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Sunday, July 1, 2007

Quick reviews

Ras Moshe - Transcendence (KMB Jazz, 2007) ***

Ras Moshe is a New York free jazz saxophonist. He had already released some albums on the Utech label of doubtful sound quality. This release is much better recorded and offers the quality the music deserves. With Dave Ross on guitar, Shayna Dulberger on bass and veteran Rashid Bakr on drums. Moshe is a powerful sax player, the music itself belongs to the post-bop and free-bop subgenres. Intense pieces alternate with softer ones.

Scott Fields Ensemble - Beckett (Clean Feed, 2007) ***

One more ode to the Irish absurdist playwright Samuel Beckett, with Scott Fields on guitar, John Hollenbeck on drums, Scott Roller on cello, Matthias Schubert on tenor sax. The CD offers an interesting musical expression of Beckett's theater, with instruments communicating along different lines, with lots of open space, not always an obvious sense of direction, lots of creatieve angles. The album requires quite some effort from the listener because newly introduced melodies suddenly stop or are replaced by new ones. At moments sad ("Come and Go"), or chaotic ("What Where"), or even funny ("Rockabye"), this album is more than worth listening to.