119

Cellos: Erik Friedlander & Rufus Cappadocia

By

Sign in to view read count








Erik Friedlander
Volac
Tzadik
2008


Rufus Cappadocia
Songs for Cello
Velour
2008




"The cello is the most perfect instrument aside from the human voice." —Zuill Bailey

"The cello is like a beautiful woman who has not grown older, but younger with time, more slender, more supple, more graceful." —Pablo Casals


The quotes above, both by cellists, suggest the very warm qualities of this most intimate musical instrument. Ron Carter, Oscar Pettiford and Fred Katz used the instrument in jazz but it's taken a number of years, and musicians like the two featured on these recordings, for it to come back into its own in jazz and improvisational settings.

Erik Friedlander has been a pioneer for many years, veteran of the Downtown scene and of bands led by John Zorn, Laurie Anderson and even Courtney Love! He's a true virtuoso and can dazzle with technique but, as this new installment of the Masada Songbook indicates, he's got a personal voice and uses it to tell a vital story.

Volac (in theology the Great President of Hell) is a stunning recital that exposes a world of colors and textures; it is immediately accessible while adventurous and rich with new meaning.

The work opens very much in the spirit of Bach—brooding bowed lines that inhabit the world of the spirit. Following is another mini-recital with a lovely pizzicato segment suggesting something Spanish. The music and the playing dazzle with powerful pyrotechnics and exquisite expressiveness. Friedlander fully conveys the Jewishness in the music but, as the composer seems to have intended, as a means to open up new musical vistas. It is unclear how much improvisatory handiwork Friedlander brings to the music but he expertly blurs the line between the written and the non-written. The recorded sound is stunning, reveling in both individual clarity and overarching scope.

Rufus Cappadocia's Songs for Cello begins with a drone effect via his amplified cello. This music is less traditional than that found on the Friedlander disc but as personal and communicative.

After the opening "Prayer," Songs for Cello continues with sounds colored by the artists' study of African and Eastern musics. It's a hypnotic chant that finds the composer plucking furiously for both percussive and melodic effect, moving relentlessly until fading into silence.

The music keeps returning to primal sounds perfect for his custom-built five-string electric cello. Close listening reveals a sense of the blues, a folk tradition, intimacy with classical techniques and, of course, the study of other creative musical languages. Like Friedlander, Cappadocia is an accomplished technician but he uses that technique to expand what's possible on the instrument in a meaningful way.


Tracks and Personnel

Volac

Tracks: Harhazial; Rachsiel; Zumel; Yeruel; Sannul; Haseha; Kadul; Ahaniel; Yirng; Anahel; Sidriel; Zawar.

Personnel: Erik Friedlander: cello.

Songs for Cello

Tracks: Prayer; Melodie; Lament; Transformation; Forgiveness; Element; Transformation (video version).

Personnel: Rufus Cappadocia: cello.


Shop

More Articles

Read Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series Multiple Reviews Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2017
Read 440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights Multiple Reviews 440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 21, 2017
Read Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa Dos Ventos Multiple Reviews Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 17, 2017
Read Duke Ellington on Storyville Records Multiple Reviews Duke Ellington on Storyville Records
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 20, 2017
Read Lee Morgan On Music Matters Multiple Reviews Lee Morgan On Music Matters
by Greg Simmons
Published: March 6, 2017
Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Leonard Cohen and His Legacy" Multiple Reviews Leonard Cohen and His Legacy
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…" Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Pi Recordings 2016 Releases" Multiple Reviews Pi Recordings 2016 Releases
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Paul G. Smyth: Weekertoft downloads" Multiple Reviews Paul G. Smyth: Weekertoft downloads
by John Eyles
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Blue Side of Lonesome: Country Crooners on BGO" Multiple Reviews Blue Side of Lonesome: Country Crooners on BGO
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Three New Releases from Peter Kuhn" Multiple Reviews Three New Releases from Peter Kuhn
by Dave Wayne
Published: August 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!