Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Marty Ehrlich's Dark Woods Ensemble|
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Imaginative contemporary music that delights as it explores
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the glorious sounds of jazz is the clarinet- from Jimmy Noone to Tony Scott and beyond. The purist most beautiful sound may have been Artie Shaw but after that then what? It seems to me that the late John Carter helped liberate the clarinet so that its full potential and range of sound in context became part of its normal vocabulary, and his suite of five parts called "Roots and Folklore" will stand as one of the great works of 20th Century music. But Carter was not just a clarinet player - he was an educator and artistic leader. Marty Ehrlich has been associated with John Carter and I believe he is carrying on with a similar dedication to this great music, comparable to Carters. Like Dolphy Ehrlich doesn't seem to commit anything to disc unless it's fully formed and artistically excellent. The technical command of his instruments is formidable, but the realisation of his sound is also informed by the humanity of a great artist which goes beyond technique, and like Carter, ceates a music worthy of listening to over and over again. Marty Ehrlich is very much of NOW but he is also out of the tradition. Of whom? Of Duke Ellington in his love of colour(Duke's Blue Goose, and Sepia Panorama come to mind) in Duke's reed men who, like Hardwicke, Carney, Hodges, Bigard, were required to be multi-instrumentalists, and in Duke's continual search for something new. I'm also reminded of Chico Hamilton's great units of the fifties with their experiments with cello the reeds of Buddy Collette and Dolphy and the freedom of the groove set up by the leader. Ehrlich's DARK WOODS ENSEMBLE consists of reeds, cello and bass(but can sound like an orchestra eg, the climax of the brilliant THICKETS on CD2). Out of these three players be prepared for a tremendous variety of sounds and colours, cello plucked or strummed guitar-like or bowed, by Erik Frielander; the bass of Mark Elias harmonizing, bedding the rhythm down, plangent and full, bowed or plucked or its body used as a hand drum. Finally, the clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, and wooden flutes of Ehrlich snaking their magic through the THICKET(brilliant) or DANCE-ing over the strings, or bursting from the strings into FLIGHT(all titles). Julius Hemphill's THE PAINTER is a particular highlihght, though most compositions are by Ehrlich. The music on 2CD's was recorded in concert in Switzerland and Holland in 1996. The recording quality does justice to the music. To my ear, Ehrlich is one of the most important voices in contemporary music regardless of category,whose work repays careful and repeated listenings. There are no licks or musical cliches which is not to say he is not exciting, merely that the excitement is not raw as of the gut(which is not to say there is not the hint of the blues in his music) but more of the spirit and the mind. I love this music. It speaks to me. A recommended purchase."