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RSProds "rbsprods" (Deep in the heart of Texas)
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Blue Moods
Blue Moods
Price: £6.94

5.0 out of 5 stars EARLY MILES: EXCELLENT PERFORMANCES BY AN ALL-STAR GROUP IN A "BLUE MOOD", 27 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Blue Moods (Audio CD)
This recording, "Blue Moods", on the fabled Debut Records label, features legendary, innovative Hall of Fame trumpeter/flugelhornist Miles Davis, along with 3 other notable innovators in their own right: composer, arranger, leader Teddy Charles on vibes, composer, arranger, leader Charles Mingus on double bass, and masterful drummer Elvin Jones, of the John Coltrane quartet, plus the addition of Duke Ellington trombonist Britt Woodman who is important for both solos here and the background harmonic shadings to most of these songs that helps create the `blue' lyrical mood. Miles had just re-launched his career after enjoying the benefits of his outstanding performance at the Newport Jazz Festival with Thelonious Monk in 1955 playing a stunning "Round Midnight", just a few months before these sessions. This recording presents excellent performances of 4 standards from the Great American Songbook: 3 arranged by Charles and the 4th by Mingus ("Alone Together").

The 'best of the best' begins with sensitive, patient, and inventive presentations by the group of the standards "Easy Living" and "Nature Boy" both with Miles using the Harmon mute and leading the way on theme statements and solos. Teddy Charles and Charles Mingus solo imaginatively with Mingus' piano-like, facile pizzicato style being especially striking in execution and imagination. Mingus' very effective arrangement of "Alone Together" is built upon a latin beat theme statement that breaks out into 4/4 for solos. But perhaps the best performance is on the marvelous Teddy Charles arrangement of "There's No You", which despite the song's title, gets a bouncy, ebuillent performance by Miles, Charles, Mingus, and Elvin Jones giving early signs of his unique drum style that would make him one of the greatest innovative and influential drummers in jazz history. This is a timeless jazz performance by a different type of 'Miles Davis Quintet' getting a totally different sound from the addition of Teddy Charles' vibraharp, Britt Woodman's trombone, and Elvin Jones' drumming. Five SWINGING Stars! (4 tracks. Time: 26:40. Extensive historical notes are by Bill Coss, Metronome magazine editor, giving many insights into this session. Debut Records was originated by Charles Mingus, his wife Celia, and drummer Max Roach. Historically, after this session, Miles would go on to record "Cookin'", "Workin'", "Relaxin'", and "Steamin'" on Prestige Records. "Kind of Blue", "Sketches of Spain", the 2 historic quintets, and his innovative fusion efforts on Columbia Records lay far ahead: all the way to the Downbeat and Rock and Roll halls of fame.)


Prokofiev: War Sonatas
Prokofiev: War Sonatas
Price: £7.49

5.0 out of 5 stars BORIS GILTBURG's SUPERB EXPOSTITON OF PROKOFIEV'S "WAR SONATAS", 27 Jan. 2015
These are outstanding, inspired performances of the challenging, emotional Sergei Prokofiev (so-called) "War Sonatas" by the multiple award-winning Russian piano virtuoso Boris Giltburg. Prokofiev's vivid expositions illuminate the vicissitudes of war as it affected Europe and more specifically the Russian country and people during World War II, prior to and during Hitler's invasion of Russia. Prokofiev and other important persons were even relocated twice by the government to safe havens as he was finishing these sonatas, originally conceptualized in 1939, and other famous works under the cloud of war. These works captivated and were premiered by two of the greatest pianists of the 20th Century: Sviatoslav Richter, who did the first two sonatas, and the third by Emil Gilels. Sometimes militaristic and aggressive, sometimes gentle and reflective, but always virtuosic, Giltburg masterfully brings out the best of Piano Sonata No. 6 in A major, Opus 82 which sets the stage in the Allegro moderato movement with marching cadences, war sequences with "col pugno" elements (striking the keys with a fist) like exploding bombs and ringing arpeggios like firing weapons, giving way to the Allegretto movement which has a beautiful theme fragmented using staccato. Piano Sonata No. 7 in B♭major, Op. 83 has Giltburg giving a glorious account of the rapid tempo and arpeggios of the Vivace movement with its war references and periods of calm, with allusions tied back to the Sonata No. 6 military theme. Likewise for the triple notational Allegro inquieto - Poco meno - Andantino movement. Giltburg's performance of Piano Sonata No. 8 Piano in B♭major, Op. 84, dedicated to Prokofiev's future wife, Mira Mendelson, begins gently & beautifully in the "Andante dolce", and alternates between turbulence & intensity and beauty. There is great charm in the theme song of the lovely prelude-like Andante sognando movement. The famed virtuosic Vivace - Allegro ben marcato - Andantino - Vivace, come prima movement returns to the rolling martial themes, melancholy, with periods of gentle reflection vividly brought to life by Giltburg's remarkable pianistic prowess. Outstanding performances by Boris Giltburg of 3 major Sergei Prokofiev "War Sonatas", tied forever to the upheavals of Prokofiev's life and to the circumstances of World War II. My Highest Recommendation. Five AMAZING Stars! (10 tracks; Time: 72 minutes: 31 seconds)


