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Sound Songs

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Album Review

Avant-garde pioneer Roscoe Mitchell performs all of the music on this two-CD set, some of it unaccompanied solos with about half of the selections using overdubbing. Mitchell is mostly heard on alto and soprano but also utilizes percussion and "little instruments" in addition to flutes. Some of the numbers are closely planned, programmed loosely with themes and plots, but there is also plenty of free-form improvising. Mitchell, a master at using silence and repetition, creates thoroughly unpredictable music that is generally quite logical in hindsight. Still, since these are sound explorations and there are plenty of violent moments, this is mostly for very open-eared listeners.

Biography

Born: 03 August 1940 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Roscoe Mitchell is the rare jazz musician who also moves comfortably within the realm of contemporary classical music. It might even be said that Mitchell is a more convincing artist when working in European-influenced forms. When relying on structural and formal jazz conventions, Mitchell can often come off as stilted and unswinging. On the other hand, his forays into free-time, nontonal improvisation (both structured and unstructured) are as spontaneous and as emotionally satisfying as the best...
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Sound Songs, Roscoe Mitchell
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