New music breaking out of the acedemic world and into the nightclub. John Adler may not be a trumpet-playing beauty like Alieen Balsom or Tine Thing Helsch but the music he makes is but just the same. For this recording he and Tracy Cowden play seven new works commissioned for the "Confronting Inertia
" project, which features trumpet works in classical forms written by jazz composers influenced now and then by usual suspects such as the French Impressionists, Radiohead, Andre Jolivert, Charlie Parker, and Shosiakowich.
the music is heavy on mood and the trumpet's tendancy to seek out harmonic and tonal centres based more on a focused intensity than an excess of emotion. The lyricism is often strained, sometimes beyond recognition, and it's always a voice crying out, as in Erik Fergason's poingnant musical valentine (and title tune). the longest work is James Miley's 15-minute pastel blend, usuing lots of cool notes. By contrast, Eric Nathan's exqusite Cantus is emotion laid bare, usuing electronics to create a video game-like sonic landscape of trumpet sounds and fears.
Young and takented, Adler came up through the ranks of the American music education system at its best, which is to say less disciplined then the German, less rational than the French and less rebellious than the British. Otherwise, it can hold its own with any. And it's always good to see that the new music it is generating is gaining access to the non-acedemic world.
The recordings were made in Blacksburg, Virginia, and project a nightclub atmosphere, haunted by spotlights and shaddows that occasionally give the music a sinister air.