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RBSProds "rbsprods" (Deep in the heart of Texas)
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Dizzy Gillespie - In Redono [DVD] [2011]
Dizzy Gillespie - In Redono [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Gary Keys
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £13.61

5.0 out of 5 stars AN EXCITING SET BY DIZZY GILLESPIE AND HIS OCTET AT "CONCERTS BY THE SEA", 3 July 2015
Five EXCELLENT Stars! This Amazon Instant Video is the 1986 Gary Keys film that captures Grammy-winning Hall of Fame trumpeter and bebop innovator John Birks “Dizzy" Gillespie and an octet of excellent jazz musicians recorded live at Howard Rumsey’s ‘Concerts By The Sea’ in Redondo Beach, Ca. The octet includes the multi-instrumentalist and multiple-Grammy winner Paquito D’Rivera on alto sax, Hall of Fame double bassist Ray Brown, Ed Sherry on guitar, the fleet-fingered Valerie Capers on piano, the renowned composer and arranger Tom MacIntosh on trombone, Michael Howell on electric bass, and Tom Campbell on drums.

The set begins with a sizzling uptempo version of Gillespie’s classic “Bebop” which features fiery solos by altoist D’Rivera, guitarist Sherry, Gillespie, and drummer Campbell. Then they play another Gillespie classic, with the expected Gillespie spoken introduction about the ancient African empire, the mysterious and compelling “Kush”, with great solos by D’Rivera, MacIntosh, Brown, and Gillespie. “Birks Works” is taken at a mellow tempo and gets bluesy, swinging solos from Gillespie, Capers, and Howell, but Ray Brown takes the solo honors with a display of facility and imagination that reminds us of why he is one of the top 5 double bassists in jazz history. The blues number of the set is “Hard of Hearin’ Mama” features Birks both as trumpeter and 'blues shouter' and the double-handed pianistic fireworks of Valerie Capers. The set ends with a funky song with breaks where Gillespie inserts the names of jazz musicians of the past: Hawk (Coleman Hawkins), Miles, Art (Tatum), Pres (Lester Young), Roy (Eldridge or Haynes), and Earl (Fatha Hines or Bud Powell). Directed by Stanley Dorfman. This set captures Dizzy Gillespie and his cohorts at the height of their musical abilities before an appreciative jazz audience in a venue where I have spent a few enjoyable evenings. My Highest Recommendation. Five EBULLIENT Stars (JazzAmerica Ltd & KCET Community Television production. Color. SD quality with adequate sound. Not rated. 5 songs. Time-59:38. Minor snipets of a conversation with John Hendricks also included.)


Live From Los Angeles
Live From Los Angeles
Price: £7.66

5.0 out of 5 stars OLIVER NELSON's PHENOMENAL BIG BAND IN FABULOUS FORM IN LOS ANGELES, 3 July 2015
This review is from: Live From Los Angeles (Audio CD)
Five Huge Stars!! WOW!! Oliver Nelson's Big Band at it's all star best! On a par with Nelson's "Sound Pieces" and the two "Blues & The Abstract Truth" & "More Blues....." albums, this is pennultimate, essential Nelson as a leader, arranger, and player. And the band is wonderful featuring the likes of Frank Strozier, a young Tom Scott, Lou Blackburn, Mel Brown, Jack Nimitz, Frank Strazzeri, Monte Budwig, Ed Thigpen, Nelson, and Conte Candoli.

The 'Piece D'Resistance', among others, is an 8 minute plus version of "Milestones". Using a fabulous Nelson arrangement, Frank Strozier kicks off on alto sax playing a remarkable sizzling solo that builds and builds (small wonder Miles Davis was interested in hiring him at one time); he is then joined by an 18 year old Tom Scott on tenor sax in a simultaneous extended 'cutting session' that is something to behold; That clears the stage for Scott in reportedly playing his first recorded solo. Scott gets off a blistering "killer" tenor sax solo, then expertly surfs the huge malestrom of orchestral sound that leads back to the theme. The audience went crazy with applause and cheers. Truly a performance for the ages.

