Friday, February 5, 2010

Tom Varner Sells Me a CD

Last October I posted a review of Tom Varner's The Window Up Above: American Songs 1770-1998. Varner channels avant garde jazz through the French horn, which might be illegal in some states.  His songbook is full of rich interpretations of traditional American melodies that accomplish the basic purpose of avant garde: expanding the original genius of the music along hitherto unsuspected dimensions.  It is a magnificent album. 

I didn't notice until recently that Tom himself left a comment to that post:
thank you! got a new one out, too--you'd like it--- a tentet, "Heaven and Hell" has lots of info---- thanks for the listen, ken! best tom varner
I was excited and flattered to see this gracious comment.  This is the first time that a jazz artist has responded to one of my reviews.  I thought it only reasonable that I should obtain Varner's new CD, so I ordered it from Amazon, along with the new Dave King recording (free shipping!) that reader Will mentioned.  If I haven't accomplished anything else with this blog, I am selling music to myself.  

Tonight I have been listening to Varner's The Mystery of Compassion.  It is a delightful production from ink to beat.  I love the cover and the album title.  The list of song titles turns the music into a series of Zen koans: 'How Does Power Work?', 'Death at the Right Time', '$1000 Hat'.  The music ranges from solid bop to intense avant garde wailing.  Tom is no ordinary composer.  

You can get it for few dimes from eMusic.  Tell 'em I sent ya.  I'll let you know about Heaven and Hell when it gets here. 

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