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Tilbury/Duch/Davies - Cornelius Cardew- works 1970- 60 [+3DB Records - 2010]

This new collection of recently recorded pieces focuses in on one of  the  main sonic crossroads in the career of Cornelius Cardew- one of England’s most respected and influential experimental composers. The collection highlights and charts the change in Cardew sound from been influenced by American minimalist composers such as Cage, Tudor & Feldman, to a more experimental improvised  jazz sound.

On offer here are six pieces that were composed over the ten year period between 1960 and 1970. The pieces are a fairly evenly split between longer and shorter tracks with the running time of each track falling between just over the four minute mark to  just shy of the twenty minute mark.  As one would imagine this is very difficult, spaced-out ,yet often quite complex and atmospheric music; meaning you really need musicians who possess both a keen ear for timing & subtle sonic detail on board. So the trio of John Tilbury(piano), Micheal Duch( double bass) and Rhodri Davies(harp) fit this task perfectly, and interpret Cardew pices with all their shadowy and angular wonder.  Through-out the collections six pieces you can hear the subtle at first; then later more pronounced shift in Cardew's sound as he moves from spaced-out and pattern based modern classical composition, to more playful and angular jazz based improvised composition.

So a very well played, executed and perfectly recorded selection of tracks from this most intriguing point in  Cornelius Cardew career where improv jazz took over modern classical American minimalism as his focus. It’s a  great starting point for those who are unfamiliar with Cardew work,  and  it's also perfect for those who enjoy both atmospheric yet difficult modern composition with modern classical and jazz edges to it.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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