Rod Stewart – It Had To Be You … The Great American Song Book (2002)

FrontCover1Sir Roderick David Stewart CBE (born 10 January 1945) is a British rock and pop singer, songwriter, and record producer. Born and raised in London, he is of Scottish and English ancestry. With his distinctive raspy singing voice, Stewart is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 250 million records worldwide. He has had 10 number-one albums and 31 top ten singles in the UK, 6 of which reached number one. Stewart has had 16 top ten singles in the US, with four reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100. He was knighted in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to music and charity.

Stewart’s music career began in 1962 when he took up busking with a harmonica. In 1963, he joined The Dimensions as harmonica player and vocalist. In 1964, Stewart joined Long John Baldry and the All Stars before moving to the Jeff Beck Group in 1967. Joining Faces in 1969, he also maintained a solo career releasing his debut album that same year. Stewart’s early albums were a fusion of rock, folk music, soul music, and R&B.[5][6] His third album, 1971’s Every Picture Tells a Story, was his breakthrough, topping the charts in the UK, US, Canada and Australia, as did its ballad “Maggie May”. His 1972 follow-up album, Never a Dull Moment, also reached number one in the UK and Australia, while going top three in the US and Canada. Its single, “You Wear It Well”, topped the chart in the UK and was a moderate hit elsewhere.

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After a handful more UK top ten hits, Stewart announced the breakup of the Faces in 1975. His next few singles were ballads with “Sailing”, off the 1975 UK and Australian number-one album, Atlantic Crossing, becoming a hit in the UK and the Netherlands (number one), Germany (number four) and other countries, but barely charting in North America. A Night on the Town (1976), his fifth straight chart-topper in the UK, began a three-album run of going number one or top three in North America, the UK and Australia with each release. That album’s “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” spent almost two months at number one in the US and Canada, and made the top five in other countries. Foot Loose & Fancy Free (1977) featured the major hit “You’re In My Heart (The Final Acclaim)” as well as the rocker “Hot Legs”. Blondes Have More Fun (1978) and its disco-tinged “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” both went to number one in Canada, Australia and the US, with “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” also hitting number one in the UK and the top ten in other countries. Stewart’s albums regularly hit the upper rungs of the charts in the Netherlands throughout the 70s and in Sweden from 1975 onward.

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After a disco and new wave period in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Stewart’s music turned to a soft rock/middle-of-the-road style, with most of his albums reaching the top ten in the UK, Germany and Sweden, but faring less well in the US. The single “Rhythm of My Heart” was a top five hit in the UK, US and other countries, with its source album, 1991’s Vagabond Heart, becoming, at number ten in the US and number two in the UK, his highest-charting album in a decade. In 1993, he collaborated with Bryan Adams and Sting on the power ballad “All for Love”, which went to number one in many countries. In the early 2000s, he released a series of successful albums interpreting the Great American Songbook. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked him the 17th most successful artist on the “Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists”. A Grammy and Brit Award recipient, he was voted at No. 33 in Q Magazine’s list of the Top 100 Greatest Singers of all time As a solo artist, Stewart was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006, and he was inducted a second time into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 as a member of Faces. (wikipedia)

It Had to Be You: The Great American Songbook is the first album of American pop standards recorded by British musician Rod Stewart, and his 20th album overall. It was released on 22 October 2002, and became the first in a five-volume series.

The album was Stewart’s first release for Sony Music imprint J Records. It included his second recording of “Every Time We Say Goodbye.”

A live DVD of the same title was released on 4 February 2003, which featured performances of material from the studio album as well as Stewart’s earlier material. (wikipedia)

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It’s the kind of concept that seems brilliant on paper: revive the career of one of the great vocalists of the rock era by having him sing the great American pop songs of the pre-rock era. It was done before with Linda Ronstadt, and it worked well, so why not Rod Stewart, whose career was in shambles in 2002 following the disastrous modern R&B record Human? Clive Davis, the man behind Santana’s comeback, masterminded the whole thing, and It Had to Be You was born. Again, the whole thing sounds good on paper, but in practice, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Certainly, following a throat operation, Stewart is singing better than he has in years, and he feels much more comfortable here than he did on Human, but the whole project has an artificial undercurrent that’s hard to shake, especially since the song selection, the arrangements, and the performances play it so safe they’re largely undistinguished. It’s not necessarily bad, but it doesn’t have much character outside of Rod’s voice, and his soulful rasp isn’t really suited for these songs. Nevertheless, this is exactly what it’s billed as — Rod sings the Great American Songbook — and it’s done with professionalism and ease, so it’s a pleasant listen. But it won’t replace Sinatra, of course, or even Ronstadt’s similar work with Nelson Riddle. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)


Rod Stewart joins the ranks of rockers who have opted later in their careers to momentarily shift gears and tackle the lofty task of interpreting pop standards. Of all the performers who have tried their hands at such challenging material, Stewart is perhaps the most initially odd match for songs like George & Ira Gershwin’s “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” and Cole Porter’s “Everytime We Say Goodbye.” It’s hard not to hear raunch-rockers like “Hot Legs” echo in the back of your head while listening to him gamely croon amid lush strings and traditional jazz arrangements. But after moving past those first moments of seeming artist/song incongruity, the listener will discover an album full of pleasant surprises and vocals that show Stewart in a most flattering light (LF, Billboard October 26, 2002)


