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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

CD Review: Joe Gilman - Relativity.

Joe Gilman (pno/Rhodes); Nick Frenay (tpt/flug); Chad Lefkowitz-Brown (ten/bs clt); Zach Brown (bs); Corey Fonville (dms)..
(Review by Lance.)
Not being familiar with the work of Dutch artist M.C. Escher I viewed Relativity with some trepidation. Gilman points out that "Visual art and music have been sympathetic forces for generations as evidenced by Cage and Rauschenburg, Granados and Goya, Rachmaninoff  and Boskin, Corea and Picasso." And so Gilman links up with the work of Eschner (1898-1972) for what turns out to be an absolute delight!
Hard bop swingers contrast with reflective explorations.
Eschner was said to paint from the mind rather than actual observations, although the Gilman group, I would suggest, blow from the heart!
Lefkowitz-Brown is a tenor player in the Hank Mobley mode - hard blowing and swinging yet tender and sensitive on bass clarinet. On trumpet/flugel, Frenay is cool and laid back.Bass and drums more than tick the boxes - they drive it along.
Leader Gilman - actually Dr. Gilman - is, among other positions, a full time professor of music at American River College, Sacramento. He is also musical director of the Brubeck Institute's Fellowship Program which may have influenced the late Dave Brubeck to say "Joe Gilman is certainly one of the greatest pianists I've ever heard."  Maybe that is, perhaps, a slight over-statement but the fact remains that he is a very very good pianist and his playing and his compositions reveal him to be a top drawer composer too.
This could have been my record of the year if it wasn't for the fact it was actually released last year!
If nothing else, it introduced me to the work of M.C. Esher. The paintings I have seen are brilliant, albeit quite mathematically geometric - the music is much looser but they do complement each other. In fact I rather wished I had had one hanging above the PC as I listened to the CD.
Tracks: Three Spheres, Waterfall, Three worlds, Smaller and Smaller, Covered Alley, Encounter,Snow, Day and Night, Sky and Water, Dewdrop, Ascending and Descending.
Lance.

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