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Matt Mayhall – Tropes – Skirl

Matt Mayhall – Tropes – Skirl

A new perspective on West Coast cool jazz. Matt Mayhall – Tropes [TrackList follows] – Skirl 036, 34:02 [11/4/16] ****: (Matt Mayhall – drums, percussion, acoustic piano, Wurlitzer electric piano, Mellotron, Yamaha Portasound VSS-30; Jeff Parker – electric guitar; Paul Bryan – electric bass guitar, producer, engineer, editor, mixer; Chris Speed – tenor saxophone (tracks 2, 5); Jeff Babko – Hammond B-3, Fender Rhodes, Roland SH-1000 (tracks 1, 3, 6, 7)) Los Angeles-based drummer Matt Mayhall is equally at home in pop or jazz music. He was a member of alternative pop/slowcore band Spain. He’s toured with singer-songwriters Ted Leo and Aimee Mann; and performed with Liz Phair, John Doe of X fame, and Susanna Hoffs (of the similarly famous Bangles). On the jazz side, Mayhall has provided rhythm support for keyboardist Larry Goldings; bassist Eric Revis; and horn players Vinny Golia and Chris Speed. In late 2016, Mayhall added more to his credits by issuing his debut solo effort, the 34-minute, nine-track Tropes. Throughout his nine originals on Tropes, Mayhall maintains a steady, slightly downplayed stride, a sort of modern twist on the West Coast school of cool jazz. That’s not to mean Mayhall replicates the music of Chet […]

Eric VLOEIMANS / Holland Baroque Society – Old, New and Blue – Channel Classics

Eric VLOEIMANS / Holland Baroque Society – Old, New and Blue – Channel Classics

Eric VLOEIMANS / Holland Baroque Society – Old, New and Blue – Channel Classics multichannel SACD 35613, 63:05 (12/10/13) *****: (Eric Vloeimans; trumpet/ Marc Constandse; bandeon/ Judith Steenbrink; violin and director) A spectacular collaboration between Dutch genre-hopping trumpeter and Holland’s leading early music ensemble. Dutch jazz has for a long time now distinguished itself from the adjacent Germano-Nordic musical culture through a quality that might best be described as affable eccentricity. While there is no shortage of musical prowess or brainy innovation, what predominates in so many performances I have seen and heard is a lively theatricality, sometimes bordering on the absurd. As long ago as 1967, the ICP Orchestra (Instant Composers Pool) was founded around an original almost game-like concept of improvisation. The founders of the group, Hans Bennick and Misha Mengelberg, played with Eric Dolphy in the heady days of the ‘60s avant-garde and along the way, imbibed the ideals of intensity and freedom. However, in their own interpretation of this radical aesthetic, they evolved counter-balancing notions of comic fun, group interaction, and compositional cleverness equally distributed. So for two generations now, the group has held up the banner of a distinct musical performance, while spinning off many […]

Peter Brendler, doublebass – Message in Motion – Positone

Peter Brendler, doublebass – Message in Motion – Positone

Peter Brendler, doublebass – Message in Motion – Positone PR8156, 56:39 (7/15/16) ****: The bass leads the way. (Peter Brendler – doublebass/ Rich Perry – tenor sax /Peter Evans – trumpet /Vinnie Sperrazza – drums /Ben Monder – guitar) It is easy to overlook the bass in a jazz ensemble. It is the least noisy and attention-grabbing instrument. However, its importance can hardly be overstated. As always when I discover a new bassist, I listen in on my Sennheiser 600 headphones with rapt attention to the footfalls of the walking bass, which are a sure path through the music. The quarter-notes are a way of finding the complexities of the harmony. I like to think of the bass – especially in the absence of a chordal instrument– as the brains of the ensemble which thus thinks from the bottom up.  A superior bassist exemplifies Henry David Thoreau’s dictum that “walking is a kind of thinking.” As long as the bass stays on the trail, one cannot get too lost. The CD under review here “Message in Motion” offers a good example of ‘basic’ virtues. The leader of the group, Baltimore-based Peter Brendler, was unknown to me before this debut recording […]

Freddy Cole – He Was The King – HighNote

Freddy Cole – He Was The King – HighNote

Freddy Cole – He Was The King – HighNote HCD 7286 58:18 ****: A heartfelt tribute from the most reliant interpreter of the Nat Cole songbook. (Freddy Cole – vocals, piano (tracks 6,7); Houston Person – tenor saxophone (tracks 1,2,5,8); John di Martino – piano (tracks 4,9,11); Randy Napoleon – guitar; Harry Allen – tenor saxophone; Joe Magnarelli – trumpet; Josh Brown – trombone; Elias Bailey – bass;  Quentin Baxter – drums) Lineage is an uncertain commodity when it comes to the arts, sports, and business. The success of one individual in a particular generation does not guarantee that either siblings or progeny will carry that gene along with them. In the case of the Cole clan, it has more or less worked out. Freddy Cole is the younger brother of Nat and the uncle of Natalie and while Nat may have been the most successful, both Freddy and Natalie made prominent names for themselves in their own right. In terms of longevity, Freddy is the last of this family still in show business, and at eighty-five, pays homage to his older brother with the album He Was The King. In deciding to tackle this project, Cole surrounded himself with […]

Music From The Motion Picture Joy – Abkco vinyl (2)

