Judging by the quality of the music and the fact that this is Ed Palermo’s third full-length album dedicated to Frank Zappa’s avant-big-band interpretations, I think that the album title is apropos. Eddy does indeed loves Frank! From his Bandcamp site:
Ed and his amazing 16 piece band (+ guests) return with his third album of his distinctive, big-band interpretations of the great 20th century composer, Frank Zappa. This body of work has won them huge acclaim from both new and old fans of the music and they even appeared on NPR’s Weekend Edition for a short feature which was heard by millions of listeners in 2006. For those not already familiar with Ed’s colorful, jazz-based arrangements of Zappa’s compositions, Ed has led a big band for 30 years (!) and has had his band performing the music of Frank Zappa for 15 years. Many years of playing these pieces in front of hugely enthusiastic crowds have honed the band’s skills interpreting Zappa’s beautiful but notoriously difficult material to where they are able to perform these challenging charts with apparent ease. All of these musicians are high caliber, hugely talented NYC professional players, and most of them have been playing this music for a decade and a half with this group, not because it is a good paying gig (it isn’t) but because they all admire and appreciate the genius of Zappa’s work and they love having the opportunity to be able to perform these terrifically exciting charts.
“Wonderful, breathtaking, fantastic, exhilarating, great sound, great production, great musicianship…I run out of superlatives…”
“Palermo developed these charts during years of live shows with these musicians, and their mastery of the material shows in the performances, which turn on a dime yet feel fierce with spontaneous invention…. Palermo’s arrangements and these performances are precise, dedicated, raucous and incisive—just like Zappa himself.”
“Palermo uses Zappa’s compositions as a framework for inspiration, rather than simply trying to recreate what is already available on CD.”
I grew up with piano music in my home because my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother (a violinist by trade) were fond of the instrument. I would grow up hearing piano music, dated a pianist in Italy for a brief and stormy moment, and even here in China, I’m surrounded by it.
It pleases me to no end that piano music continues to be revolutionary.
Montreal’s Moderna Records is at the forefront of putting out the best of cinematic, minimalist piano music, and Ed Carlsen’s music has proven to be my current favorite of their bunch. For those familiar with Yann Tiersen’s music, Ed’s compositions will feel familiar. These are wispy, thought-provoking pieces which make you want to break out the blanket and coffee and sit by the window on a chilly day.
Iraida Yusupova is a Russian multimedia artist originally hailing from Turkmenistan. She works out of Moscow and is considered among the pre-eminent composers of her generation, scoring for voice, orchestra and Theremin.
Jeremy Dutcher is a Canadian tenor and composer of Wolastoq hertiage. He has done an amazing service in preserving the cultural heritage of his people, and the interpretations of this music remind one, as is described on his Bandcamp page, as having the same feeling of Antony and the Johnsons as well as the works of Rufus Wainwright’s more operatic moments. I look forward to Jeremy digging deeper into his roots.
Gizeh Records is a very interesting label. I can’t say I adore every single release, but I have come to the realization that artists like Aidan Baker and Christine Ott will produce solid release after solid release. TABU features one of the most brilliant instruments ever designed during the 20th Century, the ondes martenot, and Ott uses it to full effect, creating soundscapes whose feel verges on the oceanic. A heavy, lovely release.
The jazz pianist and composer Jacques Loussier passed away yesterday. It was he who really managed to blend the works of Johann Sebastian Bach and jazz fluidly and managed to make a career out of it. May he rest in peace.
It’s not everyday that you see a single of classical music released, but this reinterpretation of the works of 16th and 17th Century English composer William Byrd, ably handled by Jim Perkins & Tom Gaisford, even features a remix by Leah Kardos of Byrd’s Kyrie. Bigo & Twigetti continue to knock it out of the park in terms of quality releases.
For a more in-depth review, consider visiting our friends over at a closer listen.
I grew up in a house that appreciated the work of Frédéric Chopin. My Mom was and is still a big fan of his compositions. It came as a pleasant surprise to hear that a North Carolina pianist issued some arrangements of Chopin’s music which were recorded beautifully.
Pianist Chad Lawson is joined by Judy Kang on violin and Rubin Kodheli on cello. They update Chopin’s work into a modern, minimalist landscape.
Two of the gems of the ECM Records talent roster, violinist Kim Kashkashian and pianist Keith Jarrett, take on Johann Sebastian Bach’s piece for viola da gamba and harpsichord.
Algis Valiunas of The Weekly Standard writes on one of the most ‘American’ of composers, as well as an essayist par excellence, Virgil Thomson, who is rightfully remembered by those who love literary criticism, especially when it comes to the arts. His fame deserved to be spread to laymen as well.