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

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music festival world, and music festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Poor Richard - Knees, Reins & Feet – As the debate over the meaning of the word "progressive" (as it applies to rock music) continues, the loosest interpretations generally define it as anything that eschews the mainstream...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues