Christopher Roberts – Trios for Deep Voices
Five intimate movements/pieces for a trio of double basses performed by the composer and two other virtuosos of the instrument, Mark Morton and James Bergman.
This music, much of it inspired by the composer’s life in Papua New Guinea, where he studied music’s “natural prosody,” subtly extends the double bass’s standard playing techniques with such expressive elements as bowing patterns inspired by the sound of hornbills in flight. (More info …)
Chas Smith – Nakadai
Nakadai, which KPFA Folio/Other Minds Radio called “one of the most explosive LPs of the ’80s,” is a set of works that offer a catalog of musical “waves”—from ripples to tsunamis. It features Smith playing pedal steel guitar solo, overdubbed, and with a mallet percussion quartet of Bob Fernandez, John Fitzgerald, M.B. Gordy, and Theresa Knight. This first CD reissue of Nakadai allows today’s listeners to hear prototypical Smith—music composed when his present style was in its nascent state.
In addition to the original five Nakadai tracks, this release includes two “bonus” tracks: 2008’s evocative Ghosts on the Windows and 1991’s Joaquin Murphey, a tribute to the pedal steel elgend of the same name.
Daniel Lentz – Point Conception
This CD combines Lentz’s wild nine-piano tribute to the octave, Point Conception (originally issued as a Cold Blue LP in the mid-80s), with Lentz’s previously unrecorded NightBreaker, a kaleidoscopic and explosive tour de force for four pianos.
An exciting roller-coaster of a work, NightBreaker ambles, jumps, careens, pauses, and flings itself forward. Point Conception amasses and bubbles over with incessant streams of octaves (harmonic and melodic) running the length of the keyboard. Both pieces revel in and comment on late-19th-century harmonies and harmonic motion.
Through overdubbing via a “cascading echo system,” long-time Lentz Ensemble pianist Arlene Dunlap performs all of Point Conception’s parts. Likewise, through overdubbing, noted Los Angeles pianist Bryon Pezzone performs all of NightBreaker’s parts.