Aside from a three-song session for V-Disc during the late 1940s, this CD contains Clark Terry's first recordings as a leader. Already an alumni of both Charlie Barnet's and Count Basie's bands, and a then-current member of Duke Ellington's orchestra, Terry is more focused on bop in these dates, with a terrific band including trombonist Jimmy Cleveland, baritone saxophonist Cecil Payne, pianist Horace Silver, cellist/bassist Oscar Pettiford, bassist Wendell Marshall, and drummer Art Blakey, with charts by Quincy Jones. ~ AllMusic
This may be the single most powerful piece of music that the Kronos Quartet has ever recorded, and perhaps that Terry Riley has ever written. This is because Requiem for Adam is so personal, so direct, and experiential. Requiem for Adam was written after the death of Kronos violinist David Harrignton's son. He died, in 1995, at the age of 16, from an aneurysm in his coronary artery. Riley, who is very close to the Harringtons and has a son the same age, has delved deep into the experience of death and resurrection, or, at the very least, transmutation. Requiem for Adam is written in three parts, or movements. The first, "Ascending the Heaven Ladder," is based on a four-note pattern that re-harmonizes itself as it moves up the scale. There are many variations and series based on each of these notes and their changing harmonics, and finally a 5/4 dance as it moves to the highest point on the strings. The drone-like effect is stunning when the listener realizes that the drone is changing shape too, ascending the scale, moving ever upward and taking part in the transmutation of harmony.