Record of the Day: Red Hot + Cool, "Stolen Moments"

Record of the Day: Red Hot + Cool, “Stolen Moments”

Red Hot+Cool
Stolen Moments (Cd GRP 97942)

To help fight the catastrophic phenomenon of AIDS, many artists' organizations have been formed over the years
last fifteen years they have given life to various projects both in concert and on record to raise funds and make people more aware of the dangers linked to this disease.
The Red Hot Organization of New York is one of the most active in creating musical events and videos on the topic; founded by
a young lawyer, John Carlin, dismayed at witnessing the progressive disappearance of too many of his friends due to AIDS, Red Hot has created 15 projects that cross the entire stylistic spectrum of American music, from jazz to alternative rock, passing through the country and the music of Gershwin and Porter.

From the first album, “Red Hot+Blue” (which brought together many artists including U2, David Byrne, Sinéad O'Connor, Fine Young Cannibals, Tom Waits and Salif Keita) the worldwide success was immediate; even today the royalties from this album, donated by all the musicians, continue to help projects and hospitals that fight AIDS.

Many quality albums followed, full of stimulating collaborations; my favorite to this day remains “Red Hot+Cool” which sees musicians such as Ron Carter, Lester Bowie, Branford Marsalis, Don Cherry and Herbie Hancock join forces together with artists such as Michael Franti, Groove Collective, Me'Shell Ndegéocello, Bernie Worrell and Incognito in an irresistible collection of songs that prove ideal for dancing and at the same time are able to repay numerous re-listenings thanks to their refined synthesis of many aspects of African-American culture, from bebop to rap.

Listen to Hancock's amazing solo in “Nocturnal Sunshine”, along which Me'Shell's voice slides like a cobra in counterpoint with the incredible groove of Harvey Mason's drums, (this song would be enough to justify the purchase).
Or immerse yourself in the metal-rap hell of “This Is Madness”, a complaint shouted at the top of your lungs by Umar Bin Hassan of the Last Poets in the company of Pharoah Sanders' scorching saxophone.
If you want quieter atmospheres but not without grit, here is Ufo's reinterpretation of Oliver Nelson's “Stolen Moments”, but the whole album is a marvel of taste, feeling and rhythm.

Carlo Boccadoro, composer and conductor, was born in Macerata in 1963. He lives and works in Milan. He collaborates with soloists and orchestras in different parts of the world. He is the author of numerous books on musical topics.

This text is taken from “Lunario della musica: A record for every day of the year” published by Einaudi, courtesy of the author and the publisher.