Anthony Coleman

Pushy Blueness

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Anthony Coleman's Pushy Blueness was released in 2006 on John Zorn's Tzadik label, and should endure as a well-balanced sampling of his creative output during that period. "Township Jive," which could actually come in handy during rush hour traffic, is a rhythmic duet by Doug Wieselman (clarinets and electric guitar) and percussionist Jim Pugliese. "Set Into Motion" is performed by the Tilt Brass Band under the direction of Greg Evans. The group, which sounds like a sort of non-Euclidian marching band, consisted of three trumpets, three trombones (one of them a bass clef model); two French horns, one tuba, and percussion instruments driven by Kevin Norton, a long-established participant in New York's modern creative music environment. "The Hidden Agenda" is played solo by pianist Joseph Kubera as was Coleman's "East Orange" on the 2007 New World Records release Lapidation. Some may hear within "The Hidden Agenda" the influence of Darius Milhaud. The nearly 16-minute "Pushy Blueness" for chamber ensemble is constructed along peculiarly halting lines, and moves in starts and stops, as is often the case when silence is a structural element. The image reproduced on the album cover is a detail from Barnett Newman's Onement VI, a large canvas painted in 1953. For Coleman the composer and Zorn the executive producer, this choice was keenly astute and fully appropriate. Newman's statement about his own works certainly applies to the pieces heard on this album: "They are specific and separate embodiments of feeling, to be experienced, each picture for itself."

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