Tal Bergman (drums on 01., drum programming on 01. + 11., perussion on 07.)
Chris Botti (trumpet on 13.)
Michael Brecker (saxophone on 04.)
Dennis Budimir (guitar on 11.)
Dave Carpenter (bass on 01.)
Andrew Chukerman (synthesizer on 03., 07. 10. + 13.)
John Ferraro (drums on 02., percussion on 07.)
David Finck (bass on 04. – 06., 08. – 10. 12. + 14.)
Jim Fox (guitar on 01.)
Dan Higgins (clarinet on 01., saxophone on 02.)
Will Hollis (piano on 01., 02., synthesizer on 02., vibraphone on 03.)
Russ Kassoff (piano on 08., 10., 12. + 14.)
Doug Katsaros (piano on 06.)
Randy Kerber (piano, synthesizer on 03., 07. + 13.)
Dave Koz (saxophone on 06. + 10.)
Bob Magnusson (bass on 03., 07. + 13,)
Bob Mann (guitar on 03., 07. + 13.)
Harvey Mason (drums on 11.)Reggie McBride (bass on 02.)
Jeff Mironov (guitar on 04. + 06. 08. – 10. 12. + 14.)
Lee Musker (piano on 09.)
Rob Mounsey (keyboards on 04., 05. + 08.,  piano on 04. + 05.)
Renato Neto (piano, synthesizer on 01., synth flute on 13.)
Shawn Pelton (drums on 04. – 06., 08, – 19., 12. + 14.)
Jimmy Rip (guitar on 01. + 02.)
Philippe Saisse (keyboards on 04, – 06., 08, . 10., 12. + 14.)
Arturo Sandoval (trumpet on 05., flugelhorn on 08.)
Allan Schwartzberg (drums on 03., 07. + 13.)
Don Sebesky (piano on 09.)
Rod Stewart (vocals)
Randy Waldman (piano on 11.)


01. You Go To My Head (Coots/Gillespie) 4.17
02. They Can’t Take That Away From Me (G.Gershwin/I.Gershwin) 3.26
03. The Way You Look Tonight (Fields/Kern) 3.49
04. It Had to Be You (Jones/Kahn) 3.24
05. That Old Feeling (Brown/Fain) 2.55
06. These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You) (Link/Marvell/Strachey) 3.48
07. The Very Thought Of You (Noble) 3.20
08. Moonglow (DeLange/Hudson/Mills) 3.32
09. I’ll Be Seeing You (Fain/Kahal)  3.51
10. Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye (Porter) 3.28
11. The Nearness Of You (Carmichael/Washington) 3.01
12. For All We Know (Coots/Lewis) 3.25
13. We’ll Be Together Again (Fischer/Laine) 3.54
14. That’s All (Brandt/Haymes) 3.03




More from Rod Stewart:

The official website:

Tony Kinsey Quartet – Blue Circles (2003)

FrontCover1Cyril Anthony Kinsey (born 11 October 1927) is an English jazz drummer and composer.

Kinsey was born in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, England. He held jobs on trans-Atlantic ships while young, studying while at port with Bill West in New York City and with local musician Tommy Webster in Birmingham. He had a close association with Ronnie Ball early in his life; the two even had a double wedding together.


Kinsey led his own ensemble at the Flamingo Club in London through the 1950s, and recorded on more than 80 sessions between 1950 and 1977, including with Tubby Hayes, Bill Le Sage, Ronnie Scott, Johnny Dankworth, Tommy Whittle, Joe Harriott, Lena Horne, Frank Holder, Ella Fitzgerald, Ben Webster, Clark Terry, Harry Edison, Buddy DeFranco, Billie Holiday, Oscar Peterson, and Sarah Vaughan. He performed at European jazz festivals both as a drummer and as a poet. He did some work as a session musician in the 1950s and 1960s, playing on records by Eddie Calvert, Cliff Richard, and Ronnie Aldrich. Kinsey was also a founder member of the group, ‘The John Dankworth Seven’ in 1950.


He was a resident at the Florida Club, Leicester Square, in the 1950s and had his own trio from 1963 to 1965. In the mid 1980s he performed regularly with jazz vibraphone player Lennie Best at venues in the London area including the South Hill Park Cellar Bar in Bracknell.

Kinsey also branched into composition; a string quartet composition of his is used in the short film On the Bridge, and he wrote arrangements for big bands in addition to music for over 100 commercials. Later in his life he wrote music for a musical based on the life of George Eliot. He continues to play drums.

In 2012, Kinsey appeared in the documentary film, No One But Me, discussing jazz musician, Annie Ross. (wikipedia)


This drummer and composer’s initial training came at him from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, reflecting the unique nature of his younger days. Tony Kinsey toiled as a seaman on ships with transatlantic routing. At port in New York City, Kinsey partook of drum lessons with Bill West. Back home in Birmingham, England, Kinsey had been studying piano since a tyke; the drums he had taught himself with a local player named Tommy Webster also providing pointers. Kinsey went onto a splendid career on the British jazz scene, backing national names such as Johnny Dankworth as well as visiting stars, among them Lena Horne and Ella Fitzgerald as well as others — pianist Oscar Peterson, scat singing Sarah Vaughan — whose tempo preference nodded at the diabolical. The drummer took charge of his own proceedings on a regular basis during the ’50s at London’s Flamingo Club. Throughout that decade he performed at European jazz festivals, contexts including bebop, swing, and jazz poetry.


Between 1950 and 1977 he logged more than 80 recording sessions in the jazz genre alone, more than proving his ability in other styles when demanded. In the meantime, he pursued a compositional muse, developing an individual approach to chamber music. A Kinsey string quartet is part of the soundtrack to On the Bridge, a short film, not a meeting place for a ransom drop or instructions to a piano player. Speaking of the latter, Kinsey provided plenty of his own reports in a busy series of writing assignments, including big-band charts and arrangements and incidental music heard in at least 100 commercials. The most recent project of note for Kinsey is an extended musical theater work based on a book by George Elliot. (by Eugene Chadbourne)


And here´s one of his solo albums:

`Blue Circles’ was recorded live at the Ealing Jazz Festival in August 2002. The drummer, composer and arranger Tony Kinsey led his quartet featuring alto saxophonist Peter King in a performance that was dedicated to Bill Le Sage, a long time musical associate of Kinsey’s, who died in the spring of 2002.

The repertoire chosen was a selection of jazz favourites and standards, plus two originals by Tony Kinsey and Bill Le Sage. They were played to an appreciative audience with the style and passion one would expect from these talented musicians.

This quartet of seasoned jazzmen are all individually very well known and respected on the British jazz scene, and they have all been leaders in their own right. They have produced a great live album of straight-ahead swinging jazz.

Indeed, such fine musicians … long live these old traditonal Jazz tunes !


