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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Eighth BlackbirdFilament ... LP
Cedille, 2016. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Fantastic work from this groundbreaking ensemble – one who've brought ideas of larger composition to a much more grass-roots space with material like this! "Doublespeak" is a beautiful piece by Nico Muhly of the group – this blend of minimal piano and violin with more freewheeling woodwinds – building, soaring, and cascading in a flurry of colors that are breathtaking. The group then take on "Two Pages" by Philip Glass – echoing the first performance, but with more minimalist restrictions. The sound then completely shifts on the set of short, beautiful "Murder Ballades" penned by Bryce Dresser – each of them a short portrait in music – and the larger work is bracketed by two shorter pieces by Son Lux, "This Is My Line" and "To Love". LP, Vinyl record album

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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ ReichSteve Reich – Third Coast Percussion Ensemble ... CD
Cedille, 2016. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A tremendous reading of the music of Steve Reich – served up in a set of minimalist compositions with a very percussive vibe – and a record of quality that may well match Reich's classic recordings of Drumming or Six Marimbas! Chicago's Third Coast Percussion Ensemble are tremendous here – taking on Reich's music, which can be surprisingly difficult, despite the repetition of notes – and finding ways to unlock all those kind of special, secret sounds that Steve envisioned when his music was in the hands of the right players. The set begins with a stunning "Mallet Quartet", which has sublime sounds in marimbas and vibes – and the marimbas return on "Nagoya Marimbas", a duet recording with amazing flows between the two instruments. "Music For Pieces Of Wood" is maybe the most difficult here – and the most captivating – as the different timings of the wood blocks being struck creates music that's both hypnotic and organic. The set also includes a long four-part reading of "Sextet" – with two added pianos to the mostly percussion lineup. CD

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