Expect the unexpected with Quintet For The End Of Time, The Eric Hofbauer Quintet is magnificent.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
The second volume in a set that includes Stravinsky's Rite Of Spring finds Hofbauer in search of that harmonic happy place somewhere between European modernism and the roots of American jazz and blues, a daunting task. Vibrant yet with a fluid melodic base line of lyrical thought, Messiaen's Quatuor pour la fin du temps is approached as the orchestral work less traveled with arrangements that focus as much on timbre as they do strict European execution.
To refer to Hofbauer as a modern if not impressionistic virtuoso if not a stretch as Hofbauer has examined compositions that range from Van Halen to Louis Armstrong and back again. While at first listen one might immediately use the tired if not misunderstood phrase, deconstructed. The melodic journey is not mangled but the side roads taken explore the possibilities that lie buried within all great orchestral works. The quintet is first rate with the amazing ability to perform with a sound twice their size. The personification of passion on a shiny silver disc. Odd meters, prehistoric swing and dynamics that are altered on the fly give new life to one of the orchestral works found in classical literature.
Quatuor Pour La Fin Du Temps - Oliver Messiaen
Arranged By Eric Hofbauer
Personnel: Eric Hofbauer: Guitar: Jerry Sabatini: Trumpet; Todd Brunel: Bb Clarinet, Bass Clarinet; Junko Fujiwara: Cello; Curt Newton: Drums & Percussion.