ClickFestival

Elsinore, Denmark
May 21, 2016

Anna Homler  US
Steven Warwick UK
Natsuko Kono  JP

 

MORE INFORMATION

LOCATION: Helsingor

TIME: 21:45-22:45

A project borne of myth, mystery and shadow play in eighties Los Angeles gets gloriously animated for the 2016 stage: meet Breadwoman, the character that embodies US vocalist and performance artist Anna Homler’s practice of divining speech, lyrical fragments, and melody for music, with the fluid synthetic excursions of Steven Warwick aka Heatsick as her modern-day accomplice.

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Originally recorded in 1985, The album Breadwoman & Other Tales found Homler in musical dialogue with electro-acoustic composer and LA avant-garde contemporary Steve Moshier, on a set of otherworldly spirituals delivered in an invented language by Homler over Moshier’s rich and strange production. To mark the reissue of this unheralded landmark album by the RVNG label in February 2016, Homler will give rise to Breadwoman again for a series of very special mixed-media performances, with Warwick rechanneling Moshier’s material for the live realm.

It’s 1982, and Anna is driving an ocean blue classic Cadillac to meet renowned poet and playwright Deena Metzger in Topanga Canyon, Los Angeles. Passing a non-descript desert patch where tall wheat and mustard flowers grow, Anna opens her mouth and sings in a salient stream of rhythmic, melodic sound. Breadwoman is born, but not by immaculate conception. For Homler, performance art had become “a form big enough to contain everything happening”, and as this performative freedom fed into the enchanted vocalese, the character of Breadwoman emerged.

 

 

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In the early 80s, performance artist Anna Homler crossed paths with avant-garde composer Steve Moshier, and this collaboration was the result. Moshier took recordings of Homler’s wordless vocalizations and conceived other parts to accompany them, sometimes percussive, sometimes droning and ambient, always fitting with whatever she did. Some of the pieces, like “Ee Chê,”feature rhythmic chanting of invented syllables that sound as if they might be words in some unknown language; others, such as
the lengthy “Sirens,” consist of swoops, groans, crackles and other “non-musical” vocal noises. Moshier pairs themsympathetically, with “Ee Chê” presenting processed percussion with a relentless beat, and “Sirens” consisting of long synthesizer tones fading in and out. Each of the tracks has its own identity and sound. When it comes to abstract vocalizing (or whatever term you choose to cover Homler’s type of singing), there is a great danger of creating sounds that are very harsh and likely to repel many listeners (I’m thinking of performers like Diamanda Galás), and while Breadwoman is not for everyone, Homler never
comes off as abrasive. This music represents a middle point in performance art music – not as poppish as most of Laurie Anderson’s work (and certainly more abstract, given the lack of words), not as difficult as Galás. As such, it works admirably as its own thing, a creative vision of an alternative way of creating music outside the conventions of typical songcraft. And it’s also a rather enjoyable listen.

Download .pdf

Link to Review

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Breadwoman & Other Tales is a recently-released CD on the RVNG Intl label featuring the music of Anna Homler and Steve Moshier. Breadwoman is the persona adopted by vocalist Homler and the liner notes describe her as follows: “Breadwoman is a guide, a storyteller and an observer of human events. She communicates with gestures and songs in a language that is both mysterious and familiar. Breadwoman is so very old that she stands outside of time. Her territory is that of the interior, where there are no distinctions and all things are whole.”

Although the CD was released in February 2016, the music dates from the early 1980s Los Angeles new music scene. Anna Homler was deeply involved in performance art and recorded the vocalizing that ultimately became Breadwoman as she drove around town in her car. At the same time Steve Moshier was a percussionist with the Cartesian Reunion Memorial Orchestra, often performing at the same experimental dance and theater venues where Homler appeared. Their collaboration was natural, with Anna supplying her cassette recordings to Moshier, who created the electronic accompaniment. The process was iterative – the vocals evolving as each version of the electronics was realized. This was a complex and time-consuming undertaking given the technology of the time – Moshier was working with a Kurzweil K2000 synthesizer, a Prophet analog synth, a Sequential Circuits sequencer along with 2-track and 4-track tapes.

