The album box is topped of by a mammoth hardbound book featuring a 1966-1973 day-by-day chronology of Everly Brothers' recording sessions, concerts, as well as radio and television appearances by noted Everly Brothers historian, Andrew Sandoval.
The quintet on this CD (baritonist Hamiet Bluiett, pianist Don Pullen, bassist Fred Hopkins, drummer Idris Muhammad, and Chief Bay on African percussion) was only together for a week, but three CDs resulted from their engagement at the Carlos I club in New York; Mulgrew Miller is in Pullen's place on one of the two other discs. This is a particularly intriguing setting for the great baritonist Bluiett, for even though he is an avant-gardist, he is heard here playing such numbers as "I'll Close My Eyes" (which becomes so romantic at one point that it seems satirical), "Autumn Leaves," and Bluiett's blues "John."
It's easy to imagine the phone calls, drummer Matt Wilson made, using his best imitation of Elwood from the 1980 Blues Brothers movie, "We're putting the band back together, we're on a mission from God." And like that, current members and alumni of the drummer's bands: the Matt Wilson Quartet, Arts & Crafts, and Christmas Tree-O assembled to commune and revisit the music Wilson's late wife Felicia loved. This recording was Wilson's first since he lost his wife to leukemia in 2014. It certainly was fitting to perform the compositions she loved, and by the performers Felicia considered her extended family. Instead of a wake, the music is a celebration. One crafted in the true Wilson fashion, without written arrangements or rehearsals.
Chinese-born American Lei Liang’s intercontinentally inspired work has been described as ‘hauntingly beautiful’ (The New York Times) and ‘brilliantly original and inarguably gorgeous’ (The Washington Post). Verge is a musical amulet for Liang’s new-born son Albert, while Aural Hypothesis explores how calligraphic lines can find expression in sound. Both Five Seasons and Tremors of a Memory Chord bring together Chinese and Western instruments to create fascinating sonorities, from an evocative single pipa to the unique richness of a grand Chinese orchestra.
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