Thursday, November 22, 2007

HurdAudio Rotation: Bird Songs, 12 Songs and Haunted Iridium Nights

Olivier Messiaen: Turangalila Symphony. Recorded in 1967, re-released in 2004. RCA Records: 82876-59418-2.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Seiji Ozawa: conductor
Yvonne Loriod: piano
Jeanne Loriod: ondes Martenot

A sprawling, epic orchestral work from a young Olivier Messiaen. One can sense the joy of composing for a massive battery of instruments after having survived his ordeal as a prisoner of war in WWII. The ondes Martenot is an excellent timbral match for Messiaen's bird song material. The textures and sweeping scope of this endearingly messy (and loud) piece are ambitious, over reaching and make for a fantastic listen. This is a favorite orchestral work in the rotation.

Jenny Scheinman: 12 Songs. 2005. Cryptogramophone: CG125.

Jenny Scheinman: violin
Ron Miles: cornet
Doug Wieselman: clarinets
Bill Frisell: guitar
Rachelle Garniez: accordion, piano, claviola
Tim Luntzel: bass
Dan Rieser: drums

This is a warm sound for a cold night. Opening up this set with "The Frog Threw His Head Back and Laughed" this initially has the feel of a Bill Frisell CD. Hardly a bad quality. But from there it winds through a series of short, quirky pieces that bring out Scheinman's personality and melodic sensibilities. It's hard to imagine a better ensemble to bring these compositions to life. Frisell in particular is his usual, generous self on this session.

Anthony Braxton: 9 Compositions (Iridium) 2006 [disc 4]. 2006: Firehouse 12 Records: FH12-04-03-001.

Recorded live: March 17, 2006 at Iridium Jazz Club, New York City.

The Anthony Braxton 12+1tet
Anthony Braxton: composer, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, sopranino saxophone, clarinet and Eb contalto clarinet
Taylor Ho Bynum: cornet, flugelhorn, trumpbone, piccolo trumpet, bass trumpet, shell
Andrew Raffo Dewar: soprano saxophone, c-melody saxophone, clarinet
James Fei: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet
Mary Halvorson: electric guitar
Stephen H. Lehman: alto saxophone, sopranino saxophone
Nicole Mitchell: flute, alto flute, bass flute, piccolo, voice
Jessica Pavone: viola, violin
Reut Regev: trombone, flugelbone
Jay Rozen: tuba, euphonium
Sara Schoenbeck: bassoon, suona
Aaron Siegel: percussion, vibraphone
Carl Testa: acoustic bass, bass clarinet

Disc 4 = Composition 353 - dedicated to the composer Butch Morris

A fitting dedication to a composer that pioneered the art of interactive conduction of group improvisation that marks so much of Braxton's Ghost Trance musics. This performance of Composition 353 has a swinging energy that pops into the sonic foreground from time to time as the pulsing lines make passing allusions toward a rich jazz history. Anthony Braxton adds some amazing solos into the mix in the waning moments of this music. This is a thick, vibrant sound that holds these ears for long spells.

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