Jessy J delivers a CD where every track is a winner. Smooth sax, flute and warm vocals, all brought together
in a wonderful mix of Latin and contemporary jazz.
Josh Groban - Illuminations
Roberta Gambarini - So in Love
New from Roberta, "So in Love" features 14 marvelous vocal tracks with exceptional range and
dexterity. She delivers on each and every song, including an up-tempo version of "Day In Day Out" and other such standards as "Crazy", "That Old Black Magic", "You Must Believe In Spring" and "Over The Rainbow", and a few others from A.C. Jobim. Another bonus is a medley from Ennio Morricone's "Cinema Paradiso" with English lyrics by A. Stewart. With this diverse selection, listening to Roberta is always a wonderful treat.
Reyna Muramoto - Smile
While searching for alternate versions of Djavan's song, "Agua", I stumbled upon a few samples by Reyna Muramoto from her 2003 release, "Smile" (Grace Note Records - Japan) that really peaked my interest. This song was beautifully arranged for jazz trio and vocals, and sung in English. The last time I had heard this tune done in English was on the Brasil album by the Manhattan Transfer, and it is quite a beautiful song in any language. Also on the same CD by Reyna, are other Brazilian Bossa Nova favorites of mine including Dori Caymmi's "Your Smile" (previously recorded by Yutaka Yokokura) and "Obsession" (previously recorded by Yutaka and Kevyn Lettau). I am so glad to see such an interest in these songs and new arrangements of them. We must also consider such popularization to artists such as Lisa Ono, who spends half the year in Tokyo and the other half in her native country, Brazil. Also Kenia Ashby who lives in the U.S. and tours locally and in Brazil. Both Kenia and Kevyn Lettau have been long-term singers of the Caymmi family legacy of songs. Others who also choose this material are Canadian artists such as Carol Welsman and various jazz labels that are continuing the Bossa Nova legacy for the next generation.
Though Reyna's vocals are slightly timid on this recording, they are still quite endearing and the instrumental arrangements are very mature and outstanding, thanks to executive producers Reyna Muramoto & Mitsuo Yamamoto. I find myself liking Reyna's version even more than Djavan's original. I also found the CD quite difficult to be obtain from the U.S., however the folks at office017.com were more than happy to supply me a copy due to my desire to find and enjoy this music. I can now "smile" even more than before. I have, however, seen it listed at Amazon (JP) and other CD sites in a few other countries.
Jamie Cullum - The Pursuit (Deluxe Edition-CD/DVD)
Jamie Cullum delivers uplifting vocal and piano renditions of "Don't Stop The Music", "Not While I'm Around", "Caravan" and other standards, pop tunes and originals with a personal touch on each.
Nikki Yanofsky's new CD release, titled "Nikki", explodes with her mature vocalese on par with her own personal favorites: Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. Songs include rockin' renditions of "A Train" and other standards, as well as, a beautiful recording of "Over The Rainbow." Quite amazing from this young teenage singer.
Nikki Yanofsky already has another new CD release, titled:
"Nikki Yanofsky - Ella . . . of Thee I Swing", a salute to the great Ella Fitzgerald standards and vocals we all have known and loved over the years.
Mark Prigoff Plays Eric Clapton's Change The World
(John Tropea's instrumental and Eric Clapton's vocal versions.) . . .
An excerpt from this recording was featured this past January 19, 2010 on the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. The documentary was a special report called: "By the People: Hard Times, Hard Choices: Michigan Citizens Deliberate". (Produced by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions).
Chrissi Poland has completed her new CD, "Songs From The Concrete" . . .
For more information and song samples, visit Chrissi's MySpace Page here.
Chrissi Poland (Photo by Todd Chalfant)
(Click onto photo for more details.)
Mark Prigoff plays Chrissi Poland's I'll Think Of You On Christmas:
Chrissi Poland will be performing songs from her new album, "Songs From The Concrete" on Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 7:30 p.m. at The Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street (between 5th and 6th Ave.), New York City. (click onto image above for more details, or visit: www.myspace.com/chrissipoland ).
PBS Presents on Great Performances: CHESS IN CONCERT
The musical, CHESS was televised on PBS 13 in a special "in concert" production which was recorded in May, 2008 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The production featured the music written by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus (of Abba fame), lyrics by Tim Rice, and starred pop vocalists, Josh Groban, Idina Menzel, Adam Pascal, David Bedella, Kerry Ellis, Clarke Peters and Marti Pellow. This special production of the 1984 cult pop classic musical is now available on CD soundtracks and DVD video.
A complex musical by all means, this two-act performance was certainly a challenging production for both performers and audiences, alike. Centered around a 1979 world champion chess match between the US and Russian chess masters, Freddie Trumper (Adam Pascal) and Anatoly Sergievsky (Josh Groban), we also have a mutual love interest between these two characters with Florence Vassy (Idina Menzel), who is Freddie's "second", but soon falls in love with Anatoly. The structure is virtually operetta (and/or operatic) in style with support from the vivacious West End Chorus, pop and ballet dancers, and the City of London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by David Firman. The staging features dramatic lighting in patriotic themes of Soviet and United States colors, background computer-generated visuals throughout with occasional lyrics, and dance routines representational of the black and white chess pieces, with cheerleaders, fireworks and other clever, dramatic devices and props.
The show reminded me of Leonard Bernstein's CANDIDE, which was previously televised by PBS from Lincoln Center, with so many outstanding "powerhouse" vocals by Josh Groban, Idina Menzel, Adam Pascal, Marti Pellow, Kerry Ellis and the supporting cast. Another heart-warming and nostagic hit featured was the pop hit song, "One Night in Bangkok" with a smooth yet casual rap by Adam Pascal. While the plot may not seem to be overly controversial from today's viewpoint, (with reference to the "Cold War Era"), the plot does resemble the historical chess match between grandmasters Vikto Korchnoi and Bobby Fischer. Those who have seen the American performance of CHESS will notice some changes in the plot including the various countries where the matches are held, a new grouping of song selections included in this production, and characters' names, as well. Tim Rice considers this performance as being, perhaps, the most definitive rendition of the now, 25-year old creation.
