Rather like a tango band—piano, string quartet, percussion, but turning near-Celtic in the passages featuring possible viola and alto flute—thus the five and a half minutes of “Silver Stones”, opener on this album by an apparently busy composer for TV. I rather took to “Crossing Over” for just harp and oboe. There’s a nice pastoral string quartet opening to “Broken Promise” before solo guitar opens a second section and strings and flutes come in. And bass guitar and solo flute, relaxed. Larry Chernicoff’s vibes plop prettily on “The Book of Erin Flowers”, whereby hangs the almost ghost story of Primamore googling “erin flowers” and learning about a girl of that name who died young, leaving a bundle of poems. “Free Western” opens with oboe and is a little like the mixture before, while “Windswept” is gentle, faintly Celtic-hued before becoming what the composer means by Milton Nascimento meets Heathcliff, notably when his piano or Cieli Minucci’s acoustic guitar is prominent, the latter taking a definite enough solo direction to suggest jazz. Antoine Silverman’s violin sounds jazzy and Minucci comes back switched on in a rock vein. “Winter in Paris” opens with solo piano, as if a jazz trio number might be starting, but things get handed over to the woodwind and strings chamber ensemble. Nice clarinet-violin interplay, the violin briefly suggesting a jazz solo. It’s a little lightweight to be in the jazz-classical hinterland. “I’m Sorry” for standard string quartet and harp is very pretty, short, and in contrast with “Russia Through Your Eyes”, which is piano, a little bit out of Ravel, with a segue into Charles Pillow’s jazz flute solo, and after a pretty passage, solo violin and acoustic guitar obbligato. “Lullaby/ Elegy” sounds Irish again to me, a lyrical duet between the leader’s piano and Tony Levin’s electric bass, just a poignant melody. An extremely accomplished example of light music, sometimes ambitious in conception, for those who don’t want a challenging listen.
// Notes from the Road
"José González's sets during Newport Folk Festival weren't on his birthday (that is today) but each looked to be a special intimate performance.READ the article