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The Hilliard Ensemble, the Talinn Chamber Orchestra, and the Estonian Philharomonic Chamber Choir under the direction of Tonu Kaljust: Litany, from Arvo Part, Litany (ECM)
"I have discovered that it is enough when a single note is beautifully played. This one note, or a silent beat, or a moment of silence, comforts me. I work with very few elements-- with one voice, two voices. I build with primitive materials-- with the triad, with one specific tonality. The three notes of a triad are like bells....."
Those are the words of Estonian composer Arvo Part. Litany was composed in the early 1990s and this CD was recorded in 1996.
Paul Reddick: Morning Bell and Wishing Song from Sugarbird (Northern Blues)
When I played this on the air, I got a phone call. "Who's the accordion player?" Well, the accordion player is Garth Hudson, one of the members of The Band back in the old days. The guitarist and producer of the CD is Colin Linden.
This CD has some beautiful liner notes by Koko Bonaparte, starting with: "The songs of Sugarbird sit on the edge of the shade and flirt with the light. Light from the sun and from the mind moves across the face of these songs...." and there is more.
Paul Reddick is a Canadian songwriter, blues singer, and harmonica player. His music seems to be coming to us from some earlier time, but at the same time he is not retro, not a throwback-- he is bringing us new music, right now. Reddick is a fantastic man to watch in live performance. I have seen him twice-- once in the old hotel the name of which I have forgotten that used to be where Charlotte's used to be, in Nelson; and a couple of years ago at the Kaslo Jazz Fest. He has a way of relating to the audience and his musicians (gestures, looks, comments) that is very cool and quite indescribable. Go see him if you can.
Maria Schneider Orchestra: Aires de Lando from Sky Blue (ArtistShare)
Maria Schneider is getting famous lately for her finely crafted compositions and arrangements for large jazz bands. Her style is her own but also reminiscent of one of her mentors, Gil Evans. In the notes to the CD she writes of a trip to Peru where she "...experienced a whole new kind of music...I'd witnessed an entire audience clapping to a kind of music called lando-- music felt in polyrhythmic patterns of 12/8 over 6/4. Though lando felt plain as day like 6/4 to me, I quickly got a big lesson in musical perspective when I saw a small 5-year-old child get up, dancing and clapping in a sinuous 12/8...."
This piece has fascinating and subtle rhythmic shifts, and lovely clarinet work by Scott Robinson.
ArtistShare is not really a record label, it's an artist cooperative with some innovative approaches to marketing and getting the music into our hands and ears-- one more interesting alternative to business as usual at the recording companies.