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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

John Lindberg - Ruminations Upon Ives And Gottschalk (Between The Lines, 2003) *****

In my search for musical beauty that fell between the cracks of the critics' network, I found this gem. John Lindberg is an exceptional bass player and composer, with a very broad musical scope, from classical music over jazz to avant-garde music. This CD is a tribute to two great American modern classical composers : Charles Ives and Louis Moreau Gottschalk, yet this music is far from classical, it is modern jazz : melodic, rhythmic and adventurous. Lindberg uses many influences, and at moments this sounds like world music, with Arabic and Asian influences. The line-up is limited : Susie Ibarra on percussion, Steve Gorn on clarinet, sax and bansuri, Baikida Carroll on trumpet, and of course Lindberg on bass. Often only a few of the musicians play together at the same time, creating a very spacious feeling, yet also one of proximity. This music is both spiritual, witty and funny, with tight compositions, contrapuntal melodies, rhythm changes and room for improvization. An album to listen to very often - you discover new angles and creative approaches with each listening. Beautiful. Wonderful.