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Album review: Kristjan Järvi, Absolute Ensemble, Simone Dinnerstein, Bach Re-Invented (Sony Classical)


Kristjan Järvi here uses three of JS Bach's brief “Inventions”, played by Simone Dinnerstein, as jumping-off points for new pieces by members of his Absolute Ensemble, aiming to transport the originals “from baroque to rock to Gypsy folk, to Indian rhythms, to African beats and electronics”.

Which sounds rather ominous, and indeed, the dead hand of Seventies jazz-rock fusion does hang heavily over certain sections, though there's enough skill and imagination involved in Gene Pritsker's “Reinventions” and Daniel Schnyder's “toopART Reinventions” to avoid most of the potential aesthetic potholes. The latter uses cool vibes to elide between echoes of the Modern Jazz Quartet and Frank Zappa.

Download: Inventions 1, 4 & 8; Reinventions 1 & 2; toopART Reinventions 3, 4 & 5