A place in the sun: five albums with a non-trivial interpretation of jazz and classical music
The American Kronos Quartet — one of the most famous chamber groups-released an album with new works by Terry Riley, one of the fathers of American minimalism. Nothing special: they play Riley’s music all their lives, and, for example, their album “Terry Riley: Requiem for Adam” is a masterpiece about love and pain… But then something strange and unusual was done. Let’s also remember other albums that sound either strange classics, or “normal”, but in an unusual refraction. Thank God that classical recording has its own bullies!
Kronos Quartet “Terry Reily: Sun Rings” Actually, let’s start with the “Kronos”, who have spent their entire long career either performing innovative music, or mixing it with ethnics, rock, jazz of Thelonious monk or bill Evans, and so on.Terry Riley is one of the Quartet’s favorite authors. This particular piece was written in 2002, but has only been released on record now. Then it seemed interesting: the sounds of space — or rather, plasma-somehow captured and recorded… and academic music is woven into them. A bright idea-even for Kronos.The album, subjectively speaking, is diverse and enjoyable. Actually, the music resembles modernism in the spirit of Bartok and Stravinsky (all these angular phrases with sharp accents, which are nevertheless intertwined into something humming and soothing, like an exotic folk lullaby). Oriental motif in ” Planet Elf Sindoori. Venus Upstream ” – lively and nervous. There are many choirs: male, female and mixed. Beautiful chant in “Prayer central” – just a chorale! It is interesting that here the voices are not heavenly-angelic and not as if the howling of the cold Universe, but on the contrary — emphatically human. A good contrast-on the skin pulls.Apple.Music, Yandex.Music, Deezer
Richard Galliano “Vivaldi” By Richard Galliano (Soviet music fan, stop calling the musician “Richard Galliano”!) you can listen to everything, because everything is beautiful. His accordion has a Golden voice. Gentle, but aggressively penetrating right under the skin. Galliano is actually a very respected jazz musician, if not a pure jazz musician. In fact, even a real symbol of French jazz.But then he played Vivaldi’s “Seasons” — the entire cycle, all four concerts, note for note. Once upon a time, when I was a child, I heard “Times” on the organ in the Riga dome Cathedral. It was a scrapping of the template and a brain explosion for life. But the accordion is like a mini-organ. And here the effect is even steeper.Apple.Music, Yandex.Music, Deezer
Mark Anthony Turnage “Scofield: Scorched”This is a truly legendary project. English composer — at that time young and hype-mark-Anthony Turnage became friends with John Scofield, invited him to one of his projects, and then wrote this “work based on the plays of Scofield”. And the guitarist and his trio then participated in the recording, that is, the project is authorized.A few years later, he wrote an entire Symphony-a large-scale canvas on the themes of John Scofield’s plays. The idea itself seemed bright and challenging: clear simple riffs by Scofield and sophisticated modern classics by Turnage — how do they come together? But somehow they came together in a single canvas, which is difficult to find a genre and stylistic definition.The bottom line is this: contemporary classical music with soft dissonances, and when connected Scofield band “includes” swing. Critics at the time criticized the project for the fact that Turnage and Schofield simply did not agree in the mood of music, so interesting and masterful. Here academic ice and jazz-rock flame met. How successful is a matter of taste, but Turnage’s tricks of” pulling ” a Symphony out of Scofield’s simple groove rhythms are noteworthy in themselves.Apple.Music, Yandex.Music, Deezer
Pierre-Laurent Aimard / Aka Pygmies, Ligeti / Reich “African Rhythms” is a very cleverly and subtly composed program. It seems to be about complex rhythms and rhythm as something self-sufficient. There are two performers: the pianist Pierre Laurent-Emard and… the pygmies! Avant-garde academic music is interspersed with African rhythms in search of a connecting link.The minimalist composer Steve Reich really studied non-European traditions in depth, going, in particular, to Ghana to study the local art of playing ethnic drums. Djordj Ligeti was inspired by the folklore of his native Hungary, which also has a lot of puzzling rhythms. Emar plays Ligeti with a naked sound, cold, as if the piano is a percussion instrument (by the way, according to a strict classification, it belongs to such-hammers!).In General, the reviewer is very tempted to exclaim: Ah, music is a universal language, all from the same source, and so on. And close the subject. But not everything is so simple even with this album, in which the tracks are really selected with great taste and a sense of proportion. After all, pygmies have emotions, and our European-Americans have mathematics. You can hear it: here we count by 4, here by 7, here we stretch the rhythm and weave in a side part. And there is a yawning gap between seemingly similar folklorists and composers. Like music in the head and music from the head. Between a self-contained form and an emotion. But actually, art is about bridging the gap, isn’t it?Apple.Music, Yandex.Music, Deezer
Yo-Yo Ma ” Claude Bolling: Suite for Cello & Jazz Piano Trio “a French jazz musician named Claude Bolling experimented in the spirit of the” third current ” — that is, he combined jazz with classical music in original works. He wrote several works for various jazz compositions with classical instruments. Or Vice versa: classical bands plus some jazz guitar.This ” Suite for cello and jazz piano trio “is a real joy for jazzmen who want to play with”classics”. There’s Boogie-woogie plus Baroque, and God knows what else… Spicy dish! The great American cellist yo-yo MA, being a lover of all sorts of inter-genre projects (remember his album with Bobby McFerrin), could not pass by. And made what is considered an exemplary record. With the participation of the author on the Phono.