitar work of Hinds to a tee. That's backed seamlessly by the longest track on the album (just), the title cut itself, the gently funky 'Just Get In.' The pace is picked up somewhat for the jangly 'Bobby's Big Wheel' which is followed by the all-out rocker, 'Barron's Crossing.'

The second longest track (by seconds) is the lush 'Truth Be Told,' which in turn is backed by the mid-tempo guitar funk patterns of 'Spittin' Image.' the album all to soon though for my liking, then comes to a close with the truly wondrous, ever reaching, always earnest 'A Far Cry.'

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Title - 'Fly South'
Artist - Allen Hinds

For those not in the know, Allen Hinds has played a variety of jazz music for years and is a highly creative, expressive, and accomplished soulful guitar player.

Indeed, Hinds has performed and/or recorded with jazz and R&B luminaries including Randy Crawford, Gino Vannelli, Patti Austin, Roberta Flack, BeBe and CeCe Winans, The Crusaders, Bobby Caldwell, James Ingram, Marilyn Scott, Boney James, and many, many others.

An active studio musician as well as live performer, Hinds has written songs for Larry Carlton, Patti Austin, Jeff Kashiwa as well as many popular TV shows, and he is also a passionate educator; and has taught at Musicians Institute for 30+ years.

On his delightful solo album, released June 30th, 2016, Fly South, the Alabama-reared guitarist combines a distinct style with a strong workmanship that come together to give us some of the best work that I've heard in the past decade from guitarist-based solo albums.

1. 'Springs Eternal'
2. 'Buckley'
3. 'Joni'
4. 'Yonder Hills'
5. 'Heartfell'
6. 'Little White Lies'
7. 'Boo's Folly'
8. 'Old Mill Pond'
9. 'June 15th'
10. 'Blues for O.K. Darpley'

The opening track, the winding 'Springs Eternal,' will have you creating your own lyrics to it, it's just that infectious a melody, and that's backed by the R&B-tinged, rock-leaning 'Buckley' and his tribute to one of his influences growing up, 'Joni' (Mitchell).

The up-tempo jazz rock of 'Yonder Hills' finds Hinds raising the musical bar even more, and that's followed by the acoustic, subtle beauty of the quite ballad, 'Heartfell.' The tempo is raised, once more, for 'Little White Lies,' before it comes down a few notches for the pragmatic 'Boo's Folly.'

The stunning pretty, dainty 'Old Mill Pond' is built for summer days, idyllically beautiful as any track dare get close to in history for such a sunny time, and then the album comes to a close with the gentle 'June 15th,' and then the longest track on the album, the soulful blues of 'Blues for O.K. Darpley.

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Title - 'Explorer of Life'
Artist - Charles Brown

Best known to guitar fans as one of the finest independently produced, instrumental prog-rock fusion artists, Charles Brown has earned a stellar reputation for his many fine albums that offers a mix of guitar-based Progressive, Jazz-Rock Fusion and Hard Rock instrumental songs and arrangements.

For those not in the know, and following the immense critical acclaim of his last album, 2015's wondrous Wind Of The Eastern Sea, progressive rock guitarist Charles Brown now returns March 15th, 2017 with his all-new instrumental collection, entitled Explorer Of Life.

1. 'Explorer of Life'
2. 'Parallel Journey'
3. 'Ecliptic Voyage'
4. 'New Horizon'
5. 'Prelude' (From Cello Suite #1 BWV 1007, J.S. Bach)
6. 'Above the Mist'
7. 'Wind of Darkness'
8. 'The Darkest Night'
9. 'Spectral Voyage'
10. 'When The Sun Rises'

With all ten tracks spotlighting Brown's playing of a number of guitars, synths and percussion, the soaring, epic opening track, the title cut 'Explorer of Life' is truly expansive and will fill your whole listening area beautifully.

That's backed by the quieter, more pensive, at first 'Parallel Journey,' but soon too that erupts into a prog rock journey. The longest track is also one of the most beautiful, 'Ecliptic Voyage,' which in turn is followed by the delicate classical masterpiece, 'Prelude.'

The mid-tempo 'Above the Mist' is yet another home run here, and is backed by the '80s guitar and synth rock out of my own personal favorite cut here, the quite brilliant 'Wind of Darkness.' That's seamlessly entwined with 'The Darkest Night, before both 'Spectral Voyage,' and the gentle acoustic guitar of 'When The Sun Rises' bring the album to a close.

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Title - 'Live in Vienna (December 1st, 2016)'
Artist - King Crimson

For those not in the know, King Crimson are an English progressive rock band formed in London in 1968.

In fact, King Crimson have been influential both on the early 1970s progressive rock movement and numerous contemporary artists.

Indeed, the band has undergone numerous formations throughout its history of which 21 musicians have been members; since October 2017 it has consisted of Robert Fripp, Jakko Jakszyk, Tony Levin, Mel Collins, Pat Mastelotto, Gavin Harrison, Jeremy Stacey and Bill Rieflin.

Nowadays, Fripp is the only consistent member of the group and is considered the band's leader and driving force and with the band having earned a large cult following, they were ranked No. 87 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.

The just released Earthbound was the twelfth release in the acclaimed King Crimson 40th anniversary series, but this three (3) CD new Live in Vienna release is a stand alone work of musical art; of this there is no doubting.

Featuring the complete concert from Vienna on December 1st, 2016 and mixed from the original multi-track tapes, the CD's are presented in concert sequence with discs 1 & 2 featuring the complete first and second sets. CD 3 features Vienna encores plus the long awaited live recorded debut of Fracture by the 2016 line-up as performed in Copenhagen.

CD3 also features a series of soundscapes edited into newly sequenced pieces. Drawn from the introduction music (composed/improvised afresh for each night) and featuring Robert Fripp, Mel Collins and Tony Levin, this essential component of current live KC shows also receives it's most complete presentation to date.

Presented in a 4 fold-out digifile package with a 16 page booklet it features expansive tour photos and notes by David Singleton and comes housed in a glorious slipcase.

CD: 1
1. 'Walk On: Soundscapes: Monk Morph Music of the Chamber'
2. 'Hell Hounds of Krim'
3. 'Pictures of a City'
4. 'Dawn Song Suitable Grounds for the Blues'
5. 'Vrooom'
6. 'The Construkction of Light'
7. 'The Court of the Crimson King'
8. 'The Letters'
9. 'Sailors' Tale'
10. 'Interlude'
11. 'Radical Action II'
12. 'Level V'

CD: 2
1. 'Fairy Dust of the Drumsons'
2. 'Peace: An End'
3. 'Cirkus'
4. 'Indiscipline'
5. 'Epitaph'
6. 'Easy Money'
7. 'Devil Dogs of Tessellation Row'
8. 'Red'
9. 'Meltdown'
10. 'Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part Two'
11. 'Starless'

CD: 3
1. 'Fracture'
2. 'Heroes'
3. '21st Century Schizoid Man'
4. 'Schoenberg Softened His Hat'
5. 'Ahriman's Ceaseless Corruptions'
6. 'Spenta's Counter Claim'

Simply put, the Vienna performance is stunning. Recorded with the clarity not often seen in live offerings from other like-minded bands, this release may well be similar to their Live In Chicago release, but features enough differences to make it a worthwhile purchase.

Particularly so if you're a King Crimson enthusiast/devotee much like myself, of course. And whereas Chicago had 'The Court of The Crimson King' on the set list, sadly it did not get performed here in Vienna.

But, that's ok as Live in Vienna takes care of that omission, by included such greats as 'Red,' 'Cirkus',' the stunning 'Devil Dogs of Tessellation Row,' and a simply awe-inspiring 'Fracture' (actually from Copenhagen, but included here on Disc 3).

King Crimson continues to re-invent and re-imagine both itself and its music; the kind of thing that once would have been called a “progressive” approach.

It’s an approach that has benefited band members and listeners alike from January 1969 and continues with tours of Europe and Japan in 2018, the band’s 49th year.

King Crimson @ Facebook!

CD+DVD Purchase Link

Title - 'Reggae Gold 2018' [2CD]
Artist - Various

For those wondering, the 25th Anniversary edition of Reggae Gold 2018 is packed with amazing music!

The latest edition from the leading brand in reggae music compilations features, 19 new hits, 14 dancehall classics and an exclusive 'Reggae Gold 25th Anniversary Mix' from Rory "Stone Love" Gilligan.

Indeed, this year’s edition includes exclusive tracks from R&B diva Estelle, Jah Cure and new comer Culan with the remix of 'Easy To Love You' feat. Konshens.

CD 1:
1. HoodCelebrityy - 'Walking Trophy'
2. Ding Dong - 'Dweet (Genna Bounce)' [feat. Bravo]
3. Estelle - 'Better'
4. Culan - 'Easy To Love You' (feat. Konshens)
5. Amindi K. Fro$t Tesellated Valleyz - 'Pine & Ginger'
6. Jah Cure - 'Risk It All' (feat. Phyllisia Ross)
7. Jah9 - 'Love Has Found I'
8. Romain Virgo - 'Still'
9. Christopher Martin - 'Come Back'
10. Dovey Magnum - 'Bawl Out'
11. Shenseea - 'Nothing Dem Kno Have Ova Me'
12. Jahmiel - 'U Me Luv'
13. Kemar Highcon - 'Why'
14. Busy Signal - 'Stay So'
15. Chronixx - 'Ghetto Paradise'
16. Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley - 'Medication' (feat. Stephen Marley)
17. Beres Hammond - 'I'm Alive'
18. Koffee - 'Raggamuffin'
19. Queen Ifrica - 'Black Woman'

CD 2:
1. Rory "Stone Love" Gilligan - 'Reggae Gold 25th Anniversary Mix'
2. Beres Hammond - 'I Wish'
3. Buju Banton - 'Batty Rider'
4. Capleton - 'Everybody'
5. Wallace Wilson - 'Tight Up Skirt'
6. Bounty Killer - 'Benz and Bimma'
7. Cutty Ranks - 'A Who Seh Me Done'
8. Lady Saw - 'Hardcore (It's Raining)'
9. General Degree - 'When I Hold You Tonight'
10. Tony Rebel - 'Fresh Vegetable'
11. Tanya Stephens - 'Goggle'
12. Beenie Man - 'Girls Dem Sugar (Remix)'
13. Garnet Silk - 'Everything I've Got'
14. Half Pint - 'Substitute Lover'

Reggae Gold 2018 kicks off in fine form with the HoodCelebrityy (aka Tina Pinnock, a Jamaican dancehall singer and songwriter from The Bronx, New York currently signed to Epic Records) on 'Walking Trophy,' which is backed seamlessly by Kemar Christopher "Ding Dong" Dwaine Ottey's punching 'Dweet (Genna Bounce)' [feat. Bravo], and then the sultry 'Better,' from Estelle, an English singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer, and actress from West London, England.

Next up is one of my own personal choices for Song of the Album, 'Easy To Love You' (feat. Konshens) from the UK based artist & producer Culan. That's followed by Amindi K. Fro$t Tesellated Valleyz on the fun, free-flowing 'Pine & Ginger,' the man himself, Jah Cure with 'Risk It All' (feat. Phyllisia Ross).

The gentle hipsway of Jah9's (aka Janine Elizabeth Cunningham) 'Love Has Found I' is yet another stand out track here, and that's backed by both Romain Virgo's lovers rock of 'Still,' English singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and philanthropist Christopher Martin's 'Come Back,' and then the mighty hardcore Dancehall entertainer herself, Dovey Magnum on 'Bawl Out.'

We then get introduced to one of the newest artists to the Dancehall/Reggae community, Shenseea ON 'Nothing Dem Kno Have Ova Me,' which is followed by both 'U Me Luv' (from Jahmiel), and then comes Kemar Highcon's late night rap, 'Why.' Reanno Devon Gordon (formerly Glendale Goshia Gordon), better known by his stage name Busy Signal, then brings us a classy track in 'Stay So.'

Jamar McNaughton, popularly known as Chronixx is next up with 'Ghetto Paradise,' with both Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley's 'Medication' (feat. Stephen Marley) and then Beres Hammond with 'I'm Alive.' The first disc is then rounded out with 18 Year-Old Koffee's refreshing 'Raggamuffin' and then Queen Ifrica (aka Ventrice Morgan) on ''Black Woman.'

Rory "Stone Love" Gilligan introduces the opening compilation track for VP Records, 'Reggae Gold 25th Anniversary Mix,' and that's eventually backed by more from Beres Hammond on 'I Wish,' Buju Banton on the terrific 'Batty Rider,' and then Capleton (aka Clifton George Bailey III) on the HI-NRG track 'Everybody.' That energy continues on with 'Tight Up Skirt' from Red Rat (aka Wallace Wilson), which in turn is backed by Bounty Killer's (aka Rodney Basil Price) 'Benz and Bimma.'

"Six million ways to die ... choose one" are the words that open up the hardcore dancehall vibe of 'A Who Seh Me Done' from Cutty Ranks (aka Philip Thomas), which is backed by a Jamaican singer-songwriter whose career has spanned over two decades, Lady Saw, with 'Hardcore (It's Raining).' General Degree (aka Cardiff Butt) brings us 'When I Hold You Tonight' and then we get yet another stand out cut here on this wonderful 2CD compilation, Tony Rebel's (aka Patrick George Anthony Barrett) infectious sway on 'Fresh Vegetable.'

The album continues onward with an influential reggae artist who emerged in the late 1990s, Tanya Stephens on the stylish 'Google,' before the second CD comes to a close with Beenie Man's (aka Anthony Moses Davis) 'Girls Dem Sugar (Remix),' Rastafarian Garnet Silk's 'Everything I've Got,' and then the laid back, old school reggae vibe on 'Substitute Lover' by Half Pint (aka Lindon Andrew Roberts).

Official CD Purchase Link

'Reggae Gold 2018' Giveaway Link!

Title - 'Fish Out Of Water: Remastered & Expanded'
Artist - Chris Squire

For those not in the know, Chris Squire was an English musician, singer and songwriter best known as the bassist and a founder of the progressive rock band Yes.

He was the longest-serving original member, having remained in the band until his death in 2015 and appearing on every studio album released from 1969 to 2014.

Esoteric Recordings are proud to announce the release of an official remastered and expanded 2CD edition of Squire's legendary 1975 solo album, Fish Out Of Water.

This new 2CD edition, released April 27th, 2018 via Cherry Red Records (UK), features a stunning new Stereo mix from the original multi-track master tapes by Jakko Jakszyk and a new re-master of the original 1975 mix by Paschal Byrne.

CD: 1 - The New Stereo Mix
1. 'Hold Out Your Hand'
2. 'You By My Side'
3. 'Silently Falling'
4. 'Lucky Seven'
5. 'Safe (Canon Song)'

CD: 2 - The original Stereo Mix Re-Mastered
1. 'Hold Out Your Hand'
2. 'You By My Side'
3. 'Silently Falling'
4. 'Lucky Seven'
5. 'Safe (Canon Song)'
Bonus Tracks:
6. 'Lucky Seven' (Single Version)
7. 'Silently Falling' (Single Version)
8. 'Run With The Fox'
9. 'Return Of The Fox'

Recorded in the late Spring and Summer of 1975 whilst Yes was on hiatus as members recorded their respective solo albums, Fish Out Of Water was a breath-taking work, and equal in standard to any Yes album in terms of sheer invention and creativity.

The album was essentially a collaboration between Chris Squire and his friend Andrew Pryce Jackman, a gifted arranger who had been a member of The Syn, Squire’s pre-Yes group.

The sessions saw contributions from former Yes drummer Bill Bruford, Yes keyboard player Patrick Moraz and noted musicians Mel Collins and Jimmy Hastings.

Interestingly enough, the introduction to 'Hold Out Your Hand' features an organ passage played on the church organ at St Paul's Cathedral, London by the cathedral organist Barry Rose. Indeed, the organ continues throughout the song creating an original sound and revealing Squire and Jackman's experience together, as church choristers, in their boyhood.

The title of 'Lucky Seven' refers to the song being in 7/8 time signature. Musically, a melodic passage from Yes' song 'Close to the Edge' re-appears in the finale of 'Safe (Canon Song)'.

Also, the closing passage on 'Safe (Canon Song)' was played on the 4-string bass section of a double-neck guitar using only the pickups of the 6-string section.

Released in November 1975, the album was a Top 30 chart hit in the UK and made the US Billboard Top 75 album chart, going on to sell nearly 500,000 copies worldwide.

This newly Remastered & Expanded Edition of the album also includes four bonus tracks of the single edits of 'Lucky Seven' and 'Silently Falling', along with both sides of the 1981 single by Chris Squire and Alan White; 'Run With the Fox' and 'Return of the Fox' (both appearing on CD for the first time).

The set also contains an illustrated booklet with an essay by Sid Smith featuring exclusive interviews with Bill Brufold, Patrick Moraz, Gregg Jackman and Jakko Jakszyk.

This Esoteric Recordings edition is a fitting tribute to a wonderful album and the artistry of Chris and his collaborator, Andrew Pryce Jackman.

Official 2CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Killer Klowns from Outer Space: Reimagined'
Artist - John Massari

For those not in the cult B-movie know, 'Killer Klowns from Outer Space' is a 1988 American science fiction horror comedy film written, directed and produced by the Chiodo Brothers, and starring Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson and John Vernon.

In fact, it is the only film to be written and directed by the Chiodo Brothers. The film is about a clan of evil aliens from an unknown region, who all resemble circus clowns. They arrive on Earth and invade a small town in order to capture, kill, and harvest the human inhabitants to use as sustenance.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space was filmed in Watsonville, California and at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The film utilizes practical effects, including rubber suits!

Having received generally positive reviews the film is now considered a cult classic.

Now, come May 25th, 2018, Varese Sarabande are proudly releasing the reimagined soundtrack to the very same cult classic, Killer Klowns From Outer Space.

The project has been a labor of love for original composer John Massari who spent two years assembling a top-notch Hollywood orchestra, enlisting famed composer Bear McCreary (Walking Dead, Outlander), and who even asked The Dickies to record a new version of the theme song!

1. 'Theme from Killer Klowns From Outer Space' (Performed by The Dickies) (4:45)
2. 'Hidden Klown Ship' (2:51)
3. 'Mike and Debbie’s Discovery' (2:27)
4. 'Galactic Globe Theater' (1:23)
5. 'Knock My Block Off' (:34)
6. 'Muscle Kar Klown Jam' (2:39)
7. 'Shadow Show' (1:54)
8. 'The Inevitable' (1:11)
9. 'Klown Hideout' (2:21)
10. 'Killer Klown March' (6:11)
11. 'The Funhouse' (2:45)
12. 'Klownfrontation' (1:11)
13. 'Escape from Klown Kathedral' (3:18)
14. 'Final Klownfrontation' (4:04)

15. 'Knock My Block Off (Dream Re-Mix)' (:54)
16. 'Escape to Klown Kathedral (Theater Organ)' (3:23)
17. 'Hidded Klown Ship (Sampled Orchestra)' (2:52)
18. 'Mike and Debbie’s Discovery (Sampled Orchestra)' (2:18)
19. 'Sketch for Sampled String Orchestra' (6:42)
20. 'Killer Klowns from Outer Space (Original demo circa Fall 1987)' (2:51)
21. 'Tell Me What is Real' (4:20)

Trust me when I say that this release will appeal to the large cult following for the movie as well as those who love thematic, orchestral film music.

Listening now to all these cult, 30 year-old tracks coming to life in quite a way I never even considered could ever happen, is, well, just ... killer! Backed now by a live orchestral score conducted by John Massari himself, the Reimagined soundtrack is phenomenal, of that you have my word.

Indeed, the original score of the album is performed by members of The Hollywood Chamber Orchestra, with new orchestrations by not just Massari, but also Bernhard Eder.

As aforementioned, even The Dickies recorded a brand new version of the film’s theme song; this one now enhanced with a rather apt, yet nonetheless bloody creepy vocal introduction!

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Bad Samaritan'
Artist - Joseph LoDuca

For those not in the know, 'Bad Samaritan' is the latest film from Dean Devlin, Producer and writer for both the 'Independence Day' films, 'Godzilla', 'Stargate,' and more.

The film stars David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, with Carlito Olivero, Kerry Condon, and Jacqueline Byers in supporting roles.

Sheehan portrays the title character, a valet who burglarizes the houses of the drivers he services, only to discover one of his rich customers (Tennant) is a kidnapper and torturer.

Out now via Varese Sarabande, the soundtrack is composed by Joseph LoDuca, best known for his work on the 'Evil Dead' films, as well as the Xena TV series. Indeed, Joe is also the current composer for the Librarians TV series, although that just got cancelled (sorry!)

1. Portland (1:12) 2. A Smile Out Of Him (2:09) 3. Derek Heist (1:57) 4. Three Minutes (:27) 5. Devilís House (5:14) 6. The Captive (7:20) 7. He's Got A Girl (1:14) 8. Semblance Of Order (1:13) 9. Made (:53) 10. Snooping (2:41) 11. Somebody's Little Girl (1:06) 12. Middle Of The Pyramid (2:34) 13. Tools / Bugging Sean (2:25) 14. Cale Break In (2:56) 15. The Valkenberg File (:57) 16. In My Jail (2:24) 17. Riley Attack (1:36) 18. Sandy (:58) 19. Unholy Correction / I'm The Decider (1:22) 20. Intensive Care (:54) 21. Derekís Demise (2:36) 22. Domestic Disturbance (2:58) 23. Must Be Something /Bomb (1:12) 24. Name Of That Guy (4:13) 25. Breaks People (2:40) 26. Play In My Sandbox (3:43) 27. Forest Pursuit (2:05) 28. Justice (2:47) 29. End Credits (5:32)

“After making music together continuously for the last decade and a half, Bad Samaritan is our first feature film collaboration,” said director Dean Devlin, who has collaborated with LoDuca on such series as Leverage, The Librarians, and the mini-series The Triangle.

“Joe and I have covered nearly every genre and style of music together, but this time we pushed ourselves into new ground."

LoDuca, himself obviously no stranger to large orchestral action, adventure, fantasy, and thriller music, really shines here on 'Bad Samaritan,' a film that is as darkly funny, thrilling, and raucous as it's original score composition, trust me.

We open with a lush theme that reflects the heart of our Irish immigrant hero. Before long, we are thrust into a world of fear and dread and Joe constantly ups the stakes with nerve-wracking crescendos.

In fact, it's only during the last shots do we get to breathe again when LoDuca gives us a most satisfying resolution. So listen in the dark if you dare, and re-experience the perfect soundtrack to the story of the Bad Samaritan, who was desperate for redemption!

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Another World'
Artist - The Man From RavCon

Having founded, performed and recorded for over a decade with well respected Charlotte, NC power-pop outfit, The Ravelers, multi-instrumentalist Mike Brown has chosen to take a completely new direction with his latest project.

No longer feeling the constraints of maintaining a band with live performance obligations, Brown has taken full advantage of this freedom by pushing his music beyond the expected.

As The Man From RavCon, Brown now focuses on creating adventurous and atmospheric instrumental music featuring Mellotron enriched arrangements accentuated by piano and organ, interweaving synths, throbbing bass, dynamic percussion, and melodic guitar.

The first four Man From RavCon releases, Zombie Pimp Cowboys From Outer Space! (2010), Everything Is Golden (2010), Rides Again (2011) and Night of The Beast (2011), explored the sounds of spaghetti western, surf/instro rock, blaxploitation and B-Horror Cinema.

With the arrival of The Traveler (2012), The Man From RavCon took a large step forward by effectively consolidating his various influences into what Creative Loafing praised as his "most organic and integrated release to date."

Described by listeners as kaleidoscopic, stratospheric, transcendent and euphoric, Skyscraper (2013) further integrated The Man From RavCon's varied influences, and received positive press from a number of sources.

The Puzzle Master (2015) and Strange Universe (2016), delved deeper into progressive rock territory, and featured weaving synths & guitars, soaring mellotron, and alternate rhythms that provided listeners with an even more expansive sound.

Releasing June 22nd, The Man From RavCon’s ninth album is entitled Another World and as much as it may be considered a somewhat more accessible work than his most recent offerings, it is still no less adventurous in scope.

1. 'Colossus'
2. 'Satellite Flight'
3. 'Max The Cat'
4. 'Code Red'
5. 'Promised Land'
6. 'The Garden'
7. 'A Peaceful Transition'
8. 'Another World'
9. 'Pole To Pole'

With contributions from guitarist Larry Smith (who also performed on Starlight from The Puzzle Master), and flutist Jeff Eacho, they both help to lend some tracks a more lighthearted, breezy vibe, if you will.

We begin with the delicately emerging beauty of 'Colossus', which also, complete with an addictive drum and bass back beat, happens to be my own favorite track here, and that's backed by the slightly faster-paced 'Satellite Flight.'

'Max The Cat' is an interesting mix of perky, playful vibes and influences and is followed by the drumtastic, and bassalicious tone of 'Code Red.' The guitar-driven 'Promised Land' is a foot-tappin' beauty, of that have no doubt, and that's backed by the Floyd-esque 'The Garden.'

'A Peaceful Transition' is a genius work of musical growth, and that's backed by the jazz-lite wonderment of the title track, 'Another World,' with the album (sadly) coming to and end with the '80s synth tech sounds of 'Pole To Pole.'

'Satellite Flight' Video

Title - 'Soca Gold 2018' [2CD]
Artist - Various

Capturing the hottest hits of the 2018 Caribbean carnival season is what Soca Gold is all about!

For over 20 years, this annual compilation has presented the best songs from breaking and biggest artists in the genre.

Released this past May 22nd, 2018 via VP Records, Soca Gold 2018 presents 18 hot tracks with a bonus disc containing two (2) exclusive mega-mixes from DJ Sound-4-Life and DJ Titan (featured DJ for BRT Weekend events in 2018).

CD 1:
1. 'Sweet Fuh Days' - Patrice Roberts
2. 'Go Ask Yuh Mudda' - Bunji Garlin
3. 'Touch It' - Fay-Ann Lyons
4. 'Savannah' - Iwer George
5. 'Oil Drum' - Tony Prescott
6. 'Big Bad Soca (Remix)' (feat. Shenseea) - Bunji Garlin
7. 'Give It To Ya' (feat. Patrice Roberts) - Marzville
8. 'Pull Up' - Alison Hinds
9. 'Rude Waze' - Lyrikal
10. 'Dip' - Hypasounds
11. 'No Weapon' - LFS Music
12. 'Sully' - Ricky T
13. '10' - Tizzy
14. 'She Bad (Remix)' - Turner, Machel Mantano & Flavour
15. 'Barahee' - Rikki Jai & Ravi B
16. 'Pick Me Up' - Sanctuary
17. 'Feeling Good' - Claudette Peters
18. 'Sweet Spot' - Gorg

CD 2:
1. 'Soca Gold Booyaka Smash Mix' - DJ Titan VD
2. 'Soca Gold 2018 Mega-Mix' - DJ Sound-4-Life

We begin with the beach drums and scintillating dancefloor moves of 'Sweet Fuh Days' from Trinidadian soca singer Patrice Roberts. Sure, to me, it sounds like its got a few too many BPM going on there, but that incredible energy merges sweetly into 'Go Ask Yuh Mudda' from musician, producer, and songwriter supreme, Bunji Garlin. That then leans seamlessly into 'Touch It' from a staple of the Soca music scene, Fay-Ann Lyons, before we get 'Savannah' from Soca veteran Neil 'Iwer' George.

Tony Prescott's 'Oil Drum' keeps the party going, albeit with a different, more poppy, toned down beat, and that's backed by the seductive 'Big Bad Soca (Remix)' from Bunji Garlin. Featuring Shenseea, the newest artiste to the Dancehall/Reggae community, it's one of the best trackson this 2CD, of that have no doubt.

Then comes 'Give It To Ya' (feat. Patrice Roberts) by Marzville, which is backed by both 'Pull Up' from British-born, Bajan soca Queen Alison Hinds and then Lyrikal's infectious 'Rude Waze.' Fusing words together and adding a melody like it's second nature, this is yet another stand out cut on this new 2018 collection.

The Eastern backdrop of 'Dip' from Hypasounds is wonderful to hear, and is followed by the techno-influenced 'No Weapon' from LFS Music and then 'Sully' (from Ricky T) follows suit. With a commanding voice and witty lyrics, much like Tizzy's '10,' this new set of Soca Gold embraces both old and new within its community perfectly.

The fluid pop-bounce of 'She Bad (Remix)' from Turner, Machel Mantano & Flavour is pure Soca gold (all pun intended) and is as real hipsway of a catchy dancefloor track. Then comes the toe-tappin' 'Barahee' from both Rikki Jai & Ravi B, another track that borrows from the Eastern influences, and then we get 'Pick Me Up' from Sanctuary.

The album, first disc, at least, wraps up with the Soca, reggae fusion, R&B, and soul feel of 'Feeling Good' (Claudette Peters), and then we finally get to hear from Gorg on 'Sweet Spot.' The second disc then brings us both 'Soca Gold Booyaka Smash Mix' from DJ Titan VD and 'Soca Gold 2018 Mega-Mix' from DJ Sound-4-Life.

Official 2CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Things Are Looking Up'
Artist - The Walk-A-Bout

The new album, Things Are Looking Up by Australian/American band The Walk-A-Bout is a dynamic new collection that explores an avenue of intricate song-crafting with a welcome pop appeal.

The album delivers a progressive folk/alt-rock listening experience while maintaining the band’s signature sound of depth and introspection.

Indeed, this sophomore release from The Walk-About includes four (4) brand new songs - featuring the latest member of the band, Dave Christian on Electric Guitar and Backing Vocals - as well as two (2) previously-released tracks.

1. 'Things Are Looking Up'
2. 'That's Just the Way It Goes'
3. 'By My Side'
4. 'Consequences'
5. 'Oasis'
6. 'Drifting Tide'

Here on their new album, Things Are Looking Up The Walk-About - Kevin Anderson on Acoustic Guitars; Darren “Sully Sullivan on Lead Vocals & Harp; Drew “Drumz” Bertrand on Drums; Michael Perrotta on Bass; and the aforementioned Dave Christian - they kick things off in fine style with the title track, before heading into the album’s featured single, 'That’s Just the Way It Goes.'

As the album continues onward, the brilliant 'By My Side' seamlessly segue way's into 'Consequences,' before one of my own personal favorites on this album, albeit one previously-released, 'Oasis' is brought forth. The album closes with another one that's seen exposure, 'Drifting Tide, but by then you're already aiming to hit repeat and immerse yourself back within it all once again.

With members of the band having worked with such musical greats as Bill Ortiz (Santana), Vince Welnick (The Tubes, The Grateful Dead), renowned jazz saxophonist David Murray, Earl “Chinna” Smith (Bob Marley and The Wailers), and even Grammy-winning film composer Alex Wurman, you must know going in, that this could only end up being one of the most incredible musical experiences of the past decade - and it is!

Produced by Andrew Michael Bertrand and mastered by Roger Lian, Things Are Looking Up is in stores and online worldwide on June 15th, 2018.

A limited edition 180-Gram Red Splatter Vinyl will also be available with the official album release!

The Walk-A-Bout will tour to support the album along the East and West Coasts throughout 2018, as well as Australia in February 2019.

Official Album Purchase Link

The Walk-About @ Facebook!

Title - 'Play it Again, Marvin!' [Varese Sarabande]
Artist - Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

For those not in the know, Marvin Hamlisch was an American composer and conductor. Hamlisch was one of only twelve people to win Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards.

In fact, this collection of all four is referred to as an "EGOT". He is one of only two people (along with Richard Rodgers) to have won those four prizes and a Pulitzer Prize.

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra proudly celebrates 96 years of soul-prodding musical experiences and educational programming that stimulate audiences from the inside out.

Founded in 1921, the KSO is the third largest professional orchestra in Michigan with a $2.5 million operating budget, and is recognized throughout the country as a regional orchestra of excellence.

The life and legacy of Broadway’s legendary composer, Pulitzer Prize, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award-winner, Marvin Hamlisch, is celebrated in this concert that will tour America.

Out now via Varese Sarabande, Play It Again, Marvin! is Hamlisch's music brought to life again by an amazing group of some of his favorite musicians and singers.

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra is conducted by J. Ernest Green, joined by pianist Kevin Cole and singers Sylvia McNair, Judy Harrison and Doug LaBrecque.

1. 'The Way We Were' - Adrian Daurov, cello / Arranged by Daniel Capelletti (6:17)
2. 'A Chorus Line Concerto' - Kevin Cole, piano (4:53)
3. 'Dreamers' - Sylvia McNair, vocals (2:44)
4. 'Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows' - Kevin Cole, vocals (1:01)
5. 'The Swimmer' (3:27)
6. 'Nothing' (from A CHORUS LINE) - Judy Harrison, vocals (4:20)
7. 'A Mother’s Voice' - Sylvia McNair & Judy Harrison, vocals (3:57)
8. 'The Entertainer' and 'Pineapple Rag' (from THE STING) - Kevin Cole, piano / featuring piano intro by Marvin Hamlisch (5:33)
9. 'Nobody Does It Better' (from THE SPY WHO LOVED ME) - Judy Harrison, vocals (3:12)
10. 'They’re Playing My Song' - featuring Marvin Hamlisch (1:18)
11. 'I Cannot Hear The City' (from SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS) - Doug LaBrecque, vocals (4:18)
12. 'That’s How I Say Goodbye' - Sylvia McNair, vocals (3:48)
13. 'If You Really Knew Me' - featuring Marvin Hamlisch (2:43)
14. 'Looking Through The Eyes Of Love' (Theme from ICE CASTLES) - Sylvia McNair, vocals (4:11)
15. 'At The Fountain' (from SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS) - Doug LaBrecque, vocals (5:09)
16. 'Suite from Sophie’s Choice' / 'If You Remember Me' (from The Champ) - Judy Harrison, vocals (5:00)
17. 'Marvin’s Medley' - Kevin Cole, piano (6:23)
18. 'Bows' (1:23)
19. 'What I Did For Love' - Sylvia McNair, Judy Harrison & Doug LaBrecque, vocals (3:16)

As you can clearly see, Play It Again, Marvin! collects together all is best known hits and breathes new life into them all. Indeed, this new production of his songs performed live has easily got to be my favorite over the past decades.