Alec Dankworth (bass)
John Horler (piano)
Peter King (saxophone)
Tony Kinsey (drums)


01. I Love You (Porter) 7.57
02. Alone Together (Schwartz/Dietz) 10.14
03. Confirmation (Parker) 8.07
04. Blue Circles (Kinsey) 9.08
05. Close Your Eyes (Petkere) 8.14
06. All Blues (Davis) 9.28
07. Last Resort (Le Sage) 10.49



Capella Gregoriana – Songs For Meditation (2002)

FrontCover1Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic, unaccompanied sacred song in Latin (and occasionally Greek) of the Roman Catholic Church. Gregorian chant developed mainly in western and central Europe during the 9th and 10th centuries, with later additions and redactions. Although popular legend credits Pope Gregory I with inventing Gregorian chant, scholars believe that it arose from a later Carolingian synthesis of Roman chant and Gallican chant.

Gregorian chants were organized initially into four, then eight, and finally 12 modes. Typical melodic features include a characteristic ambitus, and also characteristic intervallic patterns relative to a referential mode final, incipits and cadences, the use of reciting tones at a particular distance from the final, around which the other notes of the melody revolve, and a vocabulary of musical motifs woven together through a process called centonization to create families of related chants.


The scale patterns are organized against a background pattern formed of conjunct and disjunct tetrachords, producing a larger pitch system called the gamut. The chants can be sung by using six-note patterns called hexachords. Gregorian melodies are traditionally written using neumes, an early form of musical notation from which the modern four-line and five-line staff developed. Multi-voice elaborations of Gregorian chant, known as organum, were an early stage in the development of Western polyphony.

Gregorian chant was traditionally sung by choirs of men and boys in churches, or by men and women of religious orders in their chapels. It is the music of the Roman Rite, performed in the Mass and the monastic Office. Although Gregorian chant supplanted or marginalized the other indigenous plainchant traditions of the Christian West to become the official music of the Christian liturgy, Ambrosian chant still continues in use in Milan, and there are musicologists exploring both that and the Mozarabic chant of Christian Spain. Although Gregorian chant is no longer obligatory, the Roman Catholic Church still officially considers it the music most suitable for worship. During the 20th century, Gregorian chant underwent a musicological and popular resurgence. (wikipedia)


This a low budget product from German (compose and conducted by Dave Miller; this is of course a stupid pseudonym) with really good recreated melodies (with thunder and chirping of birds …) of this long musical tradition. On the one hand really soothing melodies, on the other hand I am more interested in the original compositions.

That’s why I want to present classical compositions here soon.


Capella Gregoriana conducted by Dave Miller


01. Morning Awakening 1.42
02. Tractus 4.17
03. Introitus (Resurrexit) 4.36
04. Lost In Meditation (I) 7.27
05. Fidel 8.33
06. Bells Of Pray 0.21
07.Graduale 2.49
08. Organ Meditation 3.44
09. Lost In Meditation (II) 10.32
10. Evening Praise Night Prayer 4.53
11. Evening Praise 3.25
12. Introitus (Spiritus Domini) 3.16
13. Agnus Dei 2.20
14. Final Procession 3.10




Christmas 2021 (15): Andrej Hermlin & His Swing Dance Orchestra – Christmas In Swing (2002)

FrontCover1Andrej Hermlin (* 21 September 1965 in Berlin) is a German pianist and bandleader.
Hermlin was born the son of the writer Stephan Hermlin. Hermlin grew up bilingual through his Russian-born mother Irina Belokoneva-Hermlin.

Hermlin received his first piano lessons at the age of seven. After graduating from the Carl-von-Ossietzky-Oberschule in Berlin-Pankow, he studied piano at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” Berlin from 1986 to 1990. He learned the style of swing he plays autodidactically. In 1986 he founded the Swing Dance Band, from which the Swing Dance Orchestra emerged in 1995, and with which he has since acted as bandleader. Hermlin has released more than ten CDs with this formation to date (as of 2014) and has performed with it regularly, both nationally and internationally. The Swing Dance Orchestra plays swing in the style of the 1930s, partly with original equipment, such as desks from that time, and mostly unamplified – only the vocals are amplified and picked up with microphones with a historical look (but modern inner workings).

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Andrej Hermlin became known beyond music when he was imprisoned there on terror charges after the 2008 presidential election in Kenya. Hermlin had previously supported the democracy movement and the candidate Raila Odinga, with whom he is friends. In the village of Thumaita, 130 kilometres from Nairobi, he has built an Art Deco-style house with his wife Joyce. He is involved in the community and has had the village wired, streetlights erected and rubbish collection organised.

Hermlin joined the PDS in February 1990 because of the reforms in the party and as a supporter of Gorbachev “when everyone else had left.” For a time he was a member of the Berlin state executive of the PDS and a candidate for the House of Representatives. Since the formation of the party Die Linke, he has been a member there and regularly appears at its events. Due to his interest in historical aviation, Hermlin supported a petition for a referendum by the Berlin CDU in 2007 to keep Tempelhof Airport open.
With Bei mir bist du scheen, Hermlin specially designed a programme of swing pieces by Jewish musicians to protest against anti-Semitism.

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Hermlin and his wife Joyce had two children. His son David Hermlin and his daughter Rachel Hermlin perform as singers and dancers with their father’s orchestra. Andrej Hermlin lives in Berlin-Niederschönhausen in the house where his father had lived and where he had grown up. The furnishings of the house are the same as in 1927, but modernised. The furniture dates from 1930-1960. The Biermann affair had begun in the living room of the house; Hermlin’s father Stephan had written a petition against expatriation, which was signed by twelve people in the living room. (wikipedia)

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And here´s a wonderful Christmas Swong album … with all these American classic Christmas tunes …

… played by a German Big Band …  Music knows no borders !


Hendrik Bruch (vocals)
Robert Göber (bass)
Bettina Hermlin (vocals)
Andrej Hermlin (piano)
Dirk Schelenz (guitar)
Michael Wirth (drums)
saxophone, clarinet:
Frank Bach – Raymond Merkel – Grégoire Peters – Finn Wiesner

Achim Rothe – Jörg Von Nolting – Jürgen Hahn

Frank Hultzsch – Jan Diller – Stefan Katzenbeier
Maxi Hübner (vocals on 10.)
The Nightingales (background vocals on 03.)

