Recorded 1985. 8 saxophones (3 alto, 4 tenor, 1 baritone) + piano trio. Ambitious concept, lush arrangements and verbose lead work from Philadelphia tenor player Odean Pope. You have to admire the madness? Sometimes Pope’s solo rises above. Add it to the stack with Rova & WSQ
Hemroid The Leader
Recorded ’95/Released ’96. Baritone Sax legend Hamiet Bluiett’s Barbecue Band blends Free sounds, Afrocentric vibes and strong Gospel flavors. Recalls Steve Coleman.
Track 2 features spoken word poetry and G-Funk.
Track 4 is gospel Wind Beneath My Wings.
Track 9 features Bluiett in top form on the baritone over Body and Soul.
Pounding rhythms and drones. Tense & ritualistic. Very versatile, a lot of cats will drink this milk. Drummer Andy Pyne runs Foolproof Projects and plays in West Hill Blast Quartet, Map 71. Recalls OM & Loop 243.
Heifetz, Munch, Boston Symphony – “Mendelssohn – Concerto In E Minor, Prokofieff – Concerto In” – [RCA Victor/ BMG]
Jascha Heifetz – violin (YA-sha HIGH-fetz)
with the BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA conducted by Charles Munch (like “The Scream” painter)
Released 1959. Violin concertos. Heifetz was a rock star for RCA Victor, “the greatest violinist of our generation.”
Mendelssohn / Ravel / Rubinstein, Heifetz, Piatigorsky – “Trio / Trio In a Minor” – [RCA Victor/ BMG]
Arthur Rubinstein – piano
Jascha Heifetz – violin
Gregor Piatagorsky – cello
Released February 1951. Heavy vinyl, well-loved condition. In his lifetime, Ravel was dogged by critical and public opinion that regarded him dismissively as a follower of Debussy. Mendelssohn’s trio is so idiomatic as to be playable by third- and fourth- year students.
Side A – Ravel – Piano Trio in A Minor
Side B – Mendelssohn – Piano Trio No. 1 In D Minor, Op. 49
Mendelssohn, Felix & Serkin, Rudolf – “Concerto No. 1 In G Minor / Concerto No. 2 In D Minor” – [Columbia]
One look into Rudolf Serkin’s steamy bedroom eyes.
Lindberg was in his 20s, had played bass in the Anthony Braxton quartet from 79-85, this 1984 date features Braxton conducting. Recalls Mingus, classical. “Holler” theme echoes Peter & The Wolf. “m to M” builds from bass-xylophone duet into trumpet&sax split-channel solo over lush backdrop. “Dresden Moods” passes thru bombs to rebuilding. Ensemble passages, duo and trio vignettes, intense, serious, impressionistic.
Khmer Rouge killed almost 1/4 of Cambodia in five years 1975-9. If you dug the “Hanoi Masters …” comp, this time Glitter Beat goes Cambodian. Machete-wound shrapnel blues singers, produced by Ian Brennan (Tinariwen, TV On The Radio). They play the two string long-necked Cambodian lute in a minor pentatonic scale like blues and Saharan desert music. Hand claps, women singing in hypnotic unison. Drums. Cambodian is a musical language, the same word can have a dozen meanings, depending on inflection.
Art Tatum- piano
Lionel Hampton- vibes
Buddy Rich- drums
Jazz trio record. Tatum and Hampton are in virtuosic form. Sublime. Every tune a winner. Recorded in LA, 1955.
Attention MISPRINT: side a is the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto Number 2 in E Minor Opus 64. IMO it is the better side.
According to Billboard Magazine of August 31, 1959, “Violinist Oistrakh, cellist Knushevitsky, and pianist Oborin are instrumentalists first and musicians second. Oistrakh and Knushevitsky don’t brush over their strings, but literally dig into them, producing a richness and sweetness of sound found in few trios. As musicians, however, they missed some of Schubert’s lightness and grace. Prime material for the chamber music fancier.”
Collective formed in El Cerrito 2005. Bowed cymbal, nylon string guitar, whispers, arpeggios, Ches Smith drum solo, hammered dulcimer, chanting cello magic.
Duo- Lukas Ligeti – drums & Thollem McDonas – piano
Seven spontaneous compositions. No ‘tunes’ here – the instruments are used as mechanisms for sound generation, rather than as instruments that produce music. The tendency here is towards sound rather than silence- sometimes it is very active.
Lots of other work from both of these artists in the library.
Antonin Dvorak (DVOR-jack) wrote the Quintet op. 97 in the summer of 1894 in Spillville, Iowa, a settlement of his fellow Bohemians. Dvorak loved folk music and here he takes rhythmic inspiration from the drumming of Iroquois indians. He would later say the summer in Spillville was his favorite time in America.
B side is the Cypresses For String Quartet – originally songs. Elaboraations on the classical string quartet.
Huang Ruo (b. 1976 Hainan, China)
Modern Classical from this young Chinese composer. Without much fanfare, these pieces are inquisitive, interesting, subtle. A fresh perspective.
Christina Mamakos, an artistic collaborator, describes his compositional technique “dimensionalism” as follows: “Using an inventive musical voice which draws equal inspiration from Chinese folk, western avant-garde, rock and jazz, Ruo creates a seamless series of musical works that do not necessarily exist in the sound world of our daily life.”
San Francisco Symphony conductor Michael Tilson Thomas in 1976, conducting London’s Philharmonia Orchestra & Ambrosian Singers through Claude Debussy’s (DEB-u-see) La Mer and Nocturnes.
La Mer is an ode to the sea but also an attempt at a symphony. The usual narrative of a symphony is dispensed with. A vast seascape.
Nocturnes are 3 separate parts, often programmed with just the first two. Clouds, Parties, Sirenes.
Claude Debussy (DEB-u-see)
A1 Saxophone Rhapsody. In 1895 Mrs. Elise Hall, a wealthy Bostonian, commissioned this work for saxophone. Debussy was unfamiliar with the sax, cashed the check, and nothing more until 1903 when Mrs. Hall showed up at his Paris apartment. He was hounded until in 1911 he dropped off the soloist’s part, with unfinished orchestration. Debussy called her the femme-saxophone (saxophone woman). When he died in 1918, the French composer Roger Ducasse finished the orchestration and the work premiered at the Societe Nationale in 1919.
A2 Clarinet Rhapsody – Written as a clarinet entrance exam for the Paris Conservatoey.
Side B are 3 pieces by Honeggger that are very energetic, lots of brass and percussion. Very enjoyable.
The Holy Science is a book written by Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri in 1894. The book compares parallel passages from the Bible and Upanishads in order to show the unity of all religions. This album is dedicated to Eric Garner, the Staten Island loosie salesman whose last words, uttered to the policeman choking him to death were, “I can’t breathe.”
Amirtha Kidami is a 30 year old South Indian native of San Jose. Now in New York, this record finds her as bandleader, playing harmonium and singing wordless melodies. Mixed and mastered by Weasel Walter. Recalls Alice Coltrane, Meredith Monk, classical Indian vocal raga.
Out on Sun Ark, this is an old-fashioned jazz trip, two sidelong freakout dirges, spoken words, poetic transmission. With 50 releases out on his own Weird Cry, Rob Magill is a multi-instrumentalist, poet and painter living in Southern California.
Solo cello improvisations carefully recorded by Mel Dettmer in a cabin next to a creek. Longtime vet of Seattle’s heavy music scene, Goldston has played in Black Cat Orchestra, Earth, Nirvana and others. Great sound out on Mississippi records.
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