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Jazz - Released February 27, 1998 | Rhino Atlantic

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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released April 17, 2020 | Decca (UMO) (Classics)

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Jazz - Released February 27, 1998 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Although seemingly impossible to comprehend, this landmark jazz date made in 1960 was recorded in less than three days. All the more remarkable is that the same sessions which yielded My Favorite Things would also inform a majority of the albums Coltrane Plays the Blues, Coltrane's Sound, and Coltrane Legacy. It is easy to understand the appeal that these sides continue to hold. The unforced, practically casual soloing styles of the assembled quartet -- which includes Coltrane (soprano/tenor sax), McCoy Tyner (piano), Steve Davis (bass), and Elvin Jones (drums) -- allow for tastefully executed passages à la the Miles Davis Quintet, a trait Coltrane no doubt honed during his tenure in that band. Each track of this album is a joy to revisit. The ultimate listenability may reside in this quartet's capacity to not be overwhelmed by the soloist. Likewise, they are able to push the grooves along surreptitiously and unfettered. For instance, the support that the trio -- most notably Tyner -- gives to Coltrane on the title track winds the melody in and around itself. However, instead of becoming entangled and directionless, these musical sidebars simultaneously define the direction the song is taking. As a soloist, the definitive soprano sax runs during the Cole Porter standard "Everytime We Say Goodbye" and tenor solos on "But Not for Me" easily establish Coltrane as a pioneer of both instruments. © Lindsay Planer /TiVo
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Humour - Released October 6, 2009 | Rhino Atlantic

Anticipation was quite high when it was announced in 1984 that Paul Rodgers, the past voice of Bad Company, and Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin's former guitarist, were creating a "supergroup" called the Firm. Page and Rodgers had first tinkered with the idea of an album after their successful collaboration on the ARMS benefit tour for Ronnie Lane in 1983. Based upon the fact that it had been over five years since Page's last band effort, and two years since Rodger's lackluster finale with the original Bad Company, pundits were more than eager to hear what new material the duo would unleash. However, when the band's self-titled debut was actually released in 1985, it received a critical drubbing and was all but ignored by the record-buying public. That's too bad, for the album is quite good and does nothing to taint the sterling reputations of either of its key players. Page and Rodgers were joined on The Firm by veteran drummer Chris Slade and Roy Harper-alum Tony Franklin. Slade's Bonham-esque sledgehammer attack on the skins, coupled with Franklin's fretless basslines, added dimension to Rodgers' smooth vocals and Page's layered guitar textures. Page's tone throughout is very reminiscent of the sound of his overdubs on Coda, as well as the sound he would subsequently employ on 1988's Outrider. Opening track "Closer" cleverly uses a subtle horn section to good effect, while "Someone to Love" represents all the good elements of the band in one number. Rodgers' "Radioactive" was actually a minor hit for the band, its quirkiness overcoming the goofiness of the lyrics. The album's best cut is "Satisfaction Guaranteed," a mid-tempo gem with a snaky and exotic Page riff and a heartfelt vocal performance by Rodgers. The only weak track on the record is the unnecessary cover of the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Loving Feeling," which feels totally out of place. The album-closing "Midnight Moonlight" could have been the Firm's best song, but the underwhelming arrangement and superfluous backing vocals partially destroyed it. The fact that "Midnight Moonlight" was actually an unfinished Led Zeppelin cut entitled "Swansong," left over from the Physical Graffiti sessions, led some to believe that Page had run out of new ideas for the project. While it is true that this album isn't as uniformly excellent as Led Zeppelin's work, it is the best from this short-lived band and turned out to be Page's most consistent effort from the entire decade of the '80s. © Brian Downing /TiVo
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R&B - Released April 25, 1995 | Rhino Atlantic

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Pop - Released June 26, 2020 | Music Manager

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Pop - Released December 4, 2020 | Cooking Vinyl Limited

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Rock - Released May 29, 2020 | Rhino

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Musical Theatre - Released December 5, 1986 | Masterworks Broadway

The 1979 Broadway revival of Oklahoma! opened on December 13, 17 days before the show's composer, Richard Rodgers, died. Directed by William Hammerstein, the son of Rodgers' lyricist partner Oscar Hammerstein II, the new production was a faithful reproduction of the wildly successful original, retaining the Robert Russell Bennett orchestrations conducted by Jay Blackton, who had wielded the baton back in 1943 as well as for the 1955 film version. Even Agnes De Mille's revolutionary choreography was reproduced. The new cast album demonstrated that the cast, led by Laurence Guittard and Christine Andreas, was enthusiastic and talented. Unlike the original Broadway cast album, which was recorded for 78 rpm records with their inherent time limitations, the new LP, recorded in early 1980, was able to include more of the music than ever before. It and the show from which it derived made for a fitting memorial for Rodgers and confirmed the primacy of Oklahoma! in the history of the musical theater. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Musical Theatre - Released December 1, 1994 | Masterworks Broadway

