Profile for Sentinel > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Sentinel
Top Reviewer Ranking: 161
Helpful Votes: 2391

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Sentinel (Essex)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Abandoned Cities [VINYL]
Abandoned Cities [VINYL]
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Magic, 6 Dec 2014
This review is from: Abandoned Cities [VINYL] (Vinyl)
For me, 'Abandoned Cities' is a real dark and mysterious masterpiece: achingly lovely emotive melodies of loss and emptiness which reflect the title superbly. This is music you want to hold close to you, and reassure it that all will be well in the end. The only other score which I feel captures that sense of desolation as well, was Ry Cooder's 'Paris, Texas'; but that was a much more stripped-down, spare sound; here it is a richer, deeper, warmer, yet still desolate, black magic. Do you enjoy exploring abandoned places? If you do, let Harold Budd take you down some dark alleyways...


Concertos & Sinfonias for Oboe / Ich Hatte Viel
Concertos & Sinfonias for Oboe / Ich Hatte Viel
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £18.35

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Lovely, 29 Nov 2014
Given that nothing remains of Bach's concertos or chamber works for oboe, these concertos & sinfonias are the product of research which suggests pieces which may originally have been transcribed from oboe into harpsichord, organ or cantata. Although the authenticity of some may be open to question, the real wonder is how beautiful this selection turns out to be.

Holliger's playing remains peerless, capturing the light & shade of these seductive scores, while Camerata Bern under Hobarth provide wonderfully light waves of melodic colour. There is a beautifully nimble 'bounce' to these exquisite performances from the very opening, and the music has such delicacy & poise, it immediately brings a corresponding lightness to the listener's heart.

Holliger dedicates these performances to his brother, who died in the same year as this recording, and his friend, who died when the recording was being made. It may simply be my fancy, but I felt that the adagios reflected Holliger's tribute to both men, with playing of luminous beauty. ECM recording is as immaculate as ever, and the accompanying booklet is very informative on the research undertaken to support the inclusion of each piece.
To my mind, this is a simply unmissable collection of winning charm & grace.


Jan Garbarek Works by Jan Garbarek [Music CD]
Jan Garbarek Works by Jan Garbarek [Music CD]
Offered by Sam Books
Price: £40.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A taste of early Garbarek, 28 Nov 2014
This limited edition, 'Works Series', gives a reasonable overview of Garbarek's prolific output on ECM over a period of ten years (1970-80). Unusually, three of the eight tracks showcase him playing flute, which would be a rarity now, and both his tenor & soprano sax work is also featured.

His discography lists 16 albums in the accompanying booklet, but with a running time of just over 50 minutes, this means that some of his classic albums, such as 'Belonging', 'Wichi-Tai-To', and 'Red Lanta', don't feature at all. However, there are still some very fine performances here, from his astringent 'Beast of Kommodo', taken from his early 'Afric Pepperbird' album, through the exquisitely beautiful 'Viddene' from 'Dis' (featuring 'windharp'), 'Passing' from 'Places' (with Connors guitar & Taylor's organ), 'Svende' from the lovely 'Dansere' (Stenson on piano), to the charming 'Folk Song' from the album of the same name.

If you're unfamiliar with Garbarek's work, or only his recent output, this collection underlines the rich variety of his early ECM years, and should tempt you to explore some of these fine albums further. Sound quality is as good as you might expect, though notes are limited to personnel, instruments, track lengths, and relevant album details. However, this is a limited edition, and may become collectable in its own right. A good 'starter album'!


Jan Garbarek Works
Jan Garbarek Works
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £19.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Taste of Early Garbarek, 28 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Jan Garbarek Works (Audio CD)
This limited edition, 'Works Series', gives a reasonable overview of Garbarek's prolific output on ECM over a period of ten years (1970-80). Unusually, three of the eight tracks showcase him playing flute, which would be a rarity now, and both his tenor & soprano sax work is also featured.

His discography lists 16 albums in the accompanying booklet, but with a running time of just over 50 minutes, this means that some of his classic albums, such as 'Belonging', 'Wichi-Tai-To', and 'Red Lanta', don't feature at all. However, there are still some very fine performances here, from his astringent 'Beast of Kommodo', taken from his early 'Afric Pepperbird' album, through the exquisitely beautiful 'Viddene' from 'Dis' (featuring 'windharp'), 'Passing' from 'Places' (with Connors guitar & Taylor's organ), 'Svende' from the lovely 'Dansere' (Stenson on piano), to the charming 'Folk Song' from the album of the same name.