A Taste of Honey
A Taste of Honey
Price: £0.79

5.0 out of 5 stars SINGLE TRACK REVIEW: OUTSTANDING LLOYD G. MAYER ORGAN TRACK WITH OLIVER NELSON's ALL-STAR BIG BAND, 26 Jan. 2015
This review is from: A Taste of Honey (MP3 Download)
Five SOARING Stars. Organist Lloyd G. Mayer made a splash with his "A Taste of Honey" album on the United Artists Jazz label supported by composer, arranger, saxophonist Oliver Nelson's 14 man orchestra. The Grammy-winning title song is given a wild high-flying 6/8 time ride by Nelson's band featuring Doc Severinsen, the leader of the Johnny Carson "Tonight" TV show band, on trumpet playing the bridge with Clark Terry, along with the likes of Barry Galbraith on guitar, Urbie Green and Britt Woodman on trombones, Don Butterfield on tuba, George Duvivier on bass, and Ray Barretto on bongos. But the stars here, outside of the excellent band, are Mayer's screaming organ improvisations and the big band drumming clinic put on by Severinsen associate from the "Tonight" show, Ed Shaughnessy, relentlessly driving the band forward. My Highest Recommendation. Five SWINGING Stars! (1-MP3 Track; Time: 3:52)


Best Of
Best Of
Price: £6.49

5.0 out of 5 stars ELIS REGINA'S FIRST RECORDINGS BUT NOT HER "BEST", AS THE TITLE STATES, 23 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Best Of (MP3 Download)
Four MISLEADING Stars! This recording is not "the best of Elis Regina" but it contains her first studio recordings. It historically captures the Porto Alegre teenager, at ages 16 and 17, on her two initial trips into a Rio de Janeiro recording studio at the very beginning of her legendary career in 1961 and '62. And for her age, she is AWESOME!! In front of various musical groups ranging from small combos to orchestras with full strings and vocal choruses, a youthful, daring Elis delivers powerhouse, captivating performances, over and over. From sambas, cha chas, bossa novas, tangos, waltzes, and mambos to familiar American rock ballads of the 60's, she rises gloriously above each song. The producers spared no expense on lavish arrangements and excellent musicians who were "laying it all out there" on the good stuff. They were clearly searching for her musical identity for her real future career. These tracks are from her first recording

With a fluid beautiful voice, precise timing, nuances exploding everywhere,'scatting' easily, and arcing into the upper stratosphere of her voice at will, Elis was clearly stoked. Her very first recordings of "Da Sorte" and "Dor De Cotovelo" (Jealousy) with the 'B side' of "Samba Feito Pra Mim", are included here, remastered. Other wonderful hIgh points are "Poema", "Mesmo de Mentir", and the very fun "Pororo-Po Po", among others. Really wonderful performances by this youngster.

