Beth Custer is a musical chameleon. The San Francisco composer changes from musical genre to musical genre with effortless grace and unlike her colleagues from the New York Downtown Scene, she does it without pretension. Just glance at the list of musicians on this release to get a feel for its grand scale. But Beth Custer has always dabbled in scale, working in the psychedelic ethno/ambient Trance Mission with didgeridoo musician Stephen Kent, the Club Foot Orchestra creating soundtracks to silent movies, and her latest project, a duo collaboration project with Christian Jones called Eighty Mile Beach which has just released the pop oriented (if you dare say that about Custer) Inclement Weather. This disc’s thirty-two tracks are culled from Clarinet Thing, an apply named clarinet quintet, The Club Foot Orchestra, ‘The Maverick Strain’ a collaborative performance with the Joe Goode Performance Group, Music for Hamlet, Vinculum Chamber Concert, and the Gearbox and Virtue Soundtracks. From solo pieces to the multimember CFO, Custer’s music starts at circus music and ends in the chamber hall, traveling by way of Tom Waits, Robin Holcomb, Aaron Copeland, and Raymond Scott. Custer’s eclecticism works, and actually does more than work. It radiates. Beth Custer is a truly original voice whose talents certainly deserve much wider recognition.
Track List:Carnyville; Phagocyte; Purdy Lily, Don’t Die!; Brenda’s Music Box; In The Broken Fields Where I Lie; Echoes Of Harlem; Rich Blanket Of Love; Stay Put, Here With Me; Tribal Duets; Petnapping; Don’t Send Me Down That Hole!; Rough Rider; Hide Fox, And All After; Rest, Perchance, To Dream; Hamlet; Tango Not Me; Petnapping #2; Clean Your Room; Stellar Glimmer; Going Hence, Coming Hither; Virtue; Sotto; Hannah’s Groove; Spray Twinkle; Momus; Aristocratic Ruffian; The Passing Quartet; Throw Stones At A Can; I Will Be Sad In The Life; Brenda’s Music Box, Too; In The Broken Fields Where I Lie, II.
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.