Joe Battaglia/Terrence McManus | Pastellic Reflections

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Jazz: Free Jazz Classical: Contemporary Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Pastellic Reflections

by Joe Battaglia/Terrence McManus

"...the work displays the highly intuitive nature that has been developed and showcases their concept of improvised music for two guitars..."
Genre: Jazz: Free Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Dream Chain
6:37 $0.99
2. Pastellic Reflections
3:03 $0.99
3. White Blood Cells
5:28 $0.99
4. Industrial Evolution
5:44 $0.99
5. Desolation
6:55 $0.99
6. Andalusia
4:01 $0.99
7. Primaevus
8:52 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Guitarist TERRENCE McMANUS is a new name to me. Based on these four discs, he's quite a diverse player. PASTELLIC REFLECTIONS (Flattened Planet I) pairs him with fellow guitarist Joe Battaglia for a fine if unassuming duo session (Dream Chain / Pastellic Reflection / White Blood Cells / Industrial Evolution / Desolation / Andalusia / Primaevus. 40:46. August 24, 2005, Jersey City, NJ) with McManus on classical acoustic and Battaglia on steel string. I'm reminded of similar string summits, not just in instrumentation but in spare style, pairing Tetuzi Akiyama with Jozef van Wissem or the fabulous Acoustic Guitar Trio on Incus. These fellows play with a similarly broad sense of space and counterpoint. Each tends to work heavily in chordal areas, both fully resounding and also choked off like John Russell. But they do change it up throughout, with percussive attacks on "White Blood Cells," sweet detuning and mild preparations on "Desolation," and a wonderful assemblage of dizzy slashes on the concluding track."- Jason Bivin,CADENCE MAGAZINE, Winter 2008

"A decidedly different, yet no less experimental, album is Pastellic Reflections. The improvised duo features McManus with fellow guitarist Joe Battaglia, performing acoustic pieces that show the striking sonic capabilities of two unplugged instruments. Metallic punctuations and harmonic bell tones ring out on the title track, after a series of atonal chords break the silence over the grating scratch of a pick against wound, metallic strings. The two guitars, at times indistinguishable, blend sonorously before becoming distinct. Battaglia’s steel-stringed acoustic, the more jarring of the pair, producing slapped, metallic rhythms against McManus’ softer, Spanish-tinged nylon strings. “White Blood Cells”, a 5+ minute tour-de-force that features the duo at its most cohesive, begins with muffled notes and chords from McManus’ guitar before Battaglia joins, adding jarring dissonances, contrapuntal lines and open strummed chords. The episodic piece builds to a peak before contracting to muted rumblings and quietly rambling 8th note lines, only to build again. Both guitarists explore different effects, tapping percussively on the guitar’s body to contrast a complex accompanying line or pounding the strings to produce resounding walls of sound from chords with no distinguishable tonal center. “Industrial Evolution” mimics intricate, mechanized workings with rapidly picked, staccato passages and finds the duo creating tension by playing at opposite ends of their shared range. The two men solo with conviction and freedom, creating music as rewarding as it is challenging."
-Matthew Miller
All About Jazz New York
December 3, 2006

"Acoustic guitar duo where reflections on various musical concerns find expression in an extended idiomatic realm. Noise elements contribute to enrich a sound palette whenever the issue calls for it, while the ‘lack’ of perspective chosen –static camera, one shot- results in a stark realism that seems to hint at an underlying attitude. "
-reviewed by Modisti (Spain)
October 21, 2006

Guitarists Joe Battaglia and Terrence McManus have been performing and recording improvised music together since 1999, and it has blossomed into a deep musical connection. Their debut recording, Pastellic Reflections, was released in March 2006 on the Flattened Planet record label. The work displays the highly intuitive nature that they have developed and showcases their concept of improvised music. Joe and Terrence employ a very personal sense of musical architecture throughout each piece. The themes are all connected to one another, and you can hear the improvisations develop a composed sense of form.

A visionary guitarist"-Gene Bertoncini Born in Brooklyn, New York, guitarist Terrence McManus grew up in New Jersey and Connecticut. He has performed with guitarist Bill Frisell, trumpeter Herb Robertson's quartet, bassist Kermit Driscoll's trio, drummers Gerry Hemingway and Michael Sarin, bassist Anthony Cox's groups Regional Jazz and the Happy Trio, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, the New York Guitar Festival, Ellis Island, The Knitting Factory, CBGBs, the Hartford Jazz Festival, Baltimore's Federal Hill Jazz & Blues Festival, and the inaugural month at John Zorn's The Stone. Also an accomplished solo guitarist, Terrence performs his own compositions and arrangements, and has developed a unique style of improvisation, drawing on extended technique and prepared guitar. Terrence's solo improvisations were featured in the New York City debut of the Fermin Cabal play Disappeared(Tejas Verdes). In 2006 Terrence formed Flattened Planet, a record label dedicated to the promotion of new, creative, and improvised music. The label has four releases including Pastellic Reflections, Bates/Linz/McManus, Live at the Clown Lounge, and thirty9thirty8. In 2008 Terrence will be featured along with many of the world's top guitarists in an exhibition by legendary photographer Ralph Gibson, at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibit titled, The State of the Axe, will also be released as a book on Yale University Press.

