Warm and serene, October
is vibraphonist and pianist Larry Chernicoff's attempt to meld the acoustic expressions of jazz and classical music. Presented as a Super Audio CD (SACD) hybrid, the fidelity here is crisp and clean, enhancing the album's organic tranquility. All Chernicoff originals, the album's ten songs range from relaxed, meditative states to fully cognizant dances. The execution of the tunes is the album's most unique feature, with elements of what is often referred to as "world music"the sounds, rhythms, and processes of other culturessprinkled about the acoustic celebration.
Diverse and keen on melody, songs like "Windhorse," "Light Years," "Talking Rain," and "Sailor and Siren" convince the ear to accept these parts as necessities. On the delicious "Light Years," for example, the various percussive and rhythmic instrumentations are given in subtle doses, just enough texture to entice the mind, and enough to allow the whole of the song to penetrate. The title track, placed in the middle of the track order, is in many ways a culmination of the ideas presented beforehand, as it deliberately rises from a single shearing motion into an assorted, shimmering chain of ideas and sounds.
The most "jazzy" song on the album, "East 13th Street," snaps and taps itself into an enjoyable swing with, yet again, various movements celebrating Chernicoff's distinctive musical approach. The longer piece "Call Down the Stars" proves to be the group's most audacious effort, as it blossoms and sustains itself with charm and grace.
Fans who enjoy their jazz with plenty of pounce should not seek October. A sophisticated, subtle offering, the album requires an equally attuned palate to mine its delightful assortments.
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Personnel: Larry Chernicoff- vibraphone, piano, percussion, melodica; Karl Bergerpiano;
Carol Emanuel- harp; Janet Grice- bassoon; John Lindberg- bass; Tim Moran- clarinet,
soprano sax; Esther Noh- violin; Charles Pillow- oboe, English horn, clarinet, tenor
sax; Tomas Ulrich- cello; Tony Vacca- percussion; Tom Varner- French horn; Benjy