CD of the Week

203. Brahms & Weber12 October to 16 October: “Brahms & Weber Clarinet Quintets” – Richard Stoltzman & Tokyo String Quartet

Richard Stoltzman’s virtuosity, musicianship and sheer personal magnetism have made him one of today’s most sought-after concert artists. As soloist with over a hundred orchestras, a captivating recitalist, an innovative jazz artist, and a prolific recording artist, this two-time Grammy Award winner has defied categorization, dazzling critics and audiences alike throughout many musical genres. Stoltzman’s unique way with the clarinet has earned him an international reputation as he has opened up possibilities for the instrument that no one could have predicted.

He gave the first clarinet recitals at both the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall, and became the first wind player to receive the Avery Fisher Prize. He has performed or recorded with such jazz and pop greats as Gary Burton, the Canadian Brass, Chick Corea, Judy Collins, Steve Gadd, Eddie Gomez, Keith Jarrett, the King’s Singers, Mike Manieri, George Shearing, Wayne Shorter, Mel Tormé, Spyro Gyra founder Jeremy Wall and Kazumi Watanabe.  His commitment to new music has resulted in numerous premieres, including acclaimed clarinet works written for him by Steve Reich, Toru Takemitsu, Stephen Hartke, Einojuhani Rautavaara and Yehudi Wyner.  As a ten-year participant in the Marlboro Music Festival, Stoltzman gained extensive chamber music experience, and subsequently became a founding member of the noted ensemble TASHI, which made its debut in 1973.

Richard Stoltzman’s discography numbers well over seventy recordings.  His most recent release is “Resolve” released on the PARMA label in 2014 featuring works of Hindemith.  He has won Grammy® Awards for his recordings of the Brahms Sonatas with Richard Goode, and Trios of Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms with Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax.  In addition to his appearance in Michael Lawrence’s acclaimed documentary film, “Bach & friends,” he was featured in the International EMMY® Award-winning series “Concerto!” with Dudley Moore and Michael Tilson Thomas.

Richard Stoltzman resides in Massachusetts and is a passionate Boston Red Sox baseball fan. He is also a Cordon Bleu trained pastry chef.

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Gustav Holst05 October to 09 October: ”Gustav Holst”

This CD offers a mixed bag of music by Holst — some of his most familiar works along with some of his most obscure. All are reissues of recordings made between 1980 and 1993, with Braithwaite conducting the London Philharmonic. The earliest pieces, Walt Whitman Overture and Suite de Ballet, both written in 1899, are pleasant light music, but reveal little of Holst’s mature personality. His first and second Suites for band (1909 and 1911), arranged here for orchestra by Gordon Jacob, are far more substantial musically and are immediately identifiable as Holst’s mature work. Their roots in folk song, their memorable lyricism, and the composer’s ingenious treatment of the material make them immensely enjoyable; they would be attractive to any fan of The Planets. The first suite suffers in its transcription — some of its ruggedness is lost — but the second suite is entirely successful in its orchestral version. A Moorside Suite (1928), also written for band and arranged by Jacob, shares the popular appeal of the two earlier band suites. The performances are vigorous and bracing, and Lyrita’s sound is open and clean.

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202. Herman Bakker28 September to 2 October: “a Musing” – Herman Bakker

Herman was born in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) he began playing piano at the age of 6, had some lessons but preferred from the start to work his music out his own way. As a young adult he became known as the “Erroll Garner of Rotterdam” and is a true autodidact. At the age of 16 Herman had already his own side men and was playing gigs on the jazz circuit of Rotterdam. The young Herman got asked to play in Paris, but his father thought he was still to young to go so far away from home.

Beside Erroll Garner, he was also inspired by Oscar Peterson, Less McCann, Ramsey Lewis, Gene Harris and Monty Alexander. This has resulted in a style where special swing, grooves and blue notes are central. Jack van Poll, the well-known Jazz pianist and personal friend has been a big musical inspiration to Herman.

He has performed at Jazz concerts in Holland and in Jazz Clubs in Rotterdam, Loosdrecht, Utrecht and South Africa and by invitation at special private functions in Tanzania, Borneo and Kenya. Herman has also played with Hans Dulfer, Ben Webster, Johnny Griffin, Thijs van Leer, Coen van Nassau and many other fine musicians from all parts of the world.

Herman moved to South Africa in 1992 and since then has had time to fully explore his music.
His first performance in Cape Town was for KLM airlines when their first flight arrived in the mother city from Amsterdam.
Later he played every Sunday at the Table Bay Hotel with South African musician such as, Charles Lazar, Alvin Dyers as well as lots of other “gigs” with Basil Moses, Wesley Rustin, Kevin Gibson etc.

This album was recorded at the Nuthouse studios in Cape Town – 021 683 0620

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Sol3_Mio_album_cover21 September to 25 September: “Sole Mio”

Sole Mio (stylised as SOLE MIO) is a New Zealand musical trio consisting of brothers Pene Pati and Amitai Pati and their cousin Moses Mackay. Of Samoan descent and classically trained, the Pati brothers are operatic tenors and Mackay is a baritone.

The group’s self-titled debut album, featuring an operatic take on a range of traditional and popular songs, was the biggest selling album in New Zealand in 2013, and the second biggest selling album of 2014.