The resulting tracks on Breadwoman & Other Tales are remarkable for their convincing insight and invocation of primal music. None of the vocal lines are heard in English but are rather spoken in some unknown ancient tongue, perhaps Eastern European in origin. The melody lines are clear and precisely sung by Ms. Homler, and the strange accents and words persuasively evoke life in a small village thousands of years ago. Moshier’s electronic accompaniment is completely contemporary and, by comparison, futuristic. This makes for an engaging balance – the timeworn words and melodies offset by analog electronic tones, adding to the mysterious and mystical feel in all these pieces.

Even without comprehensible words or context, the songs are recognizable for the human emotions they express. Anna Homler studied anthropology as an undergraduate at UCLA and the daily ebb and flow of primal society fills each of these pieces. Gu She’ Na’ Di, track 3, could be a folk melody about new love – full of optimism and hope – with a clarinet line that compliments the singing perfectly. Giyah on track 4, however, is solemn and deliberate, sung mostly in the lower registers, as if some sad event in village history is being recounted. Sirens, on track 6, is full of deep electronic tones and a menacing, predatory growl that invites fear and panic – reminding us that primal existence is precarious, full of uncertainty and danger.

Oo Nu Dah, track 2, has a mysterious pulsating in the electronics with a slightly alien feel as a faint voice comes to the top of the texture, chant-like, in a prayer of supplication. The melody becomes layered – perhaps a proto-canon – and it is as if we are witness to the origins of devotional worship. Celestial Ash, the final track, takes this to the collective level in a cloud of quiet whispers as a distant electronic humming sound emerges, building in volume – as if the sun is rising on the assembled. Voices are heard in short phrases and the electronics evoke a dignified alien presence. A melodic recap of the opening is sung – the language sounds vaguely Celtic – and we could be present at the annual gathering at Stonehenge 4000 years ago.

Breadwoman & Other Tales takes us back to a time when life was highly spiritual and lived in the moment. This CD reminds us that our brains are hardwired for the primal life, and we still respond to its ancient rhythms and sensibility.

Link to Review
http://www.sequenza21.com/cdreviews/2016/04/breadwoman-and-other-tales/

ALBUM REVIEW: ANNA HOMLER / STEVE MOSHIER – BREADWOMAN &
OTHER TALES by Will Pearson
Brooklyn label RVNG continues its program of idiosyncratic and avant-garde releases with this reissue of
Anna Homler and Steve Moshier’s 1985 foray into imagined myth, invented language and ambient
electronica. Even by RVNG’s standards, Breadwoman and Other Tales is weird. This music sounds not just
like it’s been unearthed from another time, but from outside of time altogether.

Homler (a performance artist) met Moshier (an avant-garde musician) in L.A.’s underground gallery culture in the early ’80s. She had already developed the character of Breadwoman, “a woman so old she’s turned to bread,” and a form of extra-linguistic incantation and chant that she’d been recording onto cassette. She gave the cassettes to Moshier, who composed ambient soundscapes to accompany them using 2-track and 4-track tape recorders, synths, effects and a sequencer.

The result is a record that feels meaningful despite its nonsensical language, which doesn’t sound dated in the least, neither sonically nor stylistically. “Oo Nu Dah” is an early highlight, and finds Moshier looping and multi-tracking Homler’s voice into Reich-like echoes that produce unnerving harmonies. “Sirens” is a terrifying excursion into the primordial, with Homler delivering inhuman squeaks, squeals and groans that evoke both birth and death.

If you’re looking for a record to give your bohemian wine tasting an air of inscrutable sophistication, this record will do the trick, but it’s better than that; it demands and deserves a quiet concentration in order for its transcendental ambitions to flourish. (RVNG Intl.)
Rating: 8/10

Link to Article

Download .pdf

ALBUM REVIEW: ANNA HOMLER / STEVE MOSHIER –
BREADWOMAN & OTHER TALES

Spellbinding transmission from the esoteric melting pot of early ’80s L.A.; an expanded reissue of the eponymous debut release by Anna Homler & Steve Moshier’s sound art duo, Breadwoman, including two
bonus, previously unreleased pieces.

First kneaded in 1982 by performance artist Anna Homler, Breadwoman arose as a “being who exists outside of time”, intersecting various strands of L.A.’s art scene – gallery culture, DIY avant-garde, meaning-making mysticism – with a combination of gauzy electronics, glossolalic vocalese, and a costume made out of bread.

