John Adams’ vast and varied output has earned him a wide audience, uncommon among contemporary classical composers. The works on this disc span his entire career to date, and illustrate his many different styles of writing for the piano. Phrygian Gates and China Gates – “gate” here referring to a type of electronic switch – could be regarded as his first “minimal” works, but are more tonal and expressive than the music of his contemporaries such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass. As a teenager Adams had played clarinet in his father’s marching band, and his Hallelujah Junction reflects his love of …….From Naxos
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. Beautiful solo work from pianist Mike Nock – a set that's got some of the dark edges and dynamic energy of Nock's previous 70s recordings – but an album that also shows some newly lyrical elements as well! Some passages have Mike hitting the keys with the sort of frenzied creation he reached on fusion recordings – but with wonderful results on the acoustic piano – and other moments have this enhanced sense of melody that makes for very beautiful, expressive passages – maybe a touch more sentiment than the younger Nock would have allowed himself, but never in a way that's soppy or overdone. The balance in these modes is great – and reminds us that Nock can be equally compelling a solo performer as he is in a group – on titles that include "Enchanted Garden", "Polyhedron", "Fallen Angel", "California Country Song", "Soliloquy", and "Jacanori".
Chopin's two piano concertos have long been admired more as pianistic vehicles than as integrated works for piano and orchestra. But in his revelatory new recording, Krystian Zimerman suggests otherwise: The opening orchestral tuttis have so much more light, shade, orchestral color, and detail, you wonder if they've been rewritten. Every gesture, every instrumental solo is so specifically characterized that by the time the piano makes a dramatic entrance, the pieces have become operas without words.
Having earned his composing stripes after the 1960s, John Adams had the pioneering work of Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and Terry Riley close at hand as he ventured into his trade. And, while minimalism's historical continuum helps place Adams, he used Reich, Glass, and Riley (among others) only as a starting point. And here's proof: a 10-CD retrospective of nearly all Adams's recorded compositions on Nonesuch Records, the label that also issued Steve Reich 1965-1995 and Kronos Quartet: 25 Years. Adams's Harmonium, a choral work of startling energy and effervescence, appears here in a new recording, as do distillations of both The Death of Klinghoffer and Nixon in China, two path-clearing operas.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. George Adams and Don Pullen knock it out of the park on this one – finding great company in each other's presence, and really moving things forward in the process! The set begins with a long track titled "Mingus Metamorphosis", and that really sums up the spirit of the record – an 80s reworking of all the ideas that the players had learned from Mingus, but with an individual, personal sense that's all their own – and very different than some of the more standard modes of the Mingus Dynasty group that continued the legacy in a more direct manner. Adams is bold one minute, lyrical the next – and plays both tenor and flute – alongside Pullen on piano, Cameron Brown on bass, and Dannie Richmond on drums.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. A firey session from the quartet of George Adams and Don Pullen – a set that has the group stretching out in some of their most spiritual modes, yet still finding plenty of time to swing as well! Adams is tremendous on tenor – a very fresh voice in the post-Coltrane world, with phrasing that is all his own – even more amplified when he switches to flute – and Pullen's got this ability to go outside, and show his knowledge of the darker corners of the keyboard – yet never let that side of his playing overwhelm things, possibly because the rhythmic accompaniment from Cameron Brown on bass and Dannie Richmond on drums is so strong. Tracks are all long, and very individual – with the group in high spirits on the titles "Earth Beams", "Magnetic Love Field", "Saturday Nite In The Cosmos", "More Flowers", and "Dionysus".