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Reactions

Look Both Ways                                                                   Otherworld Music

"...an unusual recording that places Luciano Berio's modernist works alongside the jazzy musings of composer David Sherr.  The Art Music Ensemble shows its versatility in this disc, giving both high quality jazz and contemporary classical performances."
Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Chamber Music
 
"Sherr's saxophone is warm and his ideas thoughtful.  His treatments of the Sequenzas for oboe and clarinet are as revealing as the one for flute...a stunning soundscape.  Overall, this is a very texture-driven recording with many hidden corners and treasures.  Recommended for the Postmodern or the not so Postmodern among us."
C. Michael Bailey, allaboutjazz.com 
 
 "Show us a recording that takes its inspiration from Luciano Berio's Sequenzas and the first 13 notes of Charlie Parker's riff on 'The Song Is You' and we'll show you an album that we flat-out love.  These guys seriously cook."
Jerry Bowles, Sequenza 21  
 
"An intriguing new sound world--provoking juxtaposition and integration of jazz and contemporary music."
Joan Jeanrenaud, Kronos Quartet 
 
"Extremely innovative."
Bill Watrous, trombonist

"Berio’s 'Sequenzas' are interesting atonal works, all convincingly delivered by Sherr on flute ("Sequenza I"), oboe ("Sequenza VII") and clarinet ("Sequenza IXa"). Sherr's "Sequenza VII/Palimpsest" is a lush accompaniment for Berio's piece.  Convincingly delivered...clever compositional derivation."
Francois Couture, All Music Guide

Sherr’s Debussy Deb-You-Do, partly written, partly improvised, supplies a missing link between Berio and Dizzy Gillespie.  Tastefully accomplished.
Julian Cowley, The Wire

Berio's series of Sequenza works for solo instruments, important 20th-century classics, are well represented on this CD with 'Sequenza I' (1958), for flute, 'Sequenza VII' (1969), for oboe, and 'Sequenza IXa' (1980), for clarinet.
cdmusic.com 

Beautifully played.
Roger Kellaway, pianist and composer
 
"Beautifully written and played.  And of course, beyond category." 
Bill Kirchner, musician, composer, arranger, editor (The Oxford Companion To Jazz, A Miles Davis Reader, etc.)
 
"Ugh."
"Doctor Dan" Warburton, Paris Transatlantic
 
"Definitive" (Sequenza VII)
Pamela Liszt Pecha, musician (asst. 1st oboe, Cleveland Orch., solo English horn, San Antonio Symphony Orch.), conductor
 
...a series of stunning juxtapositions...fine performances, state of the art from Sherr himself in all three cases.  The oboe Sequenza is particularly alarming with its multiphonics and microtones, coming off as decidedly “modern” with respect to the later works.  A fantastic performance of a fantastic piece.
Mark Alburger, 21st Century Music
 
"...a great interpreter and technical artist."
Patric Standford, Music & Vision 
 
"In a world where there is so much that is negative, how vibrant is the rediscovery of man’s ability to be creative, original and daring!"
Jennifer Paull, MusicWeb International
 
Jennifer Paull and Patric Standford have written full-length articles about Look Both Ways.  

Jennifer Paull

Patric Standford

"...David Sherr's CD is extraordinary.  His playing reveals a musicality and artistry that is not common."
Lalo Schifrin, composer, arranger, pianist, conductor
 
 "...an imaginative, well-executed project of music."
Bill Kirchner, musician, composer, arranger, editor (The Oxford Companion To Jazz, A Miles Davis Reader, etc.)
 
"I am listening to your CD and it is very interesting. The French speaking part brings a change of pace that warrants close listening to connect it to the whole concept.  I especially like your clarinet work..."
Ellis Marsalis, pianist, pedagogue, patriarch

"I'm impressed by the obvious depth of commitment and dedication to excellence of you, as writer and performer, and of all the other participants.  The writing is beautifully done and much of the improvisation is startlingly good. The CD glows with musicianship and fervor."
Robert Freedman, Grammy winning (for Wynton Marsalis's Hot House Flowers), composer/arranger

"Lacks musicianship and a range of styles."
Robert Blumenthal, critic, record company executive

"Your Otherworld Music CD is awesome! Congratulations: the concept, the organization, the writing and the playing."
Gerald Fried, composer of concert and film music (Star Trek, Roots, The first five Stanley Kubrick Movies, [Paths of Glory etc.]) musician (principal oboe, Dallas Symphony, solo English horn, Pittsburgh Symphony)
 
"Your CD is amazing! I've listened to it a number of times and am finding new thought provoking and delightful moments each time.
 
"The playing is spectacular.  I don't think that I've heard any of the performers (all of whom are my friends) play with more feeling, intention, focus and emotion.  True virtuosi. As the music flows, the players respond to one another in a fashion that I have not heard in many years.  True genius."
Joel Di Bartolo, bassist (The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson), educator (Director of Jazz Studies, Northern Arizona University)

"California saxophonist and composer David Sherr's music is like the meal one receives at that well conceived multi-ethnic restaurant. It delights with such unexpected entree combinations that work so well together, the patrons must reconsider their idea of what is good.  Sherr is never one to shy away from a challenge and he and the Bel Air Jazz Ensemble make it work.  Otherworld Music is indeed otherworldly."
C. Michael Bailey, allaboutjazz.com
 
"Fabulous!  Invigorating music and fresh ideas always makes a good mix!"
Nika Rejto, flutist, arranger, composer, vocalist

Great album.  Fascinating combination of classical and the avant-garde.
 
"I listened to your CD and enjoyed it very much.  I appreciate the fact that you did exactly what you wanted to do without any bow to conventions and current fashion.  Congratulations on a unique project."
Randy Sandke, trumpeter, composer, arranger, leader
 
"This is music full of rich satisfactions, more of which become apparent on successive hearings.  If Sherr attracts the attention he should with this unconventional and intriguing project on an obscure label, we will undoubtedly be hearing more from him."
 
"...you have no idea where this disc is going to take you next.

"The kicker is: it works. David Sherr can make the Bel Air Jazz Ensemble sound like his music regardless that the music’s original DNA was Bach or Messiaen. To borrow from Homer Simpson, Otherworld Music is “sacrilicious.”

"David Sherr’s music is equally beautiful when he is not functioning as a co-composer.  The no-nonsense jazz style of A Little Flight Music is energetic but with a light touch.  To the Muses is a soulful saxophone feature that oozes with gratitude and tenderness.  If I could do what Sherr does, I’d be thanking the muses, too."
Jay Batzner, Sequenza 21 
 
"Uniquely beautiful."
Henry Mollicone, composer of concert and film music, conductor (NY City Opera), educator.
 
"…an intoxicating mixture of sound...
 
"This is music that can easily enjoy the company of any of the better jazz groups of the last ten years and has a heart, a head and a sound all its own and captures the ebb and flow of improvisation masterfully."
John Breckow, program host, KPFK (Los Angeles), Smoke Rings, Le Jazz Hot and Cool
 
"pushes the boundaries of jazz...an intriguing take on the piece (Le Merle Noir) for anyone familiar with the original..."
Stephen Eddins, All Music Guide

Henry Mollicone blogs here.

Read Michael Bailey's review in its entirety.

Marc Myers blogs here.

Read Doug Ramsey's review here.

Jay Batzner's reviews appear here.

email: info@belairjazz.org