Call it postminimalist, totalist, or maximalist, the orchestral music of Bang on a Can co-founder Michael Gordon is big, loud, frenzied, and assertive, jam-packed with stylistic references, dense with inventive orchestration, and overflowing with virtuoso activity. Dystopia, performed by David Robertson and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is a kaleidoscopic portrait of the city of Los Angeles, created in collaboration with filmmaker Bill Morrison. This live recording of the work's premiere at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, January 12, 2008, captures the energy and spontaneity of the music, which at times is quite reminiscent of the hubbub of the Shrovetide Fair in Stravinsky's Petrushka, though one must imagine that the listening experience with the film was overwhelming. In contrast, Rewriting Beethoven's Seventh Symphony is not so much a wall of sound as a multi-layered gloss on its original material, an echo of Beethoven's music warped and reshaped through glissandi, microtones, clusters, montage, and other modern techniques.
The brainchild of producer Gerry Teekens, United Soul Experience extricates trombonist Wycliffe Gordon from the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra orbit and teams him with some of the most interesting young talent in the Criss Cross stable. Tradition-minded but not predictable, the music alludes to several jazz and funk styles without settling into any one of them. Gordon, tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake, and pianist David Kikoski play like accomplished young veterans who continue to search for something more. Bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Bill Stewart generate a circuitous kind of swing, stating a pulse and deconstructing it in the same instance. The leader’s five compositions evince memorable melodies and impose just the right amount of organization to the band’s loose-jointed execution.
Black Friday/Record Store Day Exclusive. Limited to 2000 copies worldwide. Live At The Playboy Jazz Festival features the entire set that Dexter Gordon and his working band recorded at the Hollywood Bowl for the Playboy Jazz Festival in 1982, with guest vibes on two tracks by Milt Jackson. This Record Store Day Black Friday exclusive features two previously unreleased tracks (Bag's Groove & The Blues) and two tracks ("Fried Bananas" and "You've Changed") in their complete unedited form to round out the full set.
First, David Gates "first" album away from Bread, begins with that distinctive voice and sound his band made famous when he was at the controls. On the initial track of this 1973 release, "Sailing Around the World," he sings "wish that I could start again." The problem here is that Bread had a groove, and a quick comparison is in order: Despite David Bowie's fame after splitting from the Spiders From Mars, rock & roll fans never felt the same way about that artist.