Inclusive of some truly stand alone, new and vibrant renditions of his music, if you love Hamlisch's music, or are a fan of this genre of music, in general, you will simply adore this new collection of his works, trust me.

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - 'B4 Ever Now'
Artist - Marcelo Paganini

For those not in the know, Marcelo Paganini is a French/Brazilian composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist (guitar, keyboards, harmonica, cavaquinho, bass, percussion, drums), arranger, sound designer, movie maker, singer, poet, writer, journalist (former correspondent for Brazilian alternative newspaper Cometa Itabirano in Paris for 25 years) and actor, living in Paris since 1984.

Phew, well, there we go, but furthermore, he started playing music back in 1975. Indeed, Marcelo Paganini is also a member of legendary band of bands from Belo Horizonte "Tribo de Solos" and his one man midi band show "Marcelo Paganini is the Band" was one of the first Brazilian live electronic acts back in 1986.

Having released 2012 Space Traffic Jam in 2014, First Time In Rio in 2016, and followed that up the same year with his first EP entitled Viela das Tangerinas, we now are lucky enough to be presented with his brand new EP, entitled B4 Ever Now.

Featuring Paganini on guitars and keys, the vibrantly artistic American singer, songwriter and actress Durga McBroom on lead vocals, Brazilian pianist, composer, arranger, and record producer Eumir Deodato on keys (tracks 2 and 3), Marc Madore on bass, Gary Husband on drums, and finally Dada Viana on percussion (track 1), they all come together to bring forth a mighty fine musical experience.

1. 'Crying With A Smile'
2. 'Last Bart To San Bruno'
3. 'B4Ever Now'
4. '2012 Space Traffic Jam'

Admittedly, all four of these tracks can be found on Paganini's three previous albums, but here they are recomposed with a different ensemble. This gives each track a new sense of life, of creation, and having been now remixed, remastered and rearranged, well, the inclusion of Durga McBroom just puts the delightful cherry on the cake.

McBroom, who has performed backing vocals for Pink Floyd and is a member of the house music band Blue Pearl, best known for their hit single 'Naked in the Rain,' is a force to be reckoned with here and the way she uses her deeply entwining vocals within each track truly ensures that there is a new vibrant core to each of them.

The work from 75 year-old pianist, Eumir Deodato, should not be overlooked either as the jazz musician really seems passionately taken by this project as if it were his very own.

Housing only the aforementioned four tracks, B4 Ever Now is, as you would fully expect knowing these musicians, a mixture of fusion, progressive and, at times, what feels like studio improvisation.

The opening track, 'Crying With A Smile' (trust me, it's harder to do that you would first imagine), is about life and how we, as humans, can get hurt along the way, with the searing guitar work of Paganini on 'Last Bart To San Bruno' ensuring that it has to be heard to be believed.

The delicately smooth lite jazz of 'B4Ever Now' showcases the beautiful vocals of McBroom perfectly, and then the last track on the EP, '2012 Space Traffic Jam' is brought forth. At nearly nine minutes long, it's (at times) a psychedelic trip encompassed within moments of both jazz and prog fusion.

I've listened to this track three times now and laid back in my favorite comfy chair, my eyes closed, it's hard to distinguish whether it's Paganini playing those vibrant, soaring guitar licks, or David Gilmour himself! Either way, this EP is one for the ages and a mighty fine work of musical art.

CD Purchase Link

Marcelo Paganini @ Facebook!

Marcelo Paganini @ Twitter!

Title - 'Reimagination'
Artist - Lamont Dozier

For those not in the know, although if you're a fan of Motown and such like, I can't believe this to be news to you, Lamont Dozier is an American songwriter and record producer, born in Detroit, Michigan. In fact, Dozier has co-written and produced 14 US Billboard number 1 hits and 4 number ones in the UK.

Furthermore, Dozier was a member of Holland–Dozier–Holland, the songwriting and production team responsible for much of the Motown sound and numerous hit records by artists such as Martha and the Vandellas, The Supremes, The Four Tops, and The Isley Brothers.

Along with Brian Holland, Dozier served as the team's musical arranger and producer, while Eddie Holland concentrated mainly on lyrics and vocal production.

Along with the Holland Brothers, Dozier followed his work for Motown Records as founder and owner of Invictus Records and Hot Wax Records, producing top-charting hits for acts Freda Payne, Honey Cone, Chairmen of the Board, and 100 Proof Aged in Soul.

That said, Dozier went on to record a number of albums as a performer in his own right, also writing much of the material. The 1977 album, Peddlin' Music On The Side (Warner Bros. Records) contained "Going Back to My Roots", which was later recorded by Odyssey.

The earlier "Black Bach" (ABC Records) featured the country-flavored "All Cried Out" (#4 R&B, #26 pop). He had his biggest hit with 1974's "Trying to Hold On to My Woman" (ABC), which reached #15 pop, #4 R&B. In 1981, he scored a beach music hit with "Cool Me Out."

Now the legendary Motown songwriter Lamont Dozier reclaims his most iconic hits with a host of all-star guests! Featuring performances by Grammy-award winning singer Gregory Porter, rock icon Todd Rundgren, CSN's Graham Nash, British pop idol Sir Cliff Richard, Jo Harman, Marc Cohn, Le Ann Womack and more, Reimagination is out now via Goldenlane Records.

1. 'Supremes Medley'
2. 'How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)'
3. 'Reach Out, I'll Be There'
4. 'Baby I Need Your Loving'
5. 'Bernadette'
6. 'This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak For You)' / 'My World Is Empty Without You'
7. '(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave' / 'Nowhere To Run'
8. 'In My Lonely Room'
9. 'Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While)'
10. 'You Keep Me Hanging On'
11. 'Reflections'
12. 'I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)'
13. 'Reach Out, I'll Be There' - Bonus Track

His reimagination of a wondrous 'Supremes Medley' (Where Did Our Love Go, Stop In The Name Of Love, Come See About Me, Baby Love) is to die for, Dozier's soul-wrenching new lyrical alone-at-the-piano approach a marvel to behold. Featuring Graham Nash, the medley is, by far, one of the most incredible and heartfelt reinventions of infamous Motown songs that I've ever heard.

Next up is 'How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You),' where, joined by Gregory Porter, Dozier turns the piano vibe up a notch and brings forth yet another sensational reimagined memory. 'Reach Out, I'll Be There' is a pure delight also, and that's backed seamlessly by both 'Baby I Need Your Loving' (featuring Lee Ann Womack) and then a stunning 'Bernadette.'

A dulcet rendition of one of my own personal favorites, 'This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak For You)' segues midway into 'My World Is Empty Without You,' which left me wondering why, in truth. With a great guest appearance from Britain's very own Cliff Richard, the former track is dynamite on it's own, let alone the melding option with the latter.

Moving on and we get another musical meld, this time of '(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave' and 'Nowhere To Run,' both featuring the angelic tones of British singer and songwriter Jo Harman. A beautiful piano underlay with subtle guitar work from Todd Rundgren allows Dozier's vocals to shine next on 'In My Lonely Room,' which is backed by the upbeat, and funky guitar work of Marc Cohen on 'Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While).'

Another stand out track is 'You Keep Me Hanging On,' featuring a guest appearance from British singer–songwriter Rumer (aka Sarah Joyce), before this quite delightful album comes to a close with a breezy 'Reflections' (featuring Justin Currie - himself best known as a founding member, and lead singer of the band Del Amitri), and then a crisply flowing 'I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch).'

Oh, but there's also a bonus track, and that's 'Reach Out, I'll Be There,' once again featuring Jo Harman. So rush out and buy this CD now and experience these massive hits as you have never heard them before! With acoustic guitar, piano and sparse arrangements, each and every one of these songs transform before your very ears into newly reimagined timeless treasures!

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Sirens - Music Inspired by Homer's Odyssey'
Artist - Craig Safan

For those not in the know, Craig Safan is an American composer for film and television, whose biggest scores include 'The Last Starfighter', 'Mr. Wrong', 'Stand and Deliver', 'Fade to Black', 'Major Payne', 'Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins', and music to the TV series Cheers, for which he won numerous ASCAP awards.

With a style consisting of often improvising as a form of composition that allowed him to quickly express himself, trust me when I say that his was the most perfect choice of composer for this highly expressive work of musical art.

For Sirens Inspired by Homer's Odyssey, out now via Varese Sarabande, the acclaimed composer has woven together 13 inspired tracks, all that have a connection to the iconic tales of Homer’s The Odyssey.

1. 'Circe's Island' - (4:20)
2. 'Persephone: River of Tears' - (3:40)
3. 'Ithaka: Visions of Home' - (4:53)
4. 'On a Dolphin's Back' - (4:00)
5. 'She Sang Beyond the Genius of the Sea' - (4:16)
6. 'Melodius Discord' - (4:55)
7. 'Let Me Go, Calypso' - (3:39)
8. 'Penelope' - (3:20)
9. 'Poseidon' - (4:31)
10. 'I Have Heard the Mermaids Singing' - (5:00)
11. 'Twists and Turns' - (3:55)
12. 'Singer of Tales' - (3:22)
13. 'Icarus (To J.H.)' - (4:15)

Indeed, the tracks that make up 'Sirens' were enhanced by live players as well as sonic elements which Safan recorded while exploring the mythical landmarks of Sicily, the Aeolian Islands, and environs.

Thus, Sirens Inspired by Homer's Odyssey, as a musical album of work, is as compelling and intriguing - from start to finish - as Homer's The Odyssey ever was; and that's some feat right there.

Listening to each and every track - twice now, I'll have you know - the complete, new opus of work transports the listener into the world of Odysseus and the Sirens seamlessly; track to track.

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Concentration Time'
Artist - Chalwa

For those not in the know, Chalwa is based out of Asheville, NC and plays original High Country Reggae.

The band consists of a diverse all-star line-up of local musicians from bands such as the Asheville Horns, Hope Massive, Josh Phillips Folk Festival, Biodesiel, and the Everydays.

After hitting the scene in 2006, Chalwa toured throughout the southeast US and Jamaica. The band has shared the stage with reggae greats such as: Midnite, Groundation, The Meditations, Bambu Station, SOJA, Pato Banton, and many more.

Chalwa - Dennis Berndt: Guitar and Vocals; Dustin Brown: Bass Bernard Carman: Keys and Vocals; Tim Marsh: Guitar and Vocals; Nethali Percival: Percussion and Melodica; Joshua Lyn: Drums and Dub Machine; and Evan Ackerman: Guitar - released it's first, and self-titled CD in 2009 and was voted one of the top World Music, Reggae bands by the MountainXress in 2010. In support of their CD the band performed a live set on-air interview on WNCW, along with radio air play on Dubatomic Particles and Local Color.

In 2014 Chalwa released their second CD, Cool Mountains on Pinnacle Records, and now here in 2018, they have just released their incredible third album, Concentration Time.

1. 'The Journey'
2. 'Roots'
3. 'Concentration Time'
4. 'Can You See'
5. 'Fire'
6. 'Life Goes On'
7. 'Staring At The Sun'
8. 'Sisters of the Moon'
9. 'Beating of the Drum'
10. 'BassBalls'

The beautiful, gently-rhythmic hipsway of 'The Journey (featuring JP Furnas and Greg Hollowell) is a rather delightful way to kick off any morning, and that's backed seamlessly by both the sounds of an old-school vinyl being ignited for 'Roots' (Aaron "Woody" Wood and Mike Rhodes) and then the floating Caribbean vibe of the title track 'Concentration Time (once again, featuring JP Furnes and Greg Hollowell).

The lush, soulful orchestrations of 'Cab You See from JP Furnas is a real beauty of a stand alone track here, and that's backed by the sterner 'Fire,' and as thunder sounds above our heads, the foot-tappin' 'Life Goes On' follows close behind.

'Staring At The Sun' builds into another real gem of a Caribbean-flavored track and that's followed by some shoulder-dippin' musical beats in 'Sisters of the Moon featuring Mike Rhodes.

The album the rounds out with some wavy guitar work from Evan Ackerman on 'Beating of the Drum,' and, after an old-timey radio announcer does his thing, then comes the instrumental 'BassBalls' (featuring Nik Hope on drums).

Chalwa @ Facebook!

Title - 'Mixed Reality'
Artist - Gin Blossoms

For those not in the know, or simply because you weren't listening to the radio throughout the '90s, the Gin Blossoms is an American rock band formed in 1987 in Tempe, Arizona.

They first came to notice (after having released Dusted in 1989 to no media notice at all) with the song 'Hey Jealousy' from their first major label album, New Miserable Experience (1992), but this achievement was coupled with the removal and eventual suicide of the song's author and band co-founder Doug Hopkins, prompting the title of their follow-up album, Congratulations I'm Sorry (1996).

After a series of charting singles, the band broke up in 1997 although they did reunite in 2002 and even released a fourth album, Major Lodge Victory, in 2006, and a fifth, No Chocolate Cake, in 2010.

And now they are back once more, for another swing at the chart bat with their brand new album, Mixed Reality out now via Cleopatra Records.

1. 'Break'
2. 'Face The Dark'
3. 'New Mexico Trouble'
4. 'Angels Fly'
5. 'Here Again'
6. 'Still Some Room In Heaven'
7. 'Miranda Chicago'
8. 'Girl On The Side'
9. 'Fortunate Street'
10. 'Wonder'
11. 'Shadow'
12. 'Forever Is This Night'
13. 'The JFK Shit Show'
14. 'The Devil's Daughter'
15. 'Mega Pawn King'

That's right, one of the most successful melodic alt-rock bands in chart history is now back anstill making great music today. Featuring a stellar set of new original material, including the highly melodic lead-off track 'Break,' sure they may well have used Pledge Music to monetarily help their album-making cause, but that's exactly why the fans are there.

And what a successful campaign it obviously turned out to be, for this is a dynamite album, chock full of 15 new tracks that all deserve radio airplay.

After that lead radio single, we next get the willowy, jangling guitar work of 'Face The Dark,' which is in turned backed by both the thunderous 'New Mexico Trouble' and the flirtatious 'Angels Fly.' The soaring guitars take flight again for the ferocious rocker 'Here Again' ("... just because you're screaming, doesn't make it true") which is followed seamlessly by 'Still Some Room In Heaven.'

Back come the Blossom's signature jangly guitars for the foot-tappin' 'Miranda Chicago,' before the go-go-gadget pace is finally halted on the beautiful ballad, 'Girl On The Side.' A track that showcases the still-incredible vocal spread of Robin Wilson, the tempo is raised a little for 'Fortunate Street,' with the playful 'Wonder.'

The guitars light up again for the straight-ahead, no nonsense 'Shadow' before the '90s sound is brought to the fore in ample supply with both 'Forever Is This Night' and 30 second lo-fi, and curious 'The JFK Shit Show.' The album then rounds out with both the upbeat, finger-snappin' Gin Blossoms-of-old, 'The Devil's Daughter' and then 'Mega Pawn King.'

Gin Blossoms @ Facebook!

Title - 'Static and Surrender'
Artist - Static and Surrender

Every once in a while, paths cross at just the right time, in the right place, and within the right circumstances.

Such is the case for San Francisco alternative rock band Static and Surrender - Jeff Campbell [lead vocals, guitar], Adam Schuman [guitar, vocals], John Schuman [drums], and Chili Corder [bass].

Brothers John and Adam had established themselves in popular Bay Area stalwarts such as The Trophy Fire, landing critical acclaim and gigging alongside everyone from Dredg to The Dear Hunter.

Within that same scene, Jeff earned recognition by receiving national songwriting awards, shared the stage with titans such as John Mayer, and fronted Pine and Battery, among other acts.

One night, a chance encounter between Jeff and Adam paved the way for what would become Static and Surrender. Come July 13th, 2018, the trio will release their debut self-titled album, Static and Surrender via Funzalo Records.

1. 'If Only We Could Sleep'
2. 'You Won't Remember Me'
3. 'Just Because'
4. 'Fall On The Blade'
5. 'Mary Shelley'
6. 'Slow Crash'
7. 'The Very Long Night'
8. 'Killing The Vibe'
9. 'Not Another Dime'

This quite brilliant album begins in some fine style with 'If Only We Could Sleep,' a cut that perfectly showcases not only the band, but what's to come on this stunning nine track debut. The soaring 'You Won't Remember Me' is one of my personal favorites here and that's backed by the methodical 'Just Because,' and then the searing, and tonally late '70s punk-esque 'Fall On The Blade.'

The beautiful building-ballad 'Mary Shelley' is another musical gem to be discovered here and that's followed by much of the same in 'Slow Crash.' Jeff Campbell's lead vocals are astounding confident, none more so on tracks such as both 'The Very Long Night' and the guitar-led 'Killing The Vibe.'

The album then, sadly, rounds out with the thunderous 'Not Another Dime,' leaving the listener to hit Play all over again to feed their new musical addiction.

Static And Surrender @ Facebook!

Title - 'Heroes and Demons'
Artist - Vincent Poag

Veteran singer-songwriter Vincent Poag has just released his next creatively genius full-length studio album, entitled Heroes and Demons via Danal Music, LLC.

The ten track album is Poag’s third studio recording - Circling Back (2011), For The Girls (2014) - and, in much the same vein as all of those, Poag once again draws lyrical inspiration from everyday occurrences and thought-provoking subjects.

1. 'Beautiful Day'
2. 'You Love Me'
3. 'One Step Ahead Of Gloom'
4. 'Piper Play'
5. 'Here I Am' (w/ Diana Hope)
6. 'Young Again'
7. 'Too Much Of Nothin’ To Do'
8. 'Sir Nicholas Winton'
9. 'Daisy'
10. 'And The Ocean Rolls'

This quite beautiful new album begins with the infectiously gentle bounce of 'Beautiful Day' and backs that up seamlessly with both the personal storytelling of 'You Love Me' and then the name-dropping, dream-recalling 'One Step Ahead of Gloom.'

The playful, Renaissance-esque 'Piper Play' is up next and is followed by the piano-led ballad 'Here I Am.' Featuring Diana Hope on vocals, it's out of nowhere here, as a "Poag track," but is as beautiful a cut as there ever was.

That's backed by the jangly guitar work of 'Young Again,' before the pace is brought down somewhat for some more delightful storytelling within 'Too Much Of Nothin' To Do' ("... fine is the line between living and dying").

Old time radio comes to the fore with the playful, aristocratically-defined 'Sir Nicholas Winton,' and that is backed by the delightful ode to 'Daisy,' with the album coming to a close with the war-infused trooper recollection of 'And The Ocean Rolls.

Vincent Poag @ Facebook!

Title - 'Still There'll Be More: Anthology 1967-2017'
Artist - Procol Harum

For those not in the know, Procol Harum is an English rock band formed in 1967.

Their best-known recording is the 1967 hit single "A Whiter Shade of Pale", considered a classic in popular music and one of the few singles to have sold over 10 million copies.

Although noted for their baroque and classical influence, Procol Harum's music also embraces the blues, R&B, and soul.

In 2018, the band was honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when "A Whiter Shade of Pale" was inducted into the brand-new Singles category.

Esoteric Recordings (via Cherry Red Records UK) have just release this past March 23rd, 2018 an official, and incredible, newly-remastered 2CD set celebrating 50 years of the legendary Procol Harum.

This set, brilliantly entitled Still There'll Be More: Anthology 1967-2017 draws upon 29 key tracks from Procol Harum's illustrious career, beginning with the classic "A Whiter Shade of Pale", released in May 1967.

It also features material from each of their albums from their eponymous debut album issued in 1967 to their most recent work - Novum - issued in 2017.

CD 1:
1. "A Whiter Shade of Pale"
2. "Homburg"
3. "Cerdes (Outside the Gates of)"
4. "Repent Walpurgis"
5. "Shine on Brightly"
6. "Quite Rightly So"
7. "A Salty Dog"
8. "The Devil Came from Kansas"
9. "Whisky Train"
10. "Whaling Stories"
11. "Simple Sister"
12. "Broken Barricades"
13. "Conquistador"
14. "Look to Your Soul / Grand Finale"
15. "Grand Hotel"

CD 2:
1. "For Liquorice John"
2. "Fires (Which Burnt Brightly)"
3. "Nothing But the Truth"
4. "Beyond the Pale"
5. "As Strong As Samson"
6. "Pandora's Box"
7. "The Unquiet Zone"
8. "Something Magic"
9. "Strangers in Space"
10. "Perpetual Motion"
11. "An Old English Dream"
12. "This World Is Rich (For Stephen Maboe)"
13. "Can't Say That"
14. "The Only One"

Quite simply the most fully realized thematic work by any artist/band (to my mind, this brand new collection from Procol Harum encompasses everything great about the music industry and the band that made all these incredible tracks.

I mean, sure, everything about Procol Harem's "inner meaning" and descriptive poetic way with lyrics was, in truth, a wee bit over my head when I was 18, but I just knew they were saying something tremendously important!

Even if I couldn't quite understand what these unusual plays on words really meant, I knew it was about something real, touchable, honest, albeit just beyond the tip of my own tongue.

Every single track on this 29 cut album is incredible, brilliant listening, especially now it's all been remastered, but for me, A Salty Dog was always my go-to album of musical escape.

Indeed, putting A Salty Dog into perspective requires one to look back at the climate of rock music circa 1969. For this truly was the golden age of rock. The Beatles' White Album was a virtual smorgasbord of styles and influences. The Who's groundbreaking rock opera Tommy established new boundaries and The Byrds were blazing a trail called country rock with their superb Sweetheart of the Rodeo.

The Band really established a distinct departure from the heavy drum laden, high voltage electric guitar sound that Cream, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zepplin were beating to death. Their debut album Music From Big Pink was so radically different from mainstream rock that Eric Clapton himself all but abandoned the extended guitar solo in favor of a more roots oriented approach ... and so, the scene was set for Procol Harum's third album release, the aforementioned A Salty Dog.

This remastered set also features an illustrated booklet with an essay by Patrick Humphries and also includes many previously unseen photographs and memorabilia from Gary Brooker's private collection.

FYI: There's also a mind blowing Limited Edition eight disc (five CDs + three NTSC/Region 0 DVDs) set just released by Esoteric Recordings!

Procol Harum @ Facebook!

2CD Purchase Link

8CD Purchase Link

Title - 'mmhmm'
Artist - mmhmm

When midwest native, Hannah Fairlight, moved to Raelyn Nelson's hometown of Nashville, TN, the people of the village kept confusing them for one another so they formed a band sometime in mid-December of 2016.

The pair have individually gained a lot of traction with their solo projects, but the universe pushed them together to form an acoustic duo.

Their “modern day Hee-Haw Show” has grabbed the attention of the Nashville music scene with features in the East Nashvillian’s “Women in Music” issue that claimed mmhmm was “the breakout duo of the year.”

With catchy melodies, pretty harmonies, Fairlight on acoustic guitar, Nelson on ukulele, both donned with chaps, it’s no wonder that the pair have been voted the “Cutest band around” by local publications.

So, what makes the talented duo work so well? “There are no "no’s" in mmhmm,” Fairlight herself answers. "mmhmm,” agrees Nelson.

Not to be confused with Mmhmm, the fourth album by pop punk band Relient K, mmhmm have just released their vibrantly fun and highly melodic self-titled debut album, mmhmm via their very own label, mmhmm Records.

1. 'Let's Get Together'
2. 'Aw Hell'
3. 'Number Song'
4. 'Up In Smoke (Don't It Have To Wait)'
5. 'Earn My Love'
6. 'Mama's Little Yella Pills'
7. 'Coy Boy'
8. 'Good Love'
9. 'Blue Eyes'
10. 'Take It On The Run'
11. '3am and Sake'
12. 'So Hard To Say Goodbye'

"Hey, what you doing?" asks one of the girls to the other, as she "walks in" on her gently strumming a guitar. "Erm, I'm recording an album," she sheepishly replies. "Well, you're going to put everyone to sleep with all that jazz,", the other one replies. "You need to get with the new sound," she adds.

"What are you talkin' about?" she replies inquisitively, "Like this ... come on, let's compromise. You give a little. I give a little. let's get together," the former adds, striking up a bouncier set of guitar chords. "So, like this ...," the other replies, as she joins in, and then after a confirmational Yep" from the former, the Mmhmm musical show is well and truly on the road, ladies and gentlemen.

Admittedly, and especially with that opening song, there are tracks on here that sound like they belong on early morning children's TV! Rousing, fun, upbeat, insightful, instructing, and yet at all times played with a lo-fi, folk-country appeal, tracks such as the square dance vibe of 'Aw Hell,' the foot-tappin' twang of 'Number Song,' the "the true stories of life" track 'Up In Smoke (Don't It Have To Wait),' and the Americana pop 'Earn My Love' are all worthy of radio play, let alone chart success.

For the most part coming complete with a fun, perky intro, of sorts, to each song, one of my personal favorites is the playful 'Mama's Little Yella Pills' ("... she's bar hoppin' and skipping meals"). Indeed, a perfect example of the lyrical interplay between the ladies, that's followed by the thumbs in pockets, shoulder-dippin' sway of 'Coy Boy.'

The melodic pop-lite gem 'Good Love' is then backed by the low key 'Blue Eyes,' which in turn (after some back and forth banter about a Rising Star Award), leads into a frenetic, yet sung-with-smiles cover of REO Speedwagon's 'Take It On The Run.'

Introducing the next song as nothing to do with what other artists sing about, '3am and Sake' is up next and then, after the girls explaining they have more songs to sing for us, but the album's about to wrap, they come together one last time for the delightful, and hard-to-get-out-of-your-head-once-sung, 'So Hard To Say Goodbye.'

But then, as expected / hoped, the girls have one last stab at a musical continuance with some acoustic guitar giving way to some purposeful electric ones; albeit all for just 30 seconds or so, of course.

Oh, and as for the album itself, here is what the ladies have to say about it. "We feel GREAT about how it came out. It will make you smile. It will make you feel happy. It will probably sound different from anything you’ve heard before. Brad Jones over at Alex The Great in Nashville, TN did a phenomenal job of capturing the spirit of ‘mmhmm’."

Hannah Fairlight @ Facebook!

Raelyn Nelson @ Facebook!

Title - 'British Blues Explosion Live' [2CD]
Artist - Joe Bonamassa

For those not in the know, Joe Bonamassa is an American blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter.

Indeed, when he was just 12 years-old, Bonamassa opened for B.B. King. In the last 13 years Bonamassa has put out 15 solo albums through his independent record label J&R Adventures, of which 11 have reached number 1 on the Billboard Blues charts.

Over the years, Bonamassa has played alongside such artists as Stephen Stills, Eric Clapton, Blondie Chaplin, Foreigner, Buddy Guy, Steve Winwood, Warren Haynes, and Derek Trucks among others.

His career highlights include performances at the Royal Albert Hall and a Grammy Award nomination in 2013. In addition to his music career, Joe Bonamassa runs a nonprofit organization called the Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation, whose mission it is to further music education by funding scholarships and providing music education resources to schools in need.

On British Blues Explosion Live, Joe Bonamassa pays homage to legendary British guitarists Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page with his stunning performance of their blues-rock classics.

Recorded at Greenwich Music Time at The Old Royal Naval College in London in July, 2016 the 5 piece band includes the wondrous musicians: Michael Rhodes (bass), Reese Wynans (keyboards), Anton Fig (drums) and Russ Irwin (rhythm guitar/backing vocals).

CD 1:
1. 'Beck's Bolero / Rice Pudding'
2. 'Mainline Florida'
3. 'Boogie With Stu'
4. 'Let Me Love You Baby'
5. 'Plynth (Water Down The Drain)'
6. 'Spanish Boots'
7. 'Double Crossing Time'
8. 'Motherless Children'

CD 2:
2. 'Tea For One / I Can't Quit You Baby'
3. 'Little Girl'
4. 'Pretending'
5. 'Black Winter / Django'
6. 'How Many More Times'

Now, in my humble opinion, and as much as love Bonamassa and his infamous guitar work, there are some highlights here on the CD that are every bit as good as it gets on his other CDs ... but, having said that, there are also some numbers that do not rival the original artist recordings: both Zeppelin's 'How Many More Times' and Clapton's 'Pretending,' for example.

But that's quite ok and acceptable given the length and breadth of guitar wizardry that Bonamassa stretches himself to over this full-length live show. Indeed, for a stand out killer track, one need not look any further than his awesome version of Cream's 'SWABLR' ("She Walks Like a Bearded Rainbow").

The intensity of the whole band during that number alone definitely comes close to rivaling that of Cream's original, which is a seemingly impossible task, as I'm sure you all might already comprehend, of course. Indeed, that was probably the greatest performance of the set, again, in my humble opinion.

Aside from the slew of incredible rock tracks covered here, we also experience a very rare, and so very interesting moment for Bonamassa as he slips in an "F" bomb when describing his complete lack of lyrical understanding of the meaning of Cream's lyrics for the aforementioned 'SWLABR'! A fun moment to see/hear him admit such a thing, let alone drop that expletive.

In closing, Joe Bonamassa challenged himself to do justice to the greatest British rockers of all time and, boy, does he deliver here on British Blues Explosion Live.

His powerful covers of 'Let Me Love You Baby,' 'Motherless Children,' 'Mainline Florida,' and both 'Little Girl' and 'Spanish Boots' will give you chills! Outstanding vocals, awesome band, this CD (along with the wondrous 2+ hour DVD that has also been released of this show) showcases the most versatile and gifted guitarist on the planet (again, in my humble opinion).

Oh, and much like the aforementioned DVD, this 2CD set also comes complete with a brilliant 28-Page Collectible Booklet.

Joe Bonamassa @ Facebook!

'British Blues Explosion Live' DVD Review Link

Title - 'Handel: Sonatas for Violin & Basso Continuo'
Artist - The Brook Street Band

Since its formation in 1995 by Baroque cellist Tatty Theo, The Brook Street Band has rapidly established itself as one of the country’s foremost interpreter’s of George Frideric Handel’s music.

Indeed, their name comes from the street in London’s Mayfair where G.F. Handel lived and composed for most of his working life. Furthermore, the term ‘band’ was used in the 18th century to describe groups of musicians.

The Brook Street Band performs small to large scale repertoire ranging from intimate chamber music to concerts with double orchestra and choir and its various prizes include BBC Radio 3 Young Artists' Forum and the Byrne Award, given by the Handel Institute for Handel scholarship.

Ergo, The Brook Street Band's enthusiasm for the music of George Frideric Handel shines evidently through on this Handel: Sonatas for Violin & Basso Continuo recording of the nine Violin Sonatas by - or attributed to - the Baroque composer.

George Frideric Handel 1685-1759
Violin Sonata in G, HWV 358
1. I. [Allegro] (1.57); 2. II. [Adagio] (0.49); 3. III. [Allegro] (2.35); Violin Sonata in D minor, HWV 359a; 4. I. Grave (2.32); 5. II. Allegro (1.43); 6. III. Adagio (0.51); 7. IV. Allegro (2.35)
Violin Sonata in A, HWV 361
8. I. Andante (2.26); 9. II. Allegro (1.54); 10. III. Adagio (0.50); 11. IV. Allegro (2.43)
Violin Sonata in G minor, HWV 364a
12. I. Larghetto (1.56); 13. II. Allegro (1.44); 14. III. Adagio (0.41); 15. IV. Allegro (2.14)
Violin Sonata in A, HWV 372
16. I. Adagio (1.15); 17. II. Allegro (2.24); 18. III. Largo (1.14); 19. IV. Allegro (2.57)
Violin Sonata in E, HWV 373
20. I. Adagio (1.54); 21. II. Allegro (2.53); 22. III. Largo (1.35); 23. IV. Allegro (2.47)
Violin Sonata in G minor HWV 368
24. I. Andante (2.19); 25. II. Allegro (2.49); 26. III. Adagio (2.01); 27. IV. [Allegro moderato] (2.32)
Violin Sonata in F, HWV 370
28. I. Adagio (3.12); 29. II. Allegro (2.13); 30. III. Largo (3.19); 31. IV. Allegro (3.53)
Violin Sonata in D, HWV 371
32. I. Affettuoso (3.11); 33. II. Allegro (2.57); 34. III. Larghetto (2.46); 35. IV. Allegro (3.55)

Total time: 80.00

The ensembles 10th release for Avie Records compliments its critically acclaimed and award-winning discography of a wide variety of Handel's chamber music and vocal works.

Combining consummate artistry with characteristic research, The Brook Street Band lovingly bring forth nine early works composed over a span of 40 years; from the German-born Handel's early years honing his style in Italy to his later years as a leading light in London.

Recorded between the 23rd–26th of January 2018, at The Great Barn, Oxnead Hall, Norfolk, Produced (along with balance engineer and editing) by Simon Fox-Gál, and featuring Rachel Harris (baroque violin), Tatty Theo (baroque cello), and Carolyn Gibley (harpsichord), believe when I say that Handel: Sonatas for Violin & Basso Continuo is a simply soaring, breathtaking work of musical genius.

Impeccable musicianship from start to finish, these performances have a powerful stamp of authority laid down by The Brook Street Band. Their collective playing is so rhythmical, rather tuneful, at times, that the recording, overall, is so atmospheric capturing that it seemingly couldn't have been performed at any greater level.

In closing, and to my mind, The Brook Street Band play with a sparkle and shimmer that would have made old Handel himself do a wee gig. The sense of ensemble is outstanding on these period instruments, with intonation being impeccable throughout.

They still manage to capture an era so very splendidly here on this new recording and I, for one, cannot wait until they record again, in truth.

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - 'In The Groove'
Artist - Barry Goldberg

For those not in the know, which you can admittedly count me a part of, Barry Goldberg is a blues and rock keyboardist, songwriter and highly-revered record producer.

As a teenager in Chicago, Goldberg sat in with Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, and Howlin' Wolf and he also played keyboards with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band backing Bob Dylan during his 1965 newly 'electrified' appearance at the Newport Folk Festival.

