Larry Chernicoff | October

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by Larry Chernicoff

Jazz/Classical Fusion SACD, reminiscent of Oregon, Paul Winter Consort, and the Kronos Quartet. October combines the warm sounds of orchestral instruments with a jazz dynamic, soulful improvisations, and passages of meditative calm.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Windhorse
5:28 $0.99
2. Light Years
7:07 $0.99
3. Talking Rain
6:54 $0.99
4. Sailor and Siren
5:11 $0.99
5. October
7:36 $0.99
6. Timeless
3:48 $0.99
7. East 13th Street
4:26 $0.99
8. Call Down the Stars (13 Variations on a Lydian Theme)
12:47 $0.99
9. Tango Noir
4:50 $0.99
10. Last Dance
5:31 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
MULTICHANNEL DISC OF THE MONTH, October 2004***** Five Stars
Audiophile Audition

RATING: ***** (4 out of 5 Stars)


Larry Chernicoff's multi-channel SACD, October, was named 'Best Made for Surround Title' category at the third annual Surround Music Awards (SMAs). The award was presented to Larry by rock legend Peter Frampton, in a ceremony that also honored surround sound releases by the Rolling Stones, Herbie Hancock, Beck, Peter Frampton, Elton John, and other artists.

The winners were selected by a panel of 75 expert judges including representatives from Sound & Vision, Pro Sound News, Widescreen Review, Surround Professional, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, USA Today,, and Los Angeles-based radio station KCRW. Last year's winner in this category was Steely Dan's 'Everything Must Go.'

October is a hybrid multi-channel SACD, which is playable on any standard CD player, and also on SACD-compatible stereo and 5.1 surround-sound players and home theater systems.

"You sit, you listen, and eventually you think: how did he ever come up with that? October left me with a sense that I had just listened to something truly new and distinct...a glorious experience...a musical fusion of global interest. I'll dig October for the rest of my life, thanks." Jazz Improv Magazine

"Larry Chernicoff, if I can say this, is a silent whirlwind. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. Solid, intelligent, and almost entirely without capacity for stagnation, the guy is a creative force. ...catch ...Larry's music, really. It's new. I'm serious...Larry's work is light, but substantial, and the music floats." The Artful Mind

"... an impeccable synthesis of jazz, rock, classical, and world folk styles. Chernicoff enriches simple song structures with layers of counterpoint and intriguing instrumental colors." Downbeat

"Larry Chernicoff is making quiet history with his integration of chamber music and jazz improvisation." WAMC-FM, Albany, NY

Warm and serene, October [combines] the acoustic expressions of jazz and classical music... with elements of what is often referred to as "world music" sprinkled about the acoustic celebration. Diverse and keen on melody...[it] rises into an assorted, shimmering chain of ideas and sounds.... snaps and taps itself into an enjoyable swing with various movements celebrating Chernicoff's distinctive musical blossoms and sustains itself with charm and grace....a sophisticated, subtle offering... " All About Jazz

"There are elements of world music, classical chamber music, and genre-bending improvisation here... he has his own individual style, and it's a thorough delight. The music alternates jazzy improv with quieter...passages, sometimes colored exotically with Tibetan chimes, gongs and bowed cymbals. This SACD just won an award for "Best Made for Surround" at the annual Surround Music Awards in Hollywood, and certainly deserves it" (Multichannel Disc Of The Month, October 2004 ***** Five Stars) Audiophile Audition

"In its dynamic twists and turns, with surprises around every musical corner, Larry Chernicoff's ...10-piece group, Windhorse -- a large, all-acoustic chamber ensemble or a miniature orchestra, depending on your perspective -- serves...shimmering, colorful renditions of ... music that boasts the dynamism of jazz and the dimensionality and proportions of classical music. October" [has] a fresh, glistening organic quality. The recording has a terrific, warm live sound....the depth and vibrancy of the instruments are remarkable." Weekend

"His compositions began from deceptively simple structures, then expanded into complex, spontaneous counterpoint, with a sense of controlled freedom. This is an unusual and engaging band, with energy, lyricism, and humor... very memorable." Albany Times-Union