"Miss Fine" has a wonderful extended unison horn part that one wishes could go on and on. "I Remember Bird" by Leonard Feather receives an impressive performance from Frank Strozier's angular alto sax attack. "Night Train" and "Guitar Blues" are vehicles for Mel Brown's super funky guitar fireworks. "Down By The Riverside" is a trumpet extravaganza for all four rip-roaring trumpet players, who display decidedly different attacks on the song. The band's theme, "Ja-da (Jing, Jing, Jing)", is a mellow bluesy closer for trombonist Lou Blackburn. That caps a great performance by a wonderful Jazz Orchestra and the fabulous Oliver Nelson. Originally an Impulse label album and produced by Bob Thiele, that alone should have most jazz fans reaching for their credit card out of sheer curiosity and reputation of the lable. This is a KILLER BIG BAND performance. Five Huge Stars!

(20 years ago I passed on buying this album in favor of a great Freddy Hubbard record. When I returned to the store it was gone. Ten years later I heard the track "Milestones" on Washington DC radio and recorded a fragment of it. It has fascinated me ever since. This CD finally comes back from 'unavailability' status to beguile us again. Losing Oliver Nelson at so young an age (43) denied us of more of his great jazz music, as well as great TV and movie themes-such as the "6 Million Dollar Man Theme" and the "Theme from Ironsides"- for. Yet another great jazz musician leaves the bandstand too early.)


Vivaldi - The Four Seasons by Joshua Bell (2008) Audio CD
Vivaldi - The Four Seasons by Joshua Bell (2008) Audio CD

5.0 out of 5 stars JOSHUA BELL'S SUPERB, EXTRAORDINARILY PERSONAL "FOUR SEASONS", 21 Jun. 2015
Five SCINTILLATING Stars! Grammy-winning violin virtuoso Joshua Bell, one of the greatest on the planet, steps into the baroque world and delivers an unusually personal, superb version of Antonio Vivaldi's "Four Seasons". This is an oft-recorded work (in the past year alone I've purchased a wonderful version by violinist Viktoria Mullova/Claudio Abbado and enjoyed a very nice transcribed slice of "Winter" by cellist Sol Gabetta in full baroque gear), but in Bell's hands he reveals even more wonderful tempo elasticity and more personal nuances in this classic work by "the Red Priest". On this CD, not only is Bell in the role of dazzling virtuosic soloist and conductor, but he is fortunate to have the superb Academy of St. Martin in the Fields as his orchestra and they have had a year of performances leading up to this august recording.

The entire work is breathtakingly wonderful and should find it's way into music libraries as a benchmark work. My favorites are the third movement (presto) of Summer (with Bell daringly ahead of the normal pulse) which is outstanding and unrelenting in it's intensity, the first movement of Autumn, and the entire wondrous four movements of Winter. It's amazing how the familiar becomes fresh in different hands. Bell successfully pairs the Vivaldi work with a 14 minute exposition of Tartini's Sonata in G Minor for Violin and Basso Continuo (aka The Devil's Trill Sonata) which is a lovely work of elegance and virtuosity, the last four minutes of which are stunning. Throughout Bell pulls off difficult passages with ease and depth of feeling. This is truly beautiful music that leaps into the realm of pure enjoyment and over any possible controversies about period instruments, baroque strings & bows, and vibrato. It took Joshua Bell decades to finally work his way to Vivaldi's Four Seasons but the wait was worth it. Bravo, Mr Bell. My Highest Recommendation. Five VIBRANT Stars (iTunes download)


Marbert - Homme For Men 100ml EDT
Marbert - Homme For Men 100ml EDT
Offered by kosmetikkaufhaus
Price: £8.88