But the 'piece d'resistance' is the stunningly gorgeous tango-like "Cancao De Enganar Despedida" with it's breathtaking stringwork. It's a timeless thing of awesome beauty featuring a dynamic arrangement, wonderful musicianship, and Elis beautifully soaring straight through, with almost imperceptable nuances. For a 17 year old to produce this impeccably controlled performance is amazing. It ranks among her very finest work and has been 'ripped' to my personal "Best of the Best CD" compilation. And right behind it is the sensous, scintillating "Nos Teus Labios". This one recording picks and choses various tracks from "Viva a Brotolândia" (Long Live Teenage Land) and "Poema". On other hand, there are admittedly dated songs out of the 24 tracks which attempt to appeal exclusively to the 'teenyboppers' of the 60's and she even sings these into submission. Sound quality is good, but thin at rare times when they required her to step back from the mike.

Four years after this historic recording, Elis Regina would stand on a stage in the spotlight of a national singing/songwriting contest, arms alternating in a pendalum-like manner, unleashing her art for all to see, singing the politically-sensitive "Arrastao" ("Pull The Trawling Net") by Edu Lobo and Brasil would fall in love with her. Her life and Brazilian Popular Music would alter their courses forever. In a short period of time, she would become Brazil's top selling vocal artist, breaking Carmen Miranda's sales records. But this CD is where it all started. Further "best" songs that lay ahead would be "Madalena", "Retrato Em Branco E Preto" and "Águas De Março" with Tom Jobim, "Aquarela Do Brasil" with Toots Thielemans, elevating the music of new stars Milton Nascimento, Ivan Lins, and many more. Very Definitely Recommended for historical purposes. Five Big Stars for the awesome teenage Elis Regina, Four Stars Overall. (18-MP3 tracks.)


The Best of Elis Regina (All Tracks Remastered)
The Best of Elis Regina (All Tracks Remastered)
Price: £7.49

5.0 out of 5 stars ELIS REGINA'S FIRST RECORDINGS BUT NOT HER "BEST", AS THE TITLE STATES, 23 Jan. 2015
Four MISLEADING Stars! This recording is not "the best of Elis Regina" but it contains her first studio recordings. It historically captures the Porto Alegre teenager, at ages 16 and 17, on her two initial trips into a Rio de Janeiro recording studio at the very beginning of her legendary career in 1961 and '62. And for her age, she is AWESOME!! In front of various musical groups ranging from small combos to orchestras with full strings and vocal choruses, a youthful, daring Elis delivers powerhouse, captivating performances, over and over. From sambas, cha chas, bossa novas, tangos, waltzes, and mambos to familiar American rock ballads of the 60's, she rises gloriously above each song. The producers spared no expense on lavish arrangements and excellent musicians who were "laying it all out there" on the good stuff. They were clearly searching for her musical identity for her real future career.

With a fluid beautiful voice, precise timing, nuances exploding everywhere,'scatting' easily, and arcing into the upper stratosphere of her voice at will, Elis was clearly stoked. Her very first recordings of "Da Sorte" and "Dor De Cotovelo" (Jealousy) with the 'B side' of "Samba Feito Pra Mim", are included here, remastered. Other wonderful hIgh points are "Poema", "Mesmo de Mentir", and the very fun "Pororo-Po Po", among others. Really wonderful performances by this youngster.

But the 'piece d'resistance' is the stunningly gorgeous tango-like "Cancao De Enganar Despedida" with it's breathtaking stringwork. It's a timeless thing of awesome beauty featuring a dynamic arrangement, wonderful musicianship, and Elis beautifully soaring straight through, with almost imperceptable nuances. For a 17 year old to produce this impeccably controlled performance is amazing. It ranks among her very finest work and has been 'ripped' to my personal "Best of the Best CD" compilation. And right behind it is the sensous, scintillating "Nos Teus Labios". This one recording picks and choses various tracks from "Viva a Brotolândia" (Long Live Teenage Land) and "Poema". On other hand, there are admittedly dated songs out of the 18 tracks which attempt to appeal exclusively to the 'teenyboppers' of the 60's and she even sings these into submission. Sound quality is good, but thin at rare times when they required her to step back from the mike.

