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RBSProds "rbsprods" (Deep in the heart of Texas)
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Mexicali Nose
Mexicali Nose
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars BUDDY RICH & HIS "KILLER FORCE" BIG BAND PLAY A SIZZLING "MEXICALI NOSE", 28 May 2015
This review is from: Mexicali Nose (MP3 Download)
Five SIZZLING Stars! From the 2015 release “Birdland” by the Buddy Rich Big Band, aka his “Killer Force Band”, comes a stellar performance of the humorously-titled “Mexicali Nose”. On this song, Rich relentlessly drives the band along with his opening salvo, 2 dazzling 8 bar breaks, an ending drum coda, and sizzling cymbal and drum work in between with a disguised 6/8 tempo for the section work and 4/4 for the solos. The first-rate band responds with outstanding section work and very good solos (which unfortunately are too far in the background to be clearly heard. Outside of the off-miked solos, the sound is sharp.) Reedman Bob Mintzer was once a member of the Rich Band for over 2 years and described the grueling, but enjoyable schedule of the band: every night, with 1 week off at Christmas, showing this was a very in-demand big band led by one of the greatest drummers in jazz. Highly Recommended, despite the sound, for its historical significance as a recent discovery recorded with Rich's permission by a band member. Four and a half FIERY Stars! (1-MP3 track. Time-3:04. Trivia-This album's cover was displayed during the opening scenes of the award-winning movie “Whiplash” about a young drummer who idolized Rich.)


Delirio
Delirio
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars TITO PUENTE ORCHESTRA's MAGNIFICENT "DELIRIO", FEATURING FRANKIE FIGUEROA'S VOCAL, 28 May 2015
This review is from: Delirio (MP3 Download)
From the album, "Live At The Monterey Jazz Festival, 1977", comes a great Tito Puente Orchestra performance of César Portillo de la Luz's classic composition "(Tu, Mi) Delirio" ("You, My Delirium"). This is one of the most beautiful of ballads and receives a great overall performance, featuring the stellar vocalizing of Frankie Figueroa and brilliant instrumental solo prowess of Al Shikaly on tenor sax, Richard Pulin on trombone, and Paulo de Paula on trumpet. The arranger Paquito Pastol is on piano, with Tito on timbales and vibraharp. There is also one of the greatest 'circular breathing' flute solos you may ever hear by Mauricio Smith, with Frankie Figueroa vocally closing it out with a dramatic recapitulation. Puente introduces the orchestra after the song. There is another instrumental version of "Delirio" on a Tito Puente album called "El Rey where Puente solos extensively on vibraharp. My Highest Recommendation. Five LOVELY Stars. (1-MP3 track. Time-9:33)


In Concert: Ohne Filter [DVD] [2008] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
In Concert: Ohne Filter [DVD] [2008] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £7.00

5.0 out of 5 stars YELLOWJACKETS IN A CLASSIC PERFORMANCE LIVE ON "OHNE FILTER", 27 May 2015
On this 'recorded live' video on the "Ohne Filter" (Without Filter) German TV show from July of 1994, the Yellowjackets put on a thrilling 'fusion' and post-bop performance before an enthusiastic crowd. Featuring the renowned Bob Mintzer on tenor sax, soprano sax, and EWI (electric wind instrument) who had replaced Marc Russo in 1990, Russell Ferrante on keyboards, William Kennedy on drums, and Jimmy Haslip on electric bass. The show kicks off with a great performance of the uptempo `fusion' song "One Music" written by Mintzer who plays an exciting solo followed by the fleet-fingered bass solo of Haslip. "Visible People", also by MIntzer, is dedicated to Brazilian Indian peoples. "Jacket People" is mentioned by Haslip as being on their new album at the time "Run For Your Life", and the performance shows some funky Weather Report roots: the song begins with a funky Haslip solo with the rhythm section, then unison Mintzer and Ferrannte, who effectively mimics a trumpet on his synth. The tempo-shifting post-bop "Run For Your Life" is the encore and concludes the set with Ferrante's best solo and a momentous drum solo from Kennedy. Highly Recommended. Five JAZZY Stars! (Color Video, 5 tracks, Time-58 minutes)


