The cover's cutout silhouette of these guitar-slinging soul/blues women is a succinct visual overview of the rather ambiguous contents within. Recorded in preparation for 2007's Blues Caravan tour featuring journeywomen singer/songwriters Sue Foley and Deborah Coleman along with the comparatively fresh-faced Roxanne Potvin (whose first widely distributed set was released earlier the same year), the disc seems more like a respectable concert souvenir than an actual collaborative affair. The 11 tracks break down into three solo cuts from each participant, one shared and joyous effort on the closing cover of a Chess oldie, "In the Basement," and a crackling instrumental dominated by Foley's always impressive guitar. There are many fine moments here, especially as Coleman lays into an easy funk groove on James Brown's "Talking Loud" and on Potvin's emotionally charged ballad "Strong Enough to Hold You".
Deborah Coleman's Blind Pig debut, I Can't Lose, is a powerful album of great ballads and blues stories, and of course, great guitar playing and singing. Her version of Billie Holiday's "Fine and Mellow" got her a lot of airplay on college and public radio stations around the U.S.
One of the characteristics of Morton Feldman's music is the way silences are thrown into stark relief. Each silence - freighted with memory, charged with expectation - becomes a unique presence in the music more than merely an absence of it. Though his silences are measured in units of time, they also contain an intimation of infinity. The music of the "classical" tradition slows down, speeds up, layers and otherwise manipulates time. Of the other arts, only cinema plays with our temporal perception to a greater degree.
A spectacular presentation of eleven new compositions from Zorn’s Book of Angels by two passionate virtuosos whose work together is never less than perfection itself. Contextualizing the music into a classical recital for violin and piano, this is the chamber music of the future. Exciting and breathtaking, Mark and Sylvie have put together a program filled with imagination, lyricism and an intense energy. New Jewish music by one of the greatest violin/piano pairings ever. This is a whole new all-encompassing direction for classical music.
This is a marvelous release, equally perfect in conception, execution, and engineering. The program locates the intellectual origins of the American avant-garde composers Morton Feldman and John Cage not in postwar European developments, but in the music of Erik Satie, who with each decade seems a more pioneering figure. Feldman and Cage here seem not modernists, but postmodernists. Front and center at the beginning is Feldman's masterpiece Rothko Chapel (1967), a chamber-ensemble-and-chorus evocation of the Houston, Texas, chapel adorned with paintings by, and partly designed by, the Abstract Expressionist painter Mark Rothko.
…If you're unfamiliar with Feldman's nuanced, nondevelopmental music, this may not be the easiest point of entry, but . . . well, there probably isn't an easy point of entry after all, so why not just dive in?