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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Maya Homburger - plays J.S. Bach and Barry Guy (Maya, 2008) *****

I grew up with Bach (dad) and Louis Armstrong (mom). Classical music and jazz, and especially free jazz, are more related than some people would want to accept. Often the string players or string ensembles are the first to agree with this, for obvious reasons. Especially violinists and cellists. Once in while a pianist too, but it's often an either/or situation. Jarrett played both, so did Wynton Marsalis on trumpet, but neither of them integrated jazz and classical, they kept their output as separate releases. But that's not what I mean. Classical music, and especially baroque music and free jazz are really close relations : the music has an unadultered purity, a directness combined with instrumental virtuosity, musical wealth (anything goes), and emotional strength. The only difference that the first is fully composed and the other fully improvised (and even one and the other are not entirely true). "Bang On A Can" already moved in that direction, but what Maya Homburger does here, is really strong. Yes, she plays Bach, but how, reverent, but different than the original, without hesitating to slow down the process, to bring a really idiosyncratic performance. She starts with Bach violin sonatas, then moves into the lengthy middle part, Barry Guy's Aglais, then ends with Bach's partitas for solo violin.

A risky endeavour. But the result is brilliant.

I know it's not jazz. Nevertheless, it's brilliant.


Anonymous said...

fantastic record, right. Stefan, here is a link to le son du grisli...