World traveler, nomad, mystic and violist, Eyvind Kang has created several of the most wildly creative CDs on Tzadik. Here he turns his hand to ten tunes from Zorn’s remarkable Book of Angels. Featuring spectacular orchestral arrangements and brilliant studio techniques, Eyvind has put together a CD unlike anything on the Angels series, highlighting the spiritual side of the Angels project, the singular lyricism of Zorn’s compositions and his own richly inventive musical imagination. One of the most personal and gorgeous installments in the Masada series, Alastor is a modern orchestral reading of the mystical charts from the Book of Angels.
"The music from Richter 858 was originally commissioned and recorded to accompany a book of paintings by Gerhard Richter, which was only available in limited quantities back in 2002. Tony Reif of Songlines decided to rescue the recordings from obscurity, and re-released them in early 2005. The band is Frisell on guitar and delay, Eyvind Kang on viola, Jenny Scheinman on violin, and Frisell's old bandmate Hank Roberts on cello. The pieces were directly inspired by a specific painting, and recorded live to two-track with no editing or overdubs."
With his indelible, elastic tone, restless curiosity, and open-eared approach to music beyond the traditional corridors of jazz, guitarist Bill Frisell is among the most prolific and continually surprising improvisers alive. Quartet is built around a typically inventive, typically off-centered Frisell lineup including Ron Miles (trumpet, piccolo trumpet), Eyvind Kang (violin, tuba), and Curtis Fowlkes (trombone) who draw from a sonorous palette. By avoiding a conventional rhythm section and piano, Frisell and his confederates create a group sound with the intimacy of small jazz group while tapping the timbres of chamber music.
Alkan was counted in Busoni's pantheon of five romantics alongside Chopin, Schumann, Liszt and Brahms. Brahms and Schumann are the references in the euphoric Grand Duo Concertant - nothing short of a 20 or so minute Sonata in three turbulent movements. This is a work of diving romance and if Alkan had stopped in the style of the first movement then we would have been able to 'place' Alkan. Instead we get a second movement that clamours in bass heavy capering for all the world like a picture of a Black Sabbath. As if to make ‘amends’ the finale is back to the helter-skelter tumble of vivacity we find in the first movement. This euphoria carries over into the Cello Sonata which is in four classically well-tailored movements. Alkan's originality or eccentricity (take your pick) returns for the Adagio which is part sentimental and part affecting. This perhaps offers a parallel with Joseph Holbrooke's chamber works in which sublime ideas and treatment suddenly find themselves up against kitsch music hall ditties. A wild saltarello with grand manner Hungarian gestures from the piano round out the picture.