Michael Lowenstern | Ten Children

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Jazz: Jazz Fusion Classical: New Age Moods: Instrumental
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Ten Children

by Michael Lowenstern

"Transparent Technology"-driven Jazz, from the former clarinetist of the Klezmatics. Solo bass clarinet with home-brewed looping software, inspired by Chick Corea's "Children's Songs."
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Fusion
Release Date: 

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11. Sha
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Like Chick Corea's now classic "Children's Songs" for solo piano, world-renowned classical and jazz bass clarinetist Michael Lowenstern has created a masterpiece for bass clarinet and his self-described "transparent technology." Whatever this technology is, it's simply gorgeous in the title track, "Ten Children," creating textures of lush bass clarinet sounds, complimented by Lowenstern on "body percussion" and the occasional synthesized sound. The mood is at once child-friendly - as indicated by the title of the disc - but also deeply thoughtful, as at home in the foreground as it is something to meditate by.

Clearly inspired by the Corea disc, Lowenstern wrote these pieces for his own daughter, re-examining the way he writes, improvises and uses technology to condense and simplify his own work. (His previous release, "1985, " incidentally, was a technological tour-de-force). The result: in "Ten Children" the synthesized sounds, spoken word and sound-bytes have taken a vacation, allowing his bass clarinet to open up and take the whole stage.

Also on this disc is "Sha," a jazz-klezmer study in bass clarinet loops, drum loops and funky Middle-eastern rhythms. "Sha," loosely translated from the Yiddish, means "Hush." "It was written during the first year of fatherhood for me," Lowenstern writes in his notes, "but despite the title, it marks my discovery of the balance between music and family." An ambient, Yiddish funk fest.

So, if you've never heard Michael Lowenstern, and especially if you've never heard the bass clarinet, you owe it to yourself to check out this fine disc. "Ten Children," as he puts it on his website, is "for adults from 1-101," and is a musical gem.


Reviews


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From the clarinetist of the Klezmatics, comes an exciting, mind-bending electro-acoustic album of visionary, daring, compelling pieces in what he calls, "Transparent Technology-driven Jazz." Propelled without genre boundaries and yet reaching into electronics, classical, jazz and vocal pop, this is truly an album that establishes a new ground for the instrument. From plaintive, long, lyrical lines that hang in space to driving, dazzling, flying fingers, this album takes you from laughter to excitement to pondering with integrity and creativity. Bravo!

Ron Wiltrout

Beautifully intruiging music that defies stylistic boundaries.
Amazing CD. This recording runs the gamut of music, moving from quietly beautiful to excitingly intricate without losing any of the feeling of wonder. Full of deep musical ideas and a virtuosity that is unmistakable Lowenstern has somehow managed to still make this music very accessible. Each new listen is a new and separate joy.

Jeff Satterley

Excellent, a new sound from Lowenstern
If you enjoy Chick Corea's Children Songs, then by all means get this album. Lowenstern steers clear of most of the synthetic sounds found on his other albums, and creates a beautiful, exciting and warm album. This album makes me believe that bass clarinet should be a standard instrument in any jazz band or combo.