A Monk on a Hill with Trane

Nocturne by Hiroko Sakai

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Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Cookie Marenco
ESE LogoExtended Sound Environment (E.S.E.)
at OTR Studios / July 5, 2013

Cover Art "Nocturne" by
Hiroko Sakai

Released 2013

This fifth solo recording from OTR Studios includes two originals in contrasting style, and interpretations of music by composers that have influenced my work, in varying degrees. The title track is a good example of the current rhythmic studies; drum patterns and 12-tone cycles pioneered by Walter Bishop, Jr. have been extremely helpful. Andrew Hill's New Monastery isn't usually heard as a solo piano piece, possibly owing to its technical challenges. However, consistent review of the relatively brief, orchestral score has yielded some insight into Hill's compositional processes, which in my view are the antithesis of formalism. Over time, the spiritual / meditative component in the music emerges. Thelonious Monk's Four in One is among that composer's most rigorous in terms of its design; the outer range of the 32-bar standard form is realized.

Thank you all for your continued support of the music.

James D. Armstrong, Jr.
July 2013