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Derek Bermel – Migrations (24/44 FLAC)

Derek Bermel - Migrations (24/44 FLAC)
Derek Bermel – Migrations (24/44 FLAC)


Composer: Derek Bermel
Performer: Derek Bermel, Ted Nash, Luciana Souza
Orchestra: Juilliard Jazz Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: David Alan Miller
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Naxos
Catalogue: 8559871
Release: 2019
Size: 573 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Migration Series
01. I. Landscape – Interlude No. 1
02. II. After a Lynching
03. Interlude No. 2 – III. A Rumor
04. IV. Riots and Moon Shines – Interlude No. 3
05. V. Still Arriving

Mar de Setembro
06. Prólogo. Que voz lunar
07. I. Mar de setembro
08. II. Canção
09. III. Ocultas águas
10. IV. Frutos

A Shout, A Whisper, and A Trace
11. I. Amerikanizálódik
12. II. Az ejszaka zeneje
13. III. Vég

Migrations provides a generous view of Derek Bermel’s superb craftsmanship and eclectic style, in which classical forms, world music, jazz, blues and American folk music create a mix that reaches directly into the body and the heart. Commissioned by Wynton Marsalis, Migration Series has its roots in African American music, its impeccable counterpoint and biting rhythms expressed through orchestration that sounds like a city coming to life. Mar de Setembro was inspired by Luciana Souza’s bell-toned voice and the intense feelings of Portuguese saudade, while A Shout, a Whisper, and a Trace honours Bartók’s last years in New York, referring to the Concerto for Orchestra as well as to jazz and Balkan music.

Eclecticism has been an important and popular stylistic movement in 21st-century classical music, and few do eclecticism as well as composer and performer Derek Bermel. He has premiered and performed on four continents, has collaborated with an eclectic array of artists, and received commissions globally. His work Voices for clarinet and orchestra was nominated for a Grammy Award.

Grammy Award-winning conductor David Alan Miller has established a reputation as one of the leading American conductors of his generation. Music director of the Albany Symphony since 1992, Miller has proven himself a creative and compelling orchestra builder. Through exploration of unusual repertoire, educational programming, community outreach and recording initiatives, he has reaffirmed the Albany Symphony’s reputation as one of the nation’s leading champions of American symphonic music and most innovative orchestras. A native of Los Angeles, Miller holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master’s degree in orchestral conducting from The Juilliard School.

Grammy Award winner Luciana Souza is a leading jazz singer and interpreter. Her work as a performer transcends the traditional boundaries of musical styles, with roots in jazz, a sophisticated lineage in world music, and an enlightened approach to new music.

The Juilliard Jazz Orchestra (JJO), the premier large ensemble for Juilliard Jazz, was founded when the programme began in 2001. Led by resident conductor Jerome Jennings, the ensemble performs a wide spectrum of American jazz music, to contemporary composers including Jimmy Heath, Wynton Marsalis and Ted Nash, among many others.

The Albany Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Alan Miller has produced some of our most acclaimed American Classics releases in recent years, including Daugherty’s Dreamachine (8559807): ‘Kudos…to David Alan Miller, who shapes each work most thoughtfully, and never allows the forward motion to flag. The Albany Symphony plays brilliantly throughout the well-recorded disc’ (Fanfare), and Corigliano’s Grammy Award-winning Conjurer (8559757): ‘David Alan Miller’s Albany players gleam under the solo spotlight that Corigliano often shines on them and also respond with plenty of whump – faithfully captured – on the few occasions that he lets them rip as an ensemble’ (International Record Review).

While it’s possible to categorize Derek Bermel’s music as eclectic, since he mingles elements of jazz, blues, folk, world, and avant-garde music within a western orchestral framework, that term seems to gloss over his originality, expressive depth, and serious purpose, especially because eclecticism implies superficial stylistic dabbling, not the in-depth appreciation he has for all the music from which he draws. Listening to his 2019 Naxos album Migrations, presented by the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra and the Albany Symphony, under David Alan Miller, one may be impressed by the consistency of Bermel’s rich ensemble sound and his dexterity with textures and tone colors, whether in his jazz-oriented Migration Series (2006), the Portuguese saudade-influenced Mar de Setembro (2011), featuring vocalist Luciana Souza, or the evocation of modernist Americana in A Shout, a Whisper, and a Trace (2009), which was inspired by Béla Bartók’s final years in New York. Bermel’s feeling for musical variety and skill in adapting idioms to his expression would be remarkable in any composer, but in his hands, the category labels seem less significant than the authentic moods and emotions he brings to his work; the inventiveness of his approach makes style seem secondary, if not wholly irrelevant. Recorded in 2015 and 2016 at various sessions in Troy, New York, the performances on this release are clearly well-rehearsed and competent, conveying the inner substance of Bermel’s work.

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