IVAN FISCHER-Budapest Festival Orchestra/Beethoven Symphony 4; Symphony 6: When Beethoven wanted to take the day off from the uber serious stuff, it looks like he used even numbers to delineate. Symphony 4 finds him blowing of steam and Symphony 6 finds him taking a respite from the heaviness of #5 by taking a walk in the woods and enjoying nature. Fischer and his orchestra are up to the task of taking the lighter side of Beethoven seriously and deliver a masterful performance on works that deserve the recognition of the heavier parts of his canon. It's like Fischer spent time eating Bernstein records for breakfast. Well done.
MARCUS MILLER/A Night in Monte Carlo: So what happens when you let a solid jazzbo play with some of his equally solid peers, and an orchestra and let him kick it out on a set card that covers a century of music from all quadrants? You get a way over the top killer live date that shows what happens when all the stars and planets line up perfectly. A date that he played by commission, it's obvious he didn't want any of his benefactors to go away disappointed and this tour de force is the proof. Way past being simply a jazz concert, Miller out does himself and makes a mark that can't be doubted. A wonderful, pure musical experience throughout.
MANASSE-NAKAMATSU/American Music for Clarinet & Piano: There seems to be some subterranean symmetry at work here. Two cats playing four tunes made up of two American classical pieces and two contemporary pieces, doing it with four hands. They sound like chamber music, cartoon music, klezmer music and all manner of upbeat happy sounds as they sound like a whole crew just between themselves. This duo blows away all your expectations on this delightful crossover date that charms and does a great job of washing the day off your back, particularly when you need it. A winner throughout.
OSBORNER-LEWIS/Schubert Piano Duets: Schubert gets leverage over other composers of the time when it comes to writing for four hands because that was like the "American Idol" of it's day. A highly popular form when Schubert was writing the meat of his piano repertoire, these works stand up sturdily today in the right hands where the player know how to read each other's minds and moves. Intimate music fans will enjoy this chamber feeling recording where the masters works are clearly in good hands. Must listening for classical piano fans.
KAYA PROJECT/Desert Phase Remixes: Do you have to be a college kid world beat fan to get this or not? Well, Gramps, remember how it sounded the first time you encountered Gamelan? Things change and they remain the same. The wily duo takes their last album to the electronic wizards of the desert and things get opened up as well as turned on their heads. Yes, Virginia, they have electricity in the deserts now, and the crafty techies know how to put it to good use. This is one monster to fire up a doob to, and that's all it takes to cross the generations. Check it out.
MATT GARY/I'm Just Sayin': Kind of an urban country cat that was raised on rock and knows how to make video friendly singles and tracks that are tailor made for easy and pleasant consumption. Very much the kind of radio friendly act that the ladies will love.
HENRY BRUN & THE LATIN PLAYERZ/20th Anniversary: A New York born Puerto Rican fuses all the cool Latin styles into one caliente mix and now finds himself celebrating 20 years of beating the drums to lead the way for this Afro Caribbean jazz crew that knows how to tear it up in grand style. Simply a swinging date that you need for your next party, even if it's only the party going on in your head, Brun certainly studied his Puente moves and has the master smiling. Quite a snappy date that delivers.
(HED)P.E./Truth Rising: The protogenitors of protest metal hop have got Phil Ochs rolling over in his grave and Dylan re-examining his back pages. These guys are pissed off, amazing since they aren't getting any younger and are getting more successful. If this doesn't convince you that young people are aware of what's going on around them and want to see real change, you simply aren't paying attention. This shit is as serious as a heart attack and I think they mean it. This ain't for people that go with the flow.
Volume 34/Number 10
November 10, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record
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