Profile for RBSProds > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by RBSProds
Top Reviewer Ranking: 514
Helpful Votes: 1042

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
RBSProds "rbsprods" (Deep in the heart of Texas)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
I Walk a Little Faster
I Walk a Little Faster
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars CHIARA PANCALDI AND TRIO IN AN ILLUMINATING “I WALK A LITTLE FASTER”,, 26 July 2015
“..build a little stronger castle in the air.” - Coleman and Leigh

Five LOVELY Stars! “I Walk A Little Faster” is the title track by jazz stylist Chiara Pancaldi who appears with her accomplished trio of the renowned pianist Cyrus Chestnut, and the talented rhythm tandem of John Webber on double bass and Joe Farnsworth on drums. This is an excellent version of the awesome but somewhat obscure Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh ballad, well known to Tony Bennett fans from the 1960s but not too many performances by other singers since that time. Beginning with a haunting introduction, sparkling comping and solo by Chestnut and facile solo from Webber that set and sustain the mood, Pancaldi uses her attractive sweet voice, spot-on diction, and inherent swing to spin her own memorable twist to this marvelous hopeful though lovelorn lyric. Highly Recommended. Five APPEALING Stars (1 MP3 track. Time-6:03)


Life Goes on
Life Goes on
Offered by langton_info_england
Price: £34.90

5.0 out of 5 stars JAZZ SINGER STEVIE HOLLAND’S MARVELOUS “LIFE GOES ON”, 26 July 2015
This review is from: Life Goes on (Audio CD)
Five ENJOYABLE Stars! “Life Goes On” is the fifth release by jazz vocalist and musical star Stevie Holland and it displays her impressive ability to employ her compelling voice, range, beat, and nuances on the songs selected, the result of which reveals her as a special singer in both the jazz and popular music genres. Possessing a warm honeyed voice with a fetching vibrato and infectious internal swing, she presents an enjoyable session of three popular standards from Tin Pan Alley, two Holland originals, one obscure Steven Sondheim song from Broadway, one James Taylor tome and three appealing off-the-beaten track songs. She is ably supported by the talented rhythm section of pianist Randy Ingram, double bassist Peter Brendler, and drummer Jeff Davis. Holland’s musical associate and spouse Gary William Friedman arranged all of the songs and shares co-composer honors with Holland on two songs. Her special guest is the Grammy-winning trumpet legend Nicholas Payton who solos passionately throughout his three appearances.

The popular Mercer/Carmichael standard “Skylark” is normally a ballad, but gets a different twist as Holland starts out of tempo, then ushered into mid tempo by Payton, where Holland sings this chestnut with heartfelt gusto against a backbeat. The standard “Clear Out Of This World” has effectively dissonate strings backing Holland’s soaring voice. A swell "Tea For Two” has Holland reminising on Joe Mooney’s intro in a humorous manner, then beautifully toying with the lyrics and the beat, while Ingram lays out an outstanding jaunty solo. My favorite track, the lovely ballad “April Snow” gets a very sensitive, ardent reading from Holland’s warm voice and Ingram is in an Evans-like mood. “99 Miles From LA” is magical, as Holland, the rhythm section, strings, and the arrangement push the intensity, as her imagination plays with each meaningful clue along the highway. Sondheim's "Not While I'm Around" lets Holland show her Broadway approach with a sterling solo from Payton. A splendid performance by a great singer. My Highest Recommendation. Five IMPRESSIVE Stars! (Produced by Grammy-award winner Todd Barkan. 10 tracks. Time-40:18. CD provided for review.)


Search for Peace
Search for Peace
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars "HEADS OF STATE" ARE MASTERS OF THE ART OF JAZZ: BARTZ, WILLIS, WILLIAMS, & FOSTER,, 26 July 2015
This review is from: Search for Peace (Audio CD)
“Heads of State” is an all-star quartet of top-flight and renowned jazz musicians, decades into their careers as ‘masters of the art’, who began their most recent musical odyssey as the "Larry Willis All Stars" at the Smoke Jazz Supper Club in September 2014, then thankfully decided to keep the band together, elevate everyone in the group’s title to leader status, and document their marvelous music on this studio recording. Featuring Gary Bartz on alto and soprano saxes, Larry Willis on piano, Buster Williams on double bass, and Al Foster on drums. Either member of the quartet could have led and all members have played with the cream of the crop of jazz musicians and each other over the decades.

