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Volume 15 Issue 8 - May 2010

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SchlagArtig –

SchlagArtig – Percussion SoloMarkus HaukeNew Classical Adventure 60171however, with a language strangely familiarto some deeper part of us that doesn’t needa “tune” to recognize music. Those whowrite for it and those who play it understandits architecture and philosophical constructswell, but even audiences can be drawn quicklyand seductively into this world of sounds.The interpretive role of the performer asguide on any such journey is critical. Decipheringthe “code” of notation into a meaningfulaural experience is no less dauntingwhen a composer leaves much to the imaginationof the player. German-born MarkusHauke is brilliant inhis ability to illuminatethe manuscripts ofcomposers like JohnCage, Iannis Xenakis,Bryan Wolf and MakiIshii on this disc. Hisown composition,based on rhythmicthemes from Wagner’s “Ring” is also testimonyto his ability to speak the languageconvincingly.While the array of percussion instrumentson this recording seems like something capableof delivering an artillery salvo, Haukenevertheless brings a great subtlety and senseof nuance to his playing along with the highlycomplex rhythms that we expect of a professionalpercussionist.Most unusual on this CD is the piece byAmerican composer Bryan Wolf. Dedicatedto Hauke, the piece uses only metal instrumentsalong with some electronic sounds.The distinctive ringing quality of the worksuitably echoes its place in the Triptych“Trails of Glass”.Surprisingly, this CD will sound as satisfyingon your modest computer speakers ason your principal home sound system.—Alex BaranMagnus Lindberg – Graffiti;Seht die SonneHelsinki Chamber Choir; Finnish RadioSymphony Orchestra; Sakari OramoOndine ODE 1157-2carving out a solid position as the leadingFinnish composer of his generation. Graf-turyLatin texts preserved on the walls ofthe doomed city of Pompeii, would certainlyhave appealed to Carl Orff, and while it istrue that there are archaic harmonies to beheard from the thirty throaty voices of theadmirable Helsinki Chamber Choir, Lindberg’sbracing sonorities and teeming orchestraltextures are far more daring than anythingOrff could possibly have imagined.The title of the companion work, Sehtdie Sonne (Behold the Sun), is derived fromthe conclusion of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder,that composer’s lavishvocal farewell toRomanticism. Lindberg’swork, originallycommissioned bySimon Rattle for theBerlin Philharmonic,received its Canadianpremiere bythe Toronto Symphony during Lindberg’smemorable visit to Toronto in 2008. It is abroad work on the scale of a Sibelius toneal.Though the abrupt and often unaccountablechanges of mood make this a more challengingitem than the immediately accessible, Oramo and his Finnish radio orchestraprove themselves up to the challenge.Though texts and translations are providedand Kimmo Korhohen provides pithy programnotes, it’s a pity that neither the soloistfor the prominent piano part in northe solo cellist in the subsequent work are—Daniel FoleyThomas Adès – Tevot; Violin ConcertoBerliner Philharmoniker; Sir Simon Rattle;Anthony Marwood; Chamber Orchestra ofEurope; Thomas AdèsEMI Classics 4 57813 2tralworks by the English composer ThomasAdès offers convincing proof that, whilecultygate-crashing the standard repertoire,their efforts deserve - and reward - our fullestattention.Born in 1971, Adès is clearly a com-weak or unconvincing track here, and the orchestrationis outstanding. Tevot, written forSimon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic in2007, is a live recording from a Berlin concertthe same year. The haunting Violin Concerto,Concentric Paths, written in 2005 forAnthony Marwood and the Chamber Orchestraof Europe, is a live 2007 performance bythem at London’s Barbican Hall, with Adèsconducting. The same concert included theUK premiere of Three Studies from Couperin(2006), fascinatingre-workings of Couperinkeyboard piecesthat retain the samenumber of bars asthe originals as wellas the same rhythmsand harmonies. Finally,the National YouthOrchestra of Great Britain under Paul Danielgives us the richly decadent Overture, Waltzand Finale, the suite that Adès made in 2007Powder Her Face, althoughthis time using full orchestra insteadof the original 15 instruments. game – here’s Britten (Adès was artistic directorof the Aldeburgh Festival from 1999to 2008); there’s Janacek; that’s Ravel – butthere is no doubting that this is an originaland accomplished individual voice.