''I have no problem with notes… none at all'', was Feldman's cryptic comment on For Bunita Marcus. Throughout the seventy-two-minute duration of this extraordinary work, notes coalesce into wisps of melody which drift softly in and out of an immense silence. You are indeed, as pianist Marc-André Hamelin writes in the booklet notes, ''about to enter a world unlike any other.''
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.