Bartz’ theme statement on John Coltrane's “Impressions” humorously alludes to “Cherokee” at the end and kicks into an urgent alto solo that builds and builds. The beautiful, patiently-developed 11 minute “Search For Peace” is a Tyner composition with wonderful solos from Willis, Williams, and Bartz on alto. Jackie McLean’s “Capucine Swing” is a marvelous mellow solo vehicle. Bartz’ twisted “Soulstice” is a vehicle similar to “Impressions” with changes that are fodder for great solos, especially Willis and Foster who makes his drums sing. The Bartz composition “Uncle Bubba”, which was Monk’s nieces nickname for Bartz, is a nice blues that Bartz recorded with McCoy Tyner years ago. The album concludes with 4 ballads at differing tempos: “Crazy He Calls Me”, Benny Carter’s “Summer Serenade”, Strayhorn’s “Lotus Blossum”, and “I Wish I Knew” with Bartz on soprano reminding us of Coltrane’s “Ballads”. Highly Recommended. Five SWINGING Stars. (Smoke Sessions Records. Produced by Paul Stache. 9 tracks. Time-68:07 "Who’s that swing?")


Oceans In The Sky
Oceans In The Sky
Price: £0.79

5.0 out of 5 stars A DIFFERENT, SCINTILLATING “OCEANS IN THE SKY” BY THE STEVE KUHN TRIO, 26 July 2015
This review is from: Oceans In The Sky (MP3 Download)
Jazz piano legend Steve Kuhn first introduced us to his fascinating song “Oceans in the Sky” on the album “Remembering Tommorrow” with a superb performance that includes the empathetic support of Drummer Joey Baron and bassist David Finck. Now on the album of the same name, “Oceans in the Sky”, he increases the intensity level with a stunning performance that includes aural thunder, lightning, and torrential rain showing off his potent independent left hand figurations in the process to go along with his tremendous right hand improvisations. Kuhn receives great support from bass legend Miroslav Vitous and Aldo Romano on drums. My Highest Recommendation. Five THRILLING Stars. (1 MP3 track, Time-6:12)


Mulher Sem Raz„o
Mulher Sem Raz„o
Price: £0.89

5.0 out of 5 stars ADRIANA CALCANHOTTO'S HEARTBREAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL "MULHER SEM RAZ√O, 23 July 2015
This review is from: Mulher Sem Raz„o (MP3 Download)
From the album “Maré” (Tide) comes 'Brazilian popular music' (MPB) singer, songwriter, musician Adriana Calcanhotto in a yearning performance of the song “Mulher Sem Raz„o” (Unreasonable Woman). Backed by a trombone choir and hot percussion section, Calcanhotto plays guitar as she hums, scats, and sings this beautiful song. One of Brazil’s finest and most-talented MPB Divas. Highly Recommended. Five LONGING Stars. (1 MP3 track. Time- 3:58)


Standard Bearer
Standard Bearer

5.0 out of 5 stars WALLACE RONEY WITH AN ALL STAR GROUP PLAYS STELLAR “STANDARDS", 23 July 2015
This review is from: Standard Bearer (Audio CD)
Five EXCEPTIONAL Stars! This Muse session captures award-winning trumpet legend Wallace Roney on his third Muse recording in 1989 and playing at a very high level with an all-star quartet consisting of tenor saxophone stylist Gary Thomas, renowned pianist Mulgrew Miller, the inventive pulse of Charnett Moffett on double bass, and the fiery jazz-rock drummer Cindy Blackman-Santana. He also performs with a quartet on two numbers, and an unusual trio on the final track “Loose” which is anything but loose. Roney dedicated this album to the late, great trumpet master Woody Shaw. The "Standard Bearer" album title could not only refer to the jazz and Great American Songbook standards played here, but also Roney carrying the Miles Davis standard although Shaw, Lee Morgan, and others are readily apparent in his style on this early recording, much like Jon Faddis carries on the Dizzy Gillespie school, and others carry the Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard, and Louis Armstrong banners in their trumpet styles.

The session begins with Roney not using the familiar trumpet-tenor tandem statement of “The Way You Look Tonight” but with two incredibly well-recorded sounds: the deep walking sound of "Net Man" Moffet’s then Roney’s golden-sounding trumpet tone on an inventive solo, followed by a very lyrical drum solo by Blackman-Santana, then Thomas’ spare ‘sheets of sound’ solo way behind the beat. “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” features an exciting tenor solo by Thomas and Roney. The classic “Don’t Blame Me” features the quartet beginning with a lovely intro by Miller and, once again, dispelling the rap that Roney sounds like his mentor Miles Davis, a lovely individualistic Roney solo, with Miller waxing both rhapsodic and bluesy. Dizzy’s “Con Alma” drops the expected latin beat for straight ahead accented beat from Blackman-Santana and invigorating solos from Roney, Miller, and especially Thomas. It’s very interesting listening to Gary Thomas creatively taking on Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” which begins disguised, with pure fire from Roney then Roney and Thomas trade solos. “When Your Lover Has Gone” gets an appealing solo from Roney but Miller takes solo honors while dropping in a nice “I’m Beginning To See The Light” quote at the end. “Loose” is a blazing trumpet and rhythm-only performance by Roney, Blackman Santans, and percussionist Steve Berrios, featuring some amazing Roney trumpet and drum flourishes from Cindy. Wallace Roney changes up the lineup and arrangements and executes a enjoyable three-quarters of an hour of prime jazz. Highly Recommended. Five DELIGHTFUL Stars. (Muse. 7 tracks. Time-43:49. Recorded with excellent sound by Rudy Van Gelder at his famous Englewood Cliffs, NJ studio.)


