by Susanne Abbuehl

CD(Spanish Import)

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April isn’t the album to slap on to get the party going, but in its own oh-so-subtle way, it’s one of the more intriguing vocal releases of recent years. Abbuehl uses her restrained but exquisite voice tellingly on an offbeat program that draws primarily on the compositions of Carla Bley and the poetry of E. E. Cummings, as well as Monk’s “ ’Round Midnight” and an adaptation of an Indian vocal piece by Prabha Atre. Working hand-in-hand with a chamber jazz group consisting of keyboards, clarinets, and percussion, Abbuehl paints sonic pictures with ethereal vocal gestures that float like mist over a landscape. The singer brings her own delicate music (with occasional assistance from keyboardist Wolfgert Brederode) to Cummings’s words and adds her own poetry to Bley’s music, including the oft-covered “Ida Lupino,” “Closer” (most associated with pianist Paul Bley), and “A.I.R. (All India Radio)," an excerpt from Carla Bley’s epic Escalator over the Hill to which Abbuehl adds haunting wordless vocals. On “Seven/ Somewhere I Have Never Traveled, Gladly Beyond” she brings the two main elements of the album together, wedding Bley’s music to Cummings’s words. In all, a low-key triumph from an abundantly gifted artist.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/26/2002
Label: Ecm Import
UPC: 0044001399923
catalogNumber: 013999
Rank: 208991

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