Indeed, he formed The Electric Flag with Mike Bloomfield in 1967, and later formed the Barry Goldberg Reunion in 1968.

Goldberg's songs (some of which co-written with Gerry Goffin) have been recorded by many musicians including Rod Stewart, Gladys Knight, Joe Cocker, Steve Miller, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Gram Parsons and B. J. Thomas.

For the last five years Goldberg has performed as one third of the Rides, with Stephen Stills and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, touring widely and topping Billboard's blues chart with the albums Can't Get Enough and Pierced Arrow.

With In the Groove, released June 15th, 2018 via Sunset Blvd Records, Goldberg has realized his long-held ambition of cooking on both a B-3 and a piano to bring forth a compelling mix of new, first-rate originals and revisited instrumental classics from the late Fifties and early Sixties.

1. 'Guess I Had Enough Of You'
2. 'The Mighty Mezz'
3. 'Westside Girl'
4. 'In The Groove'
5. 'Mighty Low'
6. 'Dumplin's'
7. 'Ghosts In My Basement'
8. 'Bullwhip Rock'
9. 'Lazy'
10. 'Tall Cool One'
11. 'Slow Walk'
12. 'Alberta'

This wonderful, vibrantly alive 12-track instrumental album (save for the lead track, 'Guess I Had Enough of You,' a politically charged track that features a tight vocal line from jazz great Les McCann), is as good as it comes in this genre, of that have no doubt.

Inclusive of five new songs specifically composed for the album along with some rather more classic tracks, not forgetting some interestingly obscure cuts re: Snooks Eaglin, Sil Austin, The Cyclones, Johnny & The Hurricanes, Milt Bruckner, and Doc Bagby and The Wailers (the Tacoma garage band, not the more famous Bob Marley-front group).

Goldberg is on piano, Hammond B3 organ and Wurlitzer piano with backing from Denny Freeman (guitar), Tony Marsico (bass) Don Heffington (drums), Rob Stone (harmonica), James Intveld (guitar), Joe Sublett (sax), Darrell Leonard (trumpet), Johnny Lee Schell (guitar), Reggie McBride (bass), Craig Fundyga (vibes), Victor Bisetti (percussion), and Nawfel Hermi (guitar).

Barry Goldberg @ Facebook!

Listen to 'The Mighty Mezz' from Barry Goldberg’s In The Groove

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'No Parking On The Dancefloor + 2' [2CD]
Artist - Midnight Star

For those not in the know, Midnight Star is an American group that had a string of hits in the 1980's.

Midnight Star hit the U.S. R&B chart with early singles "Hot Spot" and "I've Been Watching You" with drummer Bobby Lovelace joining the group in late 1982, freeing guitarist/drummer/vocalist Melvin Gentry to sing and play guitar exclusively.

Their fourth album, No Parking on the Dance Floor, was released in 1983, and its first single, "Freak-A-Zoid", went to number two on the U.S. Black Singles chart. Other singles from the album included "Wet My Whistle", and the title track.

These singles, along with the hit album tracks "Slow Jam" (co-written by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds) and "Electricity" led the album to double platinum status.

Their next album, Planetary Invasion also went platinum and made the pop Top 20 and the number one spot on the R&B chart with its first single, "Operator". This song remains the band's only Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 hit to date.

Then in 1986 the band released their sixth album, Headlines, which was their third album to sell at least gold, but it was also to be their last with the Calloway brothers.

Due to irreconcilable differences with the other members, Reggie was out of the group and Vincent left shortly thereafter. However, they achieved their biggest success in the UK with "Midas Touch", which made #8, and "Headlines", a #16 hit earlier the same year.

Released June 29th, 2018 via Robinsongs /Cherry Red Records, Midnight Star now have those three aforementioned albums all brought together on a deluxe 2CD set.

These three fantastic Midnight Star albums on a double CD release, No Parking On The Dance Floor / Planetary Invasion / Headlines all now come complete with four (4) bonus tracks (all be they just 7” Versions of some tracks, sadly).

Disc One:


Disc Two:

9. "ENGINE NO. 9"
11. "DEAD END"

13. "WET MY WHISTLE" (7” Version)
14. "FREAK-A-ZOID" (7” Version)
15. "BODY SNATCHERS" (7” Version)
16. "OPERATOR" (7” Version)

Released in 1983, No Parking On The Dance Floor features the two Smash R&B Hits "Freak-A-Zoid" and "Wet My Whistle" and the single "No Parking (On The Dancefloor)." Certified double platinum in America, this fourth release was also their successful album.

Aside from the aforementioned hit singles, lead track "Electricity" was also released as a single and sets the tone perfectly for what's to come here. Hard funk grooves entirely based on the synthesizer along with all of the instrumental elements, that's backed by the infectious bass line hooks within "Night Rider," but a shout out should also go to the seminal quiet storm anthem, "Slow Jam".

It should also be mentioned that "Wet My Whistle" has a melodic and percussive pop/funk sound very much out of the Reggie Lucus/Mtume/Madonna sound of that time and is one of my personal favorite songs here.

As for "No Parking (On The Dancefloor)," the song has been sampled by several artists since its 1983 release, including Sugar Ray's song from 2003, "Mr. Bartender (It's So Easy)". Indeed, the basic melody was also sampled by the Bar-Kays in their 1984 hit "Freakshow on the Dance Floor" and in Popula Demand's 1988 song "Don't Clock Me".

Originally released in 1984, Planetary Invasion includes the #1 R&B single "Operator" which topped the chart for an amazing five weeks along with the single "Body Snatchers."

On their fifth album, produced by group member Reggie Calloway, Midnight Star peaked at number seven on the R&B albums chart. In truth, Calloway's imprint is all over this album. From co-writing all the songs (save for "Curious") and producing it, the sound remains the same.

Indeed, both "Operator" and "Body Snatchers" have the same type of stripped down, bass synth heavy electronic / Vocorder-based funk production as the big hits from their previous album had. It's almost as if they were continuing right where they'd left off musically.

"Scientific Love", with witty lyrics like "If Einstein were still around, he'd be showing us how to love scientifically", and "Can You Stay With Me" combines electronics used more to orchestrate with heavy rhythm guitars for a more melodic pop/dance-funk approach.

Whereas, "Let's Celebrate" is a highly melodic jazz/pop style romantic ballad sung with male falsetto and "Today My Love" is a slow string and piano ballad sung triumphantly by Belinda Lipscomb.

Finally, we include the album Headlines, again packed with R&B Hits such as "Midas Touch" and the title track "Headlines" (both Top 10 records). Also included is "Engine No.9" which just failed to crack the Top 10, stalling at No. 11.

Their sixth album, Midas Touch, also made the Top Ten in the U.K. and deservedly so, for as much as it only just managed to creep over the line of being registered (via sales) as a Gold Record), it's two lead singles were truly dancefloor go-to's for everyone of that time.

It also includes the ballad "Searching For Love," with amazing vocals by Belinda and Bo. This kind of music, which in my opinion, is the best there will ever be, is just so hard to come by in today's market.

This wonderful 2CD package also contains sleeve notes by Christian John Wikane, a New York based writer and music essayist and contributing Editor for PopMatters.

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Remixes & Rarities'
Artist - King

For those not in the know, King were a British pop band which formed in 1984. The band achieved chart success in 1985, and are best known for their hit single "Love & Pride", which reached number 2 in the UK.

The band also had two Top 20 albums (both certified Gold) and five Top 30 singles in the space of a year.

The band first charted in January 1985 with their aforementioned #2 smash, "Love & Pride which was followed up by "Won’t You Hold My Hand Now" (#24), "Alone Without You" (#8), "The Taste Of Your Tears (#11), and finally (and highly underrated) "Torture" that peaked number 23 in the UK singles chart.

King had a unique blend of rock/funk/ pop all dressed up in their own uniform of Doc Martins, bright suits and big hair do’s. After the success of King, singer Paul King opted to go solo before becoming a VJ (video jockey) on MTV and then VH1.

Just released via Cherry Pop / Cherry Red Records (UK), King's Remixes & Rarities 2CD is a unique 27-track collection devoted to the hard-to-find tracks and mixes from the popular '80s band.

All the tracks are sourced from the band’s 7” and 12” singles and features rare mixes, remixes and b-sides, many appearing on CD for the first time.

4. "FOOLS" *

* Available on CD for the first time in the U.K.

The first CD features 14 tracks and includes seven extended mixes, b-sides and three live tracks recorded at Strathclyde University.

Personally, I've loved King since they hit the ground running with the highly infectious "Love & Pride," and have even discussed them whilst in the car with Wang Chung! So this 2CD set is pure gold to me, of that I tell no lie.

The first CD, which, along with the second disc, is firmly entrenched now (on rotation) in my car CD player, kicks off with a tremendous flashback double bill in both "Love & Pride (Body & Soul Mix)" and "Soul On My Boots (Rub A Dub Mix)". Just the shouted chant of an order for us to "Get your boots on!" is enough to have your ear buds standing at attention let alone the funky bass lines and added synth chords thereafter!

As soon as we get a "I'm takin' it 'round the world" mandate from King, the key synths now at full pelt, there he is, in full vocal glory - and yes, it still puts shivers down my spine to hear how great it still sounds today!

That's backed by a soulful, lush ballad "Soul On My Boots (Rub-A-Dub Mix)" which is also a delicious work of '80s musical art, trust me. Introduced to us on this remix my a sedate, high on life, but grounded King, it takes a while to get going, but once it does, it's gonna carry you away for the day, believe me!

And that's just the first two tracks! OK, so I'm not going to do this for each of the 27 tracks (although, f**k it, why not!), but suffice to say that having collected ALL the King 12" Singles (vinyl) whilst living in the U.K. for the first 26 years of my life, I may not have played them all regularly over the years, but I've had most all these new-to-CD mixes to hand regardless (as I'm sure all King fans have had, in truth).

That said, this is still a true delight to have all these mixes and even unheard (to me) live tracks under the one roof now, so to speak. The fast-paced bass guitar funk of "Ain't No Doubt" is backed by the tender ballad, "Fools." If any, this song showcases just how really good front man Paul King is/was as not only a vocalist, but a songwriter also.

The near-eight minute long 'Won't You Hold My Hand Now (Heavy Times Mix)" is top heavy with deep bass licks and jangly guitar, before King's vocals kick in, and that's backed by the piano ballad "Fish (Reprise) (Live)," a track that was recorded live at Strathclyde University, Glasgow, 26/1/85 (and subsequently released on the 7" / 7" Double Pack and 12" of the "Won't You Hold My Hand Now" single in 1985. [Oh, and the original studio version is available on King's debut album Steps In Time].

Continuing the live aspect of this portion of the first disc, we then get both "Won't You Hold My Hand Now (Encore) (Live)" and "And As For Myself (Live)," before launching into both "Won't You Hold My Hand Now (Single Remix)" and the always brilliant to hear, "Alone Without You (Scorcher Mix)."

Loaded with more bass lines and an abundance of "Na na, na na, Na na, na na's," the mid-tempo, upbeat so-called (at the time) ballad is another stand out cut from King.

One of my all-time favorite King tracks has always been the underrated "I Kissed The Spikey Fridge (Rock Hard Mix)" from their debut, and that's backed by the glorious, and nearly seven minute long, mid-tempo piano ballad "The Taste Of Your Tears (Breaker Heart Mix)."

The first CD is then rounded out by the controlled speeding train drum vibe of another highly underrated song in the form of "Torture (P.F. Extended Mix)", before rounding out with the Hammond, three and a half minute instrumental, "Groovin' With The Kings."


* Available on CD for the first time in the U.K.

CD 2 features 13 tracks including two single versions, six extended mixes, various dub mixes and a live version of "Love And Pride".

Featuring a lot of songs from the first CD, save for them being different versions, I won't go into them like I did above, but suffice to say they are as great as the others. That said, the only totally different song is the "Love & Pride (Live Verson)" that pops up toward the end.

Always lovely to hear the song, no matter under what circumstances, Paul King sings it live like he's in the studio; his vocals are just that crisp, so clean.

Cherry Red have also reissued the band’s two studio albums Steps In Time #6 (CRPOP50) and the follow up Bitter Sweet (CDMRED328). Where available we have sourced the tracks from the original production master tapes.

The CD booklet features lyrics of the singles plus a UK Discography featuring many of the band’s sleeves.

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Mungo Jerry - The Albums: 1976-81'
Artist - Mungo Jerry

For those not in the know, Mungo Jerry are a British rock group who experienced their greatest success in the early 1970s, with a changing line-up that has always been fronted by Ray Dorset.

Indeed, the group's name was inspired by the poem "Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer," from T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats and the group's biggest hit was highly-infectious "In the Summertime" (which remains as their most successful song to this very day).

They had nine charting singles in the U.K., including two number ones, and five top 20 hits in South Africa and now, released June 29th, 2018 via 7T's / Cherry Red Records (UK), a simply stunning 80 track 5CD clam shell box set has been released.

Entitled Mungo Jerry - The Albums: 1976-81, it concentrates on those aforementioned years in the long lasting and highly successful career of Mungo Jerry.



Disc one features the Impala Saga album from 1976, now with six bonus cuts and, for the record, is also one of my own favorite MJ albums. In truth, Ray Dorset (aka Mr. Mungo Jerry) has an uncanny and rare knack when it comes to songwriting and seems to adapt to almost any style with consummate ease.

Always producing catchy tunes that instantly feel familiar, a dear friend of mine was amazed when he heard "Get Down On Your Baby" for the first time. Being a guitar player himself, he told me that an 8 minute or so song is not easy using only one chord without getting boring! High praise, indeed. Featuring the singles "Hello Nadine" and "Don’t Let Go" plus now two rare demos, this is an underrated gem from MJ, trust me.



Issued in the spring of 1977, the album with a tongue twister of a title was most definitely a tale of two musical halves. For one half was as you would musically expect from MJ, whereas the other half was noticeably much harder than one was used to hearing from the group.

Complete with a pounding electric rock sound throughout and screaming vocals, while the other half was more in keeping with the group's familiar low-wattage roots rock sound, the title track and "All That a Woman Should Be" represented the snarling, aggressive side of the music.

Whilst "Heavy Foot Stomp" showed off their more genial, skiffle-inspired sound (though still with a serious beat); the driving, hook-laden "Gone to Malaya" manages to recall any number of Bruce Springsteen tracks of the era; and the album closes on the heavy, electric rock 'n' roll singalong-style track, "Just Can't Say Goodbye." Now with five bonus cuts and featuring the singles "Sur Le Pont D’Avignon", "All That A Woman Should Be" and "Heavy Foot Stomp".



Mungo Jerry may seem like an ultimate one-hit wonder, since their big hit "In the Summertime" seems like the very definition of a novelty one-off, but the post-hippie, British jug band actually had a pretty varied, interesting body of work.

This Best of Ray Dorset / Mungo Jerry album, collects much of the very best of that work, and while there are some notable songs missing (such as "Motherf**ker Boogie"), this is a consistently entertaining collection that will satisfy the needs of most listeners.

The self-titled Ray Dorset & Mungo Jerry from 1978 can be found on Disc 3, again making its debut on CD. Two previously unreleased demos have been added to an album that features the singles "Hello It’s You Again", "We’re O.K." and "Sugar Mama".



This compilation is as good as it gets for Ray Dorset and Mungo Jerry fans, as solo he's on top form here, but with MJ the full band format provides some thumping Glam Rock thrills. There are some really catchy flip side's to behold also, along with aspects of Soul Folk swing. Well, that along with the inevitable Bubblegum Pop with druggy lyrics interspersed with infectious nugget's of Soulful Pop/Rock, of course.

Disc 4 is the Six A Side compilation from 1980 which at the time collected a whole batch of non LP singles and B-sides and put them on an album! Seven bonus tracks have been added including rare solo 45’s by vocalist Ray Dorset.



Not my most favorite of MJ albums, it still manages to satisfy the whole MJ feel though, that's for sure. More of the same here re: Soul Folk swing and bouts of the inevitable Bubblegum Pop, which didn't hurt it, but made it more fitting for a European audience.

The final disc is 1981’s mainland Europe only Together Again album. This featured the singles "Stay With Me" and "Rockin’ On The Road" and has now been joined by six rare bonus cuts.

The detailed booklet contains line notes by noted Rock historian Alan Clayson and is illustrated with numerous picture sleeves from across Europe of all the singles and albums from the time.

Official 5CD Box-Set Purchase Link

Title - 'Tales From The Dreaming City'
Artist - Mark Wingfield

For those not in the know, Mark Wingfield is a guitarist and composer based in the UK where most of his music is rooted in jazz, but he is also active in contemporary classical.

Highly respected among his peers for his original and distinctive electric guitar playing, much of his musical work ethic is directed towards performing and studio work.

He has recorded numerous albums as a leader, and has recorded or performed with internationally acclaimed musicians including: Iain Ballamy, Kevin Kastning, Asaf Sirkis, Yaron Stavi, Thomas Strønen, Jeremy Stacey, Dwiki Dharmawan, Robert Mitchell, Nicolas Meier, Jane Chapman, René von Grünig, and amongst others, Christoph Leistner.

Fueled by the momentum generated from two landmark 2017 group efforts - the Wingfield-Reuter-Stavi-Sirkis quartet's magical The Stone House, and the leaned down Wingfield-Reuter-Sirkus trio effort, the potent Lighthouse (both critically acclaimed works of extraordinary creativity and vision) - Mark Wingfield's sophomore effort for MoonJune Records, Tales From The Dreaming City launches into the cosmos (July 20th, 2018), from the space station where his stellar MJR debut, 2015's Proof of Light docked.

1. 'The Fifth Window' (5:10)
2. 'I Wonder How Many Miles I've Fallen' (7:19)
3. 'The Way To Hemingford Grey' (5:54)
4. 'Sunlight Cafe' (5:58)
5. 'Looking Back At The Amber Lit House' (6:47)
6. 'This Place Up Against The Sky' (6:05)
7. 'At A Small Hour Of The Night' (7:52)
8. 'A Wind Blows Down Turnpike Lane' (3:15)
9. 'Ten Mile Bank' (5:36)
10. 'The Green-Faced Timekeepers' (7:52)

As you'll be able to tell from just looking at the tracklisting, storyteller Mark Wingfield loves his song title-naming experiences. Each one could be a stand alone chapter in a beautiful, long, embracing novel, they are simply just that beautifully created.

We begin with the soaring 'The Fifth Window,' a track that also showcases perfectly what is to come, and that's backed seamlessly by both the more pronounced, tempered 'I Wonder How Many Miles I've Fallen' and then the genial build of 'The Way To Hemingford Grey.'

The methodical 'Sunlight Cafe' is next and is itself followed by one of my own personal favorites on this brilliant new album, the precise workmanship of 'Looking Back At The Amber Lit House.'

A more free flowing track is up next in 'This Place Up Against The Sky,' which is backed by the footsteps intro to the gently reverberating 'At A Small Hour Of The Night.' The heat is turned way back up on 'A Wind Blows Down Turnpike Lane,' with the album rounding out with both the paced 'Ten Mile Bank' and then the artsy, playful 'The Green-Faced Timekeepers.'

Rejoined by the sublime rhythmic engine of Yaron Stavi, on fretless bass, and supreme drummer, Asaf Sirkis, the innovative guitar impressionist carries his unprecedented expansion of the electric guitar's sonic palette of sound and expression into further uncharted dimensions.

The session is augmented by a guest appearance from fellow MoonJune artist, keyboardist Dominic Vantomme, whose tasty synth work decorates four selections.

The compositions are as spellbinding as Mark's far-reaching guitar work and the trio's sensitive corporate delivery. Listening to these brand new ten tracks, you will instantly be star struck about this ambitious new release, as Wingfield's adventurous, pioneering guitar work transports you to destinations previously unreachable.

In closing, Tales from a Dreaming City is immediately essential listening, further cementing the artist's position among the instrument's most radically unconventional practitioners and its most forward-thinking tone architects, ever.

Mark Wingfield @ Facebook!

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Title - 'Rumah Batu'
Artist - Dwiki Dharmawan

For those not in the know, Dwiki Dharmawan creates jazz influenced by the traditional music of Indonesia, where he came of age on the island of Java.

His band, Krakatau, is acclaimed worldwide and his newest project, the World Peace Orchestra (WPO), aims to bring social harmony and consciousness to the globe.

Dwiki Dharmawan is very proud of his nationalism and strongly believe in internasionalism, He want his generation to have spirit to always seek new ideas and innovation based on the richness of tradition, diversity and pluralism as given. Because a nation’s greatness is reflected in her arts and culture.

In addition to producing nine albums with Krakatau and with numerous well-known artists, Dwiki Dharmawan has also produced a solo album entitled Nuansa in 2002 (Sony Music Entertainment), and now riding the momentum of 2016's groundbreaking, critically heralded release, Pasar Klewer, MoonJune Records is releasing his phenomenal new album, Rumah Batu, this July 20th, 2018.

1. 'Rintak Rebana' (10:39)
2. 'Paris Barantai' (11:43)
3. 'Impenan' (8:20)
4. 'Janger' (5:59)
5. 'Rumah Batu Suite, Part 1 - Kaili' (12:24)
6. 'Rumah Batu Suite, Part 2 - Perjalanan' (14:14)
7. 'Samarkand' (7:40)
8. 'Selamatkan Orang Utan' (7:16)

Drawing from both his extensive jazz influences and his rich cultural heritage, the Indonesian maestro delivers yet another spellbinding masterwork.

Brimming with adventurous compositions, ingenious arrangements and superlative performances, Rumah Batu almost defies categorization - eclipsing both progressive jazz and world music genres.

While a score of diverse ethnic flavors abound throughout, within its nucleus resides the free-spirited, unpretentious essence that epitomizes the greatest jazz.

Augmented by a stellar cast of players, vastly international in scope - including: the enigmatic Parisian virtuoso, of Vietnamese descent, Nguyn L, on guitar; legendary flamenco fretless bassist, Spain's Carles Benavent; the extraordinary flutist, also from Indonesia, Sa'at Syah, and; the proven progressive backbone of fellow Israeli-born, UK transplants, Yaron Stavi [on upright bass] and drummer Asaf Sirkis - this landmark recording offers an intimate glimpse into Dwiki's unparalleled genius as player, arranger and songwriter.

The album chronicles yet another magical session created and captured at the already-infamous La Casa Murada. Situated in the tranquil, picturesque setting of the Catalonian wine region of Peneds, Spain, the studio's recordings seem to take on a life of their own; and Rumah Batu is certainly no exception: articulating jazz's continuing evolution in the 21st century.

If, much like myself, you've never heard of this iconic keyboardist, composer and producer, Dwiki Dharmawan before reading this, trust me when I say that all his back catalogue of musical works are well worth checking out.

His latest solo album Rumah Batu (which means “the stone house” in Indonesian Bahasa language), is no exception to that have-to-listen guideline either, for it beautifully, and so profoundly blends world renowned jazz influences and creative improvisation with his very own richly steeped Indonesian cultural heritage.

Bringing forth a progressive jazz album soaked in a delightful world music blanket of love, Dharmawan showcases eight new compositions in some style, it has to be said. Compiling that aforementioned wonderful cast of players to augment his musical desire for all to hear, stand out's here for me are such musicians as both legendary flamenco fretless bassist, Spain’s Carles Benavent and the quite extraordinary flutist, also from Indonesia, Sa’at Syah.

Of course, everyone comes together to create the final stunning output that we now have here on CD, and that includes the guest vocalists on Rumah Batu. Ergo, the end result is a set of individual tracks that once played together provide us a wealth of inspired, and freely transformational musical emotions that will stay with you for years to come.

So, and for those who wondered what Messenger Dharmawan could possibly conjure as a follow-up to Rumah's unanimously praised predecessor, prepare to be amazed and perplexed - and escorted on a musical sojourn unlike any the genre has ever witnessed.

Dwiki Dharmawan @ Facebook!

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Title - 'My Midnight Things'
Artist - Lizzy Borden

For those not in the know, Lizzy Borden is an American heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles in 1983. To date, the band has charted on the Billboard 200 four times and, just in case you are wondering, yes, Lizzy Borden is eponymous of the band's lead vocalist.

The band was founded in 1983 by brothers Lizzy Borden and Joey Scott and initially got noticed after their song "Rod Of Iron" featured on Metal Blade Records' Metal Massacre IV compilation LP.

The band then signed to Metal Blade in 1984 and released their debut EP "Give 'Em The Axe" in May of the same year. And yes, the band is named after the notorious Lizzie Borden, a woman accused and acquitted of murder in the late 19th century.

On June 15th, 2018, Lizzy Borden come out of the darkness once again with their first new album in 11 years, My Midnight Things (via Metal Blade Records).

1. 'My Midnight Things'
2. 'Obsessed with You'
3. 'Long May They Haunt Us'
4. 'The Scar Across My Heart'
5. 'A Stranger to Love'
6. 'The Perfect Poison'
7. 'Run Away with Me'
8. 'Our Love Is God'
9. 'My Midnight Things (Reprise)'
10. 'We Belong to the Shadows'

The album kicks off with melodic, pleading title track and backs that up seamlessly with both the mid-tempo ballad, if you will, 'Obsessed with You' and then the thunderously brilliant, 'Long May They Haunt Us.' 'The Scar Across My Heart' keeps that very same musical vibe free flowing with 'A Stranger to Love' as lovingly '80s as it gets.

Collecting together elements of that aforementioned era, Borden still sings like his life depends on it and yet now that his vocals are aged-down, it all sounds so fresh, so cultured now. 'The Perfect Poison' is Cooper-lite fodder (which isn't a bad thing) and that's followed by the pop-tinged 'Run Away with Me.'

The heavy guitar Gods come out to play on the Gothic-soaked 'Our Love Is God,' and that's backed by an acoustic version (basically) of 'My Midnight Things (Reprise).' The album then rounds out perfectly with the raucous beauty 'We Belong to the Shadows,' which showcases the fact that Borden's extended hiatus has served him, and the band, very well.

“Although we have stayed busy touring all over the world, I missed being a recording artist," Borden himself has recently said. "I look at the new album as a new beginning, I pushed the restart button on my career.”

With that said, word actually has it that Borden re-signed with Metal Blade purely on the strength of three demo's created to showcase this album; and from what I've heard twice through today now, he got that deal most deservedly so.

Borden also opted to produce My Midnight Things himself, with drummer Joey Scott as co-producer, and so what we get is a more personal sounding album of journeyman metallic vibrancy.

Lizzy Borden @ Facebook!

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Cenotaph'
Artist - Operus

For those not in the know, Operus started a few years back as a side project from the power metal band Adllivyttumm.

While playing concerts in regional tours around Mexico and studying music at the University of Guadalajara, Oscar Rangel started to compose his own style of music based on his different influences.

After many years of hard work in composing a multitude of songs that surpassed the musical purpose of Adllivyttumm, everything started to make sense. Since the music started to roam into other styles than that of Oscar Rangel’s former band, he decided to leave the limits of the musical instrumentation and style of composition he faced.

He then dedicated his talent and creativity in expressing his thoughts and emotions through his own music and created this project.

Around spring of 2008, Kirsti Heitz appeared in the picture, giving the music all the lyrical power and epic feeling that Oscar always wanted but could never achieve.

In June of 2009 Oscar moved his project to Toronto and started to record the first rough demo under the band name Masquerade at the Opera. However, later in 2011 Masquerade at the Opera changed to Operus and with this change came a bigger production.

In November of 2012, guitarist Brittany Dasilva and drummer Broderick Archer joined the lines of Operus and in October of the following year, Wojtek Sokolowski becomes not only installed as the Director of Internal Operations, but bassist also. That same month, Robin Howe joins on cello and Tara Mills on vocals and flute.

Finally, come February 2014, the band's line-up is solidified with Will Patterson bringing the power and expression needed in the voice and taking the charge of main lyricist.

Thus, come November of 2015, Operus released their debut EP titled "Opus I," whilst J.J. Tartaglia joined the band and took over the drumming duties from Sokolowski.

So, as you can tell, Operus's depth comes from the vast musical experience each member brings with them. From extensive studio time to worldwide performances in both metal bands and Symphonic Chamber Orchestras.

The combined musical knowledge in Operus comes from decades of intense dedication to music with University and Masters Degrees, Royal Conservatory of Music certifications and the first hand experience of performing in North America, Europe and Asia.

And they have now released (October 13th, 2017), via Dark Star Records, their debut full-length album, Cenotaph.

1. 'Silver Spell'
2. 'Steel Against Steel'
3. 'Colosseum'
4. 'Sand of Time'
5. 'Fate's Pantomime'
6. 'Wretched Play'
7. 'Maya & The Wolf'
8. 'La Catedral'
9. 'The Return'

"Cenotaph is a commemoration of writers & poets who never gained the recognition and or lived to see the impact of their work,” explains the band. “The concept and inspiration for the title of the album is taken from a statue in Budapest located opposite of Vajdahunyad Castle, Anonymous, the unknown chronicler at the court of King Béla III."

"The lyrical concepts are not that of any one specific idea but rather a mosaic of different stories and legends which are meant to paint images in the minds of the listener, much like the tales laid by the quills of writers long ago.”

From the very first moments of the chanted opening to 'Silver Spell,' you know you're in for something musically momentous. The fire and the fury, let alone the drumming alone of 'Steel Against Steel' is breathtaking, as are both 'Colosseum' and the mid-tempo, achingly beautiful flow of 'Sands of Time.'

The thunderous 'Fate's Pantomime' is one of my own personal favorites, and that's followed by both the Renaissance-flavored storytelling of yore 'Wretched Play' and the maniacal title track, 'Cenotaph.'

A beautiful, simply stunning 'Maya & The Wolf' shows the world just how to create and compose and deliver such a delicate genre track via pure musical perfection on all fronts, and whilst the pace is picked up again on 'La Catedral,' the album rounds out with the epic seven-minute long, near-operatic journey of 'The Return.'

Operus @ Facebook!

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Title - 'Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy Live' [CD+DVD]
Artist - Carl Palmer

For those not in the know, Carl Palmer is an English drummer and percussionist, credited as one of the most respected rock drummers to emerge from the 1960s.

He is a veteran of a number of famous English bands: the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Atomic Rooster, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and Asia.

Inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1989, he was awarded "Prog God" at the 2017 Progressive Music Awards.

Releasing June 29th, 2018 via BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd, Carl Palmer, perhaps the most incredible drummer the world has ever seen, and now the sole surviving member of prog rock giants Emerson, Lake & Palmer brings forth Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy Live[CD+DVD Digipack].

Featuring two amazing Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy gigs, the CD was recorded live in New York 2014, the DVD live in Miami 2016. With the DVD itself being a delicious 2 hours long, this is the complete tribute show to Keith Emerson, featuring special guests Steve Hackett (Genesis), Mark Stein (Vanilla Fudge), and David Frangioni.

1. "Rondeau des Indes Galantes / Ride of the Valkyries (Live)"
2. "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (Live)"
3. "Mars, The God of War / 21st Century Schizoid Man (Live)"
4. "Tarkus (Live)"
5. "America (Live)"
6. "Knife-Edge (Live)"
7. "Trilogy (Live)"

1. "Introduction"
2. "Peter Gunn"
3. "Karn Evil 9 (Welcome Back My Friends)"
4. "The Barbarian"
5. "Bitches Crystal (Live)"
6. "Jerusalem (Live)"
7. "Romeo & Juliet (Live)"
8. "21st Century Schizoid Man (Live)"
9. "Clair De Lune"
10. "Knife-Edge (Live)"
11. "Hoedown"
12. "Take a Pebble (Live)"
13. "Carmina Burana (Live)"
14. "Pictures At an Exhibition (Live)"
15. "Fanfare for the Common Man / Drum Solo"
16. "Nutrocker (Live)"
17. "Behind the Scenes At the Tribute to Keith Emerson"

Chock full of sensational instrumental versions of ELP and ELP-inspired classics, featuring the prodigal talents of Simon Fitzpatrick on guitar and Paul Bielatowicz on bass, Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy Live (the DVD performed and recorded when he was supposed to be celebrating his 50th anniversary as a professional musician) is a simply divine audio and visual experience.

On the DVD performance, our dynamic trio are accompanied by The Center For Contemporary Dance Ensemble, including during the Emerson tribute "Pictures At An Exhibition". It's been said down the years that both Palmer and Emerson were inspired by the piece and it gave them some early common ground. [The booklet also comes with brand new sleeve notes by Carl Palmer].

"I am so pleased to have been able to dedicate a DVD to Keith and Greg," Palmer has said about this release. "I am still thinking about all the great times we had. The music is strong and my memories will be with me for ever! Emerson Lake and Palmer Lives On!"

Carl Palmer @ Facebook!

CD+DVD Purchase Link

Title - 'The Subversive Kind'
Artist - Deliverance

For those not in the know, Deliverance is an American Christian thrash metal band which later shifted more towards heavy metal and progressive metal.

Founded by Jimmy P. Brown II in 1985, many members have either stayed in the line-up for a number of years, or left and returned. That said, Jimmy P. Brown II has been the only constant member of Deliverance.

Released February 23rd, 2018 via Roxx Records and 3 Frogz Records, the brand new Deliverance album The Subversive Kind was unleashed worldwide - and having listened to it twice through now, I can emphatically confirm it is well worth the money you will invest in it, trust me!

1. 'Bring 'Em Down'
2. 'Concept Of The Other'
3. 'Center Of It All'
4. 'The Black Hand'
5. 'Epilogue'
6. 'Listen Closely'
7. 'The Subversive Kind'
8. 'The Fold'

Bill Bafford of Roxx Records had this to say about the new release: "We are very excited to once again be partnering with 3 Frogz and Deliverance to bring you this awesome new thrash release. The fans that have been requesting a 'Weapons Part 2’ will be ecstatic with this new release and I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this new album is the bands Reign in Blood."

Chock full of fast, pounding, speeding train riffs, blazing leads and solos, and furious drumming, from the very first track 'Bring 'Em Down,' you instantly know who is playing and what you're in for ... and the almighty thrash ride attached to it, of course!

And therein tells the tale of The Subversive Kind: fast and furious thrash at its very finest which their dedicated and hardcore fans will absolutely adore.

