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NATION BEAT/Growing Stone: In which we find a Brazilian crew redefining what music of the Americas means in the modern age. This bunch from northeast Brazil loves the music of the American southwest and finds common ground to mash the two up with the appreciative gaze of Willie Nelson in the background. A delightful genre bender that is defining it's own style, this is highly captivating music that fuses sounds from the vast middle hemisphere into something that sounds like it occurs naturally. Real music for the hard core music fan, this is purely great stuff.

CAPTAIN PLANET/Cookin' Gumbo: Punk rock energy and hip hop vibes come to world beat all in the form of one purveyor for an over the top gumbo/salmagundi romp of a date that sounds like what world beat would have sounded like if Tex Avery liked making world beat mash ups more than he liked making cartoons and preferred belly dancers to vamped up Little Red Riding Hoods. Mr. Planet gets special props for throwing everything against the wall, have it all land in the kitchen sink---and have it all work! This heady brew can't stay underground much longer. A wild, wonderful ride around the world can be had without leaving the comfort of your headphones. Killer stuff.

BEZUIDENHOUT-VON DER GOLTZ/Mendelssohn Concertos: In which we find out the importance of a good publicist in the old classical music world as well. We all know about what a boy genius Mozart was, but who really harps on what wonderful stuff Mendelssohn was writing when he was 14? He was already quite accomplished when this material was delivered at the ripe of age of 14 and he really knew his stuff. With orchestra or in center stage alone, his works were first rate the new interpreters featured here are up to the challenge of keeping the music new and fresh. Quite a wonderful recording that is delightful to listen to.

STEPHEN HOUGH/Chopin Complete Waltzes: The current heavy weight champ of Chopin interpretation goes the distance in a set that includes the familiar along with unpublished material and material that may or may not have been written by Chopin. He brings a different touch and feel to the material than Artur Rubinstein did and it works quite well with time and tide seeing as how this material is recorded 50 years later than the landmark Rubinstein works. Any Chopin fan will not be disappointed as Hough carries the ball firmly and surely on these works. A well done set throughout.

DINO LIPATTI/Solo Recordings: One of those tragic stories that is almost forgotten. Stricken in 1950 by cancer while still in is 30s, Lipatti was one of those classical piano players that was well on his way and was viewed by many as one of the chosen ones whose work went above and beyond. This collection of his limited recorded output shows him working out on the warhorse material and delivering some fine playing that stands out 60 years later. A well stacked collection that doesn't stray far in choices but stands out in quality playing.

GREAT BRITISH SOPRANOS/various: Long before the Callas', Sutherlands, etc, there was a flock of pre WWII sopranos that were on the lips of classical and opera fans everywhere. This set that highlights Maggie Teyte, Isobel Baillie, Eva Turner, Margaret Sullivan and others delivers the performances that made them the toast of their towns in their times. A pretty wild find that had to be really dug out of the crates to round up all this talent that only your great grandpa would know today, it's certainly an ear opening treat for the classical vocal fan.

RICHARD LEWIS/Great Welsh Tenor: Two albums by one of the forgotten vocalists of his era, a Handel aria collection and a folk song collection, show off the voice of a singer that didn't get his due recognition and died too soon. The kind of singer who could stand and deliver and then go home, he left a small recorded legacy behind that loyalists are glad to keep around. Simply displaying a set of fine vocal work, this is a must for listeners that just want to cut to the chase and enjoy some fine singing.

HOFFNUNG MUSIC FESTIVAL CONCERT: Let's see, last came PDQ Bach, then came Anna Russell and first came Hoffnung, a cartoonist that fled Hitler's Germany to wind up a revered English cartoonist that decided to transfer his love of music and humor into a wild ride of humorous classical music. Even though recorded several generations ago, the laughs are timeless and fans of either of the above will have a bonafide laugh riot on their hands here.

Volume 34/Number 279
August 8, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record

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