Piano Concertos/Zinman, Grimaud
Piano Concertos/Zinman, Grimaud
Price: £10.68

5.0 out of 5 stars SOARING & INSPIRING: HÉLÈNE GRIMAUD & THE BSO PLAY GERSHWIN & RAVEL, 18 July 2015
From the esteemed Erato recording company comes an interesting and beguiling performance by the 27 year old piano virtuoso Hélène Grimaud and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the baton of David Zinman in 1997 playing works by George Gershwin and Maurice Ravel. These works sonically complement each other very well and present a balanced-mood listening experience. In fact, Ravel and Gershwin formed a friendship during Ravel's triumphant visit to the USA. Ravel even admirably 'quoted' Gershwin during the "Perpetuum mobile" movement of the "Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Major" where we hear echos of "Rhapsody in Blue". Grimaud was already an award-winning globally-acknowledged young individualist when these were recorded.

Gershwin's two most famous works, "Rhapsody in Blue" which was commissioned by famed jazz big band leader Paul Whiteman and "An American in Paris", recalling his visit to the "City of Lights" were single movements with multiple themes and rhythms within each work. But "Piano Concerto in F" (major) is written in a more formal classical music format with 3 movements: the soaring, multi-tempo Allegro movement with its beautiful melancholy main theme gives Grimaud and orchestra a great large-scale sonic canvas; the languid, bluesy Adagio-Andante con motto movement with piano figurations that are heavily quoted in jazz solos of today (or was Gershwin the one being influenced?); and the urgent bombastic Allegro agitato uniting previous themes, all three movements getting a marvelous musical ride by Grimaud and company. It is a soaring, beautiful performance from Grimaud supported and complemented by Zinman and the BSO.

Ravel's "Piano Concerto in G" was dedicated to and premiered by famed pianist Marguerite Long and its 3 movements are annotated as Allegramente, a whimsical, mostly uptempo, at times explosive movement seemingly influenced by Ravel's introduction to jazz in New York and the blues in New Orleans during his USA tour; the 9 minute Adagio assai, a gentle dissonant waltz, full of swirling pensive reveries and raindrop figurations, and is my favorite movement; and the uptempo Pesto movement has more orchestral whimsy and restless repetitive figures for the display of Grimaud's virtuosic pianism, seeming to end prematurely. Ravel almost 'disconnects' the pianist's left and right hands at times, mesmerizingly flying in different directions.

Today, Hélène Grimaud is viewed as a supremely potent pianistic iconoclast with her own vision of how to approach a piece, and 17 years prior, during this chapter of "The Erato Story" she was no less adventurous, reveling in the music of both Gershwin and Ravel with the BSO. The sound for both piano and orchestra has a somewhat distant aspect, inviting this listener to turn it up, pulling one into the sonic ambience of the performance, and if that is what Erato intended, it works. Kudos to Mlle Grimaud, Mr Zinman and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. One of my favorites, this one gets My Highest Recommendation. Five ENJOYABLE Stars. (6 DDD tracks; Time-54:47)


Orphan Black - Series 2 [DVD]
Orphan Black - Series 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tatiana Maslany
Price: £10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars TATIANA MASLANY IS MORE BRILLANT, AS "ORPHAN BLACK" 'UPS THE ANTE' IN SEASON 2, 14 July 2015
This review is from: Orphan Black, Season 2 (Amazon Instant Video)
Five MYSTERIOUS Stars. Tatiana Maslany continues her brilliant performance and even ‘ups the ante’, as does the rest of the cast. Season 2 introduces a number of surprises and characters that keep the tension going through to the end. If you liked the first season of “Orphan Black”, season two will bend your mind more than Season 1. The producers were brilliant in bringing back ’the towhead' and introducing new characters such as the Michelle Forbes’ (Ensign Ro of Star Trek TNG) character. They probably should have kept one of the characters, who came and went very quickly, but otherwise they are making brilliant choices that will keep the audience guessing and give a great setup for season three. There is one amazing scene at the 30 minute point of episode 10 (how did they do that?) that is mind-blowing and the episode ends with even new revelations, leading to Season 3. There are also continuted great supporting performances by Jordan Gravis, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Dylan Bruce, Kevin Hanchard, Delphine Cormier, Skyler Wexler, and others. Highly Recommended with rating cautions noted below. Buckle up for some amazing scenes. Five MIND-BOGGLING Stars. (BBC. Amazon Instant Video. 10 episodes. Season 2. Rated TV-MA, Color, Closed Captioned. Profanity, gore, and socially-challenging situations. The series is currently in Season 3.)


