CD Lyric Suite for Sextet (CD 247756), Audio Other
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Lyric Suite for Sextet

  • 1. Part 1-Overture
    2. Part 2-Waltz
    3. Part 3-Sketch (For Thelonious Monk)
    4. Part 4-Roller Coaster
    5. Part 5-Brasilia
    6. Part 6-Dream
    7. Part 7-Finale
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 815 274

  • Credits
    ProducerManfred Eicher
    EngineerBernie Kirsh

    Personnel: Chick Corea (piano); Gary Burton (vibraphone); Ikwhan Bae, Carol Shive (violin); Karen Dreyfus (viola); Fred Sherry (cello).
    Recorded at Mad Hatter Studios, Los Angeles, California in September 1982.
    Lyric Suite for Sextet reunites the Grammy-winning duo of vibraharpist Gary Burton and pianist Chick Corea, augmented this time by a string quartet. There's no denying the pair's technical proficiency creates some sparks, but the suite's abstruse melodies and discursive arrangements are daunting to follow. Like trying to catch a butterfly without a net, the opening "Overture" alights before listeners can pin it down, and what remains is a sensation of something sophisticated but ultimately elusive. The remaining sections are more spectres than songs, unwilling or unable to take a concrete form. A notable exception is "Brasilia," not coincidentally the one piece that favors melody over mathematics. Here and on "Dream" the strings are often out of the mix, allowing Burton and Corea to continue the relationship begun on albums like Duet. Similar to Frank Zappa's Jazz From Hell (which won a Grammy of its own in 1987, albeit in the rock category), Lyric Suite for Sextet may be too smart for its own good. No doubt Corea's work looked great on paper, but in performance it suggests the soundtrack to a PBS murder mystery (the apprehensive melodies and bittersweet subject matter are the main culprits here). If you enjoy jazz/classical hybrids, which are by their nature intellectual pursuits, than this music should pique your interest. However, better to think of this as a duet with some string support than a sextet of equal partners. ~ Dave Connolly

  • Critic Reviews
    Q (4/93, p.96) - 3 Stars - Good - "...retains a characteristic jazz spirit while standing firmly in the chamber music tradition..."
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