You can certainly colour us beguiled at Breadwoman & Other Tales, presenting the original tape’s alien song cycle – from the primordial shuffle and curiously Japanese-sounding vocalese of Ee Chê, thru the floating prisms of Oo Nu Dah, to the Rashad Becker-esque electronics of Giyah and kosmiche crème of Yesh’ Te – whilst the two bonus tracks angle far, far-out into stunning cinematic abstraction sounding like Helge Sten scoring a Lynch flick with the 12 minute Sirens, whereas Celestial Ash scries a precedent to everything from Enya and Julia Holter to Anna Caragnano & Donato Dozzy’s Sintetizzatrice.

Can easily predict this becoming an end-of-year favourite. Recommended!

Link to article

Download .pdf

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ALBUM REVIEW: ANNA HOMLER / STEVE MOSHIER –
BREADWOMAN & OTHER TALES
In the early 80s, performance artist Anna Homler crossed paths with avant-garde composer Steve Moshier,
and this collaboration was the result.

Moshier took recordings of Homler’s wordless vocalizations and conceived other parts to accompany them, sometimes percussive, sometimes droning and ambient, always fitting with whatever she did. Some of the pieces, like “Ee Chê,” feature rhythmic chanting of invented syllables that sound as if they might be words in some unknown language; others, such as the lengthy “Sirens,” consist of swoops, groans, crackles and other “non-musical” vocal noises. Moshier pairs them sympathetically, with “Ee Chê” presenting processed percussion with a relentless beat, and “Sirens” consisting of long synthesizer tones fading in and out.

Each of the tracks has its own identity and sound. When it comes to abstract vocalizing (or whatever term you choose to cover Homler’s type of singing), there is a great danger of creating sounds that are very harsh and likely to repel many listeners, and while Breadwoman is not for everyone, Homler never comes off as abrasive.

This music represents a middle point in performance art music – not as poppish as most of Laurie Anderson’s work (and certainly more abstract, given the lack of words), not as difficult as Galás. As such, it works admirably as its own thing, a creative vision of an alternative way of creating music outside the conventions of typical songcraft. And it’s also a rather enjoyable listen.

Download .pdf

Link to article online

March 15, 2016

The genesis of Breadwoman stretches back to the early ’80s, when performance artist Anna Homler found herself singing while driving through Topanga Canyon, chanting out in a strange, rhythmic cadence.
Homler’s melodies weren’t from any language she recognized, but felt like more than just absentminded moans or nonsensical babbles to her. “I still remember the moment,” Homler says via the telephone. “It was a
language I didn’t know but it was musical and melodic.”

Link to Aquarium Drunkard Article online

AH_AquariumDrunkard

highways_logo4

JAB_IMG_3920X

7:30 PM

Tickets

Highways Performance Space
1651 18th St, Santa Monica, California 90404

JAB is vocalist/performance artist Anna Homler’s new ensemble with bassist Jeff Schwartz and soundscape percussionist Breeze Smith. Homler sings in an invented language and uses toys and other objects to make sound, while Smith plays his own wood and metal sculptures, as well as conventional instruments, and uses electronics to capture and transform his and the others’ sounds. More Info.

Facebook Page

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Breadwoman & Other Tales has the feel of freshly resurfaced collected recordings from a forgotten tribe. It is in fact the organic collaboration between Anna Homler and Steve Moshier.

In her artistic practice, Anna Homler approaches visual arts, performance and sound art. In 1982, she assumes the role of Breadwoman and documents her magical speech in the form of rhythmic, melodic sound. The Breadwoman character is outlined as being so old she turned into bread. By positioning herself outside the space or time linearity, it is almost impossible to contextualize her. The project was subjected to a musical dimension when Steve Moshier joined in, complementing the recordings by composing, mixing and engineering the music.

Breadwoman & Other Tales is, dare I say, so much more than a musical project. How can such a fundamental need – that of singing or producing sounds – have such a modern approach to it? I think the answer here is its forward-thinking interdisciplinarity. The LP inhabits the skin of an intricate art project that enmeshes artistic mediums such as performance, photography and music, while investigating language and its systems.

