Friday, October 23, 2009

Joshua Bell - At Home with Friends

I was given the opportunity to review Joshua Bell's new album though One2One network. I think I have mentioned before that I have rather eclectic music tastes so I was excited about this. It is various musical friends that perform with Joshua Bell on the songs - people like Sting (oh, I love Sting), Josh Groban (another favorite), Kristen Chenoweth.

In fact, here is the track list
I Loves You Porgy featuring Chris Botti, trumpet
Come Again featuring Sting, vocals
Oblivion featuring Carel Kraayenhof, bandoneon
Cinema Paradiso featuring Josh Groban, vocals
Para Tí featuring Tiempo Libre, various
My Funny Valentine featuring Kristin Chenoweth, vocals
Maybe So featuring Edgar Meyer Sam Bush and Mike Marshall, strings
Grieg: Sonata No. 3 featuring Sergei Rachmaninoff (Zenph re-performance)
Eleanor Rigby featuring Frankie Moreno, piano & vocals
O, Cease Thy Maiden Fair featuring Nathan Gunn, baritone
Il Postino featuring Carel Kraayenhof, bandoneon
Left Hand Song featuring Regina Spektor, piano & vocals
Chovendo Na Roseira featuring Dave Grusin, piano
Look Away featuring Edgar Meyer, bass and Chris Thile, mandolin
Variant Moods: Duet for Sitar & Violin featuring Anoushka Shankar, sitar
I'll Take Manhattan featuring Marvin Hamlisch, piano
Left Hand featuring Regina Spektor, vocals

Sounds great, right? That is what I thought too.

Now, honestly I found myself getting annoyed at the album. Sometimes the way it was mixed was too heavy on the violin - like during the song with Sting, the violin drowned out Sting's voice. Same with the Josh Groban song.

I was also disappointed with the Rachmaninoff "duet" - an old copy of a Rachmaninoff performance in 1928 Germany restored and re-recorded. Again the violin was a bit heavy.

In fairness, it is a album based on Joshua Bell playing the violin and he does play very well. He also has a wide range of styles he can play with. He is a very talented musician.

I just didn't particularly like this album.

But that is just me.

By the way - I did get this CD free to review sent to me by One2One network. I received no other compensation and these are all my own personal opinions about the album.

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