Eric Leonardson

Radio Reverie in the Waiting Place

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Based in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, IL, Innocent Eyes & Lenses has put out some noteworthy jazz CDs. But Radio Reverie in the Waiting Place, although mostly instrumental, isn't jazz. Instead, Eric Leonardson specializes in abstract collages of sound. None of the tracks on Radio Reverie have an actual song structure, and some would argue that what Leonardson is doing isn't really music. But then, what is and isn't music is a matter of opinion. There was a time when some classical artists swore up and down that jazz wasn't music -- a laughable claim, to be sure, but those making that claim really believed what they were saying. And the same claim has been made about rock, funk, and hip-hop. At any rate, this is an interesting release even though it isn't for everyone. On Radio Reverie, Leonardson uses computer technology to bring together a variety of sounds. Analog synthesizers and samplers are part of his arsenal, and the sampled sounds include everything from water to talk radio. On "The March" and "The Vulture's Midwife," Leonardson uses a percussion instrument he calls a "springboard," which the Chicago resident created by attaching coil springs, rubber bands, and other items to a board. Again, something as left-of-center as this CD isn't for everyone. But those who do have a taste for the abstract will find a lot to admire about Radio Reverie in the Waiting Place.

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