The Chopin Album
The Chopin Album
Price: £13.68

5.0 out of 5 stars CELLIST SOL GABETTA & PIANIST BERTRAND CHAMAYOU PLAY MAJESTIC CHOPIN, 25 May 2015
This review is from: The Chopin Album (Audio CD)
Five ENJOYABLE Stars! On “The Chopin Album”, two award-winning musicians and long-time close friends, cellist Sol Gabetta and pianist Bertrand Chamayou, come together to record for the first time. Although this is “The Chopin Album", the figure of the Frédéric Chopin’s close friend, the great cello virtuoso Auguste-Joseph Franchomme, looms large over the proceedings as a dedicatee, as a co-composer with Chopin, and on his own Nocturne. Gabetta and Chamayou have been friends for over a decade and a half, but they point out in the liner notes that they come from the different musical environments of Gabetta’s German and Chamayou’s French roots, and first began performing together in 2006. The results displayed on this initial recording together are always compelling and at times spectacular. Chopin’s Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor, Opus 65 alone shows their musical empathy translates into great chamber music through their cello and piano.

The recording session begins with Chopin’s magical “Allegro" movement of the Cello Sonata in G minor, Opus 65, which is not only dedicated to Auguste-Joseph Franchomme but has his influence all over it. Chopin performed part of it with him in his final public appearance. The rhapsodic opening piano theme statement yields to the cello entering and elaborating on the same soaring theme, setting the stage for recurrent references to the opening theme and a second main theme that goes through a wide variety of moods and exchanges during the captivating 16 minutes. The exciting "Scherzo. Allegro con brio” movement has close, emotional interplay between the cello and piano which elaborates on a new lyrical 7-note theme. The beautiful quietude of the “Largo” movement, compared to the proceeding movements, is lyrical and tender, with Gabetta effectively exploiting the mid- and lower-range of the cello. “Polonaise brilliant", Op. 3, is sheer lyrical beauty over shifting tempos and instrument leads. The inspired Chopin/Franchomme “Grand Duo concertant in E Major” performance by Gabetta and Chamayou is based on themes from Meyerbeers “Robert the Devil”. Chopin’s “Etude” Opus 25, no 7 was transcribed by Alesander Glazunov for cello and is a lovely, serene performance. Excellent tranquil performances of the two nocturnes close the recording: “Nocturne" Opus 15, No 1 is arranged for cello and piano by Franchomme and the impassioned performance by Gabetta and Chamayou of his own "Norturne for Cello and piano in E minor" is a fitting end to a recording of Frédéric Chopin that is so inspired and influenced by Auguste-Joseph Franchomme. This is a wonderful duo recording by Sol Gabetta and Bertrand Chamayou. My Highest Recommendation. Five BRILLIANT Stars. (9 tracks with digital booklet. Time-69:35)


Hecho y Derecho
Hecho y Derecho
Price: £1.09

5.0 out of 5 stars HOT SALSA (& MELLOW BALLADS) FROM JOE CUBA AND HIS SEXTET, 24 May 2015
This review is from: Hecho y Derecho (MP3 Download)
Four and a half BLAZING Stars for composer, masterful conguero, and influential latin music leader Joe "Sonny" Cuba and his 'seminal' hot salsa sextet. Cuba, a Latin Music Hall of Fame member who rose to stardom in the 1960's achieving fame as the the "King of Latin Boogaloo", was one of the founders of the salsa movement that exploded in the 1970s. Urged on by his mentor Tito Puente and leaving behind a prospective law career, Cuba became a major driving force of the Puerto Rican latin music community in New York developing hit-making "Nuyorican" (Puerto Rican music emanating from New York) music which he purposefully expressed in both English and Spanish. His influential sextet consists of Joe as the conguero, Jimmy Sabater on timbales, Alfredo Rodriguez on piano, Phil Diaz on vibraharp who performs a crucial percussion and textural role, Slim Cordero on bass, and featuring the fabulous soaring vocals of Willie Garcia, with arrangements by pianist Rodriguez and the great Marty Sheller (see my review of Why Deny) This mostly vocal and rhythmically diverse music is exciting, joyful, full of hot 'claves', bright unison vocal refrains, and blazing precision in the congo/timbales/vibes/piano section work, featuring multiple 'stops' and interludes.

