Gidon Kremer has again recorded the Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin of Bach and while his facility and technical grace are intact, in this recording he appears to have been deeply influenced by his time with the moderns (Adams, Pärt, Schnittke, Piazzola, Glass, et al). For this listener it seems that studying and performing these contemporary composers' manipulation of sound and instrumental scope has enriched Kremer's thought about the perfection of Bach. Not everyone will agree with Kremer's approach to these works on this new recording, but for those who know Bach's solo violin pieces there are pleasures in store. Remaining technically suave and with a luxuriant tone, Kremer seems to be communicating with the psychological Bach, offering different tempi and more soulful approaches than those of his colleagues. The results are mesmerizing. Highly recommended.
Trombonist Julian Priester, after playing with many different groups, including those of Sun Ra, Lionel Hampton, Dinah Washington, Max Roach, and Duke Ellington, was a member of the Herbie Hancock Sextet during 1970-1973. Hancock's intriguing ensemble went from funk to free blowing, and in its later period was experimenting with synthesizers. On Love, Love, Priester continues in that vein. The two lengthy improvisations are mostly on one-chord repetitive rhythmic vamps stated by the bass, featuring sound explorations and plenty of electronics. Only on the last half of the second medley does Priester himself emerge a bit from the electronic sounds. One is reminded of Bitches Brew, since that is an obvious influence, but also Hancock's group and Weather Report. The music develops slowly, but listeners with patience will enjoy the blending of the many different voices in this unusual musical stew.
Arild Andersen's Electra was composed for the Spring Theater in Athens for their production. These "18 Scenes," as they are subtitled, represent various cues and serial music for the production of Sophocles' deeply moving classic. Andersen collaborates with both European and Greek musicians here, among them the great vocalist Savina Yannatou, guitarist Eivind Aarset, drummer Patrice Heral, and trumpeter Arve Henriksen. The music is heavily arranged, taut, and spacious. Everything is understated yet utterly dramatic.
What must be heard by contemporary jazz generalists as a typical ECM type European music creation, pianist Christian Wallumrod has conjured up a nomadic series of themes that touch on various strains of ethnic music. Echoes of classical and chamber musics, and Manfred Eicher's brand of tonally reserved, emotionally balanced, and coolly rendered sounds provide a rich but predictable musical palette. The title A Year from Easter might suggest many themes of hope, looking forward, sudden dismay, prayers for peace and justice, and post-distress emergence.
For the second ECM album by Aaron Parks – following the solo release Aborescence, which JazzTimes praised as “expansive, impressionistic… like a vision quest” – the prize-winning pianist has convened a trio featuring bassist Ben Street and drummer Billy Hart. The rhythm pair, which also teams in Hart’s hit quartet for ECM, blends fluidity and strength – what Parks calls “an oceanic” quality, producing waves of energy for the pianist to alternately ride and dive into. Find the Way has the aura of a piano-trio recording in the classic mold, from melody-rich opener “Adrift” to the closing title track, a cover of a romantic tune Parks grew to love on an LP by Rosemary Clooney and Nelson Riddle. Parks also drew inspiration for this album from the likes of Alice Coltrane and Shirley Horn (for whom Hart played); space and subtlety are a priority.
The Prog Rock festival of Gouveia, organized by Portugal Progressivo (associacao cultural) has in few years grown into one of the most important prog festivals of Europe. After the DVD of “Gouveia Artrock 2003” with performances of Nil and La Maschera Di Cera there is now a second DVD of the festival of 2004. “Gouveia Artrock 2004” includes the performances of Fernando Guiomar, La Torre Dell Alchimista, Isildurs Bane and Periferia Del Mondo…
Thus beginns the medieval ballad, from whence Swedish folk music group Svanevit gets its name. The tale of Sven Svanevit takes place during the Middle Ages. In a world full of magic, mythical creatures and shining knights, Sven Svanevit rides towards adventure. The tale of the Swedish folk music group Svanevit takes place in the here and now. It begins with four eminent Swedish folk musicians and their music. What they create is both new and modern and at the same time retrospective, drawing inspiration from the past. Each and every element of the music is filled with an anticipation and narrative zest that allows the tale to continue giving the sounds, magic and legends a chance to live on in our time. The tale continues – listen and let the myth live!