Monday, October 12, 2009
I recently received a copy of violinist Joshua Bell's new cd, At Home With Friends. He's the artist who performed the music in the movie The Red Violin, so I was quite excited to check it out! Here's what I thought:
From the producers of the album:
At Home With Friends represents the Grammy Award-winning violinist's life-long dream of recording an album of instrumental and vocal duets with an amazing roster of musicians and friends and includes collaborations with Regina Spektor, Josh Groban, Sting, Kristin Chenoweth, Chris Botti, and more!
The album covers all of the genres, from classical to pop, bluegrass to Broadway, jazz and ethnic World Music. There are even a couple of seasonal tracks in there, just in time to celebrate the holidays.
I love this album! Fans of Joshua Bell and the other artists will enjoy being a part of one of his musical gatherings. I'm not a celebrity stalker, but the idea of Joshua Bell jamming with other talented artists is just too irresistible. And the music is great; I love that it's such an eclectic collection of pieces, with something for every taste. My favorite tracks are Left Hand Song with Regina Spekter on vocals, and the unique, amazing duet with sitar player Anoushka Shankar. Oh, and Come Again with Sting. I can never resist an album with Sting on it -- the man is a musical god.
The big selling point of this cd is the idea of getting a peek into the musical gatherings that Joshua Bell holds with his artist friends, so I'd have loved to hear more about it -- maybe more photos of Joshua Bell's home performance area, quotes or interviews from the artists he collaborated with, stories of why they chose a particular piece. Okay, maybe I'm a bit of a celebrity stalker. Just a bit.
The Bottom Line
If you're a Joshua Bell fan and you close your eyes while listening to this cd, you might actually be able to pretend that you're in one of his eclectic musical gatherings. Even if you're not a fan, it's a great collection of easy listening tunes, and I'd recommend it for your own gatherings.
I received a product sample for this post, but no monetary compensation. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.