The 'best of the best' of this mostly vocal recording includes the title track "Hecho y Derecho" (Doin' It Right) which sets the stage for the music that follows with a marvelous Willie Garcia vocal over the unified background voices of the group driven by a swinging 'clave'. Five SALSA Stars! (1-MP3 track. Time- 2:47)


Time Lapse
Time Lapse
Dvd
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A VERY COMPELLING AND DIFFERENT TYPE OF SCI-FI "TIME TRAVEL" MOVIE, 20 May 2015
This review is from: Time Lapse (Amazon Instant Video)
"Once you've seen the future, you can't look away" - indeed, from the "Time Lapse" movie poster

Five INDIE Stars! "Time Lapse" is a very different type of 'time travel' movie in a genre that has produced a number of 'time travel' independent films in recent years. It is built almost entirely on the merits of the young actors involved who do a great job of selling the plot. An amateur painter, his girlfriend, and their live-in male friend look for a problematic apartment renter and discover he has created a machine that gives a 'window' into the near future, leading to many wild twists and unexpected turns headed towards an ending that is a big surprise. It has a cast of superb young actors including Danielle Panabaker, Matt O'Leary, George Finn, Amin Joseph, Jason Spisak, and a cameo by John Rhys-Davies of "Indiana Jones" and "Sliders" fame that may go unnoticed. Directed by Bradley King. Highly Recommended, especially to SciFi, Indie Film, and Time-Travel fans. Five ENTERTAINING Stars. (ITunes. Time-1:04. Unrated: profanity and some violence. Closed Captioned. 82% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.)


Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Price: £16.35

5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT, WIDE-RANGING PERFORMANCES BY THE "JOHN PATITUCCI ELECTRIC GUITAR QUARTET", 20 May 2015
This review is from: Brooklyn (Audio CD)
Five DELIGHTFUL Stars! Grammy-winning composer, arranger, electric and double bass master John Patitucci’s latest release, "Brooklyn", on the Three Faces Records label reveals the unique and personal sound and concept of his Electric Guitar Quartet which features John on electric bass, the fleet-fingered guitar tandem of Adam Rogers and Steve Cardenas, and drum wizard Brian Blade. Recorded in his native Brooklyn, New York where he started out playing electric bass, the set consists of blues, ballads, two Monk tunes, a hip and respectful take on an old spiritual, and straight ahead blazing swingers. The interaction of the guitarists and bassist produces a distinctive ethereal sound, such as the short “Bells of Coutance”, and the arrangements leave lots of room for unison, solo and background invention, driven along by Patitucci, who often solos in a guitar-like manner in the upper range of his bass, and Blade's astute, impactful drumming.

The ‘best of the best’ begins with the stately 'on-the-beat with drum press rolls' preamble of "IN9-1881” then shifts to the hip hard-swinging, echo-like “The Search” where Patuticci’s pizzicato bass solo sounds like a cross between guitar and bass. The group’s lovely version of Oumou Sangare’s percussive “Dugu Kamalemba” is built on an infectious, interlocked 8-note guitar and complex 15-note bass ostinatos and has almost conversation-like extended guitar solos. “Band of Brothers” is a low down blues over an insistent and elaborate Blade back beat, loaded with both familiar and new guitar blues licks. The scorching guitar solos by Rogers and Cardenas on Monk's “Trinkle Tinkle” yields a “Stormy Weather” quote amid the flying notes and 'trades' with drummer Blade. The Monk ballad “Ugly Beauty” in contrast gets a gentle jazz waltz treatment. “Do You?” has an exciting 'guitar chase' sequence over some stellar drumming by Blade. Wes Montgomery’s “The Thumb” is a salute but not an imitation as the Patitucci and the guitarists solo in a call-response manner over Blades excellent brush work, as the guitarists find new musical ground for exploration. The spiritual standard “Go Down Moses" with the "Let My People Go” refrain is a heartfelt guitar/bass rendition with Blade's backbeat being most effective. The Patitucci family-tribute ballad “Tesori” is the string trio without drums, expanding and contracting the beat underneath the splendid solos. The "John Patitucci Electric Guitar Quartet" scores big on "Brooklyn". Highly Recommended! Five DISTINCTIVE Stars! (11 MP3 tracks. Time-56:11.)


