Bril­liant tex­tures, un­flam­boy­ant mark­ings and sub­tle pas­sages which are as much about cre­at­ing space as em­bel­lish­ing grooves

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - JIM CAR­ROLL

DVORÁK: SYM­PHONY NO 6; AMER­I­CAN SUITE Luzerner Sin­fonieorch­ester/ James Gaf­fi­gan Har­mo­nia Mundi HMC 902188

James Gaf­fi­gan is a thor­oughly ge­nial guide to Dvorák’s Sixth Sym­phony, one of the com­poser’s most con­sis­tently sunny works. The Amer­i­can con­duc­tor finds plenty of bite in the dis­tinc­tive twists and turns of the fu­ri­ant (a Czech dance) that Dvorák used for the Scherzo, and he cer­tainly doesn’t shirk the im­pli­ca­tions of the dark clouds that oc­ca­sion­ally gather over a work that’s of­ten de­scribed as be­ing pas­toral in na­ture. But the stand­out char­ac­ter­is­tic of the per­for­mance is the way Gaf­fi­gan de­lights in, as it were, draw­ing at­ten­tion to the spe­cial beau­ties of the gor­geous land­scapes he’s lead­ing his lis­ten­ers through. The gen­tle straight­for­ward­ness is not quite as suc­cess­ful in the mu­si­cally slen­der Suite, Op 98b, from Dvorák’s Amer­i­can years. har­mo­ni­a­mundi.com

VAR­I­OUS New Or­leans Soul Soul Jazz

Soul Jazz has done ster­ling work min­ing the Cres­cent City’s mu­si­cal ar­chives and they’ve fo­cused on funk and jazz for pre­vi­ous sets. Here it’s soul sides recorded from 1966 to 1976 which gives this com­pi­la­tion its flavour. By the late 1960s, the city had lost some of its stand­ing as a mu­si­cal cen­tre of ex­cel­lence as tastes changed, but peo­ple like Allen Tous­saint, Mar­shall Sel­horn and Cosimo Matassa (who passed away last month) in­sti­gated la­bels, stu­dios and dis­trib­u­tors to give fresh tal­ent a plat­form. In the late 1960s, acts such as Aaron Neville, Betty Har­ris and Francine Kinghit a rare run of form. While Matassa’s sub­se­quent bank­ruptcy cre­ated many business prob­lems, the sounds com­ing out of the Big Easy dur­ing that short win­dow still make for very good times. soul­jaz­zrecords.co.uk

DO­RIAN CON­CEPT Joined Ends Ninja Tune

When Aus­trian pro­ducer Oliver John­son goes to work, you’re guar­an­teed some su­perla­tive sounds to come out the other and His 2005 de­but When Plan­ets Ex­plode showed off his beat mak­ing abil­i­ties and nose for as­tro­funk but Joined Ends is a more lush, nu­anced and calmer af­fair. John­son has a canny tal­ent for trac­ing lines in and around tracks to house a whole bevy of in­flu­ences, but he still al­lows the tune to freely ex­ist inits own or­bit. Mint and Tried (Now Tired) have their flow neatly tracked with bril­liant tex­tures un­flam­boy­ant mark­ings and very sub­tle pas­sages which are as much about cre­at­ing space as em­bel­lish­ing grooves It’s a finely crafted al­bum and bodes well for John­son’s fu­ture progress, be it more min­i­mally pitched fare or work for sound­tracks or scores. do­ri­an­con­cept.com

MICHAEL DER­VAN

JIM CAR­ROLL

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