The musical numbers come in all shapes and sizes. Full chorus and orchestra, dynamic duets, trios, quartets and various solos and ensembles. The overall tone ranges from delicate classical themes to dramatic pop numbers throughout the show. In short, there is something to suit all musical genres to please just about anyone who loves a diverse musical production, such as this. As for the individual soloists, Josh Groban has certainly bridged both worlds between classical arias and popular song with many CD and DVD to his world-renown fame. Idina Menzel and Adam Pascal have previously co-starred in the musical, RENT. And Kerry Ellis and Idina Menzel have both made their mark on the leading role in the musical, WICKED. Marti Pellow is well-known in Scotland for his vocal recordings, and David Bedella has revived the leading role in the cult musical, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW.
Eliane Elias - Bossa Nova Stories
Once again, Eliane Elias sings and plays the best of Bossa Nova, including selections from the A.C. Jobim songbook with special guests artists, Toots Thieleman and Ivan Lins. Also featured are selections of American jazz standards that Jobim and Gilberto studied, as well as a few other contempoary ballads from Lins, Wonder and others.
Krazy Love featuring Luba Mason
"A voice as big and rich as a star-filled night sky." - Jazz Times
As a Jazz vocalist and wife of Latin superstar Ruben Blades, Luba Mason has embarked on an exquisite journey of the soul with her new CD, KRAZY LOVE. A rich musical travelogue that explores the arc of modern day relationships and infuses them with Luba’s love for the music of Brazil, KRAZY LOVE continues the critically-acclaimed Mason’s foray into the realm of contemporary crossover jazz vocals. KRAZY LOVE was released January 27, 2009, by Sunnyside Records.
"A powerfully emotional song interpreter" (All Music Guide), Mason is blessed with "A celestial voice" (Los Angeles Times) and genuine incandescence that draws unsolicited attraction when she enters a room. It’s not simply the tall blonde’s Slovak beauty, but her electrifying musical blending of Latin and Jazz rhythms mixed with the raw emotionality of folk and pop.
With KRAZY LOVE, Luba executes a "cool, Brazilian mood" with an intimate acoustic sound. Enhanced by well-known Brazilian musician Renato Neto on piano and keyboards (also pianist for the legendary musician, Prince), Luba is joined by top-notch bassist Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets), percussionist Cassio Duarte, Sandro Albert on guitar and Marco Costa on drums, with guest performances by the world renowned Hubert Laws as well as her husband, Latin great, Ruben Blades. In addition to co-producing the album, Luba’s blossoming writing talents are premiered in 8 original songs alongside two covers, creating a distinctive yet personal sound and style to this unique blend of melodies.
From the title track, "Krazy Love," which sets the tone for the CD to Luba’s childhood memories of growing up in her parent’s home on "This House"; from the flirtatious vibes of romance on the duet (with Ruben) "And It Is with You I Go" to the feelings of betrayal on the songs "From Me To You" and "A Summer Night"; from the fantasies expressed on "Lovely" to the celebratory mode of "Christmas In July," Luba’s CD is a personal and heartfelt exploration of love in all its various stages.
A native New Yorker and first generation American, Luba spent her early youth devoted to training in classical voice, piano and dance. The training paid off with her early acceptance to Circle in the Square Theatre School and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, straight out of school, Luba was plucked by Tommy Tune to sing and dance on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning, "THE WILL ROGER’S FOLLIES."
She went on to impress director Trevor Nunn, who cast her in the American premiere of "SUNSET BLVD," but it was director/impresario Des McAnuff who placed Luba front and center as sex bomb Hedy LaRue next to Matthew Broderick’s J. Pierpont Finch in the celebrated Broadway revival of "HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS..." A featured role in Paul Simon’s "THE CAPEMAN" preceded Luba’s return to center stage as she starred in the Broadway production of "JEKYLL & HYDE" and then, as Velma Kelly opposite Brooke Shields’ Roxy Hart in the smash musical, "CHICAGO".
Tapped by Ruben Blades (her cast mate in "THE CAPEMAN") as a guest vocalist for his 2003 Grammy Award-winning CD MUNDO, Luba’s seamless segue from the New York stage to the Hollywood scene gave her the chance to tackle dramatic roles in guest-starring parts on LAW & ORDER, NYPD BLUE, and NEW YORK UNDERCOVER, and most recently opposite Jeff Goldblum in the psychic detective series, RAINES.
No stranger to the nightclub circuit, Luba has performed sold-out shows at LA’s famed CATALINA BAR & GRILL, VIBRATO and the CINEGRILL. Back in New York, Luba has headlined at BIRDLAND and THE METROPOLITAN ROOM; at YOSHI’S in Oakland, and will be featured at next year’s PANAMA JAZZ FESTIVAL. (www.lubamason.com)
Photo: Luba Mason and Ruben Blades
The Dark Knight soundtrack by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard
YAMAHA and media artist Toshio Iwai have collaborated to develop a new digital musical instrument for the 21st century, TENORI-ON
TENORI-ON is a hand-held device, musical instrument, loop-generator, MIDI interface, tone generator, etc., which combines LED technology with musical composition controllers within a portable 16 x 16 matrix. The device allows the user to assign tones by pressing the LED buttons in a variety of modes to produce a musical sequence, quite similar to that of a portable drum machine, MIDI controller, or tone generator. The name "TENORI-ON" translates to "palm music", so we can consider this to be a sort of musical PDA for musicians and non-musicians, alike. The obviously lure is its graphic appeal from the 256 LEDs which flash when assigned by the user. The sound generator consists of an array of AWM2 voices which are stored within the device and can be heard through the unit's built-in stereo speakers, an external pair of headphones, or audio system.
