SANDA WEIGL/Gypsy in a Tree: We're jaded. Barbes has become a trusted brand name for world beat excursions as far as we're concerned, and if they want to take a tour of gypsy music, we're along for the ride. For their first foray into this territory, they do not disappoint, yet again. Taking her native Romanian music and filtering it through New York's au currant jazz/world downtown scene, this sounds like something that should have been presented by Brecht/Weill. With a Euro vibe you can't put your finger on that sounds like mid 20th Century underground cabaret, this urbane, adult set flies high and mighty on well honed chops, but it has a lot of something else on the ball as well. Miss Ute Lemper? This could easily fill your foreign pop sweet tooth. Well done.
MR. PAUER/Soundtrack: From Miami it came, a new electro genre blender that's powered by a cat that knows how to twist the knobs but doesn't just use his knowledge to make oontz oontz muzik. There's plenty of bips and beats but there's also a bunch of genre blended walls of sound that come washing in and out as well. Fun stuff for younger tastes just beginning to take a world view of their music and want to do it in good hands.
AKADEMIE FUR ALTE MUSIK BERLIN/Die Kunst der Fuge: So what do you do if you wan t to take one of Bach's seminal works and want to record it with your own stamp on the recording? What do you do, hotshot? Well, if you are a well regarded ensemble that knows what they are doing and how to do it, you deconstruct the work and reassemble in with your own chops leading the way. At times sounding more like downtown arts council music than an august work of the classical canon, the work has been widened, broadened and brought forward to live in the 22nd century. First class sitting down music all the way, this feels like a breath of fresh air to the classical realm delivered in a way that's modern without being modernized. Quite the tasty treat for the open eared.
TRIO WANDERER/Smetana Piano Trio-Liszt Elegies: And you thought Leonard Cohen made music to gargle razor blades with, check out these two pieces that stare death in the face written by these two composers when they were at their death driven emotional lowest. It's a dark recording by a trio that knows how to handle and tunnel through the pieces here. I know a few professors that would have loved to have this playing in the background at grade conferences. When you have a taste for deep musical drama, this is the set to reach for.
YELLOWJACKETS/Timeline: Admitting it's a challenge to keep things fresh after 30 years together, the crew adds some angular post "Bitches Brew" funk to the mix keeping flies off the �jackets. Fun, buoyant easy jazz that never looses sight of it's upbeat mission, the accent here is on enjoyment and this is a wonderful set to simply kick back and enjoy.
Volume 34/Number 89
January 29, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record
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