Dancing to an Orange Drummer
A cheerful and enthusiastic CD by Dutch-based American Vanessa Lann. Who would believe she went to Harvard?! Excellent music. Listen:
Dancing to an Orange Drummer (Present/NM)Real Audio Clip
Strings and Machines
Listen to Hugh Livingston, former Editor-in-Chief of the Paris New Music Review, performing four meaty cello premieres on this electronically complex and compelling CD: headingsouth, by composer Mark Danks ( Real Audio clip from EMF 017)
Klanging and Banging in New York
Roger Kleier and Annie Gosfield are terrific players/composers/and improvisors of the New York scene. And they're also on the 60 seconds CD.
Bij U Thuis
Trio Strakke Lucht, Rotterdam
What the hell is this? You might well ask! Words fail us to describe this tragicomic melodrama. Tracks like "St. James Infirmary Blues" and "Summer in Zeeland" swim in deconstructed film and TV soundtracks: Fellini and Tarentino drunk at 4am. No one escapes Strakke Lucht's sardonic sting.
Xasax Saxophone Quartet
Part of an ongoing series of six albums for Werner Uehlinger's Hat label, "Ars Subtilior" showcases this fine Franco-Swiss saxophone quartet in works by Carlevaro, Dufourt, Kuczer and Pousseur. Three of Serge Bertocchi's arrangements of music by 14th century composer Jacob de Senleches-hence the album title-are sandwiched in between the new works (the logic of this move becomes clear about half-way through the Pousseur). At times, the Ars Nova material sounds-on saxes-just as way out, though its role as interlude between the more "difficult" pieces follows a Xasax tradition: on their preceding and hard-to-find 1994 album on Erol records the punctuation was provided by Frederic Rzewski's "Spots".
The four recent works are played and recorded with consummate class; Alvaro Carlevaro's rather dry "Quiebros" is rescued by a dramatic reading, and Pousseur's 1973 "Vue sur les jardins interdits" sounds better on saxes than it ever did on organ, a wretched instrument that should be banished to the far reaches of the galaxy. Hugues Dufourt's "Quatuor" is brought off excellently, but the real revelation of this disc is Argentinian Bernardo Maria Kuczer, whose "even ... The loudest sky!!" is one of the wildest things I've heard for some time. Brilliantly written (fiendishly difficult) and played with utter conviction, it makes you wonder what Kuczer's been up to since he wrote this back in 1981. Anything new by either Kuczer or Xasax is welcome here.