Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

6

Erik Friedlander: Rings

Jakob Baekgaard By

Sign in to view read count
Repetition is sometimes seen as a bad thing. The mundane cycle of everyday life involving the same actions. However, it is only through repetition that differences can occur. A weekend is only special because it stands out as a difference from the ordinary week. But repetition is not only useful as a way of appreciating difference, it also has it is own poetry, which has been explored by minimalistic pioneers such as Philip Glass and Steve Reich.

On the album Rings, cellist and composer, Erik Friedlander, explores the cyclical nature of composition and the compositional tool of repetition. Paradoxically, the album is incredibly varied and it examines a wide range of musical moods and textures. They range from the passionate tango of "The Seducer" to the misty impressionistic beauty of "Fracture," with a subtle percussive touch and scent of Indian spice.

Friedlander plays with his trio Black Phebe, a constellation with percussionist Satoshi Takeishi and Shoko Nagai on piano, accordion and electronics. Together they travel musically around the world in different times and places. From dusty streets and whirling dances to delicate and ethereal tone poems. The music is widescreen and it is easy to imagine several of the pieces being used in movies. For instance, "Tremors" is a slowly unfolding atmospheric piece, with gently vibrating strings singing like leaves in the wind, accompanied by drops of piano and rustling percussion.

The core of the album is "The Rings" that consists of the pieces: "Solve Me," "Canoe" and "Waterwheel." The compositions use the effect of looping, a new approach that Friedlander has not used before, as he says:

"In these pieces I create the composition as the trio improvises with me and around me. The Rings are a new thing for me. I've never been a fan of looping as a compositional technique but I turned around on it when I tried it with this band. I create the ring as we improvise and the result is hypnotic and beautiful...but organic."

The same could be said about the whole album, which is indeed both beautiful and organic. Rings is an album that successfully crosses the boundaries of classical music, jazz and world music using the vehicle of repetition. Friedlander's ability to combine melodic accessibility, improvisation and avant-garde leanings into poetic and cinematic music brings to mind the eminent pianist and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto. Rings serves as an ideal introduction to new listeners and will hopefully make even more people discover Friedlander's wonderful music.

Track Listing: The Seducer; Black Phebe; A Single Eye; Fracture; Risky Business; Tremors; Small Things; Solve Me; Canoe; Waterwheel; Flycatcher; Silk.

Personnel: Erik Friedlander: cello; Shoko Nagai: piano, accordion, electronics; Satoshi Takeishi: percussion.

Title: Rings | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Skipstone Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Radio
Catching Up With
Album Reviews
Radio
Live Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Take Five With...
Read more articles
Artemisia

Artemisia

Skipstone Records
2018

buy
Rings

Rings

Skipstone Records
2016

buy
Illuminations

Illuminations

Skipstone Records
2015

buy
Oscalypso

Oscalypso

Skipstone Records
2015

buy
Nighthawks

Nighthawks

Skipstone Records
2014

buy
Claws & Wings

Claws & Wings

Skipstone Records
2013

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Paint The Sky Album Reviews
Paint The Sky
By Andrew J. Sammut
February 21, 2019
Read God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be Album Reviews
God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be
By Karl Ackermann
February 21, 2019
Read Rhyme And Reason Album Reviews
Rhyme And Reason
By Mark Corroto
February 21, 2019
Read The Definition of Insanity Album Reviews
The Definition of Insanity
By Nicholas F. Mondello
February 21, 2019
Read Omhu Album Reviews
Omhu
By Jakob Baekgaard
February 21, 2019
Read In Between the Tumbling a Stillness Album Reviews
In Between the Tumbling a Stillness
By Karl Ackermann
February 20, 2019
Read Gary Album Reviews
Gary
By Dan McClenaghan
February 20, 2019