Album Review

Guy, Barry – “Folio ” – [Ecm Records]

Jawbone   3/3/2008   A Library, CD

Stunning . . . is a word that leaps to mind when listening to Barry Guy???s ???Folio???. A dialogue, or trialogue, if you will, between the Rational, the Emotional and the Subconscious (or Eternal); it was inspired in part by a 1912 pre-revolutionary Russian play by Nikolai Evreinov, ???The Theatre of the Soul???, which takes place in the soul of the protagonist, within the space of 30-seconds, immediately preceding putting a gun to his ribs and pulling the trigger.

Guy, as composer and improviser, has conjured all the emotion and intensity you would imagine from such a scenario, although he takes nearly 60-minutes to complete it. The 14 movements are broken into ???Commentaries,??? ???Folios???, and a reworking of a 1553 piece by Diego Ortiz, ???Recercada Primera???. They range in length from one-minute to twenty-one-minutes. Guy???s double-bass plays the part of the Rational. Guy???s wife, Maya Homburger???s baroque violin plays the Emotional parts, and Muriel Cantoreggi???s violin along with the string orchestra represent the Subconcious.

Barry Guy has been a member of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, the London Jazz Composers Orchestra, Christopher Hogwood???s Academy of Ancient Music, the City of London Sinfonia and the Michael Nyman Band. He has played with the Hilliard Ensemble and Evan Parker???s Electro-Acoustic Ensemble. In other words, the guy gets around (pun intended), and he knows no boundaries; equally comfortable in the early music movement, jazz, free improvisation and new music: both playing and composing.

Magnificent . . . is another.


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