LOU RAWLS / LES McCANN LP, STORMY MONDAY (US ISSUE VG/EX VINYL)
LOU RAWLS / LES McCANN LP, STORMY MONDAY (US ISSUE VG/EX VINYL)

5.0 out of 5 stars STORMY MONDAY-A CLASSIC BLUES & JAZZ PERFORMANCE BY LOU RAWLS & LES McCANN LTD., 14 July 2015
“They call it Stormy Monday, but Tuesday's just as bad.” - attributed to blues singer/guitarist T-Bone Walker

Five AMAZING Stars! This recording was the one that really launched the great blues, soul, jazz and pop singer Lou Rawls. No matter how many other records he might have made before, this is the one that brought him front and center and showed Rawls in full vocal relief, riding besides the great jazz trio, Les McCann, Ltd, singing the blues in a truly memorable performance. The trio consists of marvelous musicians: McCann on piano, Leroy Vinnegar on bass, and Ron Jefferson on drums. Recorded in one session, following the Les McCann Ltd. performance at The Renaissance club on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, the group assembled in the Capitol Records building early in the morning and finished the session at sunrise. Rawls was one of those rare performers who arrived on the music scene as a fully developed singer. This was the beginning of a long career on records, in live performances, and on TV where Rawls had his own show.

This recording has a great blues feeling to it with a dash of jazz from the McCann trio. The opening T-Bone Walker song “(They call it) Stormy Monday” sets the stage and despite the subject matter, it is presented as a jaunty performance by Rawls with his impeccible diction and swing, pushed along by McCann, Jefferson, and Vinnegar. On “See See Rider,” Rawls avoids the Lloyd Price approach and uses the ‘rough lyrics’ about romance and crime by a jilted lover who is plotting to “catch me a Cannonball” train. “God Bless The Child” is a great emotional performance by Rawls which still stands as one of the best renditions over the years. “Willow Weep For Me” is yet another definitive, bluesy performance. Big Bill Broonzy’s “In The Evening (When The Sun Goes Down)” and “Tain’t Nobody's Business" are swinging mid-tempo performances featuring Rawls as blues shouter, with a very nice McCann solo. The emotional “Lost and Lookin’” is a memorable heartfelt performance by both Rawls and McCann. On this recording, Lou Rawls is caught at the beginning of a great singing career, ably abbetted by the Les McCann Limited Trio. My Highest Recommendation! Five BLUESY Stars! (Capitol/EMI records. Produced by NIck Venet. 10 tracks. Time-37:00)


Chet Baker - Candy [DVD] [2011]
Chet Baker - Candy [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Chet Baker
Price: £13.75

5.0 out of 5 stars "CANDY" -TRUMPET LEGEND CHET BAKER PLAYS & SINGS IN AN INTIMATE TRIO & DUO SESSION, 13 July 2015
Five MELLOW Stars. This Amazon Instant Video, “Cherry” captures mid-career Hall of Fame trumpeter and singer Chet Baker in 1985 in Europe. Also featured are the piano stylings of Micel Graillier and Jean Louis Rassinfosse on bass, with Red Mitchell serving as interviewer, composer of one song, and as a surprisingly good pianist. The set begins with an excellent version of the standard “Candy” with Baker smoothly singing the lyrics in a straight-forward manner with slight embellishments, followed by a marvelous solo by Graillier, who demonstrates considerable pianistic chops throughout. “Love for Sale” and “Sad Walk” are lovely ballads where Baker sounds almost like a fluegelhorn with his softness of tone. “Red’s Blues” has a tricky beat in the statement that smooths out nicely during the improvisations. “Bye Bye Blackbird” and “Nardis” are marvelous interpretations and could be in tribute to Miles Davis whom Baker had a keen competition in the jazz poll trumpet awards of the 1950s. And the icing on the cake is Baker playing with bassist Red Mitchell on piano who was “waxing rhapsodic” in demonstrating some chords he had discovered for “My Romance” while Baker adds his own discoveries. This is a great introduction to Chet Baker as a musician and singer (although not enough singing in this performance) with able support from Michel Graillier and Jean Louis Rassinfosse. Highly Recommended. Five SWINGING Stars. (A Lennart Wetterholm film. Produced by Rune Ofwerman. Not Rated, Closed Captioned, Acceptable SD quality video and excellent sound. 7 tracks. Time-55 minutes.)


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