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Simon Mack - creative "digital media artist etc" (UK)

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Wonder Waltz
Wonder Waltz
Offered by samurai_media_JPN4UK
Price: £19.31

3.0 out of 5 stars a shame - lacklustre Susumu, 7 Dec 2014
This review is from: Wonder Waltz (Audio CD)
Susumu Yokota the prolific japanese ambient electronica beats ex dj producer has released many cd s over the last 15 years or so . Wonder Waltz finds him in an only ok release with uneven tracks of varying quality. guest female vocals feature on several tracks but the lacklustre beats and sparse production make them sound very average i'm afraid. almost like rough demos and not up to Yokota s usual richl production values. the instrumental tracks are far better with Yokota experimenting with discreet beats,textures and acoustic instruments to varying degrees of success. the final few tracks see Yokota in better form with deeper textures greater invention and the omissiom of the the weak lacklustre guest vocals. final track "Holy Ground" is for me the standout - deep,spiritual,otherwordly - classic Yokota. i have sampled this track for my own private [a:ntenna project.

however, try instead his wonderous and much weirder and adventurous release: Grinning Cat, the Boy and the Tree, Skintone (best of) Collection for deeper,darker,more varied ethereal beautiful head music of a very high order. Wonder Waltz sounds tired however...


Chasin': His Legendary Tunes
Chasin': His Legendary Tunes
Offered by TIP TOP SELLER
Price: £2.42

4.0 out of 5 stars Parker compilation - great music, shoddy release., 7 Dec 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Charlie Parker is of course a jazz and music legend who died young at the age of 35 from living too fast but leaving a dazzling legacy of endlessly inventive alto sax playing that influenced generations of jazz musicians. this compilation "Chasin': His Legendary Tunes" by Disky, offers an hour of 20 great tracks from fast be-bop to bluesy numbers to soulful ballads.

the cover artwork and design is good, but no booklet sleeve notes to explain Parkers story or any details of the tracks here combined with sometimes variable sound quality make this Parker compilation fine but not indispensible. great mellow sax small group jazz here certainly, but an indifferent slightly shoddy compilation. the compilation by metro / union square music called "Charlie Parker Plays it Cool" offers better uniform sound quality more tracks AND detailed booklet notes also. also - try "the Cole Porter songbook" on verve for superior Parker.


WONDER WALTZ
WONDER WALTZ
Price: £14.62

3.0 out of 5 stars a shame - lacklustre Susumu.., 7 Dec 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: WONDER WALTZ (Audio CD)
Susumu Yokota the prolific japanese ambient electronica beats ex dj producer has released many cd s over the last 15 years or so . Wonder Waltz finds him in an only ok release with uneven tracks of varying quality. guest female vocals feature on several tracks but the lacklustre beats and sparse production make them sound very average i'm afraid. almost like rough demos and not up to Yokota s usual rich
production values. the instrumental tracks are far better with Yokota experimenting with discreet beats,textures and acoustic instruments to varying degrees of success. the final few tracks see Yokota in better form with deeper textures,greater invention and the omissiom of the the weak lacklustre guest vocals. final track "Holy Ground" with its use of looped bell chimes,is for me the standout - deep,spiritual,otherwordly - classic Yokota. i have sampled this track for my own private [a:ntenna project.

however, try instead his wonderous and much weirder and adventurous release: Grinning Cat, the Boy and the Tree, Skintone (best of) Collection for deeper,darker,more varied ethereal beautiful head music of a very high order. Wonder Waltz sounds a little tired however...


J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations
J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations
Price: £6.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good Goldbergs from Jando, 13 Nov 2014
Jando is a widely recorded artist on naxos roster with dozens of often very worthwhile and enjoyable recordings that include Mozart, Haydn,Beethoven etc. Here in this 2003 recording again for naxos here tackles the behemoth of the piano repertoire - the Goldberg Variations that in the wrong hands can sound over analytical and cold, too fast, tiring or lacking in enough variety. Bach did not intend the Goldbergs to played in their entirety it is widely reported and her e under Jando i can see why (and the same with Glenn Gould's recordings of 1955 and 1982). why so ?

for me - the Goldbergs are an hour or so a single theme played in a myriad differing variations in many differing speeds and moods from the gentle opening Aria theme to dazzling intricate variations to the "black pearl" extended variation and beyond. Here Jando offers crisp, articulate playing on a standard piano ( some prefer the original harpsichord or pianoforte alternatives by Pinnock et al) in a clear recording. Jando s style is often forthright, clear in line and quite dynamic (his Well Tempered Clavier naxos recording are a welcome difference with their softer less forthright readings) that particularly here strongly resembles Glenn Gould but that sometimes isn't always a good thing..

a good if slightly over projected set of Goldbergs here that offer a decent first set perhaps, but for me Tureck and Schiff offer for mme the greater and more subtle interpretations. 3 stars going on four.