Alternate frontcover:

01. Winter Wonderland (Bernard/Smith) 3.56
02. I’ll Be Home For Christmas (Kent/Ram/Gannon) 3.37
03. Jingle Bells (Pierpont) 3.57
04. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Cahn/Styne) 3.36
05. Mistletoe And Holly (Stanford/Sanicola/Sinatra) 3.37
06. Sleigh Ride (Anderson) 2.42
07. White Christmas (Berlin) 4.32
08. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (Marks) 3.31
09. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Martin/Blane) 3.24
10. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (Connor) 3.45
11. The Christmas Song (Wells/Tormé) 4.50
12. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Coots/Gillespie) 3.47
13. The Christmas Time I Miss (Carey/Afanasieff) 3.35

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The official website:

Pavle Aksentijevic – Anthology of Serbian Church (Sacred) Music (2002)

FrontCover1Byzantine as well as the old Serbian sacred music is characterized, as far as its inner essence is concerned, by simplicity or. freedom from undue complexity, by purity or freedom from everything sensual, ostentatious, insincere, and by unsurpassed power and spirituality. As regards its outer form or technical aspect, it is characterized bu the fact that it is entirely vocal, not making use of any instruments, and monophonic, that is, employing melodies in one vocal part only. In order to enrich and augment the melody, this music employs, , instead of polyphony and the accompaniment of the organ or some other I instrument, a finer, more spiritual means: the isocratima or holding-note. The work of the isocrats consists of holding a drone on the basic tone of the mode in which the melody is being sung. The isocratima not only enhances the melody, but also emphasizes the mode in which the psalm, humn or ode is being sung, and adds, solemnness and power to the psalmody. Its use goes back to the early Christian period.

Pavle Aksentijevic

In order to provide the chanters worth needed period,of rest, and to keep the congregation in a state of inner wakefulness antiphony is employed. That is, not one but two choirs are employed, so the congregation are not subjected. to the sleep-conductive monotony of hearing continuously the same voice or voices, coming from the same part of the church.


This music has its own system of musical scales, its own laws and canons, its own modes of composition, its own notation. The symbOlS above the words are interval signs. They do not give the pitch of every tone in the melody, bud indicate how many tones a certain note lies above or below the preceding one, orwhether it is a repetition of it. The aim of this music is not to display the fine voices of the chanters, or to entertain the congregation, or to evoke aesthetic experience. In the firct place it is a means of worship and veneration; and in the second plase, a means of self-perfection, of eliciting and cultivating man\’s higher thoughts and feelings and of oposing and eliminating his lower, undesirable ones. (by Constantine Cavarnos)

And I´m very impressed by the depth, intensity and ardency. And I include an english written booklet (20 pages).


Pavle Aksentijevic (vocals)
Byzantine chanters:
Miomir Ristić – Bratislav Ristić – Darko Manić – Nikola Popmihajlov – Damnjan Aksentijević.


01. Alleluia (6th Mode) 1.08
02. Psalomnik (Praise Verses) (1st Mode) 6.22
03. Now The Celestial Powers (6th Mode) 6.46
04. Cherubic Hymn (2nd Mode) 5.59
05. Have Mercy On Me O Lord (6th Mode) 4.33
06. We Worship Your Cross (2nd Mode) 1.06
07. God The Lord (4th Mode) 3.19
08. Alleluia (5th Mode) 1.17
09. O What A Wonderful Miracle (1st Mode) 6.30
10. You Are The Prophets Announcement (1st Mode) 2.59
11. Servikon (After The Birth) (8th Mode) 3.08
12. Sing To The Lord All the Earth (Psalm 95-1) (4th Mode) 1.21
13. Everything That Breath (Psalm 150-6) (5th Mode) 3.07
14. He Looked On The Earth (Psalm 103 and 104-32) (8th Mode) 2.50
15. Alleluia (1st Mode) 1.51

Music: Psalms of Byzantine and Serbian authors from 13th to 15th century




Noel Redding – Live From Bunkr Prague (2002)

FrontCover1An excellent musician, Noel dropped his guitar in 1966 to play bass with Jimi. A hell of a bass player he was too. His thunderous playing was an essential part of The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s sound.
Born in Folkestone, England, he was a gifted guitarist and played with bands in his home region such as the Modern jazz Group. As part of another local group, The Loving Kind, he recorded three singles on the Picadilly label. While in London to audition as for a place as guitarist in The New Animals, he ended up instead with the job as bass player for the then unknown Jimi Hendrix. Jimi appreciated Noels quickness to grasp musical styles and liked his wirey afro-like hair and nicknamed him Bob Dylan’s Grandmother (Noel replied with “Jimi Henpecked”). The band made their first official public appearance at Evreux, France (13/10/66). The chemistry between Noel, Mitch Mitchell and Jimi was just right and the band quickly developped and refined their stage show. Noel would soon provide backing vocals on numbers like “Fire” , “I Don’t Live Today” or simple “Ooohs” and “Aaahs” on “Purple Haze”. He often joined Jimi in chatting humourously with the audience between songs.
Noel managed to get two of his own songs on the bands albums (“She’s So Fine” and “Little Miss Strange”). The music on “My Friend” was Noel’s (Jimi wrote the lyrics) but he was never credited for it.

However, frustrated with the role of bass man and tired of sitting around while Jimi perfected his studio recordings, he soon developed his own solo project Fat Mattress (he even opened with them at some Experience gigs). He became more and more estranged from Jimi and began to question the management about where all the money was going. The last straw was when Jimi announced to others about his intention to expand the group, without mentioning it to him before hand. So he quit the band.
In 1970 he decided to bury the hatchet and was on the point of rejoining the Experience and he met up with Jimi and Mitch for a press interview to announce this. Jimi however chose to keep Billy Cox from his Band Of Gypsys line-up. It is a pity that Jimi didn’t keep Noel as a second guitarist, it was after all his intention to expand the group.
On guitar with Fat Matress he worked on two albums: “Fat Matress” (Polydor 1969) and “Fat Matress II” which he abandoned when the album was only half finished. He then played bass again with the group Road, recording the album “Road” on the US label Rare Earth in 1972. That same year he also played with Jimi’s old friend Randy California (under the hilarious pseudonyme of Clit McTorious) for the very Hendrix inspired album “Kapt Kopter And The Fabulous Twirly Birds”.

