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Jeff Kaiser: 17 Themes for Ockodektet (2002)

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Jeff Kaiser: 17 Themes for Ockodektet No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Jeff Kaiser’s New Music for large ensemble relies on free group improvisation. By enlisting the support of veteran jazz artists, all of them highly creative improvisers from an avant-garde stance, he’s able to get his message across clearly and with pleasure for the listener. These two suites of Kaiser’s are performed before a live audience. Impressionism makes this combination of classical music and jazz pique your interests throughout the program. There are a few places, such as in “Dirge” and “Coincidentia Oppositorum,” where the band’s persona takes on a Mingus-like passion and begins to wail in a positive sense. For the most part, however, Kaiser’s program falls into a pattern of eerie moans and disconnected phrases. Featured timbres range from trumpet, piccolo, oboe, marimba and alto saxophone to contrabass clarinet and tuba. Often resembling the sounds of an orchestra warming up, Kaiser’s large ensemble loses its cohesiveness during many long stretches where no one in particular takes the spotlight and there seems to be some indecision as to who will step up next. Audio excerpts are available on the ‘net

Track Listing: Suite One: Dirge; Clad Like Birds; Amplifying Their Parallels; Nothing May Be Taken Naturally; Even with Diagrams; One Absolute Material; Figures of this In-Between; Figures to be Actualities; Figure with Wings; Suite Two: Coincidentia Oppositorum; Where His Third Eye Could Be; Fulfilled by the Reflected Image; There is No Profit from Dreams; Into That Nothing-Between.

Personnel: Jeff Kaiser- trumpet, conductor; Eric Barber, Vinny Golia, Emily Hay, Lynn Johnston- woodwinds; Dan Clucas, Kris Tiner- trumpet; Eric Sbar- euphonium, valve trombone; Mark Weaver- tuba; Ernesto Diaz-Infante- prepared acoustic guitar; G.E. Stinson- electric guitar, electronics; Wayne Peet- organ, theremin, electronics; Jim Connolly, Scott Walton- contrabass; Billy Mintz, Richie West- drums; Brad Dutz- percussion.

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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