Anna Homler tackles language by inventing a new one, completely displacing its conventional structuralism and meaning. Just by the simple act of opening her mouth and modulating the flow of air being expelled from her lungs, she delivers a plethora of haunting sounds, seemingly impossible to discern, far from any language known to us.

The sounds she produces indeed suggest a vocal construct akin to the wisdom of an old woman and the naïveté of a little girl at the same time. If you really feel the need to pinpoint it, it could resemble shamanic rituals, with their inherent primal and earthy qualities. This invented language reaches such a level of musicality that it is easy to blur the fringe of contact between music and language. 

Roland Barthes underlined this idea in his series of interviews called The Grain of Voice. He argued that this very precise space, the encounter between a language and a voice, which he calls “the grain of the voice”, occurs when the latter is in a dual posture, a dual production – of language and of music.

Steve Moshier manages to give birth to some sort of ritualistic mythical electronica, powerful yet subtle, so as to not drown Breadwoman’s enthralling melodies. He uses her voice as a sonic element, interweaving its meshes with the warmth of analog sounds.

The sixth piece, Sirens, stood out to me the most. It is engulfed in a reverberating primordial screech, reminiscing of the eerie sounds the sirens use to lure sailors into certain death. The effect of this one is disarming. I will let you discover by yourself the rest of the pieces. This is a unique musical journey into thought, to be carefully listened in its entirety.

READ ARTICLE AT THE ATTIC

FromNowOnFestival

Cardiff
From Now On Festival
Chapter Arts Centre
http://www.fromnowonfestival.co.uk/

 

“Breadwoman is a storyteller — she’s so very old she’s turned into bread. Breadwoman says: If you don’t try to understand, you will. She is the voice, and the voice is cosmic reality’s musicality.”

 

BREADWOMAN_EU_FLYERsm

A project borne of myth, mystery and shadow play in eighties Los Angeles gets gloriously animated for the 2016 stage: meet Breadwoman, the character that embodies US vocalist and performance artist Anna Homler’s practice of divining speech, lyrical fragments, and melody for music, with the fluid synthetic excursions of Steven Warwick aka Heatsick as her modern-day accomplice.

 
Originally recorded in 1985, the album Breadwoman & Other Tales found Homler in musical dialogue with electro-acoustic composer and LA avant-garde contemporary Steve Moshier, on a set of otherworldly spirituals delivered in an invented language by Homler over Moshier’s rich and strange production.
 
To mark the reissue of this unheralded landmark album by the RVNG label in February 2016, Homler will give rise to Breadwoman again for a series of very special mixed-media performances, with Warwick rechanneling Moshier’s material for the live realm.
Breadwoman photo gallery http://annahomler.com/portfolio/breadwoman/

 

Time: 19:30
Glasgow
The Glad Cafe
http://www.musicglue.com/the-glad-cafe/events/11-feb-16-anna-homler–steven-warwick-breadwoman-the-glad-cafe/
1006A Pollokshaws Rd, Glasgow G41 2HG, United Kingdom
Phone:+44 141 636 6119

 

“Breadwoman is a storyteller — she’s so very old she’s turned into bread. Breadwoman says: If you don’t try to understand, you will. She is the voice, and the voice is cosmic reality’s musicality.”

 

BREADWOMAN_EU_FLYERsm

A project borne of myth, mystery and shadow play in eighties Los Angeles gets gloriously animated for the 2016 stage: meet Breadwoman, the character that embodies US vocalist and performance artist Anna Homler’s practice of divining speech, lyrical fragments, and melody for music, with the fluid synthetic excursions of Steven Warwick aka Heatsick as her modern-day accomplice.

 
Originally recorded in 1985, the album Breadwoman & Other Tales found Homler in musical dialogue with electro-acoustic composer and LA avant-garde contemporary Steve Moshier, on a set of otherworldly spirituals delivered in an invented language by Homler over Moshier’s rich and strange production.
 
