Erik Friedlander 'Maldoror'
Maldoror (Brassland 2003)
For those that are familiar with this 'Downtown Scene' cellist Erik Friedlander it is surprising to note that this was his first solo work. Having worked for years with the likes of Zorn, Dave Douglas through to Laurie Anderson et.al & leader of groups such as Chimera (w/Chris Speed, Drew Gress, Andrew D'Angelo) & Topaz, he is regarded as the premier cellist in the improvised music scene.
The idea behind this recording was that the producer (Michael Montres) would present a piece of 19C French surrealist poetry & Friedlander would immediately improvise based on the feelings & impressions he felt. These excerpts were from Comte De Lautreamont (1846-1870) Les Chantes de Maldoror. Excerpts from these poems can be found in the liner notes. His interpretations of these poems are quite striking with a sense of flow & unwavering energy with a certain mythical or haunting beauty. Although definintely avante-garde there is little that can be regarded as atonal & hence this album is reasonably accessible. And although one can hear the usual depth in his cello there is not really a single piece that stands out to be listened on its own, but rather much of the strength shines through if this album is listened to in its entirety. This is quite a strong release from an unquestionably talented musician.
Brassland suggests (according to their website) buying this & their other releases oddly enough right here.