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Michael Moore: Monitor

After repeated listens I don’t have much of an idea what this music is about. Not that it’s terribly abstract; most of it is very conservative, particularly when compared to the roughhouse style exemplified by cellist Tristan Honsinger’s early work. There is more that’s written than improvised, and the melodic material is usually pretty simple. Annotator Kevin Whitehead goes to great lengths to elucidate the structural and historical validity of the music, but from my perspective, structures don’t validate anything, and I deeply distrust theories about the “evolution” of art. The only thing that matters in the long run is feeling, which is why a music like the Indian classical tradition, which undergoes only subtle changes from generation to generation, is as “valid” as anything under the sun. Honsinger, keyboardist Cor Fuhler and leader-clarinetist-altoist Moore, are all excellent players, but I just don’t connect emotionally with this music.

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