"[October] is a unique conception, which, although it has much in common with classical chamber music, has too many elements of improvisation and world rhythms and tonal colors to allow it to be classed with whatever else you might be listening to these days." Creative Music Newsletter

"There are few easy niches to put this music into. Some points of reference might be the Paul Winter Consort / Oregon axis, Don Cherry, or maybe Philip Glass. There are both ancient and modern qualities to this music. Chernicoff scores highest as a composer of highly original music with an elusive 'I've heard this before' quality. This is fascinating music...." -- Victory Review, Seattle


October, from vibraphonist/pianist Larry Chernicoff, combines the warm sounds of orchestral instruments with a jazz dynamic, soulful improvisations, and passages of contemplative calm. It features a large chamber group - French horn, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, saxophones, harp, vibraphone, piano, percussion and tablas.

The recording has a live, acoustic, unplugged, organic sound, with real instruments, light percussion, and no electronics. The compositions are detailed and varied, revealing new things with every listening.

Larry Chernicoff vibraphone, piano, percussion
Karl Berger piano
Carol Emanuel harp
John Lindberg bass
Tim Moran clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophones
Charles Pillow oboe, English horn, clarinet, bass clarinet, saxoophone
Tom Varner French horn
Tomas Ulrich cello
Janet Grice bassoon
Esther Noh violin
Tony Vacca percussion
Benjy Wertheimer tablas

Produced by Larry Chernicoff and Karl Berger



to write a review

Denis Baker

A very enjoyable disk that does not disappoint.
Beautiful musical textures, rhythms and colours using a variety of acoustic instruments, combining elements of jazz and classics. Each successive play reveals further delights. A very enjoyable disk that does not disappoint.

high fidelity review

Larry Chernicoff’s October Nominated for Best Surround CD in 3rd Annual Surround
Larry Chernicoff’s October Nominated for Best Surround CD in 3rd Annual Surround Music Awards

NEW YORK, NY (August 3, 2004) -- The finalists in all categories have been announced for the third annual Surround Music Awards (SMAs), which are produced by CMP Information and sponsored by Dolby. The winning titles will be announced at a star-studded event taking place August 31, 2004 at The Highlands in Hollywood, CA.

The evening will feature a musical tribute to 2004 Surround Pioneer Award recipient Herbie Hancock by an all-star band, as well as many other surprises.

For the third consecutive year, the Surround Music Awards will honor those who have excelled in multichannel music recording and mixing throughout the year. Previous winners include Queen, James Taylor, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Alison Krauss. The SMAs are also becoming known for the dramatic live performances that take place each year, including Graham Nash and David Crosby at the inaugural event, and Dweezil Zappa last year.

All of the other categories are decided upon by a panel of expert judges that include personnel from Sound & Vision, Pro Sound News, Widescreen Review, Surround Professional, NARAS, USA Today,, and Los Angeles-based radio station KCRW.

BEST MADE FOR SURROUND TITLE is awarded to the most outstanding title created from its inception with multichannel in mind. This release must not have previously released in any other format. (New recordings released simultaneously in surround and stereo (like October are acceptable.)

The finalists are:

I Get Surround; The Surf City Allstars featuring Dean Torrence [AIX Records]
XXL; Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band [Silverline Records]
Brain; Hiromi [Telarc]
Four Flicks; The Rolling Stones [TGA DVD]
October; Larry Chernicoff [Windy Planet Music]

More information on the Surround Music Awards, as well as registration information, can be found at

William Fletcher

Excellant "new" music
It's great to be able support creative new music in a world with so much "same old, same old".

There are some great moments here of musical inventiveness. I enjoyed the SACD surround sound mix especially well. Keep up the good work.

