Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Olukayode Balogun | Leeds, England | 04/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"German-born composer, arranger and orchestrator Claus Ogerman first came to my attention via the stunning work he did with people like George Benson, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Frank Sinatra, Diana Krall and Oscar Peterson. I've always been a sucker for strings and I think the man is simply awesome. At the same time, to me, Michael Brecker is simply one of the best tenor saxophonists that ever lived.
When I came across this on Amazon a few years ago and saw that it not only featured both of the above named but also people like Marcus Miller, Eddie Gomez and Steve Gadd, I didn't even bother to listen to soundclips. I just ordered it.
The stuff on here is transcendent. The title track alone is like the soundtrack to a pleasant afternoon nap but it's when "Habanera" begins that one begins to realise the full richness of the musical tapestry on offer here. Gadd, with an assured backbeat, particularly shines on this one, as does Miller, as always.
Another standout track is "Nightwings" and Warren Bernhardt performs a stunning solo on the keys.
"In The Presence And Absence of Each Other (Part 1)" is another favourite with an easy-to-hum-along-to refrain, with great drum patterns from Gadd and cool bass lines from Miller. Guitarist Buzz Feiten (who my good buddy André has just been telling me to watch out for) plays on the track but he doesn't get a solo and you have to really listen out to hear him, which is a bit of a shame. I also couldn't find any details of the orchestration personnel on the inner-sleeve notes, which I found slightly disappointing.
Gutarist John Tropea and percussionist Paulinho Da Costa also play on the album.
All compositions are by Ogerman and are the relaxing kind of fare that's ideal for soothing nerves that might be frayed by the stresses of everyday modern living. The album is produced by the legendary Tommy LiPuma and recorded by Al Schmitt. It's a sonic and musical delight and Brecker is incredibly expressive here. Sax and strings don't tend to work together very well as a rule but these two make it work. If you ever wanted to hear a saxophone weep (with both sadness and joy), check this one out. I think any Michael Brecker fan will appreciate this but they must be also big fan of orchestration, I think.
But if you do like it, or already own it, you may want to also consider Vince Mendoza's 1997 CD Epiphany, which features John Abercrombie, Michael Brecker, Peter Erskine, Marc Johnson, Joe Lovano, John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler and the London Symphony Orchestra. It has a very similar vibe, though slightly more exuberant in places, and although not many people have reviewed it here on Amazon (I haven't reviewed it myself either), it's one of my favourite albums ever. Go figure."
Shrik Pattni | Perth, Australia | 10/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hearing a truly gifted musician at their pinnacle is almost a spiritual experiance. This album, and particularly the track 'In the presence and absence of each other Part 1' defines the epitomy of musical acheivment in my eyes.
Brecker's reputation as the premier saxophonist of his time was forged on this album. Although I could go on for paragraphs justifying this statement, I'll let the music speak for itself. Lifting with emotion, montaged with endless creativity, and raising the bar on technique this album is clearly the work of two exceptional artists at their mesmerising best.
I have no more words, for I am still after years in awe of this beautiful, moving creation....."
Nos Netrom | D/FW, TX United States | 09/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Jazziz review posted for this album must have been phoned in... From what I have read, Clause Ogerman initiated this album project as a concerto for jazz tenor sax & orchestra; capitalizing on any commercial trend had noting to do with it.This album is SO beautiful. The writing and arranging is so great--I wish that this was what the 21st Century symphony orchestra was about. Brecker plays so passionately; I've heard a couple of other things he's done with orchestra, and this is by far the best of the bunch.Listen to this with someone you love... as long as they're hip enough. "