If you're unfamiliar with Garbarek's work, or only his recent output, this collection underlines the rich variety of his early ECM years, and should tempt you to explore some of these fine albums further. Sound quality is as good as you might expect, though notes are limited to personnel, instruments, track lengths, and relevant album details. However, this is a limited edition, and may become collectable in its own right. A good 'starter album'!


Sofienberg Variations
Sofienberg Variations
Price: £14.31

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In Dark Places...?, 26 Nov 2014
This review is from: Sofienberg Variations (Audio CD)
Listening to the unhurried,hesitant flow of this album reminds me that this is more like modern chamber music than jazz, despite the appearance of trumpet & tenor sax. Overall, the pace of each piece is like a limpid river, gently drifting along on the deftest of percussion from Johansen and the crystalline chords, falling hesitantly from Wallumrod's piano.

There's a sombre, chilly quality to all of this, including the lugubrious tones of Okland's violin or Hardanger fiddle, but warmth comes from the intrusions of Seim's saxes, or Henriksen's trumpet,as they rise like the sun,warming & burnishing a misty autumnal day. The overall pace remains slow & steady, adorned with some crystal-sharp melodies, so that the overall tone is of an elegy (perhaps for the death of Summer), though the titles of each particular track suggest no such scheme.

Clearly, there's a time & a place for such mood music, with its rich, dark depths. Given the right mood, I find this very addictive & superbly performed, but it's not what you'd choose to lighten your mood! If you're not afraid of the dark, and you appreciate quality musicianship, this is well worth investigating...


Prologue
Prologue
Offered by produXa UK
Price: £9.55

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early Promise..., 15 Nov 2014
This review is from: Prologue (Audio CD)
In some ways, this may well be my favourite Renaissance album, principally because the music is consistently good throughout, and there are none of the weaker tracks which began to crop up as 'filler' in later albums. The tracks vary in style from progressive rock to almost a 'pop' sound, with exciting classical influences amongst the longer, more serious numbers.
The title track is a weighty and atmospheric opener, piano-driven, with influences from Bach amongst others, and Haslam's wordless vocal arcing over it all. The two longest tracks, 'Kiev' and 'Rajah Khan',are among the most powerful and memorable: the Russian influence is haunting, with echoes of Rachmaninov and Camp's thoughtful lyric, while the Eastern atmosphere of the latter has tablas, synthesiser, and Haslam's oriental vocalise. 'Sounds of the Sea' makes superb use of taped sounds (waves & gulls) married to Haslam's beautifully pure tones, to create a memorably arresting piece. Finally, 'Spare some love' and 'Bound for Infinity' are in a lighter vein, with simpler melody lines, given a touch of class by Haslam's effortless purity of voice. A lovely album throughout.


Little Things Left Behind 1988 - 1998
Little Things Left Behind 1988 - 1998
Price: £7.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich & Mellow, 14 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a sumptuous bargain. This beautifully packaged gatefold-sleeved double cd, (warmly atmospheric photos by Cecily Eno), contains 40 of Roger Eno's pieces, culled from 5 albums. Running time is a little over 2 hours, and features a gorgeous selection of music from Between Tides, The Familiar, Lost in Translation, Swimming & The Flatlands.

Most tracks are instrumental, and feature a wide range of instruments, including flute, oboe, cor anglais, cello, double bass, clarinet, accordion, organ, percussion, drums, banjo & ukelele. However, the core instruments are piano/keyboards & guitar, with added textures from synthesiser, over-dubs & multi-tracking. A few vocal tracks from 'Swimming' are also included, with some haunting songs, such as the darkly memorable 'The Parting Glass', from a series of songs about hanging in the 18th.C

The accompanying booklet, which has the same mellow, autumnal feel as the rest of the package, has some detailed background from Mark Prendergast, author of 'The Ambient Century', which includes both Roger & Brian Eno, and is well worth exploring in its own right. However, I feel it misses an opportunity to give the lyrics for the few vocal tracks, and also fails to give any details of track length.

The overall feel of this collection, is a little like a limpid, slowly-moving river, which encourages you to sink into it, and let it wash your stress away,, as you bathe in its sumptuous melodies. There's nothing strained or harsh here (except perhaps for the 'momento mori' of the 'hanging songs), which is a testament to Roger's consistency of vision over this ten year period (88-98), and the set acts as a very attractive showcase for his music throughout. Maybe too rich to be digested all in one go, but lovely balm for the soul when you need it most.


