Exposé Online banner

Various Artists — Conversations: Keyboard and Chamber Music by John Bilotta and David Gaines
(Navona Records NV5829, 2010, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01

Conversations: Keyboard and Chamber Music by John Bilotta and David Gaines Cover art

The subtitle of this recording is “Keyboard and Chamber Music by John Bilotta and David Gaines” – Bilotta and Gaines are not the performers here, that is handled by a varied cast of instrumentalists, most of whom appear for only one composition. There are three solo piano pieces, one solo clarinet piece, a few duets (flute and clarinet, alto flute and guitar, piano and euphonium, viola and mallet percussion, flute and oboe), plus one work for baritone saxophone and chamber orchestra. One of the joys of this CD is hearing the unusual combinations explored, with the tonal contrasts they provide. Euphonium and piano? Why not! Bilotta’s lovely “Shadow Tree,” for alto flute and guitar is a particular pleasure to hear, with the rich throaty flute tones and a guitar part that is modern (not derivative of a guitar tradition I can detect) yet sounds completely natural. Viola and marimba also make a nice combination, bowed vs. percussive, in Gaines’ “Suite of Changes.” “...And Dispel the Miseries of the World,” Gaines’ piece for bari sax and orchestra, finishes off the CD, and is the most substantial piece presented, both in instrumentation and length. James DeJoie (Moraine) leaves his effects pedals at home for this outing, fully exploring the range of the instrument in its unenhanced form, and it’s fascinating to hear it in a non-jazz setting, playing off strings, brass, other woodwinds, and orchestral percussion.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): James DeJoie, Various Artists

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tarántula - Tarántula – Tarántula was part of the first wave of Spanish progressive bands from the 70s. This first album from 1976, heretofore a difficult find, has just been reissued on CD in Korea. A five-piece of...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues