I’ll tell you right now, folks, this CD is almost too much for any listener (even experienced reviewers) to take in one sitting… the keyword here is – AMAZING! Nicholas’ compositions and arrangements include swirling big-band epics with spoken/sung-word woven through the pieces… check out the opener, “Winter – 44th Year” to get an aural glimpse into a world you’ve not heard before. As that tune bends away from the spoken word into the second piece, “Round and Round“, I realize I’ve already found my favorite track! The vocal by Christine Correa, combined with the high-energy instrumentation of the host of other players, is just superb… I was especially impressed with the keyboard on this one (Frank Carlberg), & you will be too! All 8 tracks are gems, and this CD gets an immediate MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for adventuresome jazz listeners of all persuasions… “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is 4.98. This is an album you won’t soon forget!
Jazz has a singular ability to elevate mediocre poetry to surprising heights. Jack Kerouac’s recitations with jazz improvisations is a telling example and now the talented arranger and bandleader Nicholas Urie lifts Charles Bukowski’s poetry in a delicious big band setting with soloists such as John Carlson and Douglas Yates.
However the most important ingredient is the vocalist Christine Correa. She has an easy, “cool” technique and with her voice she captures Bukowski’s words in a dark net where the poems get a clearer shape than ever was possible on the page of a book or in a pure recitation. Never before have Bukowski’s texts been so captivating as when Correa rises with Udden and Yates while Kenny Pexton blasts on the tenor and Brian Landrus, like a weight pulls down the music to an existential zero.
It is cold, dark and totally glimmering.
Magnus Eriksson, Lira Magazine, Sweden. Translated by Frank Carlberg.