Pianist & composer Matt Herskowitz’s Jerusalem Trilogy was born from a proposed concert of works by Jewish composers for the Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York. The composer was commissioned to write something for the concert, to represent a more contemporary side of the program, and by a living composer.
Happily, the piece was a big success, and Herskowitz began thinking about the possibility of recording it. He soon realized that Jerusalem Trilogy had a unique sound all its own, and that the envisaged album should continue exploring the concept of blending classical and jazz elements – present in all Herskowitz’s work – with the unique hybrid of Arab and Jewish styles.
Daniel Schnyder, Swiss composer and saxophonist extraordinaire, produced the session, which not only showcases his trio (with bassist Mat Fieldes and drummer David Rozenblatt), but also an impressive array of supporting musicians, including such luminaries as acclaimed violinist Lara St. John.
The album, featuring entirely new, original compositions and arrangements, is a return to the idea of the “pianist-composer-improviser” of the late 19th century, but in a 21st century context. The recording includes “Jerusalem Trilogy,” a 20-minute work for piano, bass, drums, violin and cello; “Polonaise Libanaise,” a new composition for trio plus soprano sax and flute (with a clin-d’oeil to Chopin’s Polonaise in F# minor, op. 44); a new arrangement of “Under Your White Starry Heaven” for violin and cello with trio; Matt’s arrangement of the classic song “Göttingen” by the late French chanteuse Barbara, which features a bit of everyone found on the recording; a “heavy groove” piece for the trio called “Crossbones;” and finally, an arrangement for trio of an etude by Prokofiev, called “Prokofiev’s Revenge.”
Joining the trio on various cuts are violinist Lara St. John; cellist Mike Block; soprano saxophonist and flutist Daniel Schnyder (who also produced); and special guest Bassam Saba on Nay, a Persian flute, on which he’s one of the world’s few masters.
The end result of Jerusalem Trilogy has exceeded the expectations of both artist and record label. Every piece and each musician contributes something unique to the whole, creating a beautifully unified tapestry, where many seemingly different styles become one. This happens when great musicians bring their love and enthusiasm to a project.
For additional information visit http://www.justin-time.com
..:: Source: DL Media ::..