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The main body of the album dates to a post-midnight session recorded after the music for [the album] ‘Care-charming Sleep’ had been completed. Potter quotes producer Manfred Eicher: ‘Let’s go back into the church and record some more’, and that’s what they did. Whether notated or improvised the sound of the ensemble meets somewhere mysteriously in the middle on ‘Night Sessions’, an album that conjures up a very distinctive medieval atmosphere with an internal logic of its own. Yet on a track such as ‘Swart mekerd smethes’ where the interplay resembles free improv, the link between past and present is strikingly obvious.
Stephen Graham, Marlbank

Dem Sänger John Potter gelang es 1999, Dowlands Lieder zur Laute neu zu vergegenwärtigen, als er für ein Album Jazzmusiker wie den Holzbläser John Surman und den Bassisten Barry Guy einlud. Plötzlich erlebte man Dowland so lebendig, als säße er mitten unter uns. The Dowland Project, eine reine Studioformation, legt jetzt ihr viertes Album ‚Night Sessions’ vor – ein erstaunliches Dokument experimentellen Musizierens. Von Dowland ausgehend hat die Gruppe ihr Repertoire stark erweitert, schürft noch tiefer – und schert sich immer weniger um Begriffe wie Alte oder Neue Musik, Klassik oder Jazz. Achtung: Minnesänger funken vom Mars.
Karl Lippegaus, Süddeutsche Zeitung

These recordings, left-overs from the Project’s previous albums (the dates given, 2001 and 2006, tie in with the sessions that produced ‘Care Charming Sleep’ and ‘Romaria’) are no mere off-cuts. After the final ‘Sleep’ session, label-owner Manfred Eicher wanted to go record some more immediately. Potter says the ensemble was happy to do this, but had run out of music. However, ‘as it happened, I had some medieval poems with me, so we decided to see what we could do with those.’ These night pieces were done at one attempt. There are also ‘day-time’ pieces, worked up from fragments of late-Medieval/early-Renaissance manuscripts. [...] This album has all the virtues and delights of the previous ones. If anything, it’s more challenging and experimental. These immaculate, lithe performances, replete with passion, adventurousness, exemplary phrasing and riming and tonal beauty, will make your scalp prickle.
Barry Witherden, BBC Music Magazine

Mit Barry Guy am Kontrabass, dem Holzbläser John Surman, Maya Homburger/Barockvioline, dem Lautisten/Gitarristen Stephen Stubbs und Miloš Valent/Violine/Viola, lässt John Potter die Sogwirkung der Musik der Renaissance mühelos die Zeiten von mehr als 450 Jahren überschreiten, als Improvisation ganz selbstverständlicher Teil des Musizierens war. New Improvised Comtemporary Music für neugierige Ohren und Geister der Gegenwart im Jahre 2013.
Thomas Hein, Concerto

The skilful troupe take their inspiration from often miniscule amounts of medieval or slightly later notation and weave fresh ideas resourcefully around their often slender and highly diverse resources: for instance ‘Theoleptus 22’ is constructed out of Byzantine chant while ‘Can vei la lauzeta mover’ is a 12th-century love song. Improvisation is at the core of the project, so the presence of a first-rate jazzer like John Surman alongside an early-music expert like Stephen Stubbs shouldn’t surprise: ‘Man in the Moon’ is an engagingly out-there mixture of moodily skittering instrumental invention and declamatory vocal which demonstrates what the different traditions can can cook up together. Even if the music isn’t – and doesn’t aim to be – ‘authentic’, there’s plenty of evocative, acoustical period feel courtesy of the St. Gerold monastery in the Austrian Alps, which hosted the sessions.
Robert Shore, Jazzwise

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