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Product: Audio CD
Title: Jurassic Park III: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Label: Decca U.S.
Artist:
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
One of the best scores of the 1990's


Don Davis' sparkling effort has received more than its fair share of slating over the months; it's not surprising that most of the abuse comes from those who believe John Williams is unsurpassable. I am not the only person to believe Williams' music has stagnated somewhat over the past decade - a change was definitely in order.
Davis brings fresh innovation. A new voice, and a fantastic, classically trained ear combine to produce a stunning new score. Davis' orchestration is likewise colourful and imaginative.
Personally I had questioned Davis' involvement in the project - I would have selected David Arnold. However, I am more than willing to say that Davis was the right choice.
An exceptional contribution to 21st Century orchestral music.



Product: Audio CD
Title: John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman
Label: Grp Records
Artist: John Coltrane, Johnny Hartman
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
A unmitigated masterpiece


Usually quite judicious in my praise, I must start nonetheless by saying that this is one of the greatest jazz albums of all time (truly among the ranks of, if you're curious as to my frame of reference, Brubeck's "Time Out," Ella's `Mack the Knife' Berlin concert, Trane's "My Favorite Things," Miles' "Kind of Blue," and "Porgy and Bess," Sonny Rollins' "Saxophone Colossus," and perhaps Bill Evans' "Conversations with Myself"). Obscure and almost unknown up through his death and for several years thereafter, Johnny Hartman's music has been discovered by many in an upswing which, as one other reviewer points out, probably can be traced to the use of several of his tracks in the otherwise forgettable film version of "Bridges of Madison County." On Hartman's other recordings, it seems as if his producers could not decide whether he was the next Nat King Cole or was a jazz balladeer. This is where he belongs. His luscious, resonant bass (let's not kid ourselves, Hartman's got more of what it takes than a mere baritone) is, on this record, particularly skillful and tremendously expressive. Coletrane, likewise is wonderfully restrained for a point so far along in his career, and McCoy Tyner and the rest provide a superb backdrop.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Cats (1981 Original London Cast)
Label: Polygram Int'l
Artist: T. S. Eliot
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Elaine Paige sores to new hights


I thought that the original London cats recording of cats was the best score that they have had.The Broadway cast has its wonderful singers and actors that are very talented especially Betty Buckley who portrays the role very well or so thats what my mom tells me but i think Elaine Paige's version and the way she portrays Grizzabella is so untouched by anyone who has ever graced the stage as Grizzabella and NO ONE, I MEAN NO ONE sings Memory with as much feeling and compassion as Ms.Paige,the cd which i did not like as much as the movie version is still wonderful. I find that Ms.Paiges voice has progressed so much that it makes the song in the movie so much more angelic than on the cd and her TOUCH ME is absolutely flawless the notes are hit with such ease and emotion that it only makes me get goose bumps even more than on the cd so i think that Elaine Paige has very much so sored to new hights.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Sorcerer
Label: Spotted Peccary
Artist: Michael Stearns & Ron Sunsinger
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Incredible atmospheres, one of Stearns' best ever


The most significant recording in ambient/space music since Steve Roach's 1996 masterpiece "The Magnificent Void", the Stearns/Sunsinger collaboration "Sorcerer" also gets my vote as the best recording of its kind of 2000. What we have here is not only a sonic tribute to the late Hispanic anthropologist Carlos Castenada, but also what is perhaps the most ingenious recording of ambient tribal experimentalism yet produced. "Sorcerer" is a follow-up to their 1994 work "Singing Stones" (on Fathom Records) and while in spirit it seems to be a large-scale offshoot of Stearns' contribution to the "Storm of Drones" compilation called "Reky into Dark Territory", it transcends that track with superior thematic development and sheer psychological and emotional depth.
Perhaps part of the reason why both artists waited so long to record this music (they had read Casteneda's books during the early 1970s) may be due to waiting for the right developments in sound recording technology to come about. If this is in fact the case (as I believe) then it was one of the wisest decisions for both artists, but for Stearns in particular, "Sorcerer" contains some of the most significant music of his entire career, the sheer power of which is only matched by "Lyra", "Chronos" and "Encounter".
Utilizing everything from synths, prepared electric guitar, and bowed metal instruments, the disc effortlessly slides from near quiet contemplation ("Flyers: The Landing of Inorganic Life")to an unsettling form of ecstasy ("Portal") to a grating soundscape that resembles some of the early efforts of guitarist Jim O'Rourke ("Journey to the Underworld") to unearthly majesty ("The Realm of Magical Beings").
An uncharacteristic yet inestimable addition to Stearns' list of recordings, "Sorcerer" will inevitably go down as one of his most inspired and important efforts ever.