Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|John Bayless, Leonard Bernstein|
Bayless Meets Bernstein: West Side Story Variations
Genres: Pop, Classical
G. Sawaged | Canada | 01/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have always loved "West Side Story" and have a few albums of different versions as well as the original soundtrack. John Bayless has done something completely amazing on this album. His improvisations are nothing short of genius as he has reworked the show, by placing some numbers out of the show's original sequence, joined two numbers together ("One hand, One Heart/Maria"), created an entirely new number that was not part of the original show (Meditation"), and eliminated one number altogether ("Gee, Officer Krupke"). Sometime's the song's theme is only briefly stated, and when it is, it has been shortened, elongated or otherwise transformed. Throughout the album there are echoes of Brahms, Chopin, Debussy, Strauss and Mahler. In fact, Mahler's "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen" from the Ruckert Lieder is quoted at the very end. This is a wonderful album, full of suprises...every listen brings something new."
More Bayless Magic And It's Wonderful!
Beth Ringsmuth | Saint Cloud, MN United States | 11/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"John Bayless is phenomenal, as usual. "West Side Story" is quite possibly my favorite musical/operetta, and hearing the piano versions given that magical "Bayless Touch" is sometimes breathtaking. John has a true sense of the "classic" classical music, but also of showtunes and of jazz, so each piece is played in a loose, creative way. The entire album is my favorite, but I particularily love listening to John's versions of "America" (in the style of Scarlatti, then Bluesy and Brassy, and lastly, in the style of Beethoven), in which the original theme of the song is kept, but given three amazing treatments. Fantastic! Also, "I Feel Pretty" is given special meaning when played by a male Texan! This is probably the only version of "I Feel Pretty" I can handle listening to on repeat, as most singers don't do it justice. John is truly a master of "completely inhabiting" a piece in a different style than originally intended. This album is a perfect example of this talent of Bayless'. Buy this one for any piano or musical fan, and then get another one for yourself!"