One of the best recordings for Keith Jarrett's mid-'70s American quartet (whose style differed sharply from its European doppelgänger), Survivor's Suite opens with Jarrett's aching, breathy sigh on the bass recorder, evoking the sound of a horn somewhere across a great expanse of fog. Percussion soon punctuates the melodic line to give the opening a more spiritual, ritualistic feel, which is only the first of many mutations that this album will go through.
If Micus’s saga were an ongoing raga, then 1983’s Listen to the Rain would be one of its most inward-looking prayers. All four meditations that make up the album, while externally distinct, are internally connected through Micus’s use of guitar. The Spanish variety plays a particularly active role throughout, with the sole exception of “Dancing with the Morning,” for which he pairs the ubiquitous steel-stringed with the suling, a bamboo flute often heard in gamelan ensembles of southeast Asia. Knowledgeable listeners will recognize both the rarity of the backpacker’s trusty companion in the Micus canon and its elemental necessity in this setting. The ascetic sheen of its metal strings paints a world of shine to which a human presence adds less manufactured colors. The suling’s unclipped wings, by extension, are exhaled into the sky above, circling and darting through the surrounding melodies until they take shape under cover of their own imagination.
The Paradise Suite is a story about six people finding each other and, sometimes with just one glance, influencing each other's lives irreversibly. For the beautiful young Bulgarian Jenya, her journey to Amsterdam turns out to be the opposite of what she hoped for. Her grueling captivity forces the angelic African, Yaya, to fight for her freedom - a dangerous fight in which he loses everything but his beloved faith. The Serbian war criminal Ivica, who has just become a father, is painfully confronted with the fact that crimes will never go unpunished. Bosnian Seka has nothing left to live for except her vengeance but as it turns out, it's that same vengeance that brings love back in her life. And when the Swedish piano-wonder boy, Lukas, runs away from his new temporary home, his father Stig finally realizes that their mutual passion for music damages their relationship.