Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Intruding on a Silence

RELAXING and ENJOYABLE. Colin Chin's CD Intruding on a Silence is far from an intrusion.  It's  a perfect picture of Jim Fisher, sitting at his desk on a spring day, a gentle breeze coming through the open window, and this music wafting through the house. All is right with the world....

Chin, a talented composer, synthesist  and guitarist, presents soft tones that leave you in peace. The electronic tunes carry a melody which you can hum along to and carry throughout the day.

I'm not usually drawn to new age or electronic music, but I enjoyed this. The list of tunes on the CD include:

  • In Heaven's Wake
  • Ayers Rock
  • Farewell to Innocence
  • The Belly of the Beast
  • Point of  Egression
  • A March Through the Queens Garden
  • In Search of Things Lost
  • Love Sonnet
  • The Alluvial Plains
All worth a listen. 

Released in 1990 on the Narada Mystique label. Chin's work is mostly from the 80s and 90s.

Monday, April 10, 2017

CD 101.9 Presents Columbia & Sony Jazz Collection

Hmmmm.  How did I miss this CD? As I sat and listened to its mellow jazz sounds, I realized I really liked it.  I must have been busy chasing little kids around in circles.

The 101.9 Presents Columbia & Sony Jazz Collection includes tunes by the following artists:

  • Grover Washington, Jr. - Strawberry Moon
  • Ross Traut / Steve Rodby - Up On The Roof
  • Full Circle - Music For Little People
  • Takeshi Itoh - This Is The Night
  • Milton Nascimento - La Bamba
  • Ramsey Lewis -Bernice
  • Wynton Marsalis - Lazy Afternoon
  • Kirk Whalum - The Promise
  • The Zawinful Syndicate - And So It Goes
  • Hubert Laws - I Love My Daddy
  • Eddy Gomez - Forever
  • Steve Gadd - Strength
Every song on the CD was enjoyable. A quick look showed the individual recordings difficult to find. I especially enjoyed the jazzy version of Up On the Roof and La Bamba.

Released in 1989. Take a chance to listen to the CD if you get a copy of it. I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Wes Montgomery - Compact Jazz

The CD Wes Montgomery - Compact Jazz is a collection of the great jazz guitarist's work, posthumously released in 1987 by Verve Records. After returning home from a national tour, he passed away unexpected at the young age of 43.

I truly enjoyed the music of this self-taught musician. The warm tones and chords of his playing, intertwined with popular songs of the day - as well as his own compositions - made me smile. My favorites were  Sunny, The Shaddow of Your smile, and Goin' Out of My Head. Guess it says something about my age, that I can remember the original vocal tunes.  Highlighted by Montgomery's musical additions, the tunes sounded much more amazing to me.

I hope you can obtain a copy. You won't want the music to end. LISTEN HERE

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 6 (Pathetique)

I really like Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 6 (Pathetique). It would be difficult to find somebody who did not like the melodic and stirring tones from the 19th  century Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. So I think I will concentrate on all the Italian musical terms in this piece I do not know.  Music scholars are probably rolling their eyes, but at least I am taking the time to find out.

  • pathetique - passionate or emotional; not pathetic as I originally thought.
  • adagio - slow tempo
  • andante - moderately slow, even tempo
  • moderato assai - at a moderate tempo
  • andante come prima - tempo indication; moderate as before
  • andante mosso - movement, more lively
  • allegro vivo - with life and vigor
  • moderato mosso - moderate movement
  • allegro non troppo - fast, but not too fast
  • allegro con grazia - fast with grace
  • allegro molto vivaci - very fast and lively
  • adagio lamentoso -  slowly and sadly
  • polonaise - a slow dance of Polish origin
And now I know....

The CD was released in 1987 on the Telarc label.  It was recorded by the Cleveland Orchestra, and conducted by Christoph von Dohnanyi.

Chick Corea Compact Jazz

Jim loved, loved, loved the music of jazz musician Chick Corea. He idolized the 22-time Grammy winning jazz legend, pianist and composer. I think if dreams really could come true, he would have been a musician just like Chick. I, on the other hand, had to work to see the good in his work. Which is why I dreaded listening to Chick's Compact Jazz.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear many good and artistic sounds, but was taken aback by its erratic combinations. The beautiful music was so intense, I had the feeling of being caught in a very busy day at work. Although I heard his compositions many times, I did not recognize it beyond the wild sounds.

