SWISS JAZZ ORCHES­TRA AND JIM MCNEELY

Paul Klee Mons

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music Reviews - RAY COMISKEY

Com­mis­sioned by the SJO to write a se­ries of pieces in­spired by spe­cific paint­ings by Paul Klee, McNeely sought not to evoke the vis­ual de­tail of in­di­vid­ual pic­tures, but to get be­neath the sur­face and “to hear what Klee was see­ing”. The process pro­duced some of his most re­mark­able scores, packed with in­ci­dent and di­ver­sity, ten­sion and re­lease, the ex­plicit bal­anced with the am­biva­lent, some­times within a sin­gle phrase. They’re beau­ti­fully per­formed by the SJO, an ensem­ble of Swiss-watch pre­ci­sion, which cap­tured some­thing of what McNeely sought. Es­pe­cially strik­ing is the gracile lyri­cism of The Tightrope Walker, the fore­bod­ing am­bi­gu­ity of Death and Fire, the melan­choly know­ing­ness of Bust of a Child, the tartly jostling ten­sions, never to­tally ban­ished, of In­di­vid­ual Mea­sure­ment of Lay­ers, and the febrile, haunt­ing evo­ca­tion of Rose Wind. www.mon­srecords.de

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