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MP3 Joan Wildman Trio - Inside Out

Piano, piano strings, and synthesizer joined by double bass and percussion perform innovative compositions with unusual designs of improvisation and form.

8 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Weird Jazz, CLASSICAL: Contemporary

Inside Out
Joan Wildman Trio
Joan Wildman: piano, piano strings, synthesizer
Hans Sturm: double bass
Dane Richeson: drums, percussion
with special guest Bob Stright on vibes

"Joan Wildman''s synthesizer playing is among the most thoughtful I''ve ever encountered. Yet there''s an underlying assertiveness and enough elements of surprise to demand repeated listenings. I hear influences from Paul Bley, Herbie Hancock''s "Crossings" Septet, mid-1970''s Miles Davis and early Weather Report.
If this publication had a rating system, I''d give this recording five stars."
Steve Goldstein, Arts Midwest Jazz Letter

"The Many Sides of Joan"
"Joan Wildman''s personal world of music expands ever outward with the release ''Inside Out'' by pulling the listener in even as she''s pushing the music out. That''s because her exploratory nature possesses a curious allure, like the snake charmer who takes the creature where she wants it to go. Partly it''s the near perfect balance of program between her acoustic piano and her magical synthesizer. Partly it''s her uncanny ways of casting out new musical forms. And there''s the devilish collusion of bassist Hans Sturm and percussionist Dane Richeson.
''Whdja? offers a deceptively simple, enchanting sound and form. Her synthesizer sounds less like high technology then exotic instruments and voices, singing a plaintive theme in a modal like groove that gains complexity in the improvisers'' development.
Built from a deep synthesizer vocabulary, "Chant for Synthesizer and Ball builds a quietly hypnotic weave from a tape-loop recording of a spoken-voice fragment, with subtle shifts of time throughout.
Wildman evokes a few stylistic references in her pieces; that of Keith Jarrett in the modernized boogie-woogie of ''Attitude Control'', pensive in its energy."
Brian Lynch, The Capital Times

Many of the compositions in this recording focus on unusual designs of improvisation and form. Easy Time and 3X19 are the least different, only the length of the forms are nontraditional, but Attitude Control requires alteration of performance styles and Whdja? requires alteration of structure. The improviser can also create new musical shapes in Prairie Music but the outer edges of the structure are defined: each soloist is shown a specific number of empty measures around which the other players read precise notation. both the form and style of improvisation in Key Chains relates to the activities of a live dance performance while Chant for Duo derives its momentum from a looped sample of a vocal phrase.

Attitude Control evokes the feel of earlier time; from the march-like beginning, through the stride remnants and a backsliding boogie-woogis, to a 60''s free-for-all. All played with confident disregard from what might be expected.

Easy Time is an eleven-measure ballad. Its structure is described in my article "Going Outside to Play" in Jazz and Keyboard Workshop (Aug., 1988).

Whdja? is a current example of "orphan folk music." The music is improvised from a notated "ground" or bass line, which contains "bulges" or expansion points. There is no traditional melody as such. While playing through the form each soloist is assigned a different measure (rhythmic pattern) which can be repeated as many times as desired, before and after which the precise form (rhythm, harmonies of each measure) must be followed.
This composition is specifically written for synthesizer instead of piano because of the contrasting sound qualities needed for each hand. The composite keyboard sound is primarily programmed for DX-7 with a sampled DX-7 sound for the EMAX.
Hans expands the melodic capabilities with his arco solo while Dane enlarges both the timbral and rhythmic vocabularies of the music by adding an African talking drum and various other percussion bells and shakers to his basic drum and cymbal sounds.

3X19 is a 19-bar waltz with a very simple melody harmonized by equally simple chords played at unusual times. This is melody-making improvisation and one tries to follow Charlie Parker''s advice to play the ''pretty notes.''

Prairie Music is extracted from the swing rhythms of the Nebraska sandhills on any windy, summer afternoon. Although it is mostly notated, each performer has a ''free solo'' within a designated number of measures.

A live improvised performance with a solo dancer, Key Chains contains sounds complimentary to piano and piano strings which are MIDI-ed from an EMAX and Proteus to several presets on a DX-7 keyboard. During performance the piano forms a right angle on the left of the synthesizer keyboard so the hands often play both keyboards simultaneouly while the left foot controls the piano''s damper pedal and the right foot works with the synth''s sustain pedal. The performance becomes especially challenging when it becomes necessary to stand up (on one''s heels) to reach into the harmonics of the piano strings.

Applesause was sheer fun. Combinations of platitudes mixing up with constriucted rhythms and melodic lines. Dedicated to two deceased apple trees I used to know.

By programming certain keys to play different types of sounds, it is often unnecessary to use sequencers or taped materials during a live synthesizer performance. The central aspect of Chant for Duo is the rhythm of the looped voice sample (a second duo, for two snare drums, is also based upon this same material) around which Hans and I weave analogous line (including a fragment of the Dies Irae). Most of what I know about ''musical time'' is utilized in this piece.

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