Alister Spence and Satoko Fujii Orchestra Kobe – Imagine Meeting You Here
Australian jazz pianist and composer Alister Spence joined forces with Satoko Fujii Orchestra Kobe, a big band jazz ensemble, to give life to his newest vision: Imagine Meeting You Here. The album comprises five tracks, anywhere between compositions and improvisations. Jazz improvisation by an orchestra is something quite unusual. The greater the number of heads, the harder it is to guide them. So, it’s quite a feat that has been pulled off here! The improvisations don’t feel aimless, quite the contrary, and the musicians hop back on track in a moment’s notice for the powerful themes preconceived and given birth. Definitely one of the best of January.
Agamemnon Moustakas – Carriers of Misperception, Volume I
Released in June of 2018, this bad boy just recently hit the Bandcamp platform. This solo album from jazz pianist Agamemnon Moustakas is a statement to what contemporary music can achieve. The first track, “Self-Referential Interplay”, is a duet with oneself, by including two superposed solo recordings, and it’s perhaps the strongest one on record. All other compositions has a statement to make, and it makes it quite clearly and powerfully. The Volume I tag alludes to an upcoming Volume II, for which I can’t wait! But in the meantime, let yourself be soothed and challenged by Carriers of Misperception.
João MacDowell – The Seventh Seal (IBOC)
The Seventh Seal is a modern opera by Brazilian composer João MacDowell. Adapted from the Swedish movie by Ingmar Bergman Det sjunde inseglet, it is a two-act piece that clocks in—for this 2018 concert recording—at over two hours and a half. I’m not well-versed in contemporary opera music, but I think it’s a great composition filled with interesting and amazing parts. If an opera can be judged by its climax, then this one is great. Give it some time, and enjoy!