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One of the founding members of the widely acclaimed “String Trio of New York, bassist John Lindberg has also performed with a who’s who of modern jazz stars, besides leading his own ensembles over the years. This release features the artist’s two extended compositions that skirt the fringes of contemporary classical, avant-garde and jazz improvisation. Lindberg’s first suite-like piece was commissioned and composed back in 1986 while his 2001-penned work “Basement of Desires,” follows a similar structural path.
Lindberg is recognized for his near Herculean attributes evidenced by his work with modern jazz VIPs such as multi-reedman Anthony Braxton, trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff and others. With that said, this strings based effort featuring the “Ann Arbor Strings Quartet,” offers a variegated glimpse of Lindberg’s wide-ranging musical aspirations. These multipart movements feature booming ostinatos and contrasting tonalities amid an altogether layered approach. A few of these episodes are relatively austere in sound and scope yet Lindberg periodically lashes out into free form jazz style romps whether he’s viciously plucking or bowing his bass strings. A distinct sense of motion prevails throughout! The musicians cover quite a bit of musical terrain, via weaving textures, march-like progressions, and poignant choruses. On “Basement of Desires part II,” Lindberg crafts solemn overtures and intricately devised walking bass patterns. No doubt, the bassist is a full-fledged virtuoso, although the overall magnitude and complexity of this program may warrant repeated listens. As a result, Two By Five makes for a uniquely rewarding musical experience. Recommended...
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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