John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy played and recorded together on many occasions. However, given the quality of their music and the high level of creativity involved in every single one of their performances, all new additions are always welcome. In this case, we present a previously unissued concert recorded from a radio broadcast in Helsinki in 1961, during the European tour in which Dolphy joined Trane's legendary quartet. The Helsinki performance showcases both Coltrane and Dolphy's musical explorations in search of new ways to express themselves.
This is a great record, with one important caveat – anyone looking for the Donovan of AM radio and upbeat ditties like "Sunshine Superman" will have to go for more recent live albums. Donovan in Concert has been neglected over the decades by the fans, who apparently would have preferred a set that encompassed the hits, yet it presents a surprisingly vital side of Donovan's music, as well as excellent versions of some of his best album cuts and good versions of the two actual hits that are here. In contrast to his studio sides, which often reflected the sensibilities of producer Mickie Most more than those of Donovan, the live material here, cut at the Anaheim Convention Center in early 1968, features Donovan doing his music, his way…
There are quite a few French Baroque ballet and opera samplers on the market, perhaps because theses repertories, with their arcane textual and musical conventions and their unfamiliar genres, are thought to be rather inaccessible for general listeners in complete works or large chunks of them. The reconstructions of William Christie and others, including this disc's conductor, Sigiswald Kuijken, have shown that equal parts of imagination and musicality can go a long way toward making the operas of the French Baroque come alive, and the repertoires of virtuoso singers are beginning to reflect this.
Kathleen Battle In Concert has been a part of my classical listening experience for many, many years, and many, many repeated playings. Every time I play it, I feel real joy at hearing Kathleen Battle in the opening bars of Purcell's "Come All Ye Songsters."
Miss Battle brings a high level of musicality, an impeccable use of phrasing and some truly beatiful high notes to a wonderful mix of lighter art/love songs, and more serious, but very joyous gospel classics, as in her rendition of "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands."
It's been too many years since Kathleen Battle has recorded such a delightful recital album. If you're reading this Miss Battle, please please record another! We miss your voice greatly!!!
Leonard Cohen seems singularly determined to document his adventures in live performances which began when he returned to the concert stage in 2008, and Live in Dublin is the third live album Cohen has released in just five years. Given how satisfying 2009's Live in London was, one might reasonably wonder how badly one would need another concert souvenir, especially in such a short period of time, but comparing Live in Dublin with Live in London and 2010's Songs from the Road, one can readily see how Cohen's live show has seasoned since he returned to duty…