“Classique & Jazz Vol. 2 – Music for the 21st Century” – 33 various classical & jazz selections – Lola’s World/25 Records (3 CDs)

by | Mar 21, 2014 | Classical Reissue Reviews

“Classique & Jazz Vol. 2 – Music for the 21st Century” – 33 various classical & jazz selections – Lola’s World/25 Records 00877 (3 CDs) [Distr. by Albany] *****:

This is one of the best mixes of classical and jazz I have ever heard, compiled for this German record label by Gabi and Stefan Schmidt—and there are also volumes 1 and 3 in the series which I now have to get. I would have had a TrackList with this one as we usually do, but altho each of the 33 selections is listed—with all details including who recorded, produced and published it and what album it came from—it is all in such fine print that it was impossible to scan and reproduce here and still be readable. You can read it, it just doesn’t reproduce well. They are in English, but by the way, the actual five-page notes in the booklet are only in German.

This couple certainly put a great deal of thought into every selection here and how it worked with the one before and the one after. There is no cross-fading, and it doesn’t always alternate between one classical and one jazz selection. Just one example of the planning that went into this: on the third CD we hear Copland’s Quiet City, with its trumpet solo. Then it goes to my personal favorite big band, that of Don Ellis, with his trumpet spotlit in the tune “Alone,” and after that the first movement of the Barber Violin Concerto, with another lovely melody that strikes to the heart.

There are almost no well-known or overly-popular selections among the 33. Perhaps the only one that comes even close to fitting that designation is the very final track, Ellington’s “Mood Indigo.”  (There’s no theme from Star Wars, “Smile” or “Send In The Clowns.”) Even prize-winning albums such as the one Chick Corea and Gary Burton did together doesn’t have the expected hit from it, but a track I had totally missed, titled “Mozart Goes Dancing.” You are sure to make many discoveries among these tracks and may want to pick up some of the albums as a result.  It is amazing how detailed the publishing and recording information is; having once done the music clearance work for a series myself I can only imagine how much work went into clearing all these selections for putting in this set.

Here’s just a short list of some of the music: Classical works – Britten, Canteloube, Rachmaninov, Elgar, Villa-Lobos, Stenhammar; Jazz – Jaco Pastorius, Sarah Vaughan, Miles Davis, Kenny Clarke, McCoy Tuner, Billy Cobham, Bobby Timmons, Nina Simone; Genre-busting: Hadouk Trio, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Fazil Say, Ogermann, Khalil Chaine, John Foulds. The fidelity is also top-notch, with little difference in sonics between the tracks. If you have a CD changer, this could provide a nearly three-hour concert superior to anything you could find from a streaming source, with no commercials, speech or changes in volume level, and much better fidelity.

—John Sunier

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