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Jazz Pictures at an Exhibition of Himalayan Art
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An ambitious and beautiful jazz suite composed in nine parts is an artistic tour de force inspired by nine pieces of Himalayan art, and the composer's love for the people of Central Asia.
"Byars' playing is buoyantly lyrical, rendered with keen precision and verve." -- JazzTimes
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Top customer reviews
1. The Better To See You 7:35
Nice swingin' groove that opens this album. I especially like Chris' sax and John's trombone harmonizing with the basic melody before they take off on their own. They also play off each other's improvisations like they have played with each other for many years, which they have.
2. Tonpa Shenrab 10:50
This tune starts off slow with a dark haunting melody that reminds me of a snake dance before it shifts to a swingin' beat. Even with the upbeat tempo the mood is maintained of the opening melody.
3. Blues Under The Boddhi Tree 5:27
This blues tune opens with a bowed bass setting the mood for the piece, against the signature sax and trombone harmonies. Some of Chris' solos reminded me a bit of my old-time favorite Zoot Sims.
4. Buddha Shakyamuni 9:20
A sultry opening to this tune. The music invites the listener in for surprises to come. The three instrument harmony is enticing and I'm not sure the third instrument is an oboe or English horn...I'm not an expert but loved the trio's message. It is a delightful piece with very pleasant solos.
5. Arhat 7:03
One of my favorites, this one opens with a drivin' beat and again a wonderful duo between Chris and John. Stefan's drum beats keep this piece moving.
6. Chakrasamvara 8:38
Slow and contemplative, this tune opens with bells and drum rolls presenting a ceremonial affair. What impressed me most was the way the mood created a dawn to sunset environment...a passage of time.
7. Rahula 5:54
This tune has an upbeat traditional rhythm with strong harmonies and duets by Chris and John playing with and against each other.
8. Just Ask 4:46
This may the strongest melody on the album although I liked all the tunes. It evokes a sense of forest creatures coming out from their safe havens to become a community...a feeling of new-born lives intertwining. Chris switches effortlessly between his sax and flute beautiful solos.
9. Whispered Tradition 6:55
A spirited, solid and drivin' jazz beat closer that reinforces the bond between sax and bone. They feeling each other's places and spaces to make great jazz.
Ari's strong bass rhythms are present throughout all these tunes and well as guest James's oboe and English horn.
In closing, I find these original jazz melodies and arrangements against the backdrop of Himalayan art intriguing and quite satisfying.