With a bass line hook that permeates perfectly throughout, and Jimmy P. Brown II's prime vocalizations, at times, barking the delivered lyrics across, Deliverance don't put a foot, or guitar lick wrong here.

Being that this is their eleventh studio album, Southern California’s Deliverance know exactly what they had to do to keep their musical mantra alive with their fans.

Hence, The Subversive Kind features eight tracks at just over 30 minutes and, unsurprisingly, marks a return to the blast-beat thrash of their first three albums.

Also, The Subversive Kind can be found on Vinyl and Digital formats, with the vinyl actually being a Limited Edition pressing of only 500 pieces.

Furthermore, the vinyl variations include 100 on green vinyl that was exclusive to campaign backers, 150 red vinyl and 250 black vinyl.

This CD version is packaged in a jewel case with 8 panel insert.

Deliverance @ Facebook!

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'And the Stars Above'
Artist - Armonite

For those not in the know, Armonite is a progressive rock band from Pavia, Italy. Founded in 1996, but reformed in 2015, the Armonite core consists of Italian prog-rockers Paolo Fosso and Jacopo Bigi.

Their debut record, The Sun Is New Each Day, which was produced at Abbey Road Studios and released in 2016 to massive critical acclaim also features Porcupine Tree bassist, Colin Edwin.

This past May 25th, 2018 via Cleopatra Records / Purple Pyramid, Armonite released their brand new sophomore album, And The Stars Above.

Featuring violinist Jacopo Bigi and keyboardist Paolo Fosso, it also, once again, includes a special guest appearance by Colin Edwin of the aforementioned iconic UK prog-rockers Porcupine Tree.

1. 'The March of the Stars'
2. 'Next Ride'
3. 'District Red'
4. 'Plaza de España'
5. 'Clouds Collide'
6. 'Blue Curaçao'
7. 'By Heart'
8. 'Freaks'
9. 'By the Waters of Babylon'
10. 'The Usual Drink'
11. 'What's the Rush?'
12. 'Ghosts'
13. 'A Playful Day (For String Quartet)' - (Bonus Track)
14. 'The Fire Dancer (For Piano Solo)' - (Bonus Track)

The album kicks off with the politely delicate, ethereal vocals of Maria Chiara Montagnari on 'The March of the Stars,' which before long entices the pulse of the track to explode into a heavy hitting masterpiece. Next comes 'Ride' and whilst reducing the tempo, it still carries with it a vibrant passion; all augmented with beautiful streams of violin atop a drum and electric guitar back beat.

The ethnic-salted 'District Red' is like a speeding train hitting the curves of a soaring mountain side, always threatening to derail, but never quite tipping over fully, and that's backed by the delicately floating work of musical art within the piano melody 'Plaza de España.'

Montagnari is back, and rightfully so, on the playful, perky 'Clouds Collide' with the drumtastic 'Blue Curaçao' following thereafter. Interestingly enough, both 'By Heart' and 'By the Waters of Babylon' - separated by 'Freaks' (an eerie, at times whistled walk through the dark alley ways of time) - are based on the virelai 'Douce Dame Joile' by Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1377), and a canon by Philip Hayes (1738-1797), respectively.

Armonite's varying keys of hopefulness are captured royally within a hunting rendition of the piano vs. violin masterpiece 'The Usual Drink,' which in turn is backed by the most upbeat, EDM-inspired cut on the album, the pulsating 'What's the Rush?' Ending the album with the supernaturally perky 'Ghosts,' Armonite have also added two (2) bonus tracks to the album to round it off in some style: 'A Playful Day (For String Quartet)' and the stunning 'The Fire Dancer (For Piano Solo).'

Armonite @ Facebook!

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Our Country: Americana Act II'
Artist - Ray Davies

For those not in the know, Sir Raymond Douglas Davies, CBE is an English singer, songwriter and musician.

Indeed, furthermore to that, and as I'm sure you will all know yourselves anyway, but for those uninitiated, he was the lead singer, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the Kinks; which he led with his younger brother, Dave.

He has also acted, directed and produced shows for theatre and television and is often referred to as "the godfather of Britpop". After the dissolution of the Kinks in 1996, Davies embarked on a very highly successful solo career.

The continuing story of the Kinks co-founder's journeys through America, as depicted in his 2013 memoir Americana and 2017's album of the same name, Our Country: Americana Act II is out June 29th via Sony Legacy Recordings.

A concept album borne from Davies' vision of America, of how it shaped him and how he himself evolved through the years, much like its predecessor, the album was recorded at the legendary Konk Studios in London with guitarist Bill Shanley and The Jayhawks once again serving as Davies' backing band.

1. 'Our Country'
2. 'The Invaders' (spoken word)
3. 'Back In The Day'
4. 'Oklahoma U.S.A.'
5. 'Bringing Up Baby'
6. 'The Getaway'
7. 'The Take'
8. 'We Will Get There'
9. 'The Real World'
10. 'A Street Called Hope'
11. 'The Empty Room'
12. 'Calling Home'
13. 'Louisiana Sky'
14. 'March Of The Zombies'
15. 'The Big Weird'
16. 'Tony And Bob'
17. 'The Big Guy'
18. 'Epilogue'
19. 'Muswell Kills'

Americana (Act I) was Ray Davies' first new album in 10 years and boy, was it a doozy! As is this second act, trust me. The lyrics and spoken word moments are all largely derived from his own 2013 memoir of the same name and based on Ray's subsequent trips, stays and extensive travels in the U.S.

The songs are, for the most part, variations on the theme of America's vastness; natural beauty; mythologies; seductive facets of its culture, tending to represent one's aspirations and dreams of hope vs. the opposite of the American dream: in the form of doubts, disillusionment, materialism run amok, fraudulent deals, poverty and powerlessness.

There are terrific tunes and remarkable moments throughout Ray's diverse-sounding Our Country: Americana Act II album, but to get to know that phrase a little better, allow me to just slip this in here: The Americana genre, by definition, comprises an array of traditional (but evolving) American musical styles, generally in hybrid form, such as alt-country country-rock, folk-rock, country-folk and southern country-soul.

In the case of this Americana, the poetic singer-songwriter rock side of the hybrid equation carries a bit more weight than the others. In fact, and in total truth, and I am NOT exaggerating when I say that not only is Our Country: Americana Act II the best album of Ray Davies' solo career, but it may well be the best solo album of the entire British Invasion!

There is no question that Ray has found ample inspiration in America, twice now and one assumes, could easily follow this up with subsequent Acts; and with his backing band - the superlative and highly adaptable Jayhawks - backing him at every musical turn, you wouldn't bet against it.

Ray Davies @ Facebook!

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Shelter Me' (Reissue)
Artist - Jack Russell

For those not in the know, Jack Russell is an American rock vocalist and the founding member of the American hard rock band Great White.

Russell was with Great White from 1981-1996, then took three years off to record and release his first solo album, entitled Shelter Me, then rejoined in 1999 until the band broke up in 2001.

After touring solo under his own name briefly, he then changed the band name to "Jack Russell's Great White" and toured from 2002-2005. Around that time, Russell also released a second solo album entitled For You in 2002.

Released May 25th, 2018 via Deadline Music / Cleopatra Records, that debut solo album from Russell, Shelter Me has now been lovingly reissued.

1. 'Shelter Me'
2. 'Take My Pain'
3. 'Leave Me Lonely'
4. 'Long Way To Go'
5. 'Hey Bulldog'
6. 'You'll Love A Good Thing'
7. 'Twenty-Four/Seven'
8. 'The Fault's All Mine'
9. 'Roll With The Tide'
10. 'Faith In You'
11. 'Save Your Love'
12. 'Shine On'
13. 'When I Look Into Your Eyes'

Chock full of 13 tracks that showcase the Great White front man at his lyrical and vocal finest, musically, and with guitarists Matthew Johnson and Michael Lardie together with a rhythm section that includes bassist Tim Bogert (Jeff Beck) and drummer Myron Grombacher, the album is right in line with Great White's brand of Zeppelin-inspired blues rock.

These well-crafted songs by Russell may well lean on the mellow side of what he could powerfully bring to the mic, but the legendary fixture in '80s/'90s classic L.A. rock does not let anybody down here, trust me.

Packed with straight forward, down and dirty rock tracks, all radio-radio, especially the ballad 'Leave Me Lonely,' Shelter Me is one of the finest examples of hard rock, blues, and even folk coming together to bring forth a solid core of catchy tunes.

His gutsy cover of the Beatles' 'Hey Bulldog' is one of the stand out cuts here for my money along with the heartfelt ballad 'You'll Lose a Good Thing,' the rockin' blues vibe of 'The Fault's All Mine,' and the emotional cover of the Great White classic 'Save Your Love.'

Emblazoned with Russell's very own personal and most poignant insights into his incredible life, the new reissue also features all new artwork and an extensive booklet with complete lyrics.

Jack Russell's Great White @ Facebook!

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Complete Recordings: Deutsche Gramm. & Decca'
Artist - Leonard Bernstein

For those not in the classical know, Leonard Bernstein was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the US to receive worldwide acclaim. According to music critic Donal Henahan, he was "one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history."

His fame derived from his long tenure as the music director of the New York Philharmonic, from his conducting of concerts with most of the world's leading orchestras, and from his music for West Side Story, Peter Pan, Candide, Wonderful Town, On the Town, On the Waterfront, his Mass, and a range of other compositions, including three symphonies and many shorter chamber and solo works.

Indeed, Bernstein was the first conductor to give a series of television lectures on classical music, starting in 1954 and continuing until his death. He was a skilled pianist, often conducting piano concertos from the keyboard.

As a composer he wrote in many styles encompassing symphonic and orchestral music, ballet, film and theatre music, choral works, opera, chamber music and pieces for the piano. Many of his works are regularly performed around the world, although none has matched the tremendous popular and critical success of West Side Story.

In short, Leonard Bernstein was a musical titan of the 20th Century as a composer, a conductor and a communicator. “The greatest pianist among the conductors, the greatest conductor among composers, the greatest composer among pianists … He is a universal genius” - Arthur Rubenstein.

This 100th Anniversary Limited Numbered Edition Box-Set is the largest of DG’s suite of beautifully-conceived albums and sets marking the 2018 centenary of a remarkable human being and musical legends.

Leonard Bernstein’s Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon & Decca are presented together for the first time with his video-taped performances on Unitel here in this wondrous box set.


CD1-15 BEETHOVEN: The Symphonies ∙ Overtures ∙ Piano Concertos 3, 4, 5 (Zimerman) ∙ String Quartet Nos. 14 & 16 ∙ Missa solemnis ∙ Fidelio ∙ Ode an die Freiheit (Berlin 1989, Live)

THE FINAL CONCERT – BRITTEN: Four Sea Interludes ∙ BEETHOVEN: Symphony 7

CD16-30 BERNSTEIN: Symphonies 1-3 ∙ Chichester Psalms ∙ Serenade ∙ Fancy Free (ballet) ∙ Dybbuk: Suites 1 & 2 ∙ Songfest ∙ 8 Divertimentos ∙ A Musical Toast ∙ Slava ∙ On the Town (3 Dance Episodes) ∙ Facsimile ∙ Halil ∙ Mass: 3 Meditations ∙ On the Waterfront: Symphonic Suite ∙ Prelude, Fugues & Riffs ∙ West Side Story: Symphonic Dances ∙ Jubilee Games ∙ Candide ∙ West Side Story ∙ A Quiet Place

FOSS: The Song of Songs

GERSHWIN: Rhapsodie in Blue


ROREM: Violin Concerto

CD31-32 BIZET: Carmen

CD33-39 BRAHMS: Symphonies 1-4 ∙ Piano Concertos 1-2 ∙ Academic Festival Overture ∙ Variations on a Theme of Joseph Haydn ∙ Tragic Overture ∙ Concerto for Violin ∙ Concerto for Violin & Violoncello

CD40 BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 9

CD41-43 COPLAND: Appalachian Spring ∙ Symphony No. 3 ∙ Quiet City ∙ El Salon Mexico ∙ Concerto for Clarinet and Strings ∙ Music for the Theatre ∙ Connotations for orchestra

CD44 DEBUSSY: Images ∙ Prélude à l'après-midi d’un faune ∙ La Mer

CD45-46 DVORAK: Symphony No. 9 ∙ 8 Slavonic Dances ∙ Concerto for Violoncello

BLOCH: Schelomo

CD47 ELGAR: Enigma Variations ∙ Pomp and Circumstance ∙ From the Crown of India

CD48 FRANCK: Symphony in D minor

SAINT-SAENS: Le Rouet d'Omphale

ROUSSEL: Symphony No. 3

CD49 HARRIS: Symphony No. 3

W. SCHUMAN: Symphony No. 3

CD50-54 HAYDN: Symphonies Nos. 88, 92, 94, 102 ∙ Sinfonia Concertante ∙ Die Schöpfung ∙ Missa in tempora belli “Paukenmesse”

CD55 HINDEMITH: Symphony ‘Mathis der Maler’ ∙ Concert Music for String Orchestra and Brass ∙ Symphonic Metamorphoses

CD56 IVES: Symphony No. 2 ∙ The Gong ∙ Tone Roads No.1 ∙ Hymn ∙ Hallowe'en ∙ Central Park in the Dark ∙ The Unanswered Question

CD57 LISZT: A Faust Symphony

CD58 BOITO: Mefistofele ∙ Proloue

CD59-77 MAHLER: Symphonies Nos. 1 – 10 ∙ Das Lied von der Erde ∙ Des Knaben Wunderhorn ∙ Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen ∙ Kindertotenlieder ∙ Rückert-Lieder

CD78-79 MENDELSSOHN: Symphonies Nos. 3-5 ∙ Hebridean Overture

CD80-87 MOZART: Symphonies Nos. 25, 29, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40 ∙ Clarinet Concerto ∙ Piano Concertos Nos. 15 & 17 ∙ Ave verum corpus ∙ Exsultate jubilate ∙ Great Mass in C minor ∙ Requiem

RAVEL: Piano Concerto in G

CD88-89 PUCCINI: La Bohème

CD90-91 SCHUBERT: Symphonies Nos. 8, 5, 9

CD92-94 SCHUMANN: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 ∙ Concerto for Violoncello ∙ Piano Concerto in A minor

CD95-97 SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphonies Nos. 1, 6, 7, 9

CD98-100 SIBELIUS: Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, 5, 7

CD101 R. STRAUSS: Salome (selections) ∙ 5 Songs for Voice & Orchestra

CD102-106 STRAVINSKY: L'oiseau de feu (Suite) ∙ Pulcinella (Suite) ∙ Petruschka ∙ Scenes de ballet ∙ Le Sacre du Printemps ∙ Symphony in C ∙ Symphony in 3 Movements ∙ Les Noces

CD107-111 TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphonies Nos. 4, 5, 6 ∙ Francesca da Rimini ∙ Fantasy Overture Romeo and Juliet ∙ Hamlet Overture ∙ Slavonic March ∙ Capriccio Italien ∙ 1812 Festival Overture

CD112-115 WAGNER: Tristan und Isolde

CD116-121 CONCERT & MUSICAL ANALYSIS on American Decca

Beethoven – Symphony No. 3 & Musical Analysis

Dvorak – Symphony No. 9 & Musical Analysis

Schumann – Symphony No. 2 & Musical Analysis

Brahms – Symphony No. 4 & Musical Analysis

Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 6 & Musical Analysis

DVD1-8 BEETHOVEN: Symphonies Nos. 1 – 9 ∙ Missa Solemnis ∙ Choral-Fantasy ∙ Creatures of Prometheus ∙ Overtures ∙ String Quartet No. 14 ∙ Piano Concertos Nos. 1 – 5 ∙ Fidelio

DVD9-10 BERNSTEIN: Divertimento ∙ Serenade for Solo Violin & String Orchestra ∙ Candide

DVD11-14 BRAHMS: Symphonies Nos. 1 – 4 ∙ Piano Concerto Nos. 1 & 2 ∙ Concerto for Violin and Orchestra ∙ Concerto for Violin ∙ Violoncello and Orchestra

DVD15 GERSHWIN: An American in Paris

IVES: Symphony No. 2 ∙ The Unanswered Question

DVD16 HAYDN: Die Schöpfung

DVD17-27 MAHLER: Symphonies Nos. 1 – 10 ∙ Das Lied von der Erde ∙ Orchestral Songs


The Little Drummer Boy: An essay on Gustav Mahler by and with Leonard Bernstein

DVD28-29 MOZART: Great Mass in C minor ∙ Ave verum corpus ∙ Requiem

DVD30-31 SCHUMANN: Symphonies Nos. 1 – 4 ∙ Concerto for Violoncello

HAYDN: Concerto for Violoncello

DVD32 SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphonies Nos. 6 & 9

DVD33 TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5 ∙ Violin Concerto ∙ Andante cantabile

DVD34 BERNSTEIN: West Side Story – The Making of


DVD36 ROSTROPOVICH / BERNSTEIN: Schumann Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra

Blu-ray Audio BEETHOVEN: Symphonies Nos. 1 – 9

Furthermore, these 121 CDs (with each album presented in original jackets), 36 DVDs and 1 Blu-ray audio disc also come with a rather spectacular 200-page book with extensive documentation.

This fantastic book features:
1. A preface by Bernstein’s daughter, Jamie Bernstein; and essays from:
2. Nigel Simeone, editor of The Bernstein Letters;
3. Bernstein’s biographer, Humphrey Burton;
4. Journalist, Wolfgang Stähr;
5. Numerous photographs and facsimiles from the archives of Deutsche Grammophon and the Bernstein Estate

Now, as for all the glorious music contained within this simply divine box-set, well, obviously I can't go into detail about it all, but suffice to say a few of my own stand out favorite moments (and ones that are the usual go-to works) are as follows:

Among his now infamous CD1-15 BEETHOVEN cycle, the mighty Ninth Symphony is one that always grabs my attention. It was originally recorded on the 16 track 2" tape, with much more data stored, sure, but in the finale, the vocal of the four soloists is much better presented here in this digitized CD box-set, compared with recordings from the past.

This was one of the last important recordings of the analogue era for Bernstein. Indeed, when he turned to Brahms with the Wienerphilharmoniker they were recorded digitally.

Beethoven's symphonies stand apart from the rest of his works (in my humble opinion) not because everything else he wrote was second-rate, but because his symphonies are so good. And these recordings under Bernstein's baton do a great job of capturing the emotional power of Beethoven that make his symphonies so famous and unequaled.

As for the whole CD33-39 BRAHMS section, well, here is the most convincing presentation of Brahms' symphonies that I have ever experienced. There is no explanation for a gift like Leonard Bernstein, a true legend and one of the towering conductors/composers of the 20th century ... and a great Brahms conductor!

His brilliance and incandescence are revelatory in these Brahms performances. His view of a thorough-going romantic Brahms expressing his passionate control of an inner rage in classical form is convincing. He and this great Vienna orchestra give a consistent statement of it.

And, of course, Bernstein's introductory comments are without peer. Nobody should miss those! He reveals his conductorial approach in each of these symphonies. He achieves it with passion and poetry. His Brahms sings.

The CD41-43 COPLAND phase here showcases the fact that there's just no question that Leonard Bernstein was the greatest champion of Copland's music; and helped gain the composer even more recognition through all of the incredible recordings he made both on Columbia and Deutsche Grammophon.

These particular recordings, which, as long as I can remember, has remained in the catalog for years, is the perfect introduction to Copland's "Populist" period. Those wide-open vistas, lonely melodies, raucous Western rhythms are all captured with an irresistible charm, but also power under Bernstein.

"Appalachian Spring" is perhaps Copland's most well-known work. It was a ballet written for Martha Graham and it depicts a 19th Century farm land in Pennsylvania. It makes use of a Shaker tune titled "Simple Gifts," which Copland would incorporate into his song cycle "Old American Songs".

On CD45-46 DVORAK we get wrapped up snug in Symphony No. 9, a mighty fine presentation of The New World Symphony by an outstanding conductor and orchestra. In truth, almost every time Leonard Bernstein takes the podium, I hear a truly compact and strongly authentic performance.

As an interesting side note, musicologists are also quick to point out that The New World Symphony is clearly built upon a framework of traditional Hungarian musical artistry. While this is undoubtedly true, this symphony still manifests something that is genuinely American and the monumental kudos and acclaim bestowed upon Dvorák by Americans following the early performances clearly validated this actuality.

Within CD50-54 HAYDN: Symphonies we get to experience what all the fuss was, back upon their original release. You see, although some purists might object that these performances from 1958-1970 were not on original, period instruments, there is much to enjoy for the modern listener.

These are not "prim and proper" Haydn performances. They pulse with vitality and excitement. There are pensive, lyrical slow movements; musical balance that highlights orchestral counterpoint; and a forward propulsion in some of the fast movements that is full of finger-snapping fun. What a pleasure to re-discover these Haydn symphonies with fresh ears here in this brilliant box-set.

However, my own personal go-to favorite of Leonard Bernstein's works would have to be found here on CD59-77 MAHLER: Symphonies Nos. 1 – 10, for they are a truly excellent introduction to Gustav Mahler's masterpieces.

Excellent orchestra, conductors, and musicians, and with Leonard Bernstein himself being famous for being a dynamo, and something of a maniac on the podium, it is perhaps unsurprising that he should find such an affinity with Mahler’s music.

It is the conductor’s restless energy that is immediately apparent in this set’s first work: right through the First Symphony’s spellbinding opening you are on the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen next.

This gives way to a wonderfully exuberant allegro where minor imprecision's of ensemble and a little extraneous noise don’t matter in the context of what is going on. There is a real sense of build towards the joyous eruption of the coda. It is entirely typical of Bernstein that he wallows in the vulgarity of the second movement, including ridiculous glissandi and over-the-top winds.

The white-hot blaze of the final bars could have come from the baton of no-one else, and the whole performance is helped by wonderfully clear sound, capturing the atmosphere of the Concertgebouw beautifully.

The other most easily recommendable performance is the Fifth. There is a wonderful sense of scale to the funeral march, helped by slow speeds and a insistent snare-drum rhythm. The second movement begins with, if anything, an even more vicious attack, though it loses momentum as the music progresses.

The chorale theme, when it comes, is remarkably striking and its climax sails out over the orchestral texture. After it the rest of the movement seems to ebb away and the opening of the scherzo is less manic than one might have expected.

My last choice to experience for yourselves here would be on CD107-111 TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphonies Nos. 4, 5, 6. Simply put, this was Leonard Bernstein's last Tchaikovsky cycle. The recording of the sixth symphony is nothing less than extraordinary. Complete with large, sweeping tempos, totally unrushed with grandeur and dignity, the other works are equally "Bernstein," have no worries.

I recommend this Tchaikovsky cycle with the highest recommendation if not solely due to the reading of the sixth symphony alone. For it is out of this world. A great legacy to one of America's greatest conductors of the twentieth century, now encompassed within this 121 CD box-set, Leonard Bernstein - Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon & Decca is an AMAZING box-set and deserves to be in any self-respecting collector/lover of all-things both Deutsche Grammophon / Decca and the man himself, the great Leonard Bernstein.

Also included within this box-set are benchmark recordings of Shostakovich’ Symphonies and Stravinsky’s Les Noces (featuring Martha Argerich and Krystian Zimerman).

Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, recorded on Philips in 1981 – Bernstein described it as “The finest thing I have ever done” and Karl Böhm had this to say when he visited Bernstein during rehearsals: “For the first time, someone dares to perform this music as Wagner wrote it.”

The American Decca Recordings for which Bernstein provided lucid, engaging explanations of such iconic works as: Beethoven’s “Erocia”, Schumann’s Second, Dvořák’s “New World”, Brahms’s Fourth and Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” in recordings made in 1953 / 1956 are also part and parcel of this delightful box-set.

Official 'Leonard Bernstein - Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon & Decca' Box-Set Purchase Link

Title - 'The Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon'
Artist - Rafael Kubelik

For those not in the classical know, Rafael Kubelik was a Czech-born conductor and composer. As a composer, Kubelík wrote in a neo-romantic idiom. His works include five operas, three symphonies, chamber music, choral works, and songs.

Son of a well-known violinist, Jan Kubelík, he was trained in Prague, and made his debut with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 19. Having managed to maintain a career in Czechoslovakia under the Nazi occupation, he refused to work under what he considered a "second tyranny" after the Communist Czechoslovak coup d'état of 1948, and took refuge in Britain. He became a Swiss citizen in 1967.

Kubelík was music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1950–53), musical director of The Royal Opera, Covent Garden (1955–58), and music director of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (1961–79), and was a frequent guest conductor for leading orchestras in Europe and America.

International, inclusive, creative and principled, Rafael Kubelík truly remains a conductor for here and now, with classic Beethoven, Dvořák and Mahler cycles that deserve to be revisited time and again.

His infinitely malleable approach to phrasing and keen attention to orchestral inner parts such as woodwind and viola lines left no musical stone unturned.

Kubelík is the last of the great conductors from Deutsche Grammophon’s early stereo age to receive the “Complete Edition” treatment here on the just-released Rafael Kubelik - The Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon 64 CD + 2 DVD Limited Edition Box-Set.


Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra, BB 123, Sz.116
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Rafael Kubelík

Tcherepnin: Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 26
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Alexander Tcherepnin (piano)

Tcherepnin: Piano Concerto No. 5, Op. 96
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Alexander Tcherepnin (piano)

Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21
London Symphony Orchestra
Rafael Kubelík

Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 'Eroica'
Berliner Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelík

Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36
Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam
Rafael Kubelík

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Beethoven: Symphony No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 60
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Rafael Kubelík

Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Rafael Kubelík

Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 'Pastoral'
Orchestre de Paris
Rafael Kubelík

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92
Wiener Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelík

Beethoven: Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93
The Cleveland Orchestra
Rafael Kubelík

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 'Choral'
Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Berg: Violin Concerto 'To the Memory of an Angel' (1935)
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Henryk Szeryng (violin)

Martinon: Violin Concerto, Op. 51
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Henryk Szeryng (violin)

Dvorak: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (complete)
Berliner Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelík

Dvorak: Scherzo capriccioso, Op. 66
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Dvorak: My Home Overture, Op. 62
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Dvorak: Hussite Overture, Op. 67
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Dvorak: In Nature's Realm Overture, Op. 91
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Dvorak: Carnival Overture, Op. 92
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Dvorak: Othello Overture, Op. 93
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Dvorak: The Water Goblin, Op. 107 (B195)
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Dvorak: The Noon Witch, Op. 108 (B196)
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Dvorak: The Golden Spinning Wheel, Op. 109
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Dvorak: The Wild Dove, Op. 110 (B198)
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Dvorak: Symphonic Variations, Op. 78
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Dvorak: Slavonic Dances Nos. 1-8, Op. 46 Nos. 1-8
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Dvorak: Slavonic Dances Nos. 9-16, Op. 72 Nos. 1-8
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Dvorak: Stabat Mater, Op. 58
Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Edith Mathis (soprano), Anna Reynolds (mezzo-soprano), Wieslaw Ochman (tenor), John Shirley-Quirk (baritone)

Dvorak: Legends, Op. 59
English Chamber Orchestra
Rafael Kubelík

Dvorak: Serenade for Strings in E major, Op. 22
English Chamber Orchestra
Rafael Kubelík

Kubelik, R: Quattro Forme per Archi
English Chamber Orchestra
Rafael Kubelík

Falla: Noches en los jardines de España
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Martinů: Piano Concerto No. 5, H366 'Fantasia concertante'
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Berliner Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelík

Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV351
Berliner Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelík

Hartmann, K: Symphony No. 4
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Hartmann, K: Symphony No. 8
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Stravinsky: Scherzo a la Russe
Berliner Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelík

Stravinsky: Circus Polka
Berliner Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelík

Haydn: Mass, Hob. XXII: 9 in C major 'Paukenmesse'
Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Handel: Ombra mai fu (from Serse)
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík Fritz Wunderlich (tenor)
(sung in German)

Handel: Più che penso alle fiamme del core (from Serse)
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Fritz Wunderlich (tenor)
(sung in German)

Handel: Se bramate d’amar chi vi sdegna (from Serse)
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Fritz Wunderlich (tenor)
(sung in German)

Handel: Crude furie degli orridi abissi (from Serse)
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Fritz Wunderlich (tenor)
(sung in German)

Handel: Svegliatevi nel core (from Giulio Cesare)
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Fritz Wunderlich (tenor)
(sung in German)

Handel: Son nata a lagrimar (from Giulio Cesare)
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Fritz Wunderlich (tenor)
(sung in German)

Handel: L'angue offeso (from Giulio Cesare)
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Fritz Wunderlich (tenor)
(sung in German)

Gluck: Iphigénie en Tauride: Pylades' arias
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Fritz Wunderlich (tenor)
(sung in German)

Janáček: Concertino, JW VII / 11
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Janáček: Capriccio for piano (left hand) & chamber ensemble, JW VII / 12 'Vzdor'
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Janáček: Sinfonietta
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Janáček: Taras Bulba
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Janáček: Glagolitic Mass
Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Janáček: The Diary of One Who Disappeared
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Mahler: Symphonies 1-9 (complete)
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream - incidental music, Op. 61
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
(plus rehersal extracts

Mozart: Serenade No. 7 in D major, K250 'Haffner'
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Mozart: Mass in C major, K317 'Coronation Mass'
Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Edith Mathis (soprnao), Norma Procter (mezzo-soprano), Donald Grobe (tenor), John Shirley-Quirk (baritone)

Mozart: Missa Brevis in C major, K220 'Spatzenmesse'
Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Edith Mathis (soprano), Tatiana Troyanos (soprano), Horst Laubenthal (tenor), Kieth Engen (bass)

Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A major, K622
Berliner Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelík
Karl Leister (clarinet)

Weber: Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F minor, Op. 73
Berliner Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelík
Karl Leister (clarinet)

Orff: Oedipus der Tyrann
Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Pfitzner: Palestrina
Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Nicolai Gedda (Palestrina), Brigitte Fassbaender (Silla), Helen Donath (Ighino), Hermann Prey (Graf Luna), Dietrich Fisher-Dieskau (Carlo Borromeo), Karl Ridderbusch (Christoph Madruscht), Heribert Steinbach (Bernardo Novagerio), Bernd Weikl (Giovanni Morone)

Schoenberg: Gurrelieder
Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Hertha Töpper (mezzo-soprano), Kieth Engen (baritone), Lorenz Fehenberger (tenor), Hans Herbert Fiedler (speaker), Herbert Schachtschneider (tenor), Inge Borkh (soprano)

Schoenberg: Piano Concerto, Op. 42
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Alfred Brendel (piano)

Schoenberg: Violin Concerto, Op. 36
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Zvi Zeitlin (violin)

Schumann: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (complete)
Berliner Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelík

Schumann: Genoveva Overture
Berliner Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelík

Schumann: Manfred Overture, Op. 115
Berliner Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelík

Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54
Berliner Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelík
Geza Anda (piano)

Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16
Berliner Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelík
Geza Anda (piano)

Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Wilhelm Kempff (piano)

Schumann: Introduction & Allegro appassionato in G major, Op. 92
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Wilhelm Kempff (piano)

Smetana: Má Vlast
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Rafael Kubelík

Smetana: Richard III
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Smetana: Wallenstein's Camp
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Smetana: Hakon Jarl
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Smetana: The Prague Carnival - Introduction & Polonaise
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Verdi: Rigoletto
Teatro alla Scala
Rafael Kubelík
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Rigoletto), Renata Scotto (Gilda), Fiorenza Cossotto (Maddalena), Carlo Bergonzi (Il Duca), Ivo Vinco (Sparafucile), Mirella Fiorentini (Giovanna), Lorenzo Testi (Monterone), Virgilio Carbonari (Marullo), Piero De Palma (Borsa), Alfredo Giacomotti (Conte di Ceprano)

Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Overture
Berliner Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelík

Wagner: Lohengrin: Prelude to Act 1
Berliner Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelík

Wagner: Siegfried Idyll
Berliner Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelík

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde: Prelude & Liebestod
Berliner Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelík

Wagner: Lohengrin
Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
James King (Lohengrin), Gundula Janowitz (Elsa), Gwyneth Jones (Ortrud), Thomas Stewart (Friedrich von Telramund), Karl Ridderbusch (König Heinrich), Gerd Nienstedt (Der Heerrufer des Königs)

Weber: Oberon Overture
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Weber: Der Freischütz Overture
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Weber: Preciosa, Overture J279 (Op. 78)
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Weber: Jubel-Ouvertüre, J245 (Op. 59)
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Weber: Oberon
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Donald Grobe (Oberon), Plácido Domingo (Huon), Birgit Nilsson (Reiza), Julia Hamari (Fatima), Hermann Prey (Sherasmin), Marga Schiml (Puck), Arleen Auger (Mermaids)

Mozart: Symphony No. 38 in D major, K504 'Prague'
Wiener Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelík
(DVD Video)

Beethoven: Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72b
Concertgebouw Orchestra
Rafael Kubelík
(DVD Video)

Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36
Concertgebouw Orchestra
Rafael Kubelík
(DVD Video)

Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 'Eroica'
Berliner Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelík
(DVD Video)

Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 in Eb Major 'Romantic'
Wiener Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelík
(DVD Video)

Mozart: Ave verum corpus, K618
Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík

Mahler: Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelík
Dietrich Fisher-Dieskau (baritone)

Now, as for all the glorious music contained within this simply divine box-set, well, obviously I can't go into detail about it all, but suffice to say a few of my own stand out favorite moments (and ones that are the usual go-to works) are as follows:

And there truly is no better place to start than the beginning, in this instance for his "Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra" is a wondrous five-movement musical work for orchestra. Composed by Béla Bartók in 1943 it was not only one of Bartók's best-known, most popular and most accessible works, but Kubelik soon became renowned for his own work with its regard.

Best-known of a number of pieces that have the apparently contradictory title Concerto for Orchestra, this is in stark contrast to the conventional concerto form, which features a solo instrument with orchestral accompaniment.

Kubelik once said that he called the piece a concerto rather than a symphony because of the way each section of instruments is treated in a soloistic and virtuosic way.

