Twenty-five years running, the Kandinsky Trio bridges many gaps and overlays numerous musical perimeters via a thoroughly hip stance. Here, the trio records two suite-like compositions by John D'Earth who is the University of Virginia's Director of Jazz Studies, and a contributor to 50 recordings, including stints with Buddy Rich, Tito Puente and the Kronos Quartet. They also perform one extended piece by fabled composer and New England Conservatory luminary, Gunther Schuller. Of particular note is the inclusion of jazz guitar-slinger Kurt Rosenwinkel on D'Earth's, "Natural Bridge."
"Natural Bridge" is a pulsating an exquisitely harmonious comp that contains six distinct works, woven into a far-reaching jazz and chamber type setting. Rosenwinkel's jazz voicings offer episodic stylizations of counterpoint amid empathetic storylines with the trio's sinuous staccato phrasings and quixotic melodies. Even though the composition is built on memorable themes, replete with endearing exchanges and sublime sentiment, the instrumentalists occasionally gel within an open-forum. They whirl through catchy ostinatos and a segmentfirmly planted by Paul Langosch's walking bass linesused as a vehicle for Rosenwinkel's fluid, jazz-centric soloing spots. Warm shadings and one passage concocted on a Caribbean motif evolve into punctuated stop/start cadenzas and briskly flowing unison notes.
Among other positives, the musicians' plush harmonic content, superfine artistry and cross-genre articulations generate a program that should be suitable for mass market consumption since the classical element is not immersed in austerity. They open up quite a few doors by enunciating the best of many musical worlds with a smooth integration of disparate outlooks that transcend the typical output evidenced by similar ensembles or projects. There's a little bit of everything for everyone on this superfine engagement.
Personnel: Benedict Goodfriend: violin; Alan Weinstein: cello, cello percussion;
Elizabeth Bachelder: piano. Guests – Paul Langosch: bass; Kurt
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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