Stuart Saunders Smith (b. 1948) describes himself as "a confessional composer who focuses on revealing in his music the most personal aspects of his life, in the belief that the revelations of the particular speak to the universal." These six works feature the violin, unaccompanied and in a chamber context, and span four decades of compositional activity.
Excellent addition to any Rock music collection
I would give all of these songs a 5 (with a few possible exceptions). The marks deducted were for the albums short playing time (approx. 35 minutes) and the situation of the track listing (I would rather "Simple Dreams" switched with "Country Music").
Although he shared the same rockabilly roots as Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison went on to pioneer an entirely different brand of country/pop-based rock & roll in the early '60s. What he lacked in charisma and photogenic looks, Orbison made up for in spades with his quavering operatic voice and melodramatic narratives of unrequited love and yearning. In the process, he established rock & roll archetypes of the underdog and the hopelessly romantic loser. These were not only amplified by peers such as Del Shannon and Gene Pitney, but also influenced future generations of roots rockers such as Bruce Springsteen and Chris Isaak, as well as modern country stars the Mavericks.
Artaxerxes, premiered in London in 1762, was the first full-length opera seria sung in English. It proved a great success and helped to revive the fortunes of Thomas Arne, whose career had been in the doldrums. The opera featured his new protégée and mistress Charlotte Brent in the role of Mandane and Arne lavished attention on her music. Mandane’s arias and those of the hero Arbaces provide many of the opera’s high points, with their rich orchestrations, virtuoso vocal parts and captivating tunes. Though based on the Handelian model, Artaxerxes shows both Arne’s talent at the later galant style and his penchant for folk-like, pastoral airs. The results are mostly a delight (if a tad lightweight for the libretto’s blood ’n’ thunder deeds), with a variety of attractive arias further enhanced by Arne’s deft use of woodwind. Christopher Robson in the title role and Catherine Bott, thrilling as Mandane, head a fine team of singers: my only complaint is that Patricia Spence’s forceful Arbaces too often slips into shrill and strident mode.
This CD contains the best recordings from the early years of the fiery trumpeter Roy Eldridge. Eldridge, one of the great swing trumpeters and a powerful player into the 1970s, is heard with Teddy Hill's orchestra, backing singer Putney Dandridge, on four titles with Fletcher Henderson (including the hit "Christopher Columbus"), starring on a four-song session with Teddy Wilson, joining Billie Holiday on "Falling in Love Again," soloing on two numbers with Mildred Bailey (his "I'm Nobody's Baby" solo is years ahead of its time), and, best of all, leading a small group through six songs (plus an alternate) from his own explosive sessions of January 1937. This brilliant music is essential for all serious jazz collections.
A northern California-based blues guitarist, Roy Rogers works firmly out of a Delta blues acoustic style and is particularly good with a slide. A member of John Lee Hooker's '80s Coast to Coast Band, Rogers produced and played on Hooker's Grammy-winning comeback album, The Healer, and its follow-up, Mr. Lucky. During the early '70s, Rogers played with a variety of Bay Area bar bands. In 1976, he and harpist David Burgin recorded A Foot in the Door, which was released on Waterhouse Records. For the next few years, he played in various bands before he formed his own, the Delta Rhythm Kings, in 1980. Two years later, John Lee Hooker asked Rogers to join his Coast to Coast Band and the guitarist accepted. Rogers stayed with Hooker for four years, leaving in 1986. That same year, he released his debut album, Chops Not Chaps, on Blind Pig Records. The record was successful with blues audiences and was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award.
Originally recorded for Capitol Records in his pre-Hee-Haw days (1963), this is Roy Clark's instrumental album, an all-guitar fest that showcases the country artist's amazing chops. Kicking off with a warp-speed version of "Twelfth Street Rag" that actually gets doubles in tempo by the final chorus, this album features a brace of generic "twistin''' instrumentals (read: public domain tunes given a twist beat) like "Texas Twist," "Weeping Willow Twist," "Wildwood Twist" ("Wildwood Flower"), "Golden Slippers," and "Over the Waves," rocked up cha-cha's like "Pink Velvet Swing" and Bob Wills' "A Maiden's Prayer," and boogies like the closing "Chicken Wire." Produced by Ken Nelson and sounding for all the world like it was cut in a single afternoon session, this should open up anyone's eyes and ears who thinks of Roy Clark only as a belly scratchin' fool, telling corny jokes and singing sappy love ballads.