GODFATHER TRILOGY: Rather than split hairs, we can agree that this is one of the greatest gangster movies (and series) of all time and one of the defining boomer cinema epics. Worth the price of admission is the ability to setup a playback loop on your DVD player to see Tom tell Sal he can't let him off the hook. In 4KHD, this has got to be the coldest few seconds in cinema history. And to fall into the scene repeatedly becomes utterly mesmerizing. As for the other 9 hours plus? Yeah! It even has several versions of III, led by the version Coppola really wanted you to see featured as part of the main program. As befitting a 50th anni celebration of these titles, there's a slew of extra features that compliment tomes like "Godfather Notebook" nicely. There's been several iterations of these works over the years but short of finally releasing a 4KHD version of "Saga", this is the ultimate fan boy collection that will drive the real fan into delirium. Get going in this before you get a message from Antonio Andolini wrapped in an offer you can't refuse.
KELLI WELLI/Robots Don't Tell Jokes: Wow! A songwriter that has won win, place or show in every competition north of Kerrville or Winfield veers between Americana and kid music and really hits it out of the kid music park on this, her third genre release. Lining up a slew of genre kiddie stars to give this some real depth, this Lennon award winner can carry the show all on her own truth be told. A kiddie record with true Rocky & Bullwinkle for adults sensibilities, you really have to have a necrotic heart not to get a kick out of this no matter who you are. Totally cool.
(8 Pound Gorilla)
ERIC HERMAN & the Puppy Dogs/Magic Beans: I still dig my Captain Kangaroo and Yogi Bear records so I can tell you firsthand how I'm amazed at how hip kids records have become. A certified left fielder with a skewed sense of humor that proceeds fearlessly while remaining family friendly, this bunch is what would happen if Zappa had traded in jazz from hell for kid music. Solid stuff that's a treat for kids of all ages.
ALEJANDRO ALGARRA/Chopin & Rachmaninoff Complete Preludes: It takes two discs practically loaded to the gills to hold what this solo pianist's ten fingers can do. Covering the waterfront of these two composers specialized works, you wouldn't think so little could say so much. A masterful performances throughout, Algarra brings a real understanding and feeling to the proceedings making this one of those recitals that goes so far beyond. An ear opener that just doesn't quit, it's almost like hearing these works again for the first time. Well done.
DAVID ALEGRET/Carneriana: Not only do you have to have an appreciation of high minded art projects to appreciate this project, you have to have some conversantness with Spanish culture to delve into it. A light opera tenor and his piano pal explore the works of a pre-eminent poet from 100 years ago, set to music with a dramatic reading and presentation.. A stellar presentation with one of those cinematic feels underpinning it, this is simply one of those sessions that rings the bell of the international connoisseur.
ARCOMUSICAL/Émigré & Exile: Step back in time with us to when Tracy Sterne's Nonesuch Explorer was actually supported by a corporation and took the willing on flights of fancy to faraway places with strange sounding names. Arcomusical holds true to the flights of fancy but they only stray as far as Brazil and arcane instruments. With Chicago jazzbo sensibilities lurking in it's core, this crew takes you somewhere Steve Reich, Brazil and opium dens come together before dropping you back in your armchair. A great session of chill for long hairs.
LEONOR FALCON/Imaga Mondo V. 2: The left field violinist takes her jazz to way out angular places that don't fit into the more commercial work she does for others. Veering way too close to art chick territory more than once, this is a bunch of free jazz, but from another realm.
ORION WEISS/Arc 1: The first part of a trilogy focusing on seminal classical piano works from right before the first world war, we find this well chopped pianist showing just how deep his chops run. A solo recital that stands on it's own, he can go from dramatic to playful in less than a breath. Whether romantic and light or going deep, he's got more than the skills to pay the bills and makes a great statement working his way along the keyboard. A solid work throughout.
(First Hand 127)
March 14, 2022
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record
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