Kubelik's "Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 'Eroica'" is yet another uproarious moment here, for this performance is truly first-rate. Indeed, Kubelik prided himself in a direct, straightforward reading of Beethoven's Symphonies without any extra bells and whistles for emphasis.

While it was the ninth symphony that became the work the Romantic age wrestled with for decades, it was the third symphony with which Beethoven broke with the past and announced himself a revolutionary.

A great deal has been made of it being originally inspired by Napoleon or at least dedicated to him. Whatever the truth is, the name was crossed out and the name of the E-flat third symphony became Eroica (Italian for Heroic).

Next up, for me, of course, as your own tastes will plot your individual course through this wondrous box-set, is "Berg: Violin Concerto 'To the Memory of an Angel'" (1935). Berg's Three Orchestral Pieces of 1913-15 rank along side Stravinsky's Petrushka and The Rite of Spring as one of the most remarkable and explosive large-scale orchestral works of the early 20th century.

The sound world, although Mahler-esque in places, is Berg's unique voice: highly chromatic, dark, brooding, wistfully melancholic, often romantic. Here, and without a shadow of a doubt, Kubelik's "Violin Concerto" (1935), with the dedication "to the memory of an angel", seems to have flown sky high above all other standard repertoires.

Written after the death of the young Manon Gropius, daughter of Alma Mahler-Werfel and Walter Gropius, it is a work of constant elegy sometimes tempered with praise of a beautiful young soul, but at other times giving in to the darkest feelings of mourning and catastrophe.

Indeed, and much like in all his work, Berg uses the twelve-tone system inherited from his teacher Arnold Schoenberg, but with strong echoes of traditional harmony. Kubelik remains true to those codas and never wavers when it comes to the reminiscing without overly judging or redefining their preordained course.

Both "Dvorak: Slavonic Dances Nos. 1-8, Op. 46 Nos. 1-8" and "Nos. 9-16, Op. 72 Nos. 1-8" are pure hypnotic works of musical wonderment also. If you were not in the know, the Slavonic Dances are a series of 16 orchestral pieces composed by Antonín Dvořák in 1878 and 1886 and published in two sets as Op. 46 and Op. 72 respectively.

Originally written for piano four hands, the Slavonic Dances were inspired by Johannes Brahms's own Hungarian Dances and were orchestrated at the request of Dvořák's publisher soon after composition.

The pieces, lively and full of national character, were well received at the time and today are considered among the composer's most memorable works, occasionally making appearances in popular culture.

The Op. 46 set is listed in the Burghauser catalogue as B. 78 in the original piano four hand version, and as B. 83 in the orchestral version. The Op. 72 set is catalogued as B. 145 in the piano four hand version, and as B. 147 in the orchestral version.

Dvorák's music, here brought to life once more by some highly impressive Kubelik conducting, is often a source of sheer warmhearted joy. Even the sadder moments in these gorgeous dances come with a hidden smile and a gracious sense that all is right with the world.

In "Handel: Svegliatevi nel core" (from Giulio Cesare), and everything here from the three-act opera, is superb also. Indeed, Giulio Cesare is one of Handel's most renowned operas and the role of Giulio Cesare is considered to be one of the most beautiful roles in the baroque opera.

Kubelik's compositions on Giulio Cesare manages to combine serious insight with entertainment, bringing Handel's masterpiece to life in a powerful, convincing and highly intelligent way. In every line of the complex narrative the subtle nuances are apparent, reflecting perfectly the transparent and exquisite nature of Handel's musical expression.

Next I would like to draw your attention to "Mahler: Symphonies 1-9" (complete), yet another incredible inclusion on this tremendous, and expansive box-set. While each performance faces stiff competition, Kubelík's late sixties/early seventies Mahler cycle, taken as a whole, remains the most consistent in the DG catalog.

He is also one of the only Mahler conductors on record to divide first and second violins left to right, as was the composer's practice. Newcomers wishing to acquire all the symphonies cheaply in one place won't be disappointed here.

It's an oversimplification to say that Kubelik, as a Czech, brought out the Bohemian lineage of Mahler's music rather than its Austrian-German traditions (the village in which Mahler was born is now part of the Czech Republic), but that does go some way toward identifying the lyricism, rusticity and naturalness in these performances.

Lyricism and naturalness don't preclude making a cumulative impact, and Kubelik brings out the mystery and angst in this music as well as its beauty.

Finally, and please know there is so much more to explore here, I would plum for "Smetana: Richard III." I find Smetana's orchestral works, particularly his symphonic poem compositions, to be rather enjoyable at all times.

I've always loved "Má Vlast," of course, and while I have several recordings of that, I also have sought out some of his other music; and I've enjoyed it all.

Smetana wrote his three early, historical symphonic poems between 1858 and 1861, while he was working in Gothenburg and after having encountered Liszt's works in the format.

Thus they predate all of his operas, for instance, and were in many ways the works that marked the transition from Smetana the composer of salon piano pieces to the composer of high-romantic, larger-scale works.

On this recording, Kubelik leads the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in the single most thrilling recording that I have heard in my lifetime. Each symphonic poem is characterized by spectacular orchestration, interpretation, performance, and sound. Bravo. Truly, Bravo, Mr. Kubelik.

The entirety of Rafael Kubelík's recordings for the Yellow Label, united for the first time in one edition can be found here on Rafael Kubelik - The Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon.

• Featuring his justly-famed Beethoven cycle with nine different orchestras
• Pioneering cycles of Dvořák’s and Mahler’s symphonies
• Standard-setting recordings of works by Janáček, Orff and Smetana
• Original cover art on sleeves
• 120-page booklet with new liner notes by Rob Cowan

Official 'Rafael Kubelik - The Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon' Box-Set Purchase Link

Title - 'Chopin: Piano Concerto Nos.1 & 2' [2LP Vinyl]
Artist - Lang Lang

For those not in the classical know, Lang Lang is a Chinese concert pianist who has performed with leading orchestras in Europe, the United States, Canada and his native China.

Lang has given recitals and concerts in many major cities and was the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic and some top American orchestras.

Just released, this is the first vinyl issue of Lang Lang’s recording of the two Chopin Piano Concertos with the Vienna Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta; mastered at half-speed over two vinyl LPs.

This wondrous new package features the original artwork and being first time on vinyl, are both on 180g pressings, mastered from the original sources.

Side A:
Chopin: Piano Concerto No.1 in E Minor, Op.11
1. Allegro maestoso (20:05)

Side B:
Chopin: Piano Concerto No.1 In E Minor, Op.11
2. Romance (Larghetto) (10:00)
3. Rondo (Vivace) (10:07)

Side C:
Chopin: Piano Concerto No.2 In F Minor, Op.21
1. Maestoso (14:23)

Side D:
Chopin: Piano Concerto No.2 In F Minor, Op.21
2. Larghetto (9:42)
3. Allegro vivace (8:51)

As I'm sure you are all well aware by now, both these concertos are among the most beloved in the repertoire and Lang Lang's many concert performances frequently receive the highest praise.

As noted, Lang Lang is joined by Zubin Mehta and the Vienna Philharmonic in a brilliant pairing of talent and temperament which has also ensured that this recording has become a benchmark of these beloved concertos.

A little history note here is that the 'Piano Concerto No. 1' (1830) was written by Chopin when he was only twenty years old. It was first performed on 11th October of that year, in Warsaw, with the composer as soloist, during one of his “farewell” concerts before leaving Poland.

As we know, it was the first of Chopin's two piano concertos to be published, and was therefore given the designation of Piano Concerto “No. 1” at the time of publication, even though it was actually written immediately after the premiere of what was later published as 'Piano Concerto No. 2.'

Chopin wrote the second piece before he had even finished his formal education, and it was first performed on 17th March 1830, in Warsaw, Poland, with the composer, again, as soloist.

In truth, the opening movements nearly 4 minutes orchestration sounds languid, but the piece soon gained beautiful momentum once the piano solo enters - and note the beautiful touch Lang Lang gives, together with the lively nuances to each phrase. Wow!

Then, at around 9 minutes, the development sections start to explode although you may well argue that the orchestration was not nearly as explosive - but is the piece really `explosive' in this part, is the quietly muttered question?

Regardless, the solo passages assuage sorrow, soothed dejection, and gave a subliminal account of the colorful emotions starting just after the 12 minute mark. This is one of the best performances of the section, in my humble opinion.

The remainder of the movement leading up to the grand finale is sheer, and beautiful, most ethereal experience, and the cadenza from the 18th minute onward is a real poetic wonder in the hands of Lang Lang.

The Second Movement, `Romance' consists of an even-tempo romantic account without deployment of any excessive rubato playing or senseless dragging. Lang Lang's exquisite touch is again accounted for, the sheer beauty of tone and freely breathable phrasing incredible from start to finish.

The Third Movement, Rondo Vivace is not as fast paced as Yundi Li's, that's for sure. That not withstanding, the performance was not without brio or sparkle, of that be rest assured. The syncopation's are very clever, and the accelerator codas smart at around the 3 minute mark.

As an aside, to all the non-pianists reading this, despite stereotypes to the contrary, Chopin's music is well-suited to the human hand and not technically difficult in the way Liszt's (for example) is, but it does take many hours of practice to get all but his simplest, shortest pieces to high-end performance-readiness.

Ergo, if you like piano music and if you like Chopin, I'd definitely recommend this brand-new-to-vinyl 2018 release, or indeed the released-in-2008 CD recording.

Official Lang Lang 'Chopin: Piano Concerto Nos.1 & 2' [2LP Vinyl] Purchase Link

Title - 'Mahler: Symphonie No.1' [Vinyl LP]
Artist - Leonard Bernstein

For those not in the classical know, Gustav Mahler was an Austro-Bohemian late-Romantic composer, and one of the leading conductors of his generation.

As a composer he acted as a bridge between the 19th century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th century.

While in his lifetime his status as a conductor was established beyond question, his own music gained wide popularity only after periods of relative neglect which included a ban on its performance in much of Europe during the Nazi era.

After 1945 his compositions were rediscovered by a new generation of listeners; Mahler then became one of the most frequently performed and recorded of all composers, a position he has sustained into the 21st century.

In 2016, a BBC Music Magazine survey of 151 conductors ranked three of his symphonies in the top ten symphonies of all time.

Just released, mastered from original sources and pressed on 180g heavy-weight vinyl, Mahler: Symphonie No.1 also features original jackets and liner notes.

Along with that this highly impressive new package now includes the audio on CD in a wallet accompanying the vinyl LP.

Side A:
1. Langsam. Schleppend (16:12)
2. Kräftig bewegt (8:55)

Side B:
3. Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen (10:25)
4. Stürmisch bewegt (20:09)

Now this remastered album is really something special. As in his recording of the First with this orchestra, Bernstein's tempos have markedly sped up, especially in the slow movement. He seems to have really discovered the secret of the music's essential innocence, and he now knows exactly when to make a point and when to just let the music speak naturally.

The use of a boy soprano in the finale is unique but not unexpected. Mahler himself thought about it but opted for an adult soprano because he believed that this would prove less limiting to future performances of the work.

He was right, of course, but so is Bernstein for letting us hear the composer's original thoughts in such a pure and enjoyable form.

That all said, and (again) personally, I thought the first two movements were superb, and I could not want much more from them. The solo violin you hear in the 2nd movement is played by the then concertmaster of the Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam Orchestra, Jaap van Zweden. Sure, to me, the third movement is a wee bit too fast for my liking, but still an orchestral delight of the highest order, of that have no doubt.

The Amsterdam recording was always superb to listen to, to breathe in, and there is an extra sheen and richness in the orchestral sound by dint of the digital origin and the fact that the Concertgebouworkest is such a natural Mahler orchestra, in truth superior to their New York counterparts.

Both openings are magical; redolent of "faery lands forlorn". Bernstein is even more humorously galumphing and indulgent in the second movement there than with the NYPO, but he doesn't overdo it in the "Frère Jacques" movement in either version. Both Finales climax magnificently but again, the Dutch orchestra has the edge for power and brilliance.

Continuing the Bernstein 100 celebrations, Berntein’s recording of Mahler’s Symphony No.1 with the Concertgebouw Orchestra is now made available on vinyl again.

Leonard Bernstein 'Mahler: Symphonie No.1' [Vinyl LP] Purchase Link

Title - 'The Conversation' [Vinyl LP]
Artist - Stoll Vaughan

For those not in the know, Stoll Vaughan is a singer-songwriter from Lexington, Kentucky. Furthermore, he is the great-nephew of United States Senator John Sherman Cooper.

Vaughan began his professional music career as guitar player for the Indiana band Chamberlain and attended the Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Michigan.

At the start of his recording career, Stoll released two albums (Hold on Thru Sleep and Dreams and Love Like A Mule) that were produced by Wanchic.

Both hit the Top 10 on the Americana chart. Vaughan has toured with the likes of John Fogerty, John Mellencamp, Marty Stuart, Don Williams, James McMurtry and as an opening act for a Journey and Def-Leppard co-bill.

Just released, the Kentucky native’s latest album, The Conversation is co-produced by Mike Wanchic (John Mellencamp) and Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket) and was recorded in both Nashville (IN) and Nashville (TN).

Yes, you read that right, singer-songwriter Stoll Vaughan’s The Conversation was indeed recorded entirely in Nashville - that is to say, seven of the digital album’s 13 tracks were produced in Nashville, IN and production duties for the remainder were taken care of by My Morning Jacket guitarist Carl Broemel in Nashville, TN.

Side A:
1. 'Roll On'
2. 'I Was All Alone'
3. 'Forgiveness'
4. 'Low Down'

Side B:
1. 'Bear Witness'
2. 'Good Love'
3. 'In My Arms'
4. 'Own The World'

Included on this brilliant new album are backing musicians such as Mike’s Mellencamp bandmate's Andy York on guitar, drummer Dane Clark and keyboardist Troye Kinnett, on tracks produced by Wanchic. Tracks produced by Broemel, you will hear Broemel himself along with MMJ bandmate Tom Blankenship on bass for 'Own The World.'

From the off, the vocal journeyman showcases what's to come on the splendidly atmospheric Americana cut 'Roll On' ("The road is shorter the further we go. Can't find answers to questions we don't know") and backs that up seamlessly with an acoustic live version of 'I Was All Alone' - my personal favorite on this quite stunning new album.

'Forgiveness' ("I've got voices in my head, that get me up and out of bed ... I've got ghosts here in my way, yeah, they haunt me every day") is next and then Side A comes to a close with the upbeat, jangle guitar work of another acoustic live cut, 'Low Down.'

'Bear Witness' kicks off Side B perfectly, and keeps all that's great about Vaughan's songwriting skills embedded throughout, and that's backed by 'Good Love.' A delicate, deep reaching moment of storytelling, it captures the essence of a great songwriter at his finest.

My second favorite track here is the beautiful roll-on flow of 'In My Arms,' an Americana ballad of the highest order. This second side then comes to a close with the gentle, tenderly acoustic guitar and vocal work of musical wonderment, 'Own The World.'

The Conversation via Digital Download includes these extra tracks: 'Further Down The Line, featured in the film The Open Road, 'Hurt No More,' 'Weatherman,' 'Change,' and 'Meet You In The Middle,' heard on the finale of hit TV series The Office.

This is a Limited Edition Blue and White 12" Starburst Vinyl out via All Welcome Records and was released on June 29th, 2018. The vinyl LP also contains a Digital Download link.

Click here to listen to 'Roll On'

Click here to see the video for 'Forgiveness'

Stoll Vaughan @ Facebook!

Official Limited Edition White & Blue Splatter Vinyl Purchase Link

Title - 'Indigo: 3CD Deluxe Edition'
Artist - Matt Bianco

For those not in the know, Matt Bianco are a British band that was formed in 1983. Primarily known for their success in the mid-1980s and their jazz, Latin-flavored music, their music is still danced to, and still very popular all over the world today.

Popular during the mid-1980s in continental Europe, the name suggests that Matt Bianco is a person, often assumed to be an alias for the main constant member and frontman, Mark Reilly.

In fact, and amusingly so, according to the group, Matt is in fact "a made up spy, a secret agent; we loved spy TV themes and film scores"! On a side note, Basia Trzetrzelewska, later a popular solo artist, was an original member of Matt Bianco.

Matt Bianco's first album, 1984's Whose Side Are You On? was a massive breakthrough for them, and spawned several UK and European hits, including "Get Out of Your Lazy Bed", "More Than I Can Bear", "Half a Minute" and "Sneaking Out The Back Door".

The band then recorded their (self-titled) sophomore album, Matt Bianco, which was released in 1986 and contained the massive dancefloor hit "Yeh Yeh".

Matt Bianco then hired Gloria Estefan's husband and producer Emilio Estefan to produce a few songs, and recorded their third album, Indigo, with the Estefan productions being chosen as singles. However, 1988's "Don't Blame it on That Girl" and "Good Times" only made a moderate impact.

But, "Wap-Bam-Boogie", an album track originally on the B-side of the first single, did well on the dance charts, and pushed the joint single release up to Number 11 on the UK Singles Chart, making it Matt Bianco's most successful single.

Their first Greatest Hits album, entitled The Best of Matt Bianco, collecting their greatest hits from 1983 to 1990, was released in 1990 and made the UK Top 50. Another studio album was released in 1991 by Warner Brothers, the fractured Samba in Your Casa, the fourth long-playing by the group.

Reilly and session musician Mark Fisher then split from their record company and went freelance. From then on, they recorded their albums in their own studios, and then offered them to independent distributors worldwide.

Now though, and for the first time ever, Indigo, the aforementioned third album by continental, Latin Jazz, pop combo Matt Bianco, has been remastered and expanded as an incredible 3CD Deluxe Edition.

Releasing July 20th, 2018 via Cherry Red Records (UK), it follows the success of expanded reissues of their debut (Whose Side Are You On), self-titled sophomore set (Matt Bianco), and a trio of solo albums by former Matt Bianco member Basia (Time And Tide, London Warsaw New York, and The Sweetest Illusion).

3. "SLIDE"
7. "R&B"
10. "INDIGO"

16. "R&B (BRAD DAVIS 7" MIX)" †
17. "POOLSIDE" *
* Previously unavailable on CD
† Previously unreleased


8. "R&B (BASTONE 12" MIX)" †
14. "R&B (BASTONE DUB)" †
* Previously unavailable on CD
† Previously unreleased

4. "R&B (BRAD DAVIS 12" MIX)" †
10. "R&B (BASTONE 7" MIX)" †
* Previously unavailable on CD
† Previously unreleased

Now, and this might sound a wee bit cruel, but my feelings for this third album from one of my favorite bands growing up in the UK are open and have always been re: this album, honest.

This commercialized Miami late '80s club sound attempt to bring Matt Bianco into the States failed massively due to the contrived and calculated pop marketing gimmickry of Estefan and company. There, I said it!

Overall, both members - Mark Reilly and Mark Fischer - were able to keep their artistic abilities afloat, sure, but in the end Indigo has an all-too polished formulaic American pop sound that was just not locked onto by the British fans, nor the US market the band were now being aimed at.

To my mind, Indigo is only a keeper for nostalgic '80s buffs or die hard Matt Bianco fans, but even with that said, those extra Latin feel to go along with some of their Brazilian-influenced songs (like "Half a Minute") still weren't the worst sounds/sounds ever created; I think we can all attest to that fact.

A total of five singles were lifted from the original album including their biggest hit "Don’t Blame It On That Girl" (UK #11), "Good Times" (UK #55), "Nervous" (UK #59), "Say It’s Not Too Late", plus the club classic "Wap Bam Boogie" (UK #11), the biggest dance record of 1988!

This 3CD Deluxe Edition features a staggering 47 tracks including the original 10-song album alongside 37 bonus recordings – 12 are previously unreleased and a further nine mark their appearance on CD for the first time.

The bonus material on this 3CD set collects all of the singles, b-sides, remixes, and alternate versions that were released during the promotion of the original album. Being a fan, and a vinyl collector since I was 8 years-old, I have all Matt Bianco's 12" Single's (UK) and so a lot of these songs I have already in my vinyl collection (as I'm sure most all MB fans also will have).

The original album kicks off in fine style with the Latin pop swing of 'Don't Blame It On That Girl,' a cut that couldn't be further away in vibe from the next track, the highly underrated funky bass of 'Nervous'. Sounding like a Saturday morning cartoon intro, 'Slide' is up next and is backed by the mid-tempo beach sway of 'Say It's Not Too Late.'

The best track on the album has always been, for me and thousands of others, the highly infectious beats and rhymes of the instrumental 'Wap Bam Boogie.' I mean, just watch the video (on YouTube) and tell me I'm wrong! Mixed by Phil Harding and Ian Curnow for PWL it is an addictive cut of the highest order and that's followed here by the heavily Estefan-influenced 'Good Times.'

The slap bass brilliance of 'R&B' makes this track another good one amongst the Estefan mess, and that's backed by the slow groove balladry of 'Hanging On.' The original album then comes to a close with the piano Gospel-fest of 'Jack Of Clubs,' with the powerful, forced title track itself, 'Indigo' rounding the whole thing out.

Disc 1 is then completed by Single Versions and B-Sides associated with the album and it's subsequently released &" and 12" records.

Disc 2 features some Bonus Tracks aka Additional (random) Tracks, that kick off with the brilliant, pulsatingly Latin-infused 'Fire In The Blood (7" Version)' along with gently simmering slo-funk roll of 'We've Go the Mood (Matt's Mood '90) (7" Version).

This disc then continues onward with 12 more Bonus Tracks under the guise of Remixes and Alternative Versions. Some stand outs here are "Don't Blame It On That Girl (Extended Mix), "Wap Bam Boogie (Latin Remix), and both "Nervous (Extended US Mix), and then "Hanging On (Extended Version)."

Disc 3 features the Bonus Tracks of, well, MORE Remixes and Alternate Versions, but as the second disc features, to my mind, at least, some of the better heard ones, these 16 don't bring much more to the listening party.

That said, a couple of genuine stand out cuts are definitely both "Wap Bam Boogie (The Sok It To Me Mix)" and the never-before-heard (by me), and totally wondrous "Nervous (Flute Version)."

Lastly, the 24-page, full color booklet also included contains lyrics, photos, an illustrated discography, comprehensive credits and brand new liner notes, plus written contributions from producer Phil Harding.

Matt Bianco @ Facebook!

Official 'Indigo' 3CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Chemistry: Ultimate Collection' [CD+DVD]
Artist - The Nolans

For those not in the know, The Nolans are an Irish girl group who formed in 1974 as The Nolan Sisters, before changing their name in 1980.

They are best known for their hit single "I'm In the Mood for Dancing". Released in December 1979, the song reached number three in the UK in February 1980 and topped the Japanese charts in November 1980.

Five of the sisters, Anne, Denise, Maureen, Linda, and Bernie, became regular guest performers on numerous television shows in the UK in the 1970s and supported Frank Sinatra on his 1975 European tour.

Denise left for a solo career in 1978 and youngest sister Coleen, who had previously made occasional appearances (including appearing in the I'm In the Mood for Dancing video), became a full-time member in 1980, replacing Anne.

Between 1979 and 1982, the group had seven UK top 20 hits, including "Gotta Pull Myself Together" (1980) "Who's Gonna Rock You" (1980), "Attention to Me" (1981) and "Chemistry" (1981). They were particularly successful in Japan and won the 1981 Tokyo Music Festival with the song "Sexy Music".

Anne returned to the group in 1982, before Linda left in 1983 and the group went on to win a Japanese Grammy (Tokubetsu Kikaku Shō) in 1992. Coleen, then Bernie, both left the group and from 1995 Anne and Maureen continued as a duo, before recruiting Julia Duckworth and Anne's daughter Amy Wilson in 2000.

The group officially disbanded in 2005, with Maureen Nolan having been a permanent member for 31 years. The sisters have pursued varying solo careers in acting, music and television presenting in the UK and in 2009, Maureen, Linda, Bernie, and Coleen Nolan, reformed for a 25-date concert tour of the UK and Ireland, spawning an album and DVD.

In September 2012, a farewell tour was announced, to take place from 15 February to 14 March 2013. The line-up would be the same as for the 2009 tour. However, on 28 October it was announced that the 2013 Farewell Tour had been postponed as a result of Bernie's breast cancer resurgence.

Sadly though, in early in 2013, the tour was cancelled completely as Bernie Nolan succumbed to metastatic cancer on 4 July 2013.

Releasing July 27th, 2018, Hot Shot Records (aka Cherry Red Records UK) will release the fantastic greatest hits package The Nolans - Chemistry: The Ultimate Collection as a brilliant CD+DVD set.

Newly remastered and presented in a super-jewel case complete with an interview with Anne Nolan, the collection is a must for all Pop, Soul and Disco fans.

15. "LEAD ME ON"

DVD: (PAL Region 0)

The Robin Smith-produced, and totally CHIC-esque "Dressed To Kill" (1983) kicks things off here, and, for me, given that there is a 12" Extended Remix of it that rounds the CD out, is the most perfect track to do so. For, as I myself go through ALL my 12" Single vinyl's, box after box, playing them all (A and B sides), the last box housed the 12" Single of this very same song!

After that song comes the album title, the fun and bouncy, sing-along sweetness of "Chemistry" (UK #15) and that's backed seamlessly by both "Who's Gonna Rock You" (co-written by Billy Ocean, #12), and their massive hit "I'm In the Mood For Dancing." Peaking at #3 in early 1980, just watch the video of them performing the song on the DVD that accompanies this collection. I dare you not to be hip swayin' before you're halfway through the bloody catchy chorus!

"Attention To Me" (#9) is one of the shortest tracks, but yet another defining musical pop moment for the Nolans (now recording and performing as a quartet), and that's backed by one of their soulful covers, in this instance, a rather delightful "Every Home Should Have One" (Patti Austin). The pop soul of "Don’t Love Me Too Hard" (#14) sees our beloved dancing-in-formation-at-all-times quartet back again, and that's followed by the always-delightful, and soothing to hear, "Spirit, Body and Soul" (#34).

Another short track comes up next in the form of, for me, one of their best, popiest, and most entertaining singles, "Gotta Pull Myself Together" (#9). Just relistening to it this afternoon whilst reviewing this new CD release is like Heaven on a stick for me!

Moving on and next up is "Dragonfly." Produced this time by Tim Friese-Greene, who was responsible for the recent success of that time of Tight Fit, the album the track came from sadly peaked at #52, but the group were back to being a five-piece; with the return of former member, Anne Nolan.

Their massive early '80s International hit, "Sexy Music" is up next and a true dancefloor gem if ever there was, and that's backed by their 1982 hit from the album Portrait, the funky bass line back beat of "Crashing Down." A couple of covers are next in the shape of both "How Do I Survive" (Amy Holland) and "Lead Me On" (Maxine Nightingale), with another cut from Portrait, the tender ballad "Every Little Thing" along next.

Showing that the band couldn't put a foot wrong in the single-releasing industry, up next is "I'm Never Gonna Let You Break My Heart Again," simply one of the best lyrical ballads of its time.

The album then, sadly, as I could listen to these gals all day long (for it sure puts you in a great mood and wonderful frame of mind to enjoy your day and whatever you are attempting to do, believe me!), rounds out with another ballad in the shape of "I Could Have Been Your Love Too," and then backs that up with the R&B beauty "A Simple Case Of Loving You," another CHIC-esque approach on "Take It Through The Night," and then the aforementioned "Dressed To Kill (12" Extended Remix)."

The Nolan Sisters @ Facebook!

Official 'Chemistry: The Ultimate Collection' [CD+DVD] Purchase Link

Title - 'Charles Gounod: Piano Works'
Artist - Roberto Prosseda

For those not in the classical know, Charles-François Gounod was a French composer, best known for his Ave Maria, based on a work by Bach, as well as his opera Faust. Another opera by Gounod occasionally still performed is Roméo et Juliette.

Gounod died at Saint-Cloud in 1893, after a final revision of his twelve operas. His funeral took place ten days later at the Church of the Madeleine, with Camille Saint-Saëns playing the organ and Gabriel Fauré conducting. He was buried at the Cimetière d'Auteuil in Paris.

Gounod wrote his first opera, Sapho, in 1851 at the urging of his friend, the singer Pauline Viardot; it was a commercial failure. He had no great theatrical success until Faust (1859), derived from Goethe.

This remains the composition for which he is best known; and although it took a while to achieve popularity, it became one of the most frequently staged operas of all time, with no fewer than 2,000 performances of the work having occurred by 1975 at the Paris Opéra alone.

The romantic and melodious Roméo et Juliette (based on the Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet), premiered in 1867, is revived now and then but has never come close to matching Faust's popular following. Mireille, first performed in 1864, has been admired by connoisseurs rather than by the general public.

In truth, the other Gounod operas have fallen into oblivion.

This brand new album from Decca Records / Universal Music Classics, Charles Gounod: Piano Works is a celebration of the 200th birthday of the aforementioned French composer Charles Gounod.

He composed about forty piano pieces in all, and this collection of a number of them allows us to appreciate their charm and expressive variety.

Performed by Italian pianist Roberto Prosseda, the release contains a number of world premieres, alongside Gounod’s more famous pieces such as Méditation sur le 1er prélude de J. S. Bach (1852), later known as Ave Maria and Marche funèbre d’une marionette, popularized by its use as a television theme tune.

The album is supported by the Palazzetto Bru Zane – Centre de musique romantique française, favoring the rediscovery of the French musical heritage of the long nineteenth century (1780-1920). It is housed in Venice in a palazzo dating from 1695, specially restored for the purpose.

La Veneziana (Barcarolle)
Impromptu *
Souvenance (Nocturne) *
Marche Funèbre d'une Marionette
Six Romances Sans Paroles *
Méditation sur le 1er Prélude de piano de J.S. Bach (Ave Maria)
Six Préludes et Fugues
Sonate Pour à Quatre Mains *

* World Premiere Recording

To my mind, Roberto Prosseda was one of the finest, and wisest choices to take control of such a set of compositions. He began composing for the piano at the age of four, and took his first private piano lessons at six.

In 1985, he entered the Conservatorio Ottorino Respighi in Latina, where he studied piano with Anna Maria Martinelli, graduating in 1994. He went on to study with Alexander Lonquich, Boris Petrushansky and Franco Scala at the Accademia Pianistica "Incontri col Maestro" in Imola.

Simply put, Prosseda knows exactly what he's doing when it comes to works like these and, better yet, he has had the spirit of Gounod (and others akin) within him from a very, very early age.

Title - 'Sing Happy'
Artist - Audra McDonald & New York Philharmonic

For those not in the know, Audra McDonald is a German-born American actress and singer. Primarily known for her work on the Broadway stage, she has won six Tony Awards, more performance wins than any other actor, and is the only person to win all four acting categories.

She has performed in musicals, operas, and dramas such as A Moon for the Misbegotten, 110 in the Shade, Carousel, Ragtime, Master Class and Porgy and Bess.

As a classical soprano, she has performed in staged operas with the Houston Grand Opera and the Los Angeles Opera and in concerts with symphony orchestras like the Berlin Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic.

In 2008 her recording of Kurt Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny with the Los Angeles Opera won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Album and the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording.

She has a close working relationship with composer Michael John LaChiusa who has written several works for her, including the Broadway musical Marie Christine, the opera Send (who are you? i love you), and The Seven Deadly Sins: A Song Cycle. With her full lyric soprano voice, she maintains an active concert and recording career throughout the United States performing a wide repertoire from classical to musical theater to jazz and popular songs.

In 2016, McDonald was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. In 2017 she was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

On television, McDonald portrayed Dr. Naomi Bennett as a main cast member of Shonda Rhimes's ABC television drama Private Practice from 2007-2011. She also portrayed the recurring character of Liz Lawrence in Season 4 of The Good Wife; a role that she reprises as a main cast member in the spinoff series The Good Fight.

In 2013 she performed the role of Mother Superior in The Sound of Music Live! opposite Carrie Underwood as Maria.

Phew! Well, still going strong on all fronts, Sing Happy, the new live album from six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, was made available for digital download this past May 11th, and released on CD this past June 1st, 2018 via Decca Gold.

The concert was recorded during McDonald’s May 1st, 2018 concert performance at David Geffen Hall for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra's spring gala.

1. "I Am What I Am" [La Cage aux Folles]
2. Medley: "It Might As Well Be Spring" ([State Fair] / "Hurry It's Lovely Up here" [On a Clear Day You Can See Forever]
3. "Cornet Man" [Funny Girl]
4. "Sing Happy" [Flora the Red Menace]
5. "Simple Little Things" [110 in the Shade]
6. Introduction to "Being Good Isn't Good Enough"
7. "Being Good Isn't Good Enough" [Hallelujah, Baby!]
8. "Summertime" [Porgy and Bess]
9. "Chain Of Love" [The Grass Harp]
10. "Vanilla Ice Cream" [She Loves Me]
11. "March Is A Windy Month" [Millions]
12. Introduction to Medley
13. Medley: "Children Will Listen" [Into the Woods] / "You've Got To Be Carefully Taught" [South Pacific]
14. "Facebook Song"
15. "Never Will I Marry" [Greenwillow]
16. "Being Alive" [Company]
17. Introduction to "Make Someone Happy"
18. "Make Someone Happy" [Do Re Mi]
19. Introduction to "Climb Ev'ry Mountain"
20. "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" [The Sound of Music]
21. "More I Cannot Wish For" [Guys and Dolls]

This quite incredible, able, confident and reaching fiercely for the stars album actually marks McDonald’s first live solo recording and her first solo album to feature a full orchestra.

McDonald performs a selection of material new to her repertoire, as well as songs she has never previously recorded, including “I Am What I Am” from La Cage aux Folles, “Vanilla Ice Cream” from She Loves Me, “Children Will Listen” from Into the Woods, “Being Alive” from Company, “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught” from South Pacific, as well as the premiere of a new song from Tony Award winner Adam Guettel’s upcoming musical Millions.

For those observantly scanning the track listing above, yes, there's plenty of love brought forth from the classic American songbook, the fist being the second track, a medley from both State Fair and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.

