Here you have three absolutely breathtaking jazz performers locked into a studio for a day or so. From this combination of guitar, standup bass, and acoustic drum kit, you've got nine tracks of sheer jazz joy – three guys just blowing for the hell of it, recorded on the fly. There's a strong sense here that engineer Rob Eaton probably tried to get everybody properly set up and balanced before the session started and just gave up when everybody started playing. It's a delight to hear, because everything has gone into the performance, which is spontaneous and graceful – no going back for the next take here. Pat Metheny's playing is definitely modernistic, highly fluid, almost liquid lightning – no effects boxes here, though (he does play Synclavier on the last track, "Three Flights Up," but it's great anyway). Roy Haynes, likewise, should be heard by anybody wanting to get behind the traps: this man has a sense of humor, and he's a blur of motion. Dave Holland, on bass, is no slouch either, keeping pace with Metheny's guitar lines, and balancing up against Haynes' drums. Together, these guys are incredible.
The St. John Passion was long regarded as an early work by Handel, written in Hamburg in 1704. It had to be early, as there are few really Handelian fingerprints in the music. In the late 1960s though, musicologists started allocating it to Georg Böhm (1661-1733), a Thuringian-born composer who worked in Hamburg and Luneburg. He is remembered chiefly for his fine organ music and his influence on Bach. But the record booklet makes an interesting case for Handel's authorship, particularly as Handel's friend Mattheson was an advocate of the work.
Key 60s material from the great John Coltrane – even if the set wasn't ever released until the late 70s! The album's kind of a "prequel" to the later Meditations record, and it stands as a key bridge between Coltrane's modal years and his more spiritual sounds – delivered here by a core quartet, without the larger accompaniment that graced the later version! The classic quartet is at their best – McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums – and the sound is slightly more inside than later, but no less filled with searching and yearning! CD version contains a 12 minute extended alternate take of "Joy", the centerpiece of the composition.
In the late ’70s and early ’80s Zorn presented yearly retrospectives of his game pieces at various Downtown venues. He called these events his Olympiads. This long awaited CD presents three of his classic pre-Cobra game pieces in multiple versions by the fabulous Brooklyn-based guitar quartet Dither. Here you will find the building blocks of Zorn’s trademark musical language—virtuosic extended techniques, surprising contrasts, fast group interaction and razor sharp changes. Featuring the first recording of Zorn’s legendary compositions Fencing and Curling, these fabulous realizations will keep you on the edge of your seat from first note to last!