At present, the unit is available for retail in the UK, but we can surely anticipate an eventual increase in global marketing and sales. As I see it, the TENORI-ON is a new approach in design to the existing realm of portable micro-music composers which have been in the market over the past 20 years or so. Perhaps this device (by not having a traditional piano keyboard or drum machine configuration) might interest and inspire many non-musicians to try their hands at making music as a visually and auditory-stimulating experience. Furthermore, having selected a 'button-pressing interface' as compared to a traditional keyboard or drum pad device, at face value, means that just about anyone can learn to control this device and at any age level.
For a closer look at the design of this device, click here. For connection of the TENORI-ON with external devices, click here.
Mark Prigoff Plays "New Snow" by Flim & the BB's from the "This is a recording." CD (Warner Bros. 1992). Written by Billy Barber (Keyboards), with vocals by Michael Ruff, Jimmy Johnson on Bass, Bill Berg on Drums, and Dick Oatts on Sax. Click the play button below to watch this video:
Susan Krasner: THREADS
Susan Krasner is an Integrated Kabbalistic Healer (IKH), a healing modality developed by her spiritual teacher and modern Kabbalist Jason Shulman (the founder of Society of Souls and author of Kabbalistic Healing: A Path to an Awakened Soul and The Instruction Manual for Receiving God). Susan maintains a private healing practice in her home office in Rochester, NY, and offers long distance phone sessions.
Susan is also a singer, and religious school music teacher and youth choir director at Temple Sinai, in Rochester, NY. Her latest CD recording, Threads, is collecton of 17 "musical interpretations of traditional Jewish prayers, incorporating contemporary rhythms and orchestrations of the world." Susan is the Executive Producer of this work and the CD recording was produced and arranged by Danny Lomenzo of Noteworthy Studios in Victor, New York.
This is simply an outstanding work which is sure to please anyone who gives audience to it. Also featured on this recording is the musical artistry and talents of Susan Krasner (lead vocals), with guest vocalist, Ric Robinson, and instrumentals and arrangements by Danny Lomenzo, Andy Calabrese, Paul Gaspar, Matt Overlan, Robert Pickert, and Marvin Parker. The CD was recorded and mixed at Noteworthy Studios between May - November, 2007, and mastered at Barking Doctor Recording, Mt. Kisco, NY, by Tom Bender and Mick Guzauski.
"Sarah Geronimo In Motion Tour" in the U.S. . .
She's the talented popstar vocalist from Manila, Philippines, and just recently performed at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan, along with her entourage of male vocalists: Mark & Christian Bautista, Ray Manalo, and Erik Santos. Although all of these young performers have the "right stuff" when it comes to singing American pop hits from artists such as Celine Dion, Lara Fabian, and even Barry Manilow, it is quite surprising that her producers (and Viva Records) failed to promote, market, and expose her to the Non-Philippino American market. The audience at the NYC was predominently young Philippino girls who spent most of the concert screaming their lungs out throughout the show. Perhaps this was heightened by the almost 2-hour delay in starting this concert which was scheduled to commence at 7 pm and really didn't get underway until 8:30 pm. Sarah's singing was rather good, though her dancing routines were a bit unpolished. The band members did a good job with instrumentation, but the lighting and video effects were rather distracting while blasting Vari-lights and overhead spots directly at the audience.
Sarah now has several CDs produced including: Popstar, Sweet Sixteen, Night of the Champions (with Mark, Erik, Ray, Christian and Rachelle Ann Go), Becoming and Taking Flight. The CDs are rather hard to find and really have not been distributed within local US retailers, though you may find them through third-party vendors at Amazon.com and other distributors.
It will be interesting to see if Sarah's popularity increases outside of her already established Philippino market. Certainly, a little more advanced media publicity, radio and CD promotion could help introduce her to a broader market and American audience. She is quite talented, adored by her teenage fans both here and abroad, and may continue to be a "rising super-star."
To hear some music from Mark Prigoff, click here.
To see CD cover art from new additions and favorites from my CD inventory, click here.
To watch Mark Prigoff play "Tout" by Lara Fabian, click the play button below:
(To see other Mark Prigoff videos, click the "Menu" button on the right of the player.)
Hear Mark Prigoff at SoundClick.com with the following player.
Click any of the songs listed, or the "play" button.
American Idol vs. The Piano Guy, Scott Houston
A rather amusing video mash
Kara Johnstad and her band perform "Sufi Samba"
at the A.trane Jazz Club in Berlin.
(from the Pages Of Sand album)
Joey DeFrancesco performs his great song
"Blues for Bobby C" on the Legends of Jazz episode "The Killer Bs".
Chriss Botti (trumpet) plays "My Funny Valentine" on the Legends of Jazz series.
Willie Pickens is on piano, Larry Gray on bass, and Leon Joyce Jr. on drums.
WANT FUNK? WANT SOUL? COME ON DOWN AND GET IT!CHRISSI POLAND
THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2007 at 9:30 pm. - THE BITTER END, 149 BLEECKER ST., NYC ($7)
Something new from Chrissi Poland, just in time for the holidays. "I'll Think Of You On Christmas" is Chrissi's new single which she co-produced with Joel Rosenblatt at Cliffsound Studios, Yonkers, New York. (You can hear some of Chrissi's recordings and performances by going to www.myspace.com/chrissipoland). The song was arranged by Phil Turcio and is currently receiving airplay on WATD in Marshfield, MA. The single will soon be retailed at CDbaby.com with proceeds to benefit the Marshfield High School Music Program. Chrissi is quite pleased with this recording and wishes one and all, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
More about Chrissi Poland from this past year...