Mahler: Symphony No. 9
Mahler: Symphony No. 9
Price: £15.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Mahler 9 -in expansive fine version, 12 Nov 2014
This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No. 9 (Audio CD)
Mahler's 9th is a symphonic landmark. one of the pinnacle s of human expression and accordingly one of the most difficult perhaps to convey convinclingly. why ? huge emotional contrasts, complex yet subtle, massic in scope and range. fans of Gustav Mahler's symphonied will no doubt already some favourite recordings by Bernstein, Karajan, Barbiroli, or Walter perhaps.

Here Halascz and the Polish RSO produce a fine performance in one of the most expansive versions reaching over 2 cd s with a total time of 82 minutes (a good 14 minutes longer than Walter s 1938 live version with the Vienna PO) . recording is very good with fine clarity , booklet notes from naxos are detailed plus appropriate artwork by Viennese contemporary Klimt makes this release pretty attractive. the opening theme and development is well judged, the rondo-burleske well captured and if the final valedictory 4ft movement is perhaps not quite as moving as Barshai or Walter , this naxos cd is at the right price (ie sub £ 7 delivered) at good version. however, strong competition from all of the above conductors versions on a single cd, make this double cd seem a little uncompetitive for the price .

overall if found at sub £5 +p+p its worth your money, otherwise Walter, Karajan et al would still be better choices.


Mahler: Symphony No. 9
Mahler: Symphony No. 9
Offered by U.K. EMPORIUM
Price: £3.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Mahler 9 -in expansive fine version, 12 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No. 9 (Audio CD)
Mahler's 9th is a symphonic landmark. one of the pinnacle s of human expression and accordingly one of the most difficult perhaps to convey convinclingly. why ? huge emotional contrasts, complex yet subtle, massic in scope and range. fans of Gustav Mahler's symphonied will no doubt already some favourite recordings by Bernstein, Karajan, Barbiroli, or Walter perhaps.

Here Halascz and the Polish RSO produce a fine performance in one of the most expansive versions reaching over 2 cd s with a total time of 82 minutes (a good 14 minutes longer than Walter s 1938 live version with the Vienna PO) . recording is very good with fine clarity , booklet notes from naxos are detailed plus appropriate artwork by Viennese contemporary Klimt makes this release pretty attractive. the opening theme and development is well judged, the rondo-burleske well captured and if the final valedictory 4ft movement is perhaps not quite as moving as Barshai or Walter , this naxos cd is at the right price (ie sub £ 7 delivered) at good version. however, strong competition from all of the above conductors versions on a single cd, make this double cd seem a little uncompetitive for the price .

overall if found at sub £5 +p+p its worth your money, otherwise Walter, Karajan et al would still be better choices.


Mahler: Symphony No.9
Mahler: Symphony No.9
Offered by worldcollectabilia
Price: £7.94

4.0 out of 5 stars Walter conducts Vienna PO in Mahler 9 : buy, 6 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.9 (Audio CD)
pupil of Mahler himself, Bruno Walter had direct access to the maestro s conducting style and mindset and here Walter conducts the Vienna PO live in 1938 in an essential cd for all Mahler fans. why ? well the recording here on Dutton Labs is remarkable vivid for the time , informative booklet notes by actual Vienna recording producer Fred Gaisberg as well as rare photo of Walter and the Vienna PO during the sessions make this Dutton Labs cd a must have purchase for its historical importance and performance.

i know naxos and also EMI have also released this landmark recording on cd also but i can't comment any possible sound mastering or booklet notes alas. here though - the Dutton version sounds very good indeed with strings and woodwind clear and enough low level growl from the basses and cellos in the famous valedictory adagio.

the music ? earth shatteringly emotional, tender, masterful, deeply expressive as you should expect from arguably the premier symphonic composer - one Gustav Mahler. i have fine versions by Rudolph Barshai on BIS as well as Halsz on naxos . Bernstein, Karajan, Rattle , Barbiroli et al also need to be heard , but here Walter and the Vienna PO offer a historic landmark version. four stars going on five.