Ambient Century: From Mahler to Moby - The Evolution of Sound in the Electronic Age
Ambient Century: From Mahler to Moby - The Evolution of Sound in the Electronic Age
by Mark Prendergast
Edition: Paperback
Price: £20.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stimulating & Inspiring Journey..., 14 Nov 2014
Despite the fact that this monumental effort has attracted much criticism for a variety of factual errors (locations, types of synthesiser, who was where/when etc), I found it fascinating & good enough to add to my music library.
Why? Probably my musical ignorance, in that I don't much care about the 'small stuff', as long as the overall 'story' is sufficiently gripping/fascinating. And it is.

For me, the acid test of any music guide is whether it motivates you enough to start checking out sources, and the 'Ambient Century' inspired me to dig out/revisit various tracks in my collection long neglected, and even ordering up other albums which sounded like they'd work for me.

So far, it's been a rich journey of discovery, and I've only just started, so I feel very grateful to have discovered so much which has 'slipped under the radar' of my large, eclectic music collection.

If you have a similarly broad musical taste, especially for the music of Reich, Glass, Part, Gorecki, Adams, Budd, Eno (Brian AND Roger!), Nyman et al, this is well worth exploring. Despite some glitches, the 'bigger picture' here is well worth the read!


The Ambient Century: From Mahler to Trance - The Evolution of Sound in the Electronic Age
The Ambient Century: From Mahler to Trance - The Evolution of Sound in the Electronic Age
by Mark Prendergast
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.73

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rich Journey..., 13 Nov 2014
Despite the fact that this monumental effort has attracted much criticism for a variety of factual errors (locations, types of synthesiser, who was where/when etc), I found it fascinating & good enough to add to my music library.
Why? Probably my musical ignorance, in that I don't much care about the 'small stuff', as long as the overall 'story' is sufficiently gripping/fascinating (despite some repetition/overlap). And it is.

For me, the acid test of any music guide is whether it motivates you enough to start checking out sources, and the 'Ambient Century' inspired me to dig out/revisit various tracks in my collection long neglected, and even ordering up other albums which sounded like they'd work for me.

So far, it's been a rich journey of discovery, and I've only just started, so I feel very grateful to have discovered so much which has 'slipped under the radar' of my large, eclectic music collection.

If you have a similarly broad musical taste, especially for the music of Reich, Glass, Part, Gorecki, Adams, Budd, Eno (Brian AND Roger!), Nyman et al, this is well worth exploring, especially at its 'cheap as chips' price from some sellers. Despite some glitches, the 'bigger picture' here is well worth the read!


Lang: Death Speaks [Shara Worden; Bryce Dessner] [Cantaloupe : CA21092]
Lang: Death Speaks [Shara Worden; Bryce Dessner] [Cantaloupe : CA21092]
Offered by MEGA Media FBA
Price: £11.54

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death's Siren Song?, 13 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Originally came to this via David Lang's music for the film 'Great Beauty', and decided to buy it on the strength of the Amazon samples, and the outstanding reviews. Very glad I did so, as this is an impeccably performed & immaculately produced piece. Shara Worden's vocals drop like clear crystal, against a sparse instrumental accompaniment (guitar, piano, violin & drum), building a mesmerising emotional momentum.

The deliberate austerity of the approach (Worden avoids any overtly emotive tone), and the sparse use of instruments, serves to intensify the emotional weight of this unique album. The music moves slowly but inexorably, emphasising the insistent pulse of the melody, and the 'space between' the notes enhances the depth of the listener's experience. The final piece, 'Depart', features a quartet of voices, across a cello soundscape, and is impressively sustained for over 18 minutes. This is not music to be listened to as 'background', or with any competing distractions, in order to capture the grave power of this hypnotic performance. Given proper attention, Death's 'siren song', is utterly compelling.

The quality of the performance & recording also extends to the packaging. 'Death Speaks' comes in a classy black & white cardboard slipcase, illustrated with death's hand reaching out on the cover, and opens out into a gatefold sleeve, which has a b&w photo of an isolated house surrounded by skeletal trees, flanked by gold sleeves, containing the cd (suitably black), and an accompanying (charcoal) booklet giving the full text (largely culled from Schubert lieder).

Throughout, this is gravely beautiful, powerful & deeply moving music, which lingers long in the listener's heart & soul.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20