Italian ensemble Alter Ego have made their name playing the post-minimalism of composers as diverse as Louis Andriessen, David Lang and Frederic Rzewski. Now they turn their attention to pre-, or perhaps more accurately, prototype minimalism in this fine two-disc survey of early Philip Glass. Rejecting the seamless cross-stitching and salamander slither of Glass’s own ensemble, Alter Ego opt for a brassier and more strident approach. This strategy proposes a subtly alternative view about which the composer obviously approves – Orange Mountain Music is his own label.
"Dance" is an extraordinary epic composition from one of the most revolutionary composers of the late 20th century to the present, Philip Glass. From the mid 1960's onwards, Glass has revolutionized a form of composition that has become known as 'minimalism' (although Glass himself denies being a composer of minimal music). Several of Glass's works have gone on to be standards of modern Classical music.
The Oasis Quartet, founded in 2006, is made up of four saxophones, and on its first release it includes works originally written for that ensemble, as well as a transcription of a string quartet. The transcription, Philip Glass' String Quartet No. 3 ("Mishima"), was in turn arranged from material from the composer's soundtrack to Paul Schrader's 1985 film biography of the Japanese writer and activist, originally written for and performed by the Kronos Quartet.
Back in 2008, former Wishbone Ash bassist/vocalist Martin Turner came up with the idea of re-recording the immortal "Argus" record with his then current band consisting of Ray Hatfield, Keith Buck, Rob Hewins, and Danny Willson. The legendary John Wetton (Asia, Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash) and Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes also make an appearance on one track. However, the intention was to approach the aforementioned album from a slightly different angle with respect to the technology used to record it and each individual musician's contribution to the song material…