—Terry RobbinsJAZZ & IMPROVIZEDPathwaysDave Holland OctetDare 2 Records DR2-004the great British-born, American-based composingbassist David Holland as the world’sbest jazz band. There’s no need to alter thisjudgment after hearing his newest album, hisRecorded at New York’s Birdland club, it’sensembles crammed with multi-layered ideasand irresistible momentum on seven longTo his stellar regular quintet (imaginativetenor Chris Potter, pioneering trombonistRobin Eubanks, delicate vibraphonistSteve Nelson and relentless drummer NateSmith) he’s added more saxes - alto AntonioHart, baritone Gary Smulyan - and trumpeterAlex Sipiagin. The result is a combo thatdemonstrates exceptional playing skill andcan sound like a roaringbig band or an intimatesmall unit.The excitementlevel is establishedearly, with Smulyan’sdeep sounds careeringthrough theopening title piecebefore the leader takes a bounding, tension-older Holland tune, How’s Never, is tackled.Some relief from the up-tempo charge comeson the Holland song Blue Jean with Smulyanand Sipiagin prominent. All the bandsmensolo, though Nelson’s vibes are unfortunatelyonly remotely present except on the wonderfulHolland oldie Shadow Dance, but overallthe sidemen are never at a loss for stimulatingnotions.Holland’s been around, playing withMiles Davis in Bitches Brew days, but soonleading his own teams and trying out solo albumsof acoustic bass and cello. He has theknack of generating arresting, thought-provokingmusic with emotional impact and remainsunfailingly interesting. Let’s hopeCanadian jazz festivals snatch him up thissummer.—Geoff ChapmanDuke Ellington’s Queenie PieCarmen Bradford; University of Texas JazzOrchestra; Huston-TillotsonUniversity Concert ChoirLonghorn Music LHM2010003duction,Queenie Pie was a work in progressat the time of Duke Ellington’s death in 1974.There were only lead sheets, lyrics and basic58 THEWHOLENOTE.COMMay 1 - June 7, 2010

harmonic outlines to work from and the resultingarrangements were created in thestyle of Ellington, not by the master himself.The music does indeed capture the Ellingtonsound and at times even uses musicalquotations from the Duke’s library. Forexample, the Duke’s intro for Such SweetThunder shows up inthe middle of track12, Commercial Medley.In this 2009 productionfrom the ButlerSchool of Musicthe orchestra plays extremelywell throughout,but in the solodepartment one can’t help but wish for thewarmth of a Hodges or the authority of aJimmy Hamilton.The principal vocalist on the CD is CarmenBradford who has had a distinguishedcareer. She was a feature of the Basie bandfor several years and has since worked witha very substantial list of great performersranging from George Benson to the LincolnCenter Jazz Orchestra.Duke’s A Drum Is A Woman which of coursehad the advantage of being genuine Ellington.It also had clever lyrics, some catchymelodies, although less than memorable, butthere is no denying that the posthumous constructionof Queenie Pie is indeed an ambitiousproject and worthy of a listen.—Jim GallowayAt Somewhere ThereWilliam ParkerBarnyard Records BR 0313daunting, but New York bassist William Parkereasily impresses, as this bravura inventionrecorded at a local performance spaceattests. Cathedral Wisdom Light, this CD’sover-48-minute showpiece, is animated byhis nearly limitless technique which prods,pulses, pummels and propels polyphonictones and textures from the four-strings andResolutely arco – although sporadicplucks sometimes parallel the bow movement– the tempo is never less than andanteor more than allegro. Within these parametersParker layers phrases, note clusters andtingstring tones as well as agitato stops andchunky sul tasto expansions into the multi-siaevolves, taunt, creaking and swabbed timbresdistend so that these pressured strokesfundamental notes. Sometimes displayingat points Parker mercuriallyshowcasessplit-second variantson reveille, parallelbebop vamps andeven a minor varianton legato chambermusic.With every part of the instrument in use,including the belly, waist and the strings beneaththe bridge, the bassist is able to craftilyshift the tonal centre throughout, introducingnovel harmonies and rubato asides to the on-the chromatic performance to a mellowerlow-pitched climax, before replicating the expositionwith shrill sawing.Short addenda on dousin’gouni andParker’s exceptional bass solo, these aresomewhat akin to hearing Glenn Gould’sharpsichord recording.