Bailey's Bundles


Holiday 2014: Nearly Christmas

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Where is your sense of humor? No, not one of these discs could practically be called “Holiday" or “Christmas" music. Para-Christmas music, maybe, but not the bona fide real deal. I just exercise my critical prerogative to call these closely related releases okay for review as holiday releases, mostly because of their Christian emphases and sacred context. No matter, they are worth an gander and a listen this season. Dunedin Consort; Ben Parry, Director In the Beginning: Aaron Copland / Samuel Barber Linn Records 2014 The Scottish Dunedin Consort ...


Holiday 2014: Mostly A Cappella

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Choral Christmas is here in spades. The Boys of St. Paul's Choir School pits itself with Noel Edison and his Festival Elora Singers in similar programs while Capriccio Records offers a Baroque embarrassment of wealth from the time of Bach. John Robinson, Director; The Boys of St. Paul's Choir School Christmas in Harvard Square Decca Records 2014 The Boys of St. Paul's Choir School of Boston are looking to take the Christmas Choral mantle from The King's College Choir, Cambridge (England) with their holiday release Christmas in Harvard Square. ...


Holiday 2014: A David Ian Christmas

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Canadian David Ian is a space oddity. Embodied in a single musical psyche is one, a speed-metal guitarist shredding the Marshalls and two, a sensitive jazz pianist finely crafting holiday music circa 1960. Necessarily, Ian channels Vince Guaraldi, that quasar about which all holiday jazz music orbits. But he is no mere imitator, using his considerable talent for arranging to contemporize his performance. David Ian Vintage Christmas Prescott Records 2011 Pianist David Ian very carefully puts together a holiday recording that could have arisen from a single-malt scotch opened ...


Holiday 2014: Three Messiahs

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As surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, each October and November brings new editions to the Georg Frederic Handel Messiah catalog. This year is no exception with two fine period performances and one period performance from 2012 that was somehow previously missed and reissued in an abbreviated form. There is more information about Handel's masterpiece found in the previous articles: George Frederic Handel and His Messiah: The Perfect Holiday Collection and Christmas I -A Handel's Messiah Throw Down, 2013.... Harry Christophers, Director; Handel and Haydn Society, Gillian Keith, Daniel Taylor, ...


Holiday 2014: A Cantus Christmas

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Elbowing their way into the male chorus arena from none other than the land of the Norwegian Bachelor Farmers--Minnesota--the nine-voice Cantus squarely challenges San Francisco's Chanticleer for the prize of best traditional Christmas choral release. A frequent performer and favorite of A Prairie Home Companion, Cantus has carved out their rightful place among choral groups. Considered here are the group's two finest Christmas offerings. Cantus All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 Cantus Records 2008 Was this a gradable contest, Cantus would achieve a 10-out-of-10 for sheer inventiveness ...


The Led Zeppelin Papers: Houses of the Holy, Deluxe Edition

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Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy, Deluxe Edition (Atlantic Records) 1973/2014 “For me, Led Zeppelin began as the epitome of everything good about rock: solid guitar work, forceful vocals and rhythmic backing, devotion to primal blues forms, and most of all, thunderous excitement on stage and vinyl. But as superstardom came to them, so too came the gradual evaporation of those qualities from their sound.... Even after a hundred listenings I'm still not convinced this album is by the same group that brought us the likes of “Communication Breakdown," “Heartbreaker" and ...


The Led Zeppelin Papers: Led Zeppelin IV, Deluxe Edition

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Led Zeppelin Led Zepplin IV, Deluxe Edition (Atlantic Records) 1971/2014 “It might seem a bit incongruous to say that Led Zeppelin--a band never particularly known for its tendency to understate matters--has produced an album which is remarkable for its low-keyed and tasteful subtlety, but that's just the case here. The march of the dinosaurs that broke the ground for their first epic release has apparently vanished, taking along with it the splattering electronics of their second effort and the leaden acoustic moves that seemed to weigh down their third... ... and ...

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