Chrissi Poland and her band return to The Bitter End on Wednesday, August 23 at 9:30 p.m. Her new LIVE CD is now available!
Chrissi Poland and her band have racked-up "frequent flyer miles" with regular club band appearances at The Bitter End, 149 Bleeker St., NYC. Chrissi's amazing vocal range and original funk and soul compositions will rock and astound you. She returns to The Bitter End with Chrissi on lead vocals and keyboard, Russ "Swang" Stewart on keys and vocals, Alisa B. on vocals and percussion, Artie (pronounced "R-Tay") on guitar, Ivan Bodley on bass and Joe Goretti on drums. Chrissi always puts on a great performance, reaching out and commanding the full attention of her audiences with every show! She's an absolute pro, quite comfortable on-stage and the whole group is simply very solid and just as tight as can be. . . You don't want to miss this show if you're in town this week.
Put some sizzle into your summer and pickup her new LIVE CD at The Bitter End with her band for another sizzling show! Don't miss it!
Chrissi will be performing some new material along with others from her current CD project. You can sample some of these at www.myspace.com/chrissipoland including: Frequency, Yesterday, Steppin' Up Gettin' Down and Good Till It's Gone. Hope to see all of you there!
Review of the April 12th Show:
Once again, Chrissi Poland delivered a sizzling entrée of funk and soul with her outstanding crew. Opening with her new title, Frequency, Chrissi turned up the heat with Steppin Up Getting Down and Coulda Been The One. In balance, she graced us with some funky ballads, I'll Be The One, Waiting and Problems, and then took a vocal solo (with her Yamaha Motif) with the song, Yesterday, followed by Never Again. The band closed with their signature tune, Can't Stop, featuring a solid guitar solo from "R-Tay", and of course, we all agree they shouldn't! If you missed this one, you can redeem yourself by coming to the May 22nd performance and discover what "Yeah, that's what I'm talking about!" means on the NYC live club scene.
[ Photo by Mark Prigoff ]
Music, MIDI, CD & MP3 . . .
It has been said that "Music has charms to soothe the savage breast. To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.", (William Congreve, The Mourning Bride, Act 1, Scene 1),
but it also soothes the rest of us, too. Everyone loves some sort of music, and it is a personal reflection of who we are, what we enjoy,
and ranges from the simple to the very complex.
What would a movie be without a musical sound track or score? Perhaps, very dull, uninteresting and without feeling.
If you ever want to test that out, try watching a movie without the sound on. Besides that lack of dialog, you will notice that
in scenes where there is no dialog, usually a musical score sets the tone, mood or character for these scenes.
And, before a musical score or dialog was recorded in the days of the "silent pictures," a pianist would play live in the movie
theaters to set the mood for each scene. Even that task was a true artform, that is, to play a theme which appropriately
matched the action on the screen as a sort of improvisation. In her college days, my grandmother used to play the violin, part-time,
with her sister at the piano at the "silent picture shows" in Syracuse, and there are many others who made a living doing this
during this time before the "talkies." Today, the musical score has come a long way and is now a rather integral part of the
production of a successful film. Appropriate themes for each character, action or scene binds the visual with audio to become
a singular work of art.
Music is just about everywhere we go . . . in our cars, our phones ("music on hold"), in elevators, at the doctor's office,
stores and malls, bus and airport terminals, and it helps us to stay relaxed, especially when waiting on line, or
"on hold," or just passing the time.
I have collected music in both CD (Compact Disc) and MP3 (a compressed form of digital music) which represents the music which
I enjoy and share with others. The categories for this collection include:
Classical and New Age (Orchestral, Ambient and Synthesized)
Country and Folk
Global House and Trance
Jazz (Vocals and Instrumental)
Latin (particularly, Brazilian Music)
Pop Vocals and Rock
Sheetmusic (.pdf files)
Soundtracks (including movies and musicals)
Various Artists and Collections
However, some of these recordings could be in more than one category ("cross-over" music, such as
"fusion", for example), so I have chosen to list them alphabetically by artist, composer or group name,
rather than by category. Perhaps you will find some new artists or material to explore and enjoy.
For a listing of my current mp3 collection, click here.
This is a rather large listing of mp3 files, associated images and other materials I have collected to accompany this music,
so please be patient for this list to open. I used Directory Lister (ver. 0.6) to create this directory of my local mp3s (and other
related files) within my collection.
Here's a sample mp3 file. The song is "You Must Believe In Spring" by Michel Legrand,
sung by Karen Gallinger (YAMAHA/Hal Leonard PianoSoft Plus) and accompanied by me on the Technics
PR-305 digital piano.
To download this file click here.
Track Title: You Must Believe In Spring
Album Title: The Music Never Ends - Lyrics of Alan & Marilyn Bergman
Prime Artist: Maureen McGovern
Lyrics: Alan and Marilyn Bergman (nee Marilyn Keith)
Music: Michel Legrand
Producer: Ettore Stratta
From the Film: The Young Girls Of Rochefort, 1968 (F)
WHEN LONELY FEELINGS CHILL THE MEADOWS OF YOUR MIND,
JUST THINK IF WINTER COMES, CAN SPRING BE FAR BEHIND?
BENEATH THE DEEPEST SNOWS, THE SECRET OF A ROSE
IS MERELY THAT IT KNOWS YOU MUST BELIEVE IN SPRING!
JUST AS A TREE IS SURE ITS LEAVES WILL REAPPEAR,
IT KNOWS ITS EMPTINESS IS JUST A TIME OF YEAR,
THE FROZEN MOUNTAIN DREAMS OF APRIL'S MELTING STREAMS,
HOW CRYSTAL CLEAR IT SEEMS, YOU MUST BELIEVE IN SPRING!
