The many years Martin Stadtfeld devoted to studying the music of Johann Sebastian Bach are now also bearing compositional fruit. On his new CD he presents his own arrangements and works, which are closely linked with Bach’s musical cosmos.
Nonesuch Records releases The Art of Instrumentation: Homage to Glenn Gould, by violinist Gidon Kremer and his Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra, on September 25, 2012, which would have been Gould’s 80th birthday. The album comprises 11 pieces and arrangements by contemporary composers that quote from or are inspired by works, mostly by Bach, that Gould famously recorded during his career; two Arnold Schoenberg pieces also are drawn upon in one piece.
Although Dave Grusin is best known as a soundtrack composer and for his jazz-pop recordings, he has always had a great admiration for jazz. This CD (released in a fairly deluxe package) gave Grusin an opportunity to pay tribute to Duke Ellington. He performs ten mostly familiar songs associated with Ellington and wisely features fluegelhornist Clark Terry on five of the selections. Other prominent soloists include tenor saxophonist Pete Christlieb, trombonist George Bohanon, tenor saxophonist Tom Scott (returning to his roots), clarinetist Eddie Daniels (on an orchestrated version of "Mood Indigo"), and pianist Grusin himself. This is a respectful and well-conceived tribute.
This tribute to bop icon Charlie Parker is not a program of his famous tunes but a representation of his spirit that still exists. Through means of improvised music with a variety of significant signposts, George Lewis offers two 18-minute texture pieces that display a haunting quality by combining natural elements and electronically generated waves of sound, passion, and a little fury. Moog synthesizer programmer Richard Teitelbaum provides the landscape, pianist Anthony Davis the skyscapes, and Douglas Ewart on alto sax and bass clarinet provides the Bird-like characteristics. Lewis, on trombone and electronics, directs the ensemble from within this quiet storm's eye…