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Minerva's Web

Stephen Scott

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Album Review

Minerva's Web is scored for an ensemble of ten musicians at one piano plucking the strings or bowing them with loops of material. The effect is somewhat like slowly evolving waves of a giant harp at times and like the smoother waves of an electronic synthesizer. There are also many exciting rhythmic pulses. In all, this richly harmonic and tonal music is appealing with its surprising "celestial" and joyously rhythmic textures. The title refers to Ovid's tale (in the "Metamorphoses", Book VI) the weaving contest between the goddess Minerva and the mortal Arachne, and also refers to the web-like layout of piano strings and the arrangement of the ideas ("indices") in the composition. "The Tears of Niobe" is scored for an ensemble of 10 musicians at one piano plucking the strings or bowing them with loops of material. The effect is somewhat like slowly evolving waves of a giant harp at times and like the smoother waves of an electronic synthesizer. There are also many exciting rhythmic textures. In all, this richly harmonic and tonal music is appealing with its surprising "celestial" and joyously rhythmic textures.

The title refers to the tale (re-told) by Ovid in his "Metamorphoses" Book VI about Niobe, daughter of Tantalus, the queen of Thebes. Niobe who challenged the goddess Latona by declaring that she was beautiful and also had seven daughters and seven sons, and was therefore to be preferred to the goddess. Latona gets her revenge by causing the deaths of Apollo and Diana and then the rest of Niobe's children, slaying them with divine arrows. Then, Niobe's distraught husband Amphion commits suicide. ~ "Blue" Gene Tyranny, Rovi

Biography

Born: 13 March 1969 in Queens, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Another in the latter-day parade of tradition-respecting "young lions," Stephen Scott brings a formidable technique, some of Ahmad Jamal's locked-groove obsessions, and elements of Wynton Kelly, Bud Powell, and McCoy Tyner to his work. However, Scott showed he could expand beyond his neo-bop base on The Beautiful Thing, an album with pronounced Latin and soul-jazz tendencies on some tracks. He started piano at the age of five, and progressed rapidly to the point where he was taking private lessons...
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Minerva's Web, Stephen Scott
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