Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Bob James - Rameau (1984)


Note: this release was originally purchased as an LP, later replaced by a CD.

Jean Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) was a French composer during the Baroque era. Jazz composer takes some of Rameau's keyboard pieces, reworks them, and performs them on digital synthesizers (which were just emerging around that time). Somehow, James avoids having this sound like a Wendy Carlos album. His arrangements are tasteful and the sounds he chooses seem to serve the music. James originally recorded some of these tunes to give as Christmas gifts to friends and the music is well-suited to the season. An interesting listen, but this disc isn't for someone giving Rameau some serious study; not for purists. I believe this CD is now out-of-print.

Tracks: my favorite piece is the Gavotte & 6 Doubles which has some fantastic variations. I also like La Chasse and Les Niais de Sologne. The Tambourins at the end of the CD are a poor way to end the disc.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I remember hearing this for the first time as a college freshman. Some upperclassmen were having a party and someone put this on and tried to show how much he knew by analyzing it non-stop (this is what passes for entertainment at a party for music majors). While this analysis impressed a wide-eyed 18-year-old, I now know better. Dude was full of crap.

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