21 years after No-Man's debut and 10 years after Bowness's previous solo release My Hotel Year, Tim Bowness returns on the Inside Out label with his ambitious second solo album, Abandoned Dancehall Dreams. Produced by Bowness and mixed by his No-Man band partner Steven Wilson, the album features performances from Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson), Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree), Anna Phoebe (Trans-Siberian Orchestra) and members of the No-Man live band (Stephen Bennett, Michael Bearpark, Pete Morgan, Steven Wilson, Andrew Booker and Steve Bingham).
Elgar’s Violin Concerto has a certain mystique about it independent of the knee-jerk obeisance it has received in the British press. It probably is the longest and most difficult of all Romantic violin concertos, requiring not just great technical facility but great concentration from the soloist and a real partnership of equals with the orchestra. And like all of Elgar’s large orchestral works, it is extremely episodic in construction and liable to fall apart if not handled with a compelling sense of the long line. In reviewing the score while listening to this excellent performance, I was struck by just how fussy Elgar’s indications often are: the constant accelerandos and ritards, and the minute (and impractical) dynamic indications that ask more questions than they sometimes answer. No version, least of all the composer’s own, even attempts to realize them all: it would be impossible without italicizing and sectionalizing the work to death.
Bee Jazz releases the second album from the Edwin Berg trio with the lyrical Eric Surménian playing double-bass and the subtle Fred Jeanne playing drums. The first album Perpetuum have seen the gifted Kenny Werner getting a franc success with the acknowledgement “of a perfectly completed record with rare lyricism and timeless charm” Jazz Magazine and also defined by Citizen Jazz “a gem of pure music”. Since, the trio has been performing in various places in the European scene, including the famous “Bimhuis Jazz Club” in Amsterdam for a concert worthy of attention.
With Perpetuum, Dutch pianist Edwin Berg and his band mates enter an increasingly crowded field: to wit, piano trios that seem, consciously or otherwise, to worship at the shrine of Brad Mehldau. Any number of new-ish pianists on the scene have released records ranging in quality from good to excellent—Aaron Goldberg's Worlds (Sunnyside, 2006); Florian Weber's Minsarah (Justin Time, 2006); Florian Ross's Big Fish & Small Pond (Intuition, 2007); John Chin's Blackout Conception (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2008)—in this Mehldauvian vein.
The Emerson String Quartet formed in 1976 and kept the same personnel for more than 30 years. Journeys marks its final release with original cellist David Finckel, who has departed to pursue other projects (notably duo concerts with his wife, pianist Wu Han). It thus represents a turning point of sorts, and it is good to see that the group has not been content with simply recrossing safe territory but has delivered something innovative, both within its own catalog and in the general chamber music marketplace. The Emerson Quartet's repertory has rested solidly in the Haydn/Beethoven/Brahms mainstream. The group has rarely recorded Tchaikovsky, and Schoenberg never until this release. Journeys contains both, in the form of two sextets, Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence and Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht.
Et si nous étions devenus, sans le savoir, les principaux acteurs de l’économie numérique ? Si nos vies, nos inter-actions, nos créations étaient la source déterminante de la valeur et de la croissance ? …