181

Uri Caine Ensemble: The Goldberg Variations

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist/composer Uri Caine has assembled a rather large aggregation of talent for this thoroughly audacious rendering of Johann Sebastian Bach’s The Goldberg Variations. And while Caine has tackled Mahler, Wagner and Schumann with much success, on this release, the pianist melds classical music with genre hopping, doses of humor and sprightly interludes that makes for one heck of an extravaganza.

A 2-CD set that expands the original 30 variations into 70 pieces, we must also be cognizant of the fact that Caine’s arrangements and compositions are primarily adaptations. Along with such notables as trumpeter Ralph Alessi, clarinetist Don Byron, bassist James Genus, vocalist David Moss, the “Koln String Quartet” and many others, Caine’s musical visions draw upon a vast array of styles that includes, spoken word, DJ Logic’s turntables, jazz, baroque, gospel and more. Disk 1, features pieces such as “The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Variation”, where the listener is treated to David Moss’ farcical vocals atop classical overtones whereas, clarinetist Greg Osby and Caine engage in a bit of free-jazz type dialogue on “Variation For Saxophone & Piano”. Yet the various ensembles also meld straight-ahead jazz with variations that feature Afro-Cuban rhythms and soulful blues.

Disk 2 commences with “Variation 16 Overture” which boasts a lovely theme thanks to Cordula Breuer’s luscious notes and sweet-tempered musings performed on alto recorder; however, David Moss’ playfully stout and largely indecipherable vocals might be characteristic of a grumpy old codger. Here, Moss could be poking a bit of fun at Bach or possibly your stereotypical frustrated-German classical composer. All in good fun I may add.

With disk 2, you will also hear bassoon and trumpet duets, swing vamps, the great Ernst Reijseger performing a cello solo and just about anything else imaginable. Basically, one of the great attributes of this ambitious project is based upon Caine’s ability to inject humor and disparate elements into his writings and arrangements; although, there’s much more than meets the eye here as ideas abound with ceaseless invention and soulful articulation despite the semi austere implications. Perhaps the bottom line or desired effect of this project is contingent upon the relationships established between varying art forms and how all music is rooted and intertwined. Either way you view it, Caine’s The Goldberg Variations is a magnificent event for the aural senses! Highly recommended.

* * * * * (out of * * * * *)

Email: winterproduction@compuserve.com

The “Allegro Corporation” handles distribution in North America.


Track Listing: Aria and 70 Variations for Various Ensembles Adapted and Arranged and Composed by Uri Caine after Johann Sebastian Bach (2 CDs). CD #1 time 76:26 CD# 2 time 77:29

Personnel: Musicians who perform on this recording are: Liz Alessi, Ralph Alessi, Reid Anderson, Marco Bermudez, Sadio Bey, Danny Blume, Dean Bowman, Paulo Braga, Cordula Breuer, Don Byron, Zach Danziger, Uri Caine, Vinicius Cantuaria, Milton Cardona, Michael Freimuth, James Genus, Vittorio Ghielmi, Drew Gress, Gregory Hubner, Tim Lefebvre, Arno Jochem, Wolfgang Klasener, DJ Logic, Chris Kelly, David Moss, Tracie Morris, DJ Olive, Greg Osby, Ralph Peterson, Paul Plunkett, Ernst Reijseger, Joerg Reiter, Todd Reynolds, Josh Roseman, Bob Stewart, Annegret Siedel, Barbara Walker, Reggie Washington, Kettwiger Bach Ensemble, Koln String Quartet, Quartetto Italiano Di Viole Da Gamba

| Record Label: Winter & Winter | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Tomorrow" CD/LP/Track Review Tomorrow
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 7, 2016
Read "Perceive React" CD/LP/Track Review Perceive React
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 31, 2016
Read "Lockout Station" CD/LP/Track Review Lockout Station
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "The Julian Hartwell Project" CD/LP/Track Review The Julian Hartwell Project
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 18, 2016
Read "Proximity" CD/LP/Track Review Proximity
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 30, 2016
Read "Old Locks And Irregular Verbs" CD/LP/Track Review Old Locks And Irregular Verbs
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 18, 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!

Buy it!