David Chesky, born in Miami in 1956, settled in New York City in the 1970s and now identifies himself as an "urban orchestral composer." His Urban Concertos, of which he has written nearly a dozen, constitute his most substantial output. In the program notes for this recording of three of his concertos, he wrote, "Perhaps one can say my style is neo-impressionist. But I do not live on some quaint idyllic country farm, I live in the city that never sleeps! It is a hard-driving concrete jungle that pulsates around the clock." "Pulsating" is an apt descriptor for Chesky's music, which is notable for its restlessly high energy and rhythmic propulsiveness.
Paysages is a French word that roughly means "landscapes." In this 1971 album, Sadao Watanabe & his bandmates' music reflected the sign of the times in their use of electric piano, strong emphasis on rhythms – realized, in part, by employing 2 drummers – & a freer approach to improvisation.
Ballads, which really seems to make ballads out of ballads, has been considered both worthy of hanging on the museum wall alongside the other masterpieces and being accorded special merit as the jazz record most used for background music. Since no less a genius than the great French composer Erik Satie invented the concept of background music, this might not be such a contradiction or insult. Only the short "Circles" invites a real comparison with the piano music of Satie; elsewhere you're in extremely extended territory, Paul Bley's desire to play the slowest music in history meshing with a new style of rhythm section accompaniment that sounds like everything from tuning the drums to adjusting the drapes.
A fascinating set from three strong and contrasting musical personalities: Norwegian saxophonist, Brazilian guitarist-pianist, and US bassist making purposeful and creative music together on this previously unreleased live recording. “Carta de Amor” documents music captured at Munich’s Amerika Haus in April, 1981. Two years on from the much-loved albums “Magico” (ECM 1151) and “Folk Songs” (ECM 1170), the trio’s improvisational empathy and sensibilities were further honed by experiences as a touring group. Repertoire includes five pieces from Gismonti’s pen, with the title track heard in two variations, opening and closing this enthralling double album.
First ECM solo album from the Norwegian violinist who has gained many friends for his work with the Christian Wallumrød Ensemble. Økland’s solo music is strongly inspired by the rich Norwegian fiddle tradition and its freedom, variation and individuality, yet what he plays is not purely ‘folk music’ rather a reinvention of folk forms, with free improvisation and contemporary composition also powerful influences. The ‘personality’ of the instruments themselves is also an inspiration: on “Monograph” Økland makes the most of the ‘drone’ qualities of the viola d’amore and the Hardanger fiddle (he plays both old and modern models) as well as an old violin from 1700, in a recital of subtle and melodic invention.
Meant as a tribute to Ben Webster, Jacintha's album nonetheless expresses her Billie Holliday Influence as well. A well known singer and stage talent in the Singapore entertainment scene, Jacintha (in the tradition of one name jazz luminaries such as the Duke, Django and Ella) now pays her dues to the music she grew up listening to. This disc has been all the rage among jazz aficionados and audiophiles everywhere since its release, garnering endless positive reviews.
"…Recommended with enormous pleasure. " ~sa-cd.net
This collection of works for unaccompanied voices is bookended by works by singer Cathy Berberian and composer Luciano Berio, who were once married to each other. John Cage's Story is a movement of his percussion quartet Living Room Music, while Young Turtle Asymmetries is by Cage's pupil Jackson Mac Low and Roger Marsh's Not a Soul But Ourselves is set to a text by James Joyce. Usually done solo, Berberian's Stripsody, with its score consisting solely of cartoons, is sung here by a trio and must be heard to be believed.