Between Daylight and Dark is Mary Gauthier's (pronounced Go-Shay) sixth full-length offering, and a compelling step forward from 2005's Mercy Now. Produced by Joe Henry with most of the musicians who played on his Civilians album and Loudon Wainwright III's Strange Weirdos – Patrick Warren, Jay Bellerose, Greg Leisz, and David Piltch, with Wainwright and Van Dyke Parks making guest appearances – it possesses a deeply centered, almost organic sound; one that reverberates the intentions of the songwriter without trying to meet the sound head on. Henry is able to present songwriters as strong presences, as the still centers of a chaotic, frenetic world that whirls all around them, leaving them unaware of the presence of his voice ordering it without being swallowed in the process.
Too some, Al di Meola is best known for is shredding guitar work as part of Return to Forever, and also his early solo albums. But di Meola has always had an interest in flamenco styled acoustic playing ("Mediterranean Sundance" off of Elegant Gypsy, anyone?) – which is the six-string style that he fully embraces on his 2007 release, Diabolic Inventions and Seduction for Solo Guitar, Vol. 1: Music of Astor Piazzolla. Like its title says, the album is comprised solely of renditions of tunes by Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla, who is best known for trailblazing the nuevo tango style (which contained traces of both jazz and classical). And di Meola has no problem offering up a fine tribute, especially on such tracks as "Campero" and "Romantico."
Mari Kimura (木村 まり Kimura Mari) is a Japanese violinist and composer best known for her use of subharmonics, which, achieved through special bowing techniques, allow pitches below the instrument's normal range. She is credited with "introducing" the use of violin subharmonics, which allow a violinist to play a full octave below the low G on the violin without adjusting the tuning of the instrument. Polytopia: Music For Violin and Electronics is her first CD for the Bridge label, and her first created without collaborators.
Where to begin? The superbly remastered sound that transforms even the most familiar cut (and, let's face it, most of this stuff has been reissued so often, you'd need to be deaf not to know it backwards) into a whole new listening experience? The 33-song selection that revives the greatest hits alongside some of the greatest bits, to present a truly well-rounded examination of the full 10cc experience? The gleeful dip into both pre- and post-band history that places both "Neanderthal Man" and "Cry," and "Groovy Kind of Love" and "Bridge to Your Heart," into some kind of context? The two songs that premier Kevin Godley and Graham Gouldman's new project, GG06? A lone Gouldman four-song re-creation of his late-'60s Graham Gouldman Thing solo album? For anybody with even a passing fascination with the self-styled worst band in the world, Greatest Hits & More is such a treat that, no matter how many other "best-of" collections you already own, this is the only one you need…