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KEITH TIPPETT ~ THE MONK WATCHES THE EAGLE
DISCUS 102 (Barcode: 5051078984025) ~ UK ~ Avant-Garde Jazz-Classical Fusion

Recorded: 2004 Released: 2020

This is a sensational archive album by British Jazz pianist / composer Keith TippettFind albums by this artist, which presents a live recording of his composition for large choir, solo voice and a two saxophone quartets, with lyrics by Julie TippettsFind albums by this artist. The work was commissioned for the 2004 edition of the Norwich and Norfolk Festival and was premiered that year at the Norwich Cathedral where it was also recorded for broadcast by the BBC. Tippett conducted the performance, which included Julie Tippetts on solo vocals, the BBC SingersFind albums by this artist choir, an improvising saxophone quartet comprising of Paul DunmallFind albums by this artist, Kevin FigesFind albums by this artist, Ben WaghornFind albums by this artist and Chris BiscoeFind albums by this artist, and also the Apollo Saxophone QuartetFind albums by this artist.

The music is every bit as innovative, far-reaching and groundbreaking as the rest of Tippett´s musical legacy and this posthumous release expands even further the scope of his musical vision, which encompassed enormous variety of works between solo piano music to extremely large ensembles like CentipedeFind albums by this artist or smaller ensembles like ArkFind albums by this artist, and stylistically spanning various Avant-Garde sub-genres between Improvised Music, via Free Jazz to contemporary Classical Music, rubbing shoulders with Progressive Jazz and Art Pop.

Most of the body of this work is performed by the choir, which often sounds like an instrument rather than a choir, resembling choral works of 20th Century Classical composers like Henryk GoreckiFind albums by this artist, György LigetiFind albums by this artist and Krzysztof PendereckiFind albums by this artist to mention just the most audacious ones. When accompanied by the saxophone quartets, one supporting the music harmoniously and the other spicing the proceeding with intensive improvisations, the music offers several climaxes, which mark the transitions between the consecutive sections of the entire composition.

It is not surprising to see Julie Tippetts taking a major part in this project, like she did in so many of his endeavors over the years. Her vocal performances are the focal point of this music and her improvised soloing should remind everybody of her incredible abilities from the first moment she arrived on the music scene as a Pop star and throughout her transformation as a highly idiosyncratic Avant-Gardist. The presence of Dunmall and Biscoe, two of the British Jazz most significant veteran saxophonists, adds additional quality to the rich tapestry of sounds and aural stimuli.

Overall this album is an absolutely essential piece of the puzzle, which Tippett managed to create during his lifetime, and perhaps even one of the most inspired of his works. As usual Martin ArcherFind albums by this artist and his DiscusFind albums on this label label manage to bring an essential piece of the British Culture back to life, saving it from the imprisonment in the darkness of the BBC vaults (God bless them for recording the music), with a lot of help from Julie. This album is an absolutely essential piece of music in any serious music collection!
Updated: 13/11/2020Posted: 13/11/2020CD 1 Mini-Sleeve Essential Recommend To A Friend

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