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The Complete Recordings Of Michel Petrucciani
The Complete Recordings Of Michel Petrucciani

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best way to experience Michel Petrucianni, 23 Mar 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This boxed set brings together the seven albums pianist Michel Petrucciani recorded with Blue Note (two other albums, Live at the Village Vanguard and 100 Hearts, have been reissued on Blue Note but were originally produced by a different record company and are not included here, which is a shame as they're better than most of what is included), most of which are generally available separately. Petrucianni plays well throughout but often without his characteristic spirit, and overall the impression is underwhelming when compared to much of his output. Of the seven albums, two are good, and would merit four star ratings alone; two are average and three pretty downright awful; as the better albums are available separately there is little need to buy this set which explains my low rating. Those interested in Petrucciani should look elsewhere, for example the Live Village Vanguard Album or his later albums.

In its defence, it should be noted that unlike many "complete" boxed sets this one keeps the albums separate and includes all the original artwork, liner notes etc.

The albums on this set are:

Pianism ***

- This trio record is one of the better ones on this set, although it pales in comparison to the live album (Live At the Village Vanguard) the same trio recorded around the same time.

Power of Three ****

- Definitely the best record in the set, this live recording captures an unusual trio with Wayne Shorter (Tenor Sax) and Jim Hall (Guitar). The playing is excellent, as you might expect from three jazz greats. This is a 4-star record but is easily available separately and not enough to warrant buying the set.

Michel Plays Petrucciani ***

- Another trio record (mostly; John Abercomie plays guitar on a couple of tracks, without adding much), this time with a variety of different rhythm sections, this again lacks the drive of Petrucciani's best playing.

Playground *
Music *
Live **

- These three albums document Petrucianni's 1980s "Fusion" band. It sounds incredibly dated, even by fusion standards; basically just piano trio with synthesised strings added which really can't be said to add anything much. These are the weak albums of the set that only completists would likely be interested in. "Live" is possibly slightly better than the other two, as the synthesizers are less dominant and easier to tune-out.

Promenade With Duke ****

- A solo record, this is a good record, but like Power of Three is easily available separately.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 31, 2011 6:52 PM GMT

Sid Meier's Civilization Chronicles (PC CD)
Sid Meier's Civilization Chronicles (PC CD)

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent games, but why own all of them?, 3 July 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
As pointed out by other reviewers, this set is excellent value for money and includes a number of great games. All games in the Civilization series have been excellent; but as each one is essentially an improved version of the previous one, assuming your computer can handle Civ4 there is no real reason to own all four today.

It's also a shame that the boxed set does not include other Civilization-type games by the same makers which are fantastic, such as Alpha Centaurii & Colonization.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 25, 2010 5:41 PM GMT

The Blackadder - The Historic First Series [1983] [DVD]
The Blackadder - The Historic First Series [1983] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rowan Atkinson
Price: 5.65

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Patchy, 29 April 2006
This first series of the popular show Blackadder is rarely repeated on television, and for a good reason - its simply nowhere near as good as series 2, 3 and 4. If you have seen the others, only a few characters here will be familiar and only the dim-witted Percy is pretty much the same as he is in the rest of the show - Blackadder himself is stupid and slimy as opposed to rougish and cunning, and Baldrick is in fact the brains of the trio (as much as there is) rather than the myopic character we know and love from later serieses. The later serieses are largely funny because of moments of sparkling wit, which are largely absent from this series because the main character is so different. It's simply not as funny.

Having said that, it's not all bad: this series received a lot more funding than the others and the sets as a result are more lavish, and there are lots of extras and incidental characters moving around in the background. The other members of the regular cast, though they do not reappear in the later serieses, are likeable enough, and there are incredibly funny moments particularly in episodes 3 (The Archbishop) and 4 (The Queen of Spain's Beard).

So to summarize: if you have never seen the show before, you would do better to start at Series 2 than here. Buy this is you love Blackadder and want more; but don't expect the same level of brilliance you'll be used to.

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