Keyboardist-arranger-composer PeteLevin’s 9th solo release, Mobius, was recorded live in the studio in two days, capturing the“no boundaries” spirit of Gil Evans. The music explores textural grooves ranging from straight-ahead bop to funk, world-beat, and the experimental. The disc features 10 tracks including 8 originals, “I Mean You” by Thelonious Monk & Coleman Hawkins and “There Comes A Time” by Tony Williams. Anchored by Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel’s original bassist) and Lenny White (Chick Corea’s original drummer) the high-energy band and the compositions have the spontaneity and dynamics of a live performance. In a diverse music career spanning several decades, Levin has performed and recorded with numerous jazz and pop artists, including Paul Simon, Annie Lennox, David Sanborn, Jaco Pastorius, Robbie Robertson and John Scofield.
The viola was Hindemith's instrument (though he could play almost any), and he wrote some of his most expressive chamber music for it. This two-disc set includes all four of Hindemith's sonatas for solo violin and the three for viola and piano. I prefer the wildness of Hindemith's earlier music to the sometimes arid calm of his later music, so listeners like myself who like Hindemith can have a feast here as most of these are early works. They are played with energy and passion by an outstanding violist and a fine pianist.
Pete's first solo album for Gramavision was a tribute to Gil Evans, with whom Pete worked for 15 years. Much of the album is performed by an 8-piece all-star band - all alumni of the freewheeling Gil Evans Monday Night Orchestra.
For the casual listener, there are two impediments to enjoying this disc. First, the works are transcriptions of orchestral works for chamber ensembles, and second, both transcriptions are played on a light-toned fortepiano and cat-gutted stringed instruments. But for the dedicated listener who knows and loves Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 and Piano Concerto No. 4 and who accepts and enjoys period instruments, this disc will be pure enjoyment.