Most all theatre buffs will hone in on the staple go-to of every soprano, "Vanilla Ice Cream," but it seems, to my ears, at least, that McDonald's take is less fussy than ones that have gone before. Still embedded with just the right amount of coy winks, it's in these lighter moments within those certain tracks that McDonald truly shines.

McDonald also returns to musical moments from her acclaimed stage career, including “Simple Little Things” from 110 Degrees in the Shade and an unamplified performance of “Summertime” from Porgy & Bess.

The concert, which was conducted by McDonald’s longtime music director, Andy Einhorn, is a pure, unadulterated musical candy box of delights from start to finish. Indeed, upon that finish, the final song being "More I Cannot Wish You" from guys and Dolls, you sit there in disbelief knowing that your afternoon's delight is over ... until you hit Play again and all is right with the world, once more.

Title - 'The Royal Wedding - The Official Album'
Artist - Various

For those not in the know, yes, this is the official album of the Wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle. With a beautiful shot of the new bride and groom in their royal carriage on the front cover art, The Royal Wedding - The Official Album was recorded live at St George's Chapel, Windsor on the 19th May, 2018.

Released via Decca / Verve label Group in June 1st, 2018, the musicians chosen to perform at the wedding ceremony included British cellist Sheku Kanneh Mason, Welsh soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, The Choir of St George’s Chapel and Christian gospel group The Kingdom Choir.

The Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Warren-Green, was be made up of musicians from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia.

State Trumpeters were drawn from all ranks of the Band of the Household Cavalry, and perfectly provided ceremonial support during the Service at St George's Chapel.

1. "The Arrival Of Her Majesty The Queen - Royal Salute" [The State Trumpeters]
2. "The Arrival Of The Bride - Rejoicing" [The State Trumpeters]
3. "Introit: Eternal Source Of Light Divine" [Elin Manahan Thomas & David Blackadder & Members Of The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales & Members Of The English Chamber Orchestra & Members Of The Philharmonia Orchestra & Christopher Warren-Green]
4. "The Welcome" [by The Right Reverend David Conner KCVO, Dean Of Windsor]
5. "The Preface" [by The Right Reverend David Conner KCVO, Dean Of Windsor]
6. "Hymn: Lord Of All Hopefulness" [The Choir Of St.George's & Luke Bond, Organ]
7. "The Declarations" [by The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop Of Canterbury & Prince Harry & Ms Meghan Markle]
8. "The Collect" [by The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop Of Canterbury]
9. "Reading From The Song Of Solomon" [by The Lady Jane Fellowes]
10. "If Ye Love Me" [The Choir Of St.George's Chapel]
11. "The Address" [by The Most Reverend Michael Curry]
12. "Stand By Me" [The Kingdom Choir]
13. "The Vows" [by The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop Of Canterbury & Prince Harry & Ms Meghan Markle]
14. "The Giving Of The Rings" [by The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop Of Canterbury & Prince Harry & Ms Meghan Markle]
15. "The Proclamation" [by The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop Of Canterbury]
16. "The Lord Bless You And Keep You" [Choir Of St.George's Chapel & Luke Bond, Organ]
17. "The Blessing Of The Marriage" [by The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop Of Canterbury]
18. "The Prayers" [by Archbishop Angaelos & The Reverend Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin]
19. "Hymn: Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer (Cwn Rhondda)" [The Choir Of St.George's & Luke Bond, Organ]
20. "The Blessing" [by The Right Reverend David Conner KCVO, Dean Of Windsor]
21. "Sicilienne" [Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Cello]
22. "Après un rêve" [Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Cello]
23. "Ave Maria" [Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Cello]
24. "The National Anthem" [The Choir of St Geroge's & Luke Bond, Organ]
25. "Allegro (Symphony No.1 in B flat Major)" [by Members Of The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales & Members Of The English Chamber Orchestra & Members Of The Philharmonia Orchestra & Christopher Warren-Green]
26. "Amen, This Little Light Of Mine" [The Kingdom Choir]
27. "Traditional: Grandsire Triples Quarter Peal" [The Bell Ringers Of St George's]

As for all the music heard that day, inclusive of all 27 tracks here on this quite wondrous CD, fell under the direction of James Vivian, Director of Music, St George’s Chapel.

OK, yes, I know that the royal ceremony itself was the spectacle to behold, sure, but for me, the music was, of course, the main highlight. That said, it's not just music to be found here on this CD for it's the complete wedding package: all the music, vows and sermons!

Opening with the traditional "The Arrival Of Her Majesty The Queen - Royal Salute" by The State Trumpeters, at a mere 25 seconds it may well only be a quick appetizer of what's to come, but hold me down if I'm lying when I say that it sends shivers up the spine in expectancy for what's to follow!

In truth, the first half of the CD is rather heavier on the spoken word sermons and such, with the actual vows being taken falling under "The Declarations" about a third of the way in. The ring exchange comes later in "The Giving Of The Rings" halfway through.

The longest piece is "The Address", where Revered Michael Curry talks, with touches of humor sprinkled in for nearly fifteen minutes!

However, there is room for some wondrous music and that first comes to life on "If Ye Love Me" (composed by Tallis), performed by the Choir of St. George's Chapel. Later we hear a stunning, simply stunning "Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer (Cwn Rhondda)" from the very same Choir.

For those amongst you that are more orchestral-minded (and less choral) can also feast here, for we get brought forth a delightful set of works by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Philharmonia Orchestra on pieces such as Fauré's "Après un rêve" and Schubert's "Ave Maria" (with solo by British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason).

Title - 'The Golden Age'
Artist - Ray Chen

For those not in the classical know, yes, Ray Chen is a Taiwanese-Australian violinist. Indeed, he was the first prize winner in the 2008 International Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition and the 2009 Queen Elisabeth Music Competition and now records on the Sony Masterworks label.

Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Chen began learning violin at the age of four. Within five years he completed all 10 levels of the Suzuki Music Education (Suzuki method) in Brisbane, Australia. Chen was invited to play solo with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of eight. He was also invited to perform at the opening celebration concert of the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

In the summers of 2006 and 2007, Chen attended the Encore School for Strings, studying under David Cerone at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2008 he attended the Aspen Music Festival on a full tuition fellowship, studying with Cho-Liang Lin (Juilliard School) and Paul Kantor (Cleveland Institute of Music).

In April 2008 Chen won the senior division first prize of the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists in Cardiff, Wales. In 2004 he had won jointly the third prize of the junior division in that competition.

Chen then came to the attention of Maxim Vengerov, who served on the competition jury, and was engaged for performances including debuts with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra in St. Petersburg and at the International Rostropovich Festival with the Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra in Baku, under the baton of Vengerov.

Chen was signed by Sony Classical in 2010 and then for Decca Classics in 2017. He has recorded the César Franck Violin Sonata, the violin concertos of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Felix Mendelssohn, and more.

Chen won the Newcomer Award in the 2011 Echo Klassik Awards. He was invited to perform at the annual Nobel Prize Concert in 2012, playing Max Bruch's Violin Concerto in G minor with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.

In April 2016, he was the youngest juror ever of the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists in London, with Pamela Frank, Joji Hattori, Martin Engstroem, Ning Feng, Julia Fischer, Dong-Suk Kang, Tasmin Little and Jeremy Menuhin.

And so, as you can tell, one of today’s most charismatic young, and highly admired violinists, on June 8th, 2018, Ray Chen released his eagerly-awaited new album, The Golden Age via Decca Classics.

1. KONCZ / SATIE "A New Satiesfaction (featuring Gymnopédie No.1)" [4:33]
2. KREISLER "Syncopation" [2:04]
3. PONCE "Estrellita arr. Heifetz" [3:37]
4-6. BRUCH "Violin Concerto No.1" [25:40]
7. DEBUSSY "Clair de lune arr. Koncz" [4:39]
8. KREISLER "Schön Rosmarin" [2:17]
9. GERSHWIN "Summertime arr. Heifetz" [1:57]
10. SCOTT "Lotus Land arr. Kreisler [5:11]
11. TRADITIONAL "Waltzing Matilda arr. Koncz [3:16]

A simply stunning, truly delightful set of 11 classical works are proudly (and rightly so) brought forth here in this wickedly infectious collection of chamber and orchestral works.

Chen's first from Decca Classics since signing to the label last year, The Golden Age comprises virtuoso works from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Amongst the stunning set is Bruch’s "Violin Concerto No.1" with the London Philharmonic Orchestra which, for me, at the very least, is one of the many stand out highlights here.

Also embedded throughout are solo and chamber pieces, many of them written or arranged by Kreisler and Heifetz. Indeed, all chamber pieces feature Chen’s chamber music collective, Made In Berlin, an ensemble made up exclusively of members of the Berlin Philharmonic.

Another stand out composition is the album opener, a piece for string quartet entitled, “A New Satiesfaction (featuring Gymnopédie No.1)” it is by Erik Satie with Erik Koncz (as I'm sure you all already know). With a polite, yet stated nod to Rossini’s “William Tell Overture,” it is performed superbly by Chen and his aforementioned Made in Berlin quartet; with the arrangement of “A New Satiesfaction” done by the group’s cellist, Stephan Koncz.

The album also features compositions and arrangements by such legendary violinists as Fritz Kreisler and Jascha Heifetz, which Chen performs with pianist Julien Quentin. Among them are Kreisler’s “Syncopation and Schön Rosmarin” and Cyril Scott’s “Lotus Land”, plus Heifetz’s transcriptions of “Estrellita” by Manuel Ponce and George Gershwin’s “Summertime”.

Title - 'Travelin' Bare / Constant Sorrow / Streets Of ..'
Artist - Bobby Bare

For those not in the know, Bobby Bare is an American country music singer and songwriter, best known for the songs "Detroit City" and "500 Miles Away from Home" and is also the father of Bobby Bare Jr., also a musician.

Bare had many failed attempts to sell his songs in the 1950s. He finally signed with Capitol Records and recorded a few rock and roll songs without much chart success.

Just before he was drafted into the Army, he wrote a song called "The All American Boy" and did a demo for his friend, Bill Parsons, to learn how to record.

Instead of using the version Bill Parsons did later, the record company, Fraternity Records, decided to use the original demo recorded by Bobby Bare.

The record reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, but they made an error: the singles' labels all credited the artist as being "Bill Parsons". The same track, with the same billing error, peaked at No. 22 in the UK Singles Chart in April 1959.

Bare's big break in country music came when Chet Atkins signed him to RCA Victor. The first single he released on the label was "Shame On Me" in 1962. His second RCA Victor single, "Detroit City" reached No. 6 Country, No. 16 Hot 100, and in 1964 earned him a Grammy Award for Best Country and Western Recording.

Then a surge of hits followed, including "500 Miles Away from Home" and Ian Tyson's "Four Strong Winds". In 1965 he received two Grammy nominations for Best Country & Western Vocal Performance and Best Country & Western single for the song "Four Strong Winds".

In 1966, he received a Grammy Nomination for Best Country & Western Male Vocal Performance for his song "Talk Me Some Sense". He also recorded two duet albums with Skeeter Davis and recorded six tracks as a trio with Norma Jean and Liz Anderson which produced a major hit with "The Game of Triangles", a wife-husband-other woman drama that hit No. 5 on the Billboard chart earned the trio a Grammy nomination.

In 1968, he recorded an album with a group from England called The Hillsiders and in 1969, he had a Top 5 hit with Tom T. Hall's "(Margie's At) The Lincoln Park Inn".

Bare moved to Mercury Records in 1970 and immediately scored a Top 3 hit with "How I Got To Memphis" and had two Top 10 hits from early Kris Kristofferson compositions, "Come Sundown" (1971) and "Please Don't Tell Me How The Story Ends" (1971).

He also scored a No. 12 hit in 1972 with a version of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show's pop hit "Sylvia's Mother", written by Shel Silverstein.

After two years at Mercury, Bare returned to RCA in 1973 and scored with Billy Joe Shaver's "Ride Me Down Easy" which nearly made the Top 10.

Bare started to release novelty songs recorded live with selected audiences. One such song, "Marie Laveau", reached the No. 1 position on the country chart in 1974; it was his only No. 1 hit. This song was co-written by his friends Shel Silverstein and Baxter Taylor, who received a BMI Award for the song in 1975.

Silverstein penned other songs for Bare including a Grammy-nominated hit, "Daddy What If", which he recorded with his five-year-old son, Bobby Bare Jr. The song was an immediate success as well not only reaching No. 2 on the country charts but nearly reaching the Top 40 on the Pop charts.

Bare's album, "Lullabys, Legends and Lies" became his most commercially successful album and Bare had a new audience with pop radio once again playing his songs and a new following with college kids.

Bare signed with Columbia Records and continued to have hits like "Sleep Tight Good Night Man" a near Top 10 in 1978 and releasing critically acclaimed albums like "Bare" and "Sleeper Wherever I Fall".

In 1979, he started off Rosanne Cash's career in a big way by singing a duet with her called "No Memories Hangin' Round" which went Top 20 for them. In 1980, he scored a near Top 10 with "Numbers" which came from his album "Down and Dirty" where Bare started to experiment with Southern rock and continued this with his next album "Drunk and Crazy".

In 1981, Bare released an album entitled "As Is" which was produced by Rodney Crowell and returned Bare back to his country roots with songs like "New Cut Road".

Bare was still doing well chart wise into the early 1980s. In 1983, he released a Top 30 duet with Lacy J. Dalton called "It's A Dirty Job". His last trip into the Top 30 came that summer with the novelty song "The Jogger".

In short, Bobby Bare, and what was to become known as The Nashville Sound, go hand in hand. He was one of the most successful exponents of the sound and it opened up the doorway for his success in Nashville.

Releasing this July 6th, 2018 via Morello Records / Cherry Red Records UK, a brand new 2CD set entitled The Travelin' Bare / Constant Sorrow / Streets Of Baltimore is about to hit our shores.

Containing a trio of albums from the country music legend, the three aforementioned albums - The Travelin' Bare (1964), Constant Sorrow (1965) and The Streets of Baltimore (1966) - all perfectly fitted RCA's folk/country marketing tag of the time, and are still a majestic reminder of just how good this man was.

CD 1 - The Travelin' Bare
1. "Down in Mexico"
2. "Sittin' and Thinking"
3. "I've Lived a Lot in My Time"
4. "I'm Gettin' Lonely"
5. "Long Way to Tennessee"
6. "Sweeter Than the Flowers"
7. "I Was Coming Home to You"
8. "Long Black Limousine"
9. "Another Bridge to Burn"
10. "Lonely Town"
11. "Candy Coated Kisses"
12. "When I'm Gone"

CD 1 - Constant Sorrow
13. "I'm a Man of Constant Sorrow"
14. "Blowin' in the Wind"
15. "Times Are Gettin' Hard"
16. "Lemon Tree"
17. "So Soon"
18. "One Day at a Time"
19. "Delia's Gone"
20. "Just to Satisfy You"
21. "I'm a Long Way from Home"
22. "The Deepening Snow"
23. "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"
24. "Countin' the Hours, Countin' the Days"

CD 2 - The Streets of Baltimore
1. "Early Morning Rain"
2. "Houston"
3. "Saginaw, Michigan"
4. "Take Me Home to Mama"
5. "Memphis, Tennessee"
6. "The Streets of Baltimore"
7. "That's How I Wanted It to Be"
8. "Vincennes"
9. "Cold and Lonely City"
10. "Changin' My Mind"
11. "There Ain't No Fun in This Town"
12. "Green, Green Grass of Home"

The recordings covered a diverse music field that moved from Dylan and '60s pop culture to Nashville's new breed of writers like Harlan Howard, Willie Nelson and Hank Cochran, plus a few of his own originals thrown into the mix.

The albums give an early indication of Bare's ability as a talented judge of songs, a skill that led Waylon Jennings to later cite him as the best song hound in the world.

He achieved 69 chart singles and 28 chart albums in his illustrious career and it should also be noted that all three of these albums appear on CD for the very first time.

As for Bare himself, well, I'm not sure that Bobby was ever an "outlaw" (and after judging by today's definition of that crowd, he may not want to be associated with the term anyway!), but he did things his own way; which is why I think he flourished during the death of the Nashville Sound and the increasing Disco beats of Barbara Mandrell and Kenny & Dolly.

If I've not made this point clear, Bobby Bare is a classic country music artist whose songs have ruled the charts and also crossed over to the other genres. He composed the type of country music from the sixties/seventies that incorporated ballads with a lyrical story.

All these recordings on this 2CD set are superb, and you can really appreciate Bobby's straight-forward, no-nonsense, approach to presenting a song.

Solo or tandem, every track is a winner and reveals Bare and his rich baritone to be an underappreciated but important part of country music history.

Bobby Bare @ Facebook!

Official 2CD Purchase Link

Title - One For The Money / Open Up Your Love / Headlights
Artist - The Whispers

For those not in the know, The Whispers are an American group from Los Angeles, California, who have scored hit records since the late 1960s.

Indeed, The Whispers were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003, and were winners of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation's Pioneer Award in 2008.

By popular vote, the group was inducted into The Soul Music Hall Of Fame at in December 2012, and The Official R&B Music Hall of Fame in 2014.

The Whispers formed in 1964 in Watts, California. The original members included identical twin brothers Wallace "Scotty" and Walter Scott, along with Gordy Harmon, Marcus Hutson, and Nicholas Caldwell.

The group scored many hits on the R&B and Billboard Hot 100 charts throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and they hit #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart in 1979/80 with "And the Beat Goes On / "Can You Do the Boogie" / "Out the Box".

In 1987, they enjoyed a brief tenure in the Top 10 when "Rock Steady" became their first Top 10 success on the Hot 100, reaching #7, while also capturing the #1 spot on the R&B chart.

After a series of singles on Los Angeles label, Dore, the group signed to a small LA label, Soul Clock, run by producer Ron Carson, who was responsible for their breakthrough hit, "Seems Like I Got To Do Wrong" in 1970.

Moving to the larger New York-based Janus label, they continued to be produced by Carson, before he sold all of his recordings to Janus with the group then recording mainly in Philadelphia in the mid '70s.

Since that period, most of their studio work has been done in Los Angeles. Their most successful period was in the 1980s with SOLAR Records (Sound Of Los Angeles Records), which was operated by their manager at the time, Dick Griffey.

The Whispers later established their own production company, Satin Tie Productions, through which they released their independent 2006 album For Your Ears Only.

Releasing on July 20th, 2018 via Robinsongs / Cherry Red Records UK, is a wonderful 2CD set entitled One For The Money / Open Up Your Love / Headlights. CD 1 - One For The Money
1. "One for the Money"
2. "Living Together (In Sin)"
3. "Put Me in the News"
4. "You're Only As Good As You Think You Are"
5. "Sounds Like a Love Song"
6. "I've Got a Feeling"
7. "In My Heart"

CD1 - Open Up Your Love
8. "Make It with You"
9. "Chocolate Girl"
10. "Love Is a Dream"
11. "Open Up Your Love"
12. "I Fell in Love Last Night (At the Disco)"
13. "You Are Number One"
14. "You Never Miss Your Water ('Til Your Well Runs Dry)"
15. "I'm Gonna Make You My Wife"

CD 2 - Headlights
1. "Headlights"
2. "(Olivia) Lost and Turned Out"
3. "(Let's Go) All the Way"
4. "(You're a) Special Part of My Life"
5. "The Planets of Life"
6. "Try and Make It Better"
7. "Disco Melody"
8. "Children of Tomorrow"
9. "You're Only As Good As You Think You Are" (7" Version) - Bonus Track
10. "Sounds Like a Love Song" (7" Version) - Bonus Track

The One For The Money album was originally released in 1976 on the Soul Train Label, and featured the R&B Top Ten Hit of the same name and the follow up single "Living Together (In Sin)", which just missed the R&B Top Twenty.

Though still at a more formative stage of their career at the time that this was made, if you listen closely you can hear the rich melodies that would be the trademark of their classic '80s material starting to emerge.

Not the completely listenable album that Just Gets Better With Time or Toast To The Ladies is, but still something that both Whispers aficionados and fans of good '70s soul should check out; especially for the beautiful six minute long "message" ballad, "You're Only As Good As You Think You Are".

This new 2CD set also includes the 7” versions of the tracks "You’re Only As Good As You Think You Are" and "Sounds Like A Love Song" as bonus tracks on disc two.

Following up the One For The Money album was the 1977 release Open Up Your Love, also released on the Soul Train label. It kicked off with a soulful cover of Bread’s "Make It With You", which gave the group another R&B Top Ten Hit. Other stand out tracks on Open Up Your Love are "Chocolate Girl" and "I Fell In Love Last Night (At The Disco)".

Being released during the days of disco, it was actually the ballad "You Are My Number One" that I remember most about this still-great album. For my money, it is worth the price of musical admission alone.

It should also be noted that "I'm Gonna Make You My Wife," the last track of the album, and by far one of the best of the eight, made its richly deserved "comeback" in 'Waiting to Exhale' (1995).

The third album in this package is Headlights originally released in 1978 this time on Solar Records. Again, the album included a R&B Top Ten Hit "(Let’s Go) All The Way" and, just missing out on the Top Ten, "(Olivia) Lost And Turned Out".

However, probably the best track on the album is "The Planets Of Life" which was not released as a single, but if you love it as much as everyone else seems to, you should definitely check out the KB's Groovy Edit of it!

Trust me when I say that every song on this great album is a winner that will bring back all those old memories from the past for you. Really, anyone that loves good music and real, genuine singing will love the vocal harmonies of The Whispers on Headlights.

I mean, come on now, this album is worth the money alone for the title track that kicks the album off, "Headlights." It's seven minutes of ultra funk at its very finest. So, turn up the volume and let it fill your heart and soul!

This package features sleeve notes by Christian John Wikane, a New York based music journalist who interviewed Walter Scott of The Whispers, who described these three albums as the exciting new phase of The Whispers’ career: “The early days of Solar Records were just incredible.”

The Whispers @ Facebook!

Official 2CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphonies 4 & 11'
Artist - Andris Nelsons

For those not in the classical know, Andris Nelsons is a Latvian conductor. He is currently the music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.

Nelsons studied conducting with Alexander Titov in Saint Petersburg, Russia and participated in conducting master classes with Neeme Järvi and Jorma Panula.

He came to the attention of Mariss Jansons when he emergency-substituted with the Oslo Philharmonic in their trumpet section during an orchestra tour. Nelsons counts Jansons as a mentor, and has been a conducting student with him since 2002.

In 2003, Nelsons became principal conductor of the Latvian National Opera. He concluded his tenure there after four years in 2007. In 2006, Nelsons became chief conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie of Herford, Germany, a post he held until the end of the 2008/09 season.

His first conducting appearance at the Metropolitan Opera was in October 2009, a production of Turandot. In July 2010, Nelsons made his debut at the Bayreuth Festival, conducting a new production of Wagner's Lohengrin at the opening performance of the festival.

With the CBSO, Nelsons has recorded music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Richard Strauss, and Igor Stravinsky for the Orfeo label. Separately from the CBSO, Nelsons has also recorded for the BR-Klassik label.

Nelsons has also recorded commercially with the Boston Symphony Orchestra for Deutsche Grammophon, where their album Under Stalin's Shadow, of the Symphony No 10 of Shostakovich, received a 2015 Grammy Award for best orchestral performance. This DG album is part of an intended long-term contract between the Boston Symphony, Nelsons and DG, as extended in May 2016.

Releasing July 6th, 2018 via Deutsche Grammophon, this wondrous Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphonies 4 & 11 from the widely acclaimed, Grammy-winning Shostakovich Symphony cycle with Music Director Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra will soon be pleasing all fans of classical.

CD 1 - Symphony No. 4 in C Minor, Op. 43
1. Allegretto poco moderato (14:56)
2. Presto (11:47)
3. Moderato con moto (8:24)
4. Largo (6:52)
5. Allegro (22:25)

CD 2 - Symphony No. 11 in G Minor, Op. 103 "The Year 1905"
1. The Palace Square (Adagio) (17:15)
2. The Ninth of January (Allegro - Adagio - Allegro - Adagio) (18:46)
3. Eternal Memory (Adagio) (12:28)
4. The Tocsin (Allegro non troppo) (14:10)

After the very successful Symphony No. 10 in 2015 and beauty of Symphonies Nos. 5, 8, 9 from 2016, Andris Nelsons and his Bostonians turn their attention to the extrovert Fourth and dramatic Eleventh - both recorded live for the third installment of this long-term collaboration of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

A sheer, unadulterated joy from start to finish, Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphonies 4 & 11 showcases, to my mind, Nelsons at his best, once again, of course. That said, and please this is a compliment, what I heard, and what is so attractive about his music, is, well, Shostakovich. The man, not the composer. Not Nelsons.

For Shostakovich: poignant and tragic, mellow and life-affirming, hopeful, melancholy and joyous, means that Nelsons didn't have to try too hard to bring to life the man's greatest works. For, some who can bring us the complete romantic symphonies that he did, Shostakovich must have a resting spot within the heart of Nelsons, that's for sure.

As for a little history on these two symphonies, although composed in 1935-1936, this 4th symphony was not heard until 1961. Shostakovich had come under fire in the official Soviet press for “formalism” and “decadence” after Stalin attended a performance of his opera, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, and had his peculiar moral sensibilities offended, more by the libretto than the music, one can imagine.

After being put into rehearsal, Shostakovich thought the better of it, and withdrew the work. It is therefore a pivotal work in the composer's career, both stylistically and politically.

However, his 11th symphony, which on its face should be no less of a propaganda piece than Symphonies 2 & 3, because it commemorates the events of the failed 1905 Revolution, has become the most played of Shostakovich’s last five symphonies.

This may be due to the almost cinematic depiction of the events before the Winter Palace that faithful year. Again, it shows its deep debt to Mahler in the funeral march movement, and its depiction of the peasants' massacre by the Czar's cossacks is brutally graphic to a degree without being vulgar.

Even the introduction of material from various revolutionary songs does not debase the high level of musical discourse, and the ending is among Shostakovich’s most thrillingly bombastic.

Official 2CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Chopin: Etudes Op. 10'
Artist - Daniele Pollini

For those not in the classical know, Daniele Pollini is famous Italian pianist Maurizio Pollini’s son. He was born in 1978. He made ​​his debut as a pianist at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro in the summer of 1997.

He also participated in the Salzburg Festival and the Ruhr Piano Festival and made ​​his successful debut in Paris and in the United States.

He has appeared as soloist with the Orchestra Regionale Toscana, with the Orchestra of the Musical Afternoons and with the National Radio Symphony Orchestra In 2003 he performed at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino under the Zubin Mehta, and in 2004 he gave a concert at the Venice Biennale.

His interests also extend to electronic music. His training as a director is linked to the Accademia Musicale Chigiana conducting courses, taught by Gianluigi Gelmetti.

In 2002 he made ​​his debut at the Ravenna Festival with the RAI Symphony Orchestra, with a program including the IV and VII Symphony by Beethoven.

Releasing July 6th, 2018 via Universal Music Italia / Deutsche Grammophon, this beautiful Chopin: Etudes Op. 10; Scriabin: Late Works Opp. 70-74; Stockhausen: Klavierstück IX follows incredibly in his famous fathers footsteps.

1. Chopin: 12 Etudes, Op.10 - No.1 In C Major
2. Chopin: 12 Etudes, Op.10 - No.1 In A Minor
3. Chopin: 12 Etudes, Op.10 - No.1 In E Major
4. Chopin: 12 Etudes, Op.10 - No.4 in C Sharp Minor
5. Chopin: 12 Etudes, Op.10 - No.5 In G-Flat Major
6. Chopin: 12 Etudes, Op.10 - No.6 In E-Flat Minor
7. Chopin: 12 Etudes, Op.10 - No.7 In C Major
8. Chopin: 12 Etudes, Op.10 - No.8 in F Major
9. Chopin: 12 Etudes, Op.10 - No.9 In F Minor
10. Chopin: 12 Etudes, Op.10 - No.10 In A-Flat Major
11. Chopin: 12 Etudes, Op.10 - No.11 In E-Flat Major
12. Chopin: 12 Etudes, Op.10 - No.12 In C Minor
13. Scriabin: Piano Sonata No.10, Op.70
14. Scriabin: Two Poèmes, Op.71 - No.1 - Fantastique
15. Scriabin: Two Poèmes, Op.71 - No.2 - En rêvant
16. Scriabin: Vers la flamme, Op.72
17. Scriabin: 2 Danses, Op.73-1. Guirlandes
18. Scriabin: 2 Danses, Op.73-2. Flammes sombres
19. Scriabin: 5 Preludes, Op.74 - No.1
20. Scriabin: 5 Preludes, Op.74 - No.2
21. Scriabin: 5 Preludes, Op.74 - No.3
22. Scriabin: 5 Preludes, Op.74 - No.4
23. Scriabin: 5 Preludes, Op.74 - No.5
24. Stockhausen: Klavierstück IX

Daniele Pollini's performance of Chopin's Etudes Op. 10, Scriabin's Late Works Opp. 70-74, and the album-ending, near 12 minute long Stockhausen Klavierstück IX, is a pure dream. He combines superb musicianship with flawless technique with every single note seemingly becoming a musical experience within itself.

In truth, I don't think I know of any other pianist who can play with as much lightness of tone as Daniele Pollini. His God-given/father-given talent enables him to makes it sound as if though his music is floating. In addition, he has a technique that enables him to run technical passages with such fluency that it can sound almost like a breeze of notes.

On Chopin: Etudes Op. 10; Scriabin: Late Works Opp. 70-74; Stockhausen: Klavierstück IX, Pollini is fluid, silky-smooth, yet crisp and clear, and always beautiful. The first track is absolutely inspired, as are the last, long Stockhausen track, in my humble opinion.

As for his impeccable work on the Piano Sonata No. 10, Op. 70, well, Pollini is once again in rare form here. Written by Alexander Scriabin in 1913 it was actually his final work in this form, and Pollini strives to honor these odes beautifully.

The piece is highly chromatic and atonal like Scriabin's other late works, although arguably less dissonant than most of his late works. Indeed, it is characterized by frequent trills and tremolos and, in life, is sometimes called his "Insect Sonata."

As for Pollini's final opus, Stockhausen has said the Klavierstücke "are my drawings", and Pollini, as always, works his own bright, melodic magic with these pieces. Interestingly enough, they actually originated as a set of four small pieces composed between February and June 1952. Stockhausen later formulated a plan for a large cycle of 21 Klavierstücke, in sets of 4 + 6 + 1 + 5 + 3 + 2 pieces, and so we have what we have all grown to know and admire here today.

Pollini, obviously through his fathers heavy, and soaring influence, simply goes where most pianists cannot in these pieces. They require a mix of virtuosity, technique, and poetry (many of the three all at the same time) and Pollini has it all in spades, trust me.

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Bach, J.S.: Violin Concertos No. 1 & No. 2'
Artist - Daniel Lozakovich

For those not in the classical know, Daniel Lozakovich is an uber talented 17-year-old violinist who has amazed audiences and critics alike with his mature, carefully considered playing.

Daniel Lozakovich was born in Stockholm in 2001 and began playing the violin when he was almost seven. He made his solo debut two years later with the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and Vladimir Spivakov in Moscow.

Daniel went on to perform with, among others, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Moscow Philharmonic and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestras, the Orchestre National de France and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

His prodigious talent has been nurtured through studies with Josef Rissin at the Karlsruhe University of Music and he is now mentored by Eduard Wulfson.

The violin grapevine was buzzing with news about the amazing youngster from Sweden long before Daniel made his international breakthrough in May 2016, when he hit the headlines worldwide as winner of the Vladimir Spivakov International Violin Competition and, soon after, as returning soloist with the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev in the closing concert of the XV Moscow Easter Festival.

As well as having performed with the Mariinsky forces again on several occasions since then, in November 2016 he made his debut with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra under Maestro Gergiev at the opening concert of the MPHIL 360o festival.

On June 8th, 2018, Deutsche Grammophon released his debut album, the quite stunning, rather brilliant Bach, J.S.: Violin Concertos No. 1 & No. 2; Partita No. 2.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750)
Violin Concerto No. 2 in E Major, BWV 1042
1. Allegro (7:49)
2. Adagio (6:36)
3. Allegro assai (2:46)

Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, BWV 1041
4. Allegro moderato (3:56)
5. Andante (6:50)
6. Allegro assai (3:47)

Partita for Violin Solo No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004
7. Allemande (5:33)
8. Courante (2:44)
9. Sarabande (4:21)
10. Gigue (4:26)
11. Chaconne (15:00)

The choice of Bach spotlights a composer whose music, according to Lozakovich, shows your true colors as a musician, because it is impossible to hide behind the notes.

Which he doesn’t need to do: whether collaborating with the Chamber Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Bach’s First and Second Violin Concertos or playing solo violin in the Second Partita, Lozakovich’s debut recording demonstrates his enthusiasm and aptitude for chamber music utterly convincingly.

Now known as, even at his tender young age, a "violinist's violinist," Lozakovich plunges into his work head first and wholeheartedly, never shying away from depth of emotion or sensitivity.

How well these wonderful Bach violin concertos highlight Lozakovich's amazing talents and proclivities. His violin sings and laments, radiates and celebrates. And how glorious this music is for just listening to Lozakovich play Bach's slower movements: Sorrow and beauty, make them all-too-human. Simply stunning. Possible even too beautiful for words. Take a bow, Daniel. Take a well deserved bow.

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Leonard Bernstein: A Quiet Place'
Artist - Kent Nagano

For those not in the classical know, Kent Nagano is an American conductor and opera administrator. He is currently music director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, since 2006, and general music director of the Hamburg State Opera since 2015.

Nagano was introduced to Bernstein by Seiji Ozawa in 1984 and studied with him until his death in 1990. Nagano says, “For Bernstein music was life – the two were synonymous, inseparable. He never stopped exploring and pushing his own compositional language."

"The goal in this particular adaptation is to allow the spirited brilliance and poetic depth of the work to shine through – including dance rhythms and elements of American folklore. Our hope is that the timeless and universal quality of the piece and the genius of the composition are laid bare in this new recording.”

Released this past June 22nd, 2018 via Decca Classics, the quite beautiful 2CD set Leonard Bernstein: A Quiet Place featuring Kent Nagano and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal has been brought forth.