YOU MUST BELIEVE IN LOVE AND TRUST IT'S ON ITS WAY,
JUST AS THE SLEEPING ROSE AWAITS THE KISS OF MAY,
SO IN A WORLD OF SNOW, OF THINGS THAT COME AND GO,
WHERE WHAT YOU THINK YOU KNOW, YOU CAN'T BE CERTAIN OF,
YOU MUST BELIEVE IN SPRING AND LOVE.
Digital Jazz Productions Studio Recording System, click here.
The New York City Opera at Lincoln Center
Perhaps one of the most sophisticated and entertaining form of theatrical
performance is opera! Although it is not for everyone, opera has certainly
stood the "test of time" and has entertained many audiences over the centuries,
from royalty down to the masses who have always had a strong thirst for it.
This past 2005-2006 season, The New York City Opera (at The New York
State Theatre located at Lincoln Center) has presented some classic operas
and has also brought an American classic musical from Broadway into the
American operatic repertoire: Frank Loesser's "The Most Happy Fella"
starring Paul Sorvino as the Napa Valley vineyard owner in search of love
and happiness through a "mail-order bride."
Paul did a wonderful job as "Tony" in the lead role and it was a pleasure
seeing the "softer" side of him in this live venue, a strong departure from his
well-known mobster image on film. This musical is based on the Sidney Howard
play and 1940 film, "They Knew What They Wanted", directed by Garson Kanin
and starring Charles Laughton and Carole Lombard. It was also great to meet
Mr. Sorvino before and after the show.
I always wanted to see Puccini's Turandot after having heard the aria "Nessun dorma"
performed by so many tenors including Pavarotti, Bocelli, Watson and others. I first
heard an excerpt of this famous aria in the movie, "The Witches of Eastwick"
followed by several wonderful renditions by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra,
conducted by Erich Kunzel. I have also heard other performances of it on DVD
from Russell Watson and Andrea Bocelli, and it has become very popular
as a "classical standard." The New York City Opera's production was both
lavish in decor, custumes, set design and lighting, and the music was of course
equally high on the scale as one would always expect from Puccini.
Another great NYCO production this year was Mozart's "Don Giovanni" and I
had a glimpse of this opera from the movie, "Amadeus", starring Tom Hulce
and F. Murray Abraham which won 8 Academy Awards. The opera is quite long with
many arias (including a lengthy overture) and constitutes a rather bizarre plot
involving the ploys of a rather cavalier Casanova. One gets a sensation of the
story of "A Christmas Carol" or "Scrooge" as Don Giovanni is beseeched to repent
for his sins by the ghost of a former victim, or face total damnation in the fires of hell.
To complete my opera viewing this season, I've always wanted to see
La Bohčme. This particular production featured a more comtempory set design
than it's former Metropolitan Opera version which starred Luciano Pavarotti and
Renata Scotto back in 1977, which I watched on DVD just prior to this performance.
It then became obvious that the movie and Broadway show, "Rent" is just a
modern-day revamping of the same story with some obvious parellels
(Christmas Eve, the burning of scripts, Mimi's candle and missing key,
Musetta's Waltz, and more). Marcello's vocals outshown Rodolfo's voice
in this NYCO presentation, but I thoroughly enjoyed the total production.
I have also had the pleasure of seeing "Carmen", "Madame Butterfly" and Sousa's
"The Glass Blowers" at the NYCO over the years. But my absolute favorite is
Ponchielli's "La Gioconda" which I saw at the original Metropolitan Opera House
and met Milton Cross who was "the official radio voice of the Met" for 43 years.
It was exciting to see a ship set on fire onstage in the first act, as well as the
ballet during the final act "Dance of the Hours" which is the infamous musical basis to
Allan Sherman's spoof, "Camp Granada." This opera was later televised on PBS, a
production done by the San Francisco Opera Company but it lacked the total impact of a live
performance. I also enjoyed Verdi's "Aida" while visiting Rome which featured live
horses during the Triumphal March in the second act, and many other operas and
operettas such as "The Three Penny Opera", "The Mikado" and "The Pirates of Penzance."
Leonard Bernstein's CANDIDE
Since we are on the subject of opera and operettas, I must give a rave review of Leonard
Bernstein's Candide, which was performed just across the square at Avery Fisher Hall in 2004.
Although I missed seeing this in person, I finally discovered this special "concert performance" on
HDTV and DVD this year. When I think of Leonard Bernstein, the first images of his genius which comes
to mind is (of course) "West Side Story." Perhaps that is also true for most people, but for me, I also
remember him from his famous Harvard Lecture Series (PBS/WNET13), his Young Peoples Concerts
which I attended many years ago, his conducting of the New York Philharmonic on many records,
CDs, and also on film when I attended middle school during our music appreciation classes. But
somehow, two works of his were only fragments in my mind and they were "Trouble In Tahiti",
(which I partially remember from a PBS television broadcast), and the Overture to Candide, which I had
on the "Selections from Leonard Bernstein's Candide" CD.
To listen to an overture is a good experience on one level, but not quite the same as seeing
the whole production. In this case, the operetta was performed ala "theatre in the round" style as a
"concert performance" (and edited for this particular PBS live recording of the show). The music,
lyrics, comedy, production and vocal performances are all superb. Paul Groves (Candide),
Kristin Chenoweth (Cunegonde), Patti LuPone (The Old Lady), Sir Thomas Allen (Narrator & Dr. Pangloss),
Jeff Blumenkrantz (Maximillian), and Janine LaManna (Paquette) were perfectly matched for this
production for their vocal, acting and comedic abilities.
