Peter Saltzman and the Revolution Ensemble Kabbalah Blues/Quantum Funk (73:02) Independent Release 2000 www.revolutionensemble.com Pianist Peter Saltzman leads this unconventional nine-piece collective through an ambitious program of Jewish-themed, avant-garde chamber jazz. The program is split into two parts. Tracks 1-11 comprise the first half, bookended by the vocal renderings of the Hebrew prayer "Oseh Shalom." The movements range wildly, from the mellow, jazzy vocal pieces "I Was There" and "Shekhina's Dream" (featuring fabulous singing by Gingi Lahera) to the angular groove of "Quantum Funk" to the goofy bar-band rock of "Sooner or Later." The extended fourth movement, "Indeterminacy," is largely an esoteric, classically influenced exercise until it breaks into a hippie jam. The second half (tracks 12-17) begins with the corny country ballad "Living In Another Time," then segues into a lofty string-quartet epic titled "Superstrings." Strings and drums (and a bit of piano and sax) interact dramatically on "Blues Without Barlines," a kind of prelude for the swinging, fantastical "Force of Nature" (another exceptional feature for Lahera's voice). Lahera is again in fine form on the earthy, minor-key pop of "Searching" and a final reprise of "Oseh Shalom" on "Finale." Saltzman and crew manage to make all this music cohere, despite momentary lapses and weak spots. These are excellent performances, girded by a spiritual message and an unobtrusively radical aesthetic. ~David R. Adler 1. Prologue 2. Unity 3. I Was There 4. Indeterminacy 5. Sooner or Later 6. Shekhina's Dream 7. Interlude 8. Quantum Funk 9. Quantum Reprise 10. Broken Vessels (piano solo) 11. Oseh Shalom 12. Living In Another Time 13. Superstrings 14. Blues Without Bar Lines 15. Force of Nature 16. Searching 17. Finale Peter Saltzman, piano, B3 organ, synths, lead and background vocals; Mark Agnor, violin and background vocal; Jim Gailloreto, tenor and soprano saxophones; Katherine Hughes, violin, lead vocal, background vocal; Jill Kaeding, cello; Rob Kassinger, acoustic and electric bass; Gingi Lahera, lead vocals; Jeff Stitely, drums and percussion; Ben Wedge, viola, acoustic and electric guitars; Matt Nichols, violin (4 only)
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