5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT "MARBERT HOMME" EAU DE TOILETTE SPRAY WHICH IS NOT THE ORIGINAL "MARBERT MAN" SCENT, 21 Jun. 2015
From Marbert Cosmetics in Dusseldorf Germany, the makers of the classic "Marbert Man" after shave lotion of decades gone by, comes a 21 century version called "Marbert Homme” in a spray bottle. This is different from the original and hard to find "Marbert Man” cologne and after shave lotion and it has an excellent fragrance and skin conditioner that is more suited for night time, rather than daytime. It projects well beyond the personal space for hours. I spray it in the hands and apply it after shaving and it works excellently in sealing the skin pores, sanitizing nicks, and leaving a nice, strong fragrance that lasts a few hours. Excellent Customer Service which detected a problem and solved it before shipping. Highly Recommended. Five FRAGRANT Stars! (1-100mL/3.4 ounce spray bottle)


Borkmann's Point: An Inspector van Veeteren Mystery by H?kan Nesser 3 edition (2012)
Borkmann's Point: An Inspector van Veeteren Mystery by H?kan Nesser 3 edition (2012)
by H?kan Nesser
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars MASTERPIECE!! INTERNATIONAL DEBUT OF AN AWARD-WINNING 'INSPECTOR VAN VEETEREN' MYSTERY, 21 Jun. 2015
Five 'TOTALLY ENJOYABLE' Stars! To me, it's a MASTERPIECE of a detective novel. Hakan Nesser is an awesome storyteller of the first water with this award-winning novel in it's international debut, transparently translated from Swedish. The premise: There's a brutal killer on the loose in the seaside town of Kaalbringen and everyone's terrified! Inspector Van Veeteren is called in to help the local police. They have a self-imposed 14 days to catch the killer or the case may go cold. The reader will realize early on that the novel's title itself is almost as elusive as the guilty.

Many of us will be meeting the relentless Detective Chief Inspector Van Veeteren for the first time and he is a no-nonsense, very detailed, logically-thinking, but personally flawed sleuth. And his investigative associates are no less impressive. Nesser grabs us from the first sentence and ramps up all the way to the end. Trust me, it gets better and more engrossing as it goes along. I actually slowed down to enjoy the paragraphs, re-reading some passages over and over, stretching a day's read over a few enjoyable days. The dinner scene, for instance, between Police Chief Bausen and Inspector Van Veeteren is a pure joy to read (and re-read) as they discuss the clues over chess, revealing the ability of this writer to create wonderous scenes and dialogue out of the most mundane of situations. Nesser even introduces us to the unknown guilty several times, early on, putting us directly in their mind.

Somewhat gory and very technical, this is a fabulous 'police procedural' with unusually deep, totally believable examinations of the human condition and of the crimes. All while letting us superimpose our own impressions of the physical characteristics on each player with just a few hints. He even boldly reveals the guilty to the observant reader by three quarters through the novel, so that we can watch the cat and mouse game that ensues from that point. For those who miss the big clue, the resolution is a double jolting surprise. Either way, Nesser's got us boxed in; right where he wants us. "The right questions...the right haystacks", Indeed! It doesn't get much better than this. Five MYSTERIOUS Stars My Highest Recommendation! (Thanks to Laurie Thompson for his wonderfull translation. This review is based on an unabridged Digital Download. Save a tree, download!


Preludio y Visión
Preludio y Visión
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars LATIN JAZZ LEGEND: EMILIANO SALVADOR IN A BLAZING PERFORMANCE, 21 Jun. 2015
This review is from: Preludio y Visión (MP3 Download)
Five BRILLIANT Star! "Puerto Prado” is one of the limited number of recordings by the legendary Cuban latin jazz composer, arranger, and pianist Emiliano Salvador. Salavador was part of a generational watershed of influential Cuban musicians in the 1980’s and 90’s who are now major stars in latin music. The song’s title, "Puerto Prado", refers to Santiago’s Cuban birthplace and features an octet of future stars jazz stars such as future alto and clarinet star Paquito D’Rivera, high note trumpet star Arturo Sandoval and Jorge Verona likewise on trumpet, Jorge Reyes or Feliciano Arango on bass, singers Bobby Carcases and Pablo Milanes, and percussionist José Luis Quintana.

