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Product: Audio CD
Title: A Love Supreme
Label: Grp Records
Artist: John Coltrane
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Quintessential Jazz


Coltrane's most famous work and deservedly so. Picture yourself on 125th in New York City on a hot, hot summer day or outside of Birdland at night when the steam rises from the sewer grates; the pavement is glistening while the subway roars by. People are hanging out of apartment windows while kids play ball in the street. Listening to "A Love Supreme" makes me think so much of these things.
This is a great recording that highlites Coltrane's growing integration of music and his own spirituality. No, actually, this is one the THE greatest recordings in the history of sound.
Coltrane's spiritual quest began in the late 1950's and he credited it/him/God with helping him kick heroin. When he returned to playing music (with Miles Davis) he was a changed man. Until his death in 1967, he continually tried to marry his admiration for 'God' or some universal force, with his music. "A Love Supreme" is the high-watermark of his efforts. The liner notes are great in this impulse! reissue-they include John's original 'prayer' upon which the music is based. Trane, Tyner, Jones, & Garrison meld together in beautiful symbiosis.
Absolutely essential.



Product: Audio CD
Title: RCA Opera Treasury - Verdi: Aida / Leinsdorf, Price, Domingo, Milnes, Bumbry, et al
Label: RCA
Artist: Erich Leinsdorf, Leontyne Price, Grace Bumbry, Placido Domingo, Sherrill Milnes, Ruggero Raimondi, Hans Sotin, Bruce Brewer, Joyce Mathis
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
"Aida assoluta" Leontyne Price Re-visits Verdi's Egypt!!!


This particular recording of Verdi's "Aida" has provoked a great deal of discussion amongst opera-lovers and critics alike since its release in 1970. Much of the furor centered on the American operatic diva Leontyne Price, universally regarded as one of the greatest Aidas ever, and this, her 2nd recorded performance of the role. Most become mired in subjective comparisons between Ms. Price's vocalism and interpretation on the legendary Solti/ Decca "Aida" made in the '60s, and this recording, released on RCA in 1970. There is little need for such debate. "Aida" has enjoyed no greater performer of the role than Leontyne Price! Here, Ms. Price's voice has grown notably darker in color, the middle voice heavier and lusher in texture. Her lower voice has more bite (and more chest)and husk. The upper voice hasn't lost much(vibrancy),and has gained a creamier, velvety richness that yields sublime soft 'pianos'("Numi pieta"..."O Patria mia"...the Nile Scene...and "O terra,addio") and produces the 'con forza' neccessary for the climaxes in the opera. Ms. Price has stated that the key to performing this role(for her)is in recognizing that Aida is a Royal Ethiopean princess, and that attitude is prevalent in her performance here. The conception is grander, more regal, and pointed in relation to her earlier assumption with Solti. The diva uses her impressive vocal 'palette' to color the texts, illuminating the various dramatic situations expertly, no more so than in the Nile Scene where Aida must express sorrow in the aria, joy, then revulsion & terror in the duet with Amonasro, and then seduce Radames into duplicity. Ms. Price reigns supreme there, and is triumphant throughout in this recording. Comparisons be damned, Leontyne Price is unbeatable as Aida on recordings. Her Radames, tenor Placido Domingo, has recorded his role (3) times. He sings here with a youthful vitality that's appropriate for the ambitious Egyptian captain in love with Aida. Mr. Domingo's voice is darkly beautiful, with a distinct vibrancy in his middle voice that blossoms into a firm, full-bodied spinto upper voice that 'rings' on top. He's ardent in the love scenes, heroic in the climaxes, and uniquely successful at portraying Radames' vulnerability, making Aida's seduction in the Nile Scene and "Celeste Aida" more convincing than usual. Mr. Domingo's use of 'mezza voce' is never more appreciated than in "O terra addio", the opera's finale, where he & Ms. Price sing a soft, glowing "farewell" to earth that is heartbreaking. Mezzo-soprano Grace Bumbry recorded the role of the Egyptian princess Amneris once before this performance. This role is one of her most famous creations, and she demonstrates the reason for such acclaim here. Ms. Bumbry's voice is sable- rich in texture, with a dark, pulsing middle voice, powerful high notes, and a deep, resonant chest voice that's singular in its beauty. 'Amneris' is a three-dimensional character in Ms. Bumbry's hands, and vocally, the mezzo-soprano is superb at presenting the crafty, volatile, passionate nature of Aida's nemesis. Ms. Bumbry's voice alternately purrs beguilingly, snarls with fury, urgently pleads, and is plaintive when the drama demands it, all on display in her Act III duet with Mr. Domingo,and the explosive Judgement Scene that follows. She is a magnificent Amneris. Baritone Sherrill Milnes added the role of Aida's father 'Amonasaro' to the stellar list of Verdi roles he's renowned for with this recording. His portrayal is also more youthful than usual, but loses none of the dignity and stature that Verdi invested in the music. Mr. Milnes uses his voluminous instrument with a musical intelligence that is largely missing in his rivals' interpretations. His singing is nuanced, purposeful, & incisive, utilizing the strong, firmly- voiced middle to contrast with a superior upper extension, that balances his weak lower register(though not a great factor in this role). Mr. Milnes' duet with Ms. Price in the Nile Scene sizzles! The role of 'Ramphis' is intoned by basso Ruggiero Raimondi, whose vocalism is well-produced but static. (With rare exception, so are his rivals.) Maestro Erich Leinsdorf lacks the imaginative 'spark' that could have lifted this performance to definitive greatness, and instead, conducts a 'practised', thoroughly competent, and musically correct account of this GRAND opera. We are most fortunate that the cast is able to bring their own artistry & vision to the proceedings, and not be too influenced by the maestro's equanimity with the score. This recording has been re-mastered digitally, and the sonics are quite lively and true. There are indeed other more creatively- conducted performances, that feature 'Aidas' of great vocal beauty (Caballe, Milanov,Tebaldi,L.Price) & other superlative artists ( Cossotto,Simionato,Barbieri/ Bergonzi,Corelli,Tucker/ Merrill,Gobbi,Warren), but this performance has something its rivals don't: a sterling quartet of supreme Verdians that includes 'Aida assoluta' Leontyne Price!!



Product: Audio CD
Title: Tombstone (1993 Film)
Label: Intrada
Artist: Bruce Broughton
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
GREAT CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, NICE & BIG LOOK & FEEL


FIRST, THE DVD WASN'T IN THE CASE SO I HAD TO TRY TO RETURN IT - YEAH RIGHT. HAD TO BUY ANOTHER ONE. THIS MOVIE IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE EVER. CAPTURES THE GRANDURE OF THE OLD WEST AS IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN, BUT SURELY IS HOW IT IS OFT' TIMES ROMANTICISED. ONE OF THE FEW MOVIES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE REALLY THERE. WALL STREET DOES THE SAME IN A DIFFERENT CLASS OF MOVIE.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Christmastime
Label: Reunion
Artist: Michael W. Smith
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
The Real sounds of Christmas


There are only a few times in life that you can honestly say something can sound so close to the truth; this CD is one of them for me. I love Christmas music, but being younger I have always searched for a blend between the classics and the new stuff. That is what this CD provided me. I do not care how old you are, if you are a Christian, if you like Christian music, and/ or if you have never listened to Michael W. Smith before, you need this CD. It will enhance your Christmas memories by adding a truly touching setting to the season.