Born in Brooklyn New York, guitarist Joe Battaglia studied at Berklee College of Music, Rutgers University and graduated from William Paterson University. In 1982 Joe recorded his first record for an independent record label entitled Freehand featuring bassist Ed Schuller and drummer Peter LeMaitre. Joe continued his musical relationship with Ed Peter as a member of the Higher Primates Orchestra which featured renowned players such as Herbie Robertson, Mac Goldsbury, Ratzo Harris, Ron Horton, and Frank Kimborough. Other Recordings as a leader include Tetraband (live at Roulette) featuring pianist Frank Kimborough, saxophonist Mark Reboul, and drummer Peter LeMaitre, and Of Space and Time (released 1999) on GNU-VISTA Records with bassist Ed Schuller, drummer Glenn Davis, and saxophonist Mark Reboul. Joe has also done a number of radio shows since 1995 for WVIA – 90 FM, hosted, produced, and engineered by George Graham, as part of WVIA Homegrown Music Series.



to write a review

Kevin Bligh

"an amazingly strong instrumental album that McManus is sure to gain much respec
In order to be considered a dynamic instrumental guitarist, you need to be willing to take your music to the next level; a level that many attempt to attain, yet fall short time and time again. With an impressive educational background beginning at the Greater Hartford Academy of Performing Arts and then college studies taking him to William Paterson University, Terrence McManus has learned what it takes to step your musical playing up and become a fine instrumental guitarist. In an era that is dominated more by vocals, a la American Idol, it is refreshing to listen to an album that lyrically can invoke appreciation not by vocals, but by simply the sounds of harmonic guitar sounds.

In his debut album, Pastellic Reflections , McManus along with fellow guitar aficionado Joe Battaglia have created an album that is both musically impressive and well worthy of a listen. A soft guitar sound is found throughout the album and each track creates a different emotional response and musical appreciation for the work of McManus and Battaglia.

The album consists of Joe Battaglia on the acoustic guitar and Terrence McManus on the classical guitar.

The album starts off with the lead track, Dream Chain . This track starts off with a very soft and subtle sound of the guitar bringing you into what will follow on the other tracks of the album. The track focuses on smooth and creative variations of sounds that lend themselves nicely to the track. About midway through the track, a bit more up-tempo sound is heard along with a few dissonant sounds that grab your attention and reel you back in.

White Blood Cells is probably the best track on the album. A quicker and more polished sound is heard on this track and the song's range is simply amazing. At one moment, you can hear a slow and methodic walking beat to the music and without a moment's notice you are then in the middle of a quicker and stronger tone that changes the track entirely. There is probably the most interesting mix of sounds heard on this track and this track stands apart from some of the others on this album. A truly captivating track for sure.

Industrial Evolution is a very different track, but is quite interesting, nonetheless. When you first hear the music, you are automatically going to think that you need to hear it again. Sounds from the guitar almost invoke a factory feel at times: you can hear tapping, banging, maybe even the sounds of some machines at work. Though the track perhaps might invoke the imagery of the Industrial Revolution, McManus has perfected an instrumental track on Industrial Evolution that tells a story without any words being needed. The evolution that takes place on this track is an evolution showing that this album will turn McManus from simply just another instrumental guitarist into one of the better ones around.

Track listing:
1. Dream chain
2. Pastellic reflection
3. White blood cells
4. Industrial evolution
5. Desolation
6. Andalusia
7. Primaevus

Pastellic Reflections is an amazingly strong instrumental album that McManus is sure to gain much respect for. With quality instrumental sounds created throughout the entire album, McManus is sure to gain many listeners that both would find this music naturally appealing, but more importantly, will draw many new listeners to the instrumental genre.

Brenton Plourde

"we will be changed of heart, especially for the two-guitar format"
Pastellic Reflections also equal musical reflections. Bringing together acoustic guitar and classical guitars, Joe Battaglia and Terrence McManus have come together to make this album, a reflective journey that sometimes can lead to places unknown.

When the thoughts of a guitar-driven album, especially when it combines two guitars from different fields comes to mind, some may wonder how it is going to work. Who will lead? Who will follow? For Pastellic Reflections and Battaglia and McManus, not one of them is the leader.

The title track could be the savior of the album. Through blended lines by both, this song could be the best on the album. The song "White Blood Cells" really does show off McManus and Battaglia working together to create one thing. Just like white blood cells, this moves slow, but at an even pace throughout.

Coming in at nine minutes in length, "Primaevus" is great closer. The buildup between McManus and Battaglia is excellent. It is almost conversational between the two, with both holding their own, both are telling their story within the frame work of this song and it makes sense.

Pastellic Reflections may not be for everyone. Joe Battaglia and Terrence McManus have a good album here. Some of the songs seem to go nowhere at times, but that is just a fall back of a same instrument album, that is not their fault in any way. Desolation. We may not be desolated by the album, but we will be changed of heart, especially for the two-guitar format.