Debussy & Ravel: Piano Masterpieces
Debussy & Ravel: Piano Masterpieces

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Ravel and Debussy here by Pizarro, 31 Oct 2014
yes - love this cd of Ravel and Debussy exquisitally played by Portugese pianist Artur Pizarro. a bbc music magazine release a few years back and in essence if you savour an hour of elegant, delicate and sophisiticated piano music, then this cd id for you.

what for me was an a exploratory cd purchase in west london for a snip a year or so ago , has turned into a regular must listen cd. why ? well as a fan of Debussy otherworldly delicate and yes dreamy piano music for some 20 plus years the pieces here are self recommending. however what was a definite bonus are the lovely urbane Ravel pieces also.

Pizarro has an undeniable lovely touch in these works : delicate, measured, relaxed and cleanly articulated. comparison with Michelangeli, Caino,Tirimo , Schmalfuss and Zimerman place Pizarro in the premier class certainly with a sure and clear love of this wonderful music.

so yes - a definite must buy both for the selection and playing here. 5 stars.


Live At The Village Vanguard
Live At The Village Vanguard
Price: £3.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars cash-in Coltrane release, 28 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
this review applies only to the Hallmark label re-release: a new 2014 release offering just 36 minutes of live Coltrane from 1961 (as per the original Impuse lp also) on fine form but unlike the original Impulse version, this release offers no sleeve notes, recording details or pictures in the booklet, and you can buy Live at the Village Vanguard on Impulse label for detailed sleeve notes , pictures and recording info but not here.

this Hallmark budget priced release at least has the original lp cover artwork and good quality transfer sound here but at just 36 minutes and only 3 tracks, why not just buy the Impulse versions ? this Hallmark version of Live at the Village Vanguard is ok only as super cheap intro to some fantastic live Coltrane with his Quartet. Otherwise avoid and go for the original label release which also features tracks :India and Impressions in addition. see :http://www.amazon.co.uk/Live-Village-Vanguard-Master-Takes/dp/B000024Y5S/ref=sr_1_3?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1414503909&sr=1-3&keywords=Coltrane+-+village see my amazon review of that also. on "LATVV" here Coltrane here offers a ballad(Softly as in a Morning Sunrise), a slow searching work (Spiritual)and a uptempo track (Chasin' the Trane)of exploratory exciting jazz. excellent .

3 stars here though for the shoddy non-booklet notes by Hallmark however.


Ken Burns Jazz Collection: The Definitive John Coltrane
Ken Burns Jazz Collection: The Definitive John Coltrane
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £9.27

4.0 out of 5 stars mood swings- mixed collection of Coltrane, 27 Oct 2014
a for many mixed bag of Coltrane's many styles are covered here on this Ken Burns jazz compilation. ranging from lush roatic ballads to uptempo swinging hard bop to final track "jupiter" with its molten heat free jazz . Ken Burns is known as a US culture documentary film maker of some repute and a major jazz fan. his entire KBJC cd series offers decent collections of key and lesser known tracks by the most noted jazz performers and here his Coltrane is no exception here.

the only problem will be as wide ranging as the tracks offered here , as a listening and emotional experience it just doesn't work , as the mood swings and styles veer too sharply from slow ballad to uptempo and back. the track order largely runs : slow,fast,slow,,fast etc.. liver notes are excellent as are some of the pictures contained also. i dislike the rather amatuerish design covers on the entire KBJC series with its clunky large typeface and colours but hey..

the music here does offer in one cd - the full range of Coltrane's styles but really newcomers might be put off. put on your seat belt for this particular ride. the contast between the ballads and the free jazz will shock some certainly. no bad thing , but JC s complete Lp s such as Giant Steps, Coltrane play s the Blues, A Love Supreme, Ole,etc offer better context than here. Chasin' the Trane included here is for newcomers a bit of a slog with its exciting battle between Coltrane and drummer Elvin Jones but for overlong for many i fear. better choice might have been Out of this World, Song of the Underground Railroad or Blue Train, Giant Step or My Favourite Things, but i digress.

great music , but poorly chosen here as a listening experience. as another reviewer (on amazon.com) said : not the best collection to start with. agreed. 3 stars going on 4.


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