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Sunday, September 11, 2016

CD Review: Dyad Plays Jazz Arias

Lou Caimano (alt); Eric Olsen (pno) + Randy Brecker (tpt/flug); Ted Nash (ten).
(Review by Lance).
Jazz Arias! Seven instrumental takes on operatic arias by a duo who've already trod that road with their previous, critically acclaimed, release - Dyad Plays Puccini. Olsen arranged 5 and Caimano 2. both did a job.
Wolfgang provides a robust opening track, Fin ch'han dal vino which translates as Until they have become hot-headed with wine from the opera Don Giovanni. Brecker is on this one and, along with Caimano and Olsen, it's as fiery as the original with all three displaying a passion that conveys Mozart's intent - perhaps the guys had gotten into the mood with some Californian vino!
Alto and piano explore Habanero from Carmen. Olsen, spritely, lithe, dancing around Bizet's composition. Caimano, solemn at first then off to La Plaza Del Toros. 
Dyad continues its captivating romp with Massenet's Méditation from Thais. In the opera, the heroine reflects upon leaving her life of luxury and pleasure to find salvation through God - as one does - although I have my doubts as to whether these two guys were on the same train.
More Carmen, this time, it's Seguidilla in which Carmen flirts with her jailer and Caimano and Olsen flirt musically.
Randy Brecker enters stage left to rejoin Dyad, this time, on flugel, for Samuel Barber's Do not utter a word from his opera Vanessa. The V girl has covered up all the mirrors in her house, refusing to face her aging self (what a brilliant idea!) and not surprisingly it has a wailing blues feel to it with Brecker at the top of his game pouring out the plaintive feeling the aria demands.
Delibes provided The Flower Duet from Lakmé and Dyad added ace tenorman Ted Nash. The pleasant waltz proved to be fertile ground for the cool sounding Nash with Olsen weaving angular patterns and Caimano adding to the bouquet.
No operatic related performance would be complete with Verdi putting in an appearance. Guiseppe was my mother's favourite composer and, I'd like to think she'd have got something from this - perhaps not although it has to be said that her son did!
Nash stays on stage for a very dark piece from Otello where Desdemona is wrongly accused of infidelity (that Iago was a right stirrer!). Dio mi potevi scagliar (God, you could have thrown every evil at me). Even unsung, it's as dramatic a piece as you can imagine and the instrumentalists convey the mood without the need for words.
A Tour de Force.
Lance.
Available September 14.

1 comment :

Unknown said...

Thanks Lance! Your wonderful comments are much appreciated! For more information, please see www.dyadplays.com. Also a new video of DYAD Plays Jazz Arias is available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=hM2cfXoYuxA. Thank you again for your kind words about my album!
Sincerely,
Eric Olsen

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