Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Clare Fischer Orchestra, Music for Strings, Percussion and the Rest

Clare Fischer was one of those artist-composers who did things as he felt them, never being content to work in a narrowly defined zone, but branching forward in unexpected ways. His music was always worth hearing, a talented pianist-arranger-composer who added modern classical elements to his jazz work.

We get a good chance to hear his orchestral music on a release by the Clare Fischer Orchestra entitled Music for Strings, Percussion and the Rest (Clavo 201309). It is a compendium of some 11 works, recorded over a period of time, a sequel to the earlier release After the Rain (see the September 25, 2014 posting on this blog for a review of that).

The pieces were written at various points throughout his career, and conducted by Fischer himself, by Gary Foster and by Clare's son Brent. There is an arrangement of Mancini's "Two for the Road," a Brent arrangement of Clare's "Suddenly," and two brief works by Brent himself. Otherwise, this is pure Clare with an eclectic yet personal synthetic modernism joining with elements of the jazz tinge one might expect to find.

There are lyrical elements, harmonically rich expanses, and an unpredictability that was the special domain of Fischer.

Don't expect this to be a "jazz" album per se. It is Fischer the classicist and very worthwhile for all that. Quite recommended!

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