Four years after this historic recording, Elis Regina would stand on a stage in the spotlight of a national singing/songwriting contest, arms alternating in a pendalum-like manner, unleashing her art for all to see, singing the politically-sensitive "Arrastao" ("Pull The Trawling Net") by Edu Lobo and Brasil would fall in love with her. Her life and Brazilian Popular Music would alter their courses forever. In a short period of time, she would become Brazil's top selling vocal artist, breaking Carmen Miranda's sales records. But this CD is where it all started. Further "best" songs that lay ahead would be "Madalena", "Retrato Em Branco E Preto" and "Águas De Março" with Tom Jobim, "Aquarela Do Brasil" with Toots Thielemans, elevating the music of new stars Milton Nascimento, Ivan Lins, and many more. Very Definitely Recommended for historical purposes. Five Big Stars for the awesome teenage Elis Regina, Four Stars Overall. (18-MP3 tracks.)


Crossy Road
Crossy Road
Price: £0.00

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "CROSSY ROAD" VIDEO GAME: A "CHICKEN CROSSING THE ROAD" VIDEO GAME, 23 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Crossy Road (App)
Three CHALLENGING Stars! This is a very nice update on the old "Chicken Crossing The Road" video games where a chicken had to cross in between numerous vehicles to get to the other side of the road, where the game ended.

In "Crossy Road", the "crossings" must be made while avoiding cars, trucks, taxis, and trains on single or multiple traffic and railway lanes in moderate to heavy traffic. In addition, there are numerous rivers with planks floating on them that must be negotiated. Shrubs and other obstacles can prevent getting on and off of the traffic lanes. There are "c" prize points along the way as advances are made. BUT, the game creates urgency by moving the chicken off the screen if it does advance, and if the chicken pauses for more than 5 seconds in one place, an eagle dives in and carries the chicken away, ending the game. Each jump counts as a point and adds up towards higher level achievements, prizes, and other surprises.

In testing using the Amazon Fire TV platform and game controller, in 4 cases, after hours of enjoyable, challenging play and achieving a high level, the game froze all further progress, although traffic sounds were still heard. The game had to be deleted in those instances from Fire TV and re-loaded causing accumulated points to be lost. During play, the chicken icon can be replaced from the lineup of other higher level animals such as a duck, penguin, emu, platypus, and others. High points or "Amazon coins" can be used to buy them or they can be bought with money. This is a very challenging and addictive game that is Definitely Recommended, despite reservations, and has been played many more times since the freezes began. Three DAUNTING Stars! ("Crossy Road" Amazon Fire TV Video Game. All Ages.)


If Everyone Was Like You (Se Todos Fossem Iquais A Voce)
If Everyone Was Like You (Se Todos Fossem Iquais A Voce)
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars TONINHO HORTA, FRIENDS, AND FAMILY DELIVER A SUMPTUOUS “IF EVERYONE WAS LIKE YOU", 23 Jan. 2015
Legendary guitarist, composer, arranger, and leader Toninho Horta delivers a great tribute album of Tom Jobim’s beautiful compositions. Here his all-star group includes the super-diva Gal Costa on 2 vocals, Bob Mintzer on tenor sax, Gary Peacock on bass, Dave Kikoski on piano, Paulo Braga on drums, Manolo Badrena on percussion, no less than 8 members of the talented Horta family, and a flotilla of strings, brass, and woodwinds. And stealing the show: Toninho's vocal leadoff, followed by the lilting lead voice of Luisa Shiavon Horta, solos by Mintzer on tenor sax and Kikoski on keyboards, and the family chorus on the lush, touching Jobim anthem "Se Todos Fossem Iguais a Você ("If Everyone Was Like You"). This recording is a lovely and essential MPB (Brazilian Popular Music) addition to any comprehensive Brazilian recording collection. All sung in sensual Portuguese. My HIGHEST Recommendation! Five MARVELOUS Stars! (1-MP3 track, from the tribute album "To Jobim With Love”. Time-5:15)


Dark Mountain [DVD] [2013] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dark Mountain [DVD] [2013] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Andrew Simpson
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £7.68

3.0 out of 5 stars MYSTERIOUS EVENTS IN THE SUPERSTITION MOUNTAINS OF ARIZONA, 20 Jan. 2015
Two and a half ENIGMATIC Stars! “Dark Mountain” is an independent film starring Sage Howard (Kate), Andrew Simpson (Paul), and Shelby Stehlin (Ross) as the three intrepid but vulnerable explorers. It is heavily influenced by the “Blair Witch Project” movie by plot and the use of jittery hand-held video cameras and cellphone cameras. It is “based on actual events” in 2011. And it could have been much better since writer Tara Anaise could have chosen among the many interesting mysterious threads that the movie contains. In the plot, Ross, his girlfriend and budding documentary film maker Kate, and jittery friend Paul decide to go exploring and filming in the Superstition Mountains, with their sights set on the famous 'Lost Dutchman’ gold mine. In the beginning, they are already on the road, driving from Los Angeles to Arizona, actually stopping at the real Superstition Mountain museum where actual local residents give ample warning to NOT go in those mountains for a multitude of reasons, including mysterious disappearances of hikers.

They decide to go into the mountains. Passing their one DSLR camera and personal smartphones around, they film themselves as they go along the trails. The actors are very believable but the plot, that touches on curses, stalking, and paranormal activity, fails to take off despite expertly stringing along hopeful viewers for almost an hour into the movie based on the skills of the actors. Recommended for “Blair Witch” fans, low budget independent films, and to see Sage Howard in action. Three BAFFLING Stars. (Amazon Prime Video, Written and directed by Tara Anaïse, Time 1:20, Not Rated, Much Profanity.)


Aces of the Luftwaffe Premium
Aces of the Luftwaffe Premium
Price: £0.49

5.0 out of 5 stars VERY NICE WW-II AERIAL SHOOTING GAME: ALLIES vs THE NAZI BADGUY PLANES, 20 Jan. 2015
Four and a half INTENSE Stars! This Luftwaffe Premium videogame is a marvelous World War II aerial shooting video game placing the Allies against the Nazi Luftwaffe planes and available from Amazon, for free in the beginning but needing Amazon “coins” or actual money to advance to higher levels and increase flying and shooting capabilities. Older gamers will notice the similarity to the old Nintendo game “1943” and related older aerial games.

In battle, the Ally plane encounters Nazi Luftwaffe planes (with crosses on the wings, but not swastikas) mainly coming from the right side of the screen in different waves: they may also enter the screen from the top and bottom, and may at times fly in circles or occasionally enter from the left. As the Ally plane(s) shoots enemy planes, bombers, or blimps, "flying cross" medals, "power ups", and “repair" symbols appear on the screen to be captured by the ally planes for in-game and future game additions. One of the symbols adds two other planes to the screen to operate in sync with the main Ally plane. In addition, a number of other planes come to the aid of the Ally for a few seconds and exit the screen to the right. Beginning levels offer 3 different pilots and 5 battles each with multiple levels, including the “Battle of Britain”, “The Panzer Menace”, “Dawn of the Dragon”, “Operation Turkey Shoot”, “Night Over Europe”. and more is promised in the future. They really need an upgrade to show in-flight medal count information. Highly Recommended! Four and a Half ENJOYABLE Stars! (Amazon Games)


Beautiful Maria Of My Soul
Beautiful Maria Of My Soul
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars JOHN PIZZARELLI SINGS A GREAT VERSION OF “BEAUTIFUL MARIA OF MY SOUL”, 20 Jan. 2015
In the motion picture “Mambo Kings”, there was a beautiful showstopper ballad called "Bella Maria de mi Alma” sung by actors Antonio Banderas and Armand Assante in the Club Babalou scenes and other locations, including a beach scene. Here guitarist/singer/bandleader John Pizzarelli delivers a beautiful, heartfelt vocal version in English, backed by his guitar, flutes, and brass and a great lilting arrangement: “Beautiful Maria of My Soul” from his album “New Standards”. Highly Recommended. Five LOVELY Stars! (1-track. Time-4:33)


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