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Bach Reflections | To B or Not to B

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Classical: Bach Moods: Type: Instrumental
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To B or Not to B

by Bach Reflections

JS Bach in six new chamber jazz compositions by the dutch group Bach Reflections
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Air Traveller
5:40 album only
2. Invención Nueve
5:58 album only
3. Pizzicanto
6:30 album only
4. Contrapunctus
5:19 album only
5. Gut Strings
8:43 album only
6. To B or Not to B
4:23 album only


Album Notes
The music of Johann Sebastian Bach is not only an inexhaustible source of pleasure and inspiration for classical musicians – jazz musicians also love his music. By searching for the connections with contemporary jazz music, Bach Reflections delves into the deeper layers in his works. Bach Reflections rearranges and reuses parts of compositions by Bach as a vehicle for jazz improvisations. By doing this, the ensemble conforms to the performance practice of Bach's own time, 300 years ago. For he was not only a virtuoso organist but also a much admired and awe-inspiring improviser. His compositions were often the result of his improvisations.

Bach Reflections' colorful lineup gives the group an extraordinarily pleasant sound. The saxophone and electric guitar, both invented far after Bach's time, ensure a typical jazz sound while the cello is of course typical of classical music. The trumpet and bass make it a balanced unit, in which the musicians can move nimbly back and forth between composed music and spontaneous improvisations.

Air Traveller (Dick de Graaf)
This composition is based on Bach's famous Air from the Orchestral Suite No. 3. The melody is distantly related to the original, but individual improvisations keep interrupting it. Eventually Bach's original melody reasserts itself. Together, the five musicians complete their journey.

Invención Nueve (Paul Berner)
Cubans consider Salsa as their own indigenous 'classical' music. In these compositions many aspects are fixed, but there is always room for passionate improvisation. Paul took Invention Number 9 from the Two-Part Inventions for piano, added the rhythmic structure of the Salsa and left it to the soloists to add the passion.

Pizzicanto (Dick de Graaf)
With this composition Dick evokes memories of the Polonaise from Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 2. The subtle pizzicato of the strings plays an important role, and the melody is hidden away in the muted trumpet.

Contrapunctus (Paul Berner)
Based on the first 16 bars of the first fugue from Bach's Art of the Fugue, Paul's Contrapunctus is somewhat more static than his Invención Nueve: a nod and a wink to the formal rules of the fugue. Although he allows the musicians to choose which written parts they will play, they don't have the freedom for individual improvisations.

Gut Strings (Dick de Graaf)
Gut Strings is based on the Adagio in Bach's Violin Concerto in A minor. The movement’s harmonic structure challenged Dick to recompose it for Bach Reflections. He replaced Bach’s quiet tempo with a relaxed slow funk groove, turning this dignified adagio into a vehicle for inspired improvisations.

To B or not To B (Gerard Kleijn)
As a 13-year-old trumpeter in the local band Gerard performed Bach's aria 'Bist du bei mir' as his first instrumental solo. This thrilling moment is commemorated here. The strong melody has always stayed with him.

Recorded: February 3rd 2013 in front of a live audience at Studio Eleven, Hilversum
by Frans de Rond and Peter Bjørnild for Sound Liaison
Mixed: Frans de Rond, Dick de Graaf, Gerard Kleijn
Mastering: Q Point Digital Audio – Peter Brussee
Photography: Martin Kuijper
Design: Joey Vermijs and Ward Nicolaas for &Associates
Produced: Gerard Kleijn, Dick de Graaf



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