Glenn Spearman : Blues for Falasha
The question of identity has historically played a large role in the survival of the Jewish people and had special significance to free jazz tenor titan Glenn Spearman, as the son of an African-American father and a Jewish mother. Before his death of cancer in October 1998, Spearman became involved in a deep exploration of his Jewish roots, a journey that expresses itself musically in Blues For Falasha, his last and most adventurous recorded composition. This powerful meeting of Jewish and African-American traditions features Spearman’s landmark group “The Double Trio” in a long, visionary work composed especially for the Tzadik Jewish series. We all mourn the loss of this talented and dedicated musician. His work helps keep him alive to us for all time.
John Zorn : Madrigals
Zorn’s compositions for acappella voice are some of his most sensual and sublime creations. This CD presents his two books of “Madrigals” scored for six female voices. Beautifully performed by his long time ensemble the “Sapphites” the music is even more varied and challenging than his previous masterpieces “The Holy Visions” and “Shir Hashirim,” touching upon minimalism, tonal and atonal counterpoint, textural experiments and more. Inspired by the visionary poetry of 19th century British Romantic Percy Blysse Shelley, a charming lyricism and subtle spirituality rides through the music from first note to last.
John Zorn : The Hermetic Organ vol. 4 — St. Bart’s
Drawing upon traditions as varied as Messiaen, Xenakis, Ligeti, Bach, Tournemire, Ives, Korla Pandit and The Phantom of the Opera, Zorn’s organ improvisations are transcendent, inspiring, ecstatic experiences, offering a direct line to the workings of his rich compositional imagination. Recorded at midnight on the eve of Halloween on the largest organ in New York City, Zorn approaches this performance as ritual, creating a mysterious mood of contrasts, colors, bells, drones, counterpoint and simultaneity. This fourth volume documenting Zorn’s legendary organ recitals presents organ improvisation at its most surprising, extreme and sublime.
The first release outside Japan of music by one of the the most original and under-appreciated composers in contemporary music. Born 1900 in the Phillipines, Maceda has been creating remarkable compositions, often for large ensembles of the same instrument for fifty years. This CD brings together three very different pieces from his enormous catalog. The hypnotic Suling-Suling is scored for an ensemble of forty bamboo flutes, Colors Without Rhythm is one of his most dynamic orchestral compositions—performed brilliantly by the Manila Symphony Orchestra under the direction of the composer. Pagsamba is one of the strangest masses ever written for gongs, voices and bamboos, recorded live in an open air temple in the Phillipines. An incredibly exciting release of rarely heard music by a rarely heard from composer.