Luciano Pavarotti & Friends – For War Child (1996)

FrontCover1Pavarotti & Friends was a series of benefit concerts hosted by Italian operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti between 1992 and 2003 in his home town of Modena, Italy. Proceeds from the events were donated to humanitarian causes including the international aid agency War Child and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The concerts featured Pavarotti performing with special musical guests and each concert was released as a compilation album and DVD under London Records/Decca Records.

The Pavarotti & Friends for War Child concert was held on 20 June 1996. Proceeds from the concert were donated to the international aid agency, War Child, specifically in aid of children in Bosnia. The concert featured guest performances by Elton John, Sheryl Crow, Eric Clapton, Liza Minnelli and Joan Osborne. The compilation arrived at position 19 in Danish Chart. (wikipedia)

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Eclecticism, rendered with more good nature than real accomplishment, is the key characteristic of this mixed bag of performers gathering together in Modena, Italy, Luciano Pavarotti’s hometown, for a benefit concert for Bosnian children. Actually, the pop stars, notably Eric Clapton and Elton John, come off better than the host. Sheryl Crow doesn’t embarrass herself duetting on Mozart with Pavarotti nearly as much as Pavarotti does duetting with Liza Minnelli on “New York, New York.” With plenty of Italian pop and competent but unexceptional Anglo-American hits to accompany the classical musings, there’s something here to bore nearly everyone, though the idea, of course, is to have something to intrigue everyone enough to buy a copy and help the charity. (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Eric Clapton – Luciano Pavarotti – Joan Osborne – Elton John – Liza Minnelli – Zucchero – Sheryl Crow – Ligabue – Jon Secada – The Kelly Family – Litfiba – Solis String Quartet – Paco De Lucia,  Al Di Meola & John McLaughlin
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Orchestra conducted by Rob Mathes (on 01. + 16.)
Orchestra conducted by José Molina (on 02,, 05.)
Orchestra conducted by Anne Dudley (on 17.)
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East London Gospel Choir (on 01. + 16.)

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Tracklist:
01. Eric Clapton & Luciano Pavarotti: Holy Mother (Clapton/Bishop) 5.38
02. Joan Osborne: Saint Teresa (Bazilian/Osborne/Chertoff/Hyman) 5.41
03. Elton John: I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues (Johnstone/John/Taupin) 4.39
04. Liza Minnelli & Luciano Pavarotti: New York, New York (Kander/Ebb) 3.53
05. Zucchero: My Love (Il Volo) (Fornaciari/Palladino/MacDonald) 5.37
06. Sheryl Crow & Eric Clapton: Run, Baby, Run (Bottrell/Baerwald/Crow) 6.09
07. Ligabue & Luciano Pavarotti: Certe Notti (Ligabue) 4.18
08. Jon Secada: Angel (Secada/Morejon) 4.53
09. The Kelly Family & Luciano Pavarotti: Ave Maria (Gounod/Bach) 2.24
10. Litfiba: Spirito (Renzulli/Pelù) 4.48
11. Eric Clapton: Third Degree (Boyd/Dixon) 4.49
12. Sheryl Crow & Luciano Pavarotti: Là Ci Darem La Mano (Don Giovanni) (Da Ponte/ Mozart) 3.13
13. Edoardo Bennato & Solis String Quartet: Le Regazze Fanno Grandi Sogni (Bennato) 3.17
14. Jon Secada & Luciano Pavarotti: Grenada (Lara) 3.18
15. Paco De Lucia,  Al Di Meola & John McLaughlin: Mediterranean Sundance (Di Meola) .4.14
16. Joan Osborne & Luciano Pavarotti: Gesù Bambino (Martens/Yon) 3.51
17. Elton John, Luciano Pavarotti & Ensemble: Live Like Horses (John/Taupin) 4.59

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More from Luciano Pavarotti:
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Al Di Meola – Al Di Meola Plays Piazzolla (1996)

FrontCover1.jpgDi Meola Plays Piazzolla is an album by Al Di Meola which is a tribute to Argentinian composer Ástor Piazzolla. Eight of the ten songs were written by Piazzolla. Di Meola is accompanied by percussionist Arto Tuncboyacian and Dino Saluzzi, who plays bandoneon. Vince Mendoza provided some of the string arrangements. (by wikipedia)

Latin music has been a strong influence on Al Di Meola since his early years, and in the ’90s, he paid especially close attention to the music of Argentina. A welcome addition to his already impressive catalog, Di Meola Plays Piazzolla pays homage to the late Argentine tango master Astor Piazzolla (whose distinctive and very poetic brand of romanticism was considered quite daring and radical in Argentina). It would have been easy for an artist to allow his own personality to become obscured when saluting Piazzolla’s legacy, but the charismatic Di Meola is too great an improviser to let that happen. Though his reverence for Piazzolla comes through loud and clear on these haunting classics, there’s no mistaking the fact that this is very much an Al Di Meola project. (by Alex Henderson)

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Allthough this is Al Di Meola playing Piazzolla´s compositions in his style, and not Al Di Meola´s own compositions, don´t be afraid to try out this album as it is close to his work on the World Sinfonia albums, especially Heart of the Immigrants where four of the songs from Al Di Meola plays Piazzolla are also featured: Night Club 1960, Tango II, Bordel 1900 and the beautiful Milonga del Angel.

Piazolla is most known for playing complicated tango compositions on his bandoneón which included jazz and classical influences. He is widely considered as the creator of the music genre Nuevo Tango. This means that it is not your traditional tango on display here. The music on this album is very complicated but at the same time mellow and almost easy listening ( Not in a bad way though).

The production is worth mentioning too, as it is flawless and a real pleasure to listen to. (by Umur)

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Personnel:
Chris Carrington (guitar)
Al Di Meola (guitar, pandean pipe, vocals, percussion)
Gumbi Ortiz (percussion)
Hernan Romero (keyboards, charango, vocals)
Dino Saluzzi (bandoneon)
Arto Tunçboyacıyan (percussion, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Oblivión (Piazzolla) 6.04
02. Café 1930 (Piazzolla) 6.16
03. Tango Suite, Pt. I (Piazzolla) 8.49
04. Tango Suite, Pt. III (Piazzolla) 8.51
05. Verano Reflections (Piazzolla/Di Meola) 4.13
06. Night Club 1960 (Piazzolla) 5.50
07. Tango II (Piazzolla) 5.36
08. Bordel 1900 (Piazzolla) 4.33
09. Milonga del Angel (Piazzolla) 3.48
10. Last Tango For Astor (Di Meola) 6.18

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