The Samoan New Zealand trio are quickly establishing an international reputation, having recently studied at the exclusive Welsh International Academy Of Voice under the tutelage of world-renowned tenor Dennis O’Neill. Now the world’s ears are finally beginning to stand to attention.

This album opens with them allowing the listener to know exactly what this group of young men are all about as you feel their warmth together with their humour coming through from the very first note. A nice way to start.

It then takes the listener on a rollercoaster ride of emotions; their interpretation of Bete Midler’s The Rose is a truly wonderful listening experience, as is My Way. We all have our very own favourite version of the classic song, but Sol3 Mio may just make you reassess your opinion.

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Ocean of Dreams14 September to 18 September: “Ocean of Dreams” – Jan Mulder & The Moscow Symphony Orchestra

Jan Mulder (Orlando, Florida) was born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He studied piano, organ as well as composition at the Rotterdam and Utrecht Conservatories. Since graduating in 1992, Jan Mulder composes music for his solo albums and concerts on a daily basis. His CD’s, recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, can be heard on Classic FM in the Netherlands, Great Britain and South Africa.
In 2007, Jan Mulder decided to focus exclusively on large concerts in the United States where he would perform on the piano and conduct the orchestra simultaneously. As a result of his vision, Jan Mulder and his family immigrated to the United States.
Jan Mulder and his Orchestra appeared 300 times on PBS Television in 2011. In the same year, Jan recorded an album with 16 of his compositions and arrangements at the Abbey Road Studios in London, featuring the London Symphony Orchestra.
Jan Mulder’s musical instrument inventory includes the largest and most exclusive concert grand piano in the world; a hand-built Italian Fazioli 308.

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Laura Fygi07 September to 11 September: “At Ronnie Scott’s” – Laura Fygi

Everywhere that Laura Fygi visits, she is a veritable vision of exotica. In her home country of the Netherlands, they know her as the woman who was raised in Uruguay as the daughter of an Egyptian belly dancer; in the Far East she is the emancipated Western lady who many others aspire to be. But wherever she may be, there’s one common factor in all of those locations: that instantly recognisable voice which has won her hearts all over the globe.

Laura has performed throughout Europe, South America and Asia. As a Dutch singer, she even managed to conquer the Chinese market, a unique achievement!

There have often been surprises there, such as  when she was invited to the TV show for the World Expo, which introduced her to a million-fold audience. “During the press conference, they remarked that the Chinese audience decided which foreign artist was to be invited, and that they had chosen me. It made me go very quiet for a moment.”

Laura Fygi’s at Ronnie Scott’s is her second live album ‘Live’ at Carre Theatre in Amsterdam back in 1998. This album of her concert at Ronnie Scott’s.

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200. Syk Cope31 August to 04 September: “Flow State” – Sky Cope

“I started playing and composing piano music at the age of five, and I released my first studio
album, Water, in 2012 at the age of fifteen.
My latest album, Flow State, is a multimedia project which brings together my two passions -
music and photography. The album is ten tracks long and is accompanied by a photography
exhibition of ten of my own photos. Each piece of music is inspired by a particular photo.
That way, people can have the unique experience of listening to music and seeing a
visualisation of that music at the same time.
Both of my albums are solo piano, in a subtle, quiet, contemporary Jazz style. Brad Mehldau,
Tord Gustavsen, Jason Reolon, Mulgrew Miller, and Joshua Redman, are some musicians
that have had a lasting effect on my playing style.
My album is available on iTunes, various other online distributors, and can be bought directly
from me by emailing


199. Hot Sardines24 August to 28 August: “The Hot Sardines” – The Hot Sardines

The collective Snarky Puppy reinvented 1970s American jazz-rock just for fun. Now it looks as if the Hot Sardines may be about to do the same with the vintage jazz of the early 20th century. They are similarly getting big thanks to word of mouth. They have a guileless eagerness suggesting they have just discovered this treasure-trove.

There are plenty of early jazz good-time bands, and some cover the repertoire with more authenticity and technique. These New Yorkers, however, play big halls as if they’d just dropped in to a party. They perform living music, not museum pieces.

Their three-man horn section frequently evoked the kind of excitement that such spontaneous music must have brought to the streets of New Orleans before the first world war. Paris-raised lead singer Miz Elizabeth (AKA Elizabeth Bougerol) gave the music a more ironic, contemporary feel – and that vocal/instrumental balance, plus tap dancer “Fast Eddy” Francisco’s role as an extra percussionist, lent the Sardines’ retro sound a special twist. Bougerol hung provocatively behind Evan “Bibs” Palazzo’s rocking stride-piano beat on opener Ain’t Nobody’s Business, while trombonist/cornetist Mike Sailors’ muted, voice-like solo suggested a scat-singer. Jason Prover and the adaptable Sailors gave a wearily expressive Until the Real Thing Comes Along subtle trumpet and cornet support. Cute neatly captured the Count Basie Orchestra’s light-touch groove, and the Fats Waller hit Your Feet’s Too Big was collectively sung over Palazzo’s breezy piano bounce. All the Sardines pretended to take a snooze while a prone Nick Myers unfurled a silky clarinet solo on the Andrews Sisters’ hit Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen. Then they took the repertoire all the way back to 1902 during the encore with Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey.

The Sardines may be part of a wider vintage-jazz upswing in New York, but they surely must be considered the charismatic front-runners.

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