Music From The Motion Picture Joy – Abkco vinyl (2)

Various Artists – Music From The Motion Picture Joy – Abkco 1877183401 [4/16/16] stereo double 12-inch vinyl ****: A wonderful soundtrack vinyl of various pop & rock tracks. (Featuring Cream; Lee Morgan; Ella Fitzgerald; Thomas Bullard, Choir Of King’s College, Cambridge; Edgar Ramirez; The Bee Gees; Willie West; The Ronettes; Salzburg Bach Choir; Ray De La Paz and The Pedrito Martinez Group; The Rolling Stones; Nat King Cole; Brittany Howard, Jennifer Lawrence; original music by Dylan Thompson and David Campbell; additional music by Blake Mills; score conducted, orchestrated and arranged by David Campbell) Abkco Records has released (in conjunction with Record Store Day 2016) the soundtrack from Joy. Based on the inspirational David O. Russell 2015 movie about unlikely housewife entrepreneur Joy Mangano, the narrative is represented by a diverse soundtrack. Vinyl enthusiasts will be overjoyed as one of the formats is a double 150-gram record that has been pressed with an electric blue finish. As with many of Russell’s soundtracks, there is a wide array of musical genres. Side A opens with the Cream’s psychedelic blues classic, “I Feel Free”. This concise number showcases why Cream was a true pioneer in rock music. Eric Clapton’s distorted guitar licks combine […]

Home Page for April 2015

Home Page for April 2015

Born just four years before J.S. Bach George Philip Telemann has always suffered from comparisons with that towering figure of classical music. At the time though he was considered one of the greatest German composers, and he was highly productive – his total output compares well with Bach’s. One 1767 obituary merely stated ‘his name is his eulogy.’ This Brilliant Records set is the most comprehensive selection of his music ever released, consisting of 50 CDs with complete notes. To be eligible for this April drawing, you must register this month on our simple form. More details on the Editorial Page, plus the name of the winner of our March drawing for the Oppo headphones. On April firsts of some years we have done some music humor links. Here is a great list of the 10 Best Videos of classical music comedies and parodies in The Guardian. Have a look and listen!

Home Page for April 2015

Home Page for November 2014

Our November drawing is for two 45-CD sets of The Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon by famed conductor Ferenc Fricsay. Here is a complete list of all the selections on this multi-CD boxed set. And here is our review of it. These have been specially remastered for this collector’s set. The Hungarian conductor, who died in 1963, was known for his interpretations of Mozart and Beethoven, as well as works of his teachers Bartok and Kodaly. He was Chief Conductor of the German Symphony Orchestra Berlin for two periods. He conducted without a baton and recorded exclusively for DGG from the 1950s until his death. The two sets will go to two AUDIOPHILE AUDITION readers who this month register using our simple form. (Those who don’t completely fill out the form will not be eligible for the drawing, including those who registered in previous months.) The two winners will be listed on our Editorial Page next month, where this month you’ll find more details on the drawing.  Here’s our survey of 16 Christmas CDs & SACDs.

Best of the Year Discs for 2013

Best of the Year Discs for 2013

* = The 12 Multichannel Discs of the Month CLASSICAL (incl. HI-RES), CLASSICAL REISSUES & CLASSICAL VINYL BACH: Mass in b, BWV 232 – Soloists/ Collegium Vocale 1704/ Collegium 1704/ Vaclav Luks – Accent ACC 24283 (2 CDs) BACH: St. Matthew Passion – Soloists/ RIAS Ch. Chorus/ Academie fur Alte Musik Berlin/ Rene Jacobs – Harmonia mundi SACD HMC 802156.58 (2 SACDs + DVD) BACH: St. John Passion – Ian Bostridge (Evangelist) & other soloists/ Polyphony/ Orch. of the Age of Enlightenment/ Stephen Layton – Hyperion CDA67901 (2 CDs) BACH: French Overture in b; SCRIABIN: Piano Sonata No. 5; MOZART: Variations on “Salve tu, Domine” by Paisiello; CARTER: Piano Sonata – Orion Weiss, p. – Yarlung Records 78873 A BEETHOVEN Odyssey, Volume 1 = Piano Sonatas: No. 1 in f, Op. 2/1; No. 3 in C, Op.2/3; No. 23 in f, Op. 57, “Appassionata” – James Brawn, p. – MSR Classics MS 1465 * BERLIOZ: Seven Overtures – Bergen Philharmonic Orch./ Sir Andrew Davis – Chandos SACD CHSA 5118 Derek BERMEL:  “Canzonas Americanas” – Canteloupe Music CA21088 * BRITTEN:  War Requiem – Soloists/ Netherlands Radio Choir / Netherlands Children’s Choir/ Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orch./ Jaap van Zweden – Challenge Classics, SACD CC72388 […]

Home Page for April 2015

Home Page for May 2013

Our drawing/giveaway for May is for five readers of AUDIOPHILE AUDITION who will be selected to receive the new 12-CD box set The Complete Beethoven Symphonies, Concertos and Overtures from Naxos, the world’s leading classical music group. Beethoven laid down the foundations of the Romantic era and changed the course of music history. The set (which retails for $60) features all nine Symphonies, the five Piano Concertos, the Triple Concerto and the Violin Concerto. Don’t forget to register on our simple form this month (please enter all fields), and visit the May Editorial Page for more information. See our Guide to Hi-Res Downloading