At first blush, Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin played on the humble mandolin might be akin to making a Rusty Nail with single-malt scotch. A successful performance will require, at the very least, great virtuosity and vision: both of which Chris Thile possesses in impressive amounts. Banjoist Bela Fleck's superb 2001 recording Perpetual Motion (Sony) demonstrated that in the hands of a superior musician, Baroque fare shines like a new dime (Fleck even covers Bach's "Prelude" from Partita No. 3 for Solo Violin (BWV 1006) here). Thile, most recently of the Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek, has grown into a mandolinist who eclipses his contemporaries and near- contemporaries.
Bach on the mandolin is nothing new, either in the classical or popular realms. Avi Avital's Bach (Deutsche Grammophon, 2013) casts violin, flute, and oboe works transcribed for mandolin in the traditional orchestral setting to great effect. What Thile brings to the table is a first: a recording of the complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin in what appears to be four volumes. Thile's arrangements are fresh and his articulation flawless. This translation of the old to the new rings with great success and promise. Whether the contemplative Andante from the Sonata No. 2 in A minor or the lightning in the Presto of the G minor Sonata, Thile delivers both the exceptional and special.
Track Listing: Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001; Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002;
Sonata No. 2 in A minor, BWV 1003.
Rhythm Abstraction: Azure is the first volume of new compositions created as a follow up to 2018’s
release Rhythm Kaleidoscope. As with that release, Brock Avery improvised drum and percussion
solos. Frank Macchia then composed music for woodwinds and orchestra to Brock’s creations. Azure
is the first of three extended play albums of 6-7 compositions which will be released starting in
January and followed up in April and July. In Azure we have a created a group of pieces that continue
our quest for honoring the art of improvisation with a “stream-of-consciousness” sense of
We sent a confirmation message to . Look for it, then click the link to activate your account. If you don’t see the email in your inbox, check your spam, bulk or promotions folder.
Thanks for joining the All About Jazz community!
Find All About Jazz articles, news, musician pages, and more!