The contemporary blues bannerman's recording debut (originally released as Who's Been Talkin' in 1980), while naturally not as strong as his later work (especially Bad Influence, released five years later), is the work of an extremely promising artist. The album is an appealing mix of standards (Willie Dixon's "Too Many Cooks," Howlin' Wolf's "Who's Been Talkin'," O.V. Wright's "I'm Gonna Forget About You," among others) and originals. Among the strongest of the latter are the slow blues "I'd Rather Be a Wino" and the closing number, "If You're Thinkin' What I'm Thinkin'," which contains the flavorful mix of tight rhythms, excellent guitar work, strong vocals, and bittersweet mood that would become Cray's hallmark.
Modest Mussorgsky's opera in prologue and four acts is performed by the Kirov Opera with performances from Olga Borodina, Alexei Steblianko and Sergei Leiferkust. Boris Godunov has obtained the throne of Russia by murdering the rightful heir Dmitry. An old monk, Pimen, witnessed this, and convinces his apprentice Grigory to avenge Dmitry's death. In the following years Grigory poses as Dmitry, raising an army against Boris, who is now convinced that he is being punished for the murder.
Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki (1933-2010) thought two sentences in his search for the answer to the question what music is to be closest to capturing the root of the problem the words of Zbigniew Herbert: art is a transmission of important spiritual experiences and the thought of Pope John XXIII: it is a common thing, but the way is uncommon. The impact of both definitions on the composers oeuvre is particularly evident in the songs he had been writing since his first compositional attempts (falling in the mid-1950s) until 1996. Although Goreckis songs do not belong to the composers dominant expressive genres, he would return to them on a regular basis, considering them an important way of articulating the deepest, most personal, intimate experiences. This album, thanks to excellent soloists highly appreciated around the world, not only allows us to commune with the art of the outstanding Polish composer, but is also a great opportunity to hear the most representative Polish vocalists of several generations.
During the last quarter of the 20th century, and thanks largely to Eric Clapton's remarkable devotion to his memory, Robert Leroy Johnson posthumously became the most celebrated Delta blues musician of the pre-WWII era. Among numerous editions of his complete works and various anthologies that combine his recordings with those of his contemporaries and followers, J.S.P.'s The Road to Robert Johnson and Beyond combines many of his essential performances with those by dozens of other blues artists from Blind Lemon Jefferson and Henry Thomas to Muddy Waters and Elmore James. 105 tracks fill four CDs with several decades' worth of strongly steeped blues that trace the African American migration from the deep south on up into Chicago. This is a fine way to savor the recorded evidence, as primary examples from Blind Blake, Charley Patton, Son House, Charlie McCoy, Walter Vincson, Skip James, Ma Rainey, Tampa Red, Kokomo Arnold, Scrapper Blackwell, Leroy Carr, Lonnie Johnson, and Peetie Wheatstraw lead directly to early modern masters like Big Joe Williams, Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Bill Broonzy, Johnny Temple, Leroy Foster, Johnny Shines, Homesick James Williamson, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Snooky Pryor, Little Walter, and David Honeyboy Edwards, among many others.