Music of Hall Overton & Lester Trimble
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL298     Release Date: 2010-10-15
The Ensemble: Romuald Teco, violin; Eric Wilson, cello; Donald Palma, bass; Ransom Wilson, flute; Allen Blustine, clarinet; Charles Nussbaum, bassoon; James Stubbs, trumpet; David Jolley, horn; Garrett List, trombone; Gordon Gottlieb, percussion; Elizabeth Kane, harp; Max Lifchitz, piano; Richard Frisch, baritone; Dennis Russell Davies, Conductor

Pulsations is the last in Hall Overton's considerable catalogue and is probably the work that most perfectly fuses his own equal and opposite musical loves, concert music and jazz. In his words, it “explores various aspects of rhythm. Instead of avoiding the pulse, my intention was to write music based largely on a strong, steady beat.” This is not, however, the primitive pulse of the typical jazz hand, but ranges from “straight-ahead propulsion, lag-beat, silent beat, free time and 'doubling.'” The moderately knowing listener will recognize characteristic jazz figures, along with others that are subtler, more deeply imbedded in the musical texture, and also more personal to Overton. In addition to its specific jazz references, Pulsations sometimes achieves a strange and dreamlike atmosphere that seems to represent theunworldlyaspectsofthejazzscene.

The work is dedicated to Thelonious Monk, the eminent jazz pianist, who is one of the many jazz people Overton worked closely with. It was commissioned by The Ensemble of NewYork.

In Praise Of Diplomacy And Common Sense has been described as "a sonic happening"; "a hallucinatory montage"; "an ironic sequence." It has been compared to sections of James Joyce's Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake. To evoke such observations, In Praise Of Diplomacy And Common Sense  would seem to be a new and unusual kind of theatre—one might call it "spatial, sonic theatre"— which seeks, through techniques of musical and verbal overlayering and interpenetration, to evoke the realities of a dramatic event and, simultaneously, to make a philosophical comment upon them.

Lester Trimble writes:

“The libretto is a montage of news items culled mostly over an eight-day period from the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time magazine, and Life magazine. It presents the simultaneous spectacles of a bloody uprising in the Congo, the release of the Warren Report on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, violent anti- American demonstrations in Egypt, a threatening contretemps between the U.S.A. and the Soviet Union in the United Nations, and other examples of human cruelty and intransigence displaying an apparent absence of true diplomacy or common sense from the national and international arena.

This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available as a burn-on-demand CD (CD-R) or download in MP3/320, FLAC or WAV formats. CD-Rs come in a protective sleeve; no print booklet or jewel case included. Full liner notes are accessible via the link above.

The Ensemble

Music of Hall Overton & Lester Trimble

MP3/320 $7.99
FLAC $7.99
WAV $7.99
CD-R $7.99
CD-Rs come in a protective sleeve; no print material or jewel case included.
A *.pdf of the notes may be accessed here free of charge.
   Liner Notes

Track Listing

Hall Overton
In Praise of Diplomacy and Common Sense
Lester Trimble