Then he setted in Ireland to form The Noel Redding Band with the ex Thin Lizzy guitarist Eric Bell. They put out two albums: “Clonakilty Cowboys” (RCA 1975) and “Blowin'” (RCA 1976) and more tracks came out later as “The Missing Album” (Griffin 1995).
In 1990 he published his memoires with the book “Are You Experienced: The Inside Story Of The Jimi Hendrix Experience” .
Redding04When Jimi’s old flat in London’s Montague Square received a commemorative blue plaque in the nineties, an emotional Noel was there paying his respects in front of the gathered crowd and journalists.
In 1995/96 he toured with the Hendrix tribute band More Experience and later participated in many other Hendrix tribute events in America and Europe and appears on albums “Stone Free” (Dressed To Kill 2001), “On Tour” (Brilliant 2001) and “Live From Bunkr-Prague” (Track 2002). He also put in an appearance with Mitch to jam at The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame to celebrate Jimi’s inauguration. He also toured with a band he formed called Secret Freaks.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience was an unparalleled three man band. After Noel left the group in mid 1969, Jimi and Mitch never found quite the same excitement that the three of them together could muster. (

Noel Redding and Friends “Live from Bunkr” features a last-minute band of Jimi Hendrix’ bass player Noel Redding with guitarist/vocalist Ivan Kral, Anthony Krizan/Spin Doctors on guitar, and drummer Frankie LaRocka/Bryan Adams in an impromptu club show in Prague. The 1995 concert was attended by Czech President Vaclav Havel,
and was Noel’s last recorded work prior to his untimely death at age 57. (


“We didn’t want to do the whole lot of the Experience but there again they’ve never really heard anyone playing it there and playing it well. I shouldn’t say that!” Noel Redding, the bass player of the legendary Jimi Hendrix Experience, is talking of the gig in the Czech Republic documented on his new live album, “Live From Bunkr. Prague,” due June 24 from Track Records.

It features an all-star cast that includes Redding on bass, Ivan Kral (Patti Smith Group) on rhythm guitar, Anthony Krizan (Spin Doctors) on lead guitar and vocals, and Frankie La Rocka (New York Dolls, Bryan Adams) on drums. The gig in question took place in 1995 and was attended by no less than Czech president Vaclav Havel.

After a mere 45 minutes of rehearsal, the band performed a surprisingly slick set that consisted mostly of well-loved Experience songs such as “Voodoo Child,” “Stone Free,” “Purple Haze,” and “Little Wing.” There were two exceptions. “We threw in ‘Silver Paper’ because I’d just done a stint with Mountain in America on a quick tour and I’ve always really liked Mountain,” Redding explains. “We learned it at the rehearsal. I had a vague idea and it was basically ad-libbed but we got through it. Then Ivan wanted to do that Lennon song [‘Cold Turkey’], so we did that, which broke up the stuff from the Experience.”


Krizan is surprisingly effective at mimicing Hendrix’s technique, capturing the wobble-board sound of “Voodoo Child” as well as he does the undulating delicacy of “Little Wing.” “I thought he did a really good job ‘cos it’s rather hard for anyone since James,” Redding says of the task of duplicating Hendrix’s fretwork. “A lot of people have tried. There again, he didn’t play exactly the same thing but he kept the sort of theme of it.”

The only time Krizan struggles is on “Red House,” where Hendrix’s effortless fluidity on the original understandably proves beyond him. “Maybe he was a bit nervous about that track ‘cos I still think it’s a very special track from the Experience,” concedes Redding, adding, “I think the lady who sang the vocal on it sort of made up for it.” He is referring to Tonya Graves, who asked a wary Redding whether she could be allowed to handle the lead vocal on the Experience chestnut. “I said to her, ‘Can you sing it in B?’ She said, ‘Yeah’. So I said, ‘Okay’ and she did it exactly the way the Experience had done it,” he says. “I thought she did an amazing job.”


Though Redding says “I’m not into politics or presidents,” he admits he was tickled when he heard Havel might be attending the show. Havel, of course, is a longtime rock’n’roll fan whose ascent to power was dubbed the Velvet Revolution in reference to his penchant for Lou Reed’s Velvet Underground. Recalls Redding, “We did the gig and then I suddenly noticed on the side of the stage they’d set up this small little table with a couple of blokes all wearing jeans and this bloke sitting down drinking a pint of Guinness, of all things — and that’s the president! After the gig, we said hello to him and had a chat and it was grand. Very, very nice person. He said he really enjoyed it [and asked if] we could play another song.”

Though it saw a limited edition release in the Czech Republic shortly after the gig, this is the album’s first mass-market issue. However, the Track label it appears on has no real link with the U.K. Track label to which Hendrix was originally signed. This is perhaps just as well, since Redding has been battling Track for back royalties for years.

“Some lawyer I had in the ’70s wrote a letter and then we got a letter back saying unfortunately they’d had a fire and their files had been destroyed, which is quite a standard one,” he says. “And then we wrote another letter. We did get a reply saying, ‘well, actually Track did everything through Polydor — you have to go to them.’ So it’s the same old story: passing the buck. I never got a penny from Track, ever.”

Redding did at least get publishing royalties for “Little Miss Strange” and “She’s So Fine,” MCFrontCover1the two songs he wrote for the Experience. They will be appearing on a compilation of his music that he’s hoping will be released toward the end of this year. “That goes from 1962 until 2000,” he says. “I had a band called the Lonely Ones — I found an acetate from 1963. I had a band called the Loving Kind which had some records out on Piccadilly. Then I did the Fat Mattress and I’ve got some unreleased stuff, songs I wrote which became Mattress songs except they’re recorded with an orchestra. Then there’s a jam session with Randy California. And then newer stuff with Eric Bell. It’s a double CD.”

For Redding, the time that he spent recording for Hendrix constituted the guitarist’s artistic peak. “I much prefer the stuff we did earlier than after the band split up,” he admits. “I think Jimi needed to have a rest at that point. He should have actually taken some time off and done nothing, ‘cos we all worked our arses off for three years.”

