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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
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.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.