The New York Philharmonic and Westminster Symphonic Choir were also brilliantly conducted by
Marin Alsop, and this particular performance was executed with absolute perfection from every
possible aspect. I then compared this production to the original 1989 CD full recording and I must say
that although that is a worthy recording of Bernstein's creation, I still favor this 2004 production,
mostly because of its' popular vocal renditions and contemporary feel.
You would also appreciate the clever lyrics by Leonard Bernstein, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker,
Stephen Sondheim, Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche which all fit with perfection to Bernstein's
exceptional musical score. All of the main characters are no certainly no strangers to either Broadway
or music shows. Paul Groves is an exceptionally gifted operatic tenor, but plays Candide with
exceptional humor, innocence and charm. Kristin stops the show with "Glitter and Be Gay" and adds
her own comedic wit, compounded with an exceptional soprano range. She is outstanding with her
duets with both Patti and Paul. Ms. LuPone is, once again, her spectacular self and this production
plays a few comedic tricks based on her talents and universal recognition. Supporting roles by Janine,
Jeff and Thomas are not in the least bit over-shadowed in this instance. In short, the complete casting
is a "match made in heaven!" And some good news... if you missed this performance on PBS, you can
still enjoy this production today on DVD (widescreen, enhanced for HDTV), and I am greatful that this
has been archived as such for future audiences to enjoy. And while there have been many performances,
recordings, and variations of this work between 1956 and 2004, this particular one is simply
"the best of all possible Candides!"
Digital Jazz Productions
RUFF, MICHAEL - THE MICHAEL RUFF BAND LIVE AT MY PLACE (CDR)
RUFF, MICHAEL - ONCE IN A LIFETIME (CDR)
RUFF, MICHAEL - GIRL LIKE YOU/MICHAEL RUFF (2 CD ALBUMS-CDR)
RUFF, MICHAEL - MICHAEL RUFF LIVE 1998 (CDR)
RUIZ, HILTON - DOIN' IT RIGHT
RUN DMC - EXCLUSIVE MEGAMIX
RUSSEL, BRENDA - GET HERE
RYAN, JACKIE/HOLLOWAY, RED - YOU AND THE NIGHT AND THE MUSIC
S., ROBIN - SHOW ME LOVE
SADE - DIAMOND LIFE
SADE - STRONGER THAN PRIDE
SAFAN, CRAIG - REMO WILLIAMS THE ADVENTURE BEGINS (ST)
SAINT-SAËNS - ORGAN SYMPHONY
SAINT-SAËNS - SYMPHONY NO. 3 'ORGAN' (AND OTHERS)
SAINT-SAËNS - SYMPHONY NO. 3 'ORGAN' (CDR)
SAKAMOTO, RYUICHI - SILK (ST)
SAMMY, DJ - HEAVEN (CDR)
SAMMY, DJ - HEAVEN (2CD SET - ENHANCED)
SAMPLE, JOE - RAINBOW SEEKER
SAMPLE, JOE - CARMEL
SAMPLE, JOE - THE HUNTER
SAMPLE, JOE - OASIS
SAMPLE, JOE - VOICES IN THE RAIN
SAMPLE, JOE - ROLES
SAMPLE, JOE - SPELLBOUND
SAMPLE, JOE - ASHES TO ASHES
SAMPLE, JOE - INVITATION
SAMPLE, JOE - OLD PLACES OLD FACES
SANBORN, DAVID - CLOSE-UP
SANBORN, DAVID - AS WE SPEAK
SANBORN, DAVID - PEARLS
SANBORN, DAVID - THE BEST OF DAVID SANBORN
SANBORN, DAVID - SONGS FROM THE NIGHT BEFORE
SANBORN, DAVID - CLOSER
SANCHEZ, MARTA - MARTA SANCHEZ - SERIE MILLENNIUM 21 (2CD)
SANCHEZ, PONCHO - LA FAMILIA
SANDERS, CANDY - GANGSTER OF LOVE
SANDOVAL, ARTURO - FLIGHT TO FREEDOM
SATIE, ERIK - SATIE: THREE GYMNOPEDIES
SAVIOR - ALL THE WORLD IS WATCHING
SAZONOFF, YURI - SOUND FOR THE SOUL
SCAGGS, BOZ - FADE INTO LIGHT (CDR)
SCOTT, MARILYN - BEGINNING WITH YOU (CDR-SINGLE)
SCOTT, MARILYN - WALKING WITH STRANGERS
SCOTT, TOM - FLASHPOINT
SCOTT, TOM - NIGHT CREATURES
SCHONBERG, CLAUDE M. - MISS SAIGON (ST/2CD)
SCHONBERG, CLAUDE M. - LES MIS & MISS SAIGAON
SCHUBERT - COMPLETE WORKS (2CD)
SCHUMANN - COMPLETE WORKS (2CD)
SCHUUR, DIANE - PURE SCHUUR
SCHUUR, DIANE - IN TRIBUTE
SCHWARTZ, PAUL - ARIA 2 NEW HORIZON
SEAMAN, DAVE - RENAISSANCE AMERICA VOL 1
SEAMAN, DAVE - RENAISSANCE AWAKENING (2CD)
SEAMAN, DAVE - RENAISSANCE DESIRE (2CD)
SEAMAN, DAVE - MELBOURNE GU-022 (2CD)
SEAMAN, DAVE - CAPE TOWN - (DISC #2 OF 2CD) (CDR)
SEAMAN, DAVE - BACK TO MINE (CDR)
SEINFELD - SEINFELD ON DVD - EXCLUSIVE CD
SELENA - DREAMING OF YOU
SEPULVEDA, JORGE A. - CINEMA PARADISO LOVE THEME (CDR-SINGLE)
SERRA, ERIC - THE PROFESSIONAL (ST)
SERRA, ERIC - THE FIFTH ELEMENT (ST)
SERRA, ERIC - THE FIFTH ELEMENT (ST)
SERRIE, JOHN - AND THE STARS GO WITH YOU
