Peter Herbert

B-A-C-H: A Chromatic Universe

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There is a striking balance achieved in this unusual Johann Sebastian Bach-inspired set of original compositions performed by a quintet organized by leader and bassist Peter Herbert. There are also a number of enigmas to this intriguing recording that draw the listener's attention. While four of the shorter feature pieces use the letters of Bach's name as a four-note "motive" (Bb/A/C/B), elsewhere the connection to the great classical composer is a tad nebulous. The influence of trumpeter Franz Koglmann, artistic director for the label, is more pervasive. The choice of Marc Copland on piano and particularly Ingrid Jensen on trumpet and flugelhorn for a fairly free style meeting might seem strange, but they both acquit themselves splendidly. In fact, Jensen is so impressive and convincing that this is one of her best sessions to date. As for the music, it is strikingly original: soft, and chamber-like; and it winds, curves, and peers about with a graceful elegance that belies its improvisational input.

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