Monday, January 06, 2003


As we face the challenges of the New Year, Gabriel Verdinalli re-introduces the late Italian composer Pietro Sassu’s moving ‘Jazz Te Deum’ for chorus, soloists and orchestra in the news section of the encyclopaedic

“The result [of Sassu’s labours] is a script whereby the traditional text of Te Deum and the appearance of some “profane” authors leads to moments of intense spirituality, a strong ethnic tension and the proud claim of the difficult human condition. The important presence of poets of the Sardinian language emphasizes the strong mark of originality of the opera: the Jazz Te Deum was born in Sardinia and it cannot but nourish itself in its own culture.”

The work, which I have only heard excerpts from, is profiled here on the Holywood site..

AAJ also contains an interview with controversial composer and pianist Uri Caine, whose re-casting of classical works, from Bach onwards, have caused both delight and alarm. He has a forthcoming album featuring Beethoven’s ‘Diabelli Variations’, and he shows few signs of mellowing:

“Just as if Charlie Parker is taking an Irving Berlin song and playing the s**t out of it and therefore making it in a way another composition, transforming it through improvisation, you can do that, assuming that you get the music together, with a Mahler symphony or a Serbian folksong or an Ornette Coleman line or drum and bass grooves.”

As you would expect, there is also a swathe of upcoming releases from every corner of the jazz galaxy.

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