Monthly Archive: July 2016

Magnet Animals – Butterfly Killer – RareNoise

Magnet Animals – Butterfly Killer – RareNoise

Willfully risk-taking music from the RareNoise label. Magnet Animals – Butterfly Killer [TrackList follows] RareNoise RNR063, 49:35 [5/20/16] ***1/2: (Todd Clouser – guitar, vocals; Eyal Maoz – guitar; Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz – bass; Jorge Servin – drums) Magnet Animals live up to their name. On the foursome’s debut, the 49-minute Butterfly Killer, the band can […]

“Martha Argerich & Friends Live from Lugano 2015” – Emphasis on piano works incl. 3 pianos – Warner (3 discs)

“Martha Argerich & Friends Live from Lugano 2015” – Emphasis on piano works incl. 3 pianos – Warner (3 discs)

The piano dominates the 2015 Lugano Festival, the convocation of fine chamber music performances.  “Martha Argerich & Friends Live from Lugano 2015” =   BRAHMS: Horn Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 40 (arr. Viola); Scherzo from F.A.E. Sonata; Clarinet Trio in a minor, Op. 114; SCHUMANN: Six Canonic Studies (arr. Debussy), Op. 56; SCHUBERT: Variations […]

Blue Mitchell & Sonny Red – Baltimore 1966 – Uptown

Blue Mitchell & Sonny Red – Baltimore 1966 – Uptown

A perfect blend of sweet and sour… Blue Mitchell & Sonny Red – Baltimore 1966 – Uptown UPCD.83, 70:52 ****: (Blue Mitchell- trumpet; Sonny Red- alto sax; John Hicks- piano; Gene Taylor- bass; Joe Chambers- drums) For lovers of straight-ahead jazz and hard bop in particular, Uptown Records has continued to release superb live sessions […]

The Verdeht Trio “American Images 7” – Works of HUTCHESON, GERSHWIN, WINLER, MADSEN – Crystal

The Verdeht Trio “American Images 7” – Works of HUTCHESON, GERSHWIN, WINLER, MADSEN – Crystal

The Verdehr Trio, “American Images 7” = JERE HUTCHESON: Rondo Brillante; Nocturnes of the Inferno; PAMELA MADSEN: Sea Change 2; DAVID WINKLER: Warhol Appassionata; GERSHWIN (arr. Armand Russell): Promenade – The Verdehr Trio (Walter Verdehr, v./Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, clar./Silvia Roederer, Deborah Moriarty, David Renner, p.) – Crystal Records CD972, 68:05, (2/09/16)****: A legacy album to conclude […]

A Hologram for the King, Blu-ray (2016)

A Hologram for the King, Blu-ray (2016)

A memorable performance by Hanks as a salesman for a new holographic gadget for the King of Saudi Arabia. A Hologram for the King, Blu-ray (2016) Cast: Tom Hanks, Tom Skerrit, Sarita Choudhury, Ben Whishaw Director: Tom Tykwer Studio: Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate (8/9/16) Video: 2.40:1 for 16:9 screens, HD color Audio: English & Arabic – DTS-HD […]

Audio News for July 29, 2016

Audio News for July 29, 2016

Finnish Composer Rautavaara Dies –  At age 87 the composer of many inspirational works passed away, and left this statement: “It is my belief that music is great if, at some moment, the listener catches ‘a glimpse of eternity through the window of time’… This, to my mind, is the only true justification for art. […]

TCHAIKOVSKY: Nutcracker Suite; Capriccio Italien; Polonaise & Waltz from “Eugene Onegin,” ‒ London Philharmonic Orch./ Leopold Stokowski ‒ PentaTone

TCHAIKOVSKY: Nutcracker Suite; Capriccio Italien; Polonaise & Waltz from “Eugene Onegin,” ‒ London Philharmonic Orch./ Leopold Stokowski ‒ PentaTone

TCHAIKOVSKY: Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a; Capriccio Italien, Op. 45; Polonaise and Waltz from “Eugene Onegin,” Op. 24 ‒ London Philharmonic Orch./ Leopold Stokowski ‒ PentaTone Classics multichannel SACD PTC 5186 299, 47:18 (3/11/16) ***: Mostly for Stokie fans, but the Capriccio Italien is impressive, and so is the recycled four-channel sound. I’ve never been a […]

Matt Lavelle’s 12 Houses – Solidarity – Unseen Rain

Matt Lavelle’s 12 Houses – Solidarity – Unseen Rain

Big band free jazz is more than discordant noise. Matt Lavelle’s 12 Houses – Solidarity [TrackList follows] – Unseen Rain UR-9945, 48:52 [5/6/16] ****: (Matt Lavelle – cornet, Flugelhorn, alto clarinet, conductor; Lee Odom – soprano sax, clarinet; Charles Waters – alto sax, clarinet; Ras Moshe Burnett – soprano sax, tenor sax, flute, bells; Tim […]

Chosen (2016)

Chosen (2016)

Another but very well-done Holocaust film. Chosen (2016) Cast: Harvey Keitel, Luke Mably, Ana Ularu Director: Jasmin Dizdar Studio: Lionsgate (8/2/16) Video: 2.40:1 for 16:9 screens, color Audio: English DD 5.1 Subtitles: English, Spanish Length: 93 min. Rating: **** Harvey Keitel stars as an old Jewish man telling a young relative a story of a […]

MAHLER: Symphonies 2, 8 & 10 – Wyn Morris – HDTT (2 audio-only Blu-rays)

MAHLER: Symphonies 2, 8 & 10 – Wyn Morris – HDTT (2 audio-only Blu-rays)