X-Men: Days of Future Past [DVD] [2014]
X-Men: Days of Future Past [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ James McAvoy
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars "X-MEN" WREAK HAVOC AS THEY TRY TO SAVE THE PLANET ON UNIQUE BATTLEFIELDS,, 20 May 2015
Three ACTION-PACKED Stars! "X-Men: Days of Future Past" created a unique villain with cohorts, using many of the X-Men characters, and produces riveting CGI scenes, especially the stadium scene that is so prominent in the movie trailers and two other surprise locations where havoc is wreaked. Still it is disappointing that they used some plot devices and dark exterior views that resemble the "Terminator" movies opening scenes. The comic book-like plot is thin, but the action is plentiful, especially with Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence in that eye-popping catsuit) who play central roles, other younger versions of some X-characters, and other adult X-characters who are only briefly seen, as if 'checking in', but not needed for the plot. Starring Patrick Stewart, Jackman, Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen, Ellen Page, Bingbing Fan, Omar Sy, and others. Directed by Bryan Singer. Definitely Recommended. Three SHAPESHIFTING Stars! (Amazon Video, Time-2:13. PG-13, Closed Captioned. 91% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.)


An Unfinished Life [DVD]
An Unfinished Life [DVD]
Dvd ~ Robert Redford
Price: £4.00

5.0 out of 5 stars "AN UNFINISHED LIFE" IS AN EXCELLENT HUMAN-INTEREST DRAMA: REDFORD, J-LO, & FREEMAN EXCEL, 20 May 2015
This review is from: An Unfinished Life [DVD] (DVD)
Five HEARTWARMING Stars. “An Unfinished Life” tells the story of an abused woman who flees to the only place where she might be safe, her Wyoming rancher father-in-law, who is not happy to see her but feels obliged since they share a painful past, her stay is temporary, and another matter has arisen. Featuring an outstanding cast of Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman, Jennifer Lopez, Damian Lewis, Josh Lucas, Camryn Manheim, Becca Gardner, and Bart, among others, this is a movie that captures the interest right away with picturesque settings, warm country music, and an interesting story of heartbreak, friendship, hope, and family that triumphs over some predictability by riveting acting and a number of surprises near the end. This worthy movie may have slipped by many movie buffs in 2006. Directed by Lasse Hallström, it is Highly Recommended. Five COMPELLING Stars! (Amazon Prime Instant Video. PG-13 Time-1:48.)


Zoot Sims - In a Sentimental Mood [DVD] [2011]
Zoot Sims - In a Sentimental Mood [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Zoot Sims
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £13.25

5.0 out of 5 stars UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: ZOOT SIMS & TRIO IN A VIDEO OF SUPERB JAZZ MUSIC AND MEMORIES, 20 May 2015
“In A Sentimental Mood” is a 1985 video featuring the legendary DownBeat Hall of Fame tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims, along with the renowned West Coast jazz anchor Red Mitchell on double bass, and the inventive guitarist Rune Gustafsson, recorded in what looks like a home study turned into a filming location, with Sims and Gustafsson seated and with Mitchell standing. The video is of very suitable quality and the sound is absolutely stupendous, allowing the viewer to hear every note, including Sims' lush breathy vibrato on ballads and Mitchell’s finger slides and glisses. The music consists of standards such as Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood” where Zoot takes it close to “Sweet Lorraine” on the bridge and that very song pops up a couple of songs later. Then there is “Gone With The Wind”, "Tis Autumn" and a stunning “Autum Leaves” with the best solos of the date by all concerned, although the soloing standards are high throughout this film from this gifted trio of musicians. There is, as well, a bluesy, swinging Sims original “Castle Blues”. Interspersed between songs is brief conversation between Mitchell and Sims on their careers, which in Sims' case began with Ken Baker’s Band, then Bobby Sherwood (of Sherwood's Forest fame) and finally hitting the big time as a 17 year old joining the legendary Benny Goodman big band in New York; also discussed are encounters with Brew Moore, Charlie Parker, and beyond. Highly Recommended. Five SWINGING Stars (Amazon Color Video. Time-51:53. Not: Zoot Sims passed away later in 1985.)


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