3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Excellent legacy, introduction and momento,
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This review is from: Live (Audio CD)
One of the previous reviews rightly raises the point of live albums. It is a rare recording of a live performance of existing material (rather than a new release which happens to be recorded live) which will appeal to all of existing fans (often as a memento of a great night), newcomers and those who had previously disliked an artist's music.
While the quality of the performances on "Live" goes without saying, this double release is significantly similar to the source material such that it is an excellent introduction and best of (with material from five albums over a decade or so and eight concerts). And while the similarity means it is unlikely to win over those previously unmoved by Ronin, it is more organic and warm if less precise and may appeal to some who think that the precision of the group's music sound disqualifies it from any association with jazz.
That said, on the first few listens I was slightly non-plussed. The same group of Bartsch, Sha, Rast, Pupato and Meyer, (although the bass player had left the group and was replaced by Tommy Jordi for the last track only) performs their music in a fundamentally faithful manner to the source material and it took repeated listening fully to appreciate the subtlety, differences and innovation on display. Modul 35 is a classic example. Compared with the version from "Stoa", the track is both more urgent and forceful while featuring a bewitchingly beautiful motif from Bartsch nearly 5 minutes in. Although Modul 22 from 2004's "Rea" and another which I have been unable to trace were new to me, the majority of the tracks come from the last two releases "Holon" and "Lyria". Indeed the second disc contains two tracks each from those albums. While generally the increase in length of the tracks compared with their studio form is relatively minor, Modul 48 from "Lyria" is expanded from 9.41 minutes to 13.11 and is much looser in feel while Modul 47 from "Lyria" is expanded from 8.02 minutes to 13.11.
In short, while I am far from throwing away my studio recordings, and while I yearn for some of the textural subtlety which understandably has to be sacrificed on occasions, "Live" is an excellent release, which marks the depature of Meyer and looks forward to a new and, hopefully, equally exciting future.