BJUR 002-1 Anne Mette Iversen - Best of the West + Many Places (320k mp3 download of Disc 1: Best of the West)

Best of the West Cover.jpg
Best of the West Cover.jpg

BJUR 002-1 Anne Mette Iversen - Best of the West + Many Places (320k mp3 download of Disc 1: Best of the West)

9.99

Disc 1: Best of the West w/
John Ellis - tenor and soprano saxophone
Danny Grissett - piano
Anne Mette Iversen - acoustic bass & compositions
Otis Brown III - drums & cymbal
4Corners string quartet 

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Anne Mette Iversen Quartet & the string quartet 4Corners: "Best of the West"

A jazz-suite for double-quartet; "Best of the West" is written by Anne Mette Iversen for her jazz quartet, the Anne Mette Iversen Quartet and the string quartet 4Corners. 
Musically “Best of the West” is inspired/has grown out of Ms. Iversen's background in both jazz and classical music, and aims to bring together these two; maybe the two most profound/sophisticated music traditions of western culture.

"Best of the West" is, so far, the pinnacle of Ms. Iversen's compositional writings, as it succeds in bringing together jazz and classical music on equal terms. The piece is written in 4 movements like a classical symphony, and the musical union happens as each movement is based on a traditional classical form, being: "EAST" - Allegro (medium/up), "SOUTH" - Adagio (slow), "WEST" - Menuet (waltz), "NORTH" - Presto (fast). The musical content is derived mainly from the jazz language, although there are times within the suite, where the writing, particularly for the strings, is best described as contemporary classical  music.
The piece expresses variety in feeling and emotion that bring into attention the multifaceted world we live in; i.e. a world which requires open-mindedness and focus on communication between cultures as a central ingredient in our lives.

This theme is underlined in the music particularly in that the string-quartet and the jazz-quartet maintain their identity and individuality throughout the piece. Unlike most meetings of jazz and classical music, where one style performs a subservient role, or both styles are diluted beyond recognition, "Best of the West" manages to present each group and style at it's most compelling, and this way, in purely musical  terms; it illustrates the beauty of concepts such as interaction, conversation, dialog and mutual support.

Press about "Best of the West + Many Places"

"Bassist/composer Anne Mette Iversen shows a masterful reach across jazz and classical music in "Best of the West", the sumptuous suite that opens this two-disc set." ... "Iversen merges her own inventive quartet with the string ensemble 4Corners in a beautiful, shape-shifting pas de deux, each half of the double-quartet twining about the other in a breathtaking dialogue. Leaving the strings behind for the second disc, Iversen's group alternates between forecful postbop themes, aching ballads and darting, slippery grooves." - Forest Dylan Bryant, JazzTimes, Aug '08

"Few other arrangers can deter schmaltz when putting strings to swing. And even fewer possess her sense for dulcet harmonies and exquisitely developed form — the patient listener is rewarded with a probing, big-R Romantic, strings-only cadenza at the end. Rarer still is the mind that could put it all together in a way that proclaims itself as the work of an improvising musician. Beauty may be hard to find in jazz, but as Iversen proves, that doesn't mean it's dormant in familiar elements, waiting to be expressed." - Patrick Jarenwattananon, NPR Music, May '08

"While all of the double quartet compositions are excellent, "North (Presto)" is absolutely electrifying. In place of a catchy jazz head, a la Art Blakey, Iversen offers a frenetic Bartok-like unison string riff, ornately framing the jazz band's passages. The second disc, "Many Places", showcases the talents of John Ellis (saxophones), Danny Grissett (piano), and Otis Brown III (drums) on nine adventurous tunes with plenty of room for superb solos." - Ron Netsky, Rochester City Newspaper, July '08

"Bursting with creativity" ... "A nice ear-opener for fans looking for a challenging, new composer." - Chris Spector, Midwest Records

"Both discs area a creative succes, and both are enjoyable demonstrations of what Iversen has to offer an as acoustic bassist, composer, producer and arranger." - Alex Henderson, allmusic.com

"An intelligent blend of classical and jazz componenets" ... "This music has tension and resolution, has complex melodies that don't just serve as springboard for solos." - Richard Kamins, Hartford Courant, March '08

"By turns rhapsodic and pulsing, it's a most impressive package." - Paul Blair, Hot House, May '08

"This double album is particularly fascinating. Cd one is devoted to a four-movement symphony for double qyúartet. Now there have been umpteen instances of "jazzing the classics" dating back to Paul Whiteman in 1928 and most have been unsuccessful musical compromises. Anne Mette Iversen's venture is definitely an exception...The standard of improvisation is remarkably good throughout. A very pleasant double surprise." - JazzWise, UK, Aug '08

"The music is "tough" and melodic and reminds me of the superb quartet Eastern Rebellion with George Coleman, Billy Higgins, Sam Jones and Cedar Walton"..."Best of the West + Many Places beautifully paints the picture of whom Anne Mette Iversen is, anno 2008." - Jazznytt, Norway, Dec '08