Last album (I mean not yet avail.) from this fantastic american quartet of jazz musicians with an ecm-like sound. I know there aren't many out there who love this chamber jazz style, but I'm a sucker for it. In particular I find the addition of violin and viola just exquisite for the textures and tones of the musical result.
1. Circular Thoughts in Darkness
2. Zen Piece
3. This isn't exactly what I had in mind when I said Let's get smashed Tonight (in memoriam Virgil Partch)
4. Norton's Last Words
5. Dead leaves Dance (N. Cline)
6. Window on the Lake (for Joni Mitchell) (A. Cline)
All compositions by von Essen except where indicated.
Jeff Gauthier - violin and viola
Nels Cline - guitars, recorder
Eric von Essen - bass, harmonica, piano, caxixi [??]
Alex Cline - percussion
Recorded Mad Hatter Studios, LA 1986
The only concession to commerciality from this uncompromising foursome is the excerpt I post below from the fourth track, Norton's Last Words, wherein you hear Gauthier play strings behind a gorgeous harmonica melody from von Essen. Dangerously close to easy listening, but equally dangerously close to giving me 'musical heart-melting syndrome.' As composers they were unforgiving in their demand for attention and education from listeners with the complexity they input into everything. How demanding are musicians today?