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Frank Glover: Abacus

In a recent interview, composer Frank Glover complained about “a giant gap between improvisation and contemporary classical composition…we don’t even have the words to describe the music that falls in that gap.” He seems to have forgotten the Third Stream explorations of the Fifties — Gunther Schuller, John Lewis, Teo Macero, George Russell, Charles Mingus, Bob Graettinger — even overlooked the efforts of George Gershwin, three decades earlier, who put a tuxedo on jazz and brought it into the concert hall. More importantly, Glover ignored the original pioneer, Arcangelo Corelli, who (ca. 1680) created the concerto grosso: a small ensemble within a large orchestra – precisely what Abacus is all about. So chill, Frank…the gap is not that large; the words are really there.

Now regarding his new release, it’s a masterful mosaic of moods, motifs and metaphysics. The jazz is provided by Kilho, the collective name of the quartet that is fused with a 25-piece symphonic orchestra. Members of Kilho include Glover, alternating between clarinet and soprano sax; pianist/keyboardist Zach Lapidus; acoustic & electric bassist Jack Helsley; and drummer/percussionist Dave Scalia.

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