SEVAG, OYSTEIN - CLOSE YOUR EYES AND SEE
SEVAG, OYSTEIN - LINK
SEVAG, OYSTEIN - GLOBAL HOUSE
SEVAG, OYSTEIN - VISUAL
SEVAG, OYSTEIN - BRIDGE
SHAIMAN, MARC - THE ADDAMS FAMILY (ST)
SHAIMAN, MARC - THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT (ST)
SHAIMAN, MARC - SIMON BIRCH (ST)
SHAIMAN, MARC - CITY SLICKERS II: THE LEGEND OF CURLY'S GOLD (ST)
SHAIMAN, MARC - THE BUCKET LIST AND "MEMORY LANE" (ST)
SHAKATAK - THE COOLEST CUTS
SHAKATAK - MANIC & COOL
SHAKATAK - PERFECT SMILE
SHAKATAK - OPEN YOURS EYES
SHANNON, SHARON - SPELLBOUND: THE BEST OF SHARON SHANNON
SHEARMUR, EDWARD - SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW (ST)
SHEARMUR, EDWARD/MONHEIT, JANE - SKY CAPTAIN (END CREDITS-ST)
SHELLEY, GLADYS - GLADYS SHELLEY VOL I
SHELLEY, GLADYS - GLADYS SHELLEY VOL II
SHELLEY, GLADYS (CARRIE SMITH) - ONLY YOU CAN DO IT
SHELLEY, GLADYS (TONI ARDEN) - MY WORLD IS YOU
SHERY - SHERY (SAMPLER CD - 4 TRACKS) (CDR)
SHORE, HOWARD - SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (ST)
SHORT, BOBBY - BOBBY SHORT CELEBRATES R&H
SHORT, BOBBY - LATE NIGHT - CAFE CARLYLE
SHORTER, WAYNE - THE BEST OF WAYNE SHORTER
SHOSTAKOVICH, DMITRI - WALTZ NO. 2 (VARIOUS ORCHESTRAS) (CDR)
SHOSTAKOVICH, DMITRI - PIANO CONCERTOS 1 & 2/JAZZ SUITE 1/OTHERS (CDR)
SHOSTAKOVICH/KHACHATURIAN AND OTHERS:
PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2 IN F MAJOR, OP. 102, II: ANDANTE
(ENGLISH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA CONDUCTED BY JERZY MAKSYMIUK/
PIANO: DMITRI ALEXEEV) AND OTHER SELECTIONS BY
STRAUSS, KHACHATURIAN, & MASSENET (CDR)
SIEGEL, DAN - LATE ONE NIGHT
SIEGEL, DAN - GOING HOME
SIEGEL, JANIS/HERSCH, FRED - SLOW HOT WIND
SILVANO, JUDI - LET YOURSELF GO
SILVEIRA, RICARDO - LONG DISTANCE
SILVEIRA, RICARDO - SKY LIGHT
SILVEIRA, RICARDO - AMAZON SECRETS
SILVEIRA, RICARDO - SMALL WORLD
SILVEIRA, RICARDO - STORYTELLER
SILVESTRI, ALAN - THE ABYSS (ST)
SILVESTRI, ALAN - BACK TO THE FUTURE (ST)
SILVESTRI, ALAN - CAST AWAY: (ROBERT ZEMEKIS & ALAN SILVESTRI) (ST)
SILVESTRI, ALAN - THE MUMMY RETURNS (ST)
SILVESTRI, ALAN - BEOWULF (ST)
SILVESTRI, ALAN/DEBNEY, JOHN - PREDATORS ENDCREDITS (ST) (CDR-SINGLE)
SIMON, CARLY - MY ROMANCE
SIMON, CARLY - WORKING GIRL (ST)
SIMON, CARLY - MOONLIGHT SERENADE (DUAL DISC)
SIMON, FRED - OPEN BOOK
SIMON, LUCY - THE SECRET GARDEN (BST)
SIMON, PAUL - GREATEST HITS
SIMON, PAUL - GRACELAND
SIMON, PAUL - NEGOTIATIONS & LOVE SONGS 1971-1986 (4 TRKS-CDR)
SIMONE - VICIO
SIMONE - BEST OF SIMONE
SIMONE - LA DISTANCIA
SIMPLY RED - A NEW FLAME
SIMPLY RED - MEN AND WOMEN
SIMPSON, BRIAN - IT'S ALL GOOD
SIMPSON, BRIAN/KOZ/WHALUM - IT'S ALL GOOD (LIVE) JAVA JAZZ 2006 (CDR)
SIMPSON, BRIAN - WHAT CHA GONNA DO (CDR-SINGLE)
SIMPSON, BRIAN - ABOVE THE CLOUDS
SIMPSON, BRIAN - CLOSER STILL (SAMPLER - CDR)
SIMPSON, BRIAN - SOUTH BEACH
SINATRA, FRANK - IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS
SINATRA, FRANK - THE CAPITOL YEARS (3CD)
SINATRA, FRANK - NOTHING BUT THE BEST
SINATRA, FRANK - IT HAPPENED IN MONTERREY (CDR-SINGLE)
SINATRA, FRANK - CLASSIC SINATRA - HIS GREAT PERFORMANCES 1953-1960 (X2)
SINATRA, FRANK - CLASSIC SINATRA II
SINATRA, FRANK/JOBIM, A.C. - SINATRA JOBIM
SINATRA, FRANK - THE SINATRA TREASURES
SINGERS UNLIMITED, THE - CHRISTMAS
SJOHOLM, HELEN - GABRIELLA'S SONG ("AS IT IS IN HEAVEN" OST) (CDR)
SMALL, JIM, BAND - EVERYBODY
SMALL, JIM/PRIGOFF, MARK - TEN YEARS (CDR-SINGLE) (X2)
SMALL, JIM - THIS IS WHERE WE LIVED
SMITH, CHRIS - HAMMER
SMITH, LONNIE LISTON - LOVE GODDESS
SNOW, PHOEBE - THE BEST OF PHOEBE SNOW
SOLBULE, JILL - JILL SOBULE (W/ SUPERMODEL)
SOLBULE, JILL - PINK PEARL
SONDHEIM, STEPHEN - SWEENEY TODD (ST-2CD)
SONDHEIM, STEPHEN - SONDHEIM AT CARNEGIE (HLTS)
SONDHEIM, STEPHEN - SWEENEY TODD DELUXE COMPLETE EDITION (2007) (ST)
SONDHEIM, STEPHEN - SWEENEY TODD HIGHLIGHTS (2007) (ST)
SOUSA, JOHN PHILIP - 15 GREATEST MARCHES
SOUSA, JOHN PHILIP - DÉSIRÉE: A COMIC OPERA
SPACEY, KEVIN/DARIN, BOBBY - BEYOND THE SEA (ST) (SELECTIONS) (CD-ROM)
Here is a listing of plays, Broadway shows (including "off-Broadway"),
musicals, operas and operetta I have seen and enjoyed over the years. Many of these may
never be presented again, but some have been archived on film, to tape or DVD,
while others should have been or may be in the future.