Most observers attest that while Billy Cox, the bassist Hendrix worked with when the Experience broke up in the summer of 1969, was superior technically to Redding, the Experience had a chemistry Hendrix’s later bands lacked. “The thing is, myself and Hendrix used to ‘compete’ and it worked,” he explains. “Being an ex-guitar player, I was playing chords and stuff which impressed Hendrix. Not many bass players play chords. I know Billy Cox is an excellent bass player but I probably was a bit more flamboyant.”

After that split, Redding endured incredible financial hardship and emotional trauma in his efforts to obtain his royalties, harrowingly detailed in his book “Are You Experienced?” Nevertheless, he now turns down work in order to live the quiet life. “I play in my local town every Friday and I do the occasional zipping away but I only go away on a weekend,” he says. “I wouldn’t go on a tour ever again. I realized I prefer staying at home, even though I can’t really afford it.”

Asked whether his ordeal at the hands of the music business makes him regret ever having become a rock star, he says, “I should have been a plumber. That’s a joke. But the thing is, plumbers get paid. But there again, I’m still playing, thank God. That’s the main thing.” (Billboard, June 17, 2002)


Anthony Krizan
Ivan Kral (guitar, vocals)
Frankie LaRocka (drums)
Noel Redding (bass, vocals)
Tonya Graves (vocals on 08.)


01. Voodoo Child (Hendrix) 7.06
02. Stone Free (Hendrix) 3,25
03. Silver Paper (West/Collins/Laing/Pappalardi/Knight/Gardos) 3.35
04. Cold Turkey (Lennon) 4.17
05. Come On (King) 4.07
06. Purple Haze (Hendrix) 3.44
07. Little Wing (Hendrix) 5.18
08. Red House (Hendrix) 4.50
09. Little Miss Lover (Hendrix) 2.59
10. Wild Thing (Taylor) 4.59
11. Hey Joe (Roberts) 7.04




Noel Redding (December 25, 1945, Folkestone, UK – 11 May 2003, Clonakilty, Ireland)


The Classical Jazz Quartet – Christmas (2002)

FrontCover1.jpgOkay, let´s start with another collection of Christmas albums:

As high-concept jazz groups go, few have been as fun, laid-back, and boisterous as the Classical Jazz Quartet. Taking classical compositions and transforming them into upbeat jazz anthems, the group isn’t afraid to make drastically unique changes to the music they cover. The group first came together when bassist Ron Carter contacted pianist Kenny Barron to work together. Discussing the prospect of covering Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, vibraphonist Stefon Harris and drummer Lewis Nash were soon called in and the group decided to go ahead with the project. Released in 2001, their rendition of the classic Christmas ballet was a playful reinvention that swung hard and fun. A year later, The Classical Jazz Quartet Plays Bach did the same for the 17th century baroque composer. (by Bradley Torreano)

The Classical Jazz Quartet recorded a series of sessions utilizing Bob Belden’s arrangements of classical music, though this session draws primarily from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. The cast of musicians, including pianist Kenny Barron, vibraphonist and marimba player Stefon Harris, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Lewis Nash, is never less than impressive, though the album production and, occasionally, Belden’s charts don’t always serve their considerable talent. Handel’s famous Hallelujah from The Messiah is a promising start, though it is strangely and suddenly truncated by a rapid fadeout just over the five-minute mark.


Better is the extended workout of J.S. Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, which gives the musicians a chance to stretch out. The remainder of the album is devoted to music from The Nutcracker Suite, which duplicates the music heard on The Classical Jazz Quartet Play Tchaikovsky, meaning that those already owning that CD aren’t likely to purchase this release for just two new tracks. “The Swingin’ Nut” (Overture Miniature) is a bluesy chart that gets stuck in a boring vamp instead of developing upon its famous theme as a source for improvisation. But the remainder of Belden’s arrangements inspire top-notch performances, especially the playful “Blues à la Russe” (Russian Dance Trepack) and the delicious bossa nova treatment of “Mirlitonova” (Dance of the Reeds). Highly recommended for listening, at any time of year. (by Ken Dryden,)


Kenny Barron (piano)
Ron Carter (bass)
Stefon Harris (vibraphone, marimba)
Lewis Nash (drums)



01. Hallelujah From “The Messiah” (Händel) 5.25
02 Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring (Bach) 8.40
03 Overture Miniature From “The Nutcracker” (Tchaikovsky) 6.28
04 March From “The Nutcracker” (Tchaikovsky) 4.50
05 Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy From “The Nutcracker” (Tchaikovsky) 6.54
06 Russian Dance Trepack From “The Nutcracker” (Tchaikovsky) 5.59
07 Dance Of The Reeds From “The Nutcracker” (Tchaikovsky) 6.54
08 Waltz Of The Flowers From “The Nutcracker” (Tchaikovsky) 7.24



Van Morrison – Meet Me In… (2002)

FrontCover1.jpgVan Morrison continued to record and tour in the 2000s, often performing two or three times a week. He formed his own independent label, Exile Productions Ltd, which enables him to maintain full production control of each album he records, which he then delivers as a finished product to the recording label that he chooses, for marketing and distribution.

The album Down the Road, released in May 2002, received a good critical reception and proved to be his highest charting album in the US since 1972’s Saint Dominic’s Preview. It had a nostalgic tone, with its fifteen tracks representing the various musical genres Morrison had previously covered—including R&B, blues, country and folk; one of the tracks was written as a tribute to his late father George, who had played a pivotal role in nurturing his early musical tastes. (by wikipedia)

Van Morrison has always from time to time allowed for concert recordings and here´s a real pretty one … This show was broadcasted on August 16, 2002, by the German radio station RadioEins.

And here ist the complete version of this concert in soundboard quality !

Enjoy the one and only Van Morrison !

