In for a penny, in for a pound

In for a penny, in for a pound

Music CD - 2015
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Henry Threadgill is widely considered among the most important artists in jazz. The New York Times called him 'one of the most thrillingly elusive composers in and around the jazz idiom.'
Publisher: [Brooklyn, New York] : Pi Recordings, [2015]
Copyright Date: ℗2015
Branch Call Number: CD R THREADG
Characteristics: 2 audio discs : digital, CD audio, stereo ; 4 3/4 in.
digital,optical,stereo
audio file,CD audio

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scribby
Aug 31, 2017

This is charmingly disorienting music. It’s jazz-fusion, certainly, but not jazz fused with rock or funk; it’s jazz fused with, …what…?. It’s modernist (or even serialist) classical chamber music. It’s improvised. It’s thoroughly carefully composed.

Each of the two CD’s feature one short piece followed by two longer ones. In all, notes scatter in a whimsical manner, seemingly without logic, and yet the notes all go together in the most logical of ways. In some sections, it’s difficult to distinguish who’s playing the melody and who’s playing the rhythm – or is there really a difference? The longer pieces consist of strings of shorter sections; careful listening reveals that some of these sections repeat with different instruments or in different meters or with different parts interposed. The titles sound “classical” in the manner of contemporary chamber music, stating the title and the instrumentation (for example, “Dosepic, for cello”) but these designations are only a general guideline. The eponymous instrument does more improvising than the others, and usually has one unaccompanied solo, but the others are present in the piece.

All in all, this is more Elliot Carter than Miles Davis. That is neither a positive nor negative statement; it merely indicates the style of the music. I could also describe it as a kaleidoscope of notes. I’ve had fun listening to it, but it may take several listens to comprehend it fully. Again, that's neither a positive nor negative statement; the music is captivating even as I’m waiting.

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