Album Remarks & Appraisals:
All About Jazz - Troy Collins
When composer Clare Fischer passed away on January 26, 2012, he left behind a diverse legacy. Spending the late 1950s as pianist and arranger for The Hi-Lo's before working alongside Dizzy Gillespie and Donald Byrd, Fischer finally attained greater recognition in the 1960s for his contributions to the then burgeoning Latin jazz and bossa nova craze, including writing the standard "Pensativa."
Conceived and performed exactly as he intended, Extension is his masterpiece. Recorded in 1963, the album is a majestic culmination of his concepts, drawing upon myriad influences, including rich Ellingtonian voicings, the angular harmonic intervals of bebop, and bold modernist innovations proffered by classical composers such as Bela Bartok and Dmitri Shostakovich.
Released for the first time on CD by International Phonograph, Inc., this deluxe mini-LP styled reissue was mastered from the original 3 track analog tapes, capturing every nuance of the orchestra's scintillating tones, textures, and shadings. Counter to the norms of the time, these meticulously scored big-band charts are light on extended improvisation - but intentionally so - as Fischer considered the relationship between composition and arrangement equally important. ... read more...
Audio Mixer: Steve Marlowe.
Liner Note Authors: Clare Fischer; Jonathan Horwich; John William Hardy.
Recording information: Pacific Jazz Studios, Hollywood, CA.
Photographer: Woody Woodward.
This was arranger/pianist/organist Clare Fischer's first recording as a leader of an orchestra and was reissued on a 1984 Discovery LP. Fischer always had his own arranging style, and he contributed all eight originals. Despite the presence of many top West Coast players, the only soloists on the set are Fischer and the cool-toned tenor saxophonist Jerry Coker. Coker, who has made far too few recordings in his career, is in top form and is really the co-star of this fairly straight-ahead but somewhat unpredictable music. ~ Scott Yanow