I've been listening to Brandenburgs non-stop for the past three weeks, for some reason. I love the Ristenpart recording, and I like the Britten version even better in some ways. This Baumgartner recording has a certain elegance. The pace is a tad slower and the ambience a bit thicker. The second movement of the first Brandenburg hits that emotional place a bit better than in the Britten version. I would be hard pressed to say which I prefer overall, but on first listening I sure loved this recording.
The composer/saxophonist Gabriele Coen is a household name on the Italian jazz scene. He is the founder of the noted ensemble Klezroym and has recorded two masterful CDs of Jewish music for Italian labels. For his first Tzadik release he broadens both the scope of his music and his ensemble to create his most exciting and ambitious presentation to date. Full of energy, lyricism and improvisational excitement, Awakening is one of the strongest Jewish jazz CDs we have ever released, and a wonderful new addition to Radical Jewish Culture, now in its eighteenth year and going strong thanks to creative and passionate musicians like Gabriele Coen.
In 2001 Mirabassi joined Rabih Abou-Khalil's group and soon became its foremost soloist who regularly brings the audience into a boiling state. While Rabih's music has an Arabic color, Gabriele's is deeply rooted in the folk music of his native Italy which he presents with great emotional power. Accordionist Luciano Biondini, who has also worked with such as Tony Scott and Enrico Rava, and tuba player Michel Godard, the most versatile exponent of his instrument worldwide, have been working with Mirabassi for quite a while - formerly as a quartet with additional drums or mandolin. All three of them are currently members in Rabih Abou-Khalil's band.
In this bizarre and darkly comic fantasy, Antonio (Sergio Rubini) is a man who was born with unusually large incisors; his freakishly huge teeth make him an outcast from his peers as a child, and he attempts more than once to break off the offending choppers. The emotionally fragile Antonio was further devastated at the age of 12 when his mother (Anouk Grinberg) died, and as a man, he's become obsessive and controlling in his relationships with women…