Pianos in the Kitchen (From the Kitchen Archive No.5)

1. Philip Glass – Fourth Series, Part IV (Mad Rush)
2. Meredith Monk, Traveling
3. Meredith Monk, Paris
4. Charlemagne Palestine, Exceprt from Evolution of a Sonority in Strumming and Arpeggio Style for Bosendorfer Piano
5. Anthony Davis, A Walk Through the Shadows
6. Dennis Russell Davies, Excerpt from Ritual for Piano by Keith Jarrett
7. Harold Budd, Excerpt from Preludes for Solo Piano

Orange Mountain Music (to be released May 24)

This is a very nice anthology of piano works from The Kitchen, performed by the composers themselves back when Downtown was still, well, Downtown. If I have any complaint, it is that the Palestine work on here is an excerpt, and it really begs for a complete recording (of course, given Palestine’s occasional lengthy durations, it perhaps would warrant an album all to itself. Regardless, it’s a great piece and I wish the complete performance from 1976 could be released).

Mad Rush is a classic, and nicely performed here by Glass himself. I knew the first Monk piece from her work Education of the Girlchild, but her work Paris has not been recorded before, at least that I am aware of, and features an opening dialogue with the audience by Meredith Monk herself. The piece starts out familiar enough then takes off into an area I’ve not heard before from her. There is also no voice, which is unusual, though not unique among her works.

The Palestine work is the best thing on this album, at least for me. It bears resemblance to Strumming Music but is also very different and the chordal structures and floating harmonies are incredible. In case I wasn’t clear enough, this work begs for a full recording. Surely the rest of the tape exists.

The works by Anthony Davis and Keith Jarrett are interesting, and I had never heard anything from either previously. The Budd piece is fairly typical Budd, which is good. An excerpt as well, it did bring to my mind some resemblance to his performance of Children of the Hill at New Music America in Chicago, and is well worth the listen.

So in the end, this is a nice, but somewhat too short, sampler. There are some items of this that are historically interesting, but a fuller CD might have been more compelling-perhaps a separate CD with the complete Budd and Palestine works.

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