“Preludio y visión” which appears on several Salvador albums, begins with a lovely rhapsodic solo piano in the prelude, shifting gears into a hard-driving Afro-Cuban rhythm with different ‘claves’ carried by the piano, conguero, and the trumpets, and the enthusiastic Spanish-language vocals by Carcases and Milanes. Of special interest is the inventive, fleet fingered Salvador piano solo which covers most of the piano keyboard and this popular song, arrangement, and album may have influenced a generation of latin pianists in the USA and internationally. Emiliano Salvador left the bandstand too soon at age 41 due to a heart attack in Havana, Cuba, but his music and his style continues to influence musicians and music, worldwide, through his recording and musical associates who still feel his impact. My Highest Recommendation. Five SIGNIFICANT Stars. (1-Remastered MP3 track. Time-6:46)


Live At The Village Vanguard [DVD] [2011]
Live At The Village Vanguard [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Freddie Hubbard

5.0 out of 5 stars FREDDIE HUBBARD “LIVE AT THE VILLAGE VANGUARD” with RON CARTER, CEDAR WALTON, LENNY WHITE, 15 Jun. 2015
Five BRILLIANT Stars. Great music and brief, incisive conversations. On an individual and solo basis, this is jazz at its best, starring Hall of Fame trumpeter Freddie Hubbard but this all-star session, also features Ron Carter on bass, Cedar Walton on piano, and Lenny White on drums, with each of the four musicians contributing one song. This Amazon Instant Video is another in the “Live at the Village Vanguard” series recorded at one of the world’s greatest jazz clubs located at the corner of 7th and 11th in Greenwich Village, New York City. I have been there many times and the music was marvelous. The commentary between songs is by club owner Max Gordon who talks briefly with each member of the quartet just before their own composition is performed, and noted jazz critic Gary Giddins gives other highly favorable recollections and opinions about the quartet members.

Each song is a superlative performance by this empthetic quartet. The set starts out with an uptempo number, "Happy Song", that allows Hubbard to demonstrate his impressive command of the trumpet and his iron-lipped embouchure which stood him in good stead until the very end of his career. Ron Carter’s “Little Waltz” has Hubbard on flugelhorn, soloing in a heartfelt manner, while Carter’s familiarity with the changes also results in a marvelous solo. Lenny White in the Gordon interview says his “Gurenica” is inspired by the Picasso painting and the performance has Spanish influences in the song. The upbeat “Fantasy in D” is by the genuine “melodist” Cedar Walton who has played the Vanguard dozens of times with different groups and singer Abbey Lincoln: Hubbard is an explosive “trill”-master and humorous to boot, while contrastingly, Walton is lyrical in his solo. HIghly Recommended. Five EXCEPTIONAL Stars! (Amazon Instant Video, Color, Time-57:46. Directed by Bruce Buschel. Some slight synching problems occurred when viewed over an Amazon Instant Video on computer via Wi-Fi, the sound and picture were slightly out of synch, but when viewed on a flat screen with direct connectivity, everything was in synch.)


The Break Up [DVD]
The Break Up [DVD]
Dvd ~ Vince Vaughn
Offered by Champion Toys
Price: £1.69

5.0 out of 5 stars THE BREAKUP: A HUMOROUS LOOK AT THE OTHER SIDE OF ROMANCE, STARRING ANISTON & VAUGHN, 15 Jun. 2015
This review is from: The Break Up [DVD] (DVD)
Four and a half ENTERTAINING Stars! "The Breakup” follows the misadventures of a couple that met, moved in and began hitting some significant relational speed bumps two years later that cause a rift. The big sticking point-a jointly owned condo in the Windy City. With an all star cast and superb performances by Vince Vaughn in a great portrayal as Gary, the gorgeous Jennifer Anniston as Brooke, the irrepressible Joey Lauren Adams as Addie, and the ubiquitious Cole Hauser and Vincent D’Onofrio (who lifts every scene he’s in) as Gary’s brothers in a mobile tourist business . Also appearing are Judy Davis in a scene-chewing role as Marilyn Dean, a brief cameo by Anne-Margaret, Vince Vaughn’s real-life father Vernon Vaughn as Anniston’s father, "Iron Man" director Jon Favreau as Johnny O the close friend, and a scene-stealing performance by John Michael Higgins. This is a very enjoyable relationship movie about modern realities and attempts to solve them in realistic portrayals by a great cast of actors. So enjoyable, I rented it twice and Aniston fans, of which I am one, will love this movie, as will Vaughn fans. Directed by Peyton Reed. Highly Recommended comedy. Four and a half ENJOYABLE Stars! (Rated PG-13 with brief nudity and profanity. Closed Captioned, Time-1:47.)


