Paul Motian: Garden of Eden (2006)

Paul Motian: drums
Chris Cheek: tenor saxophone, alto saxophone
Tony Malaby: tenor saxophone
Jakob Bro, Steve Cardenas, Ben Monder: guitar
Jerome Harris: bass

All compositions by Paul Motian except as indicated

1. Pithecanthropus Erectus (Charles Mingus) (7:06)
2. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (Mingus) (4:56)
3. Etude (5:21)
4. Mesmer (4:39)
5. Mumbo Jumbo (3:34)
6. Desert Dream (Chris Cheek) (3:18)
7. Balata (Steve Cardenas) (3:39)
8. Bill (Jerome Kern) (3:04)
9. Endless (3:30)
10. Prelude 2 Narcissus (3:05)
11. Garden of Eden (4:09)
12. Manhattan Melodrama (4:43)
13. Evidence (Thelonious Monk) (3:31)
14. Cheryl (Charlie Parker) (2:00)

Arvo Pärt: Stabat Mater and other (mostly) vocal works

Choral master Paul Hillier knows the music of Arvo Pärt as well as anyone, having been there for the composer’s early ECM recordings, written one of the few books on him and, lately, led a series of excellent Pärt surveys for Harmonia Mundi. Here, Hillier offers an intimate collection of vocal and instrumental chamber pieces that range across the Estonian’s career, anchored by the Stabat Mater of 1985 — a contemporary classic that stands with the greatest works devoted to the “grieving mother” from Josquin to Poulenc. This performance of the Stabat Mater is beautiful sung and ideally recorded. “My Heart Is in the Highlands” — a setting of the Robert Burns ballad for solo high voice and organ — is one of Pärt’s most perfect creations; sung here by soprano Else Torp (Hillier’s wife), it will crush a sensitive soul. Another standout is “Ein Wallfahrtslied” (A Pilgrim’s Song), which has a dark edge rare for latter-day Pärt; as a string quartet lays down a snaking, chromatic path, tenor and baritone intone the psalm like specters, lonely but ever-determined.

–- Bradley Bambarger, Listen Magazine

(Arvo Part)

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi: Septem verba a Christo

…Until very recently, scholars have been unable to decide whether Pergolesi’s cycle of Good Friday cantatas, based upon Christ’s words on the cross, really was by Pergolesi at all. On the basis of the latest research, René Jacobs has no doubts about its authenticity, and considers the oratorio was probably written between 1730 and the composer’s death six years later at the age of just 26. Each of its seven cantatas contains two arias, one (usually for the bass, but in one case for the tenor) sung by Christ himself, the other (for soprano, counter-tenor or tenor) by Anima, the faithful soul who listens to his words. Structurally and tonally, they create an arch form, but what’s most striking about the whole work is the boldness of the scoring. With the strings and continuo reinforced by two trumpets, a solo horn that shadows Christ’s words and a harp, as well as an obbligato viola in the central fourth cantata, the music is both constantly surprising and often profoundly eloquent; Jacobs’s soloists, as well as the instrumentalists of the Berlin orchestra, project that sense of devotional wonder without a trace of self-conscious piety…


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McCoy Tyner & Bobby Hutcherson: Manhattan Moods (1993)

In Memoriam: McCoy Tyner (1938 – 2020)

McCoy Tyner: piano
Bobby Hutcherson: vibraphone

1. Manhattan Moods (Tyner) (8:38)
2. Blue Monk (Monk) (7:56)
3. Dearly Beloved (Kern, Mercer) (6:47)
4. I Loves You, Porgy (Gershwin, Gershwin, Heyward) (3:47)
5. Isn’t This My Sound Around Me (Hutcherson) (6:52)
6. Soul Eyes (Waldron) (5:58)
7. Travelin’ Blues (Tyner)(4:47)
8. Rosie (Hutcherson) (5:51)
9. For Heaven’s Sake (Elise Bretton, Sherman Edwards, Donald Meyer) (6:41)

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