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1. Purple Wind (for Sun Ra) 2. Origami Tendris 3. Timid Tyrannosaurus 4. Avoiding the Guilt Trip 5. Chimp Without a Tree 6. Bipolar or Schizo? 7. As the Boy Bridge Begins to Shake 8. Too Much Chocolate 9. Bowlegged Bagel Baker 10. Gino's Flute Nightmare 11. Sodomites from a Declining Empire 12. Mad Cow Diseas 13. Peter Greenaway 14. Nine Years Later Line-up: Philip Gelb - shakuhachi / electronics with: Gino Robair - percussion, wind instruments Miya Masaoka - koto Dennis Palmer - keyboards Dana Reason - piano
The name of Philip Gelb is well known to lots of lovers of the avant-garde style, one of the most 'adventurous' manifestations of contemporary Progressive Rock, or better to say contemporary Classical Music with some elements of Art Rock and Jazz Fusion. Philip Gelb is a real Master of the instrument he plays. The absolute majority of works composed and performed by him in different years contain various Japanese national instruments like koto, reeds, and of course, Philip's 'own' specific and exotic string instrument, shakuhachi.
Listening to the 'Purple Wind' album piece after piece I can agree with a brief description from the CD booklet: 'All instrumental, fully improvisational music'. Yes, the endless development of musical themes is based on diverse improvisations of various instruments, but these are not Jazzy improvisations most of us are familiar with. Improvisational structures I hear on 'Purple Wind' are very complex and, at the same time, very harmonious. Maybe I am just mistaken, but I am sure all these endless improvisations were specially and thoroughly composed, not played on the spur of the moment.
The music on 'Purple Wind' most of all reminds me of beautiful pieces from medieval Japanese Classical music. Also, when I listen to this album I have some associations with historical films by one of the most serious Japanese directors, Akiro Kurasava. Just a thought, 'Purple Wind' could be an excellent 'thematic' soundtrack for one of Kurasava's epic pictures.
VM. March 29, 2000
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