This Weekend - Berkshire Eagle

the dynamism of jazz and the dimensionality and proportions of classical music.
The Beat
Cross Cultural Palette
By Seth Rogovoy
Special to The Eagle
Article Published: Friday, February 06, 2004 - 2:15:20 AM EST
In its dynamic twists and turns, with surprises around every musical corner, Larry Chernicoff's new CD, "October" (Windy Planet Music), packs the punch and excitement of artful, progressive rock without beating a listener over the head with excessive volume or pyrotechnics.
Rather, Chernicoff's 10-piece group, Windhorse -- a large, all-acoustic chamber ensemble or a miniature orchestra, depending on your perspective -- serves the composer and bandleader with shimmering, colorful renditions of contemplative music that boasts the dynamism of jazz and the dimensionality and proportions of classical music.
Windhorse's group interplay can be stunning, as on "Light Years," which opens with a duet but turns into a number featuring multiple counterpoints of rich, vibrant tonal colors, before Chernicoff offers a fleet solo on vibraphone.
Chernicoff, who lives in Alford, composes from a broad, cross-cultural palette that draws from multiple traditions as well as from nature.
"Talking Rain" is a stately composition with a classical feel showcasing guest harpist Carol Emanuel, who has worked with John Zorn, Marty Ehrlich, Bill Frisell and other jazz notables and who lives in Great Barrington. Cinematic in scope, it's not surprising to read in the liner notes that it was originally written for a dance.
"Sailor and Siren" is a miniature drama, and the title track builds to a slowly pulsing climax worthy of Philip Glass.
"Timeless" is one of the disks more experimental pieces, a structured improvisation in which the musicians, including bassoonist Janet Grice, clarinetist Tim Moran, violinist Esther Noh and oboist Charles Pillow, are given only four notes to draw upon for their parts. Untethered to any fixed meter, the musicians conjure up a profoundly wistful mood, setting up a contrast for "East 13th Street," the upbeat tune that follows.
A frisky, jazzy strut through the East Village fueled by bassist John Lindberg and percussionist Tony Vacca, "East 13th Street" is downright Ellingtonian in the manner in which Chernicoff engages the different instrumentalists in the role of urban characters. The clear shapes, solid colors and head-turning array of voices in the piece bring to mind the work of painter Piet Mondrian.
The album closes with a hint of gospel on "Last Dance," featuring a bluesy saxophone solo by Moran and inspirational, jazzy piano by Karl Berger, who co-produced the album with Chernicoff.
Other instrumentalists who round out the ensemble include cellist Tomas Ulrich, Tom Varner on French horn and Benjy Wertheimer on tablas.
In the past, Chernicoff, an alumnus of Berklee College of Music who has been involved with the Creative Music Studio Orchestra for 30 years, has incorporated state-of-the-art electronics into his performances. On "October," he has taken whatever lessons there were to glean from electronics and translated them back into the acoustic realm, so that "October" boasts a fresh, glistening organic quality.

Brian Moura - High Fidelity Review

nice, live feel...instruments placed around the listener ….interesting accents a
High Fidelity Review ACD News Story:
Larry Chernicoff's October Is Latest Independent Surround Sound SACD
Windy Planet Music, an independent record label owned by composer and jazz musician Larry Chernicoff, has released his latest album entitled October as a new Single Inventory Surround Sound Super Audio CD. As with similar independent productions by artists like David Elias, Romero, the Suitcase Pimps and several titles on the Zoom Tone label, October is being released through the web on sites such as CD Baby.

In talking to Chernicoff, he tells me that October features music that is "somewhat unique: a fusion of jazz and classical elements played by my 10 piece group, Windhorse (plus guest musicians on harp and tablas). It's essentially a large chamber ensemble (or minature orchestra, depending on your perspective), blended with the dynamic and improvisation of our jazz roots. All of the musicians in the group are bandleaders and international performers on their own."

Checking the album credits, the performers have quite a collective resume. They've played on recordings by artists including Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, Sting, Don Cherry, Julie Andrews, The Temptations, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Davd Brubeck, Herbie Hancock and Dave Douglas to name just a few.

Listening to the 5.1 Surround Sound mix on the SACD, I think the recording succeeds quite well. It does have a nice, live feel to it. Instruments are placed around the listener and in some cases in specific channels to provide an appropriate degree of focus. The Surround sound field is used but not overpoweringly so, which is appropriate for the material. As for the music, it does cover several different styles and there are interesting accents and treatments in several of the selections. All in all, an interesting Surround Sound SACD release.

