by Russell Trunk
|Title – Frankenstein
Artist – Wayne Alpern
For those unaware, WAYNE ALPERN is a New York City composer, arranger, and scholar who integrates popular and jazz idioms with classical techniques and repertoire to create a sophisticated contemporary style of cross-genre, or even post-genre music.After years of composing complex new music, he embraced his personal history and indigenous musical culture and fused them with his classical background and training.His work includes numerous jazz arrangements, string quartets, woodwind and brass quintets, mixed ensembles, pieces for string orchestra, and several piano works.
Alpern’s innovative compositions, recompositions, and rearrangements have been performed and recorded by distinguished artists from diverse musical traditions and now he brings us his brand new album, the quite mesmerizing Frankenstein (out August 6th, 2021).
1. You’ve Got A Friend (Carole King) (5:50)
Opening on his translucent working of You’ve Got A Friend and the gentle hipsway of Thinking Out Loud, the pace gets elevated for the free flowing Ain’t That Peculiar, reined back for the quieter Send In The Clowns (Stephen Sondheim), and then we get one of my own personal favorites, the summers breeze of Cantaloupe Island.
Next up is the hearty Black Beauty and the gentle foot-tapper Let’s Stay Together, which are in turn followed by a rather rousing Dancing In The Street, a briskly delightful All I Ask of You, with the album rounding out on the lush tones of More Than Yesterday, closing on a gently frenetic Gimme Some Lovin’.
I do not record the ramblings of a madman. Some miracle may have produced this, yet the stages of its evolution were distinct. After trials and tribulations, I discovered the cause of generation; nay, more, I became capable of regeneration itself.
I was like Sinbad, buried with the dead, who stumbled upon a passageway to life. Assembling my materials — bits of brawn and brains and bones dug up from the dirt — I dreamt some new species, reconstructed and revived, might some day bless me as its creator.
My hands trembling, I looked down: blink — it was alive! – Wayne Alpern, after Mary Shelley.