A Broadway Musical
A Chorus Line
Annie Get Your Gun
A Royal Family
Beauty and the Beast
Bye Bye Birdie
DO RE MI
Guys And Dolls
Half a Sixpence
How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
La Cage aux Folles
Little Shop of Horrors
Monty Python's Flying Circus (Live)
My Fair Lady
Stop The World I Want To Get Off
The Glass Blowers
The King and I
The Man Who Came To Dinner
The Most Happy Fella
The Music Man
The Phantom of the Opera
The Pirates of Penzance
The Sound of Music
The Zulu and the Zaida
They're Playing Our Song
Three Penny Opera
Wait a Minim
West Side Story
Live Concerts and Musical Performances
A partial listing of concerts, groups and performers I have seen.
Acoustic Alchemy (IMAC, Huntington, NY)
Ahmad Jamal (IMAC, Huntington, NY)
Anita O'Day (Struggles, Edgewater, NJ)
BB King (The Academy of Music, NYC)
Bob James & Earl Klugh (Avery Fisher Hall, NYC)
Chick Corea (Town Hall, NYC)
Chris Botti (Border's Bookstores, NYC)
Chrissi Poland (The Bitter End, NYC)
Clark Terry (Yonkers, NY)
Dakota Staton (Struggles, Edgewater, NJ)
Dar Williams & Sonya Kitchell (IMAC, Huntington, NY)
Dave Valentin (IMAC, Huntington, NY)
David Benoit (Beacon Theater, NYC)
David Benoit (Westbury Music Fair, LI, NY)
Dexter Gordon (The Blue Note, NYC)
Dick Hyman & Nancy Wilson (recording session in NYC)
Dizzy Gillespie (Englewood, NJ)
Duke Ellington (The Rainbow Room, NYC)
Earl Klugh (The Bottom Line, NYC)
Earl Klugh (Carnegie Hall, NYC)
Elton John (Central Park, NYC)
Elton John (Madison Square Garden, NYC)
Fattburger (IMAC, Huntington, NY)
Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons (NY)
GENESIS (Rochester Institute of Technology, NY)
GENESIS - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway Concert (Academy of Music, NYC)
GENESIS (Madison Square Garden, NYC)
Hector Olivera (Huntington Town House, Huntington, NY)
Herbie Hancock (The Arboretum, LI, NY)
Jim Dawson (Jabberwocky, Syracuse University, NY)
Jim Dawson (My Father's Place, Roslyn, NY)
Jim Dawson (The Cutting Room, NYC)
Joan Armatrading (Beacon Theater, NYC)
Joe Sample (IMAC, Huntington, NY)
John McLaughlin & The Mahavishnu Orchestra (Cornell University, NY)
Joni Mitchell & The LA Express (Roosevelt Raceway, LI, NY)
Keith Jarrett (Avery Fisher Hall, NY)
Larry Carlton & The Yellowjackets (Beacon Theater, NYC)
Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concert Series (NYC)
Linda Ronstadt (Central Park, NYC)
Little Feat & Aaron Neville (The Arboretum, LI, NY)
Monty Python's Flying Circus (New York City Center, NYC)
Pat Metheny Group (My Father's Place, Roslyn, NY)
Peter Gabriel (Academy of Music, NYC)
Peter Gabriel (Central Park, NYC)
Peter Gabriel (Passaic, NJ)
Preservation Hall Jazz Band (Englewood, NJ)
Regis Philbin & Kathy Lee (Westbury Music Fair, LI, NY)
Rob Mullins (IMAC, Huntington, NY)
Robert Goulet (The Concord Inn, NY)
Roxy Music featuring Brian Ferry (Academy of Music, NYC)
Sarah Geronimo (The Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC)
Seals & Croft (Hackensack, NJ)
Sergio Mendes & Brazil '66 (Red Rocks, Denver, CO)
Sophie Tucker (Las Vegas, NV)
The Beach Boys (Roosevelt Raceway, LI, NY)
The Boston Pops (Tanglewood, MA)
The New York Philharmonic Orchestra (Lincoln Center, NYC)
The New York Voices (IMAC, Huntington, NY)
The Projekt (LI, NY)
Tower of Power (Beacon Theater, NYC)
Van Cliburn (Interlochen Music Camp, Ann Arbor, MI)
YES, Procol Harem & King Crimson (Academy of Music, NYC)