Sunday, 27 December 2009

CAB - Theatre De Marionnettes (2009)

Genre: jazz - rock, Jazz
Format: Flac + cue + log
Released: 2009
Label: Russian pressing

Undeniably one of the few ‘A’ grade jazz-rock/fusion bands left in the world, Cab comprising French/American bass genius Bunny Brunel, keyboard/guitar wiz Tony MacAlpine and the tireless drummer Virgil Donati, released their latest album Theatre De Marionnettes last year. The awesome trio played at the Blue Frog to promote their album at the time of the release, not the first performance in the city for both Bunny and Virgil who have played at the NCPA on previous occasions. The album was mastered at the Yatra Studios in Mumbai and produced by Sandeep Chowta, who along with Bunny and Tony composed all the tracks between themselves......

Friday, 25 December 2009

Royal Hunt - Paper Blood 2005

Genre: Hard Rock, Progressive Metal
Format: ape + cue + log
Released: 1992
Label: Frontiers Records

Paper Blood celebrates a new era for Royal Hunt and it captures the very essence of the whole concept behind the band: aggressive yet highly melodic, symphonic but still very much in your face. Outstanding song writing combined with excellent musicianship results in a collection of ten highly energetic catchy songs. Royal Hunt have a new lineup: joining keyboard player Andre Andersen and the awesome singer with native American origins, John West are Marcus Jidell (ex Jekyll & Hide, The Ring) on guitar and Kenneth Olsen, the original drummer now back for good in the lineup! Frontiers Records. 2005.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Dave Koz & Friends - A Smooth Jazz Christmas 2001

Genre: Smooth-jazz
Format: ape + cue + log
Released: 2001
Label: Capitol

Since 1997, ~the Dave Koz Friends Christmas Tour has evolved from a handful of concerts by the beloved saxman and pianist David Benoit to a 30-plus-city national phenomenon also featuring fellow genre all-stars Peter White and Rick Braun and singer Brenda Russell. The original tour came in support of his popular 1997 seasonal offering December Makes Me Feel This Way, but the show has taken on an incredibly joyful creative life of its own, prompting Koz and his cohorts to create an exciting studio recording which captures the powerful emotion, warmth, and special familial spirit of these shows. Featuring unique ensemble arrangements of timeless classics, a handful of several Koz originals (including the brand new Koz/Benoit collaboration "Beneath the Moonlit Sky"), and musical surprises by the sleigh-load, A Smooth Jazz Christmas By Dave Koz Friends is contemporary music's premier event for Christmas 2001....

Ravel-Debussy - Bolero-La Valse-Rapsodie Espagnole-Images-Much (2005) {SASD RCA 66374}

Genre: Classical
Format: Flac + cue + log
Released: 2005
Label: BMG {SASD RCA 66374}

These two and three-channel SACD reissues sound splendid, and Munch's performances are justly famous. He redid Bolйro and La valse in the early 1960s, performances that I marginally prefer thanks to their slightly greater brilliance, and the concluding Feria of the Rapsodie hasn't quite the glitter that others such as Abbado or Reiner on this same label have brought to it; but by any standard these are extremely fine interpretations--fiery and exciting as we have come to expect from Munch. The Debussy Images is even better, engagingly atmospheric and full of fine playing. Munch could ride a bit rough over Debussy's delicately judged textures (as in his La Mer), but not here. Iberia in particular has a visceral quality that few other performances match, while Rondes de printemps is truly joyous. If you somehow missed these performances over the past half-century or so, now's your chance to get caught up.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Chris Botti - December 2006

Genre: Jazz
Format: ape + cue + log
Released: 2006
Label: Sony Music

The story about there being more suicides around the holidays turns out to be a myth, but like all urban legends, it caught on among the populace (or at least among lazy journalists) because it sounds like it should be true; as trumpeter Chris Botti writes in a sleeve note to his seasonal collection, December, "At no other time of the year is there a wider array of emotions than the month of December." This is a clue that Botti, in acceding to his record company's request that he undertake a Christmas album, was not interested in simply celebrating the season in his interpretations of holiday standards. There have been other such contemplative Christmas records: George Winston's album, also called December, is calm rather than celebratory, and Barbra Streisand's Christmas Memories, released in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, is another collection that takes in the season's complexities. Add Botti's album to that list...

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Forcefield - Forcefield 1987

Genre: Hard Rock
Format: ape + cue + log
Released: 1992
Label: President Records Ltd.

An Anglo-Dutch project featuring ex-FOCUS man Jan Akkerman, the band would attract an enviable array of experienced Rock talent over a series of albums. FORCEFIELD also comprised ex-FANCY vocalist / guitarist Ray Fenwick. Ray had also been a member of the IAN GILLAN band in 1976 and also cut the bizarrely titled 'Keep America Beautiful Get A Haircut' solo album in 1971 (Decca SKL 5090). The FORCEFIELD debut comprised a clutch of re-worked well known Rock standards such as DEEP PURPLE's 'Smoke On The Water', LED ZEPPELIN's 'Whole Lotta Love', THE KINKS 'Set Me Free' and 'You Really Got Me' and CREAM's 'White Room' and 'Sunshine Of Your Love'. The featured musicians included the WHITESNAKE rhythm section of drummer COZY POWELL and bassist Neil Murray, SERGEANT vocalist PETE PRESCOTT and bass player Mo Foster.