Saturday, July 4, 2009

Catherine Potter, Hilliard Ensemble and Garbarek, Zakir Hussain, Mitsuko Uchida: Playlist for The Open Window for June 29, 2009

The Open Window airs at (Kootenay Co-op Radio) on Sundays at 10 am and Mondays at 6:30 am.

Catherine Potter: Gori, Kutila and Vol Blanc from Duniya Project

Catherine Potter is a Canadian player of the bansuri, or Indian bamboo flute. She has studied under Hariprasad Chaurasia, who is perhaps the most celebrated Indian player of that instrument. This music is somewhere between jazz and Indian classical bansuri music, and is true enough to both to probably please non-purist fans of either (like me). Subir Debv, tabla; Lubo Alexandrov, guitars; Nicolas Caloia, bass; Thom Gossage, drums; Anjana Srinivasan, violin.

Hilliard Ensemble and Jan Garbarek: O Salutaris Hosta, Procedenem Sponsem, and Pulcherrima Rosa from Officium (ECM)

Released in 1994, this gets my vote for one of the most innovative recordings ever. Take a British quartet of singers of early music, combine them with an improvising jazz saxophonist, record them in Austria's Monastery of St. Gerold known for its otherwordly acoustics, ask them to perform music from the 12th to the 16th century much of it so old the author is listed as anonymous, and you get this stunning work of art.

But it is not just any jazz saxophonist. Jan Garbarek of Norway has built a career out of daring collaborations all over the world.

Zakir Hussain: Making Music from Making Music (ECM)

On this piece, Hariprasad Chaurasia on bansuri (see Catherine Potter above) and Jan Garbarek play together, along with Zakir Hussain on tablas and John McLaughlin on guitar. Hussain and McLaughlin were central to the celebrated Indian-jazz crossover group Shakti 25 or more years ago: these guys have been crossing west-east borders for a long time now, wonderfully. Garbarek's soprano saxophone fits the music perfectly, but the tenor does not, in my opinion, because it is recorded too loudly and played too bluntly. The Indian flute of Chaurasia is sublime.

Mozart: Fantasy in D Minor; Mitsuko Uchida-- Mozart: Two Sonatas (Philips)

A celebrated performer of Mozart with a short piece as lovely as the sunny summer early morning on which I played it....

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