CD 1:
[1]-[15] ACT I

CD 2:
[1]-[5] ACT II
[6]-[15] ACT III

In fact, it's actually the world premiere recording of the chamber version of Leonard Bernstein’s A Quiet Place, adapted by Garth Edwin Sunderland.

Conducted by Nagano, Bernstein’s opera A Quiet Place was the composer’s last work written for the stage and remains one of his lesser known large-scale compositions.

The concert-version presented on the new album features a chamber orchestra and was recorded live at the Maison symphonique de Montréal in May 2017.

The aforementioned Garth Edwin Sunderland’s adaptation offers a compact presentation of the three-act opera which places equal focus on librettist Stephen Wadsworth’s dramatic narrative and Bernstein’s complex and highly developed late musical style.

This piece used to be, weirdly, extraordinarily hard to find, but nonetheless is still very important in Bernstein's oeuvre. The piece, which incorporates his earlier seven-scene opera Trouble in Tahiti (A Quiet Place is incorporated as a series of flashbacks to when Dinah was still alive), along with his little known work Missa Brevis (also written very late), are must haves for the Bernstein collectors.

Much criticized at the time, especially for the libretto, this one full length opera today still seems brilliant and almost prescient in its subject matter.

Under the baton of the esteemed Kent Nagano, together with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and soloists including Jonathan McGovern, Christopher Purves, and Sarah Maria Sun, have come together in perfect harmony here to make the most of the gorgeous music on offer from Bernstein. Again, a must for anyone who loves modern America Music or Bernstein's great Broadway scores.

Nagano will conduct the OSM at the North American premiere of A Quiet Place, in a smaller, shorter concert version of the opera on August 15th, 2018 at La Maison symphonique de Montréal. The concert is being co-presented by Fierté Montréal during Gay Pride week.

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci'
Artist - Pietro Mascagni / Ruggero Leoncavallo

For those not in the classical know, Pietro Mascagni was an Italian composer most noted for his operas. His 1890 masterpiece Cavalleria Rusticana caused one of the greatest sensations in opera history and single-handedly ushered in the Verismo movement in Italian dramatic music.

While it was often held that Mascagni, like Leoncavallo, was a "one-opera man" who could never repeat his first success, L'amico Fritz and Iris have remained in the repertoire in Europe (especially Italy) since their premieres. Mascagni said that at one point, Iris was performed in Italy more often than Cavalleria (cf. Stivender).

Indeed, Mascagni wrote fifteen operas, an operetta, several orchestral and vocal works, and also songs and piano music. He enjoyed immense success during his lifetime, both as a composer and conductor of his own and other people's music.

He created a variety of styles in his operas: a Sicilian passion and warmth of Cavalleria, the exotic flavor of Iris, the idylls of L'amico Fritz and Lodoletta, the Gallic chiaroscuro of Isabeau, the steely, Veristic power of Il piccolo Marat and the over-ripe post-romanticism of the lush Parisina.

As for Ruggero Leoncavallo, he was was also an Italian opera composer and librettist. Although he produced numerous operas and other songs throughout his career it is his opera Pagliacci (1892) that remained his lasting contribution, despite attempts to escape the shadow of his greatest success.

Today he remains largely known for Pagliacci, one of the most popular works in the repertory, appearing as number 20 on the Operabase list of the most-performed operas worldwide in the 2013/14 season. His other well-known works include the song "Mattinata", popularized by Enrico Caruso, as well as the symphonic poem La nuit de mai.

Released May 25th, 2018 via Deutsche Grammophon, Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana/Leoncavallo: Pagliacci is out now as a brilliant, and rather lush 2CD + Blu-ray Audio Disc Deluxe Hardback Edition presenting Herbert von Karajan’s glorious 1965 double-feature of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci.

CD 1:
1. Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana

CD 2:
1. Leoncavallo: Pagliacci

1. Bu-ray Audio Disc

Featuring the Coro e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala, Fiorenza Cossotto (Cavalleria) and Giuseppe Taddei and Rolando Panerai (Pagliacci), it is inclusive of both casts featuring the great Carlo Bergonzi in lead roles.

In truth, and as I think we all can testify to, Deutsche Grammophon has always been known for state of the art classical music recordings, and this is no exception. This 2CD + Blu-ray Audio Disc performance led by Herbert Von Karajan is one of, if not the best performances of this work I've heard in quite some time.

I think the story of this famous opera needs no telling. It is very accessible and very exciting and it's short. All in all, a brilliant package.

The singers, however, are paired with one of my favorite conductors of all time. Herbert von Karajan has been criticized for making his music "too beautiful". Well, for me there can be no such thing.

His conducting here is typically sensitive and his devotion to the singers was just pure genius. The chorus is excellent and their hymn with Santuzza goes the full way in making the audience sympathetic to the circumstances leading to her drastic actions.

So we come to Santuzza. Fiorenza Cossotto is one of those singers who give it her all. You hear it in her voice. She can rise, soar and float her notes like a warm current as well as stop your world with her chest register.

Naturally, she excels in both mezzo and soprano roles. Not to eclipse her esteemed art, I would concur that she is every bit as astounding as the great Simionato.

And Bergonzi has always been a reliable tenor for me and while I can't claim that he was particularly astonishing, he was amazing nonetheless. His Turridu is faultless. Once again, Bergonzi gives a wholly Italian and aesthetically appealing performance. Nowhere is this more apparent than the cavatina at the beginning.

Leoncavallo's Pagliacci is widely regarded as the best stereophonic Pagliacci - and many would say the best, period. Its virtues are primarily musical: Carlo Bergonzi usually sang with a level of good taste not common in tenors this side of Sir Peter Pears, and you might expect that to limit the voltage he generates as the insanely jealous, knife-wielding Canio, particularly with the well-groomed Karajan on the podium.

But he gets into the character, and Karajan gets into the music's passion and the story's gritty atmosphere. It may be that the conductor caught some excitement from the La Scala Orchestra and Chorus, which are ideal for this music. The two baritones are excellent, and Joan Carlyle's performance makes you wonder why she made so few recordings.

The orchestra plays it well and follows Karajan perfectly, but, and being an OCD perfectionist, I (think I) noticed just one entrance in the first measure of the intermezzo where the strings are not completely together.

There is one cut in act I, but it is a traditional one. If I am correct, I think it is in the prologue that an empty measure has been eliminated. Maybe I'm wrong, but you can decide for yourself when you purchase this incredible new package.

Regardless, to me this is a perfect performance of Pagliacci. Von Karajan's tempi are on frame and his phrasing with the orchestra is exquisite. When I first heard Taddei's Tonio I didn't much care for it, but the more I listen the more I have grown to like it.

Taddei delivers, what I consider, a very Gobbi like performance, which I feel is truer to the realization of this character than, say a Warren, Milnes, or MacNeil. Joan Carlyle is a very fine Nedda, though not in the same league as de Los Angeles or Callas, but very compelling nonetheless.

Rolando Panerai sings very well, if not a bit too robust, in the lyric baritone role of Silvio (my favorite is still Robert Merrill in the Cellini/Bjoerling/De Los Angeles recording).

Also, this recording not only possesses the great Tenor voice of Carlo Bergonzi, but also the equally wonderful lyric Tenor voice of Ugo Bennelli in the role of Beppe/Arlequino, who sings the role with a beauty and ease unequaled by any other Tenor, on any other recording.

This great new package also includes an essay on Cavalleria Rusticana by Bernhard Uske; on Pagliacci by Angelo Foletto; and a note by Recording Producer, Hans Weber.

Official 2CD + Blu-ray Audio Disc Purchase Link

Title - 'John Williams: A Life In Music'
Artist - The London Symphony Orchestra

For those not in the classical know, The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), founded in 1904, is the oldest of London's symphony orchestras.

It was set up by a group of players who left Henry Wood's Queen's Hall Orchestra because of a new rule requiring players to give the orchestra their exclusive services.

The LSO itself later introduced a similar rule for its members. From the outset, the LSO was organized on co-operative lines, with all players sharing the profits at the end of each season. This practice continued for the orchestra's first four decades.

The LSO’s close connection with John Williams goes back nearly 40 years to the first notes of Star Wars in 1977.

Just released this past May 4th, 2018 via Decca Classics, John Williams: A Life In Music is a once in a lifetime release that includes the best film scores by John Williams, including "Hedwig’s Theme" from Harry Potter that has been recorded by the LSO for the very first time.

1. "Main Title" (From Star Wars)
2. "Theme" (From Jurassic Park)
3. "Hedwig's Theme" (From Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone)
4. "The Raiders March" (From Raiders Of The Lost Ark)
5. "Flying Theme" (From E.T)
6. "Theme" (From Schindler's List)
7. "The Flight To Neverland" (From Hook)
8. "Hymn To The Fallen" (From Saving Private Ryan)
9. "Shark Theme" (From Jaws)
10. "Superman March" (From Superman)

There's also a World Premier Recording of Schindler’s List ("Theme") featuring a solo cello - this is the first time the official arrangement by John Williams has been recorded.

As you can all imagine, it's crazy just how great the recording quality is here on John Williams: A Life In Music. Crystal clear audio. So much so that if you close your eyes you're almost in the jungle, or in space, or even registering at Hogwarts!

It's really beautifully engineered and, additionally, the LSO are kind of unbeatable seeing as they did most of the original recordings, of course.

Again, the sound is plush and expansive, rich, warm and smooth, in a glowing and spacious acoustic. The highlight here is the playing of the LSO, which is truly fabulous.

One additional nice touch is that the full-color booklet includes quotes from featured members of the orchestra for each track. These do not seem "scripted" or shallow; rather, they express sincere admiration for the genius of John Williams as a composer and reveal how rewarding his scores are to play.

I would recommend this delightful, soaring compilation to anyone who likes well-produced and well-performed music.

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'A Portrait of John Doe' [Vinyl]
Artist - Floex/Tom Hodge/Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra

For those not in the classical know, much like me, Floex (aka Tomas Dvorak), is a Czech clarinetist, composer, producer and multimedia artist from Prague) and London-based Tom Hodge is a British composer, pianist, and clarinetist; who recently scored McMafia.

Together, they bring classical and radical “avant-garde” electronic music to the masses.

Released on June 29th, 2018 via Mercury KX (a division of Decca Music Group Limited) on vinyl (because, come on now, everything musical always sounds better on vinyl), A Portrait Of John Doe sees the duo following on from their recently-released 'John Doe Arise EP.'

1. "Inauguration Of Nobody"
2. "Wednesday (Is The New Friday)"
3. "Machines Are Dancing"
4. "John Doe Arise"
5. "I Dream Of Ikaria"
6. "Prelude I"
7. "Prelude II"
8. "Resurgence"
9. "Requiem"

That 2 track EP, which comprises ‘John Doe Arise’, and a stunning remix of the original from Max Cooper, is the second in a three-part EP series, this album being the culmination of their intriguing collaborations.

The pair began work on the album after meeting at the Berlin festival in 2014 and has thusly taken three years to complete. Working alongside the Prague Radio Symphonic Orchestra (PRSO) to bring the music and their arrangements to life, A Portrait of John Doe is one incredible exceptional work of music art, of that you have my word.

As this eclectic album will have a little of something for everyone, my own personal favorite track is "Wednesday (Is The New Friday).” Beginning with some rather jazzy pizzicato strings, swaying percussion, after a few breaths is settles into a delightful, poetic piano movement.

Culminating like a seasoned wave gently landing on the shore of an abandoned beach, it is, for my money, the most completest of tracks I've heard in over a decade.

Sure, it's not a simply piano track, for it has an industrial undercurrent that, at times, seeps through rather ominously, but its overall tone is one of gentle playfulness; albeit one that, at times, rides a delicious synth melody.

The other musical moment(s) I would openly nod to to give your full attention would be the stunning two-part “Prelude.” Evolving as it slyly moves along, and not the happiest of sounding tracks, that's for sure, it ebbs and swells rather cinematically, nonetheless.

Meaningful, heartfelt, sorrowful piano and strings combine like lovers with female vocals, but all too soon are quickly overwhelmed by more of their industrial fetishes.

Not a bad thing, perhaps a wee bit convoluted, sure, but combined with a frenetic, pulsating synth beat, it suddenly rises the vocal dramatically skyward. Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

Ergo, I recommend this highly inventive album to any fan of music: no matter what genre.

Vinyl Purchase Link

Title - 'La Nilsson' [79 CD + 2 DVD Box-Set]
Artist - Birgit Nilsson

For those not in the classical know, Birgit Nilsson was born in Västra Karup in southern Sweden to a farming family on May 17th, 1918.

She sang a wide variety of dramatic soprano roles, but her reputation was based on her mastery of some of the most punishing in the repertory.

Whether excelling as the fire-and-ice heroine of Puccini's Turandot, or in the roles of Isolde, Brünnhilde or Sieglinde; which confirmed her as a successor to Kirsten Flagstad, Nilsson stood head and shoulders above all others of her genre.

However, there was nothing heroic about her early life, while her operatic debut in 1946 was a near-disaster! She was born and grew up on a farm in Vastra Karups, southern Sweden, an often lonely only child who expressed herself most happily by singing - apparently with perfect pitch - and by playing the one-octave toy piano given to her as a toddler.

Her musical talents were recognized by family and friends, but not by her first teacher at the Stockholm academy, Joseph Hislop, who told her it was not for farmers' daughters to become singers.

Subsequently Leo Blech, who conducted her debut performance - as Agathe in Der Freischütz, at the Stockholm Royal Opera after only three days' preparation - declared that she was not musical!

She was more fortunate with Fritz Busch, who rescued her from a year's exclusion from the stage to sing Lady Macbeth. Her success here was so sensational that Blech was obliged to eat his words and even to arrange for Nilsson's appearance in Berlin (her first engagement abroad), where she sang Sieglinde in a concert performance of the first act of Die Walküre.

Wisely, she then returned to Stockholm to build up her repertoire and develop her voice.

It was in the mid-1950s that she began her world conquest, with Elsa at Bayreuth in 1954 and the complete Brünnhilde at the 1955 Munich Festival, where she also displayed her ability to ride over the vast orchestral forces of Strauss's Salome without losing beauty of tone.

Not only did she prove to have a voice of unique power; she was also an apparently tireless singer who always sounded as fresh at the end of the most challenging roles as she had been at the beginning.

Indeed, Nilsson's Elektra – the role considered by some critics as her finest achievement – had not only the sheer vocal power required to surmount the huge Straussian orchestra without difficulty, but the emotional strength needed to give truly heroic proportions to the work.

Ergo, Nilsson remains peerless in the repertoire best suited to her qualities. No dramatic soprano has since truly approached her stature. Her extraordinary vocal power and breath control enabled her to hold on to flawless high notes for almost unnatural lengths of time. Her stamina was inexhaustible and impregnable, so that she appeared perfectly fresh at the end of the most grueling performance.

She had a rock-solid technique and a voice of such soaring, unforced power that it was able to cut through the massed forces of a Wagnerian orchestra with ease, yet retained a purity of tone which enabled her to switch to the most delicate pianissimo.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about her was that she rarely, if ever, gave a performance which fell below the standards she set herself, and at the age of 65 she could still dominate the 1983 Metropolitan Opera Gala featuring the cream of the world's singers.

She retired in 1984, her Wagner supremacy recognized by all her colleagues, who regarded her with affection and respect, while audiences simply worshiped her as though she had come down to them from Valhalla. [Marta Birgit Nilsson, soprano, born May 17 1918; died January 1 2006].

Released this past May 4th, 2018 via Decca Classics, La Nilsson is a stupendous, and completely deserved Limited Edition 79CD + 2DVD Box-Set covering all the major roles Nilsson performed: 27 full-length operas including 2 full Wagner ‘Ring’ cycles.

This stunning Box-Set, released to mark the centenary of her birth, is presented with original jackets, spine wallets and a 200-page perfect bound book, and offers not only Nilsson’s complete recordings for Decca, Philips and Deutsche Grammophon, but also every major role she recorded. Of which the highlights included boast:

• 27 COMPLETE OPERAS, including:
• TRISTAN UND ISOLDE with Solti – REMASTERED including the rehearsals PLUS the Bayreuth/Bohm recording from Deutsche Grammophon
• Verdi MACBETH and Beethoven FIDELIO
• Two TURANDOT recordings – with Leinsdorf and Molinari-Pradelli
• Decca Operatic Recitals (Verdi, Beethoven, Weber and Wagner) and “Swedish Songs in Land of the Midnight Sun”
• DVDs of the MET production of ELEKTRA, and the GOLDEN RING documentary of the making of the Solti Ring.

Oh, and if you want more, well, you got it, for this magnificent Box-Set also includes:

• New essay – “Apotheosis Achieved” by Raymond McGill
• A note by Decca producer Christopher Raeburn
• Many unseen photographs from the Decca archive
• Recording Index
• Composer/Work Index

That makes this a unique proposition that will delight the admirers of one of the 20th century’s greatest singers.

It's always been made clear to me, a fan of Ms. Nilsson for about the past 25 years now, that she was a focused, hard-working singer with a natural, mostly untaught technique ... and a fierce sense of humor.

Her voice reverberated against the walls of the world’s greatest opera houses for nearly 40 years, leaving her with ecstatic ovations and effusive reviews.

No matter how stunningly magnificent her recordings were, it was said that they could never do justice to the experience of hearing her live in the repertoire that she sang best: primarily Wagner and Strauss, but also some Verdi and Puccini.

So, in honor of her legacy lovingly stacked up here in some fine boxing style by Decca Classics, I will review a few of my personal favorite moments of her glorious and illustrious career.

Nilsson’s remarkable Wagnerian stamina was also required in her signature Strauss roles. At the same 1955 Munich Festival where her Brünnhilde took the audience by storm, she wowed them yet again as the darkly sensual and murderous Princess Salome.

This is known as one of the most challenging roles in all of opera, with its vast vocal range, its 105-piece orchestra, and its many musical and dramatic challenges.

Nilsson took these challenges in stride, and at the end of a show, she would sometimes walk offstage to her dressing room singing Mozart’s stratospheric “Queen of the Night” aria or Brünnhilde’s battle cry.

Opera rarely makes front-page news, but December 19th, 1959 was one such occasion. The New York Times headline read, “Birgit Nilsson as Isolde Flashes Like New Star in ‘Met’ Heavens.”

Nilsson once said that Isolde made her famous, and this moment was indeed her launch to international stardom. She played this Irish princess more than 30 times at the Met alone, and when asked what the secret was to tirelessly performing such a vocally and physically demanding role over and over again, Nilsson’s response was characteristically straightforward: “comfortable shoes.”

Isolde may have made Birgit Nilsson famous, but Turandot made her rich! She sang the role more than 50 times at the Met alone, and though it isn’t a very long role, it is a vocally taxing one.

Nilsson made it her own, finding the character’s warmth and vulnerability rather than fixating only on her ice and steel. Vocally, though, she certainly showed her mettle. At the outdoor Arena de Verona in Italy, she sang a high C that caused people outside of the arena to believe a fire alarm had been set off.

And lastly, although I could go on all day like this, much like Salome, Elektra is a one-act opera that packs a huge punch, particularly for the starring soprano. This is one of the two roles that defined the later years of Birgit Nilsson’s career, and she is still considered one of the best interpreters ever to portray Elektra.

Part Greek tragedy and part Freudian exploration, the orchestra is often cited as the largest of any repertory opera. The title character steps onstage shortly after the opera begins and doesn’t leave the stage until her final frenzy brings the tragic story to its close.

Nilsson premiered a new production of Elektra during the Met’s first season at Lincoln Center in 1966, co-starring Leonie Rysanek (whose misgivings apparently applied only to singing the very same role as Nilsson).

As aforementioned, Birgit Nilsson’s complete Decca, Philips and Deutsche Grammophon recordings marks her 100th birthday and has been produced with the full support of the Birgit Nilsson Foundation.

Official 'La Nilsson' [79 CD + 2 DVD Box-Set] Purchase Link

Title - 'Piano Masters in Berlin' [8 CD Box-Set]
Artist - Various

As part of Deutsche Grammophon's celebrations of its incredible pianistic heritage both past and present, the Yellow Label presents within its PIANO MASTERS campaign 8 albums of outstanding performances from its unrivalled roster of pianists accompanied by the two pillars of German musical life: the Berlin Philharmonic and the Staatskapelle Berlin.

Released this past June 22nd, 2018, Piano Masters in Berlin - together with its witty and eye-catching artwork - collects celebrated performances by Pollini, Gilels, Argerich, Barenboim, Géza Anda, Foldes, the Labèque sisters and Yundi.

CD 1: Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37 / Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827)
Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37
Kadenz: Ludwig van Beethoven
1. Allegro con brio - Cadenza: Beethoven (16:07)
2. Largo (10:07)
3. Rondo (Allegro) (9:28)

Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58
Cadenzas: Ludwig van Beethoven
4. 1. Allegro moderato - Cadenza: Ludwig van Beethoven (17:18)BR> 5. 2. Andante con moto (5:16)
6. 3. Rondo. Vivace - Cadenza: Ludwig van Beethoven (10:01)
Maurizio Pollini, Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado

CD 2: Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 83
Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897)
Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 83
1. Allegro non troppo (18:22)
2. Allegro appassionato (9:31)
Emil Gilels, Berliner Philharmoniker, Eugen Jochum
3. Andante - Più adagio (14:04)
Emil Gilels, Ottomar Borwitzky, Berliner Philharmoniker, Eugen Jochum
4. Allegretto grazioso - Un poco più presto (9:47)
Emil Gilels, Berliner Philharmoniker, Eugen Jochum

7 Piano Pieces, Op.116
5. 1. Capriccio in D minor (2:11)
6. 2. Intermezzo in A minor (3:35)
7. 3. Capriccio in G minor (3:13)
8. 4. Intermezzo in E major (4:22)
9. 5. Intermezzo in E minor (3:00)
10. 6. Intermezzo in E major (3:07)
11. 7. Capriccio in d minor (2:16)
Emil Gilels

CD 3: Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11 / Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21
Frédéric Chopin (1810 - 1849)
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11
1. Allegro maestoso (20:43)
2. Romance (Larghetto) (9:54)
3. Rondo (Vivace) (10:30)

Piano Concerto No.2 In F Minor, Op.21
4. 1. Maestoso (14:16)
5. 2. Larghetto (8:59)
6. 3. Allegro vivace (9:05)
Daniel Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin, Andris Nelsons

CD 4: Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-Flat Major, S. 124 / Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major, S. 125 / Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18
Franz Liszt (1811 - 1886)
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-Flat Major, S. 124
1. Allegro maestoso (5:17)
2. Quasi adagio - Allegretto vivace - Allegro animato (8:33)
3. Allegro marziale animato (4:07)

Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major, S. 125
4. 1. Adagio sostenuto assai (4:39)
5. 2. Allegro agitato assai (1:57)
6. 3. Allegro moderato (4:27)
7. 4. Allegro deciso (2:55)
8. 5. Marziale un poco meno Allegro (3:29)
9. 6. Allegro animato (1:42)

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov (1873 - 1943)
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18
10. 1. Moderato (9:30)
11. 2. Adagio sostenuto (10:19)
12. 3. Allegro scherzando (10:42)
Andor Foldes, Berliner Philharmoniker, Leopold Ludwig

CD 5: Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 10 in E-Flat Major, K. 365 / Piano Concerto No. 7 in F Major, K. 242 - "Lodron"
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
Piano Concerto No.10 In E-Flat Major, K. 365
1. Allegro (10:00)
2. Andante (8:04)
3. Rondeau (Allegro) (7:01)
Katia Labèque, Marielle Labèque, Berliner Philharmoniker, Semyon Bychkov

Piano Concerto No.7 In F Major, K. 242 - "Lodron"
4. 1. Allegro (8:29)
5. 2. Adagio (10:30)
6. 3. Rondeau (Tempo di menuetto) (6:13)
Katia Labèque, Marielle Labèque, Semyon Bychkov, Berliner Philharmoniker

CD 6: Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No.2 in G Minor, Op.16 / Ravel: Piano Concerto in G Major, M. 83
Sergei Prokofiev (1891 - 1953)
Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 16
1. Andantino (11:12)
2. Scherzo (Vivace) (2:17)
3. Intermezzo (Allegro moderato) (5:41)
4. Finale (Allegro tempestoso) (11:03)

Maurice Ravel (1875 - 1937)
Piano Concerto in G Major, M. 83
5. 1. Allegramente (8:16)
6. 2. Adagio assai (8:42)
7. 3. Presto (3:53)
Yundi Li, Berliner Philharmoniker, Seiji Ozawa

CD 7: Schumann: Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54 / Grieg: Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16
Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856)
Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54
1. Allegro affettuoso (15:32)
2. Intermezzo (Andantino grazioso) (5:28)
3. Allegro vivace (11:00)

Edvard Grieg (1843 - 1907)
Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16
4. 1. Allegro molto moderato (13:05)
5. 2. Adagio (7:03)
6. 3. Allegro moderato molto e marcato - Quasi presto - Andante maestoso (10:44)
Géza Anda, Berliner Philharmoniker, Rafael Kubelik

CD 8: Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1 In B Flat Minor, Op.23, TH.55; Nutcracker Suite, Op.71a, TH.35 (Arr. For Piano 4-Hands)
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 - 1893)
Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 23, TH 55
1. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso - Allegro con spirito (19:12)
2. Andantino semplice - Prestissimo - Tempo I (6:30)
3. Allegro con fuoco (6:18)
Martha Argerich, Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado

Nutcracker Suite, Op.71a, TH.35
Arr. Nicolas Economou for 2 pianos
4. 1. Ouverture miniature: Allegro giusto (3:04)
5. 2. Danses caractéristiques. a. Marche: Tempo di marcia viva (2:16)
6. 2. Danses caractéristiques. b. Danse de la Fée Dragée: Andante non troppo (2:01)
7. 2. Danses caractéristiques. c. Danse russe Trépak: Tempo di Trepak, molto vivace (1:03)
8. 2. Danses caractéristiques. d. Danse arabe: Allegretto (3:04)
9. 2. Danses caractéristiques. e. Danse chinoise: Allegro moderato (0:57)
10. 2. Danses caractéristiques. f. Danse des mirlitons: Moderato assai (2:09)
11. 3. Valse des Fleurs: Tempo di valse (6:21)
Martha Argerich, Nicolas Economou

Obviously, I cannot go into too much depth here on each of the composers, for you already know most all there is to know about them by now anywa through all my previous reviews, but I will tell you that having now listened to all 8 CDs over the weekend that the three that stand out for me, personally, are the works of: Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, and, of course, the always wonderful Maurizio Pollini.

Maurizio Pollini's work on the opening CD alone, Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37 is phenomenal (which is most likely why it opens this box-set, in truth. Together with the Berliner Philharmoniker and renowned Italian composer Claudio Abbado, as befits the composition's episodic nature, it is a version of contrasts, urgent AND lyrical.

It starts with an urgent and highly dramatic introductory cadenza, a far cry from the more grandiose and stately approach of Katchen, Barenboim, or, more recently, Aimard with Harnoncourt.

The same spirit of menacing urgency imbues the first phrases of the orchestra, first entoned by cellos and double basses (2:51), as well as the "allegro molto" section at at 7:37, which exudes an almost raging energy, and the biting Marcia at 12:18 (track 4).

But Pollini commendably relaxes for the more lyrical utterances, as when the main theme is stated by piano alone at 4:12, with the ensuing woodwind chirping conveying a fine sense of pastorale bonhomie, or in the dreamy and delicate Adagio (9:17).

Daniel Barenboim's work alongside both the Staatskapelle Berlin and Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons on both Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11 and Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21 is rather good also, you have my word.

This is, without a shadow of a doubt, indeed a marvelous recording. Barenboim plays Chopin's concertos so beautifully, so romantically that you almost feel like he was born to do just that - to play Chopin extensively.

Although I own many recordings of the Chopin piano concertos, I was completely swept away with this recording and to me this opus shines above any of the others that I own of the works.

Barenboim's playing is so controlled and beautiful. I, once again, was able to lean back in my "arm chair" and enjoy a master of the piano play some of classical music's finest compositions. It's just that kind of elegant, yet playfully toned musical wonderment that begs to be played on a lazy, sunny Sunday afternoon.

Indeed, the second movement of the second concerto in F minor is immensely beautiful also. Barenboim and Andris Nelsons give it a very dramatic and tremendously heartfelt performance which makes it one of the most gorgeous works to have ever trickled out from the former's fingertips, in my humble opinion.

Barenboim's treatment of these works is top notch. Indeed, he gives the same articulate expression to them as he would the shortest Mazurka. Although an orchestra exists, it is the piano that shines through - like a movie with one actor and several off-stage voices.

And whilst the music itself may not be as exciting as some of his other works, the performance is top-notch, the notes crystal clear, and glittering. It is a masterful performance with not a single glitch.

Lastly, for me, comes (funnily enough) the last of the 8 CDs in this glorious box-set, Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a, featuring both Martha Argerich and Nicolas Economou on piano.

Wow! I mean WOW! The players are great here, as you would fully expect and the recording quality is first rate. Of course, the music evokes great memories for the holidays, but more than that, the relation between the piano and orchestra as interaction; and not just foreground/background, is amazing.

And, even better, in the long first movement, you hear the interaction, the dramatic give-and-take, within the orchestra - and that makes a huge difference to one's perception of the listeners interest of that first movement.

You can also hear and appreciate the different textures of the different orchestral groupings, along with hearing the breadth of the soloist's tonal palette.

In closing, there is no doubt that this is one of the very best musical performances of the Nutcracker Suite to have ever been recorded. In fact, you will hardly find a version of The Nutcracker Suite in piano solo, in general!

I am still so fascinated with this title, since the version of the Piano Concerto No.1 by Tchaikovsky is lovely, and The Nutcracker is out of this world. I highly recommend this title to everyone who loves The Nutcracker Suite, especially Op. 71a, of course.

• 8-CDs presenting outstanding performances from Deutsche Grammophon’s unrivalled roster of pianists accompanied by the two pillars of German musical life: the Berlin Philharmonic and the Staatskapelle Berlin
• The remarkable recordings presented here represent different layers of style and time, featuring: Géza Anda, Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, Andor Foldes, Emil Gilels, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Maurizio Pollini and Yundi
• 8 CD cap-box with gloss lamination and debossing
• Sleeves feature original cover art
• 24 page booklet

Official Piano Masters in Berlin' [8 CD Box-Set] Purchase Link

Title - 'Bernstein: Complete Works' [26 CDs + 3 DVDs]
Artist - Leonard Bernstein

For those not in the classical know, Leonard Bernstein was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the US to receive worldwide acclaim. According to music critic Donal Henahan, he was "one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history."

His fame derived from his long tenure as the music director of the New York Philharmonic, from his conducting of concerts with most of the world's leading orchestras, and from his music for West Side Story, Peter Pan, Candide, Wonderful Town, On the Town, On the Waterfront, his Mass, and a range of other compositions, including three symphonies and many shorter chamber and solo works.

Indeed, Bernstein was the first conductor to give a series of television lectures on classical music, starting in 1954 and continuing until his death. He was a skilled pianist, often conducting piano concertos from the keyboard.

As a composer he wrote in many styles encompassing symphonic and orchestral music, ballet, film and theatre music, choral works, opera, chamber music and pieces for the piano. Many of his works are regularly performed around the world, although none has matched the tremendous popular and critical success of West Side Story.

In short, Leonard Bernstein was a musical titan of the 20th Century as a composer, a conductor and a communicator. “The greatest pianist among the conductors, the greatest conductor among composers, the greatest composer among pianists … He is a universal genius” - Arthur Rubenstein.

Released on May 4th, 2018 via Deutsche Grammophon, this impressive Bernstein: Complete Works [26 CDs + 3 DVDs] Box-Set contains Leonard Bernstein’s complete published works collected together for the first time.

Inclusive of his music for ballet, opera and musicals, his incidental music, scores for film, orchestra and chamber ensembles, vocal scores and piano music, along with the magnificent (and also just-released) 'Leonard Bernstein: The Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon & Decca' (a 100th Anniversary Limited Numbered Edition Box-Set, itself containing a massive 121 CDs, 36 DVDs and 1 Blu-ray audio disc, there simply is no other collection of Bernstein music out there today.

The highlights of which include, but are not limited to:
• Bernstein conducting Bernstein: including Symphonies 1-3 · Dybbuk: Suites 1 & 2 · Facsimile · Fancy Free · Candide · West Side Story · A Quiet Place · Songfest · and more
• A number of new recordings, made expressly for this edition include:
1. A recording of Mass with no less than three choirs and a line-up of no fewer than nineteen vocal soloists, and the Philadelphia Orchestra directed by Yannick Nézet-Séguin (this will also be released as a standalone album)
2. American pianist Katie Mahan’s survey of his piano music, from the early Sonata (1938) through to Thirteen Anniversaries (1988)
3. Chamber music for brass & wind ensembles with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
4. Variations on an Octatonic Scale with Lucie Horsch, recorder and Kian Soltani, cello.
5. Songs with Angela Brower, mezzo-soprano and Katie Mahan, piano.
• Live recordings include: Symphonies 1 & 2 · On the Waterfront · Prelude, Fugue and Riffs · Facsimile · Fancy Free · On The Town · A Quiet Place · A White House Cantata · Chichester Psalms · and more
• Three DVDs:
1. A video-taped live recording of Bernstein conducting Candide, drawn from two London Barbican performances in December 1989. Bernstein also gives an amusing and thoughtful five minute introduction to the work immediately before the video-taped performance and a short afterword
2. The acclaimed behind-the-scenes story of the recording of West Side Story, with all its triumphs and tribulations
3. An intimate documentary (1993) illustrating why Bernstein’s status as our most gifted and charismatic music communicator has yet to be challenged. With archival footage from every aspect and phase of his extraordinary career – as conductor, composer, pianist, teacher, and humanitarian.

