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CD Review: Creative Music Studios: Archive Selections Volume 2 

click to enlarge 2015, Planet Arts Records
  • 2015, Planet Arts Records

Various Artists Creative Music Studio: Archive Selections Volume 2

In the 1970s and 1980s, Woodstock's groundbreaking Creative Music Studio study center was the site of hundreds of concerts by visiting, resident, and student musicians, many of which were recorded. Thanks to grants and fundraising activities, the still extant jazz / world music organization has been pursuing the mammoth task of digitizing the towering trove of tapes in the CMS archive. Like Archive Selections Volume 1 (reviewed in the December 2014 issue of Chronogram), Volume 2 is an enhanced three-CD set whose discs are individually devoted to small ensembles, large ensembles, and world music. CMS cofounder Karl Berger is heard on several cuts across the set, either on piano, vibes, or balafon.

Disc 1 features the duo of Anthony Braxton and Marilyn Crispell, the Kalaparusha Trio, and the Paul Motian Trio; the latter's "Mushi Mushi" sees the leader and drummer in a more hard-hitting mode than the soft swing he traded in with Bill Evans. The larger groupings on disc 2 include a misty, 22-minute piece led by trumpeter Baikida Carroll and a likewise lengthy (27 minutes) and unnamed performance by trumpeter Don Cherry's ensemble, which boasts the recently departed percussionist Nana Vasconcelos. Vasconcelos also appears in flutist Ismet Siral's group and with sitarist Collin Walcott on disc 3, whose other highlights include the mysterious music of veena virtuoso Ustad Dagar and djembe king Amadou Jarr. Another installment of incredible sounds from the CMS vault, Archive Selections Volume 2 awaits your adventurous ears.

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  • Peter Aaron reviews this album by various artists.


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