Rob Schwimmer, piano & theremin – Beyond the Sky – NuNoise Records

by | Aug 11, 2006 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Rob Schwimmer, piano & theremin – Beyond the Sky – NuNoise Records  47:10 ****:

Some years ago I reviewed a previous CD from the hard-to-categorize Schwimmer. Far be it for me to categorize anyone – I love the border-jumpers! While he had some cohorts on that album, this one is mainly a solo effort, but there is one track featuring his favored oddball electronic instrument, the theremin. Schwimmer says that he doesn’t really think of classical and jazz as disparate elements, and has spent his entire life “falling between the cracks.”  Most of the music this time is originals, except for the ASCAP-published melodies from the Great American Songbook, courtesy of Jules Styne, Hammerstein, Arlen and Harburg. He does some relaxed and unforced variations on those. His classical references include Chopin, Bach, late Scriabin and Ravel, and on the other side Gershwin, Bill Evans, Art Tatum and Paul Bley. He likes to paint storytelling canvases using elements from the whole history of the piano, and that’s the general theme for these 19 tracks. There’s a bit of New Age, a bit of classical, a bit of jazz – nothing earthshaking but  most enjoyable listening. Seeing them listed will probably explain better of what is at hand:

Tracks: PRELUDE: Hello Again, SUITE: Ostinato, Orpheus, Waltz for Clara, POSTLUDE: Hello Again Part II; TWO SONGS WITHOUT WORDS: I Would Talk With My Dad, Holding You in my Arms; FOUR MINIATURES: Conversation, Quicksilver, Repeated Notes, Beyond the Sky; TWO HALLUCINATIONS ON POPULAR SONGS: Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime? Never Never Land; THREE TONE POEMS: Double Helix, Atmospheres, Inside; THEREMIN: Waltz for Clara; TWO HALLUCINATIONS ON POPULAR SONGS: All the Things You Are, Stormy Weather

– John Sunier

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