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The Music of Elliott Carter, Volume 5 (1994-2002) by Elliott Carter

More music for tres moderne jazz people who think they don’t/won’t dig "classical" music: Elliott Carter (b. 1908) is a giant of American notated music, carrying on and further-out the tradition of the very American composer Aaron Copeland (himself influenced by jazz and Spike Lee’s choice for music for his film He Got Game). Carter’s music is sweetly atonal, genteelly spiky, expansive and possessed by some out the refined pugnacious qualities of Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton and Wadada Leo Smith (himself a composer of some very fine chamber "classical" works). For instance: play the solo bass clarinet piece "Steep Steps" for a fan of Braxton or Ned Rothenberg and see if they say it’s like who you think they’ll say it is, or something. True, "Oboe Quartet" is very baroque-sounding - but EC uses the baroque structure and syntax against itself, making for some passionate but restrained darting passages that swell with poignant emotion like a stripped-down version of Ornette Coleman’s harmolodic symphonic Skies of America. No, you’ll not hear any "swing" here - yet while swing is the Thing, it’s not the only thing, and if you’re tuned-in/turned-on to the notated/through-composed works of Braxton, W.L. Smith, Anthony Davis, Gunther Schuller and John Zorn, you owe it to yourself to hear Mr. Carter.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Elliott Carter
  • CD Title: The Music of Elliott Carter, Volume 5 (1994-2002)
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Bridge Records
  • Musicians: Fred Sherry: cello; Virgil Blackwell: bass clarinet; Charles Rosen: piano; Speculum Musicae; others.
  • Rating: Three Stars
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