Music for two pianos as a genre has gained reputation and momentum among composers and performers in the academic piano world. Piano Duo is a relatively new phenomenon that began in the late Romantic period. The Piano Duo project began in 2008 with composers Paul Reller, Eun-Hye Park, Gerald Chenoweth and pianist Min Kwon.
The present collection of Augusta Read Thomas's works spans 18 years, from 1999 to 2017. It juxtaposes the two sides of Thomas that we've already encountered in previous volumes, the large-scale thinker in the cello concerto Ritual Incantations, the piano trio Klee Musings and the recent string quartet Chi, and the miniaturist in the six other works which on this disc act as satellites to the above-mentioned three larger works. Two sides that, paradoxically, seem to share more similarities than differences. Common to all the works collected here are the sunny, free-wheeling lyricism, luminosity, sense of colour, spontaneity, caprice, playfulness and spirituality which have long been ineradicable characteristics of her nuanced music, all tied up with an irrepressible energy and a sense of irreducible concision no matter how expansive the time frame, of taking all the time in the world to say everything that needs to be said in any given piece, but not a second more than that!
The Bournemouth Sinfonietta was founded in 1968 as a chamber orchestra of about 35 players to complement the work of the larger Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. The first conductor was Kenneth Montgomery, followed by Maurice Gendron, Norman Del Mar, Roger Norrington, Tamás Vásáry, and Alexander Polianichko, as well as director/violinists Ronald Thomas and Richard Studt. The Sinfonietta has appeared at the BBC Proms, with Glyndebourne Touring Opera, for the National Opera Studio, at the major British music festivals, on tour in Europe and Brazil, and on over 70 recordings (many featuring the work of contemporary British composers).
As a leader, saxophonist and composer Gary Thomas is wildly ambitious. Throughout the 1980s and into the '90s, Thomas experimented with everything from free jazz and funk to heavy metal and hip-hop. Exile's Gate is another such exercise. There are two distinct bands accompanying him here. One is made up of Thomas on tenor with drummer Jack DeJohnette and guitarist Paul Bollenback with organist Tim Murphy and bassist Ed Howard. The other features the latter two musicians, Marvin Sewell on guitar and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington. The first band plays Thomas' free-spirited and aggressive originals while the second plays standards for the most part. Only Thomas would think of putting the two approaches together on one record on alternate cuts.
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest DSD / HR Cutting remastering. Comes with a description. Features the original LP designs. Less heralded than their collaboration with Thelonious Monk (as documented on Bags' Groove and Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants), this August 5, 1955 session with vibraphonist Milt Jackson was Davis' last all-star collaboration before the formation of his first classic quintet. It marked a farewell to an older generation of acolytes and fellow travelers; Davis was entering a new era of leadership and international stardom, and generally he would only record with his working groups.