The late Nathan Milstein’s 1975 stereo remake (DG mid-price) was his own preferred version of these pillars of the violin repertoire with which he had been so associated since his youth in Odessa. But his (broadly faster) mid-Fifties New York account, now remastered and restored by EMI, was a famous yardstick of its time – a grandly phrased, aristocratically structured, Romantically resonant statement to treasure beside Menuhin and Heifetz. These are epic virtuoso performances justifying Milstein’s view that with this music the performer could ‘bask in the most glamorous light’. Stylistically, purists will object to their expressive liberty and gesture. But few will be able to resist their artistry or intensity of delivery.
After 25 years of collaboration, Bob James and Nathan East are set to release their debut duo album The New Cool in September on Yamaha Entertainment Group. The New Cool marks new territory for legendary jazz pianist Bob James and bassist Nathan East, who’ve spent decades playing together in contemporary jazz quartet Fourplay but never before as an official duo. “The more I played with Nathan over the course of many live performances and spanning more than 20 years, the more in sync we were whether or not we had the anchor of the drums,” says James. “Something special happens when we only have each other’s notes to play off of, when the music is totally exposed.” Recorded entirely in Nashville, Tennessee, the album is a collection of original material contributed by both James and East, along with a small selection of standards. The duo’s musicianship is laid bare in a soulful reimagining of Irving Berlin’s “How Deep is the Ocean,” while the pair is joined by strings and woodwinds for a surprising take on Willie Nelson’s classic country hit 'Crazy'.