To mark the reissue of this unheralded landmark album by the RVNG label in February 2016, Homler will give rise to Breadwoman again for a series of very special mixed-media performances, with Warwick rechanneling Moshier’s material for the live realm.
Breadwoman photo gallery http://annahomler.com/portfolio/breadwoman/

 

8 pm
London
Cafe OTO
https://www.cafeoto.co.uk/events/anna-homler-steven-warwick-breadwoman/
https://www.cafeoto.co.uk/info/
18–22 Ashwin street
Dalston
London
E8 3DL

 

“Breadwoman is a storyteller — she’s so very old she’s turned into bread. Breadwoman says: If you don’t try to understand, you will. She is the voice, and the voice is cosmic reality’s musicality.”

 

BREADWOMAN_EU_FLYERsm

A project borne of myth, mystery and shadow play in eighties Los Angeles gets gloriously animated for the 2016 stage: meet Breadwoman, the character that embodies US vocalist and performance artist Anna Homler’s practice of divining speech, lyrical fragments, and melody for music, with the fluid synthetic excursions of Steven Warwick aka Heatsick as her modern-day accomplice.
 
Originally recorded in 1985, the album Breadwoman & Other Tales found Homler in musical dialogue with electro-acoustic composer and LA avant-garde contemporary Steve Moshier, on a set of otherworldly spirituals delivered in an invented language by Homler over Moshier’s rich and strange production.
 
To mark the reissue of this unheralded landmark album by the RVNG label in February 2016, Homler will give rise to Breadwoman again for a series of very special mixed-media performances, with Warwick rechanneling Moshier’s material for the live realm.
Breadwoman photo gallery http://annahomler.com/portfolio/breadwoman/

 

CTM

Time: 20:30
BERLIN
PREMIERE
CTM Festival
http://www.ctm-festival.de/news/
Tickets: http://www.ctm-festival.de/festival-2016/tickets/

 

“Breadwoman is a storyteller — she’s so very old she’s turned into bread. Breadwoman says: If you don’t try to understand, you will. She is the voice, and the voice is cosmic reality’s musicality.”

 

BREADWOMAN_EU_FLYERsm

A project borne of myth, mystery and shadow play in eighties Los Angeles gets gloriously animated for the 2016 stage: meet Breadwoman, the character that embodies US vocalist and performance artist Anna Homler’s practice of divining speech, lyrical fragments, and melody for music, with the fluid synthetic excursions of Steven Warwick aka Heatsick as her modern-day accomplice.
 
Originally recorded in 1985, the album Breadwoman & Other Tales found Homler in musical dialogue with electro-acoustic composer and LA avant-garde contemporary Steve Moshier, on a set of otherworldly spirituals delivered in an invented language by Homler over Moshier’s rich and strange production.
 
To mark the reissue of this unheralded landmark album by the RVNG label in February 2016, Homler will give rise to Breadwoman again for a series of very special mixed-media performances, with Warwick rechanneling Moshier’s material for the live realm.
Breadwoman photo gallery http://annahomler.com/portfolio/breadwoman/

 

toyStories_BellaFoster

TOY STORIES

an audio-visual concert

with:
Anna Homler: voice, toys and objects
Tania Chen: found toys, lo-fi electronics, and keyboards
Viv Corringham: voice, electronics and field recording
Katherine Liberovskaya: live video and live toys

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 14th

Doors: 6:30 pm – Concert: 7:00 pm

Location: The Emily Harvey Foundation
537 Broadway at Spring Street – 2nd floor
New York, NY 10012
www.emilyharveyfoundation.org

*For more information:  Download .pdf

[watercolor drawing by Bella Foster]

BABES IN TOY LAND: A NIGHT OF TOYS & NOISE WITH ANNA HOMLER, TANIA CHEN AND GINO ROBAIR

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Friday, May 15 at 8:00pm
Center for New Music in San Francisco, California

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/386187918248404/

Tickets: $15 General, $10 Members
Tickets available at the door only

Anna Homler and Tania Chen met in London a few years ago and bonded over a love of toys and the unexpected. This premiere performance will be an exuberant exploration of sonic worlds created by toys, found objects, lo-fi electronics, and alien vocalese. They will be joined by the versatile electronics wizard & percussionist Gino Robair, for an evening of improvised duos and trios.

