Personnel: Marty Walker (clarinet, bass clarinet); Rick Cox (clarinet); Wadada Leo Smith (trumpet); Bryan Pezzone (piano); William Winant (marimba).
Recording information: Architecture, Los Angeles, CA (12/2000-03/2001).
New music clarinetist Marty Walker recorded a handful of pieces from composers related to the label Cold Blue. They range from solo clarinet pieces (Michael Byron's quirky "Elegant Detours") to overdubbed trios. Michael Jon Fink's contribution, "As Is Thought/Aurora," features the same Debussy-esque elegance found on his own CD, I Hear It in the Rain. Amy Knoles lent her voice to "Song(s) of the Sirens." Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and pianist Bryan Pezzone are featured on "Among Simple Shadows," a soft work. William Winant can be heard on marimba, along with David Johnson, on the trio diptych "Dancing on Water." Walker's playing is warm and enjoyable, especially on bass clarinet, but it is not enough to give life to some of these works, especially Jim Fox's and Peter Garland's. Rick Cox's series of short bass clarinet duets, titled "On Tuesday" provides Dancing on Water's best minutes. These ballads are very moving and epitomize the whole album. That is maybe what's most disturbing about the CD: all pieces follow the same Spartan rules. One would expect it to insure cohesion, but it has the reverse effect: everything sounds too similar, with the exception of the last two works. ~ Fran?ois Couture