Friday, October 17, 2008

In Review--Sublime Crossover Classical Music

Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin
Decca Records

I have never been a fan of Lee Ritenour's work and I associated it with smooth jazz. However, on Lee Ritenour (guitar) and Dave Grusin (piano) classical crossover album, Ampora, I am actually quite pleased with the music. I would even call it sublime. Musical guests include the folk singer James Taylor singing an early music folk song Since First I Saw Your Face, solo violinist Joshua Bell on Gabriel Faure's Pavane, Op. 50 and Antonio Carlos Jobim's Olha Maria (Ampora), soprano Renee Fleming also on the pavane and George Frideric Handel's Duetto: Scherzano Sul Tuo Volto, which she performs with classical trumpeter Chris Botti.

The recording starts off with nuevo tango that recalls the late Astor Piazzolla and continues with a suite of Latin American dances. This is followed by a pavane, then English folk songs, a Brazilian piece, Ravel's Ma Mere L'Oye (Mother Goose Suite) and ends with baroque music. The arrangements with guitar, piano, an orchestra and the guests soloists, offers listeners some heavenly musical moments. For fans of nuevo tango, early music, and exquisite soprano vocals, Ampora fits the bill.

This classical crossover album receives high ratings from me. And I will be featuring tracks from it on my radio show, Global Heartthrob. I also think that all of the music on this recording rates high as healing music, with the baroque music contributing the most linear music and the nuevo tango, the most sensual.

Decca Records

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