Richard Rodgers was the president and producing director of the Music Theater of Lincoln Center, a repertory organization that put on limited-run, summer revivals of Broadway musicals at the newly opened Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City in the 1960s. One of the shows for 1965 was Rodgers' own Carousel, marking its 20th anniversary. John Raitt, the original male lead, returned to the role he had originated. The show opened on August 10 and was well-received. RCA Victor, which contracted to record many of the Lincoln Center shows, also did this one. The result was an excellent album. Carousel was recorded originally back in 1945, just at the start of the boom in original Broadway cast albums, and was designed for 78 rpm records. Even the 1956 original soundtrack album was relatively brief. But this 1965 Carousel album ran over 50 minutes (very long for an LP and not bad even for the 1987 CD reissue), notably including a version of the opening scene between Billy Bigelow (Raitt) and Julie Jordan (Eileen Christy) that ran over nine and a half minutes. As such, this was the most complete version of the score yet released. The 48-year-old Raitt, with many performances of the show under his belt, was more mannered than the 28-year-old Raitt had been, but he still owned the role, and the rest of the cast was good. With Rodgers looking on, this Carousel outdistanced the 1956 movie soundtrack, and, if it was not as fresh as the original Broadway cast recording, came a close second. © TiVo
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Musical Theatre - Released January 1, 1992 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

This is a studio recreation of the Rodgers And Hammerstein musical by The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, conducted by John Mauceri, with soloists Julie Andrews and Ben Kingsley. Andrews is perfect casting; she restores to the show its true nature as a star vehicle (it was written for Gertrude Lawrence), she embodies the role of the English tutor, and she sings brilliantly. Kingsley brings a contemporary, distanced cool to the role of the King of Siam, and the cast is effectively filled out by Lea Salonga and Peabo Bryson (as the lovers who sing "We Kiss In A Shadow"), and by Marilyn Horne (who sings "Something Wonderful"). Mauceri has opted to use the orchestrations developed for the movie version, which gives the score an added sweep and depth. This is the exception to the many opera-singers-doing-a-musical recreations we've been seeing over the last few years. It makes you wish Andrews and company would take it to New York. © TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1996 | Varese Sarabande

Although Yul Brynner came to be closely identified with The King and I, having originated the part of the king on Broadway in 1951, played it on screen in 1956, and toured in the show in the 1970s and '80s, the musical was actually written not as a star vehicle for him (in fact the male lead has relatively little singing), but for Gertrude Lawrence, who originated the role of Anna Leonowens, the "I" of the title. Nevertheless, after Brynner's death in 1985, it seemed hard to imagine that The King and I could be performed again without him. Producer Jack Frost helped overcome that impression with a fresh production in Australia directed by Christopher Renshaw in 1991-92, and it was that production, albeit with a new American cast, that moved to Broadway on April 11, 1996, winning four Tony Awards, including those for best revival and best actress in a musical (Donna Murphy), and ultimately running 807 performances. Murphy, a Broadway veteran, was typically effective, adopting a proper British accent and making her way movingly through "I Whistle a Happy Tune," "Hello, Young Lovers," and "Getting to Know You" as masterfully as any Anna ever had. But all eyes were on Broadway neophyte Lou Diamond Phillips, still best known for playing Ritchie Valens in the movie La Bamba. Phillips scaled down the king to more human proportions in keeping with the more realistic, more Oriental feel of the production. But he brought an energy and power to his portrayal that were his own, and he seemed utterly unaffected by the ghost of Brynner. The result was an excellent staging brought to disc here with plenty of dialogue and underscoring. This is one among many recordings of the score, but it preserves an excellent production of a classic show. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Classical - Released December 31, 1995 | Masterworks Broadway

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2006 | MusicMasters

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Opera Extracts - Released February 23, 2010 | Chandos

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Dance - Released October 26, 2018 | C47 Digital

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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released April 17, 2020 | Decca (UMO) (Classics)

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1965 | Craft Recordings

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Classical - Released January 1, 1996 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

The musicals of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II are neo-operettas that provide many opportunities for big baritone voices to strut their stuff. In the original productions, Alfred Drake (Oklahoma!), John Raitt (Carousel), and opera singer Ezio Pinza (South Pacific) made the most of those opportunities in songs like "Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'," "The Surrey With The Fringe On Top," "If I Loved You," "Soliloquy," "Some Enchanted Evening," and "This Nearly Was Mine," and it is reasonable to expect that these rangy, dramatic songs would also serve a contemporary opera singer like Bryn Terfel. They do, but the fun of this album comes when Terfel tries out songs not originally written for the big-voiced male leads and instead tries a lusty, uptempo number like "June Is Bustin' Out All Over" or a comic one like "There Is Nothing Like A Dame." His success with such material demonstrates an unusual versatility and a willingness to meet the material not typical of the spate of opera-singers-doing-show-music albums. And it makes this one of the best of the bunch. © TiVo
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Pop - Released July 17, 2020 | Search Party

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