LARS MØLLER: ReWrite of Spring
10 December 2015
George W. Harris
Jazz bands since Woody Herman have attempted to swing Igor Stravinsky’s famed Rite of Spring, all with varying results. Composer and Conductor Lars Møller makes a wise choice in this studio/concert version of the piece by re-arranging a bulk of the work while still retaining the ultimate sound and feel. Even better, the 17 piece orchestra is augmented by appearances by David Liebman on soprano sax (although I do hear a wooden flute that sounds like him) and Marilyn Mazur’s percussion work.
Liebman sounds both free and under control on the 11 minute “Evocation” as horns and percussion veers back and forth. The velvety horns work well on the “Interlude” and the famed them of “Introduction” is lonely and clear. Mazur’s talking African drum adds extra texture to “Spring Square” while the drums and percussion gallop dramatically in sync as the drive up the backs of the horns on “Procession.” This might be the best results yet of melding the harmonies of classical music with the improvisations and rhythms of jazz. Bravo!