Variations on Italian Pastoral Themes

James Armstrong - Variations on Italian Pastoral Themes - cover image

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This new solo recording presents an extended improvisation on contrasting themes, and interpretations of an older student work. In both performances, consonance and dissonance are freely explored to create what Thelonious Monk might have termed an 'ugly beauty'.

Variations on Italian Pastoral Themes taps into my distant memories of Europe, during an extended stay there as an expatriate (1965-1966).

Ballad was written in 1980, and attempts to synthesize music by Monk and Horace Silver, who were among my influences at the time.

With many thanks to Cookie Marenco and Patrick O'Connor at OTR Studios.

James Armstrong
May, 2011