“The work is transportative, mesmerizing, witty, sexy and intelligent. It has the power to transform the kitsch artifacts and consumer culture into something ethereal, surreal and beautiful.” – of Anna Homler, Performance Magazine

‘Raw and incandescent’ – of Tania Chen, The Wire

‘A revelation that these shifting arrangements of piano, objects, text and voice can produce ever-new configurations of feeling.’ – of Tania Chen, Frieze

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The Soundtrack and the Performer, with live performance by Anna Homler and Tania Chen.

Thursday Mayhem May 7
10PM-2AM
Hosted by Naysayer

Tania Chen and Anna Homler, performance artists, musicians, toy manipulators, creators of new sounds, improvisors, will join Naysayer for a conversation about the role soundtracks play influencing performers and their choices for performance. Chen and Homler will play selections from film and theater soundtracks which have made an impact on their work. They will also join together in the KFJC Pit for a live mic, composing the soundtrack for an unmade film.

Listen online: http://kfjc.org/netcast/index.php

http://kfjc.org/mayhem/  

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SASSAS’s event – “soundSpark” Children’s Theatre

Saturday, April 4
12 pm – 1 pm

West Hollywood Library
625 North San Vicente Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Free

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1575893826025392/

The CD presents five gifted improvisers expressing a myriad of emotions thoughtfully developed and masterfully executed.

HereHereHereKen Waxman on Here & Here & Here
Jazzword, December 16 , 2014

http://www.jazzword.com/one-review/?id=128640

“A spatial rather than a geographical description, the 15 tracks on this CD add up to an object lesson in how to integrate an improvising vocalist`s skills with a prime Free Music ensemble. At the same time the well-balanced and inventive program confirms that not all of California’s experimental improvisers are clustered in the Bay area.

Los Angles trumpeter Jeff Kaiser and San Diego trombonist Michael Vlatkovich have for many years waved the Free Jazz banner all over the golden state. Meanwhile LA vocalist Anna Homler has been forced to take her talents overseas to concertize with Brits like pianist Steve Beresford and violinist Sylvia Hallett. No variation of those chordal instruments is on hand here. Basically Here & Here & Here relies on the inventive pumping of bassist Scott Walton and the concentrated beats of percussionist Rich West to keep the bottom balanced as the front line works through novel sound strategies.

Committed to vocal expression that takes from vocalese, nonsense syllables, shamanistic ritual and double talk, Homler’s contributions often could be imagined as coming from a non- English-speaking-vocalist unexpectedly paired with a hip Jazz combo. At the same time though, her vocal shading, reminiscent to that of Lauren Newton and other Free Music songsters, take the place of a horn in arrangements for some tracks. With brass fully accounted for, think of Homer as a saxophonist doubling soprano and alto.

If the CD does have a drawback though, it’s the extreme brevity of some of the selections. Two minutes may be long enough for a Pop single, but with improvised music that time-span merely gives players space to suggest a concept; organic sounds like organic food take longer to nurture. Other selections which initially could develop more forcefully end up being scene-setting rather than completed creations. Popping ‘bone tones, triplet brass interludes and percussion nerve beats stand out on their own, but adds up only to a fanfare, a liquid interlude or a tone demonstration rather than a complete statement.

Much more substantial are those pieces which integrate unexpected asides within the tunes’ chromatic concepts. Textures that could arise from a kazoo, a marimba, a steel drum or a bird- caller – replicated or real – are used as color. Possessed of a Maggie Nichols-like ability to articulate nonsense syllables as if she’s singing in a legit language, on the title track Homler sweetly spins out her lines while matched by plunger trombone and guttural Jew’s harp twangs. On the other hand, as a percussion interlude clangs savagely on “Red Coda” she puts aside her reed-replication that chases timbres along with the horns for squeezed bel canto expression.

Sweetness or strength from Homler’s vocal chords and embouchure are the key variables on many of the other tunes. Growling made-up language serves its purpose when matched with trombone plunger retches or vibrated trumpet chirps, just as a lyric soprano expositions can cut through dense brass slurs to add delicacy to improvisations that could turn self-indulgent.
Overall the five players distinguish themselves as sound experimenters – and original ones at that. But next time H&H&H records, giving themselves expanded space in develop their unique expression would be beneficial for both the band and listeners.”—Ken Waxman

Find out more: http://www.pfmentum.com/PFMCD084.html