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Avenging Angel

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 7, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Avenging Angel, a powerful, creative and rigorously uncompromising album, is the first unaccompanied solo disc in Craig Taborn's discography as well as the first ECM recording issued under his name. The album was recorded in the exceptional acoustic of the recital room at Lugano's Studio RSI, with Manfred Eicher producing.

The disc follows several distinguished `sideman' appearances for ECM, including three Roscoe Mitchell albums - Nine To Get Ready, Composition / Improvisation Nos. 1, 2 & 3 and the recent Far Side - as well as Michael Formanek's The Rub and Spare Change, Evan Parker's Boustrophedon and David Torn's Prezens. Taborn (born 1970) has been widely-valued for his resourcefulness as an improviser, in and out of the jazz tradition, since the early 1990s, when his work with saxophonist James Carter's groups drew the attention of musicians, press and listeners alike. His own groups have since explored a range of options, and he's also been at the forefront of experiments cross referencing jazz and electronics. In this regard his 2004 album Junk Magic (on the Thirsty Ear label), has been cited as a pioneering work, and Craig has repeatedly been voted #1 Rising Star Keyboardist in the DownBeat Critics Poll.

From the Artist

"If the areas of improvisation that I deal with are always `compositional' in a certain sense, in this case a very focussed compositional approach is applied, rather than allowing a broader exploration to yield a result. Throughout this recording I'm honing in on specific details. The music is really improvised: I just start. But having started, I try to relate everything that happens, like the motivic or rhythmic and textural detail, to the initial ideas as closely as I can. In terms of my own playing I try to have things emerge from the musical material itself. And a lot of that can depend on the instrument, too [in Lugano, a Steinway D]: the sound of the piano itself and what it is generating. I'm interested in the history of piano music, certainly, but I'm not hearing the instrument quite in those terms. I'm experiencing it also as a pure sound source, very aware of the tones and the overtones and how the instrument is ringing. This music is not about `transcending the piano' as much as it is about working with what is possible within it. "
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 7, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ECM Records
  • ASIN: B004SQAF70
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,849 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I have to admit, classical music is my specialty, not jazz. But when I heard this album for the first time, I immediately knew that I was hearing a genius at work. This album will not please everybody; I'll admit that. It has a very austere, somewhat angular air about it. But if you can appreciate the atmosphere and the mood that Taborn generates, you will have a blast listening to it. I personally find it hard to believe that this is improvised. It all seems planned: the music getting hard to listen to after the track "A difficult thing said simply," almost as a reaction, the wonderful moods generated, etc. I firmly believe that this album is a masterwork of the piano.
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Format: Audio CD
The lady at the CD-stand at the jazz-stage,(went there for another concert) recommended this one to me.. Taborn had been playing there lately and she was impressed.. So, putted it on while driving on my way home, listened again, left it in the car for a week, listening again and again. Then took it to my workshop..
Very good for cooling down, nightrides, relaxing with open ears, working on concentrated things.. It has this reference to classical music, evergreens and all pianopieces you have heard before, but it also goes into an interesting new direction, the way he personalises the sound and moves foreward and backward trough time and musical spheric space is very interesting and joyable. Sometimes goes deep into abstractions, just seems to follow his hands and letting intuition take over, then gently moves back into known rivers..
Next time he is around, I will go listen him live..very curious now.. !!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you've heard pianist Craig Taborn in a group, you know he's long on chops and imagination. Even so, you won't be prepared for this solo recording, which is mind-blowingly inventive and deeply satisfying. It's also beyond categorization. Jazz? Classical? Avant Garde? Outside? All of the above.
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