Thursday, October 22, 2009

Joshua Bell "At Home With Friends" - CD Review

Rainy days like today call for contemplative, quiet music. A violin and the pitter patter of rain make the perfect pairing, so our choice of music this morning was Joshua Bell's newest CD, At Home With Friends. In this eclectic compilation, several different performers like Josh Groban, Anoushka Shankar, and Sting perform separate pieces with the very talented violinist Joshua Bell.

The inspiration behind At Home With Friends comes from Bell's own experience with home musicales, informal evenings when he gathers together with family or friends and plays all kinds of music along with his guests. Each track on the CD is as different as each of the performers, and the result reminds me of a crazy quilt of classical, jazz, pop and more. The patchwork of several different musical styles all blends together in a creative, free-flowing way to form an unusual but exquisite product.

The first track on the CD, "I Loves You Porgy" featuring Chris Botti, is my personal favorite. The trumpet, violin and piano combine together in this reflective, soft, jazzy melody. Frankie Moreno's version of the Beatle's "Eleanor Rigby" caught my attention and intrigued me. (You can watch a performance of this song on YouTube here: Anoushka Shankar's expressive sitar piece "Variant Moods" is full of rhythm and is simply mesmerizing. This CD will remain in my CD player for those times when I desire a relaxing, lyrical mix of music.

Related Links:
Joshua Bell - Official Website
YouTube Joshua Bell - At Home With Friends EPK

Thanks to One2One network and Sony Music for this review opportunity and for providing a free CD for my family to review. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)