Monkey House is the creation of singer/songwriter/arranger/producer Don Breithaupt. Left is their fifth album, and the follow-up to their 2012 album, Headquarters. Left features a slew of great players including Jay Graydon, guitar ace Elliott Randall, saxophonist Donnie McCaslin, Kim Mitchell, Drew Zingg and Michael Leonhart. Left is more than a collection of songs, it's a fully formed and compelling work of art Don explains that "I'm rather a traditionalist. I view the making of an album as part of the art form. It is meant to be cohesive, something that musically and sonically sounds like one body of work.
Jason Eckardt steps forward with this Mode release as a fearless young proponent of modernism in all its complexity, a shining alternative to the prevalent eclecticism of our time. His Ensemble 21, formed in 1993, deserves acclaim as well, a unit seemingly out of step with the American musical landscape, and not surprisingly pursuing collaborations with Boulez's IRCAM and other European composers and musicians.