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...
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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