'... JSB himself would be bewitched and bewildered by what has emerged, even after being introduced to the wonders of electricity.'
A bizarre pilgrimage -
with BASIL RAMSEY
This venture challenges all who revere Bach, and probably many who do
not. Uri Caine, a fine American jazz pianist, also reveres Bach [listen -- CD 1 track 1, 0:00-0:55]. It is his confrontation
with the Goldberg Variations that provides a battlefield, on which I can
imagine musicians fighting to the death. To give the full title of this
new collection: 'Aria and 70 Variations for various ensembles adapted,
arranged and composed by Uri Caine after Johann Sebastian Bach'. I
also notice that this album is a co-production with Westdeutsche Rundfunk,
so there's a sizeable German investment in the project.
Caine sees beyond the Goldberg to the excitement of paying homage by
basing his variations on the original 32 bar structure, swerving between
extremes of both imagination and deliberate nonsense, all captured by today's
smart recording tricks. After much hesitation, I now feel pretty strongly
that JSB himself would be bewitched and bewildered by what has emerged,
even after being introduced to the wonders of electricity. I think an additional
safeguard for the great man would be explanation of a modern breed of musician-cum-composer-cum-performer,
a century of jazz, and the way in which the entire gamut of musical experience
down the centuries now intermingles, thereby giving birth to unusual hybrids
[listen -- CD 1, track 30, 1:01 -- track 31, 0:32].
Copyright © 17 December 2000
Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK
CD INFORMATION - WINTER&WINTER 910 054-2
PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM AMAZON
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