kostelanetz sound of today LP
kostelanetz sound of today LP

5.0 out of 5 stars ANDRE KOSTELANEZT & ORCHESTRA PLAY MASTERFUL VERSIONS OF STANDARDS, 14 Jun. 2015
This ‘easy listening’ album of songs of yesterday or any day, many of which have become popular music standards, get the Kostelanezt treatment with “interpretations that exemplify all of Kostelantetz’ accustomed flair and originality." The aural basis of many Andre Kostelaneztz song interpretations is his lovely and powerful string section, with the addition of brass, reeds, pianos, guitars, mandolins, percussion, and voices, either taking the lead or following the strings. In addition, he switches the instrumental leads throughout to make each song a singular experience within the album. Sometimes he mixed instruments and voices in unique combinations.

"Born Free” is defined by strings, mandolins, and voices in a marvelous performance that follows the sheet music, adds embellishments, & builds to a crescendo. The lovely “Dommage, Dommage” (Too Bad, Too Bad), a past hit by pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck, is illuminated by strings and voices adding a different flair to the song. The enchanting “Games That Lovers Play” is led by pianos and strings. “In The Arms of Love” (from the movie “What Did You Do In The War, Daddy?”) gets a rousing orchestra treatment. And, In what could be the definitive instrumental version,“Summer Wind” and “Strangers In The Night", so closely associated with Frank Sinatra, are both defined by saxophones and guitars, until the strings take over. The theme from “A Man And A Woman” gets a shifting-frame work, including harpsicord, strings with brass and voices treatment. Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sounds of Silence” gets a fabulous, energized performance. “Cabaret” is mercurial, using pizzicato strings plus vibes and a dixieland band. “Guantanamera” gets the strings and ‘mariachi’ trumpets combination of sounds. And perhaps, best of all, is a spectacular “Alfie” is marvelous, getting a rhapsodic treatment with trombone, trumpet, voice and solo violin, stating the theme over background strings. A Highly Recommended “Easy Listening, Large Orchestra” Andre Kostelantezt experience playing well known and obscure standards. Five SMOOTH Stars! (11 tracks, Time-28:02)


95ers: Time Runners [DVD] [2013] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
95ers: Time Runners [DVD] [2013] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £12.16

5.0 out of 5 stars "95ers: Time Runners" IS A GOOD TIME-TRAVEL MOVIE BUT LACKING CONTEXT, 14 Jun. 2015
"Target is Rift Born, Class One” - female voice in the future of “95ers: Time Runners"

Three FASCINATING Stars. “95ers" is a ‘time travel' movie with excellent actors, an interesting plot, and unique CGI effects created to display unusual' time travel’ characteristics, and some scenes from a future battle. The plot shifts between a present day scientist and his gifted wife and a future reality where a war is underway, but no clear explanation is given about the opponents and about the conflict. The scientist disappears and the pregnant wife must continue working in a job for the FBI amid unusual events around her at certain locales and her investigations. The writers needed to tie up the many loose ends, explain the colloquial jargon, and produce a needed 'pay off' at the end, but the movie remained too disjointed, even when the "big reveal” took place. This one had all of the necessary components-actors, locales, sets, direction, and most of a script, it just needed to identify the opposing forces in the conflict, the point of contention, and the elements stated above to make more sense. Even so, it stayed interesting to the very end as the anticipation built. Starring Alesandra Durham, Joel Bishop, Terence Goodman, Ian Paul Freeth, Chris Laird, and others. Directed by Thomas Gomez Durham. Recommended for 'time travel' movie fans and it is rated at Three CHALLENGING Stars! (Amazon Instant Video, NR-not rated, Close Captioned. Time-1:37)


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