Where the typical ECM continental European chamber sound has been associated with Norwegian pianist Christian Wallumrod, Fabula Suite Lugano adds a new, expansive flavor to what might be expected. This rather ambitious program features a core ensemble, but the sounds are bigger or smaller depending on the inspiration or thematic concept. At the center of many tracks is the violin and viola of Gjermund Larsen and cellist Tanja Orning, but the Baroque harp, as played by Giovanna Pessi, adds more bright colors, while the lone horn (trumpet) of Eivind Lonnig completes the cycle of mystery to this spatial, in-the-main haunting music.
Erotic Hymns (1998) is a sacred song cycle in which composer Bent Lorentzen (b. 1935) combines Baroque and contemporary Danish poetry in a fascinating exploration of the relationship between erotic and religious experience. This world premiere recording by baritone Morten Frank Larsen and organist Jens E. Christensen also features three of Lorentzen's major organ works and concludes with a chorale motet cycle, balancing the CD in beautiful symmetry.
A little gem from the late 70's by this LA based keyboards player and generally reckoned to be his best, well worth hunting down. Jungle Fever features the likes of Buzz Feiten (guitar), Willie Weeks (bass), Andy Newmark (drums), Mike Brecker (tenor sax), Larry Williams (alto sax and flute), Ralph McDonald (percussion) and Jerry Hey (trumpet & flugelhorn). The whole set is original Larsen material except for a quite acceptable cover of Gato Barbieri's 'Last Tango in Paris'. Not a vocal in sight, either. Recorded and mixed by Al Schmitt at Sound Labs and Capitol Recording Studios in Hollywood and produced by maestro Tommy LiPuma. Engineer and producer teams don't get much better than that and, on this album, it certainly shows.