Recorded live at the The Tempodrom, Berlin, Germany, June 06, 2002


Richard Dunn (keyboards)
Ned Edwards (guitar, background vocals)
David Hayes (bass)
Matt Holland (trumpet)
Bobby Irwin (drums)
Van Morrison (vocals, guitar, saxophone, harmonica)
Martin Winning (saxophone, clarinet)
Candy Dulfer (saxophone)

AlternateFront+BackCover.jpgAlternate front+ backcover

01. Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart (Morrison) 3.27
02. Whining Boy Moan (Morrison) 5.10
03. Days Like This (Morrison) 2.59
04. Did Ye Get Healed? (Morrison) 5.47
05. Naked In The Jungle (Morrison) 6.38
06. In The Midnight (Morrison) 5.05
07. Hey Mr. DJ (I) (Morrison) 3.49
08. Meet Me In The Indian Summer (Morrison) 3.51
09. Hey Mr. DJ (II) (Morrison) 5.26
10. Sometimes We Cry (Morrison) 3.00
11. Into The Mystic (Morrison) 3.46
12. Early In The Morning (Jordan/Bartley/Hickman) 5.51
13. Real Real Gone (Morrison) 4.49
14. In The Afternoon/Raincheck (Morrison) 10.31
15. All Work No Play (Morrison) 4.49
16. Its All In The Game (Morrison) 11.43
17. Brown-Eyed Girl (Morrison) 4.18
18. Gloria (Morrison) 4.39



Chuck Loeb – All There Is (2002)

FrontCover1.jpgCharles Samuel “Chuck” Loeb (December 7, 1955 – July 31, 2017) was an American jazz guitarist and a member of the groups Steps Ahead and Fourplay.

Loeb was born in Nyack, New York, near New York City. At a young age, he listened to Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Cream, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan. According to a 2005 JazzTimes article, the first song he learned on guitar was Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”, which he would later play at a guest appearance with Dylan.[1] He discovered jazz when he was sixteen through the music of guitarists Wes Montgomery, George Benson, John McLaughlin, and Pat Martino. At that point, Loeb chose to become a musician and “never thought of doing anything else”.

He studied with local music teachers, then traveled to Philadelphia and became a student of jazz guitarist Dennis Sandole. In New York City, he learned from Jim Hall.[4] For two years he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, then left in 1976 to seek professional work in New York City.

In New York, Loeb played with Chico Hamilton, Ray Barreto, and Hubert Laws. Starting in 1979, he was a member of Stan Getz’s group. Getz later became the best man at his wedding to singer Carmen Cuesta. Loeb and Mitchel Forman, who was also in Getz’s group, formed the jazz fusion band Metro (1994). In the 1980s, he was a member of the group Steps Ahead, which included Michael Brecker, someone Loeb credits as an influence. He replaced Larry Carlton as guitarist in Fourplay (2010).


Loeb and his wife have recorded together, with Cuesta providing vocals on his albums and Loeb playing on Cuesta’s albums, and their daughters Lizzy and Christina contributing vocals.

Loeb began a solo career in 1988 with his debut album My Shining Hour on the Japanese record label Pony Canyon. He released subsequent albums on DMP Digital Music Products among which “Life Colors” (1990) until receiving commercial success with Shanachie Records on The Music Inside (1996). The title song from the album held the number one position on the jazz charts for six weeks. Later, he produced Moon, the Stars, & the Setting Sun (1998), Listen(1999) In a Heartbeat (2001), and All There Is (2002).

Loeb’s music has appeared on TV shows, commercials, and movie soundtracks, including The Untouchables, You’ve Got Mail, and Hitch.

Loeb died of cancer on July 31, 2017, at the age of 61 (by wikipedia)


Chuck Loeb’s All There Is is proof that one can be a tasteful guitarist working in the often-derided smooth jazz style and still be capable of making albums that are more than just easy listening sludge. Recorded in a simple small-group setting with no extraneous “special guests” around to muddy up the sound, Loeb unspools ten originals and tasteful covers (none of the tacky ’70s AM pop crossover attempts that marred 2001’s In a Heartbeat) in a relaxed style that never quite gets mellow in the pejorative sense. Clearly inspired by Wes Montgomery and George Benson’s work with Creed Taylor, Loeb steers clear of the pitfalls endemic to that style, maintaining melodic interest while never merely playing prettily. Even the Brazilian-influenced “Sarao,” which flirts with Chuck Mangione-style disco-pop thanks to the utterly retro ARP synth line and cooing female vocals, maintains its integrity thanks to some trickily precise soloing by Loeb and a rhythm section that actually has a bit of funk to it. All There Is is not for those raised on a diet of Ornette Coleman and ESP, but there’s a place for mood music, and this does it better than most. (by Stewart Mason)


David Charles (percussion)
Carmen Cuesta (vocals)
Barry Danielian (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Brian Dunne (drums)
Ron Jenkins (bass)
Jeff Kashiwa (saxophone)
Will Lee (bass)
Chuck Loeb (guitar, keyboards, drum programming)
David Mann (keyboards, saxophone, flut, drum programming)
Mike Pope (bass)
Mike Ricchiuti (keyboards)
Andy Snitzer (saxophone)
Kirk Whalum (saxophone)


01. As Is (Loeb) 5.17
02. Sierra Nevada (Loeb/Mann) 4.22
03. True Or False (Dunne/Loeb/Ricchiuti/Jenkins) 5.23
04. Golden Heart (Loeb) 5.10
05. Sarao (Cuesta/Loeb) 5.32
06. Fundamentally Sound (Cuesta/Loeb) 4.49
07. In The Hands (Loeb/Lee) 5.09
08. Tenerife Blue (Loeb) 5.20
09. Bread & Butter (Loeb) 5.28
10. Love Is All There Is (Cuesta) 2.57




Ambache Chamber Ensemble ‎– Chamber Music (Louise Farrenc) (2002)

FrontCover1.jpgLouise Farrenc (31 May 1804 – 15 September 1875) was a French composer, virtuoso pianist and teacher. Born Jeanne-Louise Dumont in Paris, she was the daughter of Jacques-Edme Dumont, a successful sculptor, and sister to Auguste Dumont.

Louise Farrenc enjoyed a considerable reputation during her own lifetime, as a composer, a performer and a teacher. She began piano studies at an early age with Cecile Soria,[1] a former student of Muzio Clementi. When it became clear she had the ability to become a professional pianist she was given lessons by such masters as Ignaz Moscheles and Johann Nepomuk Hummel, and, given the talent she showed as a composer, her parents decided to let her, in 1819 at the age of fifteen, study composition with Anton Reicha, the composition teacher at the Conservatoire, although it is unclear if the young Louise Dumont followed his classes there, since at that time the composition class was open only to men. In 1821 she married Aristide Farrenc, a flute student ten years her senior, who performed at some of the concerts regularly given at the artists’ colony of the Sorbonne, where Louise’s family lived. Following her marriage, she interrupted her studies to give concerts throughout France with her husband. He, however, soon grew tired of the concert life and, with her help, opened a publishing house in Paris, which, as Éditions Farrenc, became one of France’s leading music publishers for nearly 40 years.

