Max Richter has written a new landmark recording: SLEEP is 8 hours long – the equivalent of a night’s rest – and is actually and genuinely intended to send the listener to sleep. "It’s an eight-hour lullaby," says Max. The ground-breaking new work is scored for piano, strings, electronics and vocals – but no words. "It’s my personal lullaby for a frenetic world," he says. "A manifesto for a slower pace of existence."
The historic meeting of two truly influential and individual composers, arrangers, and instrumentalists on The Long March. The album appeared in 1979 on Swiss label Hat Hut. This date pairs Max Roach and Archie Shepp playing both solo and as a duo for one night in 1979 at the Willisau Jazz Festival. Roach's truly astonishing solo "J.C. Moses" is a tribute to Detroit jazz great J.C. Heard. The kinds of rimshots, trap stops and starts, and continuous rolling thunder take the breath away and make the listener wonder if this is really only one drummer. Next up is Shepp's solo tenor reading of Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady," where he coaxes all the ballad's idiosyncrasies and fluidly combines them with his new jazz flourishes, without once disrespecting the integrity of the original.
Max Emanuel Cencic accurately describes himself as a mezzo-soprano rather than a counter tenor. His tone, while pure, is colorfully nuanced, nothing like the blanched purity that was once (but is thankfully no longer) stereotypical of counter tenors. A lifetime of singing the most advanced repertoire has given him a confident technique, exceptionally sure intonation, astonishing vocal power, and an effortless-sounding flexibility; at the age of six he sang the Queen of the Night's "Der Hölle Rache on Zagreb" television, and he went on to become a soloist with the Vienna Boys' Choir. On this album he tackles some of Handel's most virtuosic and demanding mezzo arias, most of them relatively unfamiliar. /quote]
I’ve long overlooked Pepper’s later work, there is so much good stuff in his prime, but when I stumbled on this lovely three box set recorded in 1977, and with one of my recent favourite bassists, George Mraz, and Mr Elvin Jones on drums, a second opinion was long overdue. Recorded over three nights before a relaxed appreciative audience (no jackass stomping hooting or whistling, – apologies to those who welcome the more demonstrative audience ) this live set automatically has you turning the lights down low and joining the audience, a decanter positioned strategically within arms reach.