The Music of Life Besides the beauty of music, there is the tenderness, which brings life to the heart. For a person of fine feelings, of kindly thought, life in the world is very trying. It is jarring, and it sometimes has a freezing effect. It makes the heart so to speak frozen. In that condition one experiences depression, and the whole of life becomes distasteful...(展开全部) The Music of Life Besides the beauty of music, there is the tenderness, which brings life to the heart. For a person of fine feelings, of kindly thought, life in the world is very trying. It is jarring, and it sometimes has a freezing effect. It makes the heart so to speak frozen. In that condition one experiences depression, and the whole of life becomes distasteful; the very life that is meant to be heaven becomes a place of suffering. If one can focus one's heart on music, it is just like warming something that was frozen. The heart returns to its natural condition, and the rhythm regulates the beating of the heart which helps to restore health of body, mind, and soul, and bring them to their proper tuning. The joy of life depends upon the perfect tuning of mind and body.
The first time I ever actually spoke to drummer and composer John Hollenbeck took place immediately following the first set I heard by his Claudia Quintet. The music I'd heard combined the highly organized structural formality of chamber music with the earthy groove of post-`60s jazz and the irreverence of free improvisation - in some of the same ways that the artists who recorded for a certain well-known progressive jazz label had pioneered in the `70s and `80s. "If I had to guess, I'd say that you've listened to a lot of ECM records," I hesitantly ventured. Hollenbeck responded that this had indeed been the case. A few days later, he informed me that - having checked - he owned more discs on ECM than on any other single jazz label. This came as no surprise. We had both come of age musically at the height of ECM's popularity and influence, when the label boasted the impressionistic note-spinning fantasies of pianist Keith Jarrett, the icy Nordic stoicism of Jan Garbarek, the multicultural eclecticism of Oregon, the avant-traditionalism of the Art Ensemble of Chicago and Old and New Dreams, and the unabashedly joyful lyricism of the Pat Metheny Group. ECM was one of the fewish labels in jazz history to establish an identity so strong that its very name was sometimes used as a descriptive adjective. Virtually no other label offered so great a conceptual range, nor such a high level of excellence. Having established the Claudia Quintet as his primary compositional vehicle, Hollenbeck found that he was writing some more song-oriented pieces that called out for a different voice - a human voice, in fact. "I needed an outlet for the world music that I loved and the spiritual paths that I had been exploring," Hollenbeck recalls. Once again, an impetus was provided by an ECM artist - the cool, yet passionate vocalist Sidsel Endressen. Unlike the Claudia Quartet - named after a specific woman who visited an early Hollenbeck performance - Quartet Lucy takes its name from a composite of female characters. "It's a pet name for my college girlfriend, who was very interested in a good song," Hollenbeck explains. "It's also the name of a girl I loved from afar in my high school days, who epitomized certain aspects of Americana that I loved. Finally, Lucy also refers to luz, the Spanish word meaning `light' or `enlightenment.'" Hollenbeck knew immediately that the new group would feature a vocalist - not as a soloist in the spotlight, but as an equal member, like Pedro Aznar in the Pat Metheny Group. "I had recently started playing with vocalist Theo Bleckmann," Hollenbeck recalls, "and I was overwhelmed by his versatility, his love of music, and his eager response to my new concept." Equally at home with the conceptions of jazz singer Sheila Jordan and new music vocalist Meredith Monk - both of whom he has performed with - Bleckmann's fearlessness and vocal range prove decisive in his execution of Hollenbeck's moody tone poems. From the conventional vocalism of "dreams for tomorrow" (in which he backs himself on piano) to the free glossolalia of "jazz envy" and overtone singing in "The Music of Life," the music of Quartet Lucy proves an unparalle