Released in 1987 on the Polydor label, the CD includes the following:
  • Captain Marvel
  • Captain Senor Mouse
  • Armando's Rhumba
  • 500 Miles High
  • Love Castle
  • Vulcan Worlds
  • No Mystery
  • Spain
So dear Jim, I'm afraid we will continue to "agree to disagree" on this artist. While I recognize his talent, and quite beautiful sections, the music of Chick Corea just doesn't come together for me. Listen to a few of the tunes here.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Franz Joseph Haydn Trumpet and Horn Concerti

I often listened to wonderful classical music coming from Jim's office. Whether or not I heard Franz Joseph Haydn Trumpet and Horn Concerti I do not know.  The music on the CD all blends so nicely. It could have been one of many classical presentations he listened to. Haydn  was an Austrian composer of the Classical period, and was instrumental in the development of chamber music. Composing during the mid to late 1700s, he became known as the Father of Symphony and the Father of the String Quartet.

The Trumpet and Horn Concerti has rich horn sounds that stir listeners' souls. I enjoyed listening to it very much.  It is the type of music you can listen to completely, or turn it on in the background and go about your business.

Franz Joseph Haydn Trumpet and Horn Concerti includes the following:

  • Trumpet Concerto in E-flat Major 
  • Horn Concerto No. 1 in D Major
  • Horn Concerto No. 2 in D Major
  • Divertimento a Tre in E-flat Major
Got that?  No flowery names from Haydn.
The CD was release in 1991 by the Musical Heritage Society. The Philharmonia Orchestra, Christopher Warren-Green, Conductor.

For those who do not know, a concerti (or concerto) is a composition for one or more principal instruments with orchestral accompaniment. I learned something new today.

Cross Currents, by Richard Souther

Cross Currents by Richard Souther is another soft jazz / new age CD from Jim's collection. It never ceases to amaze me the variety of music he possessed. He had just about everything, except whatever the current pop trash was. The vinyl albums have been claimed by his son. And just about all his CDs have been moved online.  So I'm going to work through the remaining 400 or so CDs before I move them along. I know there are some in the collection I just won't enjoy listening to.  But as I listened to Souther's Cross Currents, I really enjoyed it - and hope you do to.

Recorded in 1989 by Narada Productions Inc.  Souther and fellow musicians work through the the following Souther pieces:
  • Safe Harbor
  • Cross Currents
  • The Long Riders
  • Banana Shakes
  • Mary's Question
  • High Tide
  • Just Dreamin'
  • Between the Lines
  • The Last Roundup
  • All The Way Home
I especially enjoyed Banana Shakes with its lively music.  Makes me think of my grand babies who always want some nannanas.  Mary's question seemed very insightful. And, Just Dreamin' was so relaxing I could have fallen asleep. All-in-all, I enjoyed the CD.

Perspectives The Columbia Jazz Sampler

Oh, I remember some of these and the soft sound of jazz floating down from Jim's office. I often recognize music, but have a difficult time recalling the name or artist. Jim would be proud that musically illiterate wife could at least recall the tunes.

Perspectives The Columbia Jazz Sampler CD provides a delightful mix of soft, and sometimes toe-tapping, jazz from well-known jazz artists, including:
  • Wynton Marsales - April In Paris
  • Kimiko Itoh - Dindi
  • Arthur Blythe - 
  • As Of Yet
  • The Zawinul Syndicate - No Mercy For Me (Mercy, Mercy, Mercy)
  • Jean-Luc Ponty - New Resolutions
  • Harry Connick, Jr. - Little Waltz
  • Grover Washington, Jr. - Shivaree Ride
  • Wayne Shorter - Daredevil
  • Paquito D'Rivera - The Magic City (Miami)
  • Harrison / Blanchard - Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise
  • Kirk Whalum - Glow
  • Branford Marsalis - Just One Of Those Things
  • Full Circle - Sorcerer's Apprentice
Recorded back in 1987 for Columbia (when Jim was switching to CDs from vinyl records).  I'm surprised I enjoyed the CD. It's good relaxing music.