Three Mahler symphonies in hi-res sound and recent recordings on Blu-ray audio-only.  GUSTAV MAHLER: Symphony No. 8 “Symphony of a Thousand”; Symphony No. 10 (Deryck Cooke version) – 2016 – High Definition Tape Transfers Blu-ray stereo ****: GUSTAV MAHLER: Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” – 2016 – High Definition Tape Transfers Blu-ray 5.0 surround and 2.0 […]

Audio News for July 26, 2016

Audio News for July 26, 2016

Responding to Catastrophe wth Culture – Politics intrusion on culture can be unnerving. Stalin restricted the work of Shostakovich, The Third Reich’s appropriation of Wagner prompted Israel to adopt an unofficial ban on his music. The ban was set aside in 2001 by Daniel Barenboim, who also set up the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, comprised principally […]

Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane, Matthew Garrison – In Movement – ECM

Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane, Matthew Garrison – In Movement – ECM

Family, friendship, musical camaraderie: all part of the latest from Jack DeJohnette. Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane, Matthew Garrison – In Movement [TrackList follows] ECM 2488, 54:21 [5/6/16] ****1/2: (Jack DeJohnette – drums, piano, electronic percussion; Ravi Coltrane – tenor, soprano and sopranino saxophone; Matthew Garrison – electric bass, electronics) What would the jazz world be […]

Jane Ira Bloom, sop. sax – Early Americans – Outline

Jane Ira Bloom, sop. sax – Early Americans – Outline

Soprano saxophonist finds that three is the perfect number. Jane Ira Bloom – Early Americans [TrackList follows] Outline OTL142, 52:18 [5/13/16] ****: (Jane Ira Bloom – soprano saxophone, co-producer; Mark Helias – bass; Bobby Previte – drums) Soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom does something new on her latest album, the 52-minute Early Americans. On her […]

Muriel, or The Time of Return, Blu-ray (1963/2016)

Muriel, or The Time of Return, Blu-ray (1963/2016)

Some critics consider this to be the best film Resnais ever did. Muriel, or The Time of Return, Blu-ray (1963/2016) Director: Alain Resnais Cast: Delphine Seyrig, Jean-Pierre Kerien, Nita Klein Cinematographer: Sacha Vierny Studio: Argos/Janus/The Criterion Collection 824 (7/19/16) Video: 1.66:1 for 16:9 screens, 1080p HD color, remastered Audio: French, PCM mono Subtitles: English Extras: […]

LIEUWEN: Concertos Volume II = Slovak Nat. Sym. Orch. /Franz Krager and Texas Musical Festival Orch./ Krager – MRS Classics

LIEUWEN: Concertos Volume II = Slovak Nat. Sym. Orch. /Franz Krager and Texas Musical Festival Orch./ Krager – MRS Classics

LIEUWEN: Concertos Volume II = Concerto for Cello and Orchestra; Romance for Violin, Cello and Orchestra; Vivace for String Orchestra; Concerto for Piano, Marimba and Orchestra – Slovak Nat. Sym. Orch. /Franz Krager and Texas Musical Festival Orch./ Krager – MRS Classics MSR 1582 (4/14/16) TT: 1:03:57 [Distr. by Albany] ****: Contemporary music fans will […]

The All Star Orchestra cond. by Gerard Schwarz, Programs 11 & 12 (2015)

The All Star Orchestra cond. by Gerard Schwarz, Programs 11 & 12 (2015)

The All Star Orchestra, Programs 11 & 12 (2015) Music: RICHARD STRAUSS, W.A. MOZART, SAMUEL JONES Director: Habib Azar Producers: Gerard Schwarz & Paul Schwendener Studio: Naxos (9/11/15) Video: for 16:9 screens Audio: PCM stereo Language: English, no subtitles All regions Length: 114:00 Rating: **** A very rewarding addition to a very important series. The […]

Quincy Jones – Roots: The Saga of an American Family – A&M/ Varese Sarabande

Quincy Jones – Roots: The Saga of an American Family – A&M/ Varese Sarabande

A tiny taste of Roots… Quincy Jones – Roots: The Saga of an American Family – A&M/Varese Sarabande 3020674258 (1977), 27:41 ***: (Quincy Jones – composer; with full orchestra, twelve percussionists, choir, and vocalists) With the recent all-new Roots mini-series debuting on A&E, Lifetime, and History Channel, the original soundtrack recording from the 1977 ground […]

*********  MULTICHANNEL DISCS OF THE MONTH  *********WAGNER: The Ring Cycle (complete) – Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester/ Marek Janowski – Pentatone (13 SACDs)

********* MULTICHANNEL DISCS OF THE MONTH *********
WAGNER: The Ring Cycle (complete) – Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester/ Marek Janowski – Pentatone (13 SACDs)

Celebrating contemporary aesthetics and presenting superior engineering and performance, Pentatone’s Ring Cycle proves to be the ultimate Gesamtkunstwerk of recording releases. * WAGNER: Der Ring des Nibelungen (complete) – Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester/ Marek Janowski – Pentatone Music (13 multi-channel SACDs) B01D5OXYWS (5/13/16) TT: 13:48:08 *****:  If Wagner’s Ring Cycle is an ultimate realization of Gesamtkunstwerk (total art), […]

Charlie Parker – Unheard Bird: The Unissued Takes – Mercury/Verve (2 discs)

Charlie Parker – Unheard Bird: The Unissued Takes – Mercury/Verve (2 discs)

A 2-CD issue sure to appeal to “Bird” completists… Charlie Parker – Unheard Bird: The Unissued Takes – Mercury/Verve B0024802-02 (1949-1952) – CD 1: 78:49, CD 2: 78:50 ***1/2: (Charlie Parker – alto sax; with accompanying artists including: Kenny Dorham, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Harris, Al Porcino – trumpets; Tommy Turk, Bill Harris, Bart Varsalona – […]