Bob Sweet

beautiful and complex…. a unique conception,,, classical chamber music...many el
When I told vibist and composer Larry Chernicoff that I was coming out, he extended a most gracious invitation to attend his recording session at Clubhouse. This was more than a recording session, though. It was a Creative Music Studio reunion.Over three days the group enjoyed the spirit and creative force that defines the character of the Creative Music Studio. Another aspect of the CMS spirit was the family feeling that the hanging out and meals together engendered.

But what about the music? It is beautiful and complex. Larry Chernicoff is a composer who will start to draw attention with this recording. It is a unique conception, which, although it has much in common with classical chamber music, has too many elements of improvisation and world rhythms and tonal colors to allow it to be classed with whatever else you might be listening to these days. And that's good. Let's hear about the players on the session:

Larry Chernicoff (composer, vibraphone) began his association with Karl Berger as the original CMS student, when he took a class in improvisation that Karl was teaching at what was then the New School for Social Research in New York City. This was right around 1970 or so.

Karl Berger (piano). You know him. You better. If not, go to and read up. But this should be just the start of your homework.

Tony Vacca (percussion) has collaborated with Larry for years. He has fused his early background as a jazz drummer with knowledge gained through numerous trips to Africa and has created a unique career as a performer, educator, and expert in world rhythms. (See

Janet Grice (bassoon) came to CMS for an intensive session with the Art Ensemble of Chicago in 1977-1978 and has performed with Karl in various incarnations of the Woodstock Workshop/Music Universe Orchestras ever since. Janet's travels to Brazil have influenced a considerable body of her work, including a couple recordings "produced by Janet, featuring the bassoon and recorder in jazz compositions by herself, band members and Brazilian composers including Villa-Lobos, Cesar Camargo Mariano, and Milton Nascimento." (See

Charles Pillow (oboe, English horn, clarinets, saxophones) is one of those behind-the-scenes kind of guys whose virtuosity will always keep him in demand. As far as I know, this session was his first involvement with the CMS community, although he has worked a good deal with drummer Bob Moses, a legendary CMS rainmaker. (See and whatever other sites you can turn up via a web search.)

Tom Varner (French horn) was also at that Art Ensemble Intensive that Janet Grice attended (as was I). What more can I say about Tom than what Joachim Berendt said in The Jazz Book: "THE French horn in contemporary jazz is Tom Varner." (See

Tim Moran (saxophones, clarinet) has for a long time been a part of the ever-evolving Larry Chernicoff Quintet. Tim also works with Tony Vacca and appears on the albums "Rhythm Mission" and "Rhythm Griots" with Tony. (See

Esther Noh (violin) was adopted into the CMS community when Karl took her under his wing during a 2001 workshop that he gave at the University of Michigan, where Esther was a student at the time. Esther is a classically trained, award winning violinist who is now an inveterate improviser. There's no turning back! You'll be hearing from Esther. She's now living in New York City and making her mark. Such a beautiful sound.

Tomas Ulrich (cello) could be called ubiquitous, which is ironic, simply because the nature of the instrument seems to make cellists invisible. Yet, if you run off on a Google search on the web, you'll get worn out trying to follow all the tracks Tomas has left. As far as I can tell, though, Tomas has no website of his own. This was his first time that he worked with Karl or Larry.

Carol Emanuel (harp) has worked with John Zorn, Marty Ehrlich, and many others. She, like many of the players on this session, comes from a classical background, but also has serious credentials as an improviser. Carol has a very wonderful album of her own, full of compositions written for her (and for harp) by people like Bill Frisell, John Zorn, many others.

John Lindberg (bass) is the man, the anchor, the survivor, the warrior. He came to CMS as a teenager and from there charged forward into the future, establishing himself as one of the most respected bassists in creative music. (See

Nic Stubbs

A very wonderful recording, beautifully recorded . Four Stars !!