Tim Garland with the Northern Sinfonia Strings: If the Sea Replied

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Tim Garland

Following several other Tim Garland recordings with nature-related titles, If the Sea Replied is a fully realized compositional/improvisational suite of program music that celebrates the romantic history of the lighthouse and honors the disappearing profession of lighthouse keeper. Transitioning smoothly between contemporary jazz and nonjazz sections, and employing a jazz combo of soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone or bass clarinet, piano, drums/percussion, guitar and bass augmented by French horn and a string section, the album offers more than an hour of stimulating music that defies easy categorization.

From the lonesome-sounding bass clarinet cries of “The Machine” and the quiet, introspective acoustic guitar over strings of “Six or Seven Lights” to the pointillistic, fusionlike “Young in the Fifties”–with its nod to Coltrane–and “Storm Warning,” which combines an ominous free section with some fierce Brecker-ish tenor and sedate bass clarinet, this disc rivets the attention and more than pleases the aural senses.