Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Duo Magic from ACT

Lacrima ChristiACT records produces great CDs, many of which I have talked about, most recently the Simcock and Goloubev duo from Schloss Elmau. Over this year they will be producing a series called "Duo Art" featuring outstanding European artists like pianist Joachim Kuhn, bassist Martin Wind, guitarist Phillip Catherine, bassist George Mraz, and pianist Yaron Herman, among many others.

In advance of some of these recordings and to highlight the quality of ACT's previous ones, the company has produced a two CD set, "Duo Art -- Creating Magic" (ACT 2014), a compilation of 24 songs from a range of musicians and CDs. Included among them are outstanding performances such as a piano duet "Tears for Esbjorn" by Iiro Rantala and Michael Wollny from "Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic", a glorious CD I posted about last year; "Lover Man" from Heinz Sauer on tenor sax and Joachim Kuhn on piano from "If (Blue" Then (Blue)"; and "Up on a Fir Tree" from "Together Again" featuring George Mraz on bass and Emil Viklicky on piano. That's a small sample of what is offered but a great way to sample from the outstanding artists and CDs that ACT has recorded; other names are Danilo Rea on piano, Flavio Boltro on trumpet, Lars Danielsson on bass, Paolo Fresu on trumpet, Ulf Wakenius on guitar, and many others.

I recommend this as a way of hearing some  lesser known -- at least in the U.S.-- but highly talented Europeans playing some absolutely wonderful music.

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