In Paris, Farrenc returned to her studies with Reicha, after which she reembarked on a concert career, briefly interrupted in 1826 when she gave birth to a daughter, Victorine, who also became a concert pianist but who died in 1859 aged thirty-three. In the 1830s Louise Farrenc2.jpgFarrenc gained considerable fame as a performer and her reputation was such that in 1842 she was appointed to the permanent position of Professor of Piano at the Paris Conservatory, a position she held for thirty years and one which was among the most prestigious in Europe. Accounts of the time record that she was an excellent instructor with many of her students graduating with Premier Prix and becoming professional musicians.[2] Despite this, Farrenc was paid less than her male counterparts for nearly a decade. Only after the triumphant premiere of her nonet, at which the famous violinist Joseph Joachim took part, did she demand and receive equal pay. Beside her teaching and performing career, she also produced and edited an influential book, Le Trésor des Pianistes, about early music performance style, and was twice awarded the Prix Chartier of the Académie des Beaux-Arts, in 1861 and 1869.

Farrenc died in Paris. For several decades after her death, her reputation as a performer survived and her name continued to appear in such books as Antoine François Marmontel’s Pianistes célèbres. Her nonet had achieved around 1850 some popularity, as did her two piano quintets and her trios. But, despite some new editions of her chamber music after her death, her works were largely forgotten until, in the late 20th century, an interest in women composers led to the rediscovery – and thence to the performance and recording – of many her works. In December 2013, Farrenc was the subject of the long-running BBC Radio Three programme Composer of the Week.

At first, during the 1820s and 1830s, she composed exclusively for the piano. Several of these pieces drew high praise from critics, including Schumann. In the 1830s, she tried her hand at larger compositions for both chamber ensemble and orchestra. It was during the 1840s that much of her chamber music was written. While the great bulk of Farrenc’s compositions were for the piano alone, her chamber music is generally regarded as her best work. The claim can be made that Farrenc’s chamber music works are on a par with most of her well-known male contemporaries.

Louise Farrenc1Throughout her life, chamber music remained of great interest. She wrote works for various combinations of winds and or strings and piano. These include two piano quintets Opp.30 & 31, a sextet for piano and winds Op. 40, which later appeared in an arrangement for piano quintet, two piano trios Opp.33 & 34, the nonet for winds and strings Op. 38, a trio for clarinet (or violin), cello and piano Op. 44, a trio for flute (or violin), cello and piano Op. 45, and several instrumental sonatas (a string quartet sometimes attributed to her is regarded by specialists as the work of another composer, not yet identified).

In addition to chamber music and works for solo piano, she wrote two overtures and three symphonies. She heard her third symphony Op. 36 performed at the Société des concerts du Conservatoire in 1849. The one area which is conspicuously missing from her output is opera, an important lacuna as opera was at the time the central musical form in France. Several sources, however, indicate that she was also ambitious in that field, but did not succeed in being given a libretto to set to music by the Théâtre de l’Opéra or the Théâtre de l’Opéra-Comique, for reasons still to be discovered.

François-Joseph Fétis, perhaps France’s greatest 19th century music biographer and critic, wrote in his new edition of the Biographie universelle des musiciens of Louise Farrenc, only three years after her death, as follows: “Unfortunately, the genre of large Diana Ambache1scale instrumental music to which Madame Farrenc, by nature and formation, felt herself called involves performance resources which a composer can acquire for herself or himself only with enormous effort. Another factor here is the public, as a rule not a very knowledgeable one, whose only standard for measuring the quality of a work is the name of its author. If the composer is unknown, the audience remains unreceptive, and the publishers, especially in France, close their ears anyway when someone offers them a halfway decent work…Such were the obstacles that Madame Farrenc met along the way and which caused her to despair. This is the reason why her work has fallen into oblivion today, when at any other epoch her works would have brought her great esteem.”

Her works were recognized by the savants and connoisseurs of the time as first rate, but this was not enough to gain her any lasting fame as a composer. (by wikipedia)

Long before the age of feminism and political correctness, Berlioz wrote that Farrenc’s music displayed ‘a talent rare among women’, and it’s good to find some of it explored on disc, especially in performances as lively and alluring as these. Farrenc’s C minor Sextet is a bold, purposeful work, with an almost Beethovenian rigour and urgency. The Nonet, which was first performed in 1850 by an ensemble led by Joachim, has instant melodic appeal, and a style akin to that of Spohr’s Nonet (1813). These works are played with panache and insight by the Ambache Chamber Ensemble, as is the lyrical Flute Trio which completes this disc. Recorded sound is detailed, but occasionally too clinical for my ears; a welcome find, nonetheless. (Michael Jameson)

Ambache Chamber Ensemble .jpg

Diana Ambache (piano)
Naomi Butterworth (cello on 08. – 11)
Susan Dorey (cello on 04 – 07.)
Lynda Houghton (bass)
Helen Keen (flute)
Sophie Langdon (violin)
Joan Enric Lluna (clarinet)
Martin Outram (viola)
Mark Paine (horn)
Jeremy Polmear (oboe)
Brian Sewell (bassoon)



Sextet For Piano And Wind In C Minor, Op 40:
01. Allegro 9.38
02. Andante Sostemuto 6.15
03. Allegro Vivace 7.00

Nonet For Strings And Wind In E Flat, Op 38: 
04. Adagio – Allegro 9.24
05. Andante Con Moto 7.48
06. Scherzo Vivace 4.42
07. Adagio – Allegro 5.30

Trio For Flute, Cello And Piano In E Minor, Op 45: 
08. Allegro Deciso 7.36
09. Andante 5.12
10. Scherzo: Vivace 5.05
11. Finale: Presto 5.09

Nonet and Sextet recorded at the Warehouse, London SE1, 14-17 December 1995
Trio recorded at St Michael’s Church, Highgate, London N6, on 18 March 1996