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Third Eye Orchestra by Hans Tammen

Third Eye Orchestra is the brainchild of New York composer Hans Tammen. The thirteen-piece ensemble consists of some of the Big Apple's most notable modern improvisers, each capable of delivering on-demand virtuosity. Recorded live in 2006, the disc consists of two lengthy suites: "Antecedent" and "Consequent." The performances are all slightly pre-conceived, lightly structured provocations, enticing group oriented spontaneity from each musician.

Dark, sometimes brooding ensemble passages mix and mingle with extended solo cadenzas, creating layers of intensity, at times unsettling and frantic. Tammen's compositional arsenal includes simple vamp figures ("Opening," "Coup D'Archet" and "Triadic Closure") and bombastic clusters ("Istres Control," "Intentionally Left Bank"). Each piece melds into the next, creating a continuous motion of ever-changing sonic coloring.

One of the disc highlights, and there are many, is the string section extravaganza on "Treadmill" featuring violin soloists Mark Feldman and Mari Kimura with violist Stephanie Griffin and cellist Marty Ehrlich. Other notable solos come from alto saxophonist Briggan Krauss on the rocked-out "Death Clock," trombonist Detlef Landeck on "Mdina Experience" and fretless bassist Stomu Takeishi rendering a distorted tirade at the end of "Intentionally Left Bank."

Full of spontaneity and unconventional risk-taking, Third Eye Orchestra is a captivating ride, winding through improvised peaks and valleys.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Hans Tammen
  • CD Title: Third Eye Orchestra
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Innova Recordings
  • Rating: Five Stars
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