Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gino Vannelli - Canto

Gino Vannelli - Canto

Gino Vannelli began his recording in the 70’s and he became really popular with his hit singles "People Gotta Move" and his classics "I Just Want to Stop" and "Living Inside Myself". But this secluded artist has always been able to amaze his fans and new listeners with his ability to innovate, create and sound unique, mainly due to his incredible musicianship and a wonderful and distinctive voice. So after an illustrious 30-year career, Vannelli took a huge leap forward and recorded “Canto” in 2003. Instead of going out and dredging up some moldy old standards, on a daring move he sat down and wrote his own, which is a lot more than you can say about some of the lifeless "classical" efforts done by some of his contemporaries. If growing old means going soft then might as well do it with integrity, soul and with a vengeance. The result is truly surprising and extraordinary and just beautifully moving. "Canto" expands Vannelli’s pallet both musically and linguistically as he also sings in Italian, Spanish and French but the emotion of his singing, the great compositions and the amazing arrangements transcend any language barrier. Vannelli’s low profile perhaps explains how little this gem of a production is known, but once again he has been able to reach deeply into our soul with his music. Musicians are: Gino Vannelli on vocals and piano, Joe Vannelli on keyboards, Randy Porter and Glenn Morley on piano, Janet Chvatal on vocals (Soprano), Daniele Bonaviri on guitar, Phil Neumann on flute, Fred Korman on oboe. Arrangements and orchestrations by Gino Vannelli, Ross Vannelli, Jorge Calandrelli, Don Sebesky, Randy Cannon and Glenn Morley.

Track Listing:
1. Canto
2. Parole Per Mio Padre
3. The Last Dance
4. Dea Speranza
5. Una Sola Voce
6. Wayward Lover (sampled above)
7. Mala Luna Dell'Armi
8. Joli Coeur
9. Una Rosa a Dicembre
10. Il Viaggio
11. The Last Days of Summer
Buy Canto at Amazon (cheap on the Used) or

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Roger Waters - Amused to Death

Roger Waters - Amuzed To Death

During my music conversations with friends, peers and music lovers in general I am amazed that in spite of the ageless popularity of Pink Floyd, many people don’t even know this amazing album exists, so I felt compelled to post it. But the best review of this album is found on AMG as written by Mike DeGagne: “Amused to Death is a solid album both conceptually and musically, showcasing Waters as an artist who, like his work with Pink Floyd, conveys his thoughts and ideals with pinpoint accuracy so that they are engraved within his audience's mind. With this album, Waters touches heavily on the dangers of capitalism, the insensitivity of the human race, the ridiculousness of war, and the onslaught of mindless entertainment that encroaches on mankind on a day-to-day basis. Fitting all these aspects into 14 songs is a task in itself, but accomplishing this task alongside music that is forceful and appealing is extremely difficult, and still Waters succeeds in doing this throughout the duration of the album. "The Ballad of Bill Hubbard" is a moving spoken intro from Alf Razzell, a former member of Britain's Royal Fusiliers. A stab at the false sense of security that lies within religion is dealt with on the powerful "What God Wants, Pt. 1," and the cowardice of the world's leaders is addressed in "The Bravery of Being Out of Range," one of the albums most blatant tracks. Guest guitarist Jeff Beck rises to the occasion on a number of songs here, and both Rita Coolidge and Don Henley fill in behind and beside Waters on a couple of the longer tunes. Ending with the title track (sampled below), a song that sums up the whole of the album with it's subtle yet hard-hitting demeanor, Waters proves that he can still reveal his conceptual ideas with pristine clarity, only on Amused to Death, the music is as equally entertaining and effective.” This masterpiece is not only a play set to music but a musical achievement of the highest caliber complemented by a profound statement into the professionalism of music production, recording and mixing techniques. The contrast between the musical mood and sound and the blatant lyrics transport the listener into a revolting ménage of sentiments deliver through hard criticism of life as seen on a TV screen. Produced by Waters and Patrick Leonard. Mixed by James Guthrie. Musicians are: Roger Waters on bass, guitars, keyboards and vocals, Patrick Leonard as producer, arranger on keyboards, Jeff Beck, Bruce Gaitsch, Steve Lukather, Andy Fairweather, Tim Pierce, B.J. Cole, Rick DiFonzo and Geoff Whitehorn on guitars, Jeff Porcaro, Graham Broad, Denny Fongheiser and Brian Macleod on drums, John Pierce John Patitucci, Randy Jackson and James Johnson on bass, Luis Conte on percussion, John "Rabbit" Bundrick on organ, Don Henley, Rita Coolidge on vocals, P.P. Arnold, Lynn Fiddmont, Doreen Chanter, N'Dea Davenport, Charles Fleischer, Natalie Jackson, Jon Joyce, Katie Kisoon, Jim Haas, Stan Laurel on background vocals, Guo Yi on bass, dulcimer, lute, oboe and zhen, Steve Sidwell on cornet, John Dupree, Kenneth Bowen and Michael Kamen as orchestra arrangers and conductors, the London Welsh Chorale and the National Philharmonic Orchestra, Jessica Leonard and Jordan Leonard on screams and voices, Alf Razzell as narrator and Marv Albert as the sports narrator. Listening on headphones or through big speakers at high volume is highly recommended.
NOTE: This album is not available digitally, so buy the CD before it dissapears!!

Track listing:
1. The Ballad of Bill Hubbard
2. What God Wants, Pt. 1
3. Perfect Sense, Pt. 1
4. Perfect Sense, Pt. 2
5. The Bravery of Being Out of Range
6. Late Home Tonight, Pt. 1
7. Late Home Tonight, Pt. 2
8. Too Much Rope
9. What God Wants, Pt. 2
10. What God Wants, Pt. 3
11. Watching TV
12. Three Wishes
13. It's a Miracle
14. Amused to Death (audio sample above)

Buy Amused to Death at Amazon