—Ken WaxmanIT’S OUR JAZZBy Geoff ChapmanBassist John Geggie is based in Ottawabut has achieved much in jazz andother art forms nationwide. Two newadditions to his huge discography are of grippinginterest.His Geggie Trio + Donny McCaslin -Across The Sky (Plunge Records PR00632www.plungerecords.com) particularly emphasizeshis compositional skills, seven ofthe 14 tracks here his, the rest collaborativecontributions from the foursome with pianistNancy Walker, drummer Nick Fraser andsaxman McCaslin. The album is zesty, tunefullyinventive, stacked with shifting timesignatures and superi-the bass. This is topgradecontemporaryjazz, McCaslin oftenstraying outside themainstream with dramaticallyengagingwork that has a meatyindividuality to match the forceful leader andWalker’s ability to make surprise connectionsand balance lyricism with toe-tapping passion.Quick-witted and poised, the group createsplayful experimental music though it’sanchored by restless, absorbing imaginations.With Geggie Project (Ambiances MagnetiquesAM 179 CD www.actuelle.com), Geggieis in more avant-jazz heavyweight mode,with spacey Marilyn Crispell on piano andNick Fraser drumming. Again there are 14tracks, seven spontaneous appetizers by thetrio and seven entrees from the leader - youget the idea with Geggie’s pliant and expressiveif sober opening Credo with bass predominant,haunting colours and suggestionsof anguished subtext and then the trio’s mercurialIce And Meltwater. The album teemswith incredible invention. Run-Away Sheepshows off superb bass craft and hints at Fraser’spyrotechnic tendencies before gatecrashingCrispell-fuelled chords arrive. Thethreesome covers a wide swath of stylis--mains very accessiblecompared to freeskronk mayhem. Themusic’s impish anderudite, keeping thepeace between energyand atmosphere,sometimes luxuriant,sometimes wallowingin dark sonorities and overall more melodicthan impassioned. Especially attractive arethe trio’s Weather Forecast and the leader’sCanon.A third recording led by a bassist is also agreat buy. The CD/DVD package is the AlexBellegarde Quintet’s Live (Chien Noir 09-999 www.alexbellegarde.com) with the bossin virtuoso form at a Montreal Maison dela culture Mercier concert. He wrote the 10cuts, including somewith a global jazzviewpoint and an elasticpulse that’s underlinedwith the presenceof Kiko Osorioon congas. Bellegarde’sother comrades- pianist YoelDiaz, alto saxist Erik Hove and drummerYvon Plouffe – are almost his match in versatility,with many tunes featuring unisonleads, lucid soloing and passages that varyfrom church calm to bucolic celebration.This band plays with impetus and conviction,aided by miraculously layered textureslegarde’sbass a brilliantly crucial inner voice.Montreal is the base, too, for another risingstar whose bold new quartet CD shouldDoxas’ Big Sky (Justin Time JTR 8558-28558-2 www.justin-time.com) he has the supportof a close-knit, sympathetic team - BenCharest (guitar), Zack Lorber (bass) andbrother Jim on drums. The leader penned sixof the eight lengthy tunes and from the openingFor Jim games swiftly begin with time,harmony and undulatingnarrative themes,which leader Doxastones and a breadthof ideas in the mannerof Chris Potter,with Charest effectivelycounterpointingall the way. There’s delicate treatment forL’Acadie, off-meter challenges and twistinglines outside the melody on Sideshow and amelancholic farewell to Jimmy Giuffre withGoodbye, all of interest, and outstandingwork on the title piece, a homage to guitaristBill Frisell.Montreal supplies half the Gale/RodriguesGroup in B3 organist Vanessa Rodrigues andguitarist Mike Rud for the quartet’s debut releaseLive At The Rex (Indie CGVR01 www.May 1 - June 7, 2010 THEWHOLENOTE.COM 59

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