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Many Worlds

Artist: Greg Burk
Greg Burk - Many Worlds CD
Label: 482 Music
Regular Price: $14.95
On Sale For: $7.48 
Year: 2010
Format: CD


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On his fourth release for 482, Burk expands and refines concepts from his earlier work in startling new ways. With Henry Cook on woodwinds, bassist Ron Seguin and drummer Michel Lambert, Burk crafts a disc of extraordinary power, stunning beauty and timbral intrigue.

While this is the first recording of this quartet, there is a sense of familiarity and group chemistry apparent throughout. Burk and Cook's collaborations date back to their time with Boston's Either Orchestra, and Burk, Cook and Seguin have a performing history in Rome, Burk's home since 2004. With Lambert traveling frequently to Europe and active with Seguin on the Canadian jazz scene, the group has had a chance to form the bonds evident on its recorded debut.

All of Greg Burk's music pushes at the boundaries of composition, improvisation and of jazz itself; this newest offering is no exception. "I want my music to be beautiful," he states emphatically. "I love the freedom brought to this music by its pioneers, but I also love melody and structure." These are concerns that developed early. Burk comes from a musical family in which opera and orchestral repertoire played a very important role. Simultaneously, Burk began to develop a consuming passion for improvisation. "I was never a very good classical pianist, and I would always improvise between repetitions of what I was supposed to be practicing." His diverse musical interests led him to the innovations of John Coltrane, which he credits for cementing his interest in jazz. Later studies with Yusef Lateef, Archie Shepp and, perhaps most importantly, Paul Bley would bring Burk to the rhythmically flexible group concept which pervades much of the quartet interplay on Many Worlds. "He was a model for my development. He comes from a jazz tradition, but he challenges himself continually to improvise in other contexts."

Many Worlds is a record of continuous group exploration; each chord, gesture and composition leads to the next while maintaining autonomy, conjuring worlds while connecting them. The album's title is an apt descriptor, both of the compositional process and of the exploratory soundscapes evoked on this quartet's stellar debut.
Greg Burk (piano, small percussion); Henry Cook (saxophones, flutes, washint); Michel Lambert (drums, percussion); Ron Seguin (bass, percussion)
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