Saturday, February 26, 2011

HurdAudio Rotation: The Sound of Creative Inevitability

Olivier Messiaen: Turangalila Symphony. 2004 release of the 1967 performance. BMG Classics: 82876-59418-2.

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

If the Turangalilia Symphony didn't already exist, it would have to be written. Olivier Messiaen took on a massive scale and scope and realized its full advantage. The work is a kaleidoscope of textures made available with a large orchestra augmented by the exquisite modern piano chops of Yvonne Loriod and the technological wonder of the ondes Martenot. A work featuring soloists who were both married to the composer at separate times adds yet another layer to a piece already saturated with passion. Filled with fire and aggression, this one hits like a meteor determined to reset the evolution tables.

Jenny Scheinman: 12 Songs. 2005. Cryptogramophone: 125.

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

Faced with an embarrassing abundance of talent with a band stacked with ridiculous musicianship and talent, Jenny Scheinmann does the sensible thing in crafting a CD that balances sophistication and folksy simplicity. Melodically focused without losing sight of twists in the arrangements. The sonic fabric shimmering with the multiple strands of strong improvisers in full restraint mode in the service of realizing tunes. This one is deserving of many ears. A rewarding listen.

Thomas Chapin Trio: Sky Piece [disc 6 of the Alive box set]. 1996/1999. Knitting Factory Works: 35828-02482-2.

Thomas Chapin: alto saxophone, sopranino saxophone, flute, bass flute, pinkullo, bells, whistles, alarm clock
Mario Pavone: bass
Michael Sarin: drums, percussion

Sky Piece opens up with the exquisitely sublime, soft interplay between the bass, drums and flute. Setting sail on a delicate note before effortlessly launching into the staggering diversity of the journey ahead over the next hour. Each moment along the way bears a unique relationship to groove, form and active dialogue between three master improvisers. While there are many composers and performers in the HurdAudio Rotation that have moved on from this mortal coil and are sorely missed. There is an extra pang for those who left far too soon. Recorded just two years before Thomas Chapin was lost to cancer. This release bears the spirit of one deeply at peace with himself, his musical muse and this incredible trio of wide expressive range.

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