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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joel Forrester and People Like Us: Ever Wonder Why

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Joel Forrester has had a fascinating career. He studied piano with Thelonious Monk, scored early Andy Warhol films, wrote the theme for the popular NPR show Fresh Air, accompanied silent films at the Louvre, and spent years as a principal member of the fondly remembered Microscopic Septet. He's also been the driving force between one of the liveliest bands in town, People Like Us, a quartet devoted to Forrester's quirkily intelligent compositions. Ever Wonder Why collects eleven new and not-so-new Forrester tunes, a typically eclectic assortment that highlights his winning mix of erudition and humor. For those familiar ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joel Forrester and the Illustrious Others: Pre-Microscopic Music Circa 1980

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Unlike its enigmatic description (what does “pre–microscopic music” mean?), the material performed by pianist Joel Forrester and the Illustrious Others is on the whole quick–witted, forthright and accessible. The “others” appear in various configurations from trio to septet with Forrester’s piano unaccompanied on “Mary” and “Dr. Real.” Forrester, Dellay and Dworkin make an auspicious start with the boppish “Getting Started,” and the septet (with Hofstra on bass, Charles on drums) makes its first appearance on “Until Tomorrow,” whose dirge–like opening gives way in mid–stream to a breezy Latin rhythm behind Hirsch’s wordless vocalese (which she adds on four other tracks). ...



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