Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I'm reviewing three cds that have no singing on them at all: just talented musicians playing their instruments. I think these are all either jazz or classical recordings, which is good if you're looking for something mellow to put on during dinner or while reading. Good to have in case you find yourself entertaining old people who can't relate to rock or rap; or you have a chick over who'll think you're multi-dimensional and mature because you have soft, grown-up music.

The Very Best of Chris Botti, by Chris Botti
$11.98 at Bn.com UPC: 731458984825
Don't expect blasting bugles in this jazz trumpet solo albu
m. Chris keeps it soft and breezy without letting things get too boring. OK, so there is a little bit of singing as he teams up with big names in music like Sting and Edie Brickell. Good if you're someone who likes smooth jazz for atmosphere.

Lucky to be Me, by Taylor Eigsti
$12.98 at Bn.com UPC: 013431229926
My very first jazz album. Taylor plays his own piano compositions accompanied by an ensemble: a bass fiddle, a drummer. The com
bination is terrific. It's upbeat so that you won't fall asleep like with most soft jazz, but avoids becoming overpowering. It actually gives me a sort of beatnik feeling, all that's missing is the bongo drums.

Voice of the Violin, by Joshua Bell
$15.18 at Bn.com UPC: 828768987629
Violin music is typically favored by senior citizens, but Josh manages to give it some edge. This whole album is a little quiet, but he makes the transition from the strange to the familiar so flawlessly that I had to recommend it. Included is a lovely version of Ave Maria. All the pieces were originally composed for the human voice, transcribed for the violin.

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