Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Midsummer Roundup 2012 (Day 1)
Though "The Heavens" is short on time (28:13), the music is long on invention and elegant execution. It's also quite funky and a whole lot of fun. For more information, go to jacobgarchik.com.
Here's a slice of "Digression..." courtesy of Mr. Garchik and Bandcamp:
Andy Clausen gives the listener much to ponder with this music; everyone plays well while both the melodies and harmonic ideas have surprising depth for someone so young. "The Wishbone Suite", although not Clausen's debut recording, can serve as a fine introduction to a composer/arranger and performer worth paying attention to, hopefully for many years to come.
Here's your opportunity to download "Who Goes There (Dance)", courtesy of Table & Chairs, Andy Clausen and Bandcamp:
Lisa Hannigan. Besides that fine track, other highlights include the slyly playful "Swift-Winged Darkness" (for Vladimir Nabokov) - the interplay of Siskind's high-tone barroom piano with Pino's bass clarinet ducking in and out of the mix is a treat. The softly played and finely drawn melody of "Aubade" (for Paul Auster) pulls one in for not only the story but also the intricate interplay of piano and bass clarinet. There's a 1930-40 blues tone to "What Is That Feeling?" (for Jack Kerouac), akin to Yip Harburg-Jay Gorney's Depression-era "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" replete with atmospheric tenor saxophone work from Pino. Yet, listen to Siskind's abstract figures, Thelonious Monk-line chords bouncing behind the solo. Ms. Harms has fine enunciation (one can understand each and every word), a clear tone to her alto voice, with no overtly theatrical vocal mannerisms (i.e. melisma, scat singing).
There is an underlying sadness to "Finger-Songwriter" (with the exception of the ebullient Billy Joel song and the uplifting mood of "Theme For a Sunrise" (for H.W. Longfellow) that precedes it) but one can deny the wonderful music Jeremy Siskind has created for this project. You will need to spend time with these songs to plumb the emotional and poetic depth of the words. His richly-hewn piano work, the well-drawn melodies and the arrangements that allow each participant to stand out, all adds up to a recording that remains in the ear and mind of the listener long after the notes have faded away.
For more information, go to the pianist/composer's playful website at www.jeremysiskind.com. Click on the link below to download a track, courtesy of BJU Records and IODA Promonet:
Theme for a Sunrise (mp3)