Smart Went Crazy

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ken Dryden
The Meridian Arts Ensemble are hardly a typical chamber ensemble, as they interpret classical music as well as rock, jazz, theater pieces, and Afro-Cuban music. The group includes trumpeters Richard Kelley and Jon Nelson, horn player Daniel Grabois, trombonist Benjamin Herrington, tuba player Raymond Stewart, and drummer/percussionist Mo Roberts. The first five tracks, written by Frank Zappa, are played in a medley form as a sort of continuous suite, with the group capturing the nuances of Zappa's music as well as his sardonic humor. They had the opportunity to play this music for the composer prior to his death, and he made some corrections and suggestions that helped ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ken Dryden
The Meridian Arts Ensemble are hardly a typical chamber ensemble, as they interpret classical music as well as rock, jazz, theater pieces, and Afro-Cuban music. The group includes trumpeters Richard Kelley and Jon Nelson, horn player Daniel Grabois, trombonist Benjamin Herrington, tuba player Raymond Stewart, and drummer/percussionist Mo Roberts. The first five tracks, written by Frank Zappa, are played in a medley form as a sort of continuous suite, with the group capturing the nuances of Zappa's music as well as his sardonic humor. They had the opportunity to play this music for the composer prior to his death, and he made some corrections and suggestions that helped produce the finished product, which concludes with a peppy take of "Dupree's Paradise." John Halle's "Softshoe," with its rich harmonies and elegant trumpet solo, sounds as if it could have been written by Leonard Bernstein in the 1950s. Phillip Johnston's "Sleeping Beauty" comes from a musical theater piece, with the musicians simulating human voices in various emotional states. There's nothing humorous about their straight-ahead take of Billy Strayhorn's bittersweet ballad "Lush Life" -- it is simply a richly textured, gorgeous performance. The piercing tone of the introduction to Kirk Nurock's "Smart Went Crazy" sounds ominous, but with the sudden chatter of horns and intervals of silence, it seems to capture the anguish and confusion of an asylum resident. The ensemble was inspired by Gil Evans' arrangements of the music of Jimi Hendrix to tackle "Purple Haze." Following an understated introduction, they segue into a subtle, very lyrical introduction before cutting loose and rocking with the best of them. This is an extremely rewarding CD for listeners with wide-ranging tastes and open ears, though it may be somewhat hard to find due to the possible demise of the Channel Crossings label.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/1/1995
  • Label: Channel Classics Nl
  • UPC: 723385419228
  • Catalog Number: 4192
  • Sales rank: 224,829

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Big Swifty (4:58)
  2. 2 Harry, You're a Beast (0:47)
  3. 3 The Orange County Lumber Truck (0:41)
  4. 4 T'Mershi Duween (1:37)
  5. 5 Dupree's Paradise (3:05)
  6. 6 Softshoe (4:12)
  7. 7 Boots (4:20)
  8. 8 Outtake (0:27)
  9. 9 Sleeping Beauty (6:23)
  10. 10 Lush Life, song (3:22)
  11. 11 Smart Went Crazy (18:38)
  12. 12 Go (1:25)
  13. 13 Everyone Complains (2:32)
  14. 14 It's Better to Forget What You Can't Remember (3:08)
  15. 15 Paste (1:04)
  16. 16 The Usual Regrets (2:05)
  17. 17 Stop (0:26)
  18. 18 Introduction (2:27)
  19. 19 Purple Haze (5:42)
  20. 20 Revoltillo (3:48)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Meridian Arts Ensemble Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Ensemble
Roger Bobo Speech/Speaker/Speaking Part
Richard Kelley Trumpet
Benjamin Herrington Trombone
Daniel Grabois Horn
Raymond G. Stewart Tuba
Jon Nelson Trumpet
Technical Credits
Chris Hughes Arranger
Meridian Arts Ensemble Liner Notes
C. Jared Sacks Producer
Clemence Comte translation
Christopher Hughes Arranger
Chu Melendez Arranger
Jon Nelson Arranger, Liner Notes
Bert van der Wolf Engineer
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