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May 25 , 2012

Reviews of the Week

French daily Le Nouvel Observateur on Steve Kuhn's Wisteria

Le temps ne fait rien à l’affaire…A 74 ans, celui qui fut un temps (1960) le pianiste de Coltrane n’a jamais joué avec autant de fraîcheur que ces dernières années. En 2008 […] il trouvait déjà le moyen de revisiter la musique du quartet de Trane […]. Le voici de retour en trio avec ce „Wisteria“ rayonnant, où son jeu, constamment chantant, est illuminé par une rythmique renversante: Steve Swallow à la basse et Joey Baron, prodigieux d’inventivité, à la batterie.
Le Nouvel Observateur

British magazine Jazwise detects old and future classics on John Abercrombie's Within A Song

With expert backing from Drew Gress and Joey Baron, he and Joe Lovano revisit the likes of Sonny Rollins’ “The Bridge”, Ornette’s “Blues Connotations” and Coltrane’s “Wise One” with admiring empathy and delicate invention that, in Abercrombie’s case, draws on the harmonic genius of Jim Hall. Even “Flamenco Sketches”, significantly re-imagined, sounds fresh here. There are originals too: “Nick of Time” defies easy encapsulation and sounds as though, like the iconic tunes that surround it, it might itself still be worth plundering for it’s musical riches in 50 years’ time.
Robert Shore, Jazzwise

British magazine Record Collector is impressed by Year of the Snake by American jazz trio Fly

The overall mood is one of introspective abstraction – with Turner’s sax often sounding mournful – but the interplay between all three musicians is breathtaking.
Charles Waring, Record Collector

American reviewers praise the Hilliards Ensemble's readings of madrigals by Don Carlo Gesualdo on Quinto Libro di Madrigali

Those familiar with Gesualdo will be more than satisfied with the Hilliard approach. Those curious about why so many modern composers have made so much fuss over him will definitely have their curiosity satisfied.
Stephen Smoliar, Examiner.com

Three centuries before Freud (and two millennia after Sappho), Gesualdo looked unflinchingly at the coupling of Eros and Thanatos in the acid harmonies of “Mercè grido piangendo!” (“Weeping, I cry for pity”), sung with razor-edged finesse by the Hilliards. They resolve the mad polyphony of “O tenebroso giorno” (“O dark day”) in hushed awe before a gaze that brings both “life and death”. Thanks to them, the “sweetness and delight” evoked in the collection’s envoi, “T’amo mia vita” (“I love you, my life”), shine forth even through the darkness of Gesualdo’s art.
Marion Lignana Rosenberg; Timeout.com/New York