I was refreshingly suprised the first time I heard this album. I had been bored with most of my music collection when I stumbled upon this "nugget of pure gold". What's even more exciting is when you find out more about the man himself. Gil Melle is a true original, still going strong. His art will surely last the test of time. I write this based on my somewhat worn vinyl copy of "Primitive Modern". I found it in a thrift store for 50 cents and have thanked the powers that be every day that I had such luck. As the quote above indicates, Gil Melle and his outfit were serious about rhythm and doing interesting things with rhythm. Listen, for instance, to "Ironworks."
Baritonist Gil Melle's recordings are usually a bit unusual and this CD reissue is no exception. Melle's nine compositions are performed by one of three sextet/septets featuring either Art Farmer, Kenny Dorham or Donald Byrd on trumpets, Hal McKusick or Phil Woods on alto, guitarist Joe Cinderella, bassist Vinnie Burke, drummer Ed Thigpen and sometimes either Julius Watkins on French horn or Don Butterfield on tuba. The charts are unpredictable and often dramatic, looking ahead toward a musical future that never occurred. Watkins takes solo honors during his three appearances.
To mark the 500th anniversary of the birth of Tallis, here are his biggest and best church compositions, performed in its customary high style by the Oxford Camerata under Jeremy Summerly (whose Fauré Requiem remains one of Naxos's all-time bestsellers). Tallis's youthful motet Salve intemerata is among the longest single-movement works of the 16th century, but it is Spem in alium, a work of Tallis's maturity, that overshadows any other English piece of the period, including those of his great contemporary, William Byrd. Scored for 40 independent voices, it is symphonic in proportion and resplendent in this surround-sound version.
After his immigration to the west in 1991, Giya Kancheli abandoned the expansive, symphonic approach he had cultivated during his years in Georgia, and opted instead to compose music for smaller, more manageable ensembles. The works on this ECM New Series disc reflect Kancheli's changed course and his simplified, if still wide-ranging, palette. Diplipito is a cryptic term, coined by poet Joseph Brodsky to mean "my work of silence, my mute creation," and Kancheli uses it to suggest a neutral state between expression and meaninglessness, implied in the singer's indistinguishable words and the cello's vaguely articulated lines.