Marty Ehrlich, tenor saxophone, clarinet; Doug Wieselman, clarinet, bass clarinet, E-flat clarinet; Ned Rothenberg, clarinet, bass clarinet; Dan Barrett, cello; Gareth Flowers, trumpet; Christopher McIntyre, Jacob Garchik, trombone; Steven Gosling, Joseph Kubera, piano; Cornelius Dufallo, violin; Dan Barrett, cello; Marco Cappelli, guitar, electric guitar, mandolin; Ken Filiano, Sean Conly, bass; Ted Reichman, accordion; Jim Pugliese, Kevin Norton, percussion; Retake Iowa: Christopher McDonald, piano; Ashley Paul, Chris Veilleux, alto saxophones; Dana Jessen, bassoon; Jameson Swanagon, electric guitar; Cory Pesaturo, accordion; Matt Plummer, trombone; Eli Keszler, drums; Ben Davis, bass; Anthony Coleman, electric organ, conductor
The music of Anthony Coleman (b 1955) draws from so many varied, disparate, and even contradictory sources, yet still emerges with a distinctly singular and consistent voice. Listening to any of the five works on this CD－Lapidation (2002), East Orange (2007), I Diet on Cod (2007), Mise en Abîme (1997), The King of Kabay (1988)－is to enter into a particular world, highly specific in material but nearly hallucinatory in formal development. The music starts, becomes linear, suspends, goes vertical, goes backward, goes forward, produces vague memories, and ends.
This recording is a compelling portrait of one of the most original, literate, and versatile musicians working today. As one might imagine would be the case with a composer who has spent many years working in many improvising bands as both a leader and side person, there is a strong element of collaboration in Coleman's music. Several musicians on this recording (most notably Doug Wieselman, Marty Ehrlich, Jim Pugliese, and Joseph Kubera) have worked with him for several decades and the individual "sounds" of each of these outstanding musicians have contributed to his palette and voice. This is, in many ways, very similar to the way Ellington (a primary influence) worked with and was shaped by members of his band.
In looking at the scores of Coleman's music (all of which are clearly and fully notated) one can hear the transformation on the recording of the written music into the living sound. The effect of the individual musicians who play his music is palpable and an essential part of each of these compositions.