Sunday, January 24, 2010

HurdAudio Rotation: From A Baroque Window

Wayne Horvitz/Four Plus One Ensemble: From A Window. 2001. Disk Union: Avan 080.

Wayne Horvitz: piano, prepared piano, hammond B-3, pump organ, synthesizers, toy piano
Eyvind Kang: violin, viola
Tucker Martine: live electronic processing, live drum machine
Julian Priester: trombone
Reggie Watts: keyboards, vocals, live drum machine, piano
special guest - Skerik: baritone saxophone

A shimmering set of compositions that do so much without doing too much. Deceptively simple pieces that swing, groove and touch upon a slice of chamber jazz, funk and blues within the deceptive brilliance of melodic and harmonic construction. The "plus one" of Tucker Martine's real-time processing combined with the improvisational prowess of the band breathes an organic life into this music that occasionally dances and paints the air with its lush and delicate textures. A good example of the Wayne Horvitz sound and knack for arranging that is so important to these ears.

Andrew Hill: A Beautiful Day. 2002. Palmetto Records: PM 2085.

Andrew Hill : piano
Scott Colley: bass
Nasheet Waits: drums
Aaron Stewart: tenor saxophone
John Savage: alto saxophone, flute
Marty Ehrlich: alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute
Greg Tardy: tenor saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet
J.D. Parran: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet
Ron Horton: trumpet
Dave Ballou: trumpet
Laurie Frink: trumpet
Bruce Staalens: trumpet
Charlie Gordon: trombone
Joe Fiedler: trombone
Mike Fahn: trombone
Jose D'avila: tuba

Like many of Andrew Hill's recordings, this one withstands repeated listenings with an unbelievable barrage of new details that emerge with each new aural acquaintance. The immediate impression of just how impressive the horn arrangements are gives way to the beauty of the compositional forms. Then comes the realization of how intense the individual solos are followed by the thread of piano material from the composer and band leader of this ensemble. Then the ears step back and hear how all those parts work together. It's enough to make one hit play again and again with this disc. This is good stuff.

Johann Sebastian Bach: Back Edition [disc 1-2]. Recorded in May 2006: Brilliant Classics: 93102/2.

Musica Amphion,
Pieter-Jan Belder
Remy Baudet: leader

Concerto no. 4 in G Major BWV 1049
Remy Baudet: violin
Pieter-Jan Belder: recorder
Saskia Coolen: recorder

Concerto no. 5 in D Major BWV 1050
Wilbert Hazelzet: traverso
Remy Baudet: violin
Pieter-Jan Belder: harpsichord

Concerto no. 6 in B flat Major BWV 1051
Staas Swierstra: viola
Sayuri Yamagata: viola
Mieneke van der Velden: viola da gamba
Johannes Boer: viola da gamba
Lucia Swarts: cello

The Brandenburg Concertos are some of the most passively known works around. I know these pieces well and I've almost never listened to them directly. They are the background music for so many public spaces and public media that one may never even know who or what they are. A sure sign of durability. As my own perspective expands to take in the long continuum between early and contemporary music I'm finding the Baroque period particularly interesting. And these pieces are well worth a direct listening.

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