Bernstein: Symphony No. 1 'Jeremiah'
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein; Christa Ludwig (mezzo soprano)

Bernstein: Concerto for Orchestra 'Jubilee Games' (1986-1989)
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein: Symphony No. 2 'The Age of Anxiety'
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein; Lukas Foss (piano)

Bernstein: Symphony No. 3 'Kaddish'
Wiener Jeunesse-Chor, Wiener Sängerknaben, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein: Halil - nocturne for flute, percussion and piano or orchestra
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein; Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute)

Bernstein: Meditations (3) from 'Mass'
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein; Mstislav Rostropovich (cello)

Bernstein: On the Waterfront: Symphonic Suite
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein: Prelude, Fugue & Riffs for Solo Clarinet and Jazz Ensemble
Wiener Philharmoniker; Leonard Bernstein; Peter Schmidl (clarinet)

Bernstein: Dybbuk Suite Nos. 1 & 2
New York Philharmonic Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein; Paul Sperry (tenor), Bruce Fifer (bass-baritone)

Bernstein: A Quiet Place - Orchestral Suite
London Symphony Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein: Divertimento for Orchestra
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein: A Musical Toast
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein: Slava! A political Overture
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein: Dance Episodes (3) from ‘On The Town'
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein: Facsimile - Choreographic essay for orchestra
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein: CBS Music
São Paulo Symphony Orchestra; Marin Alsop

Bernstein: Serenade (after Plato's 'Symposium')
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein; Gidon Kremer (violin)

Bernstein: Fancy Free, ballet
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein: On the Town
London Symphony Orchestra, London Voices; Michael Tilson Thomas; Frederica von Stade (Claire), Tyne Daley (Hildy), Thomas Hampson (Gabey), Samuel Ramey (Pitkin/First Workman/Announcer), Cleo Laine (Nightclub Singer), Kurt Ollmann (Chip), Evelyn Lear (Madame Dilly), Marie McLaughlin (Ivy)

Bernstein: Peter Pan
Amber Chamber Orchestra; Alexander Frey

Bernstein: Trouble in Tahiti
M-G-M Orchestra; Arthur Winograd; Beverly Wolff (Dinah), David Atkinson (Sam), Miriam Workman, Earl Rogers, Robert Bollinger (The Trio) - Original Broadway Cast Recording

Bernstein: Wonderful Town
Lehman Engel; Rosalind Russell (Ruth), Edie Adams (Eileen) - Original Broadway Cast Recording

Bernstein: Candide
London Symphony Chorus & Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein; Jerry Hadley (Candide), June Anderson (Cunegonde), Adolph Green (Dr. Pangloss/Martin), Christa Ludwig (Old Lady), Nicolai Gedda; (Governor/Vanderdendur/Ragotski)

Bernstein: West Side Story
Leonard Bernstein; Kiri Te Kanawa (Maria), José Carreras (Tony), Tatiana Troyanos (Anita), Kurt Ollmann (Riff)

Bernstein: West Side Story Suite
The Philip Jones Brass Ensemble

Bernstein: West Side Story: Symphonic Dances
Los Angeles Philharmonic; Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein: A Quiet Place
ORF Symphony Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein: A White House Cantata
London Voices, London Symphony Orchestra; Kent Nagano

Bernstein: Mass
Philadelphia Orchestra, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Temple University Concert Choir, The American Boychoir, Temple University Diamond Marching Band; Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Bernstein: Mass: An Orchestral Suite
The Boston Pops Orchestra; Arthur Fiedler

Bernstein: Chichester Psalms
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Wiener Jeunesse-Chor; Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein: Songfest
National Symphony Orchestra Washington; Leonard Bernstein; Donald Gramm (bass), Clamma Dale (soprano), John Reardon (baritone), Neil Rosenshein (tenor), Nancy Williams (mezzo soprano), Rosalind Elias (mezzo soprano)

Bernstein: Arias & Barcarolles
London Symphony Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein; Frederica von Stade (mezzo soprano), Thomas Hampson (baritone)

Bernstein: Hashkiveinu (Sabbath prayer for peace)
BBC Singers; Avner Ital; Hans Peter Blochwitz (tenor)

Bernstein: Simch Na
Rochester Singers; Samuel Adler

Bernstein: Reenah
Rochester Singers; Samuel Adler

Bernstein: Yigdal (Hymn of praise)
Rochester Singers; Samuel Adler

Bernstein: The Lark
São Paulo Symphony Chorus, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra; Marin Alsop; Claire Bloom (narrator), Paulo Mestre (counter tenor)

Bernstein: Warm-Up (from Mass)
Denver St. John's Episcopal Cathedral Choirs; Donald Pearson

Bernstein: Olympic Hymn
L'Orchestra Cinematique; Michael John Simmonds

Bernstein: Missa Brevis
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus; Robert Shaw

Bernstein: Psalm 148
Angelina Reaux (mezzo soprano), Barry Snyder (piano)

Bernstein: I Hate Music, a cycle of five 'kid songs'
Roberta Alexander (soprano), Tan Crone (piano)

Bernstein: Afterthought
Angela Brower (mezzo soprano), Katie Mahan (piano)

Bernstein: La Bonne Cuisine, 4 recipes
Roberta Alexander (soprano), Tan Crone (piano)

Bernstein: Extinguish My Eyes
Roberta Alexander (soprano), Tan Crone (piano)

Bernstein: When My Soul Touches Yours
Roberta Alexander (soprano), Tan Crone (piano)

Bernstein: Silhouette (Galilee)
Roberta Alexander (soprano), Tan Crone (piano)

Bernstein: So Pretty
Roberta Alexander (soprano), Tan Crone (piano)

Bernstein: Up! Up! Up!
Angela Brower (mezzo soprano), Katie Mahan (piano)

Bernstein: My New Friends (from The Madwoman of Central Park West)
Angela Brower (mezzo soprano), Katie Mahan (piano)

Bernstein: Piccola Serenata
Roberta Alexander (soprano), Tan Crone (piano)

Bernstein: Piano trio
Ahn Trio

Bernstein: Violin Sonata
Arnold Steinhardt (violin), Victor Steinhardt (piano)

Bernstein: Clarinet Sonata
Todd Palmer (clarinet), Carol Archer (piano)

Bernstein: Brass Music
Brass Ensemble of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Bernstein: Fanfare for the Inauguration of JFK
Wind Ensemble of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Barry Wordsworth

Bernstein: Fanfare for the 25th Anniversary of the High School of Music and Art, New York City
Wind Ensemble of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Barry Wordsworth

Bernstein: Shivaree
Brass Ensemble of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Bernstein: Dance Suite for Brass Quintet
Brass Ensemble of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Bernstein: Variations on an Octatonic Scale
Lucie Horsch (recorder)m Kian Soltani (cello)

Bernstein: Non troppo presto
Katie Mahan (piano)

Bernstein: Music for two pianos
Maki Namekawa (piano), Dennis Russell Davies (piano)

Bernstein: Piano Sonata
Katie Mahan (piano)

Bernstein: Music for the Dance No. 2
Katie Mahan (piano)

Copland: El Salón México
Andrew Cooperstock (piano); arr. for Piano Bernstein

Bernstein: Anniversaries (7)
Katie Mahan (piano)

Bernstein: Anniversaries (4) for piano (1948)
Katie Mahan (piano)

Bernstein: Four Sabras
Katie Mahan (piano)

Bernstein: Anniversaries (5) for piano (1949-51)
Katie Mahan (piano)

Bernstein: Bridal Suite
Andrew Cooperstock (piano)

Bernstein: Touches - Chorale, Eight Variations and Coda
Katie Mahan (piano)

Bernstein: Anniversaries (13)
Katie Mahan (piano)

Bernstein: Big Stuff (from Fancy Free)
Billie Holiday (vocals)

Bernstein: Fancy Free, ballet
Ballet Theatre Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein: On the Town: selections
Lyn Murray Chorus; Brian Drutman

Bernstein: Candide
London Symphony Chorus & London Symphony Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein' Jerry Hadley (Candide), June Anderson (Cunegonde), Adolph Green (Dr. Pangloss/Martin), Christa Ludwig (Old Lady), Nicolai Gedda (Govenor/Vanderdendur/Ragotski), Della Jones (Paquette), Kurt Ollmann (Maximilian/Captain) - DVD

Now, as for all the glorious music contained within this simply heavenly DG box-set, well, obviously I can't go into detail about it all, but suffice to say a few of my own stand out favorite moments (and ones that are the usual go-to works) are as follows:

The combined genius of Bernstein and Sondheim made 'West Side Story' one of the quintessential American musical films of all time-and made its soundtrack one of the world's most successful albums, too.

Indeed, this disc alone from the box-set covers the entire spectrum of musical emotion for me. The score is brilliant, especially all the tremendous percussion and there are even parts where the coda's are being played like the musicians are seemingly having a ball!

The slower tempo allows Bernstein's intricate rhythms to shine through magnificently. You can really hear why Bernstein thought "America" was one of the best songs he ever wrote.

Another gem is the blossoming beauty, Bernstein: Arias & Barcarolles. Man, Bernstein was a legend in his own time and the music world is less for his absence. But here is a chance to sample the spectrum of this 20th century wonder.

From the uncommonly American sound of West Side Story (Symphonic Dances) to the gentle, brooding introspection of Arias and Barcarolles not unlike this composer's mentor Gustav Mahler, we have on one CD a taste of why Bernstein will live beyond his lifetime.

"The Love Duet," a fantastically existential song, is a real gem, and "Little Smary and Mr. and Mrs. Webb Say Goodnight" are also wonderful pieces also. The "A Quiet Place - Orchestral Suite" is another work of musical art, of course. The opera was a late expansion of "Trouble in Tahiti," one of his best early pieces and, sure, perhaps it has subsequently become rather labored in places, but is still a genuine work of the highest order from the great man.

An enormous success at the time, with a Broadway run of 559 performances, Wonderful Town shows off the talents of Bernstein, Comden and Green, who wrote the songs against the clock in just four weeks. Whether it’s jazz, cod-Irish, ragtime, ballad or conga, there’s the sound of creativity working at full stretch.

Written by Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, the show is about two sisters (Rosalind Russell & Edith Adams) from Ohio who move to Greenwich Village to try and make it in the big city.

Bernstein co-wrote this music after that other Town show, On The Town, and as much as that former show was a success as well, it was this one that stole the show for his admirers.

Lastly, I will obviously have to give a definitive nod to a piece that used to be, weirdly, extraordinarily hard to find; but nonetheless is still very important in Bernstein's oeuvre. The piece, 'A Quiet Place,' which incorporates his earlier seven-scene opera Trouble in Tahiti (A Quiet Place is incorporated as a series of flashbacks to when Dinah was still alive), along with his little known work Missa Brevis (also written very late), are truly must haves for the Bernstein collectors.

Much criticized at the time, especially for the libretto, this one full length opera today still seems brilliant and almost prescient in its subject matter.

• The Complete Works is as complete a set as it is currently possible to assemble
• 100th Anniversary Edition assembled with the full support of the Leonard Bernstein Estate
• 140-page book (in E/F/G) with extensive documentation.

Official Bernstein: Complete Works [26 CDs + 3 DVDs] Purchase Link

Title - 'Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia' [2CDs+BR]
Artist - Claudio Abbado

Released on May 25, 2018 via Deutsche Grammophon, and commemorating the 150th anniversary of Rossini’s death, Abbado's 1971 reading of Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and Claudio Abbado is now available in a deluxe hardback 2-CD + DVD + Blu-ray audio set.

And, for those not in the know, Claudio Abbado was an Italian conductor of the highest, most impeccable order.

One of the most celebrated and respected conductors of the 20th century, particularly in the music of Gustav Mahler, he served as music director of the La Scala opera house in Milan, principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, and principal guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

He was also the music director of the Vienna State Opera, founder and director of Lucerne Festival Orchestra, music director of European Union Youth Orchestra, and principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra.

This stellar 'Rossini: Il barbieredi Siviglia' cast includes Teresa Berganza's tangy Rosina, Luigi Alva's stylish, nimble Lindoro and Hermann Prey.

CD 1:
1. Rossini: Il barbieredi Siviglia

CD 2:
1. Rossini: Il barbieredi Siviglia

1. DVD

1. Blu-ray Audio Disc

Like many of my generation, I have been indelibly imprinted with this performance as the first I encountered and still the best I know, despite the fact that it employs illegitimate orchestration and implements several cuts such that it now fits onto two CDs.

Those cuts are not that damaging and were standard in that era; the only serious omission is Alva's last big aria, "Cessa di piu resistere"; otherwise it is only recitativo scenes which are missing and we still get Berganza's perky aria, so often cut.

Delving inside and there is the extraordinary surprise of Teresa Berganza's extraordinary Rosina. Known for the depth and almost unbearable suffering of the tragic bel canto repertory, she could never have been the most obvious casting for Rossini's quicksilver, fizzy, playful Rosina.

Well, think (or rather, listen) again. I defy anyone to produce such a delicious, effortless, flirtatious irrepressibly joyous Una Voce Poco Fa.

And then we have Hermann Prey, whose Figaro is sex on vocal legs, so to speak - dangerous, seductive, heavily male (** swoons **) Such vocal virility must surely result in a Rosina who will declare 'Screw the story, I'm off with the barber!'

But that is before the wooing, idealistic, romantic Lindoro of Luigi Alva bursts into song, and Rosina, as she must, melts and our lusty Figaro will do all he can to help the couple achieve love's young.

Indeed, when it comes to musical accuracy, this recording is impeccable. Prey provides a nice lyric coloratura approach to Figaro which is a nice change to the Milnes/Sills/Wunderlich recording that I also have.

In short, this is a fine recording, especially with regard the always-impressive London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), if you admire the voices of the three principles: Berganza, Alva, and Prey, which I do. You will find them at their best and most musical.

Also, as one would always expect, the late Italian conductor Claudio Abbado is as on point as he ever was here on this recording.

The 2CD, DVD and Blu-ray Audio disc feature the celebrated studio recording and are presented alongside the production filmed at La Scala in the same year and with the same cast. The booklet includes essays by Alan Blyth and Bernd Feuchtner.

Official 'Rossini: Il barbieredi Siviglia' [2CDs+DVD+BR] Purchase Link

Title - 'Bernstein, Horne: Bizet: Carmen' [3CD + Blu-ray]
Artist - Leonard Bernstein

Now released on June 29th, 2018 via Deutsche Grammophon, Leonard Bernstein's triumphant version of Bizet's Carmen is now available in a deluxe 3CD + Blu-ray audio set.

Released as part of the Bernstein 100th Anniversary, Bernstein, Horne: Bizet: Carmen is a seminal recording in 24-bit Surround Sound that features Marilyn Horne in the title role and includes the libretto and images from the recording sessions; and the live performance at the Metropolitan Opera House.

And, for those not in the classical know, Leonard Bernstein was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the US to receive worldwide acclaim. According to music critic Donal Henahan, he was "one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history."

His fame derived from his long tenure as the music director of the New York Philharmonic, from his conducting of concerts with most of the world's leading orchestras, and from his music for West Side Story, Peter Pan, Candide, Wonderful Town, On the Town, On the Waterfront, his Mass, and a range of other compositions, including three symphonies and many shorter chamber and solo works.

Indeed, Bernstein was the first conductor to give a series of television lectures on classical music, starting in 1954 and continuing until his death. He was a skilled pianist, often conducting piano concertos from the keyboard.

As a composer he wrote in many styles encompassing symphonic and orchestral music, ballet, film and theatre music, choral works, opera, chamber music and pieces for the piano. Many of his works are regularly performed around the world, although none has matched the tremendous popular and critical success of West Side Story.

In short, Leonard Bernstein was a musical titan of the 20th Century as a composer, a conductor and a communicator. “The greatest pianist among the conductors, the greatest conductor among composers, the greatest composer among pianists … He is a universal genius” - Arthur Rubenstein.

CD 1:
1. Carmen: Prelude
2. Carmen: Act 1: Introduction (Soldats, Morales, Micaela)
3. Carmen: Act 1: March And Chorus Of Urchins (Morales, Choeur Des Gamins, Zuniga, Don Jose)
4. Carmen: Act 1: Dialogue (Zuniga, Don Jose)
5. Carmen: Act 1: Choeur Et Scene (Don Jose, Jeunes Gens, Soldats, Cigarieres)
6. Carmen: Act 1: Dialogue (Soldats, Jeunes Gens, Cigarieres, Carmen)
7. Carmen: Act 1: Havanaise (Carmen, Choeur)
8. Carmen: Act 1: Scene (Jeunes Gens, Cigarieres)
9. Carmen: Act 1: Dialogue, Duet (Micaela, Don Jose)
10. Carmen: Act 1: Dialogue (Don Jose, Micaela)
11. Carmen: Act 1: Choeur (CIgarieres, Zuniga, Soldats)
12. Carmen: Act 1: Chanson Et M lodrame (Carmen, Zuniga, Choeur, Don Jose)
13. Carmen: Act 1: Chanson And Duet (La Guedille) (Carmen, Don Jose)
14. Carmen: Act 1: Finale (Don Jose, Zuniga, Carmen)

CD 2:
1. Carmen: Entracte
2. Carmen: Act 2: Chanson (Gypsy Dance) (Carmen, Frasquita, Mercedes)
3. Carmen: Act 2: Dialogue (Pastia, Zuniga, Mercedes, Carmen)
4. Carmen: Act 2: Choeur Et Ensemble (Choeur, Zuniga, Mercedes, Frasquita, Pastia)
5. Carmen: Act 2: Couplet (Toreador Song) (Escamillo, Choeur, Frasquita, Mercedes, Carmen)
6. Carmen: Act 2: Dialogue (Escamillo, Choeur, Frasquita, Mercedes, Carmen)
7. Carmen: Act 2: Chorus And Dialogue (Choeur)
8. Carmen: Act 2: Dialogue (Frasquita, Dancaire, Remendado, Mercedes)
9. Carmen: Act 2: Quintette (Dancaire, Frasquita, Mercedes, Carmen, Remendado)
10. Carmen: Act 2: Dialogue And Chanson (Dancaire, Remendado, Frasquita, Mercedes, Carmen)
11. Carmen: Act 2: Duo (Carmen, Don Jose)
12. Carmen: Act 2: Air (Flower song) (Don Jose)
13. Carmen: Act 2: Duo ( L -bas) (Carmen, Don Jose)
14. Carmen: Act 2: Finale (Zuniga, Don Jose, Carmen, Dancaire, Remendado, Choeur)

CD 3:
1. Carmen: Entr'acte
2. Carmen: Act 3: Introduction (Smugglers' Chorus) (Contrebandiers, Frasquita, Mercedes, Carmen, Don Jose, Cancaire, Remendado)
3. Carmen: Act 3: Dialogue (Don Jose, Carmen)
4. Carmen: Act 3: Trio (Card scene) (Frasquita, Mercedes, Carmen)
5. Carmen: Act 3: Solo (Card scene) (Carmen)
6. Carmen: Act 3: Trio (Card scene) (Frasquita, Mercedes,Carmen)
7. Carmen: Act 3: Dialogue (Dancaire, Carmen, Remendado, Frasquita, Mercedes, Don Jose)
8. Carmen: Act 3: Morceau D'Ensemble (Frasquita, Mercedes, Carmen, Bohemiennes)
9. Carmen: Act 3: Air (Micaela's Prayer) (Micaela)
10. Carmen: Act 3: Duo (Escamillo, Don Jose)
11. Carmen: Act 3: Finale, Dialogue (Carmen, Escamillo, Dancaire, Don Jose, Choeur, Micaela)
12. Carmen: Act 3: Finale, Conclusion (Micaela, Carmen, Don Jose, Choeur, Escamillo)
13. Carmen: Entr'acte
14. Carmen: Act 4 : Choeur
15. Carmen: Act 4 : Choeur (Entrance Of Toreros)
16. Carmen: Act 4 : Interlude (Escamillo, Carmen, Choeur)
17. Carmen: Act 4 : Choeur (Frasquita, Carmen, Mercedes)
18. Carmen: Act 4 : Duo Finale (Carmen, Don Jose, Choeur)

Although this performance took place 40 years ago, the sound quality is outstanding. Leonard Bernstein conducted this performance with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. I have always enjoyed the manner in which Bernstein interprets music. He brings music to life.

Music is basically an emotional experience. Marilyn Horne was one of our finest opera sopranos. She performs the role of Carmen that clearly defines the character of Carmen. This recording is enjoyable, and worth listening to, as I hope you all know well before reading this here today.

Again, Horne delivers a magnificent Carmen, although her style is occasionally a bit alarming. As for her sounding "mad" in the last scene (yes, we've all heard the rants over the years), she indeed does sound like she's gone crazy; which is thoroughly appropriate considering the circumstances!

The insanity does not get out of control, though, until the line "cette bague autrefois, tu me l'avais donné; Tiens!" which is wholeheartedly wicked!

However, and playing Devil's Advocate here, the most important flaw, though, is McCracken's Don José. The Flower Song in Act II falls flat on its face when you realize that in order to achieve the diminuendo into the pianississimo "et j'étais une chose à toi!" McCracken has switched into falsetto!

This is the case in many of the quieter high passages, including moments in the Act I duet with Micaëla which are just ruined. The tempi throughout are strange, fast and slow.

Regardless, the orchestra is superb, as the MET orchestra always is, but the choir is somewhat lacking. The diction is also decidedly non-French a lot of the time, although Ms. Horne's performance is much better in that department than the rest.

Title - 'Max Reger: Orchestral Edition'
Artist - Max Reger

Now released on June 29th, 2018 via Deutsche Grammophon, they now present an expanded 12CD Box-Set reissue of the critically acclaimed Reger Edition on the DG-owned KOCH-Schwann label.

The most comprehensive edition of Reger’s orchestral works this expanded reissue includes many definitive Reger interpretations by the legendary conductor Horst Stein and the Hamburger Symphoniker as well as this the first CD release of "Gesang der Verklärten" Op.71.

And, for those not in the classical know, Johann Baptist Joseph Maximilian Reger (19 March 1873 – 11 May 1916), commonly known as Max Reger, was a German composer, pianist, organist, conductor, and academic teacher.

He worked as a concert pianist, as a musical director at the Leipzig University Church, as a professor at the Royal Conservatory in Leipzig, and as a music director at the court of Duke Georg II of Saxe-Meiningen.

Reger first composed mainly Lieder, chamber music, choral music and works for piano and organ. He later turned to orchestral compositions, such as the popular Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Mozart, and to works for choir and orchestra such as Gesang der Verklärten (1903), Der 100. Psalm (1909), Der Einsiedler and the Hebbel Requiem (both 1915).

Reger's art was one of perpetual creative celebration and his orchestral output defies any easy categorization. Reger was a remarkable musical innovator yet a traditionalist at heart.

Like his beloved Bach, he had one foot in the past, and one securely in the future: Schoenberg was an active champion. Reproached for the density of his instrumentation and ambiguously thick textures, Reger's work could also be extraordinarily subtle: he was a master of silences and impressionistic suggestion.

This anthology of recordings provides a unique record of Max Reger’s varied, idiosyncratic and complex orchestral output. Released in the wake of the centenary of the composer’s death, it is long overdue survey of his œuvre, and is the most comprehensive edition of his orchestral works.

The stunning works included here on this wondrous 12CD Box-Set include:

Reger: Symphonic Prologue to a Tragedy, Op. 108
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Gerd Albrecht

Reger: Romances, Op. 50
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Uros Lajovic; Hans Maile (violin)

Reger: Eine romantische Suite, Op. 125
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Gerd Albrecht

Reger: Tone Poems (4) after Arnold Böcklin, Op. 128
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Gerd Albrecht

Reger: Variations and Fugue on a theme of Johann Adam Hiller Op. 100
Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Eine Ballettsuite, Op. 130
Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Variations and Fugue for Orchestra on a Theme by Mozart, Op. 132
Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Variationen und Fuge über ein Thema von Beethoven Op. 86
Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Suite im alten Stil, Op. 93
Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Serenade G-Dur Op. 95
Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Concerto for orchestra 'Im alten Stil', Op. 123
Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Sinfonietta in A major, Op. 90
Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Lustspielouverture Op. 120
Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Symphonic Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra, Op.147
Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Suite for Violin and Piano, Op. 103a
Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein; Walter Forchert (violin); arr. violin & orchestra

Reger: Scherzino for String Orchestra and Horn
Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein; Marie-Luise Neunecker (horn)

Reger: Piano Concerto in F minor, Op. 114
Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein; Gerhard Oppitz (piano)

Reger: Violin Concerto in A major, Op. 101
Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein; Walter Forchert (violin)

Reger: Requiem, Op. 144b
NDR-Chor, NDR-Sinfonieorchester; Roland Bader; Marga Höffgen (contralto)

Reger: Kyrie Eleison (from Requiem, WoO V / 9)
NDR-Chor, NDR-Sinfonieorchester; Roland Bader; Yoko Kawahara (soprano), Marga Höffgen (contralto), Hans-Dieter Bader (tenor), Nikolaus Hillebrand (bass)

Reger: Dies Irae (from Requiem WoO V / 9)
NDR-Chor, NDR-Sinfonieorchester; Roland Bader; Yoko Kawahara (soprano), Marga Höffgen (contralto), Hans-Dieter Bader (tenor), Nikolaus Hillebrand (bass)

Reger: Gesang der Verklärten, Op.71
NDR-Chor, NDR-Sinfonieorchester; Roland Bader; Lioba Braun (mezzo-soprano)

Reger: Die Weihe der Nacht, Op.119
Chor der Bamberger Symphoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein Fritz Walter-Lindquist (piano)

Reger: Psalm 100
Chor der Bamberger Symphoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein Ursula Kunz, (contralto)

Reger: Weihegesang, WoO V / 6
Chor der Bamberger Symphoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Die Nonnen, Op. 112
Chor der Bamberger Symphoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Glück, Op. 76 No. 16
Chor der Bamberger Symphoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Mittag, Op. 76 No. 35
Chor der Bamberger Symphoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Glückes genug, Op. 37 No 3
Chor der Bamberger Symphoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Wiegenlied, Op. 43 No. 5
Chor der Bamberger Symphoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Des Kindes Gebet, Op. 76 No. 22
Chor der Bamberger Symphoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Mariä Wiegenlied, Op. 76 No. 52
Chor der Bamberger Symphoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Aeolsharfe, Op. 75 No. 11
Chor der Bamberger Symphoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Gesänge (5), Op. 198: No. 1. Aus den Himmelsaugen
Chor der Bamberger Symphoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Lieder (4), Op. 97: No. 1 Das Dorf
Chor der Bamberger Symphoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Flieder, Op. 35 No. 4
Chor der Bamberger Symphoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Mein Traum, Op. 31 No. 5
Chor der Bamberger Symphoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: Reinheit, Op. 62 No. 11 Fromm
Chor der Bamberger Symphoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein

Reger: An die Hoffnung, Op. 124
Bamberger Symphoniker; Horst Stein; Lioba Braun (mezzo-soprano)

Produced with the support of the Max Reger Institute and featuring definitive interpretations by Horst Stein and the Bamberger Symphoniker and includes recordings made in co-operation with Bayerischer Rundfunk, Norddeutscher Rundfunk and Deutschland Radio (formerly RIAS).

Having been a "fan" of Max Reger's work for the past 20 years or so, I can honestly say that like most of the greatest German composers, Reger isn't primarily about melody; he's about harmony, counterpoint, and structure.

Think Bach or Beethoven or Bruckner. Yes, there are 'melodies' in their large-scale works and you can hum them or whistle them or whatever. But the real purpose of their art is the large-scale construction of forms for which those melodies -- often only 3 or 4 intervals, really -- serve as bricks serve for a mason.

To be sure, Reger has melodies and many of them are quite beautiful, gorgeous even. But their purpose is architectural; they are used not as ends in themselves but as elements of construction, to be assembled, dis-assembled, fragmented, whatever.

Despite these difficulties, if you give Reger more than a few chances, his music can grab you. And if a composer like Brahms is one of your favorites, Reger's language can quickly strike you as Reger himself felt it to be: a logical extension of Brahms's musical language.

He was one of three great Austro-German Romantic composers working in the years just before World War One, the others being Mahler and Richard Strauss.

Outside Germany, he is still little more than a name in the music history books, but an important name given his influence on a host of later composers and performers, including Paul Hindemith, Kurt Weill, Alban Berg, George Szell, Adolf Busch, and Carl Schuricht.

But he and his music deserve better than an honorable reputation. I adore his music and believe that several compositions included here on Max Reger: Orchestral Edition are masterpieces of the first rank.

This incredible 12CD box-set also includes the musical contributions of: Hans Maile (violin), Walter Forchert (violin), Marie-Luise Neunecker (horn), Gerhard Oppitz (piano), Marga Höffgen (contralto), Yoko Kawahara (soprano), Hans-Dieter Bader (tenor), Nikolaus Hillebrand (bass), Lioba Braun (mezzo-soprano), Fritz Walter-Lindquist (piano), and Ursula Kunz (contralto).

• The most comprehensive edition of Reger’s orchestral works – an expanded reissue of the critically acclaimed and much sought-after Reger Edition on the Koch-Schwann label
• Includes many definitive Reger interpretations by the legendary conductor Horst Stein and his Bamberger Symphoniker – an orchestra with a special relationship to Reger’s œuvre and located close to Reger’s hometown.
• First CD release of "Gesang der Verklärten" Op.71
• Booklet includes an essay by the renowned Reger authority Prof. Dr. Susanne Popp, co-director of the Max Reger Institute, Karlsruhefull; and a chronological list of works.

Official 'Max Reger: Orchestral Edition' 12CD Box-Set Purchase Link

Title - 'Sicario: Day Of The Soldado'
Artist - Hildur Guðnadóttir

'Sicario: Day of the Soldado' is the sequel to the globally successful film, 'Sicario', which earned composer, Johann Johannson an Oscar nomination for Best Score.

FBI agent Matt Graver calls on mysterious operative Alejandro Gillick when Mexican drug cartels start to smuggle terrorists across the U.S. border. The war escalates even further when Alejandro kidnaps a top kingpin's daughter to deliberately increase the tensions.

When the young girl is seen as collateral damage, the two men will determine her fate as they question everything that they are fighting for. The film stars Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin.

This high-energy, well-paced sequel is this time composed by Hildur Guðnadóttir, a collaborator on the original 'Sicario' score, and a well-respected classically trained cello player who has recorded as a solo artist and collaborated with The Knife, Animal Collective, Hauschka, and Fever Ray.

Some further info on Hildur Guðnadóttir, is that the classically trained Icelandic cellist, who has also played and recorded with the bands Pan Sonic, Throbbing Gristle and Múm, is also deeply involved with her very own solo project, Lost in Hildurness.

1. "Attack" (3:32)
2. "The Bomber" (1:35)
3. "Gulf of Somalia" (2:15)
4. "Miguel Takes Money" (1:42)
5. "Start a War" (2:22)
6. "The Kidnap" (3:29)
7. "Moving Isabelle" (1:09)
8. "Santa Claus" (4:25)
9. "Convoy" (4:44)
10. "Alejandro Saves Isabelle" (2:30)
11. "The Rescue" (1:34)
12. "Journey to Border" (4:28)
13. "The Execution" (1:37)
14. "Survivors" (1:27)

Running at a bare minimum (for a soundtrack) of just 37 minutes, 'Sicario: Day of The Soldado - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack' is 14 tracks worth of pulsating compositions; save for the odd pensively thoughtful moment, of course.

Opening with the stunning "Attack", it for sure sets the tone for what's to come from the highly talented Hildur Guðnadóttir. Indeed, much like the movie, hence the soundtrack kicks off in a high adrenaline manner.

"The Bomber" continues that trend seamlessly, whereas "Gulf of Somalia" is more of an abstract work. Indeed, whilst many of these tracks span only a minute or two, the longer pieces - such as both "The Kidnap" (3:29), "Santa Claus" (4:25), and even "Journey to The Border" (4:28) - actually serve as rest bites for the quick sharp track-to-track pace.

Personally, my favorite of the longer atmospheric works is "Convoy" (4:44), a track that has me reflecting back on the original 'Sicario' score flow.

And so, to my mind, Hildur Guðnadóttir's score for this 'Sicario' sequel is both pulsating and just damn good. I have to also admit that, as a listening accompaniment, it's not as sharp, not as memorable as the original movie's was, but that said, it is a fine work of musical compositions; from someone that I now wish to know more about.

Official CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Cilla All Mixed Up / Beginnings-Revisited'
Artist - Cilla Black

For those not in the know, Cilla Black was an much beloved English singer, television presenter, actress and author.

Championed by her friends the Beatles, she began her career as a singer in 1963, and her singles "Anyone Who Had a Heart" and "You're My World" both reached number one in the UK in 1964. Black had eleven Top Ten hits on the British charts between then and 1971; and an additional 8 hits that made the top 40.

In May 2010, new research published by BBC Radio 2 showed that her version of "Anyone Who Had a Heart" was the UK's biggest-selling single by a female artist in the 1960s. "You're My World" was also a modest hit in the US, peaking at No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Along with a successful recording career in the 1960s and early 1970s, Black hosted her own variety show, Cilla, for the BBC between 1968 and 1976. After a brief time as a comedy actress in the mid-1970s, she became a prominent television presenter in the 1980s and 1990s, hosting hit entertainment shows such as Blind Date (1985–2003), The Moment of Truth (1998–2001) and Surprise Surprise (1984–2001).

In 2013, Black celebrated her 50 years in show business. British television network ITV honored this milestone with a one-off entertainment special which aired on 16 October 2013. The show, called The One & Only Cilla Black, featured Black herself and was hosted by Paul O'Grady.

Sadly, Cilla Black died on August 1st, 2015 after a fall in her villa in Estepona, Spain. The day after her funeral, the compilation album The Very Best of Cilla Black went to number one on the UK Albums Chart and the New Zealand Albums Chart; it was her first number one album.

Now digitally remastered, and releasing July 27th, 2018 via SFE / Cherry Red Records UK, Cilla All Mixed Up / Beginnings-Revisited is a magnificent 2CD set containing a pair of albums by the British vocalist.

Featuring Cilla's only dance remixes album, Cilla All Mixed Up and the 2009 ed