firehouse12.com or calling 203-785-0468. You can find out more about the pianist and hear examples of her music by going to www.michelerosewoman.com.
This Saturday (11/10), Mr. Bakir will hold a "CD Release Concert" at 7:30 p.m. in the intimate performance space of The Buttonwood Tree, 605 Main Street in Middletown. Joining him will be pianist Jen Allen, bassist Matt Dwonszyk and the fine young drummer Cemre Dogan. Like Bakir, Dogan is a native of Turkey - he's been in Connecticut for the last decade, taking up the trap set as a freshman in high school. He's an integral member of the guitarist's Trio.
For concert information, go to www.buttonwood.org - to find out more about Sinan Bakir, go to www.sinanbakir.com.
"In the Grand Scheme of Things" (Songlines Records) features his Canadian group of JP Carter (trumpet, electronics), Chris Gestrin (Fender Rhodes, miniMoog synthesizer) and Dylan van der Schyff (drums). The music is a fascinating blend of melody, noise, clutter, swing and subtlety (often within the same track.) Take a piece like "Willie (the Lonely Cowboy)" with its scrappy trumpet noises, tolling synth bells and tenor sax/drums duet; one can hear quite a story unfold through the course of the song. "Cybermonk" bounces along on van der Schyff's snappy drums and Gestrin's walking "bass" lines while "A View of Oblivion" rises slowly on the long tones from the sax and trumpet, shimmering cymbals and minimalist Fender Rhodes. There's a ever-so-slow reading of Roy Head's 1965 mega-smash "Treat Her Right" (the arrangement is credited to Otis Redding) with a blues-drenched solo from Blake, under control but emotionally rich.
There is a track called "The Searchers" and that's a good description of this band and its approach to Blake's music. Also, when you return to listen, you realize that each track is a story, has its own personality. Carter's trumpet work is often textural, Gestrin is a master at providing colors, support and direction while van der Schyff drumming is never rushed or cluttered. This music has space and the 4 musicians complement each other handsomely. Michael Blake has never seemed interested in musical fashion; "In the Grand Scheme of Things" goes its own way and does so quite well. For more information, go to www.michaelblake.net.
Though "Continuum" clocks in at just under 42 minutes, the music is alluring, rewarding and worthy of exploring deeper. If you are looking for piano recording that is technically facile and filled with long solos, look elsewhere. If you are willing to be enchanted, David Virelles has created music that cries out for the concert hall where one can really lose him or her self in the journey. For more information, go to www.pirecordings.com.