The stunning success of 29-year-old classical guitar virtuoso Milos Karadaglic is validated after the first notes of Pasion, his second Deutsche Grammophon release. Known simply as "Milos," the guitarist's technical expertise and respect for the music he loves enhances the beauty of a varied menu of popular folk and challenging classical selections. The sprinkling of recognizable time-worn tangos contrast perfectly with the excitement of the "nuevo" world of Astor Piazolla. Terrific!
Some people are intimidated by the vastness of classical music. And while the prospect of more than 1,000 years of hits to consider may be daunting, just think instead of how many musical journeys of discovery can be made.
If you’re a lover of great jazz, then you know the real joy in taking time to relax and listen to a recording by a gifted performer.
But even better than that... how about listening to two gifted performers on the same recording date? Your finely-tuned ears will be in for a treat, should you choose to add the Joe Pass / J.J. Johnson CD We’ll Be Together Again to your music library.
This world-premiere recording of two chamber masterpieces by Philadelphia native son Vittorio Giannini definitely rates a “Wow!” When I aired his compelling Piano Quintet on New Releases a couple of months back, I found myself continually turning up the volume in the studio as each ear-catching phrase poured forth.
When it comes to music, you can easily get burned by judging a book by its cover. In the case of The Cookers' Believe album, it is safe to follow your gut - the cover says it all as it lists the amazing artists that make up this fantastic group: Billy Harper, Eddie Henderson, David Weiss, Craig Handy, George Cables, Cecil McBee and Billy Hart.
Think you know your Verdi operas? With this month’s selection, featuring the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra with Jose Serebrier on the podium, you might be surprised at how much music Giuseppe Verdi wrote for his operas that is rarely heard in public today.
What would happen if an inventive jazz record label decided to blend a great singer of standard-pop ballads with an outstanding jazz pianist? The two artists would be on their own--no other musicians--just the two of them, performing a number of time-honored classics.
Well, there was such an occurrence in June of 1975, at the Fantasy Recording Studios in Berkeley, California, when and where Tony Bennett and Bill Evans were recorded. A better result could not have been imagined.
Vocalist and composer Gregory Porter has released his much-awaited sophomore album, Be Good, the follow-up to Water, which made huge waves in the jazz world in 2010. Sophomore albums tend to make fans and critics a bit nervous due to expectation and anticipation, so I'll save you some time and anguish - Gregory, once again, delivers! Strong musicianship, horn arrangements by Kamau Kenyatta, and Porter's booming, yet expressive voice, make this record a true crowd-pleaser.
Matthew Weiner, the creator of the hugely popular TV series Mad Men - now in its fifth season - works very hard at going beneath the surface to capture the look of the 1960s, from company logo typefaces to office equipment tints to the shine in a pair of trousers. Mad Men composer David Carbonara labors just as much on the show's music to express that era; he’s a composer of acutely original pieces. *
Even some jazz cognoscenti may not be familiar with the name of Joe Magnarelli...but that's not Joe's fault. He's been playing a heap of trumpet since arriving on New York City's jazz scene some 25 years ago. Sometimes in the often-wacky world of music, and especially in jazz, even the near-great ones escape detection for quite a spell. But on the wings of My Old Flame, his latest CD, Joe's name and fame may take flight - and perhaps soon we'll all know Joe.